Tag Archives: papaya

Recap of our 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class

6 May

Last month we celebrated our 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class.  The theme was Breakfast in Bed for Mom…

KarmaFree Cooking's Vegetarian Class

We were honored to be featured in El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper.  The turnout was great – many people who do not consider themselves vegetarian yet wanting to learn about a more natural and meat-free lifestyle.  To me that reads SUCCESS because that’s exactly the goal of KarmaFree Cooking…  teaching people that a vegetarian lifestyle is doable and delicious.


I want to share a recap of the recipes shared at the class.  Some are new, some are KarmaFree classics and some are updates on favorites of all of us.

Clase de Cocina KFC #3

 Tofu Scramble with Tomatoes, Peppers and Baby Spinach

Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Tofu Scramble and Potatoes 1

Papaya Mango Fruit Salad

Papaya Mango Fruit Cup   KFC

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Yogurt Frosting


Fruit Smoothie featuring Fresh Baby Spinach

We also talked about how to best combine fruits for your fruit salads and juices

If you live in Puerto Rico, hope you can join us for our next KarmaFree Cooking class.  If you are not so lucky to live in Puerto Rico, rest assured we’ll be sharing the recipes here on the blog.  But doing it in person, as part of our group and then tasting the results of your labor is a whole different experience.

KarmaFree Cooking 3rd Class

Thanks a lot to Angie and my mom who always help and thanks a bunch to the class attendants who always make giving these courses a whole lotta fun.

Candied Papaya in Syrup

31 Jul

Dulce de Lechoza, Dulce de Papaya or Candied Papaya Syrup, however you prefer to call it, is a very typical Puerto Rican dessert.

When I used to belong to Mili’s cooking team at the Yoga Center, I needed to come up with different desserts for our menus all the times, because if not, Mili would resort to her trusted papaya dessert each and every time.

It got to a point that I kinda shunned dulce de papaya because I was so fed up with it… but now that Mili doesn’t make it so often, I miss it. I asked her for the recipe… because I wanted to learn how to make it.

I want to thank Jesiel, my long-time friend and author of Sweet Journey of Inspiration, for so graciously lending me the use of her photo of her dulce de papaya.  Jesiel is a former advertising professional and currently is a pastry chef working as a food stylist in Paris, France. We met working together, and even though our professional paths have somewhat diverted, we always stay in touch and connected in more ways than you’ll ever think.

Jesiel’s recipe and Mili’s recipe were very similar indeed. The biggest difference is that Mili’s recipe she stopped using baking soda because we were informed it is not that good for you to cook with it. I will get more info on the WHY for you guys soon… promise.

In the meantime, enjoy the flavors of Puerto Rico…


Photo courtesy of Sweet Journey of Inspiration


 1 large green papaya, but that’s showing signs that it’ll start ripening soon
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tbs whole cloves
2 cups brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla powder


  1. Cut papaya in half and clean the inside from all membranes and seeds.
  2. Slice it thinly, in about ¼ inch think and about 2 inches wide. Place in a large bowl. Cover the papaya slices with filtered water and let it rest for about 2 hours.
  3. After the 2 hours have passed, drain the papayas and place in a large pot. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, sugar, vanilla and about ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the syrup is boiling too aggressively, turn down the heat. You sure do not want that hot sugar to boil over. Experience is speaking to you here…
  4. Remove from the heat and let it rest until room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator in a sealed container.


This candied papaya in syrup is best eaten cold and with a nice slice of cheddar cheese or queso del país.

Papaya Mango Fruit Cup

8 Aug

Here’s the fruit cup… redefined. Ever since I finished my July 4th retreat I’ve been on a fruit thing. I have always mentioned you how I need and want to eat more fruits, but I am sometimes lazy. I’m getting over the laziness now. I am trying to have 3-4 fresh fruits on hand to eat as breakfast or a a snack while watching TV. Costco helps because I need to buy fruit in bulk and makes me eat fruit every day, several times a day before they spoil on me…

My favorite fruit salads are made from acidic and sub-acidic fruits… citrus, berries, kiwis, pineapple, grapes, peaches, plums, etc. I have made two of these Acid Fruit Salads for you already… But I also sometimes enjoy a sweet fruit combination – Papaya and Mango.

Papaya and Mango are both very soothing fruits to your system. They’re perfect when you’re feeling under the weather stomach-wise. I like this combination when finishing my days of fasting.


