Blog Posts by Shine Latina editor

  • Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Wheat Empanada Dough Recipe

    Makes about a dozen 6-inch dough rounds
    Time: About 35 minutes, not including the chilling time

    This produces a pastry crust that can be baked or fried and filled with just about anything for delightful empanadas. Although you put it together like a pie crust, this dough is less fussy, more forgiving. The result is a tender crust that's not overly flaky or greasy and is up to the task of holding even the juiciest fillings in place. There is no denying that making empanadas-especially mixing, rolling, and cutting out the dough-can be time consuming. Make time work for you by putting together some (or even all) of the components a day in advance. I highly recommend mixing, chilling, and cutting the dough the night before, so that when it's empanada time, you can focus on making the filling and baking them.

    CREAMY CORN-FILLED EMPANADAS (EMPANADAS HUMITAS)CREAMY CORN-FILLED EMPANADAS (EMPANADAS HUMITAS)Tip: Drop a few ice cubes in the water for colder water that helps keep the gluten strands in the dough shorter. Shorter gluten equals a more tender pastry. And tender pastry

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  • Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Creamy Corn-Filled Empanadas (Empanadas Humitas)

    Makes about a dozen 6-inch empanadas
    Time: About 1 hour, not including making

    Empanadas are a real treat stuffed with a creamy corn filling, a favorite filling in Argentina and Chile. Humitas is the name for a whole family of baked or steamed foods made with pureed fresh corn that are found all over South America, and they're so good you'll feel as if you're getting away with something with every delicious bite. As with most regional recipes, there are many variations on how chefs like to season their humitas; I like adding chives, green onion, or even spring garlic scapes for zesty pungent zing in the sweet corn filling.

    1 recipe Wheat Empanada Dough (see recipe here), cut into 6-inch rounds
    3 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
    3 tablespoons finely chopped chives, garlic scapes, or green onions
    1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
    5 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed and drained, if frozen; removed from 6 to 8 ears of corn if fresh)

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  • Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Quick Red Posole with Beans

    Serves 4, or 2 to 3 really hungry hombres
    Time: About 30 minutes
    • Gluten Free, Soy Free

    Posole is a Mexican long-simmered stew chock full of history, endless variations of ingredients and the common thread of hominy. And sometimes you need hot posole stew and you need it . . . almost now! Posole loves to be topped with lots of salad-like ingredients-crunchy cabbage, radishes, avocado-that coolly contrast with the soothing, warm tomato stew below. I'm a fan of canned hominy for fast and easy posole making. The canned stuff just requires a brief rinse to use, is cheap, and is ready for whenever you need this quick cooking posole.

    Tip: If you have a little more time, try roasting any dried red chile (or two or three) for really flavorful Quick Red Posole with BeansQuick Red Posole with Beansposole.

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large poblano chile or green Cubanelle pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
    1 teaspoon red chile powder, such as

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  • Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Crepes with Un-Dulce De Leche and Sweet Plantains

    Serves 4, two crepes each
    Time: About 45 minutes, not including making the sauce

    CREPES WITH UN-DULCE DE LECHE AND SWEET PLANTAINSCREPES WITH UN-DULCE DE LECHE AND SWEET PLANTAINSNothing says "Hey, I freakin' love you!" like serving your friends, familia or future special someone (no pressure!) some gorgeous Latin dessert crepes with sautéed sweet plantains and drizzled with buttery Un-Dulce de Leche sauce (see recipe here). Escalate the richness with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (especially a fantastic coconut-based nondairy ice cream).

    Make-ahead Tips: There are several components to this recipe, so don't mess around, especially if you plan on serving these crepes for dessert after a more elaborate meal. Make the crepes up to three days ahead: stack them on a dinner plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. Reheat briefly on a preheated oiled griddle, for about 1 minute or until hot, flipping once. You can also make the dulce sauce up to a week in advance; just keep chilled and heat on the stovetop or in a microwave for 40 to 50 seconds, stirring occasionally, until warm.

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  • Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Un-Dulce De Leche Sauce

    Makes about 1 1⁄2 cups
    Time: 45 minutes

    This Latin confection has really broken though to the American public, showing up recently in all kinds of things from ice cream to yogurt. For good reason: the sticky caramel-like sauce can be drizzled onto any cake, pudding, or ice cream, wherever a blast of Latin sweetness is required. It's ridiculously indulgent served with warm churros (instead of dusting with sugar) or sopapillas. Or play innocent and use it as a fondue to dip fresh tropical fruit (or cookies).

    CREPES WITH UN-DULCE DE LECHE AND SWEET PLANTAINSCREPES WITH UN-DULCE DE LECHE AND SWEET PLANTAINSTip: Brown rice syrup's consistency and flavor plays a big part in this sauce; there's no
    substitute for it!

