Buñuelos de Nicaragua

This recipe is traditionaly made around the holiday season, it compares to the Dutch "Oliebollen". It is a sweet, deepfried treat made from Yuca's (a cassave root) served with sugary topping called miel (honey) made from water, sugar and cinnamon.

Peel the yuca (note this is not easy, you need a sharp knife and a bit of persistence) then cut the yuca up in smal pieces and put them in the blender. Add the quarter cup of water and mix until it is a smooth mush, add the crumbled cheese and mix it in well.

Heat a pot with olive oil, while doing that put on a pot with the cups of water, sugar and cinnamon stick in it. Make sure it is kept just below boiling point.

When the oil is heated take two spoons to shape a little bit of the dough into a ball every time. Deepfrie them until golden brown. Let them drip of and serve while still hot with the sirup over it, enjoy!

Ready In: 50 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1 big yuca (cassave root)
  • Salty cheese (feta would do)
  • 1/4 cup of water for the dough
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of water
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Buñuelos de Nicaragua

Buñuelos de Nicaragua

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This recipe is traditionaly made around the holiday season, it compares to the Dutch "Oliebollen". It is a sweet, deepfried treat made from Yuca's (a cassave root) served with sugary topping called miel (honey) made from water, sugar and cinnamon.

Peel the yuca (note this is not easy, you need a sharp knife and a bit of persistence) then cut the yuca up in smal pieces and put them in the blender. Add the quarter cup of water and mix until it is a smooth mush, add the crumbled cheese and mix it in well.

Heat a pot with olive oil, while doing that put on a pot with the cups of water, sugar and cinnamon stick in it. Make sure it is kept just below boiling point.

When the oil is heated take two spoons to shape a little bit of the dough into a ball every time. Deepfrie them until golden brown. Let them drip of and serve while still hot with the sirup over it, enjoy!

Ready In: 50 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1 big yuca (cassave root)
  • Salty cheese (feta would do)
  • 1/4 cup of water for the dough
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of water
Classic Guatemala Enchiladas

Classic Guatemala Enchiladas

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You’ve probably heard of enchiladas before, but you might be thinking about a rolled tortilla filled with chicken, or beef, topped with melted cheese and sauce, which is more like a Mexican enchilada. These enchiladas -Guatemalan enchiladas- are made by topping a fried or toasted tortilla (called a Tostada) with lettuce, beets, onions, tomato sauce, fresh parsley, an egg slice…and the last touch, a sprinkling of dried Guatemalan cheese (Queso Seco). Parmesan cheese can also work. Sometimes people also add ground beef or chili spice.

Buen Proveche!

Ingredients for 25 Enchiladas:

  • 25 tostadas
  • 2-3 lbs fresh lettuce
  • 6-8 red beets
  • 6 boiled eggs
  • 4 dill pickles (optional)
  • 2 sliced onions (optional)
  • 1 large bunch of fresh parsley
  • pepper, salt
  • Queso Seco (dry cheese)
  • Sauce: 3 diced onions 5 diced tomatoes

Procedure:

  • Some of the steps need to be made a day ahead, once these ingredients are ready you can start assembling the Enchilada.  Those ingredients are the filling, the onion escabeche, vegetable mix and tomato sauce.  The recipe calls for 1 head of garlic, which you will use in the filling recipe, in the vegetable mix recipe and the tomato sauce recipe. Feel free to adjust the garlic amount to your own personal taste.

Filling:

  • Chop one of the red bell peppers, with half of the green beans, half of the carrots, half of the chayotes, half of the garlic head (or your adjusted amount of garlic), and half of the cabbage. No onions, beets, celery or tomatoes here.
  • Add a bit of oil to a large hot pan, and brown your beef.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add all the chopped vegetables.
  • Let it cook until all the liquid has evaporated.

Onion “Escabeche”

  • Cut onions into quarters, and then slice and separate the pieces.
  • Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add onion rings and let them sit for at least 24 hrs in a covered jar.

Vegetable Mix:

  • Julienne or chop the rest of the vegetables you had left over. You’ll use the remaining carrots, chayotes, garlic (to taste), and cabbage this time you’ll include the beets.
  • Cook them in boiling water, with the 2 bay leaves, except for the beets.  Those are cooked in a separate pot.  Don’t over cook them, it should only take a few minutes.
  • Mix the vegetables, and let them cool.
  • Refrigerate and mix with the onion escabeche.
  • Let this mixture rest for at least half a day.

