Tag Archives: passion fruit

Hawaiian Vegetarian Festival

26 Apr

Manolo gave me a challenge… Why don’t we plan a Vegetarian Festival with the flavors of Hawaii??  Hawaii??  Why??  I asked.   He replied: “Well…  I did this Rice with Pineapple the other day and I think it’s pretty awesome… so I thought it would go well within a Hawaiian-themed festival.”

33  stock-footage-aloha-form-hawaii

Just like Manolo… he gets an idea in his head, and then the rest of the world needs to accommodate to it.   “Oh… and the decorations would look so pretty!!!! Don’t you think, Madelyn??”   And that’s how the idea about this Hawaiian Festival came about.  Because… I have never been to Hawaii, Manolo has never been to Hawaii and the closest we have been to something truly Hawaiian are our friends Kenny and Tim, who one is from Hawaii and the other lives currently in Maui.

Hawaii Festival - ENG

So I went to the internet and social media to gather some ideas of what a traditional Hawaiian Luau would be like and how could I make it into a vegan, gluten-free affair.  My friends were enthusiastic about the idea and recipes started to flow.  What surprised me the most was that many of the ingredients in Hawaiian/Polynesian cuisine are the same as in Puerto Rican cooking – taro root, breadfruit, sweet potatoes… with a few unexpected twists, such as nori, gomasio, rice vinegar, and macadamia nuts…

During the next few weeks I will be sharing with you the menu of this Vegetarian Hawaiian Luau.  But this post will serve as an anchor and summary of all the recipes served that Sunday at the Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand.   Let’s all travel through our taste buds…

Alohas and Mahalo!!!

23  shaka-sign

 Lomi Tomato

Longrice Soup


Tofu Mushroom Poke

Lau Lau

Eggplant Musubi

Roasted Breadfruit with Spices

Haupia with a Carob Drizzle

Banana Mango Bread

Lilikoi and Grapefruit Juice

La Gran Fruta – Great fruit franchise in Lima, Peru

15 Jul

I love finding hidden gems… and in Lima, Peru I think there is one.

If you love fruits salads, natural juices and smoothies look no further than La Gran Fruta. They are a fruit based establishment that offer great alternatives for vegetarians. It’s not a vegetarian place, but we had some wonderful breakfasts thanks to them.


La Gran Fruta offers various sizes of fruit salads, all accompanied by yogurt, granola and honey.

La Gran Fruta - Fruit Salad

Some of us were more adventurous than others. I ordered the largest salad only because I wanted to try a few new fruits I was not familiar with (and hey, I shared with my mom and a few others who also wanted to try):

  • Granadilla – very similar to a passion fruit in texture, but the taste is sweet and not tart like a passion fruit.
  • Chirimoya – very similar to a soursop but much creamier and sweeter. My friends went bonkers for cherimoyas and were seeking them out everywhere we went.
  • Lúcuma – this fruit is very similar in taste and texture to a mamey or sapote. It’s dense in texture and a tad bit grainy. Makes a wonderful juice but I think it would make an even better milkshake or smoothie.

Lucuma Juice

New fruits to me

In this plate you also see soursop… this one I was familiar with, but this one was super tart… in my opinion, it needed a few extra days to fully ripen.

At La Gran Fruta, they not only make awesome fruit salads and juices… they also have these awesome cookies made with only a few ingredients – oatmeal, sugar and fruit pulp. My favorites were the ones made with passion fruit. Imagine a tart and sweet cookie?? I am telling you it’s something to taste to believe… They also have them with apples, figs, mango, strawberry and a combination of several fruits. These cookies are gluten-free and egg-free… perfectly vegetarian!!!!


Because we went in wintertime, we did not get to try something everyone was recommending – Raspadillas. I am sure this is something very similar to our piraguas, shaved ice doused in pureed fruit pulp. Yum… something definitely to look forward to in the Summer, no?

La Gran Fruta has several locations throughout Lima… check them out if you’re ever in Perú.

Updated Tropical Cream Supreme Breakfast Smoothie

23 Jan

As a New Year’s resolution I vowed to eat healthier… and making sure I eat my servings of fruit a day is certainly part of it.

I love the Tropical Cream Supreme combination from the Orange Juluis. To be honest, I don’t even know if this fast food joint still exists out there. Possibly I should Google it. But I know these flavors are part of my growing up. But sometimes, we need to change things up…

So here is my updated version of the Tropical Creme Supreme and it’s become my new favorite breakfast smoothie.

Updated Tropical Cream Supreme


1 banana
4 strawberries
¼ cup frozen mango
½ cup plain yogurt
1 cup passion fruit juice
A squirt of agave nectar or honey
1 tbs of ground flaxseed
  1. Blend all the ingredients in your blender or Magic Bullet.
  2. Serve cold.

Mango Passion Fruit Lassi

4 Sep

Believe it or not, I’m getting ready for my 4th trip to India next year… We will be visiting at early in the year to ensure we do not combust from the India heat felt April on. You would think that growing up in the Caribbean would prepare you for the Indian heat – NOOOOOO!!! We have breezes and sea around us… the heat in India feels 200 times hotter than any summer in Puerto Rico.

But I do love to visit India, especially for spiritual trips like the one I am about to make. Our love for mangos is something both our cultures, India and Caribbean,  coincide in. Lassis are one of the first things I learned about Indian cuisine and I just love to drink them (the sweet kind, of course) when I travel there. They’re a great way to keep the heat at bay – the heat from the climate and the heat from the spicy food you eat. And as much as I love eating a mango just as a fruit… I also love to make it into a smoothie.

This version of a lassi yogurt drink is something I came up with the other day as an experiment. The combination is tangy and not too sweet, just like a refreshing drink should be. It’s like India and Puerto Rico combined in a glass… maybe not too traditional but very, very delicious.



1 cup of mango, cut into small pieces
1 cup passion fruit nectar or juice
½ cup greek yogurt
2 tbs agave nectar
3 ice cubes
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend at a high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Enjoy as part of your breakfast or as a snack.

White Sangría

26 Mar

I am a sucker for a white sangría… Ever since I visited Spain for the last time about 5 yrs ago, I prefer sangrías made with white wine/grape juice than sangrías made with red. They seem fresher and lighter to my taste.

We made this sangría at Alison’s recently when she invited me to “teach” her a few easy recipes she could make at home for her husband. It was funny because it started like a cooking class, yet we ended up with a nice party entertaining her friends and family celebrating the inaugural issue of the online magazine Karma Life & Style. You might recognize someone as the food editor… hum, hum.

Sangrías are so simple to make and excellent to entertain a crowd. Just mix in a large pitcher, keep cool and enjoy. And make sure to have extra ingredients to make additional batches. I’ve never been able to make just one batch… it goes down smooth like juice!!!!


1 bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider or grape must
1 32oz bottle of natural ginger ale
½ can of passion fruit juice concentrate
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 orange, sliced
  • In a pretty glass pitcher, mix all the ingredients together. Let the flavors meld together for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve over ice.

Serve over ice.


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