North Dakota Food and Culture A Taste of World Cuisine

(FN1513, Reviewed Aug. 2019)

Have you ever tasted lefse, fleischkeukle, tacos, pizza or curry? Most likely you have tasted at least one of these foods even though all of them originated in other countries. During holidays in particular, you may enjoy recipes your grandparents or their grandparents enjoyed. Food goes beyond providing nourishment for the body. Food also helps nurture family traditions and connects us with other cultures. Food can help different groups of people understand and appreciate each other’s differences. We invite you to enjoy this recipe collection from around the world, which also is a sampling of the cultures found in North Dakota. We thank our old and new friends for contributing and testing the recipes.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist
Other Authors

Stacy Halvorson, R.D., Extension Associate

Available in print from the NDSU Distribution Center.

Contact your county NDSU Extension office to request a printed copy.
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Publication Sections

Note: We did not have access to digital photographs for all of the recipes in this collection. Some of the photos will provide a general idea of the recipe’s appearance and may not look exactly like your finished recipe.

Key to Abbreviations

tsp. = teaspoon mg = milligrams

Tbsp. = tablespoon mcg = micrograms
c. = cup lb. = pound(s)
oz. = ounce(s) qt. = quart(s)
pkg. = package pt. = pint(s)
g = grams


Bosnian cuisine contains lots of fresh produce. Tomatoes, peppers, carrots and beans are common in everyday menus.

The Bosnian Pot

The Bosnian Pot

2¼ lb. beef, cubed

1 head cabbage

2 to 3 carrots

3 to 4 large tomatoes

3 to 4 large potatoes

2 onions

2 or more cloves garlic, sliced

2 green bell peppers

½ Tbsp. cooking oil

½ Tbsp. vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Dice all the vegetables.
  2. Combine with the meat and seasonings in a large pot.
  3. Add enough water to completely cover the mixture and add the oil and vinegar.
  4. Cook, covered, for two to three hours on low heat until everything is well done.
  5. Serve with pita bread.

Makes 10 servings. Per serving: 330 calories, 8 g fat, 26 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber and 190 mg sodium


The Bosnian Pot

(grah or gräh)

2 (14.5-oz.) cans of Cannellini (white) beans

3 to 4 Tbsp. salad oil

2 c. fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes

5 shallots, sliced (or sliced onions)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Some parsley

1 lb. spicy sausage, either smoked or cooked (chorizo will work)

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté until tender.
  3. Put the beans and vegetables in a large pot.
  4. Add the sausage and cook for 20 minutes on low heat or place in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 290 calories, 15 g fat, 15 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 1,060 mg sodium

*Grah is a traditional Bosnian stew incorporating meat and beans.

Food Safety Tips: Do not use food from containers that are leaking, bulging or rusting or those with sharp dents. The food could be contaminated and put you at risk for foodborne illness. Store canned foods and other shelf-stable foods in a cool, dry place. High-acid canned foods, such as tomatoes and fruit, can be stored for up to 18 months. Low-acid canned foods, such as meat and vegetables, can be stored for two to five years.

White Bread

2 Tbsp. yeast

1½ c. warm water

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. salt

6 c. (or more) white flour

Vegetable/olive oil for pan

  1. Combine the salt and flour in a large bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water and then sprinkle the sugar on top of the yeast. Stir to combine and allow it to dissolve and foam.
  3. Mix yeast mixture with the flour mixture and knead until smooth, approximately five to 10 minutes. Add extra water or flour as needed.
  4. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a clean cloth.
  5. Let the dough rise until double, punch down and let rise again until doubled in size.
  6. Cut the dough into equal amounts and shape into loaves; sprinkle with flour.
  7. Place the loaves onto lightly greased pan(s).
  8. Let rise one more time for half an hour.
  9. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about one hour or until the inside of the bread is done.

Makes 20 servings. Per serving: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 350 mg sodium

Nutrition Tip: Substitute some whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour in recipes. You may need to add more liquid to a recipe that calls for whole-wheat flour.

Sour Cream and Spring Onion Salad

3 c. spring onions

2 c. cold sour cream (reduced-fat)

½ tsp. salt

  1. Rinse and blot dry two bunches of spring onions with paper towels.
  2. Remove a little bit of both ends so you only have the green and white stalks.
  3. Using scissors, cut the onions into pieces about ¼ inch wide.
  4. Place spring onions in a bowl; add salt.
  5. Spoon in sour cream and stir until the onions are covered with sour cream.
  6. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready for use.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 130 calories, 1.5 g fat, 6 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 380 mg sodium

Be sure to keep cold salads, such as the Sour Cream and Spring Onion Salad, at a temperature of 41 degrees or lower to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Low Temperature Warning logo

Germans from Russia

“This is a recipe from my mother-in-law, Barbara. It is a favorite family tradition. My son eats loaves at a time, all by himself! He brings friends home from college to have Easter Bread. I make at least two batches each year for family and friends.”

Easter Bread* (also called Bosca)

Easter Bread* (also called Bosca)
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension

Submitted by Mary Froelich, Williams County

12 egg yolks

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 pt. sweet cream

1 small pkg. saffron

1 qt. milk

1 Tbsp. salt

3 c. sugar

2 pkg. dry yeast

1 stick butter

16 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. anise

½ c. warm water

1 Tbsp. vanilla

  1. Mix yeast with ½ c. warm water and 2 Tbsp. of sugar.
  2. Heat cream, milk and butter until butter melts. Add saffron to soak. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Beat egg yolks until fluffy. Add extracts.
  4. Add yeast mixture and liquids. Stir in enough flour to make soft dough (somewhat sticky).
  5. Knead for eight to 10 minutes.
  6. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise until doubled in bulk. This is very slow rising and takes about four hours, depending on room temperature.
  7. Punch down. Divide into 18 equal-sized balls.
  8. Grease bottoms and sides of 1-pound coffee cans very well. Place one ball of dough in each can. The ball will fill the can about one-quarter full. Cover cans and let rise until doubled in bulk.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes. (I bake nine at a time.)
  10. Remove from cans to cool.
  11. Frost with a vanilla glaze and add colored sprinkles for decoration.

