If you're looking for healthy Dominican food, healthy substitutions, or adapting our recipes to your preferred diet, we bring you some tips to make your meals more balanced, nutritious, and healthy. I share many tried and true tips that I've developed or learned for decades.
Is Dominican food healthy?
Dominican cookery takes advantage of the wealth of vegetables and fruit that can grow in our country, it can be very easily adapted to your diet. You can do more to maximize its nutritional potential, and we share many of our traditional ways to do that.
We have carefully organized our recipes so you can enjoy healthy Dominican food regardless of your diet:
Here we share some more ideas to make our recipes better adapted to your preference:
1. Wave the flag!
La Bandera Dominicana (the Dominican flag), our traditional lunch meal is an outstanding combination of all the necessary nutrients. Rice provides carbohydrates (try brown rice for an even healthier choice), you get proteins from beans and meat (or seafood), and a delicious salad prepared with fresh vegetables completes this healthy meal.
3. Fat in moderation
A common mistake some Dominicans make is using too much oil when cooking, which you may find takes away the benefits of the Dominican diet. Use a non-stick pan to cook your meats and pan-fry your arepitas and tortillas. That way, you will only need a minimum of oil. Add a clove of garlic to the white rice, that improves the taste without adding much oil to the rice.
4. Prefer fresh salad
The traditional Dominican fresh salad contains a wealth of nutritious vegetables: tomatoes, lettuce, beet, cabbage, etc. Always choose fresh salad over other richer salads, and prepare your vinaigrette with minimal oil.
But if you must absolutely have your ensalada rusa we suggest that you use low-fat mayonnaise instead of regular, or substitute half the regular mayonnaise for sour cream. This no mayo light potato salad will have a different but nice taste.
You can find more Dominican salad recipes here.
These days we take a lot of shortcuts trying to save time in the kitchen, but we can cook our foods with natural ingredients and put healthier food on our table without sacrifices. We show you here how to substitute some pre-made ingredients commonly used in Dominican recipes with some you can prepare at home.
Chicken and beef broth
For other dishes, buy a whole chicken and use legs, wings, and breasts. Use the remaining parts and bones to make homemade chicken broth. Use beef bones to make beef broth.
This homemade vegetable broth recipe is quite versatile, and can conveniently made with bits of leftover vegetables you can keep in a jar refrigerated until it's time to get them in the pot.
Also, use it as a substitute when the recipe calls for chicken or beef broth if you want to adapt the recipe for a vegetarian diet.
Make your own homemade seasoning powder with a few ingredients and you can add Dominican flavors to your food without much effort.
Make your own homemade tomato sauce much healthier and tastier than commercial tomato paste.
Use our recipes for seasoning paste (sazón) and keep it refrigerated. It's Dominican mom's secret for quick but intense Dominican flavor.
Why not substitute store-bought hot sauce for the very authentic and most delicious agrio de naranja, the Dominican equivalent?
Do you have any other healthy substitutes, tips, or favorite Dominican healthy dishes? Let us know in the comments.