Latin American Paleo Cooking: Over 80 Traditional Recipes Made Grain and Gluten Free

Latin American Paleo Cooking: Over 80 Traditional Recipes Made Grain and Gluten Free

by Amanda Torres, Milagros Torres


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Paleo Recipes as Bold and Flavorful as They are Healthy

Amanda Torres, founder of The Curious Coconut, tells a story of heritage and tradition with her recipes. In collaboration with her Puerto Rican mother-in-law, Milagros, she provides authentic recipes from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela, among others. Discover a new, adventurous side to Paleo with recipes like Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef in Tomato Sauce), Empanadas al Horno (Baked Meat Turnovers) and Pollo a la Brasa (Marinated Roasted Chicken).

This is Paleo as you’ve never experienced before, embracing traditional Latin American comfort foods and also making them completely gluten-, dairy- and re ned-sugar-free. Latin American Paleo Cooking introduces layers of flavor, and with over 80 recipes, you’ll always have something new to try.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624143922
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 08/22/2017
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 225,275
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Amanda Torres, founder of the food and health website The Curious Coconut, has achieved life-changing results from adopting a Paleo diet. She has been featured in Redbook, The Huffington Post, First for Women, Mark’s Daily Apple and others. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Read an Excerpt




In Milagros's family, as is typical in Latin American culture, the family dinner at the end of each day is the most important meal. Whereas breakfast and lunch may be served as small portions, eaten alone or even eaten on the go, dinner is the main event each day. It is the one meal that the entire family can expect to be hearty, filling, comforting and shared with loved ones.

This is actually how I was raised to treat dinnertime, too, growing up in the South in the United States. Unfortunately, in today's world full of digital distractions, the family dinner is slowly disappearing. Reclaim it with the hearty meals in this chapter, which feature beloved traditional dishes meant to feed a crowd. Many of these recipes are excellent for batch cooking and freezing for later, so that even on the busiest week- nights you can have something exciting on hand to thaw and enjoy together with your family. I've also made every effort to make the more time-consuming dishes faster and easier to prepare without sacrificing the authenticity of flavor, and to provide slow cooker directions, too. ¡Buen provecho!



The flavor that this seasoning blend, called adobo, imparts into the pork roast is absolutely incredible. This is Milagros's famous pork roast recipe that family always requests when visiting her. It is especially popular during the holiday season and can make a great alternative to cured ham if you're looking for something new and exciting. Scale the recipe up to accommodate a whole shoulder roast or fresh ham and start a new tradition!


2 tbsp (20 g) minced garlic (about 1 whole head)
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the pork, to form a paste.

Cut slits in the skin on the top of the roast and pierce all sides of the roast with a knife to help the seasoning blend penetrate the meat. Coat the roast with the paste and place in a large resealable plastic bag or wrap it in a few layers of plastic wrap. Allow to marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.

Before roasting, remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Remove the wrappings from the pork. Roast the pork for 1 hour, uncovered and skin side up, in a pan with sides a few inches tall to accommodate all the fat that will render out during roasting. Then, without opening the oven, lower the temperature to 300°F (150°C) and continue to roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast (not touching the bone) reads 185°F (85°C), or for 2 to 3 hours longer (40 to 45 minutes per pound [455 g] of roast). You may wish to check the roast after 1½ hours' roasting at 300°F (150°C).

The roast is done when the meat shreds easily with a fork and the fat on top is nicely crisped.

AIP COMPLIANT: Omit the black pepper and coriander seeds from the adobo.



Vaca frita literally means "fried cow" and is, handsdown, my favorite Cuban dish. Some real culinary magic happens when you take slow-cooked beef, season it intensely with garlic and lime and then fry it until it achieves this tantalizing crispy-on-the-outside yet delightfully tender-on-the-inside texture.


To prepare the steak, cut it crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces and place in a large pot. Add the quartered onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns and cover everything with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and lower the heat to a moderate simmer. Cook until the steak is falling-apart tender, 2½ to 3 hours.

Remove the steak from the pot and shred with 2 forks. Strain the broth and reserve for another use, discarding the cooked onion, bell pepper, bay leaf and peppercorns.

To season the steak, combine the shredded steak with the seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Tip: You can leave the cooked shredded meat in the seasoning, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight. It will make the meat more flavorful, but is not necessary. If you do batch cooking, you can actually leave it in the marinade for up to 3 days, frying it up fresh each time you eat a portion.

To fry the steak, work in batches to fry the meat. In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons (28 g) of your fat of choice over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the meat shreds to the pan without crowding them to ensure that the meat fries and does not steam. Spread out the meat with spacing throughout. Allow it to fry for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring a few times. Add about one-third of the sliced onion and continue to fry until the onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a serving plate and keep warm. Continue until all the meat and onion is cooked.

Serve with lime wedges and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

NOTES: For a less hands-on cooking method, place all the ingredients for the steak in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours, shred the meat, then finish cooking as directed.

Although flank steak is the traditional cut used, thanks to the pronounced look of the shreds once cooked, you may also substitute a chuck roast, which usually weighs about 4 pounds (1.8 kg). Double the remaining ingredients and increase the cooking time to 3 to 4 hours for tender, fork-shreddable chuck. Or, put it all in the slow cooker as described above.

AIP COMPLIANT: Simply omit the bell pepper and peppercorns from the first step.



