Fresh, Healthy, and Flavorful Recipes from Costa Rica

I couldnt be more excited to be traveling to Costa Rica in January to host an uplifting, inspiring, and life changing wellness retreat.  The experience we have planned will be a week full of fitness, yoga, dance, and adventure opportunities combined with community building, coaching, reflection all in the breathtaking Chirriposa Mountain and Beach resort in Costa Rica (http://www.chirriposa-retreats.com/ ) . The two other women leading the retreat with me are incredibly talented and passionate about helping others live well and lead intentional, positive lives.  Not to mention, Angus, the man that runs the retreat center is famous for his culinary skills (I think many people go to CR just for his fantastic food 🙂 Included below are a few of his favorite recipes that he prepares for guests at the resort. I can’t wait to learn from him and share these delightful dishes this January in Costa Rica!

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Words from Chef Extraordinarire Angus, “Cooking styles may vary with our location and the produce that is available, but the rules always remain the same…’keep it simple’, ‘keep it fresh’ and ‘keep it healthy’. We create ‘concious food’… not only of how the food effects our bodies, but also the impact that it has on the environment and our planet. We create healthy, inspiring, flavorful dishes, incorporating a wide selection of locally sourced fresh organic ingredients, providing a culinary experience that will nourish, satisfy and make your Costa Rican retreat as perfect as nature intended.”

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Half Avocado with Spicy Mango Salsa (serves 4)

This elegant, quick and simple appetizer combines the freshest ingredients and tropical flavours with a little spice to awaken the taste buds and the senses.

Ingredients:

  • 2 perfectly ripe avocados
  • 2 vine tomato – deseeded and diced
  • 1 ripe mango – peeled and diced
  • 1 small red onion – thinly sliced and soaked in cold water
  • 1 semi hot chili – deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion – thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander leaves – picked from stem
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½  tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper – freshly ground

Preparation:

  1. Half avocados and remove the stone.
  2. Using a tablespoon, carefully scoop the half avocado from the skin, rotate the avocado 45 degrees so as the avocado remains half in the skin. This will allow you more space to fill with the salsa
  3. Drain the red onions and lace in a bowl with the tomato, mango, chili, spring onion and fresh coriander.
  4. Dress with lime juice and Olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Using a tablespoon, fill the half avocado with the salsa and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh coriander leaves.

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Coconut Curry Falafels in Freshly Baked Pitta Bread with Tzatziki (served on Couscous Salad and Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Carrots.) (serves 4)

Coconut & Curry Falafels

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo fresh chick peas or soaked (overnight)
  • 1 onion – roughly diced
  • 1 head of garlic – peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh hot chili – deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
  • 1svsp plain flour
  • 4 cups canola oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Preparation:

  1. Cook chickpeas in salted water with onion, garlic, curry and cumin until soft
  2. Drain and allow to cool down
  3. Place in food processor with chili and parsley and roughly blend
  4. Add flour and stir
  5. Heat oil in pan and fry chick peas in small balls until crispy and brown
  6. (try one ball first to make sure that they stay together…if not add more flour)
  7. Remove falafels from oil and place on a baking tray with kitchen roll to soak up excess grease and keep warm

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Cous-Cous with Almond, Capers, Cornichons Raisins and Fresh Parsley

Ingredients:

  • ½  box (500g) cous-cous
  • 1 svsp olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp of capers
  • ½ jar cornichons – thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of raisins – soaked in warm water (20 mins)
  • 1 bunch of parsley – finely chopped

Preparation:

  1. Heat pot with oil
  2. Add cous-cous, stir and toast for 1 minute
  3. Add 1 cup of water, stir, remove from heat and cover with lid for 2 minutes
  4. Add another cup of water, salt, stir and cover again until cool
  5. Add almonds, capers, cornichons, raisins and parsley
  6. Season with salt and pepper

Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo carrots – peeled and roll cut (or large dice)
  • 1 svsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary – roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rock salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Place carrots in large mixing bowl with all ingredients and coat well
  2. Place on roasting tray and cook in oven on 350 for 30 minutes

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Tzaziki Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers – peeled and deseeded
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ½ head roasted garlic
  • 1 cup of soy greek style yoghurt (drained)
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill leaves – roughly chopped
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Slice cucumbers, add salt and leave to drain
  2. Dry cucumbers well and dress with garlic, yoghurt, dill and pepper

Pita Bread (makes 8 pitas)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Preparation:

  1. Mix yeast, sugar and salt in warm water and stir until dissolved.
  2. Combine flour and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
  3. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic.
  4. Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
  5. Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Divide dough into 8 balls
  7. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and place ‘pizza stone’ or skillet at the very bottom of oven.
  9. Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles.
  10. Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.

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Fresh Black Fig and Vine Tomato Salad with Caper, Cornichons and Black Olive Tapenade, dressed in Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Lime, Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

This seasonal salad once again bursts with fresh flavours, textures and colours. The sweetness of the figs and the tomatoes against the sourness of the olives, capers and cornichons is balanced with the fresh lime and olive oil and completed with the sea salt and black pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 6 perfectly ripe fresh black figs – cut into quarters
  • 4 vine tomatoes – cut into eighths
  • ½ red onion – thinly sliced and soaked in cold water
  • 2 tbsp capers – finely chopped
  • ½ cup cornichons – finely chopped
  • ½ cup pitted black olives – finely chopped
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley – roughly chopped
  • 1 lime juice
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Drain red onion and place in salad bowl with tomatoes and figs.
  2. Add olives, capers, cornichons and parsley
  3. Dress with Olive oil and lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with freshly baked bread

These delicious recipes were generously donated to share in this space by Chef and retreat master Angus Stephens. While they’re appetizing to read on the blog (and Im sure Ill give them a go in my little kitchen), I cant wait to sample what healthy dishes Chef Angus will be cooking up for my retreat group this January, Want to sit at the table with me? Join me in Costa Rica and savor “Pura Vida”!  Click HERE for more information. Dont miss out on this once in a lifetime wellness experience at the life changing Chirriposa Mountain and Beach Resort! 

Which recipe will you be cooking up first? Im going to try my hand at the black fig and vine tomato salad – YUM. Did you enjoy this post? SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter in the box above and share it with your friends. You’ll receive inspiring and real content every week to support you in living a healthy, happy life.  

Cheers to PURA VIDA!!

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

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