Recipe Redo Blog

Traditional Recipes Redone…Healthier


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La Puerta Pico de Gallo Recipe

This funny recipe is not only simple but equally delicious and rich in flavor. Thank you Kathryn B. at Rancho La Puerta for sharing this!

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Pico de Gallo is a fresh and healthy crowd-pleaser, whether as a dip or a condiment for your favorite seafoods or salads. The commingling of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chiles and fresh lime celebrates the summer harvest. You may adjust the proportions of tomatoes and other ingredients to your liking, or sub bell peppers for the chiles altogether for a sweeter and mild salsa fresca, but ripe tomatoes are a must. Be generous with the lime juice to get a citrusy burst of flavor.  Use it in tacos, atop scrambled eggs on tortillas, inside cheesy quesadillas…anywhere a piquant jolt helps bring the taste buds to life!

Ingredients

  • 4 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1/4 -inch
  • 1 small jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced white or red onion*
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use as a dip or use as a topper on your favorite summertime dish. This recipe makes about two cups of pico de gallo. Enjoy!


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Strawberry Herb Salad

This is a nice summer meal, it is light, refreshing and overall delicious. BIG thanks to Chef Dan Richer at Rancho La Puerta!

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 Each ingredient is chosen for how its flavors influence its neighbor; they all must work together to form a tasty assembly.

Salad (Recipe)

Strawberries- 3-5 per person.  Pears or apples work fine as a seasonal substitute.

Goat Cheese- 1 ounce per person

Fresh Basil- 1 bunch, finely cut

Chervil- 1 bunch, use leaves picked from stem

Tarragon- 3 sprigs, use leaves picked from stem

Black Pepper- 5 turns of a mill

Walnuts- 1 ounce or any of the freshest toasted nuts available

Baby Salad Greens- loose handful per person

Balsamic Vinaigrette (Recipe)

Balsamic Vinegar- 2 ounces by volume

Apple Cider Vinegar- 1 tablespoon

Honey- 1 teaspoon

Mustard- 1 teaspoon

Grape Seed Oil- 16 ounces by volume, can use any neutral oil like canola if preferred

Black Pepper- 2 turns

Salt- to taste

For the dressing:

Add the apple and balsamic vinegars, honey, and mustard to a blender or food processor.  With the machine running at mid tempo, very slowly add the grape seed oil to create an emulsion.  Season with the salt and pepper.

To Assemble:

Gently mix the baby salad greens and tarragon, basil and chervil.  Dress lightly with the balsamic vinaigrette, tossing until each leaf of baby salad greens is gently coated.

Serve family style mixed together in a big bowl or plate each serving. To plate, space the strawberries around the edges of salad plates and add a small spoonful of the basil goat cheese in between. Place the greens in the center of the plate.  Top the greens with a few walnuts, and serve.


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Chocolate Banana Bread

I don’t know about you, but there are two wonderful things in this world: Chocolate and homemade banana bread, so why not have both? Here is a recipe by Rancho La Puerta.

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This bread is chocolate heaven, really—a rich, dark, dense loaf, made with ripe bananas and pureed prunes, that tastes far more sinful than it really is. Serve warm, sliced thin, with fresh fruit, or freeze for up to one month. 

Makes 1 loaf.

Ingredients

2 cups water

12 ounces pitted prunes

2 medium ripe bananas

2 large eggs

1 cup unbleached all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ cup banana chips, broken into small pieces

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F. Lightly butter an 8-cup loaf pan, and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, combine the water and prunes and bring to a simmer. Simmer slowly until the prunes are very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.

Puree the prunes, bananas, and eggs in a blender until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl. Stir in the banana mixture and combine thoroughly. Gently stir in the walnuts, banana chips, and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean (or with only a bit of melted chocolate chip on it). Turn the loaf out onto a rack to cool, and remove the parchment from the bottom. Cut into thin slices to serve.


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Natural Energy Juice Shot

I found this great power booster recipe by Scott D at Rancho La Puerta. What I love the most is it is so easy to make, I think I will go try it!

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The Power Booster Energy Shot from Tierra Allegre is a natural energy juice drink.  It reminds me of falling in love.  It left me warm and tingly inside and looking forward to our next encounter. The flavorful fresh ginger packs in a wallop of antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory benefits.  The cayenne adds a dash of heat.  This natural energy drink is perfect for a late morning energy boost. I also enjoy it in the afternoon as a refresher, as a replacement for caffeine. Makes two shots, about four ounces each.

