Cassava – Healthy Living

Cassava is a great gluten-free substitute.

Cassava root after harvest before it’s been prepared to cook.

At Hamanasi we are aware that many of our guests have special dietary requirements, from low sugar and nut allergies, to gluten free diets. We want all of our guests to be able to sample to delights of our kitchen and bakery so we use native local produce to substitute certain items that may be incompatible with the dietary requirements. One of these substitutes is cassava, which we use as a substitute when cooking and preparing food for guests with a gluten free diet.

Native to Brazil and the tropical areas of the Americas, Cassava (also know as manioc, tapioca or yuca) is widely grown all over Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa and the South Pacific. A root vegetable with a brown fibrous skin and a fleshy white interior, it has been around since long before the arrival of Columbus. Cassava provided a stable source of food to the Taino, Carib and Arawak populations, especially in the form of cassava bread. While there is evidence of manioc pollen in the Gulf of Mexico lowlands dating to 4600B.C., the earliest evidence of cassava cultivation comes from a 1,400 year old Maya site in El Salvador.
Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in tropical and sub-tropical regions helping to provide a basic diet to over half a billion people, mainly thanks to its ability to grow under strenuous conditions such as in areas of low rainfall and nutrient low soils.

Once harvested cassava needs to be washed and peeled before it is used, but it can be used in so many ways. When cooked properly to detoxify it, the soft boiled root has a delicate flavor and can be used to replace potatoes in many ways, including as an accompaniment to meat, as a flour in dumplings and gravies, or even fried as chips. Cassava can also be made into a sweeter choice as a crepe or a cake. This typically involves grating the cassava and mixing it with coconut milk or even fresh grated coconut and steaming it.

Belize Gluten-free sweet cassava snack

Cassava is as versatile as it is tasty and is equally good as a sweet gluten-free snack as it is as a starch at meal time.

Cassava is a food with a long list of health benefits. Cassava is very rich in many minerals that are beneficial such as calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. As well as being rich in fibre, it is also rich in carbohydrates, making it a perfect dietary addition for a highly active lifestyle. Along with being gluten free, cassava is high in its levels of saponins, which are a phytochemical responsible for helping to lower the levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood stream.
So all the arrows point to cassava being a healthy choice of vegetable for any diet

“Belizean Storm Salad”

Another of our tasty special salad recipe!

20140313hambz00_dining-1011

 Belizean Storm Salad

Pineapple   1 cup (medium dice)

 Spinach     2 cups (julienned)

Beets         1 cup (med dice)

Cucumber   2 cups (thinly sliced)

 Tomato       1 cup (julienned)

Cilantro       ¼ leaves

Green onion   1 bunch sprigs (for garnish)

 

Toss ingredients together then drizzle dressing over salad

 

Citrus vinaigrette

Lime juice

Orange juice

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

 

Happy Cooking From

Hamanasi Kitchen staff

 

 

“Honey Butter Grilled Pork Chops Recipe”

 Hamanasi Belize Food

Another guest favorite dinner dish!

8 oz.  Pork chops

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

1/2 tsp. Cayenne

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. Onion powder

1 tbsp. Garlic powder

Olive oil 1 tbsp.

Season pork with seasonings and set aside.

Grill pork until cooked and then top with honey butter.

 

Honey 1 cup

Butter ½ cup (melted)

Mix honey and butter

 

Happy cookings from the Hamanasi kitchen!

 

 

“Hamanasi Braised Jerk Lamb Chops Recipe”

Spicy-Braised-Jerked-Lamb-Chops-Served-with-Fresh-Herbed-Couscous-and-Sauteed-Chayote-Hamanasi-Resort-Hopkins-Village-Belize-Jo

Another one of our guest favorite meat dish is our Braised Jerk Lamb Chops. 

