A Scrumptious Lent

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Palmito, Costa Rica, Recipe, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

Whether a Christian or not, this time of spiritual reflection can be an opportunity to refocus and make an effort to prepare simple and delicious meals at home.  For Lent observers, this could be a time to experiment with recipes outside of tradition and create new dishes that add balance and nutrition and freshen up the daily routine.

Today it is possible to find recipes to satisfy many tastes, styles, and diets.  The key is to be entrepreneurial and look for recipes online.  The options are endless. A good place to start is Pinterest which is an information universe in terms of food where you can find cuisine by nationality, recipe and ingredient, and more.

I enjoy experimenting and cooking new dishes.  This is therapy and a much-needed exercise that keeps me growing in my field.  I start by looking for flavors that I enjoy and in this way, I open the door to endless possibilities.  Starting with what I like and keeping an open mind allows me to reinvigorate my repertoire and keep my family interested too.

During Lent, my Latin roots dictate to eat certain foods on Fridays based on fish or seafood paired with plenty of vegetables and fruits.  I like to change things around and at times, I eat sushi or sashimi, or a seafood pasta with shrimp and spicy tomato sauce.  And rice with seafood made with a Caribbean sofrito base with carrots and legumes, is another one of my favorites.

Here’s a simple side or salad to complement your next menu.

PALMITO A LA TICA -Hearts of Palm A La Costa Rica

Recipe by Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

This is a recipe inspired by a Costa Rican dish which can be a side or a succulent salad if eaten cold dressed with a little vinegar.

Serves 2-4

1 cup baby peas (or another legume of choice)

2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp butter

1 cup diced Roma

1/2 finely chopped onion

1/2 tsp minced garlic

3/4 cup julienned green bell pepper

1 lb. hearts of palm (jarred or canned), sliced

Seasoning: 1 bay leaf, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp basil in ribbons, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional), Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Seasoning: 1 bay leaf, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp basil in ribbons, 1/2 tsp

thyme, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional), Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Put the oil in a hot skillet and add the butter to keep it from burning.  Sauté the first six ingredients for 2-3 minutes.  Add the hearts of palm and the seasonings. Sauté 1 minute.  Taste.

Happy Lent Season!