Locro de Papa (Potato Cheese Soup)

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It is soup season.  Time to whip up a hearty, satisfying soup to help keep the cold at bay. What a better way to heat up those tummies then with some potato soup.  Creamy goodness is just a few minutes away.

Ecuadorian Locro de Papa is a rich soup made of potato, cheese and corn.  Meant to keep you warm while in the Andes, this soup screams comfort food.  It is creamy, starchy, cheesy and full of flavor.  The soup is usually garnished with avocado which makes it even more decadent.  All I can say is be prepared to be blown away. Continue reading

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Vegan Mexican Cocadas

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Although cocadas vary greatly from country to country the Mexican version resembles a macaroon.  Flakes and flakes of coconut are mixed with condensed milk to form airy poufs of sugary sweetness that then get baked.  The end result is a concoction with a crunchy outside and a soft, chewy gooey center.  Yum.

So for this version I decided to nix the traditional condensed milk and use a vegan version making the dish dairy free.  If you want to go nut free as well, to skip the walnuts as they are totally optional.  Trust me the vegan version is just as sweet, just as gooey, just as coconutty and just as delicious as the traditional version. Continue reading

Strawberry and Peach Chia Pudding

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Chia seeds have been around in Mexico and Central America for centuries.  The Mayans even included them in their diet.  And why not?  These crunchy little seeds add a lot to any diet.  They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.  Plus they do not have a distinctive flavor which means they can easily blend into any flavor you wish.

Seeing how these seeds expand in liquid to form a gel-like consistency I decided to make a vegan-friendly “rice pudding/tapioca” like dessert using chia seeds.  Once the chia seeds expand in the milk it creates this creamy consistency similar to that of rice pudding or tapioca.  I started with a vanilla based dessert then folded in some yummy summer fruit and voila!  A light dessert that is also healthy.  Score and score. Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Toasted Almond Paletas (Popsicles)

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Dark chocolate and toasted almonds make for a great pair, don’t you think?  Now take that flavor combo and chill it to make a great warm day yum-yum.  Paletas are a perfect way to cool down.  This recipe incorporates a creamy almond milk base with rich, slightly bitter dark chocolate and some toasted almonds mingled through.  Add a little sea salt to the mix for a nice little salty kick and you got one awesome vegan-friendly frozen treat. Continue reading

Vegan Toasted Almond Horchata

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Several Latin American countries consume horchata, a rice and milk beverage often infused with cinnamon.  It is rich, creamy and sweet.  What more can you ask for?  Served chilled, horchata offers a great way to refresh oneself on a warm sunny day (or when it is freezing cold outside and you want to convince your brain you are not witnessing rain outside but instead you’re on the beach in Cabo.  Eh, either/or). Continue reading

Vegan Condensed Milk

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A popular ingredient in many dessert recipes, condensed milk offers a luxuriously creamy, sweet addition to any dish.  I created a simple substitute for this dairy classic.  Simply by swapping almond or soy milk for cow’s milk you get a vegan alternative to condensed milk that works perfectly in any recipe that calls for condensed milk. Continue reading

Breakfast in a Glass: Strawberry & Oats Liquado

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Waaaaay before the whole smoothie thing even began Latin America was gulping down blended milky, fruity, frothy drinks for breakfast (and as a middle-of-the-day-I-need-something-sweet-to-help-me-savor-the-day kind of drink).  Anyone and everyone used to whip up milk, sugar, oats and any fruit you can get your hands on (strawberries, mango, papaya, banana, pineapple.  If it could fit in a blender it belonged in a liquado). Continue reading