Choices & Changes, Moving Along

In my last article I told you I was going to be changing my diet and reporting on how I was feeling physically and emotionally. I said,

“I’ll start slowly reducing animal products, coffee and alcohol. I’ll eat more of the wonderful fruits and vegetables that grow on my farm or are available in the farmers market. I will continue to eat cooked food but also introduce more raw food into my diet. I’ll start every day with a smoothie. And most importantly, I’ll continue to create sauces, dressings and dips but I will make them without sugar, salt, oil or dairy.”

Well….this is still my intention but it’s a little premature to say how I’m doing. I’ve made changes but still have a long way to go. Some of these habits are so ingrained after more than half a century that it’s difficult to simply drop them all at once. Eliminating coffee is particularly challenging. After all – I do grow it, process it and roast it on the farm. Not drinking it seems almost sac-religious. So in this issue I’m just going to give you a few more of the ‘recipes’ that I’ve been working on and next time I’ll hopefully be able to tell you a bit more about how I’m doing with my dietary changes.

Here in Costa Rica we are so fortunate to be blessed with a wide array of fresh foods. The highlands provide us with cool weather crops like garlic, onions, carrots and potatoes. The hot lowlands provide us with tropical fruits and vegetables. On my farm, which is mid-range elevation, I can grow an incredible variety of organic foods from tender greens through tropical fruits.

As in earlier articles, my ‘recipes’ are very simple and make use of the food that’s available in my garden and the weekly farmer’s market. The dishes look good, taste good and provide high quality nutrition from (mostly) plant-based foods. You don’t need to follow my ‘recipes’. The idea is to be inventive and create things with the ingredients and seasonings you like.

Avocados & Eggs Dishes


Poached Egg in Avocado Basket

  • Poached Egg in Avocado Basket
  • Lightly fried or poached egg laid in halved Avocado.
  • Sprinkle black pepper, red chile flakes, ground cayenne pepper and chopped fresh basil to taste.
  • You may have to use a spoon!


Scrambled Egg n’ Avocado in an Avocado Shell

  • Scramble eggs and mix with avocado. Add banana vinegar, crushed garlic, hot chile (sauce or flakes or ground), black pepper, fresh chopped basil and fresh chopped onion to taste. Spoon the mix into the avocado shell.
  • Top with chopped red onion, sweet chile slices and basil.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley
  • Definitely use a spoon.

Avocados and Potatoes. (Vegan Alternative)


Avocado in the Half Shell

  • Prepare the Creamy Sauce Base: Mash half an avocado together with half a baked potato. Cut in finely chopped purple onion and chopped sweet pepper, mashed garlic, banana vinegar and/or fresh squeezed lime juice and whatever seasonings you prefer. I like cumin and black pepper and some hot chile or cayenne.
  • Stir-in:
    • Diced, baked orange sweet potato (adds nice color as well as a ‘meat like’ texture to the dish)
  • Spoon the mix into the avocado shell.
  • Garnish with a slice of tomato and a sprig of parsley! And don’t forget to eat the parsley!


Banana Vinegars: Fermenting and Marinating

Right now I am excited about my own homemade banana vinegar! If you’ve been reading my earlier articles you know my farm is blessed with an abundance of fabulous bananas. I’m marinating garlic, hot peppers and turmeric in the vinegar to provide tasty seasonings for my dishes. Until a few months ago I had no idea that banana vinegar was so easy to make. And who knew that turmeric makes such a delightful addition? I’m continuing my experiments and research and will describe the making of seasoned banana vinegar in my next article.

Stay tuned!