Tour de Peru

Today, I bring you three dishes: a vegetarian ceviche, Garlic Quinoa Soup, and Papas a la Huancaina.  But first, you’re stuck scrolling through some of my travel photos from Peru!  I can’t help but look through travel pictures when I’ve actually visited a country of origin for my recipes.

We visited Peru in March of 2010.  Again, I was still a meat eater.  This blog has a lot of meaty photos for being hosted by a non-meat-eater, I know.  Next international vacation will be a bit different.

Jordan, Emilee, and I hiked, shopped, wandered for 8 days.  ‘Twas lovely.  You’ll see an alpaca steak, cuy (guinea pig), passionfruit, produce markets, and the God-send for altitude sickness–coca tea.

Aside from river trout, alpaca, and cuy, I remember eating a lot of pizza, quinoa, fresh fruit juices, and tubers.  Oh, yeah, also remember some pisco sours 🙂

While in Pisac for the weekend market, we stopped to eat at Ulrike’s Cafe.

I had a few bites of Emilee’s cheesecake, a Coke in a glass bottle, and quinoa for the very first time.  Our tour guide told us all about it’s protein powers, etc., so I was eager to try. Quinoa is a grain, similar to rice, which can be used as a base, in soups, or simply stand by itself as a side dish.

(It’s becoming much for available within the U.S. due to increased demand for this nutrition-packed grain, but this does drive the price up for Peruvian citizens.)

My quinoa came in a light, garlicky soup, not the typical tomato based quinoa soup.  I attempted to recreate!

My recipe is at the end of the post.

Our vegetarian ceviche was quite delicious.  I followed a recipe from Food.com that includes hearts of palm.  I was glad that I followed that suggestion, as they come close to offering a crab-like substitute.  I’d honestly never even seen hearts of palm before this grocery shopping trip, though.  Interesting little things…

No, not string cheese. I swear it.

We may have overindulged on ceviche, as we barely had room for the final dish.

I made, or at least sort of made, Papas a la Huancaina!  Papas a la Hancaina consists of slices of boiled potatoes covered in a spicy cheese sauce, hard-boiled eggs, and olives–all on a bed of fresh lettuce.

You might read that the dish is typically served with white or yellow potatoes.  That might be true–I honestly don’t know.  What I do know, is that I was lucky enough to have access to locally-grown, purple Peruvian potatoes!  Wouldn’t you know, someone in Sevierville started planting Peruvian tubers!

(So glad I have a husband who loves me in spite of the fact that I set up photo shoots for tubers).

I often feel conflicted because I love to support local farmers, but also love trying new foods and recipes from all over the world.  This was win-win.

My cheese sauce ended up being entirely too runny–which I now know is because I didn’t shake my can of evaporated milk near enough.  Still, it tasted absolutely delicious.

You can see in the following photo how the cheese sauce just sunk to the bottom of the plate.  When served into individual portions, we spooned the mixture back over las papas.

Trust me on the deliciousness. Or don’t.  Make your own!

As promised, my soup recipe:

Garlic Quinoa Soup, (Serves 8), Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup farfalle or macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add quinoa, carrots, and celery.  Cook until quinoa is slightly toasted.
  4. Add water, bouillon, bay leaf, parsley, and salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil; Let simmer until quinoa and vegetables are tender.
  6. Add pasta and simmer for 6-9 more minutes or until pasta is soft.

Let me know what you think!  I don’t feel the tomatoes are necessary at all…

Adios, Peru.  Until next quinoa dish.

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Categories: Food, Latin American Food, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

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