Makes 36 servings. Per serving: 360 calories, 9 g fat, 12 g protein, 56 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 250 mg sodium

According to some books, these breads are baked tall and rounded at the top to represent the dome of a Russian church.

*Easter Bread dough traditionally is dyed yellow and flavored with anise. The bread is frosted with colorful frosting and sprinkled with candies.


(fleisch·kue·kle or flié-‘sh-kū-kle’)

Recipe courtesy of Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries

Dough Ingredients
1 egg
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sour cream
1½ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Dash salt
5½ c. flour

Filling ingredients
2 lb. lean ground beef
½ c. bread crumbs
Warm water to moisten
1 Tbsp. minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying

  1. Make dough as soft as you can and still be able to handle it. Let it sit for at least one-half hour. You may save some dough to be used the next day.
  2. Mix filling ingredients so they stick together.
  3. Cut dough into 3- by 3-inch squares.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp. filling to each square.
  5. Moisten or pinch tight to seal.
  6. Deep fry for two minutes on each side.

This freezes well. To cook frozen Fleischkuekle, heat for 20 minutes in slow oven (300 to 325 degrees F).

Makes 12 servings. Per serving: 420 calories, 9 g fat, 31 g protein, 49 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 290 mg sodium


(ku·chen or ’kü-kən)

6 eggs

1 c. cream

2½ c. sugar

1 c. milk

1 c. solid shortening

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

8 to 9 c. flour

  1. Cream eggs, sugar and shortening. Add other ingredients to make soft dough. Refrigerate for a day before baking.
  2. Divide dough into balls. Roll out thin to fit into an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan. Prick with fork. Brush with melted shortening and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown.

Makes 16 servings. Per serving: 440 calories, 16 g fat, 9 g protein, 68 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 290 mg sodium

Be sure to wash hands

Be sure to wash your hands after handling raw eggs.

Nutrition Tip: Add fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries, to kuchen for added vitamins, fiber and natural antioxidants.


Huda’s Chicken Curry*

Huda’s Chicken Curry*
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

(cur•ry or kər-ē)

1½ tsp. chopped fresh ginger, divided

1½ tsp. minced garlic, divided

¼ tsp. chili powder

1 c. nonfat plain yogurt or enough to coat the chicken

1¼ tsp. turmeric, divided

1 tsp. salt

2½ lb. raw chicken breast, cubed

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. shah jeera**

7 to 10 cardamon seeds

2 whole cloves

¼ tsp. turmeric

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 (16-oz.) can tomato sauce (with oregano and garlic if available)

Pasanda Curry mix (if not available, use 2 Tbsp. total with equal mixtures of chili powder, salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, green cardamom, clove, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic
and allspice)

Basmati rice

  1. In large bowl, mix together 1 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. garlic, chili powder, yogurt, 1 tsp. turmeric and salt.
  2. Add chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Sauté onion in vegetable oil until transparent and slightly brown.
  4. Add oil to coat the bottom of a large pot. Add shah jeera, cardamom seeds, two whole cloves, ¼ tsp. turmeric, sautéed onion, ½ tsp. ginger, ½ tsp. garlic, tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  5. Sprinkle marinated chicken with ⅓ of a packet of Pasanda Curry mix or homemade spice mix.
  6. Add chicken mixture with marinade to large pot.
  7. Add 1½ cups of water.
  8. Simmer until meat is tender and soup reaches 165 degrees F.
  9. Prepare rice as directed on the package.
  10. Serve over basmati rice.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 190 calories, 4.5 g fat, 29 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 810 mg sodium

*Curry usually is considered a main dish alongside rice and bread.

**Shah jeera is an Indian spice found in many grocery stores with specialty sections.

Cross-contamination Warning Logo

To avoid cross-contamination, use separate cutting boards and knives when preparing raw meat and produce, or wash your board and knife after preparing one food and before going on to the next food. 

Huda’s Meat Soup*

2 tsp. fresh garlic, divided

1¼ tsp. fresh ginger, divided

1½ tsp. salt

¾ tsp. turmeric, divided

⅛ tsp. chili powder

¾ c. plain nonfat yogurt

1½ lb. raw lean beef, cubed

½ onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. shah jeera**

7 to 10 cardamom seeds

2 whole cloves

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce

Pasanda Curry mix (if not available, use 2 Tbsp. total with equal mixture of chili powder, salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, green cardamom, clove, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic and allspice)

Basmati rice

  1. In large bowl, mix together 1½ tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. ginger, salt, ½ tsp. turmeric, chili powder and yogurt.
  2. Add beef and marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Sauté onion in oil until transparent and slightly brown.
  4. In a large pot, mix together shah jeera, cardamom seeds, whole cloves, sautéed onion, ¼ tsp. turmeric, ½ tsp. garlic, ¼ tsp. ginger, cilantro, chopped tomato and tomato sauce.
  5. Sprinkle marinated beef with ⅓ of a packet of Pasanda Curry mix or homemade spice mix.
  6. Add meat with marinade to pot.
  7. Add enough water to cover meat mixture.
  8. Simmer until meat is tender and reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F.
  9. Prepare rice as directed on the package.
  10. Serve over basmati rice.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 280 calories, 11 g fat, 22 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 800 mg sodium

*In India, meat soup commonly is made with mutton or lamb.

**Shah jeera is an Indian spice found in grocery stores with specialty sections.

Nutrition Tip: When buying tomato sauce in a can, compare brands to find one with the least sodium.


Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

(naan or nän)

1 (.25-oz.) package active dry yeast

1 c. warm water

¼ c. white sugar

3 Tbsp. milk

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp. salt

4½ c. bread flour

2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)

¼ c. butter, melted

  1.  In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand about 10 minutes or until frothy.
  2.  Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough.
  3.  Knead for six to eight minutes on a lightly floured surface or until smooth.
  4.  Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise.
  5.  Let it rise one hour until the dough has doubled in volume.
  6.  Punch down dough and knead in garlic.
  7.  Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball.
  8.  Roll into balls and place on a tray. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  9.  During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
  10.  At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill and cook for two to three minutes or until   puffy and lightly browned.
  11.  Brush uncooked side with butter and turn over.
  12.  Brush cooked side with butter and cook until browned, another two to four minutes.
  13.  Remove from grill and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Makes 40 servings. Per serving: 60 calories, 1.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 120 mg sodium

*Naan is one of the most popular varieties of bread worldwide.

Be sure to wash hands

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before preparing food. 

Masur Dal (Red Lentils With Onion)*

(ma•sur dal or mä-sər däl)

½ c. uncooked lentils

1 tsp. vegetable oil

½ tsp. salt

1½ c. water

½ tsp. turmeric powder

½ tsp. cumin powder

1 tsp. sugar

5 tsp. vegetable oil

2 chili peppers

½ large onion, chopped

  1. Rinse the lentils in a strainer under running water two to three times.
  2. In a bowl, combine the washed lentils, 1 tsp. oil and ½ tsp. salt.
  3. Boil lentils in 1½ c. of water until they turn yellow and soft. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder and sugar to the boiled lentils and mix them well.
  4. In a separate pan, add rest of the oil and allow it to heat.
  5. Split the chili peppers in half and add to the heated oil.
  6. Add onion to the oil and stir until it starts to turn light brown.
  7. Add 2 Tbsp. boiled lentils (mixed with spices) into the fried onion and stir well for one minute. Add the rest of the boiled lentil mix and stir.
  8. Add 1 c. of water and allow it to boil for two minutes. Serve over white rice.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 190 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 400 mg sodium.

*Pulse crops (chickpeas, lentils and split peas) are a staple in Indian cuisine, with red lentils being the most common.

 “This is a very common food item in Bengali as well as Indian communities. Generally we start our lunch or dinner with this item followed by two to three main courses. On special occasions or when preparing this for someone special, one may garnish it with coconut flakes or cilantro leaves.”Arupendra Mozumdar, Calcutta, India

Food Safety Tip: Refrigerate leftovers promptly in a shallow container. Use leftovers within three to four days (or freeze).


Azad’s Biryani*

(bi·ry·a·ni or bĭ’rē-ä’nē)

1 lb. potatoes cut into ¼-inch cubes

½ c. blanched almonds

2 lb. chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed

Salad oil (canola, sunflower, corn)

3 c. basmati rice


½ c. wheat noodles

½ to 1 tsp. allspice or Biryani spice if available

  1. Fry potatoes in lightly oiled skillet until tender. Set aside.
  2. Fry almonds in lightly oiled skillet until slightly brown. Set aside.
  3. Add a little oil to the skillet and fry chicken until done. Set aside.
  4. Place rice in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  5. Drain rice.
  6. Coat another pot with oil and place on medium heat.
  7. Add wheat noodles and cook until they change color.
  8. 8. Add rice, salt to taste and allspice or Biryani spice.
  9. Stir for one minute.
  10. Add 2½ c. boiling water.
  11. Turn heat to high and cover.
  12. Turn to medium low when water is absorbed.
  13. Cook about five minutes longer or until done.
  14. Mix potatoes, almonds, chicken and rice in large casserole dish.
  15. Serve immediately.

Makes 10 servings. Per serving: 320 calories, 9 g fat, 26 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 85 mg sodium

*Biryani is a seasoned fried rice dish made with meat and vegetables.

Nutrition Tips: Leave the peel on the potatoes when making Azad’s Biryani. The peel provides added vitamins and fiber.

Swiss chard is particularly high in vitamins C and K and other natural phytochemicals (plant chemicals) with health benefits.


(shir•i•ni or shír-ē-nē)

1 to 1½ c. sugar

½ c. water

1¼ lb. pumpkin

½ c. chopped walnuts

  1. Boil the sugar and water until it forms a thick syrup.
  2. Wash the pumpkin, peel it, remove the seeds, cut into pieces and cook in the syrup until it is very thick and almost all absorbed.
  3. Arrange the pumpkin on a plate and decorate with walnuts and cinnamon.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 220 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 5 mg sodium

*Shirin means “sweet” in Kurdish. Shirini is a dessert commonly made with milk, dates, cashews, cardamom and butter.

Food Safety Tip: Always wash squash, melons or gourds even if the rind is not to be used. When cut, dirt and microorganisms on the outside could transfer inside to the flesh.

Kibbeh Khamoustah*

(kib·beh kha•mou•stah or khä-mŏ-stäh’ ki-bē)

1 lb. ground beef (coarsely ground, if available)

Salad oil

1 c. matzo meal

1½ c. semolina

1 c. water

1 tsp. salt

6 to 7 cloves garlic, chopped

10 scallions, chopped

2 bunches of Swiss chard

Lemon juice (optional)

  1. Fry ground beef in a small amount of oil.
  2. Prepare the dough by mixing matzo meal, semolina, water and salt.
  3. Wet hands and shape into walnut-sized pieces.
  4. Roll out dough into a small circle and fill with 1 Tbsp. of meat.
  5. Seal the dough. Continue until all the dough and meat is used.
  6. In a large pot, heat small amount of oil and fry garlic until golden.
  7. Add the scallions and Swiss chard. Mix well.
  8. Cook about 10 minutes.
  9. Cover with water and continue to cook until boiling.
  10. Add lemon juice to taste, if desired.
  11. Add stuffed dough to soup and cook 15 more minutes.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 270 calories, 4.5 g fat, 18 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 350 mg sodium

*Kibbeh, or dumplings, are stuffed with meat, traditionally lamb or beef, and served with soup.


