Tag Archives: recipe

Hearty Soup

INGREDIENTS:  1 onion, 1 leek, 2 tbs. olive oil, 1 lb. organic chicken (optional), 2 tbs sofrito, 1 medium turnip, 4 medium carrots, 1/2 celery root, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1-2 cups pearled barley, 1 head escarole, 12+ cups of water or stock

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • On high heat, saute diced onions and leeks in heavy stock pot with olive oil.
  • Add chicken and sofrito (you can substitute with adobo or granulated garlic for flavor).
  • Reduce heat and cook until browned (10 minutes).  Stir the ingredients occasionally.
  • Add chopped turnips and carrots.  Keep stirring so ingredients don’t stick.
  • Add 8 cups of water.
  • Add slices of celery root, two whole cloves of garlic and 4 more cups of water.
  • On high heat, bring soup to a boil.
  • Add pearled barley. (If you want a really thick soup use 2 cups barley).
  • Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  • Check soup and that barley is fully cooked. Add up to two more cups of water, if needed.
  • Add 1 tsp sea salt or adobo (not both– most adobo blends have a high salt content)
  • Add chopped escarole and turn off heat. Greens will wilt in the hot soup– no need to overcook.

Enjoy!

xo Eloiza

Advertisements

Beans, Beans, Beans YUM!

pinto beans

Protein, Fiber, Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals– What more can you ask for?

Here is a step-by-step recipe that is as easy as pie (but much better for you!)

  • 2 cups dried pinto beans (chick peas and black beans work with this recipe too)
  • 2+ quarts  water
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons sofrito (or add extra onion, garlic and fresh cilantro)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste- to thicken (diced tomato will work too!)
  • salt to taste

1.  Soak 2 cups of dried beans in water overnight (or at least 4 hours)

beans in water to soak

2. Drain beans and add to heavy pot (changing water is supposed to reduce gas)

drain beans

3.  Add about 2 quarts of water to soaked beans and bring to a boil

beans in pot4.  Boil beans until soft (about 1 hour)

boiling pintos5.  Meanwhile, chop onion and crush garlic.

garlic and salt in pilon

6.  Saute with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

saute garlic and onion7.  Once beans are softened, reduce heat.  Add sauteed onion & garlic and tomato paste.

onion and tomoto added to beans8.  Last but not least, add the sofrito and salt to taste.

adding sofritoAccompany with brown rice or quinoa, add to a quesadilla, serve with chips… Whatever you choose, this is a quick, easy and tasty recipe.

My favorite meal:

favorite meal
Collard greens, brown rice and pinto beans

Bacalaitos

No, I had no business making these on a hot July day.  For some reason I was craving them…  Nothing compares to bacalaitos (cod fish fritters) deep fried and eaten seaside in Puerto Rico.  Alas, I had to give those up when I gave up pork (they are fried in lard, yes, lard).

Unfortunately, the other thing is that I don’t think I’ll be in PR anytime soon.  I remember when I was there with my husband several years ago we searched far and wide (as far and wide as you can go on an island 110 miles long) for bacalaitos fried in oil.  I asked a woman at one of those seaside kiosks and she scoffed at me saying (in Spanish, of course), “Oil? Oil is too greasy!”  Oil, greasier than lard.   Imagine that!

The other thing about my Puerto Rican brethren (besides the annoying use of lard in everything) is the use of Sazon Goya.  When I was younger I was taught this was an essential item in our cuisine.  That is, until I found out that it is basically MSG and food coloring.  Trust me, you can make it just as good (or better) using plain ol’ garlic, onion and salt.  With some adobo and sofrito (made with organic and/or fresh ingredients) you can’t go wrong.  This recipe is really easy and you can adjust it to your liking.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Puerto Rican adobo seasoning
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups water*
  • 1 teaspoon (or more)  sofrito
  • 1/2 cup (or more) of soaked, shredded and deboned Bacalao (salted Cod Fish)
  • sea salt ( to taste)
  • oil for frying

Soak the salted cod overnight (or at least 5 hours).  Change the water at least twice.  Boil for 10 minutes and drain.  Shred into smaller pieces and remove bones.  Set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients.  Add water and mix well.  Next, add sofrito and fish then stir.  (Check the batter to see if it needs salt and add to your liking).

(Some people refrigerate the batter for an hour before hand. I didn’t and it was fine, just thought I’d share…)

Heat canola oil on high and then reduce the heat to medium once the oil is ready.  (Test the oil by dropping some batter into it to see if it bubbles.)  Spoon the batter into the hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Turn the fritter over once bubbles start to form on the top (again, like pancakes).  For the best consistency and flavor, let them brown just a bit.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot!  Enjoy!