Hamanasi’s Jerk Braised Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops 5 lbs. trim fat Salt

2 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper

¼ tsp. Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp. Jerk Seasoning

3 Tbsp. Tomato Sauce

½ cup Canola Oil to coat pot

Water three times amount to cover lamb

• Season lamb with salt, cayenne pepper, jerk seasoning and garlic powder right before putting them in the very hot deep pot coated with on the inside with canola oil.

• Once lamb caramelizes on both sides cover with water, add in tomato sauce and cover. Cook for at least a minimum of 2 hours or until liquid reduces exposing half of the lamb and make sure lamb is tender. Add more water if needed.

• Check flavor and add in more salt if needed.

• In a small frying pan add in 5 tbsp of butter and equal parts flour to make a roux which you will use to thicken the lamb gravy.

• Remove the lamb from the gravy then add in the roux piece by piece to thicken the gravy to the consistency you prefer.

• Place the lamb back in the gravy once the consistency is to your choice.

• Serve with your choice of sides,   Happy cookings from the Hamanasi kitchen!

“Hamanasi’s Chicken Fajita Burrito”

Here is another one of our tasty and mouth watering lunch recipes – Hamanasi’s Chicken Fajita Burrito

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable Oil                           1 Tbsp.
  • Chicken Breast                       strips 1
  • Sweet Pepper                          strips ¼ c.
  • White Onion                           strips ¼ c.
  • Salt & Black Pepper               to taste

Method:

In hot frying pan add in your vegetable oil and all other ingredients, sauté until caramelized.

Build:

  • Flour Tortilla, room temperature          1 ea.
  • Pureed Beans, seasoned, hot                  1 pot spoon
  • White Rice, hot                                          1 pot spoon
  • Chicken/Vegetable Mixture
  • Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Place flour tortilla on clean cutting board, spread your beans, followed by rice, sautéed chicken/vegetable mixture topped with cheese, roll close and place in a hot oven for 3 minutes on stainless steel pan or in a microwave oven for 1 minute or until hot to the touch.

“Hamanasi Takes Home The Taste of Belize Cake Decorator & Master Chef 2012 Awards”

December 1st was a big night for Hamanasi as 3 of our staff members competed in the Belize Tourism Board’s “Taste of Belize” event held in the Cayo District. This competition determines the best chef, cake decorator and bartender in Belize. Hamanasi’s chefs took home 2 of the coveted prizes and our bartender came in second! The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia opened the event, which consisted of 3 different competitions, Cake Decorating, Bartending and Master Chef for 2012. The evening kicked off with Hamanasi’s very own Executive Chef Sheridan Polanco creating an absolute masterpiece. The cake, which had a Mayan theme in honor of Maya 2012, took her just under 3 hours to decorate and won her the title of Belize’s Cake Decorator of the Year. Her inspiration was the Mayan chocolate fruit also known as “Black Sapote” which she tied into the whole story of the Mayan calendar and the history of the Mayan traditions here in Belize. Yum!! (Chef Sheridan image courtesy of San Ignacio Hotel)

The second event featured three bartenders competing for the title of Belize’s Top Bartender. Hamanasi’s “mixologist” Mark Jacobs invented 3 outstanding cocktails. The first was a Belizean Beauty, second was The Energizer and finally he wowed the crowd with his Monkey Business Creation. The final challenge was a mystery box in which he only had a few minutes to create a drink with Craboo Cream and Traveller Bitters. The result was the tangy Belizean Stinger. Mark earned second place in the competition!

The third and final event saw chefs countrywide going head to head for the title of Master Chef. The challenge: cook three meals with four mystery ingredients in one hour. After preparing a full meal made with all the mystery ingredients the panel of four judges chose Hamanasi Chef Marcia Nuñez as Belize’s Master Chef for 2012! The first elimination round was an appetizer, where Chef Marcia made a Zucchini & Sardine fritter sprinkled with a watermelon salsa. The second challenge was the main entrée. This time she created a delicious pan-fried pork chop and hibiscus cilantro potatoes drizzled with a papaya, cashew & white wine sauce. This put her into the top two ending the final challenge with dessert. This time Chef Marcia made a bacon, peanut & cream cheese wrap served with a stout reduction. Chef Marcia exclaimed, “I was so happy to win! I enjoy cooking and love to experiment with food and create new dishes filled with flavour.” And we love to eat your food, Marcia! Well done. (Chef Marcia and Bartender Mark images courtesy of The San Pedro Sun)

Hamanasi congratulates Chef Marcia, Chef Sheridan and Bartender Mark for competing well in Taste of Belize 2012. We hope to share their delicious creations with you!

