Monday, February 11, 2013

Cafe Rio Pork Salad

Hi everybody Dan passed his CPA exams this week and I wanted to do something special for him to Celebrate. Since he eats out all the time at work, I knew he didn't care to go out. So as I was contemplating on what to make it was as if lightning bolt had hit me.. Cafe RIO of course..

I found an amazing pork recipe that I actually tweaked a bit myself and I think I found the copy cat of Cafe Rios.  At least I think so ....

Pulled Pork
3-4 lb. Pork Butt or Shoulder Roast ( i used the Should Roast)
2 small cans El Pato Tomato sauce (found in the mexican aisle, this is a key ingredient)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 can cokeWrap pork completely with foil, place in crock pot and pour 1/4 cup water around roast and about half can of coke. Cook for 8 hours on low. (YES, 8 hours! The longer you cook a pork roast, the easier it is to shred, the more tender it is, the more delicious it is. 8 hours is key!) Remove roast, drain juices, remove fat and shred. Dump the tomato sauces, remainder of coke and brown sugar into the crockpot, stir together and add shredded pork back in. Cook two additional hours on low.

I wasn't a fan of the rice I made still can't find a good one.

The creamy ranch tasted mayoie instead of ranchy. But it still was good.

Guacamole I have mastered well I think so..

2 large avocados.
1 roma tomato or grape tomatoes
1 lime
1/4 c. red onion or sweet yellow onion
1 jalapeno
1/2 bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Mix avocados and juice lime. chop all veggies very finely and add to avocado. Taste to like your liking. I like mine more chunky but if your a smooth person put in the food processor to puree.

FLour Tortillas
I've made these in Ukraine almost every day and then all the time in college. THey are so yummy I eat about 5 while i'm making them and then just like to snack on them during the day.

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. warm water
1 t. salt
1/4 c. oil

Sift together flour and salt. Add oil. Add warm water 1/4 c. at a time mixing together. Roll out onto lightly floured surface. roll out into 10-12 small balls. Cover with towel for 15-30 mins and then roll out and place on griddle or pan make sure to do it on warm.

I do want to try these out sometime but with the wheat.

Cindy's Flour Tortillas, Version 2.0

4 cups flour (I typically 75%-100% whole wheat)
2 t salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups hot water

Heat pan or griddle to 325-ish (do not grease). In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in canola oil. Add water gradually (I usually start with 1 cup, mix, and then add the water about 1/4 cup at a time after that) until dough is moist and holds together without being sticky. Knead with hands for a minute, then divide into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball or smaller. (Your dough balls can be bigger if you are rolling out by hand and not using a tortilla press.) In a tortilla press lined with a sliced-open plastic bag (to prevent sticking), press balls twice (I usually press, pick up the tortilla, flip it over, and press again). Cook tortillas 3-5 minutes on each side

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Soup for the Soul

I discovered an amazing Soup recipe that is purely delicious and purely good for you. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and all the things that make your insides happy. You won't be disappointed with this one. I didn't have a lot of things on hand but make do and come up with your own variation. Let me know how you like it. To top it off i made some yummy Homemade wheat bread to go with it.

Soup for the Soul

Ingredients (8-10 cups)

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (used 1 1/2)
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked 
    ( i used wheat berries/kernels)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube 
    (i used chicken bouillon)
  • 6 cups water, boiled
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15oz can)
  • 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
  • Pinch or two of cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing)

    I used only 4 cups of water and I didn't have zucchini, tomatoes. Instead the veggies i used were carrots, onions, mushrooms, green beans (not the canned nasty stuff but the fresh yummyness), spinach and kale. you can add whatever veggies you like.


  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. I also have a feeling this soup will be even better the next day! Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred. (didn't do this step)