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{All Around Latin America} Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

I was really late to discovering the marvel in Peruvian food. Like, 12 years ago kinda late. I’m not even sure how that’s within the realm of possibility since I’ve been immersed in all Latin culture since I was eating. When I discovered by happenstance, I was a bit frustrated at my tardiness. I found a combo of Japanese with really ancient nuances in a lot the dishes. We all know quinoa. Peruvians are probably gagging at the idea that Americans have recently glorified something so deep rooted in their palate. I even wrote about that here. And taught a cooking class series where I incorporated it. Check it out here.

And then celebrity chef Rick Bayless assigned me to study Peruvian cuisine while working together on a project with a mutual client.

{READ: 5 Ways to Experience Peruvian Culture + Cuisine at Home}

So, yeah, I got way into this Peruvian cuisine trend a few years ago. Here‘s a long list of recipe options featuring quinoa.

I was thrilled when I met Morena Escardo, a Peruvian food and wellness blogger I’ve known for a minute. I can’t even tell you when we first met, but I’ll guess it was sometime around 2009. She and her mother are both chefs who explore the ultra diverse cuisine hailing from Peru — where Morena was born — on the blog Peru Delights, which her mother now runs solo. The blog is replete with the ins and outs of Peruvian cuisine with plenty historical anecdotes our limited knowledge of international flare would deprive. I learned about a few of their quintessential dishes and then found inspiration to create my own version. Here’s one. While her mom is from Nicaragua, their mutual pride for Peru’s vast history which actively penetrates our dining culture here in the States is something that drew me closer to their content. Plus, she’s simply a beautiful spirit.

Morena has contributed to this series in years past so I’m happy to have her back even though she’s now evolved into a spiritual and wellness coach and blogging in Spanish on her site Morena Escardo. For this year’s {All Around America} series, she was kind enough to share with us a recipe from Nicaragua first and one from Peru which will be next post.

Meet my friend, Morena!

FOR A LIGHT & HEALTHY DINNER 

GALLO PINTO
Gallo Pinto is the quintessential Nicaraguan dish. Even though I grew up in Peru, my mom is from Nicaragua, so the food we enjoyed in my childhood home was a mix of Peruvian classics sprinkled with some Nicaraguan staples. Gallo Pinto is one of them. In Peru we have a similar dish called Tacu Tacu. The main difference is that it’s less dry, with a texture resembling a tamale (and also shaped like one). People eat it with a steak or fried egg on top, and lots of Salsa Criolla. I do eat my Gallo Pinto with Salsa Criolla at times, and I always have some creamy avocado on the side. Sometimes, instead of rice I will use quinoa or a mix of both, making this a real Nicaraguan-Peruvian fusion dish. 
Enjoy this healthy version of this recipe here.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with me and my friends! See more recipes from the Hispanic diaspora via the link below. ¡Buen Provecho, mi gente!

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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