Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken Rice / Arroz con Pollo

Colombian-Style arroz con pollo is one of the best recipes you could do! Rice with chicken is one of the most popular dishes in Colombia and South America, but every country has their own variation.

It is somehow like the seafood Paella we know, but instead it is made of chicken, and achiote/annatto powder which will give it a nice orange/yellowish color, and we add to this dish lots of garlic and coriander.  The garlic will not make the dish taste garlicky, instead, it will make it delicious.


Chicken Rice / Arroz con Pollo

1.2kg chicken, assorted pieces
1 tbs achiote powder
1 tbs ground cumin
½ tbs ground coriander
10 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 tbs oil
1 white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
half red pepper and half green pepper, diced
6 sliced hot dogs (Optional)
3 ½ cup water or broth
2 cups rice
2 medium carrots, diced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
3 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Mix the crushed garlic, achiote, cumin, coriander and salt together.
 Rub the garlic seasoning on the chicken pieces. 

Heat the oil or butter on medium high heat in large sauté pan, add the chicken pieces (skin side down) and cook until browned on each side. 

Add the diced onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, and celery, mix well and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

 Add the sliced hot dogs

Add the rice, peas and carrots, mix well.

Add the broth or water, and coriander, also the salt and pepper.

Cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. 

Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the rice is tender but still slightly firm. 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Russian Salad

This is a very delicious salad and a very good side dish with everything! Mostly it is made to accompany beef and poultry recipes, specially grilled barbeque.

There are so many variations of this classic potato salad, some even without the potatoes, but this one  is the main one we make at home: potatoes, peas, carrots, and mayonnaise. I like to add a little bit of vinegar, sometimes lemon juice.

Some people add to it eggs, pickles, apples, green onion, depends on the taste.  Add any if you love it!

Russian Salad
2 large potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 cup and half of frozen peas
handful of chopped parsley
1 cup and half of mayonnaise 
1 teaspoon and half of white vinegar
Olive oil

Cut the vegetables into cubes and cook them in boiled water separately, because each has its own cooking time. The ideal point is al dente.

Place cooked vegetables in a bowl.
Season with olive oil, salt, vinegar and then add the mayonnaise and the parsley.  Mix gently to avoid any veggies from breaking out/mashing.

Serve cold.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No Bake Brownie Balls

Looking for a healthy nutritious snack? something to satisfy your sweet tooth but does not ruin your diet?  Then you need to make some No Bake Brownie Balls!

The recipe for No Bake Brownie Balls does not include eggs, butter, or processed sugar but they taste like they do. Why? I think it is the combination of the dates and almonds (sugary and buttery) and trust me no one would ever know they contain dates.

You should make these just because they include chocolate, take almost no time to make, and are super healthy and yummy!

No-Bake Brownie Balls
Makes 15 balls


15 pitted dates
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
1 cup roasted almonds (no salt added)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water


Add almonds to food processor and pulse until ground. Add dates, cocoa powder, honey, and water. Mix until it just forms a sticky mass. Wash hands and attempt to make a ball with the dough (it may need more water to get to the perfect consistency). Put a tablespoon of cocoa or confectioner's sugar on a plate. Roll balls in your hand and then roll in cocoa. Eat! These can be store in the fridge for a week.

For one brownie bite: 109 calories, 6.8 g fat, 12.2 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g protein, 3.5 g fiber


Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuna Pie (Done by using a blender/ food processor)

This pie made by a blender is very practical and very light, and most importantly QUICK!
This is the first time I get to do it, and found that if used by a food processor to do the dough it would be more practical as it got a little thick to allow the blender to work properly.  I tried to scrub the sides and help it blend but didn't work much.  If you have a heavy duty blender I am sure this would work great.

The filling is based on your taste.  Here I used tuna.. I bet it would taste great with chicken, or even only veggie! or you can just use what you have at home.

Worth checking out!

Tuna Pie


3 eggs
1 cup oil
13 tbsp of AP flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup milk
salt to taste

2 cans of tuna (I believe it can be reduced to 1.5 or even 1 if you don't want it heavy in the filling)
2 tomatoes diced
half cup of canned corn
3 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 tbsp of ketchup
pinch of salt


Mix all ingredients for filling and keep in fridge until being used.

Heat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix in a bowl the flour, baking powder, mozzarella and salt.

Blend the eggs, oil and milk. Gradually add the flour mix by scoops, until fully incorporated.  I saw later that the blender wouldn't mix mix anymore so I just moved the mixture and used a spatula to join in the ingredients.  Finally add the baking powder and mix slowly. Place half of the dough in a baking dish, already buttered and floured.  Add to it half of the dough, then add the filling chosen and cover with the remaining dough and bake for about 1 hour or until you stick the toothpick and comes out dry..

Let cool, cut and serve.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

 Bruschetta (pronounced "brusketta") is one of the simplest things in the world to make.  It is a delicious and easy appetizer. The balsamic vinegar gives it a little bite.

Bruschetta is a fresh, simple and delicious Italian appetizer that can be prepared in minutes and enjoyed any time of the year.   


Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil


     6 or 7 ripe tomatoes
     2 cloves garlic, minced
     1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
     1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
     10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
     Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

     1 large French baguette
     1/4 cup olive oil


Prepare the tomatoes first. Cut an X on the tomatoes and parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water. Drain. Peel the skins off the tomatoes.  Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. 

Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the baguette on a diagonal direction for slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 200°C, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Pizza Dip

Looking for a great appetizer recipe? or any good snack idea for visitors? this is a great one!  This pizza dip is creamy, addictive and delicious. It comes together very quickly, and it just tastes amazingly good. 

In this recipe you can feel free to use any pizza topping in it.  Yes, you can! - here I had in my fridge green pepper, beef salami, and olives, and the rest of the ingredients is all cheesy!
It tasted just like Pizza, but with a creamy taste.  I served it with toasted baguette slices, although it would also be great with pizza dough strips or pita chips.  Looking for a dip for your next party? try this! 

Pizza Dip

300 grams of cream cheese (softened)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
2 tablespoons green bell pepper (chopped)
Beef Salami (chopped or sliced) - as much as you like
Black olives (sliced) - as much as you like


In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese with oregano, parsley, and basil.

Spread the mixture onto the bottom of a any glass pie plate (or shallow oven-safe/microwave-safe dish). Sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of the parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the cheeses. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of parmesan and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese over the top of the sauce.  Top with pepperoni, green pepper, and black olives.

Cover and microwave for 5 minutes. You can also place into the oven and bake at 175 °C for 15-20 minutes. 

Serve with toasted baguette slices, pita chips, or tortilla chips!

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