Tomato Sauce:

  • Cook the tomatoes, celery stalks and remaining red bell pepper and garlic (to taste).
  • Pure in the blender, return to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste

Assembly:

  • Take a tostada, cover with a lettuce leaf.
  • Top the lettuce with the vegetable and escabeche mix.
  • Top this with the beef filling.
  • Next, top with tomato sauce.
  • Decorate with a few sliced hard boiled egg, sprinkle with dried cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Ready In: 0 min.

Ecuadorian Fruits :D

Ecuadorian Fruits :D

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Hola Amigos!

Fruits are one of the main parts of a healthy diet, but also just simply DELICIOUS. Well, if you want a good choice of fruits, head out to South-America. It's FRUIT HEAVEN! The fruits here are sweet, fresh, without travel pollution and cheap, what else do you want? Well, today for you, my fruit amigos, I will describe some typical fruits which you can find in Ecuador and other parts of South America. I will not talk about the easily recognisable ones like pineapple, mango, grapes etc, but about the ones I was super curious about. Fortunatelly, there are so many that I can't even describe all of them so you'll still have to go on an adventure yourself. Hopefully, however, this blog can help you to get through an Ecuadorian market a little bit easier than I did, if you happen to be at one sometime.

Maracuya (E: Passion fruit)

 

YES! Let’s start with my ultimate favorite; the maracuya. Even though it looks totally different from the purple small passion fruits we get in Europe, it tastes somewhat the same and is a lot bigger (so better! ;)). This one is yellow with sometimes a little bit of green, and feels quite hard on the outside. To find the best ones on the market, I always pick the biggest and heaviest ones! They usually contain the most seeds. To start eating, either cut it through the middle and eat both halves, or take the top side off and use the maracuya as a bowl and just scoop out the inside. Some people prefer to swallow everything without chewing, however, I like the texture of the seeds since it makes it a little bit crunchy so I prefer to chew on it.

Use: mostly used for juices since it’s a very sour fruit. But if you’re like my sisters and I, you’ll probably prefer to eat it like this!
Price: 5/6 for 1 dollar

Granadilla (E: Sweet passion fruit)

 

Another passion fruit, yay! It’s an orange fruit with some light brown speckles on it and can be found at most markets. While the maracuya is sour and has a pretty strong flavour, the granadilla is a lot sweeter and the texture is even more like spawn. It might look a bit disgusting at first, but the taste makes up for it. If you like both, but find the granadilla not strong enough (flavour wise) and the maracuya to sour, then do like I do sometimes and mix them together in one of the fruits to get a combination of the two flavours

Use: I think just for eating, and you can put it in some dishes too.
Price: 4/5 for 1 dollar

Taxo (E: Banana passion fruit)

 

Yes, there is another one for you, passion frutas lovers! Where the name comes from? Well, I think you can take a guess while looking at the picture. The fruits are usually yellow/orang and quite soft when you touch them. Even though I cut it differently in the picture, I think the best way to cut and eat it is longitudinally. The texture is a little bit more tough (and so are the seeds, better just swallow them) than that of the maracuya and granadilla, and therefore it’s also a little bit more difficult to eat, but the flavour resembles that of the maracuya the most. Again it’s quite sour and it has a tangy taste.

Use: it can be eaten raw (although that is rarely done), but it is mostly used for juices and ice-cream
Price: 5/6 for 1 dollar

Tomate de árbol (E: Tree tomato)

 

Tree tomato is a strange fruit of which I haven’t really figured out how to eat it yet, except for just drinking it as a juice with a lot of sugar. It’s a kind of red-orange fruit that is more oval-shaped than a tomato, but when you open it, you do realize why they call it tomato anyway. When you eat it fresh, the fruit tastes very sour and kind of like a mix between tomato and papaya. I wouldn’t recommend doing this. However, the fruit can be used for juices and desert when boiled and mixed with sugar. In that way it still is a flavour I’m not used to, but it tastes quite good.

Use: Juices/desserts/sauces
Price: 6-8 for 1 dollar

Lemons/limes/oranges

 

I still haven’t been able to figure out which one is which. While the oranges are quite clear and have a bit of a dirty orange-green look, there are also other oranges that again look different. The same in terms of lemons and limes. There are so many that I can’t even start describing them all. I recommend you just buy and try some to find out for yourself!

It’s BANANAs!

There are several types of bananas in Ecuador (what else would you expect in a tropical country) of which I will describe the most common ones:

Platana Verde (E: Green plantain)

This banana is HUGE and NOT to eat raw. It’s an unripe green plantain with no flavour but it has a great texture for cooking. They go crazy for it here and you can find it everywhere. You can try to prepare it yourself by cooking and baking it, or by making patacones (one of the favorite dishes here), but I recommend you to just go out on the streets and get some ready made, because it’s a lot easier.