Sweet Potato Pone*

Sweet Potato Pone*
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

3 c. grated sweet potatoes

1 c. molasses or dark cane syrup

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

⅓ c. vegetable oil

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine sweet potatoes, molasses, ginger, baking powder, salt and vegetable oil.
  2. Simmer slowly, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour into well-greased 9-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes for the first 20 minutes.
  5. Smooth down the top and allow to brown.
  6. Cut into squares and serve hot or cold.

Makes 10 servings. Per serving: 210 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 420 mg sodium

*Sweet potato pone often is served as a dessert following a large family meal.

Jollof Rice

(joll·off rice or jöll-öff - ‘rīs)

2 lb. cooked meat (chicken, bacon, shrimp, smoked pork), cut into 1-inch chunks

Salad oil

½ c. yellow onion, finely chopped

½ c. green peppers, finely chopped

½ tsp. ground ginger, optional

1 (16-oz.) can whole tomatoes (2 c.)

2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste

2 qt. water

2 tsp. salt (or less)

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. thyme

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 c. white rice

5 c. reduced-sodium chicken stock (water can be substituted)

  1. Sauté cooked meat in oil until slightly brown.
  2. In a large kettle, sauté yellow onion, green pepper and ginger in vegetable oil until onions are soft.
  3. Add whole tomatoes and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste, 2 quarts water, salt, black pepper, thyme and red pepper.
  5. Add cooked meat and simmer 20 minutes longer.
  6. In 2-quart saucepan, cook rice in 5 c. chicken stock or water until tender.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Pour the rice in a deep bowl and arrange the meat in the center.

Makes 12 serving. Per serving 160 calories, 1 g fat, 21 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 470 mg sodium

Stewed Mangos With Cloves*

4 large mangos, peeled and cut into large pieces (canned peaches or apricots can be substituted for the mangos)

1 c. syrup from canned peaches

6 whole cloves

  1. Put mangos in a 1-quart saucepan.
  2. Add syrup from peaches and cloves.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes or until mangos are tender.
  4. Spear some of the pieces with a few cloves.
  5. Cool and serve.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 140 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 0 mg sodium

*Stewed mangos and cloves is a traditional sweet dessert served during the summer months.

Nutrition Tip: When using canned fruit in recipes, buy those that are packed in light syrup or their own juice rather than in syrup. This will reduce the calories in the recipe.

Monrovian Collards and Cabbage

1 bunch collard greens, washed and cut into small pieces (may substitute 2 lbs. spinach)

½ lb. bacon cut in 1-inch pieces

1 large onion, sliced

1 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper

1 tsp. black pepper

4 c. water

1 head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

2 Tbsp. butter or oil

  1. Combine collard greens, bacon, onion, salt, red pepper, black pepper and water.
  2. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and butter or oil.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes or longer until vegetables are tender.
  5. Strain before serving if water has not all been absorbed.

Makes 12 servings. Per serving: 150 calories, 9 g fat, 8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 450 mg sodium

Cross-contamination Warning Logo

Beware of cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards and utensils when cutting raw meat and preparing salads. Wash the boards and utensils thoroughly with hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly with hot water between uses. Food safety experts also recommend that you sanitize cutting boards with a mixture of water and bleach (about 1 Tbsp. per gallon of water). 


Corn Tortilla*

Corn Tortilla*
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

(tor•ti•lla or tor-tē-yə)

1¾ c. masa harina

1⅛ c. water

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together masa harina and hot water until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water.
  2. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-high heat.
  4. Divide dough into 15 equal-sized balls. Using a tortilla press, a rolling pin or your hands, press each ball of dough flat between two sheets of wax paper.
  5. Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more, then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.

Makes 15 servings. Per serving: 45 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 0 mg sodium

*Tortillas, thin unleavened pancakes made of cornmeal or flour, are a staple food of Mexico.

Chile Colorado (Mexican Chili)*

(chil•li or chi-lē)

1½ lb. beef chuck roast, boneless

8 oz. pork butt, boneless

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1 small bay leaf

½ tsp. salt

1½ c. canned tomato puree

1 c. water

  1. Cut the pork and beef into strips about c-inch thick by ½-inch wide, trimming excess fat.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Add enough meat to cover the bottom of the pot.
  4. Cook until browned, about four minutes.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and continue with another batch of raw meat until all is cooked.
  6. Return all the meat to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 1½ hours or bake covered in 400 degree F oven for one-half hour.
  7. Serve rolled in warm tortillas with sour cream and salsa.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 250 calories, 14 g fat, 23 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 250 mg sodium

*Named for the chili peppers in it, chili can range from moderately spicy to extremely hot.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas*

(en•chi•la•da or en-chə-lä-də)

1 bunch cilantro

1 c. sour cream

2 (7-oz.) cans jalapeno salsa

2 (7-oz.) cans prepared green chili salsa

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded

1 medium onion, chopped

12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Sour cream mixture: In a blender or food processor, puree cilantro, sour cream, jalapeno salsa and ½ can of the green chili salsa. Set aside.
  2. Chicken mixture: In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, onion and the remaining 1½ cans of green chili salsa. Mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Heat tortillas in the microwave oven until soft.
  5. Pour enough of the sour cream mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish to coat the bottom.
  6. Place two heaping Tbsp. of the chicken mixture in each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Pour remaining sour cream mixture over all and top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until dish is heated through and bubbling.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 410 calories, 15 g fat, 22 g protein, 44 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 1200 mg sodium

*Enchiladas commonly are filled with cheese, beans, chicken or beef and served as either an appetizer or a main dish.


