Healthy Recipes

The article about Costa Rican drinks inspired me to look for some recipes from that tropical country. Just because we can't all jump on Flight 2167, doesn't mean we can't all enjoy some cuisine from paradise!

I found a refreshing Heart of Palm Salad that should go very well with the Papaya Beef Steaks, a recipe in which the papaya serves two functions - it tenderizes the meat and provides a delicious ingredient.

Heart of Palm Salad

This is usually found in canned form....but the resulting salad tastes extremely fresh.


    1 (7.8 oz) can hearts of palm, drained and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

    1/2 cup mayonnaise

    1 tbsp. mustard

    1 tbsp. raw sugar

    1 tsp. salt

    7 lettuce leaves or 1/2 lbs baby field greens, mix baby lettuce, or mesclun, washed and dried

    Vinaigrette of choice

    Pepper to taste


  1. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a glass bowl. Add hearts of palms and mix well.
  2. Toss baby greens with vinaigrette in a separate bowl and transfer to a serving platter.
  3. Arrange hearts of palm mix over the baby greens.
  4. Serve cold.

Source: PuraVida

Papaya Beef Steaks

Papayas can be used to tenderize tough cuts of meat. In this recipe, the papaya serves two functions - it tenderizes the meat and provides a delicious ingredient. One fruit, doing the work of two ingredients. Not many items in the produce aisle has this distinction. Talk about a budget saver!

Start to finish: 4 hours (15 minutes active)
Servings: 6


    1 large ripe papaya, peeled, sliced and seeds discarded

    3 pounds round steak, cut into 6 steaks

    1 tbsp. olive oil

    1 medium yellow onion, sliced

    1 tsp. salt

    1 tsp. ground black pepper

    1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

    1 large tomato, peeled and chopped

    16-ounce can lentils

Step 1 - Tenderize

  1. Arrange half of the papaya slices over the bottom of a large glass or ceramic baking dish (metal pans can react with the enzymes of the papaya).
  2. Lay the steaks over the papaya, then top the meat with the remaining papaya slices. Cover the baking dish, then refrigerate for 3 hours. (I don't think it would hurt to do this in the morning, before work, and then cook it when you get home from work.)

Step 2 - Cook

  1. Heat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Coat a second glass baking dish with the olive oil, then arrange the onion slices over the bottom.
  3. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator, season them with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Lay the steaks over the onion slices, then top with the papaya slices and chopped tomato.
  4. Tightly cover the baking dish with foil, then bake until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the dish from the oven and top with the lentils.
  6. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.

Source: BrooksTropicals

Posted July 2009 | Permanent Link

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