Papaya, cut into small pieces, about ¼ of a small papaya
Mango, cut into small pieces
Hanfdul of raisins
Drizzle of Honey or Agave Nectar
Sliced almonds, optional but highly recommended

You determine how much is enough for your appetite…is I never measure, as you already know. This is more assembling the components than a recipe, really.

  1. Mix all the fruits together in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of honey to add a tad of sweetness.
  2. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. I didn’t have any the other day, but I wanted to share this with all of you…


What’s your favorite fruit salad combination? Please share yours…


9 Jan

I love it when I get a nice surprise when I cut up fruit… a perfectly ripe avocado, a luscious pulpy mango, a gorgeous passion fruit.  God knows that fruits and vegetables might look pretty on the outside sometimes, but they can be a gamble.

And this week… the surprise was a papaya without seeds to clean – YEAH!!!

Incredible India… Breakfasts

12 Nov

Be careful what you wish for… because you might actually get it.

I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted my official job description to read – PROFESSIONAL JET-SETTER. Because travel is one of my true, deep passions… well, this last October I got to visit India for the second time.  In the last 2 months, this is my 4th trip.  My friend Annie Mariel asked me to accompany her run some errands in Delhi and I immediately said yes.  How could I really say NO to that invitation?!?!?!

My first trip, exactly 5 years ago, had a spiritual purpose – visiting various religious temples in the Himalayas – but this one was much touristy.  We visited Delhi, Varanasi and Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. 

nataraja    varanasi 2

Taj Mahal

Breakfasts are really important to me… especially when traveling.  I do not know why, but my appetite is HUGE during breakfast when I travel.  Delhi has a lot of smog and is much dustier than what we’re accustomed on our side of the world.  So I made it a point to always eat lots of fruit and yogurt to maintain my body’s defenses.  Here are a few examples of typical breakfasts I had at our hotels:

The first was in Delhi – papaya pieces, plain yogurt, porridge or oatmeal made with milk.   Just the way I like it.  I always complemented breakfast with some freshly squeezed juice and apparently something very popular is watermelon juice.  I found watermelon juice in Delhi and in Varanasi.  They would even prepare it to order… super sweet and delicious.

    Breakfast Delhi

watermelon juice - KFC

This second was in Agra – papaya pieces with pomegranate seeds, plain yogurt, corn or wheat flakes.  Here breakfast was complimented by salted lassi and pineapple juice.  I much more prefer sweet lassi, but we’ll talk about that a little later on in a future post…

Agra Breakfast

But these are very typical breakfasts… you might be thinking.   But this was not all I ate each morning… this was just the starter complimented also by one of two Indian versions of breakfast too.  Indians do not limit their curry and savory food intake from lunch on.  They have their savory and spicy foods right after they open their eyes.  Even though we stayed in Northern India, we got to taste the breakfast preferences of both North and South India.


When we were in Delhi, I was intrigued by what my table neighbor was eating.  I saw this puffed up bread and I immediately was curious.  It is called chole bhature and it is fried bread made from either maida flour (very-fine wheat flour) or rice flour.  I had them both and you can barely notice a difference.  You eat this fried, puffy bread with curried chickpeas and spicy/sweet mango chutney.  The yogurt on my regular breakfast plate helped to cool my mouth because of the spices for the chickpeas and chutney. 

North India Breakfast

Our servers at the hotel restaurant were so impressed with our interest in their local food, after I ordered just out of curiosity, that they would bring a service of this chole bhature without us having to order it.

Not what I normally crave for breakfast, but certainly interesting enough to enjoy it while in India…  and I am all to have the most out of my travel experiences.


After an overnight train experience that left a lot to be desired, we arrived in Agra at 9:30AM and we were HUNGRY for breakfast.  The buffet spread was exactly what we needed.  That’s where we learned about Dosas.

Dosas are the typical South India version of breakfast… it’s a rice flour crepe filled with a curried-potato mixture.  They’re made to order and you enjoy them with a coconut or tomato chutneys.  And you know me, I am a crepe fanatic.

Dosa 4

The potato mixture is spicy, but the chutneys were way spicier for my taste.  So after tasting them initially, I kept on eating without the accompaniments.  Salted lassi helped ease the spice level on the tongue.  They were so good, we had dosas every morning we had breakfast in Agra.

 Dosa 1     Dosa 3

Dosa 2

I hope this encourages you to try out these Indian favorites the next time you travel to India or visit an Indian restaurant in your neighborhood.  Tasting the local flavors is an integral part of getting to know a new country/culture.  It’s what separates the travelers from the tourists… don’t you think?

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