* Use only 1 cup of water if you want the fritters to be thicker. Some people like using less water and less fish-  reminding me of Jamaican cod fritters.  The way my family makes them is with more water and more fish- like lumpy pancake batter.  I encourage you to experiment with it!

Roasted Veggies and Pasta

This is spring and summer favorite that is simple to make.

Enhance the individual flavors of the vegetables by three simple ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic.

Make any traditional pasta salad healthier by using:

  1. a greater ratio of vegetables to pasta
  2. only quality ingredients (that are and preservative and additive free)
  3. and, of course, a whole grain or other pasta alternative.roasting red pepper on stovetop

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb package pasta shells (cooked according to package instructions)
  • 2-3 zucchini squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small- medium eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 1- 2 cups Crimini (Baby Bella) mushroomsroasted red pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning blend (oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, sage…)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper

zucchini

Marinate chopped vegetables in the balsamic vinegar and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix in spices and crushed garlic and let sit for 20 min.

In the meantime, place red pepper directly on the gas burner and roast until blackened.  Submerge cooked pepper in cool water and peel and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse.

Grill vegetables until tender (do not overcook).  I used a stovetop grill but any (even a cast iron skillet) will do.  baby bellaMix the cooked pasta and vegetables together in a large bowl and add any additional ingredients listed below for extra flavor.
In addition to the yummy fresh vegetables you can add these other ingredients:

  • Kalamata olives
  • sun-dried or fresh tomatoes
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • feta or goat cheese

Queso Frito (fried cheese)

This recipe is a snap.

And it goes great with mangu (boiled and mashed plantains).  Check out the recipe here!

You’ll need:

  • Queso de Freir (it is a white cheese, a bit more crumbly and salty than mozzarella)
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • Oil for frying
queso de freir
You can buy the cheese at any grocer that serves a Latino population (I bought this package at Costco, go figure.)

 

Cut the cheese into fat slices (about 12 slices per 18 oz package).  Individually place each slice in bowl of flour.  They don’t need to be completely covered- just a dusting.  Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil in frying pan on high heat.  Place cheese slices in pan (oil should bubble just a bit).  Cook until browned on both sides.

 

queso frito

Mangu Recipe

This is a traditional dish from the Dominican Republic.  I first tried it during college while visiting my dear friend Mirta’s Dominican family.  It is often served with fried eggs, salami and/or fried cheese.  This vegan option is delicious and really easy.

You’ll need:platanos, red onion, evoo

  • 4-6 green plantains (not ripe)
  • a little more than 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • water for boiling  (2 cups reserved from cooked plantains)

Non-vegan options: Use butter instead of olive oil.  Or add 1/2 cup grated cheese (Gouda or Sharp Cheddar)

Start with 4-6 plantains (depending on how many you are serving- 1 platano per person is my guess)

Cut and peel the plantains.  Chop ends, make a slice lengthwise, use thumb to separate thick skin from fruit.

Cut plantains into chunks, place in large pot, cover with water and bring to boil.  Once water starts to boil, plantains should be done within 10 minutes.  (You’ll know when they change a deeper yellow color and you can easily insert a fork into a piece.)

raw platanos
before
after

While you are waiting for plantains to boil.  Slice one red onion.  Saute in skillet in 1/4 cup olive oil.  Once onions start to become translucent add vinegar, stir, let simmer for a couple more minutes and remove from heat.

cutting red onion

Once plantains are done. Remove cooked plantains from water (save 2 cups of the water to add while mashing).

mashing platanos

Mash cooked plantains.  Gradually add  water, 1/3 cup olive oil and salt.  Continue mashing and mixing until smooth (some lumps are okay- the plantains will stiffen as they cool).  Top with  sauteed onions and serve immediately.

Mangu with onions

Note:  So, since I was reminiscing about when I first had mangu at Don~a Fabia’s house I HAD to make queso frito to go with it. Oh yes I did make fried cheese… and it wasn’t organic… and it wasn’t vegan… and it was delicious.  Will I be making it again any time soon? No.  But in case you want to try it here is the link:  queso frito

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

Much thanks to Elise for sharing this great recipe!  I modified it just a little and encourage you to experiment too…

What you’ll need:

  • 6 oz package of organic puffed rice cereal (no sugar added, just rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup  raisins
  • 1 cup  grain sweetened dark chocolate chips

Heat the butter, oil and syrup over high heat until liquefied.  Stir until well blended.

In large mixing bowl, add alternate amounts of puffed rice and syrup and stir well.  Once the rice and syrup are well blended,  stir in raisins.  Next add the chocolate chips (if still hot, the chips will melt- if you don’t want that wait to cool before adding).

Press the mixture in a large casserole dish and let cool.  If you’re in a hurry, place pan in freezer for  30 minutes.  Cut into small squares using large knife or pizza cutter.   Let us know what you plan to add to your treats!