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               Hearts of Palm Salad

4 servings
2 16-ounce cans of hearts of palm
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth (remove fat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
ground pepper to taste
very small amount of salt (optional)
lettuce leaves

1. Drain the hearts of palm, cut them into ½-inch pieces, and put them into a large bowl. Stir in the red pepper, yellow pepper, and chopped parsley.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, chicken broth, and olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the hearts of palm mixture and toss gently. Season to taste with salt (optional) and pepper. Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves, spoon the salad on top and serve.


Costa Rican Meat Ball Soup

2 quarts beef broth
2 eggs
1-½  pounds ground beef
2 onions, chopped fine
1/8 teaspoon of marjoran
1 teaspoon salt
¼ pepper
Corn meal or flour

Mix meat, eggs, onions, and seasonings together; form into small balls and roll in corn meal or flour. Heat broth to boiling point and drop meat balls. Reduce heat and simmer until meat balls are done.


       "Tico" fare is neither spicy nor, in many respects, unfamiliar. It is built around the basics of rice, beans, corn, vegetables, meat, chicken or fish and usually served with corn tortillas. Breakfast typically features a delicious mixture of rice and black beans known as “gallo pinto” which may be accompanied by eggs, corn tortillas and sour cream. Calorie counters may prefer a tropical fruit plate of papaya, watermelon, pineapple, banana, and, in season mango or cantaloupe.
Casados, popular at mid-day, are huge plates of white rice, beans, fried plantain, salad, cheese, diced vegetables, and your choice of meat, chicken, or fish. Hearty soups are a favorite for dinner. Commonly served desserts include caramel or coconut flan, several types of pudding, and cake called “tres leches”. The fresh fruit drinks, “refrescos naturales”, are flavorful and healthy. Any kind of fruit, from strawberries to mango, is mixed in a blender with crushed ice, either water or milk and a little honey or sugar.
“Comida Típica” is much more varied than you’ll find in most restaurants. Many dishes are associated with special holidays. In December, the whole family helps make the Christmas “tamales”, one of the most traditional dishes.


       Visitors to Limón discover a distinctly Caribbean flavor and many recipes based on coconut milk. Those with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss “panbón”, a heavy fruit bread redolent with spices. Guanacaste offers its own distinctive dishes with corn being a staple ingredient. Huge tortillas with melted cheese are delicious. Guanacaste being ranch country, beef is also big on the menu.


        Costa Rica produces some of the finest coffee in the world. Beans for local consumption are often roasted with sugar to make a thick, dark coffee that is not all that bitter. Traditionally, this strong coffee was served half and half with milk, in a tall glass. After tasting it, you won’t want to go home with several bags of beans.

  *Source: “Costa Rica: No Artificial Ingredients”. Provided by the Costa Rica Tourist Board.




Updated: 20 March 2008

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