    1 cup soy creamer or rich soy milk
    4 teaspoons tapioca flour or arrowroot powder
    1⁄2 cup brown rice syrup
    1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
    2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
    1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1. In a measuring cup, whisk together 1/4 cup of the soy creamer and the tapioca flour and set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 cup

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  • Is There Any Truth to the Nopal Weight Loss Craze?

    Nopal products are everywhere- infomercials, health food stores and the internet. Their beneficial claims run the gamut including its ability to lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol and glucose levels. We do know that it's full of fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients (nutrients derived from plant material), but will it make you lose weight?

    Nopal cactus with fruitNopal cactus with fruitWHAT IS NOPAL?
    Nopal is a type of cactus that grows in Mexico and the southwest of the US; its fruit, also called nopal or prickly pear, is a popular food item among the people of its region. Both the pad of the cactus and the fruit can be eaten. The prickly pear plant can be eaten raw when it ripens, with a taste similar to watermelon with the texture of a kiwi. The pad is cooked and used to make salads or a side dish.


    -Lowers cholesterol? Probably. There's some evidence that eating both the cactus and its fruit may lower bad cholesterol in the blood, but there are no final conclusions yet from the medical community.


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  • Fish for Holy Week- Give Ceviche a Try

    By: Chef Ariel Rodriguez Palacios

    It's Easter time again! Time flies so fast and just as quickly the season of eating chocolate has returned given that the holiday is exactly about that for kids: chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies! I was crazy about them when I was younger … Of course, Easter is about so much more than just chocolate, candies and surprises. In my family, it was always a reason to celebrate, which is why I have such fond memories of this tradition. All generations gathered around the table to share a special menu. And that's wonderful. And as customary, the menu for Holy Week, leading to Easter, always included some type of fish…

    Nine alternatives to Easter candy

    I love cooking fish, and that's another reason why I love this time of the year. But you have to take important precautions whenever you're going to eat fish. This is important. First of all, always buy fresh fish from a trustworthy vendor. After taking it home, wash it very well and make sure all the bones

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  • You Say "Potato", I Say "Patata": Latin Twists on Popular American Dishes

    If there were a universal language, food just might be it. A meal, a new ingredient, an exotic cooking technique can connect you to a culture or bring them together. With summer just around the corner and picnics to be packed with American staples like burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, here are some ideas for serving up the classics with a twist; you may even like these versions better than the original! Certainly you don't have to talk the language for these Latin dishes to speak to you.

    Ensalada RusaEnsalada RusaInstead of potato salad, try Ensalada rusa. The South American version of the salad adds mixed vegetables and stuffed olives, while a Caribbean version adds apples (Red Delicious are best), diced green peppers, onions and minced pimentos. Both recipes make good use of hard boiled eggs as an ingredient and garnish. Give it a try!

    Instead of a hamburger, try a Lomito Sandwich. This version of the sandwich, based on an Argentinean recipe and also known as lomito italiano in Chile, uses a slice of pork

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  • Ingrid Hoffmann's 7-Day Menu

    Celebrity chef and Colombiana Ingrid Hoffmann, who stays in shape by eating small meals and getting lots of lovin', shares seven recipes to liven up your dinner table all week long.

    DAY 1:
    Arroz Con Pollo
    For a quick solution to an otherwise traditional and lengthy dish, Hoffmann suggests using store-bought rotisserie chicken. Forego canned mixed vegetables for the frozen kind for fresher flavor and texture. ¡Buen provecho!
    Arroz con Pollo
    Yield: 4-6 Servings


    1 whole rotisserie chicken, (store-bought), shredded
    1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
    5 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium broth
    1 tbs Delicioso Adobo (recipe follows) or complete adobo seasoning
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
    6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    3 cups white rice
    1 pgk (24 oz) mixed Vegetables, frozen
    1 cup ketchup
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
    1/2 green bell pepper, cored,

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  • There Were No Fat Cavewomen!: The Paleo Diet and Why it May Be the Last Diet You’ll Ever Try

    Prehistoric man (and woman) had something going for them. As hunter-gatherers, their main diet consisted of the meat they killed and the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds they would collect. There were no boxed meals, no soda and definitely no cupcake crazes. And this is exactly the type of nutritional lifestyle that enthusiastic proponents of the Paleo Diet are recommending as a permanent solution to our current obesity epidemic.

    Raquel Welch

    The Paleolithic or Caveman's Diet is an eating plan that intends to follow what was likely the regimen of our prehistoric ancestors, and according to its main philosophy, would allow us to enjoy better health and maintain a normal weight. For Miami-based trainer Linda Pedrosa, this is the best lifestyle diet she's ever followed; she vows it has helped keep her active and feel stronger than ever. "Cancer and diabetes used to be an old person's disease. Now children get diabetes [type 2] and high cholesterol," says Pedrosa, who believes the American diet of

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