(or•chah•tah or or-chä-tə)

1 c. uncooked white long-grain rice

5 c. water

½ c. milk

½ Tbsp. vanilla extract

½ Tbsp. ground cinnamon

⅔ c. white sugar

  1. Pour the rice and water into the bowl of a blender; blend until the rice just begins to break up, about one minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature for about three hours.
  2. Strain the rice water into a pitcher and discard the rice. Stir the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar into the rice water. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

Makes five servings. Per serving: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 20 mg sodium

*This is a traditional Mexican beverage made with rice and flavored with lime, cinnamon or sugar.

Native American


(ta·co or ‘tä-kō)

1 lb. lean or extra-lean ground beef

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1 c. onion, diced

3 c. lettuce, shredded

3 medium tomatoes, diced

2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

1 (3-oz.) can diced green chili peppers


  1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion.
  2. Add taco seasoning and prepare according to directions.
  3. Using frybread as the base, top with meat mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, chili peppers and salsa, as desired.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 350 calories, 14 g fat, 34 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 370 mg sodium. Nutrition information does not include frybread.

Nutrition Tip: Substitute 1½ c. of sharp cheddar cheese for 2 c. of cheddar cheese. The sharp cheddar provides more flavor, so you can use less. This substitution will cut back on sodium and fat.



¼ c. warm water

1½ pkg. fast-acting yeast

3 c. prepared powdered milk

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp margarine

7 to 8 c. all-purpose flour

Oil for deep-frying

  1. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and combine with hands. Add flour if dough is sticky. Let sit for 10 minutes to rest.
  2. Add enough vegetable oil to frying pan for dough to float, about 2 inches deep. On a well-floured board or counter, divide dough into small, round balls the size of a baseball and shape with fingers to 1 inch thick. Create a small hole in the center to allow for even cooking.
  3. Deep-fry the dough until golden brown.

Makes 16 servings. Per serving: 290 calories, 20 g fat, 15 g protein, 58 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 125 mg sodium

appropriate internal temperature logo

Be sure to cook meats to the appropriate internal temperature. For example, cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Food Safety Tip: Be sure to wear plastic gloves when preparing hot peppers, such as jalapenos. Irritation of the skin and eyes can occur if you’re not careful.

Cranberry Wojapi

Cranberry Wojapi
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

(wo·ja·pi or ‘woh-zhä-pē)

Recipe courtesy of Prairie Rose Seminole

1 c. dried cranberries

2 c. water

4 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with ¾ c. water

In a large saucepan, combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is thickened and cranberries are plumped.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 150 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 5 mg sodium

Nutrition Tips:

• Choose a healthy oil option such as canola, sunflower, safflower and corn oil. These are low in saturated fat.

• Heat oil to 350 degrees F to reduce the absorption of oil. Measure the temperature of the oil with a thermometer and test by adding a piece of dough to the oil. Oil is hot enough when dough floats at the top and browns quickly.

• Remember to enjoy fried foods in moderation.

Nutrition Tip: When making the Corn, Zucchini and Tomato Pie, buy plain frozen corn. Corn in butter sauces will add fat and sodium and will change the flavor of the dish.

Corn, Zucchini and Tomato Pie*

3 c. fresh (or frozen and defrosted) corn kernels
5 small zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh dill weed
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 to 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into ½-inch slices
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c. dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a 13- by 9-inch ovenproof baking dish, combine the corn, zucchini, 1 tsp. of salt, ½ tsp. of pepper, the dill and the melted butter, tossing to coat the vegetables.
  3. Cover the vegetables with the tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cheese and bread crumbs.
  6. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes and drizzle with the olive oil.
  7. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
  8. Remove it from the oven and let it stand for five minutes before serving.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 170 calories, 9 g fat, 5 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 700 mg sodium

This pie is made from the overflowing bounty of the backyard garden: season-fresh corn and zucchini seasoned with dill.

*Differing from tribe to tribe, the legend of the “Three Sisters” commonly is represented by corn, squash and beans.

Scandinavian (Norwegian)

“I enjoyed this recipe for the first time while visiting family in western Norway (where the dish originated). I have since learned to make it myself, although lamb is sometimes hard to find.

Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish consisting of pieces of lamb meat with bone, cabbage, whole black peppercorns and a little flour, cooked for several hours in a heavy pot, and traditionally served with potatoes boiled in their jackets. The dish is typically prepared in early autumn, after the slaughtering of the year’s young lambs. Some people prefer mutton for this dish.”

Ellen Bjelland, Barnes County

Fårikål (Lamb and Cabbage Stew)*

(far•ikal or fär-ēkäl)

2 lb. sliced lamb shoulder, neck or breast on the bone

1 large cabbage

1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns

2 tsp. salt (or less)

2 Tbsp. flour

¼ c. water

  1. Slice the cabbage into “boats” by radiating slices from the center outward.
  2. In a wide, heavy pot, layer the meat with the cabbage, sprinkling each layer with salt, flour and peppercorns, ending with a layer of cabbage.
  3. Add the water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1½ hours.
  4. Serve with boiled potatoes.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 180 calories, 4 g fat, 26 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 700 mg sodium

*Fårikål literally means “sheep in cabbage.” In the 1970s, fårikål was elected the national dish of Norway by a popular radio program. The last Thursday of September is considered the national fårikål day in Norway.

