Tag Archives: yummy

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

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  • 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.


xo Eloiza


Apple Crisp

honey and maple syrup

Shh, don’t tell anyone it’s made without any sugar!  This yummy recipe is made with maple syrup and honey instead.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Start  with 7 – 10 apples (I substituted two Bosc pears for two apples).

apples and bosc pears

Chop into bite-sized pieces and layer in a 9×13 casserole dish.

chopped applesSprinkle 1/2 tsp ground ginger,  1/2 tsp cinammon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg plus 1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (use at least 1/2 cup of liquid, add water if you use less maple syrup). Mix well and set aside.

coconut oil and almond butter

Melt 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup almond butter in small saucepan.

oatmeal and flour mixture

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix 1 cup flour and 1 1/2 cups rolled oats.  Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger,  1/2 tsp cinammon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg to dry mixture.

apple crisp- uncooked

Pour melted ingredients over the dry ones and add 1 tbs vanilla and 1/2 cup honey. Mix well.

just out of oven- apple crisp

Evenly spread oatmeal mixture on top of apples.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Enjoy!

Bowl of apple crisp


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!

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

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!

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

I like plain popcorn with salt and a  little butter but my husband (and his big ol’ sweet tooth) bugged me about making  caramel corn.   The recipes I found involved mixing lots of butter with lots of sugar- yummy and disgusting at the same time.  Anyway, I don’t claim this is a low-calorie or low-fat version-  this just might not spike your blood sugar as fast.

Pop about 8 cups of organic popcorn kernels– about 1/2 cup dry. (It is difficult to measure popped corn so I just go with the 1/2 c. un-popped as my guide.)

Coat bottom of 3-4 quart pot with thin layer of canola oil (about 2 tablespoons) and set burner to high heat.

Put 3-4 kernels in pan.  Once those kernels pop the oil is ready.

Add the kernels to the pot and cover.  Shake or wiggle the pot over the burner while popcorn pops (about 3-4 minutes).

Once popping begins to slow, remove pot from heat.  Set popcorn aside.

In a saucepan mix:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or 1/4 c. rice syrup + 1/4 c. agave nectar or  honey)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (peanut butter would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat ingredients until liquefied (about 5 minutes).

Stir until well blended.

Slowly pour mixture over popcorn while mixing.  Let cool.   Enjoy!

** The caramel corn will keep longer if you toast it in oven for 5- 10 minutes.  Transfer the popcorn mixture to a glass baking pan andbake in the oven at 350 degrees.  Be careful not to scorch it– check every 3 minutes or so until slightly browned and crunchy

Fabulous Apple Cake

fairy helper
Fairy Helper

My family has been making this recipe for years and it never fails to please our guests.  We make it often around this time– apple varieties are plentiful where we live and we  love to give small loaves or muffins as gifts.

I’ve experimented with making this a no-sugar recipe (using agave nectar instead) and non-wheat (almond meal) but I’ll share the standard recipe  here.  I baked vegan muffins for a friend recently so I’m posting that option and new secret ingredient that makes the cake even more smooth and tasty.

  • 1  cup canola oil
  • 2 cups turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup of fresh or canned pumpkin (secret & optional)
  • 3 large eggsapples

vegan option:  in place of eggs 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed whisked together with 4 tablespoons water

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 to 4  apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups) (no need to peel apples and any kind will do!)
  • 1 cup chopped assorted nuts  walnuts (optional and recommended :))
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside OR Use muffin pan with cupcake liners (24 muffins
  2. Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt in large bowl and set aside
  3. In a separate bowl,  combine  oil, sugar,  eggs (or flax seed and water mixture) and pumpkin until smooth
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture.  The batter will be thick and gooey.
  5. Add apples and  nuts and mix to combine.  Add vanilla.
  6. Pour batter into pan, and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes (less for muffins).