Tag Archives: Vegan

Very Simple Pico de Gallo

I’m itching to go to the beach.  I don’t think I’ve been to the beach since my friends D&D got married in Cancún last September.  It’s a pity and a shame, considering I have one of the nicest strips of beach in Puerto Rico – the Isla Verde public beach – at a mere twenty minutes from my home.  Feel free to insult me in the comments.  I am planning to make up for lost time soon. Read More…

Arugula Chimichurri

Arugula Chimichurri

As much as I love chimichurri – the Argentinean condiment for meats and potatoes – I don’t make it as often as I should.  Skirt steak is in our dinner rotation at least every other week.  Most of the time it is sliced and used to top salads, but when I don’t there’s always roasted potatoes or some other starch involved.  In those occasions, it’s always nice to have some sauce on the side.  This is part of the lore on how chimichurri came to be an Argentinean and Uruguayan staple. Read More…

Green Onion Chimichurri

Green Onion Chimichurri

It seems that it is easy to bribe people with food.  Friends and family are more willing to help you move, paint the house, or fiddle around with satellite TV if there is a meal (or the promise of a meal) in store.  That’s how we found ourselves hosting my best friend and her family for impromptu Sunday grilling.  The menu was as simple as these last minute meetings allow for: grilled churrascos (skirt steaks), mashed potatoes and salad.  And if there is churrasco, there has to be chimichurri. Read More…

Guineos en Escabeche (Pickled Green Bananas)

 All rights reserved by Jose J Gonzalez

I believe that Puerto Rico has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world.  It lasts almost two months!  While its official beginning cannot be tied to a specific date (the week leading up to Thanksgiving, perhaps?), the end of the season falls around January 14th.  If the first day of Christmas is December 25th, and it ends on the Twelfth Night (Epiphany/Día de Reyes), we tack on eight extra days.  In these eight days, known as las octavitas,  people are still open to the idea of holiday themed meals and parties.  The octavitas are then stretched until the third weekend of January, when the San Sebastian Street Festival takes place.  This Old San Juan festival is a celebration of Puerto Rican culture: music, crafts, and food – all which happen to be key components of our Christmas traditions.

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Garlic-Sherry Mushrooms


Garlic-Sherry Mushrooms

Tapas are deceptively simple.  I have two cookbooks about tapas and almost all recipes are made with five ingredients or less.  I guess that’s why restaurants feature so many of them in their menus.  I bought everything to make these mushrooms for the paella/tapas gathering, but since we already had more than enough food I decided to save this recipe for a mid-week snack.  With only three ‘real’ ingredients (all in the name!), it’s very easy to pull off in a moment’s notice.   Read More…

Dolores/Lolita Gazpacho

My MIL is always in the lookout for great, reasonably priced restaurants both locally and in her frequent trips to Florida. One of her favorites is Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita, a Spanish restaurant in Miami’s Brickell area. The restaurant/lounge has a huge selection of wine bottles under $20.00, appetizer-entree combos starting starting at under $20.00, and a weekday wine and tapas happy hour that my in-laws seldom miss while they are in town. As a courtesy to their patrons, they distribute their recipe for gazpacho, the traditional Spanish vegetable and bread cold soup. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie – Pan con Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Another Friday, another brilliant recipe/technique from Around My French Table.  Today we cross the border and take these decidedly Provençal tomatoes over to la Madre Patria for a different twist in the classic Catalan tapa pan con tomate.  That is exactly what it sounds like: bread with tomato.  Traditionally, a slice of rustic bread is rubbed with a garlic clove and topped with freshly crushed tomatoes and olive oil.  Since it is FFwD, I used Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for slow roasted tomatoes instead.

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French Fridays with Dorie: Beets



About a month ago, I bought my first bunch of fresh beets. It was my first time consciously eating beets in thirty-plus years. Around My French Table proved to be a great resource – I had no idea what to do with them and Dorie Greenspan provided not one but four methods for cooking this inky root vegetable. The leaves went into stir fry earlier in the week (as kindly suggested over Twitter), and I roasted the roots in my toaster oven. This seemed to be the preferred cooking method from what I read in some blogs. Read More…

Farmers’ Market Finds – Placita Roosevelt (June 5th)

Behold the coolest thing I’ve ever bought at the Cooperativa Orgánica Made Tierra farmers’ market at Placita Roosevelt.

A banana flower!

Banana flower

This is what a banana tree actually looks like before it actually turns into one. How awesome are the little bunches? I got this from Aurora and Javier of Hacienda Niña Grande in Ciales.  They have the most beautiful tropical flowers in their stand. I already ‘knew’ them from the Mercado Agrícola Natural that takes place every Saturday morning in Old San Juan’s old marketplace (now part of the Museo de San Juan), so it was a pleasant surprise to see them at this other market. Check out the market’s website – it’s both written in both Spanish and English for the benefit of visitors to OSJ and the expat community. Read More…

Farmers Market Finds – Placita Roosevelt (May 1st)

It has been a while since we had a rainy Sunday – the kind that makes you wonder if leaving the house is a good idea.  I don’t mind it too much, but found myself dragging to get out of the house with DH to make it to the Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra farmers’ market at Placita Roosevelt early enough for local produce.  I credit this in no small way to finding an e-mail reminder from Daniella over at Siembra Tres Vidas detailing some of the items they were to have at their table.

Here are a few of the show-stopping farmers market finds that I just had to get on this visit.  In addition to these, we also got red leaf lettuce, spinach, and a bag of homemade granola.

Rainbow Chard (STV)

Rainbow Chard

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Roasted Asparagus Soup


Everyone is guilty of making impulse buys at the warehouse club or while grocery shopping.  Whether it is a pack of socks, a new cereal to try, or an extra bottle of wine, I’m guilty of occasionally picking up stuff I don’t need.  I’ve been much better about this since I downloaded an application for my smart phone to organize my shopping lists by store (Grocery IQ)… but it didn’t stop me from picking up a bunch of asparagus from the fresh foods ‘refrigerated room’.  That bag was way too big for just DH and me.  Days went by before I even started using it, which is the true test of an impulse buy.  But they looked so pretty and spring-like!

Riding on the success of the quinoa salad leftovers (because nothing beats having a good meal in the table in a few minutes), I decided to make soup out of the asparagus to use over several meals in the next couple of days… quick lunches with sandwiches/salads or snacks.  I skimmed over a few recipes but decided to trust my gut on this one. Read More…

Food Finds – Farmers’ Market at Placita Roosevelt

Every first and third Sunday of the month, farmers and food producers that comprise the Madre Tierra Organic Coop set up their tables early in the morning at Hato Rey’s Placita de Roosevelt, a ten minute drive from the Old San Juan area. I usually visit to get my ‘regular’ greens (red and curly leaf lettuces, arugula), cilantro (the only herb that refuses to grow in my balcony) plus any other items that might seem interesting to try.  This was a week of firsts for us; I had never seen or purchased spinach sprouts and we also made it early enough to get some beautiful heirloom tomatoes. Those usually fly off the stands.  I love visiting the market.  Everyone is incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and goes out of his/her way to make you feel like a regular, even if you skip a week or two. Read More…

Baking for Two – Banana Honey Bread


Recipe adapted from Food.com

I have to admit that the plethora of beautiful cakes and baked goods my fellow food bloggers churn out day after day intimidates me.  For one, working full time makes me focus my time in the kitchen during weekdays on easy meals, leaving no time for baking.  My husband isn’t a big fan of sweets, so most of the things I bake either go to the office with me or find their way to my thighs and mid-section.   Read More…