Kjottboller (Norwegian Meatballs)*

(kjott•boll•er or `khyét-bŏllr)

“This is a large recipe, but you will want to make the whole batch. It freezes well and can be made small and served as appetizers or served as a main dish with your favorite vegetable, mashed potatoes and lefse. To save time (and some fat calories), I form the meatballs, place them on a broiler pan and bake them in the oven until done before adding them to the sauce.” — Ellen

5 lb. total beef, pork and veal, finely ground

2 Tbsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. mace

1 tsp. pepper

1 (10-oz.) can mushroom soup (NOT cream of mushroom)

1 (10-oz.) can beef consommé

1 (13 oz.) and 1 5½-oz. can evaporated milk

Mix meats, salt, mustard, mace, pepper and milk. Form into balls of desired size; they will be soft. Brown in butter or place on broiler pan to bake in oven (350 degrees F) until done. Stir together soups in a large baking dish
(I use a roaster); simmer briefly. Add meatballs and bake at 325 degrees F for an hour or until flavors are blended. Makes approximately five dozen meatballs.

Makes 18 servings. Per serving: 200 calories, 7 g fat, 28 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 700 mg sodium

*Kjottboller commonly is made with beef, pork or venison, but each Scandinavian country has its own version.

appropriate internal temperature logo

Use a meat thermometer to check that the ground beef, pork, veal or lamb is at 160 degrees F before serving. 

Microwave Rømmegrøt (Cream Porridge)

Microwave Rømmegrøt (Cream Porridge)
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

(rom·me·grǿt or ruh-méh-grūht)

“Yes, you can make this recipe the old-fashioned way, but try this easy method that results in the tasty dish you may remember. Top it with a moderate amount of melted butter, cinnamon and sugar.

A note that came with the recipe states, ‘Serves 16 generously if 12 don’t like it much.’ This recipe deflates the Norwegian belief that good things come only with suffering.” — Ellen

4 c. 2% milk

1 c. butter

1 c. flour

¾ tsp. salt

¼ c. sugar

  1. Heat milk until scalding.
  2. Melt butter in a 2-quart bowl in microwave.
  3. Stir in flour with a wire whisk until smooth.
  4. Stir hot milk into butter-flour mixture. Stir until smooth.
  5. Cook, then stir, until it reaches desired thickness, two minutes at a time for a total of four minutes.
  6. Add salt and sugar; cook a little longer.
  7. Serve with cinnamon and sugar. Melted butter may be poured on each serving.

Makes 12 servings. Per serving: 220 calories, 17 g fat, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 180 mg sodium

Julekage (Christmas Bread)*

(jule•kage or yul-käje)

“This is my Grandma Oline Olson’s recipe. I make it every Christmas for friends and family. Over the years, I have adapted the recipe by baking the loaves in regular bread pans instead of round so that slices can be toasted. They’re great with butter or peanut butter.” – Ellen

½ c. warm water

2 eggs, beaten

2 pkg. yeast

¼ c. shortening

1½ c. milk

⅔ c. citron (candied fruit)

1 c. sugar, divided

1 c. raisins

1 tsp. salt

7 c. bread flour, divided

1 tsp. cardamom

  1. Combine warm water and yeast; stir until dissolved.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp. of the sugar to the yeast mixture and set aside.
  3. Combine shortening and milk in a glass bowl and microwave until shortening is nearly melted; stir and set aside.
  4. Place the milk, shortening, salt, cardamom, eggs, 3 c. of the flour and the remainder of the sugar in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the yeast. Stir until mixed and then beat until smooth and elastic.
  6. Stir in citron and raisins.
  7. Using a wooden spoon or a dough hook, stir in enough flour to make a workable dough (cleans the side of the bowl and is slightly sticky). Place on floured board or counter; knead until dough springs back to touch, about five to seven minutes.
  8. Let rise, punch down. Divide in half and shape into two loaves (round or regular); place in respective pans (aluminum pie pans work well for the round loaves).
  9. Let rise until double.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.

Makes 30 servings. Per serving: 180 calories, 2 g fat, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 105 mg sodium

*Julekage is a heavily spiced cake made with nuts and dried fruits such as raisins.


(lef·se or lĕf-śe)

10 lb. potatoes, peeled

½ c. butter

⅓ c. heavy cream

1 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. white sugar

2½ c. all-purpose flour

  1. Cover potatoes with water and cook until tender.
  2. Run hot potatoes through a potato ricer. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Beat butter, cream, salt, and sugar into the hot riced potatoes. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Stir flour into the potato mixture.
  5. Pull off pieces of the dough and form into walnut-sized balls.
  6. Lightly flour a pastry cloth and roll out lefse balls to c inch thickness.
  7. Cook on a hot (400 degrees F) griddle until bubbles form and each side has browned.
  8. Place on a damp towel to cool slightly and then cover with damp towel until ready to serve.

Makes 50 servings. Per serving: 120 calories, 2.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 75 mg sodium

*This traditional Scandinavian flatbread ranges from very thin to cakelike.

Equipment needed:

ricer or electric grinder (larger batches)

smooth board

pastry cloth

lefse grill

lefse turning sticks

rolling pin



(sam•bu•sas or sám-bū-s)

2 Tbsp. olive oil (or oil of choice)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 lb. ground beef

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. water, or as needed

1 (14-oz.) package spring roll wrappers

Oil for frying

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are transparent.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until about halfway done. Season with cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix well and continue cooking until beef has browned.
  4. In a small dish or cup, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste.
  5. Using one wrapper at a time, fold into the shape of a cone.
  6. Fill the cone with meat mixture, close the top and seal with the paste. Repeat until wraps or filling are used up.
  7. Heat oil. Pan-fry in hot oil in a heavy skillet or deep-fat fryer.
  8. Fry a few at a time until golden brown.
  9. Remove carefully and drain on paper towels.

Makes 14 servings. Per serving: 250 calories, 13 g fat, 16 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 380 mg sodium

* Sambusas are triangle-shaped meat-filled pies usually served during Ramadan.

Nutrition Tip: Try growing and freezing your own tomatoes for use in recipes. Home-canned or frozen tomatoes have less sodium than commercially canned.

