Cooking with Limited Resources: Colombian Pueblo Recipes

by Alyssa Galik

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I’ve always had a bit of a passion for cooking. I wouldn’t say my tastes are necessarily refined, but I tried to follow the fancy Pinterest recipes to the best of my ability. I’ve only been at site for a few months now but cooking has already taken on a life of its own, as I’m often challenged to make delicious meals with very limited resources in my pueblo. As groceries start to diminish after a week or so, I start to think of really creative ways to cook with only a few fresh ingredients or what’s available at my tienda.

Veggie Hummus Wrap

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Ingredients: hummus, whole-wheat tortilla, assorted veggies (eggplant, bell pepper, avocado, zucchini, onion, etc)

  1. Use the roasted garlic hummus (listed below) and whatever veggies you can scrap together
  2. Sauté sliced eggplant and zucchini together with olive oil, salt and pepper, and Italian herbs for about five minutes until cooked through
  3. Spread hummus on tortilla with avocado, onion, and bell pepper slices followed by eggplant and zucchini.
  4. Fold up like a burrito and enjoy!

Caramelized Onion and Yogurt Pasta

Ingredients: 1 small container of Greek yogurt, 1 large white onion, olive oil, salt and pepper, parmesan, pasta

  1. Slice onion and sauté on low heat in olive oil until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes – seasoning with salt throughout
  2. Cook pasta and reserve about ½ cup of pasta water
  3. Heat Greek yogurt over low heat and slowly add in pasta water a spoonful at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Pour sauce over pasta and top with caramelized onions and parmesan cheese.

Caprese Garlic Toast

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Ingredients: baguette, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, sugar

  1. Find a baguette somewhere
  2. Slice the bread and spread minced garlic, drizzle in olive oil, and sliced mozzarella on
  3. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes at around 175 degrees Celsius
  4. Pour balsamic vinegar into a saucepan with a spoonful of sugar, bring to a boil then let simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes
  5. Take bread out of the oven and place basil leaves on top followed by sliced tomatoes
  6. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and balsamic reduction

Carrot Mango Turmeric Tonic

Ingredients: 1 carrot peeled and chopped, 1 orange (peeled), 2 small mangos, 1 inch piece of ginger grated, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 2 cups of coconut water or filtered water

  1. Combine ingredients in a blender and blend for 60-90 seconds until smooth.
  2. You can then put the mixture through a strainer or drink it with all the fibrous pulp

Quinoa Eggplant Parmesan (sautéed eggplant & bell pepper and eggplant mozzarella quesadillas are also great options with eggplant!)

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Ingredients: one small eggplant sliced into ¼ inch rounds, ½ cup flour, 1 egg, 1 cup cooked quinoa, parmesan cheese, 1 jar of marinara sauce, Italian herbs, garlic salt, pepper

  1. Place flour, egg, and cooked quinoa in 3 shallow bowls/plates.
  2. Season quinoa with herbs, garlic salt, and pepper
  3. With each eggplant round: cover in flour first, then egg wash and then pat quinoa around it
  4. Fry eggplant in a saucepan with olive oil on low heat for about 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove eggplant and pat dry with paper towels
  6. Top with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese

Lemony Tuna Tomato & Capers Pasta

Ingredients: one can of tuna, 2 limes, 2 tomatoes, 1 white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 spoonfuls of capers, pasta, olive oil, Italian herbs, salt and pepper

  1. Sauté garlic and sliced onions in olive oil for about 10-15 minutes
  2. Add diced tomatoes and seasonings and sauté for about 7 more minutes
  3. Add capers, lime juice, and tuna and sauté for 2 more minutes to heat
  4. Serve over pasta

‘Roasted’ Garlic Hummus

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  • Ingredients: 6 cloves of garlic, 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, 2 limes, ¼ cup of olive oil, ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Since many of us don’t have ovens, a quicker way to get ‘roasted garlic’ is just to sauté them until soft, about 5 minutes on low heat
  • Combine ingredients in blender and slowly add water until you get the desired consistency. Add seasonings to taste.
  • Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and paprika.
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