Use: Many dishes, but not raw
Price: 8 for 1 dollar

Platano Maduro (E: Ripe plantain)

The ripe version of platana verde. Again it’s huge, but this time it has a yellow colour due to the ripening process. Now it’s a lot sweeter, but still not very good to eat raw. They are eaten grilled, from the oven, with cheese, fried and they taste very good. While this one is a bit easier to prepare yourself, I would still recommend to buy it on the streets (you can see people selling them outside from the grill while you walk on the streets), since they know how to prepare it the best.

Use: many dishes but again not raw
Price: 8 for 1 dollar

Orito (E: Baby banana)

Orito is a tiny banana (about 1/3rd of a normal one) and contains just as much, if not more, flavour but more concentrated. It’s full of sugar and delicious to eat and the best of all, they are super super cheap. I use them to cook banana bread, or I eat them raw. They contain a lot of sugar though so don’t eat too many or you’ll start bouncing all over the streets.

Use: raw! and I use it for banana bread
Price: depends, but usually a bunch (about 15-20) for 1 dollar

Platano Rosado (E: Red banana)

Platano rosado is a banana with a red/purple-ish skin. It's full of antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin C and therefore very healthy. Additionally, many more health benefits are attributed to it, although I always remain a bit sceptical. What I know for sure though, is that these bananas are so sweet and delicious. I have eaten the big ones (I heard there are also small ones) and even though it was a bit too much for me at one, since I'm not very fond of bananas, it was soooooo good. So I would really recommend you to eat one if you find them :) 

Use: raw, just peal it like a normal banana
Price: Around 5-10 for one dollar

Mora (E: blackberries)

Blackberries in Ecuador are very different from the ones I’m used to in the Netherlands. The ones here are more sour and not very juicy, but they still taste good. They look basically the same, but are a little bit bigger and generally quite ‘expensive’ compared to other fruits.

Use: juices, ice-cream
Price: 2 dollars a pound

 

Next to these frutas, there are of course many others like mango, pineapple (piña), strawberries (fresas), apples (manzana), watermelons (sandia), grapes (uvas), coconut (coco), guanabana, dragon fruit (pitahaya), prickly pear (tuna), papaya and so on. Maybe I'll describe some of the smaller fruits (tamarindo, some kind of small mango and another thing) which are eaten raw as snacks on the street in one of my next blogs or vlogs so if you want to know about that, make sure to follow me!

I hope this blog helped you to get an idea of Ecuadorian fruits! At least I got to eat all of them while writing this haha. Have fun trying them out too if you get the opportunity!

Chao! Hannah

- this is a blog adjusted from my personal website https://hannahchanstravels.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/ecuadorian-fruits/ - 

Guacamole

Guacamole

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Guacamole: easy, quick, delicous, healthy and vegan! Who doesn't love it? You can dip your nachos in it, spread it on toast or put it as a topping on your rice bowl!

Here's how I make mine:

Ingrediënts

  • 2 Ripe avocados
  • Jalapenos or chili peper to preference of heat (I prefer fresh, but you could use chili powder)
  • Half a (red) onion or a small shallot
  • 2 Garlic cloves (or less, or more)
  • Koriander
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt and black peper
  • Ground cumin

Unlike many others, I prefer my guacamole without tomatoes because I feel it can make it to thin/watery sometimes.

  1. Slide open your avocados, take out the pit and put the flesh in a medium size bowl.
  2. Smash the avocados with a fork until desired consistency (I like mine chunky and not too smooth)
  3. Chop half the onion or the small shallot and the garlic in very fine pieces.
  4. Add the onion and garlic together with a pinch of salt and black peper, a pinch of ground cumin, a tablespoon of chopped koriander leaves, and the juice of half a lime.
  5. Mix well
  6. Add the jalapenos or chili peper to preference of heat
  7. Taste to see if you need more of anything: Salt? Lime? or a bit more heat?

That's it! And so easy.

Let me know when you try it! What is your guacamole recipe?

 

Ready In: 7 min.

Peruvian Lomo Saltado

Peruvian Lomo Saltado

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The first peruvian recipe that I learned how to make is 'Lomo Saltado'. This signature dish consists of meat, rice, fresh patatoe fries and various herbs and spices that are characteristic for the popular Peruvian kitchen. Try it out and discover the rich flavours for yourself!

