Providing quick and simple recipes that the family can enjoy is a big part of our mission at Healthy Rican. I truly believe that including more home cooked meals is part of living a healthy lifestyle. More than ever, young adults are losing the passion for the kitchen. At Healthy Rican we’d like to change that. We want to bring families together, back to the kitchen.
As I pondered ways to help, I realized cooking may feel intimidating at times. Where does someone start if they have never cooked before? Especially cultural foods. How can one compete with the traditional foods of our “abuelas''? Simple, we don’t. For years I’ve tried to cook like my mom. I’ve watched her, I’ve taken notes, I’ve had her measure, I’ve tried… and the essence of her food is never the same. I asked myself, why? The key word would be “essence”. Everyone has their own and we just can’t copy the essence of another person. The best we can do is embrace our own.
When I realized that there is nothing wrong with my cooking, that it’s just different because it has my essence, everything changed. I’ve embraced it and made it my own. I no longer have fear in the kitchen. I feel free to experiment. Many times ending in epic fails, but many more times I would make “happy mistakes” as our friend Bob Ross would say.
So how about instead of fearing the kitchen, we embrace it! Yeah?
In an effort to keep things simple, I’ve created various spice blends to help out. One of them being Healthy Rican’s latest addition. The Savory Spice Mix.
What is the Savory Spice Mix? It’s a blend of herbs and spices carefully curated to remove the guesswork. Whether you are trying to make an awesome stew, roast, or just air fry some chicken, the Savory Spice Mix will be your best friend. It has the perfect amount of salt to keep things low sodium. It is also black pepper free so that people can add at their own discretion once the meal is served. It is also enhanced with paprika for a subtle hint of color.
The Savory Spice Mix is basically an all in one blend for all your poultry, roasting, and cooking needs. Anyone can easily make a flavorful, for example a chicken stew, without the need for any other spices. It was created with all the flavors you need for the dish to taste like “abuelas'' fricasé and arroz con pollo. Ok, maybe not all abuelas, but close. I’ll share a recipe below along with other recipes I’ve created to make any newbie cook's life easier.
Another blend I’d like to highlight is the dehydrated Sofrito. This blend is the most versatile seasoning in my pantry. It can be used as a salt-free dry rub on almost anything. You name it! Great on chicken, steak, seafood, vegetables, even sprinkled on pizza and snacks like fried plantains. It can also be rehydrated to use in place of fresh sofrito. Think of emergencies, lack of time and resources. Examples: Ingredients are out of stock, you ran out, not enough time to make fresh, there is an extended power outage, and more. There are many reasons why someone would choose a dehydrated sofrito. My favorite being, because it tastes good! Below I will share yet another recipe that has been a hit. A sofrito dip, kind of like a chimichurri that can be added on top of steak and seafood, or as a dip for bread and tostones. Again the possibilities are endless for our salt-free dehydrated sofrito mix.
Here are some of our favorite quick and easy recipes made with Healthy Rican’s spice blends.
Savory Chicken Stew
The Savory Chicken stew is a recipe specifically created for the Savory Spice Mix. I wanted to create a blend that would help non-cooks make a flavorful, delicious dish that tastes just like if an experienced cook made it. The mission was to take the guesswork out of the equation. No need to look all over the spice rack, and decide which ones and how much to use. With the Savory Spice Mix, it’s as easy as 123. Just marinate the meat, add vegetables and broth, cook and enjoy!!
2 lb. chicken thighs
1 tbsp. Savory Spice Mix
2 tsp. garlic paste
1 small onion
1 large carrot
2 celery sticks
1 large potato
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth
Optional: fresh cilantro
- Marinate the meat with the Savory Spice Mix and garlic before cooking (the longer the better).
- Meanwhile, peel and dice all the veggies (onion, carrot, celery and potato) into squares. If desired, chop about 1/4 bunch of cilantro for cooking and garnish.
- On high heat, add a bit of oil to the bottom of the pan. Add the meat and brown for a few minutes on each side. Add the veggies, tomato sauce, broth, and 1/2 of the cilantro (if desired).
- Cover and cook on high heat until the chicken is no longer pink inside, and veggies are soft and tender (about 30-35 mins).
- Uncover and continue to cook until you achieve desired broth thickness.
Chimifrito - Sofrito Dip, Dressing & Marinade
This dip has been a game changer! And I only discovered it as a coincidence. Here’s what happened; I had a friend over recording a funny video for TikTok (you can watch it here). She’s Dominican and we were pretending she was my Abuela trying Healthy Rican for the 1st time. Anyways, after we were done recording, I was showing her how to use our dehydrated sofrito. After I hydrated it in water, she smelled it and said “Mayra, this is chimichurri!” I’m like no, really? She’s like yeah, just add a little olive oil and lemon and you’ll see. So I did, then a sprinkle of salt, and boom! It’s sooooo good! We devoured some bread and crackers I had using the “chimifrito” as a dip. After that, I’ve used it as chimichurri over steak, topped over tostones, with fish and seafood, and even as a salad dressing with a little vinegar (balsamic works great). The best part is, you don’t need to make a big batch. Just make what you need. It’s a must try!
- 1/4 cup Healthy Rican Sofrito
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- optional: vinegar of choice
In a small bowl, add the sofrito and water, mix well and allow to sit for 10 minutes (until the sofrito absorbs all the water). After a few minutes, add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy this mix as a pesto, bread or plantain dip, or as a marinade for meat, seafood or roasted vegetables. To use as a salad dressing, add 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup extra of olive oil (add more as needed or to your personal liking).
Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Here’s a recipe created by our friend @TheSaltyCooker. Check her out on Facebook and Instagram. She focuses on Gluten-Free recipes that are so delicious, you can’t taste the difference.
- 5 thick cut pork chops
- 1 tbsp Healthy Rican Savory Spice Mix
- 2+2 tsp Healthy Rican Adobo
- 3/4 cup GF panko
- 1 apple, grated (approx 1/2 cup)
- 1 leek, cleaned & sliced thin
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. This will fit a 9x13 baking dish or 12" skillet. In a bowl add the cubed sweet potatoes, olive oil and 2 tsp adobo spice. Mix well and then pour the sweet potatoes into the bottom of the baking dish. Slice the pork chops down the center, creating a little pocket for the stuffing. Season both sides of the pork chops with the savory spice mix. In a bowl add the panko, 2 tsp adobo, leek, apple, cranberries, orange juice and parsley. Mix well. Add the stuffing to the pork chops and place on the sweet potatoes. Drizzle honey over the pork chops and sprinkle some kosher salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, potatoes should be tender and the pork should read 150. Remove and enjoy!
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