Your 7-day dinner plan: Destination dinners

Whether or not you have upcoming travel plans, these recipes will help you feel like you're on vacation—no passport required.

One of the most exciting parts of traveling can be exploring new foods and flavors at local restaurants and markets, but it's not always an option to hop on a plane, train, or automobile to get out of town. If your holiday plans look more like a staycation, you can still experience delicious dishes that can transport you to other parts of the country or globe.

This collection of seven dinner recipes covers only the tiniest fraction of all the delicious destinations out there, but it's a great start. First, jet off to Rome with a plate of pasta tossed in a pancetta-infused tomato sauce. Pair it with a glass of medium-bodied Italian red wine and that's amore.

To travel even farther, head to Asia with a savory, five-ingredient tofu stir fry or crab pad Thai that includes a flavorful sauce that's sweet, salty, and tangy all at the same time.

Don't feel like whipping out your culinary passport? Hit the road to New England for lobster rolls that are seasoned simply with melted butter, lemon, and chives, or travel south for ribs that are cooked until meltingly tender in the oven and then finished on the grill for some flame-kissed flavor.

Finish your whirlwind tour by popping down to South America for a cold, refreshing shrimp ceviche filled with crunchy cucumbers and snappy red onions, with a layover in Cuba for some grilled chicken marinated in a bright mixture of orange and lime juices and topped with juicy mangos. The mojito with a paper umbrella is optional.