Danger Zone Temperature Warning Logo Icon

Beware of the “Danger Zone” (40 degrees to 140 degrees F). Divide large amounts of leftovers into small containers for faster cooling to reduce the time the food is in the danger zone. 

Peanut Soup*

2 to 3 c. chicken broth (reduced-sodium)

1 small onion, minced

1 green pepper, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 hot chili pepper, minced (optional)

1 carrot, chopped fine, or 1 sweet potato, boiled and mashed (optional)

1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped or canned (optional)

1 c. natural unsweetened peanut butter

  1. Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter and simmer over medium heat until everything is tender.
  2. Reduce heat, add the peanut butter and simmer for a few minutes more.
  3. Stir often. Soup should be thick and smooth.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 230 calories, 16 g fat, 8 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 420 mg sodium

*Peanut soup usually is served as an accompaniment to the main meat dish in the Somalian culture.

Nutrition Tips: To reduce sodium in foods, choose reduced-sodium chicken broth when making the Peanut Soup.

To reduce the amount of oil in fried recipes, be sure to heat the oil so it is hot enough before adding the food.

Fool* (a sweet custard)

Fool* (a sweet custard)
Photo Credit:
NDSU Extension Service

(fool or ’fül)

2 c. milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ c. sugar

3 Tbsp. water

3 Tbsp. sugar

2 ripe mangoes or 1 ripe papaya or 2 ripe bananas, peeled, seeds removed (if needed) and cut into pieces

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat. Do not boil.
  2. In a bowl, mix ½ c. of sugar into the beaten eggs.
  3. Slowly add a quarter of the heated milk to the egg-sugar mixture while stirring.
  4. Slowly stir the egg-sugar milk mixture into the remaining heated milk.
  5. Cook on low heat until it thickens into a custard, stirring gently and continuously.
  6. Spoon into a clean bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  7. Bring the water and 3 Tbsp. of sugar to a boil in a saucepan.
  8. Add fruit pieces.
  9. Reduce heat and cook until tender, five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Mash fruit or press through a sieve.
  11. Spoon into clean bowl and place in the refrigerator
    to cool.
  12. Once both mixtures are cool, fold the fruit mixture
    into the custard.
  13. Serve cold with a dollop of whipped cream.
  14. Must be eaten within one day.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 170 calories, 2 g fat, 5 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 60 mg sodium

*This traditional sweet custard is made with native fruits such as mangoes, papayas and bananas.

Somali Summer Salad

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 apples

2 green peppers

3 tomatoes

2 cucumbers

Salt and pepper

  1. In a large bowl. combine oil and lemon juice.
  2. Dice all the fruits and vegetables and then add to the bowl.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve chilled.
  5. Best served within 24 hours.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 110 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 10 mg sodium

Danger Zone Temperature Warning Logo Icon

If using frozen meat, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf or in the microwave just before use. Never allow meat to thaw on the counter. This provides optimal growing conditions for microorganisms. 




(kis·ra or kis-‘rä)

1½ c. self-rising flour

½ c. whole-wheat flour

¼ c. cornmeal or masa harina

½ Tbsp. active dry yeast

2¼ c. water, divided

  1. Mix the flours, cornmeal, yeast and 1¾ c. of water in a large bowl.
  2. Cover with a towel and let stand for an hour or until the batter rises and becomes stretchy.
  3. After batter has risen, stir to combine any remaining water.
  4. Whip batter, adding the remaining ½ c. of water a little at a time until the batter is thin, almost like pancake batter.
  5. Pour ½ c. of the batter into a 12-inch nonstick frying pan preheated on medium to medium-high heat.
  6. Quickly swirl the pan to spread the batter as thin as possible (less than c inch thick).
  7. Cook until bubbles appear all over the top and the batter appears dry, or about one minute. Do not flip.
  8. Lay the kisra on a towel for about a minute and then place it in a covered dish to keep warm.
  9. Repeat the process until all of the batter is used.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 170 calories, 0 g fat, 6 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 5 mg sodium

*Kisra traditionally is made using a “starter” yeast mixture passed along through the family.

Maschi (Beef-stuffed Tomatoes)*

(ma•schi or mä-‘shkē)

1 c. cooked rice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. lean ground beef

8 large, firm tomatoes

2 tsp. salt, divided

2 Tbsp. butter

½ tsp. pepper

2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1½ cups water

4 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

1 tsp. cinnamon

Prepare rice as directed on package.

  1. Sauté the ground beef with salt, pepper, two cloves of garlic and dill in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beef has browned.
  2. Add rice.
  3. Mix thoroughly and set aside to cool
  4. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and make a slit across the center.
  5. Squeeze the sides of the tomatoes to open.
  6. Carefully scoop out the tomato flesh with a spoon.
  7. Be careful not to break the skin or allow the walls of the tomato to become too thin (about ¼ inch).
  8. Carefully stuff the hollowed tomatoes with the beef mixture and set aside.
  9. Warm the butter and the oil in a 9-inch skillet over medium heat.
  10. Sauté the tomatoes one at a time by carefully rolling them in the skillet. The tomatoes will brighten in color as they are cooked.
  11. Remove the tomatoes and arrange them, tops up, in a 6-quart saucepot. Set aside.
  12. Combine the tomato paste, water, salt, cinnamon and remaining garlic in a bowl.
  13. Pour sauce around the tomatoes in the saucepot. Simmer on medium/low for 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce darkens.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 220 calories, 9 g fat, 16 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 670 mg sodium

*Maschi is a traditional Sudanese dish consisting of tomatoes stuffed with beef. If tomatoes are unavailable, cucumbers also are commonly used.

