Make your Xmas presents…

24 Dec

With so much people running around malls these days around the Xmas season, sometimes it’s not about how much you spend on gifts, but how heartfelt a present can be.  What can be more heartfelt than a gift you make yourself?

Here are a few ideas you can easily make in your kitchen and that for sure, won’t get re-gifted.



You can make a few batches of this easily and bottle them in clean water bottles.  Add a bow and it makes a great hostess gift for any Xmas party.



Tembleque/Coconut Custard

This is a dessert anyone will love – It’s vegan, gluten-free and super easy to make.  Give it away in disposable containers and it makes a great dessert to bring to that holiday party.


Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is mostly eaten at Thanksgiving, but package it in glass jars, but a bow around it and call it Cranberry Preserves and makes a great gift for an office crew.

Guava Piña Cranberry Sauce  KFC

Rosemary Almonds

This is even simpler to make when you buy almonds already peeled…  it’s a great snack for a night of drinks with friends and even to bring to that family gathering to have a little something to nibble on before dinner.


Coquito Ice Cream

Make an extra batch of that Coquito you made for a party and churn it into the best holiday ice cream ever!!!!  This is a gift from you to yourself.

Coquito Ice Cream


Veggie Bites of Wisdom #42

17 Dec

Veggie Bites of Wisdom - KarmaFree Cooking

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

13 Dec

very_inspiring_bloggerIt’s been a while since I have been nominated for anything related to the blog.  And to my surprise, Morgan Marie from Blissful Eating has been paying attention to what we are doing in our little corner of the world to promote vegetarianism.  She nominated KarmaFree Cooking for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  

THANKS A LOT Morgan Marie for this recognition.  Sometimes work and the daily stresses prevent me from sharing as often as I would like (you should see my folder of pictures and ideas Pending to Post), but efforts like these show me that even if I don’t share/post as often, you guys are still listening.  ¡Gracias!

I’ll be honest; I did not know Morgan Marie or Blissful Eating before she nominated me.  And to my surprise, we have a lot in common – She likes to eat as healthful as possible, keeping vegan, raw and gluten-free.  She is a fan of cleanses and lives in Guam, a US Territory just like Puerto Rico.  She loves to travel and has a special place in her heart for France, just like moi.  I invited her to visit Puerto Rico, let’s see if she takes me up on the offer before her airline benefits expire in a few months.  Please check out her website…  is very pretty, the pictures are gorgeous and most every recipe is karma-free!

In the spirit of Xmas to give and give back, I would like to share with you some people who inspire me in many ways.


 Nomination Rules:

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs
  • Comment on a post to let them know that they are nominated
  • Proudly display the award logo on your blog
  • Follow or subscribe to the blogger who nominated you

Seven Random Facts About KarmaFree Cooking’s Creator, Madelyn

  1.  I love the beach. I love it so much that I live by it and refuse to live anywhere else.  The best part of working from my home office is that I have a 280 degree view of the beach/sea.
  2. I speak 3 languages – Spanish, English and French. I hope to get as fluent in French as I am in English someday.
  3. I have traveled to 5 continents already – North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. I still have Australia and Antarctica to go.  I have been told there are a lot of single handsome men in Australia, what the hell am I waiting for??
  4. I appeared as an extra in an Oscar-nominated movie – Lo que le pasó a Santiago, the only Puerto Rican movie ever nominated for Best Foreign Film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. My name appears as part of the closing credits.  My pay for it was tickets to see the premiere.
  5. I don’t own a microwave and haven’t in almost 10 years. By choice.  I would like a larger kitchen so I could own a dishwasher.  Never owned a dishwasher in my life.  I would like one, especially for when I throw dinner parties.
  6. I never decided to become a vegetarian. It just… happened!!!
  7. Reality TV is my guilty pleasure… I will travel to Los Angeles soon and I secretly would like to hang out with Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards and former Miss Puerto Rico, Joyce Giraud from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.