Ingredients:

  • 1” Chunk of Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 Medium Lemon
  • 1/2 Green Apple
  • Dash of Cayenne

Directions:

  1. Slice or chop ginger so it fits in your juicer.
  2. Peel the lemon. Slice the lemon into quarter sized wedges for easier juicing.
  3. Slice a whole green apple in half. You can juice the seeds and stem. Rub the lemon peel or drizzle a little lemon juice onto the exposed side of the apple to prevent oxidation. Preserve the unused half for later.
  4. Process the lemon, ginger and apple through your juicer.
  5. Pour the juice into small glasses and sprinkle with a dash of fresh cayenne. You can grind your own cayenne in a blade coffee grinder or spice grinder.


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Holy Moly Posole

This Recipe was created by Zel Allen, both an Author of two vegetarian cookbooks and a co-producer of Vegetarians in Paradise, an online vegan magazine.

The Scoop on Posole

Posole, a hearty main-dish soup, might be considered one of Mexico’s national dishes and is typically made with pork, hominy, red or green chiles, garlic, and oregano. The soup contains few vegetables but relies on vegetable add-ins served on the side.

To turn this fatty, cholesterol-laden soup into a healthy, colorful, and inviting main dish, I’ve done a complete makeover by removing the cholesterol and lowering the calorie content. I’ve eliminated the pork and vegetable oil traditionally used for sautéing onions. Instead, I boost the nutritional value with lots of vegetables, vegetable broth, and use beans as the protein source in place of the pork. The fun part of this meal is the banquet of veggie add-ins served on the side and the Tofu Sour Cream, far lower in fat than dairy-based sour cream. Look ma, no cholesterol! The soup is vegetable-based, yet very wholesome and nourishing.

Living in Los Angeles, I am fortunate to have the pleasure of enjoying Mexican food frequently and collecting traditional recipes I can easily remake into healthful versions.

Some regions of Mexico believe it’s the hot chiles that have given posole its reputation for curing hangovers. Because of this notability, posole is often served on Saturday and Sunday mornings to aid recovery from the past night’s revelry.

There are many variations of posole. The soup can be red, green, or white, like the colors of the Mexican flag. Red posole gets its bright color from roasted red chiles. The green posole is made from tomatillos and pumpkin seeds, while the white posole contains hominy in a clear broth with chiles served on the side. If you’re in some regions of Mexico on a Thursday, you might enter a restaurant and see posole listed as the daily special. The soup is often included as one of the special dishes served on Christmas Eve.

Posole copyIngredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 (14-ouncew) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 to 2 jalapeno chiles, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped, or 4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 red bell pepper, or 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (1 pound, 13-ounce) can hominy, undrained, or 1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels, undrained
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Tofu Sour Cream  (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a 17 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until toasted. Alternatively, toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet over high heat, stirring constantly for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer them to a plate to cool. Put the seeds in a blender or food processor. Process until ground to a fine meal.
  2. Wash the tomatillos under running water. (They will retain their somewhat sticky surface.) Slice them into quarters and put them in an 8-to 10-quart stockpot.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, the canned and fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium, uncover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and cook 5 to 8 minutes. Add the black beans, pinto beans, hominy with liquid, salt, and the reserved ground pumpkin seeds and cook another 5 minutes to thicken the posole.
  5. Before serving, add the lemon juice and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the posole into large soup bowls, and place a dollop of Tofu Sour Cream into each serving. Serve the add-ins of your choice on the side.

Add-ins: Sliced radishes, chopped onions, shredded lettuce, shredded green cabbage, diced avocados, sliced green or black olives, crushed baked tortilla chips, steamed or mashed chopped chayote squash, hot sauce, shredded vegan Jack, Cheddar, or nacho cheese, lime wedges, dried oregano, chopped cilantro.

Tofu Sour Cream

  • 1 (12.4-ounce box extra-firm silken tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  2. Use immediately or refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours to thicken. Stored in a tightly covered container and refrigerated the Tofu Sour Cream will keep for 1 week.

Yield: 5 to 6 servings


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Mayan Hot Chocolate

This Recipe is compliments of Rancho La Puerta, a Destination Spa Group member.

Chocolate (xocolatl) was originally developed by the Mayan people of southern Mexico, long before the Spanish conquest. This creamy hot chocolate is based on an authentic Mexican drink recipe and has a secret ingredient. Also dark chocolate in small quantities offers real health benefits!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash pulp
  • 3 ½ cups milk
  • 3 ounces Ibarra brand Mexican chocolate
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a blender, puree the squash with 1¾ cups of the milk until perfectly smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix the remaining 1¾ cups of milk, chocolate, and spices. With a whisk, stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted, then add the pureed squash. Do not boil. Strain through a coarse sieve to remove any trace of the squash fiber.
  3. Reheat gently in a heavy saucepan. Serve in little demitasse cups, with a crisp cookie for dipping.

To Serve: Serve in little demitasse cups, with a crisp cookie for dipping.