Shorba (Lamb and Peanut Soup)*

Shorba (Lamb and Peanut Soup)*
Photo Credit:

(shor•ba or shor-‘bə)

3 lb. lamb bones (or lean beef ribs)

2 qt. water

2 tsp. salt

½ lb. onions, slightly chopped

½ lb. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

½ lb. cabbage, cut into small wedges

½ lb. string beans, trimmed

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

4 Tbsp. peanut butter

Juice of 1 lemon

½ c. cooked rice (optional)

  1. In a 6-quart saucepan, simmer lamb bones in 2 qt. of water and 2 tsp. of salt for one hour.
  2. Add onions, carrots, cabbage, string beans and garlic.
  3. Simmer for one hour until vegetables are thoroughly cooked.
  4. Remove lamb bones and puree the mixture.
  5. Add 4 Tbsp. peanut butter thinned with lemon juice.
  6. Add cooked rice.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 100 calories, 4 g fat, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 660 mg sodium

*Shorba is based around lamb. In Sudan, lamb bones commonly are used to flavor the souplike dish.

Nutrition Tip: When at the meat counter, ask for lean or extra-lean ground beef to help cut back on fat in recipes.

Salata Ma Jibna (Salad With Parmesan Cheese)

(sa•la•ta ma jib•na or ‘sä-lä-tə `ma jēb-n)

1 c. onions, cut into slivers or thin slices

1 c. cabbage, cut into slivers or thin slices

½ c. carrots, cut into very thin slices

1 c. tomatoes, diced

¼ c. olive oil

¼ c. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ c. grated parmesan cheese

  1. In a salad bowl, combine onions, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes.
  2. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper
  3. Sprinkle garlic and parmesan over salad.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 100 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 410 mg sodium

Food Safety Tip: Never wash produce with soap or bleach solutions. This could make you sick. Instead, wash produce thoroughly with water to remove dirt and microorganisms.


BBQ Five-spice Cornish Game Hens

BBQ Five-spice Cornish Game Hens
Photo Credit:
BBQ Five-spice Cornish Game Hens

4 (14-oz.) Cornish game hens 

4  garlic cloves 

2 shallots, or 3 green onions, white part only

1½ Tbsp. sugar  

 ½ tsp. salt 

¼ tsp. black pepper 

½ tsp. five-spice powder  

1½ Tbsp. Vietnamese fish sauce  

1½ Tbsp. light soy sauce  

1½ Tbsp. dry sherry 

  1. Halve the hens through the breast.
  2. Flatten with the palm of your hand. 
  3. In a mortar or food processor, pound or mince garlic, shallots and sugar.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour mixture over hens; marinate for at least two hours or overnight in refrigerator.
  6. Set hens, skin-side down, on grill and barbecue over medium coals for 15 minutes.
  7. Turn and barbecue 15 minutes longer or until they are thoroughly cooked (165 degrees F).
  8. Serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 320 calories, 8 g fat, 50 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 1,230 mg sodium

appropriate internal temperature logo

Use a food thermometer to check doneness. Poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls*

2 oz. rice vermicelli

8 rice wrappers (8 ½ inch diameter)

8 large cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half

1⅓ Tbsp. chopped fresh Thai basil

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

2 leaves lettuce, chopped

4 tsp. fish sauce

¼ c. water

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. white sugar

½ tsp. garlic chili sauce

3 Tbsp. hoi sin sauce

1 tsp. peanut butter

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.
  2. Boil rice vermicelli three to five minutes, or until al dente, and drain.
  3. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for one second to soften.
  4. Lay wrapper flat.
  5. In a row across the center, place two shrimp halves, a handful of vermicelli, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with the lettuce.
  6. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce.
  8. In another small bowl, mix the hoi sin sauce and peanut butter.
  9. Serve rolled spring rolls with the fish sauce and hoi sin sauce mixtures.

Makes eight servings. Per serving: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 670 mg sodium

*Because of Vietnam’s coastal location, the Vietnamese commonly make their spring rolls with seafood such as shrimp.

Bun Ho (Beef With Fine Rice Noodles)*

(bun ho or bun hó)

Rice and noodles are the pillars of Vietnamese cooking, and each plays a different role in daily meals. Rice noodles are more popular than wheat noodles and are thick, round or flat. Unlike dry wheat noodles, those made with rice flour only require blanching in boiling water for a few minutes to cook. This dish is interesting in its multilayered presentation and can be served warm or cold.

6 oz. rice noodles 

1 clove garlic, crushed  

1 medium onion, sliced fine 

2 inches of lemon grass root, thinly sliced 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. black pepper 

4 Tbsp. nuoc mam (fish sauce), divided

Pinch of sugar  

1 lb. fillet or sirloin steak, thinly sliced 

3 oz. bean sprouts 

4 oz. crisp salad greens, shredded 

3 Tbsp. shredded cucumber  

1 small bunch mint 

2 Tbsp. oil  

4 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

  1. Blanch rice noodles for five minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Combine garlic, onion, lemon grass, salt, pepper, half the nuoc mam and sugar and marinate beef in this mixture for half an hour.
  3. Divide bean sprouts, salad greens, cucumber and mint, put them in individual deep bowls and top with rice noodles. Heat oil in skillet and fry beef to preferred taste.
  4. Divide into four and add to bowls.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining nuoc mam, add chopped peanuts and serve.

From “A Little Vietnamese Cookbook” by Terry Tan. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-0799-1. Reprinted by permission.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 400 calories, 20 g fat, 37 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 2,510 mg sodium.

*Bun Ho uses two staples of Vietnamese cooking: rice and noodles.

Nutrition Tip: Use reduced-sodium soy sauce to lower the sodium content in your recipes.

Special thanks to Tera, Huda, Azad, Kendra, Agnes, Prairie Rose and Arupendra for their help testing the recipes.

For more information about nutrition, food safety and health, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/food.

This material is based upon work supported by the USDA-CSREES under Award No. 2005-51110-03293. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA.

NDSU encourages you to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license. You may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work as long as you give full attribution, don’t use the work for commercial purposes and share your resulting work similarly. For more information, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/creative-commons.