Ingredients for 4 persons

  • 500 gr of veal
  • 1 (red) onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 yellow aji (online or in specialised stores), or a fresh chilli
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 500 gr firm boiling patatoes
  • vegetable oil
  • soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoon of applecider vinegar
  • cilantro
  • garlic

Instructions

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Clean the patatoes and cut them lengthwise. cover them with a little oil, salt and pepper and bake them in 20 minutes. Boil the rice. Then cut the pepper, onion, chilli (without the seeds), the tomatoe and the garlic in small pieces. Cut the meat into strips, let it marinate for a little while in the soy sauce, vinagre, garlic, chilli and half of the cilantro. After that, bake the marinated meat for a short period on high fire. Add all the vegetables except for the tomatoe and bake for a little more. Finally, add the tomatoe and bake for a few more minutes. Serve together with the rice, fries and top with the cilantro. Buen provecho!

Ready In: 30 min.

Quick and Easy - Ceviche

Quick and Easy - Ceviche

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Ingredients for 4 people :

-700g of White fish (eg. Seabass)

-8 limes

-1 onion

-2 table spoons of evaporated milk

-3-5 table spoons of fish stock (optional but highly recomended)

-Parsley

- you might put chillis if you want to spice things up

 

Recipe:

1- cut the onion in juliennes (thin stripes)

2- cut the parsley in really small pieces and the chili in circles (remove the seeds so its not too spicy)

3- make sure the fish does not have any bones and remove the skin, then cut it in bite size cubes

4- put the fish in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and the juice of all the limes. then mix it all

5- add the parsley, the chilli, the evaporated milk and the fish stock (optional) to the fish and mix

6- let it rest in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before serving

7- put the fish on a plate, then mix the onions with the juice that is left on the bowl and put them on top of the fish

Tip: for a truly peruvian style ceviche, you can put some tosted corn around the fish.

 

Ready In: 15 min.

Ingredients:

  • 700g of white fish (eg. seabass)
  • 1 Onion
  • 8-10 Limes
  • Chilli (optional)
  • Parsley
  • 2 table spoons of evaporated milk
  • 3-5 table spoons of fish stock (optional but highly recomended)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Travelling in Ecuador as a Vegan

Travelling in Ecuador as a Vegan

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As a vegan who loves travelling, you've probably heard that it's impossible to do it if you want to stay healthy. Well, I'm here to change that view and give you some tips for travelling as a vegan in Ecuador.

When I went to Ecuador, I was doubtful about whether I would manage to stay vegan. I had been vegan for a year, and while it was rather easy in the Netherlands, I always thought that I would never be able to keep being vegan while abroad. Nevertheless, I did it with the help of some tips/tricks. 

1. Cook yourself
The easiest and best way (if you can use a kitchen) is cooking yourself. There are so many delicious recipes that contain some meat, but it's easy to substitute this meat for beans. Check out the arepas recipe on my page for example. Arepas are totally vegan, and if you combine them with vegetables and beans, very nutritious as well. The plantain recipe is also a very easy recipe for vegans which can be combined with all kinds of things. Basically, you can cook anything you were used to cooking at home as well, just check the ingredients. 

2. Eating out? Ask for something specific. 
This might sound strange, but it works better than asking "do you have something vegan?" or "can I have this without meat?". These questions often lead to misunderstandings, or even more questions. If you ask for rice with salad, or rice with beans or rice with beans and avocado, you will get it. Of course, in bigger or more international restaurants you might get away with asking for a dish without meat, but if you're at a bus station, or a smaller town or just local restaurants, ask for a specific thing. 

3. Look for vegan restaurants
Nowadays many places have some vegan restaurants, or restaurants with vegan options. Especially in the bigger and more touristic places in Ecuador (Cuenca, Quito, Otavalo, Banos, at the coast) you might have a chance of finding vegan things. For a start, in Tena, where I stayed for 3 months, is a great vegan restaurant next to Cafe Tortuga (which also has some vegan options). It is owned by a wonderful cheff and she makes just great dishes! In Baños there is a restaurant called Healthy Food which you can't find on Google Maps, but it is near Ponche Suizo and they have many vegetarian and Vegan options. Also in Baños is Zumo, a great restaurant at which they offer all kinds of dishes, also vegan, and if you ask they might even be able to make some adjustments to the non vegan dishes. But since Ecuador is a popular travel destination, you can find many options nowadays at more international restaurants. 


Food at Zumo                                                                                   Vegan Streetfood

Hopefully, this can encourage you and aid you in your vegan travels! Also in the rest of South America! Let me know if you have any more recommendations :)

Cheers, 
Hannah

 

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