Guest Favorite Recipe – Hamanasi’s Peanut Butter Cookies”

Hamanasi Peanut Butter Cookies 

2 tsp.                              Vanilla Extract

1 c                                    Peanut Butter; creamy

3                                      Eggs

1 c                                   Butter; softened

1 1/4 c                           Granulated Sugar

1 1/4 c                          Dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp.                        Salt

1/2 tsp.                        Baking Soda

2 c                                Purity Flour

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt.  Mix well with a wire whisk
  • In a large bowl, blend sugars using a mixer at medium speed
  • Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste
  • Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla, mix at medium speed until light and fluffy
  • Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just mixed. (Do not over-mix)
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an un-greased cookie sheet, 1 ½ inches apart
  • With a wet fork, gently press a crisscross pattern on top of the cookies
  • Bake for 8-22 minutes until cookies are slightly brown along the edges
  • Transfer cookies immediately to cool surface with a spatula

Happy Cooking & Eating from Hamanasi’s Kitchen Staff!

“Hamanasi’s Napolean Shrimp Salad”

Hamanasi’s Napolean Shrimp Salad

Ingredients:

Shrimps~10 Sautéed (seasoned w/salt & pepper)

Romaine Lettuce~1/3 small chop

Flour Tortilla~ 1, cut in quarters and fried

Ranch Dressing~as desired

Cucumbers, medium~¼, small dice

Tomato, medium~ 1/3 wedge, small dice

Method:

  • Place 1 tsp. of dressing in center of plate.
  • Place one ¼ of the fried flour tortilla on top of the dressing.
  • Layer tortilla with lettuce and shrimps and repeat until complete.
  • Top with a sprinkle of the diced cucumbers, tomatoes, shrimps and a good drizzle of dressing.

 

“Hamanasi Chimichanga”

Are you ready for another one of our delicious recipes? The Chimichanga is among our guest favorite desserts. Let us know which one was your favorite!

Hamanasi’s Chimichanga

Ingredients:              For 1 filled Chimichanga Flour Tortilla

Flour Tortilla                 1, large

Bananas, large              3, peeled and sliced medium thick

Almonds, sliced            2 Tbsp.

Brown Sugar                  ½ cup

Butter                               1 Tbsp.

Cinnamon Powder        ½  tsp.

Raisins                              2 Tbsp.

Vanilla Extract                 ¼ tsp.

      Preparation

  • Place all ingredients in a small pot and allow to simmer  or  cook down for about 15 minutes until ingredients appear caramelized, brown and soft.
  •  Allow to cool on stove top then take one Flour Tortilla and fill.
  •  Secure tortilla closed with frilled toothpicks.
  •  Deep fry the Chimichanga in a deep pot of how oil or a deep-fryer until tortilla is golden in cooler all around.
  •  Remove from fryer and allow to drain for about a minute.
  •  Carefully cut off crunchy ends (optional), you should have 4 servings from one Chimichanga burrito.
  •  Top with vanilla ice-cream and drizzle with caramel sauce, enjoy!

 Happy Cooking & Eating

From

The Hamanasi Kitchen!

“2011 Christmas Eve Cookie Buffet”

The traditional Hamanasi Cookie Buffet was a slam with guest sating their sweet pallets with the popular Ginger Bread Men, Almond Bars, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Pineapple Filled Cut-outs, Sugar Cookies, Lime Drop Cookies, Chocolate Chews and last but not least our Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies.   To quench their thirst we had Shiraz Punch and the not to be forgotten our Hamanasi Eggnog.