 KarmaFree Cooking’s Nominations

  1. Blissful Eating – Morgan Marie makes vegan, raw and gluten-free accessible to anyone
  2. 101 Cookbooks – Heidi is a blogger, cookbook author, James beard Award nominee, photographer… an inspiration all-around
  3. Verdelicias – A Puerto Rican transplanted in Chicago, María José and her husband Nabol bring Caribbean flavors to your screen…
  4. Flanboyant Eats – Bren is what I would like to be when I grow up… Chic, fashionable and has cooked with Emeril and Joel Rebouchon… and she makes Awesome flans too!!
  5. Hungry Food Love – Melissa Bailey has a marketing background but a real flair for Latin cooking that goes beyond her Dominican background.
  6. Natural, Orgánica y Latina – Laura is my friend and you need to check out her YouTube Channel…
  7. Viva Fifty – Lorraine makes being 50+ fabulous… I hope to reach 50 with as much flair as she has…
  8. Just Glowing with Health – a mutual friend brought us together and I hope to be able to connect in person when I visit Los Angeles soon…
  9. Adriana’s Best Recipes – a Mexican with desire to make her culture shine in all her recipes…
  10. Sazón Boricua – Jeanette lives in Puerto Rico, yet we have only seen each other in person during travels. Her recipes are real nice, not just Puerto Rican.
  11. Momables – Laura has won the Rewrapped Show in the Food Network and is super nice and knowledgeable about making cool kids school lunches.
  12. Presley’s Pantry – Nicole is funny and makes the most entertaining videos on YouTube.
  13. GrandBaby Cakes – Jocelyn is a Facebook friend and bakes the most amazing desserts. She is working on her new cookbook too!!!
  14. Mommyhood Diary – Oriana consistently tantalizes me with her awesome pictures of delicious creations…
  15. PiccoloMondoPR – He’s a dad traveling all over Puerto Rico showing his kids the wonders of our little corner of the world.


These blogs are super interesting and I definitely encourage you to check them out! I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me!

Vegan Mayo and Mustard Dipping Sauce

12 Dec

Taro Root Fritters are perfect all by themselves…

However they can become so much more if you dip them into something – like a Mayo Mustard Dipping Sauce.  I use Vegenaise Mayo and to me, because I haven’t bought traditional mayo in such a long time, I believe this tastes as creamy and decadent as if made with any homemade mayo.

You can make as little or as much as you want…  but here are some proportions for you so you get the drift…

Vegan Mayo Mustard Dipping Sauce


¼ cup Vegenaise vegan mayo
1 tbs horseradish mustard, but your favorite mustard will work here
Pinch of Kosher Salt
 Sprinkle of Sweet Paprika
  1. Just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve alongside your fritters…

And if you’re not into mustard, you can always go to our trusted Puerto Rican staple, MayoKetchup.  Right??

Taro Root Fritters

10 Dec

This is a recipe featured in Qué Rica Vida – the Spanish-language community site featuring great  recipes from a variety of bloggers, including Karma Free Cooking.

Viandas, as we call them in Spanish or at least in Puerto Rico, are part of the staples in Caribbean gastronomy.  Viandas are a variety of root vegetables and edible tubers which form part of our diet since the times of the Taíno Indians, Puerto Rico’s first inhabitants.

Malanga or Taro Root is one of my favorite viandas…  It has a sweet taste and its speckled lilac interior is very pretty.  These are particularly popular in Hawaiian cuisine in the form of poi, a mashed version of taro root.

Taro Root

Typically, viandas are boiled in salted water and eaten with various accompaniments, and their starchy consistency makes them perfect to make into fritters.  The perfect example of this is Alcapurrias.  But we don’t always have the time to make a filling, make the masa, fill the alcapurrias and fry them.  So this fritter is a great short-cut to get the payoff of a fritter without a lot of work.  You can read the whole recipe in Spanish in Qué Rica Vida here.

Taro Root Fritters


1 pound of raw taro root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp sofrito
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
A pinch of freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
  1. Add all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until you create a homogeneous puree.
  2. Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure the mixture is well combined.
  3. In a large skillet add enough frying oil for it to be about ½ – 1” deep.  Place over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles a bit around the tip of a wooden spoon when submerged in the oil.
  4. Using a measuring spoon, measure about 1tbs of masa and create small balls and place in the hot oil.  Fry balls on all sides until they’re golden brown.  Once the skillet is filled with balls frying, turn down the heat to make sure the inside of the fritter is cooked without burning the outside.
  5. When they’re done, take them from the skillet using a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to cool off and catch all the excess oil.

Taro Root Fritters

You can enjoy these fritters on their own… or with a delicious vegan mayo and mustard dipping sauce.  This recipe makes about 24 fritters.


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