The Holidays inspire me a lot to eat and cook and keep eating, so, that’s why today I’m sharing the 10 real home cooked food plates of Central America. I’m just not that specific because these plates are made in Guatemala by a salvadoran but, I’m very sure most of the central american families eat something like this every day.
I cooked most of these for my nephews because I traveled to babysit them!
The main goal was to not let them starve to death but I’m a little more demanding with myself. I knew I could do more than that. I already cross the barrier and started my cooking life! So, I started to think that I could do something extra to inject a little bit of more healthiness in their lives.
I thought, if I made the plates colorful, they’d be interesting enough to be finished. Maybe, if I add a little bit of fruits, there won’t be room for junk food later. All I needed was to try.
And don’t forget these are every day food plates. You won’t find casseroles or turkey or anything fancy here. Just every day real home cooked food plates.
These are some of the dishes I cooked with a little tip from the bottom of my heart if you’re learning how to cook and want to add something extra to your first recipes.
1. Fried chicken, tomato-cucumber salad, boiled rice.
I like to add the rice before the water, that gives me the opportunity to condiment the rice with a little bit of butter, onion, garlic or whatever your favorite condiments are. Move everything a little bit with a wooden spoon until you see the rice is transparent and then, add the water.
2. Roasted steak, yakimeshi, tangerine-grapes cocktail.
Don’t feel the need to cook everything new every day. To be honest, that’s exhausting. Also, it’s unhealthy to feel the need to end up with everything you cook or order. We saved this yakimeshi from yesterday.
Every country, town, family, condiments their food differently and I love to add green pepper, normal pepper, mustard and English sauce (it’s like soya sauce in appearence but it’s not salty!) to my steak. You have to try it at least once in your lifetime! Or just tell me where I go, I’ll cook it for ya!
4. Birthday bolagnese lasagna, carrot-corn-onion-lettuce salad.
I didn’t cook this one! But I sure ate it, ha! Birthdays in Central America are very colorful and this plate is a good example of it. Most of the time, thinking about cutting every single veggie there is makes me all tired but this salad is the best at showing us that we don’t have to cut everything all the time to have a good delicious and healthy salad.
Popcorn is very popular here, too. What might be different is HOW we got them. There’s two ways: making them in the kitchen with a pan OR buying a bag in the supermarket. My tip for the traditional kitchen way is do something similar like the rice back in #1. Add butter and throw the seed but do not add water. Just close that pan because the’ll start poping right away! And my tip for the microwave is to never set the time the bag says, ALWAYS set 30 seconds less! And don’t open the door right away, let them finish cooking with the microwave warmth (if you’re microwave has the popcorn option, the better! Just push that button!).
6. Popato-squash-noodle-rice soup, grapes-banana cocktail.
When you’re making a soup, you’re playing with the times every thing takes for cooking. Add the most difficult ingredients first. Also, recycle your food when possible. I added a little bit of rice here because it would blend in perfectly with the soup!
7. Cinnabon with pecans and caramelatte.
I didn’t cook this one either but here’s my tip. If you love desserts and you haven’t had one in +10 days because you’re not in your house and you don’t have them available at your fridge, well, heck! Go for the biggest one and yes, say yes to everything the lady ask you to add: pecans? yes, bigger drink? yes, double caramel on the cinnabon? yes, do you want me to warm it in the microwave? yes! You deserve the biggest cinnamon roll!
8. Chicken wings.
You got me! I didn’t cook this one either. But here’s my tip: always eat your celery and carrot first! This action makes a “rug” in your stomach and minimizes any acid/fat/condiment conflict that might exist.
9. Meatballs, cheesy noodles, carrot-tomato-cucumber-lettuce salad.
Meat can also be cooked in water! Meatballs are cooked in the minimum water, you just roll when a “side” is done. But you might know that, so, another tip would be to cut all the veggies you can one day and reserve for later. You won’t finish all that salad in a day, so, tomorrow, just add a new veggie and bum! New salad! For example, cut today tomato and cucumber and eat a little, tomorrow add the carrots and eat them, the next day add the lettuce and so on!
10. Ham and cheese sandwich with grapes.
Forget about doing ellaborated food every time! Sometimes, the simplest food brings the better memories. I made these sandwiches for a breakfast and then, my niece and I went to rewatch High School Musical 3 (I saw the first one when I was in High School, ha!). But, if you want another cooking tip, remember that the sandwicher turns on the light when you have to take out your sandwich! Meaning: put your sandwich when the machine is cold and take it out when it turns on the light.
I don’t want to take all the credit for the menu, here. Obviously, my cousin had already planned a lot of things for their children to eat, I mean, that’s what moms do! I just made the dishes pop with more color, added the fruit cocktails and veggie salads and cooked them at the end.
That’s it for me in 2016, I hope you had a Merry Christmas! ❤
I’ll read you again in 2017, woohoo! ❤