Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cooking in Costa Rica

A standard meal of fried veges, rice and plantain.
I loved cooking up a good feed in Costa Rica. The food was so cheap, it was so fresh and it was so tasty. Depending on where we were, we could buy heaps of produce from a farmers markets for practically nothing or buy it out of the bed of some guys truck on the side of the road or from the small market shop in town for good prices. I was able to learn to cook with new ingredients and keep us well fed with my usual flair and excitement for cooking. 
Plantains for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We loved plantains, both the green and yellow variety. The yellow type which we are not sure if its just the ripe version or entirely separate to the green type, but these ones you just peel and cut into slices and fry. They are so delicious, we ate them for breakfast lunch and dinner as a side to rice and beans! The green ones required a double cooking method. You would cut them into cubes a inch or so thick and fry till soft and then squash into a patty then refry. We would then top these with frijoles rojos (refried red beans), avocado, cheese, tomato or whatever we had. They were unbelievably delicious.

                                             Green plantain fritters                                     Cooking up a storm, Pura Vida

Yuca root
I would always include rice to go with whatever we ate and would usually also do a fry up of onions, peppers and carrots. Again, super cheap food. I would use the local Lizerno Salsa to add a nice flavor and depending on the supplies of the hostel kitchen, maybe some hot sauce or spices. Topped off usually we would wrap the concoction of rice and veggies and plantains in a burrito wrap and load up on more of the frijoles negros (black beans). Another delicious side I would make was yuca, a root vegetable which can be cooked similarly to potato. I would make chips, yum! We were eating well that was for sure, but eating healthy, they were often very large portions but as we didn't eat meat, cheese or milk, we were vegans really. We felt great and it showed in our physique. 

Yuca chips
Fresh baguette sandwiches were always a solid lunch, with tomato, avocado and egg doing the trick. Along with a combo fresh fruit platter, no wonder I am smiling!

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