Lomo saltado is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine, which arose as a result of indentured Chinese workers coming to Peru in the mid-1800s and introducing stir-frying and soy sauce to the region. The flavors and textures in this dish, with the quick-seared steak, spicy peppers and crispy fried potatoes, are sure to delight your senses and quickly turn this into a new household favorite. For a strictly Paleo version, use coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce, but note that using gluten-free tamari will result in a bolder flavor.


To prepare the potatoes, peel and cut them lengthwise into sticks ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick, then place the sticks in a large bowl. Cover with water and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Soaking the potatoes like this before frying is the secret to french fries that are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. If frying the potatoes, melt the fat in a large skillet over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Working in batches if necessary, carefully drop the potato sticks into the fat and cook, turning once or twice during frying, until golden brown and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate and season to taste with salt.

If oven-roasting, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Soak and drain as directed for frying, then coat with the melted fat and salt. Arrange the fries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, flipping once halfway through for even cooking.

To prepare the meat, combine the strips of steak and all the meat ingredients, except the avocado oil, in a bowl and toss well. In a large skillet or wok, heat the avocado oil over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Cook the meat in batches as necessary; do not overcrowd the meat in the pan. Rapidly stir-fry the meat for 3 to 5 minutes, until both sides are seared. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

To prepare the vegetables, using the same skillet, lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, stirring quickly for 10 to 20 seconds, then add the red onion, quickly stir-frying for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ajíes amarillos and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove everything with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the tomato wedges and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Increase the heat back to high and return the reserved vegetables and meat to the pan. Stir in the coconut aminos and vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. Just before serving, add the potatoes, stirring to combine with the meat and juices. Serve immediately. Traditionally paired with white rice, which you can replace with the "Arroz" Blanco o Amarillo de Malanga.

AIP COMPLIANT: Use coconut aminos and omit the peppers and tomatoes, optionally replacing them with zucchini slices and/or extra onion. Use Yuca Frita in place of the potato fries.



Piñon and pastelón are two variations of a similar casserole made with ripe plantains and ground beef. Depending on where in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic you are, the names can be used interchangeably or even reversed. It can be confusing. One features ripe plantains cut into strips, fried and layered like lasagna. The other features mashed ripe plantains turned into a pie crust. In Milagros's family, they call the plantain lasagna version pastelón, but other Puerto Ricans call it piñon. Either way, they are both delicious and perfect for feeding a crowd. The lasagna version is not AIP-friendly but the crust version is!


Prepare the lasagna: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

To peel ripe plantains, first slice off both tips with a knife, then cut a slit in the skin down the length of the plantain. Lift off the peel with your fingers. Cut each plantain lengthwise into strips about ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick. Aim for getting 5 slices per plantain.

In a large skillet, heat your fat of choice over medium heat until shimmering, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully arrange the plantain slices in a single layer in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate, cooking the remaining plantains in batches until all the strips are cooked. Try to keep them whole, but it's okay if some of them break apart during cooking.

Meanwhile, in a second large skillet, you can cook the meat filling while the plantains are frying. Place the ground beef and sofrito in the pan and cook over medium heat until the meat is about three-quarters of the way browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the meat is fully browned, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the oregano, 1½ teaspoons (9 g) of the salt and the olives, capers and lime juice. Lower the heat to low and cook until the plantain slices in the other pan are all cooked.

To assemble the lasagna, grease a large baking dish (9 x 13 inches [23 x 33 cm], at least 2 inches [5 cm] deep). Beat the eggs and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt with a whisk and pour half of this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the fried plantain slices in a single layer across the bottom of the dish, using whole strips if possible. Save any broken strips for the middle layer. You should need 9 to 10 strips per layer. Next, add half of the ground meat mixture and spread evenly. Add another layer of plantains (using up any broken strips), then the remaining meat mixture, and finish it off with the top layer of plantain, using whole slices if possible for presentation. Pour the remaining beaten egg mixture evenly on top of the casserole.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the egg is set and top of the casserole is golden brown. Allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving. Divide into 8 square servings and enjoy!

For the crust version, after peeling the plantains, place them in a pot and cover with water. Boil until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash with the cassava flour, fat of choice and the salt. Grease a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking dish and spread about half of the plantain mash across the bottom and up the sides. Fill with the meat mixture, then cover with the remaining plantain mash (you can roll the remaining mash into small balls and flatten between your hands, arranging these pieces side by side, then smoothing the seams together with your fingers).

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F (180°C) and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

AIP COMPLIANT: Make the crust version, omitting the red bell pepper from the meat mixture. Or simply use the AIP-compliant version of Carne Molida.



Peru Pollo a la brasa is a flavorful marinated roasted chicken recipe that is traditionally cooked in a rotisserie, but that you can roast in your oven with excellent results. Thanks to the rich marinade, the skin is very well seasoned and turns out extra crispy. Be aware that restaurants may use beer and/or soy sauce (which contains gluten) so be sure to ask about the marinade if you ever dine at a Peruvian restaurant.


2 tbsp (30 ml) coconut aminos (or gluten-free tamari if you tolerate soy)
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the chicken to create a marinade. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and gently separate the skin from the breast and from the thighs. Rub some of the marinade underneath the skin and use the rest to generously cover the skin of the chicken. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and remove all the air to allow the marinade to be in close contact with the skin. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, but ideally overnight for the most flavor.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Bake, uncovered, for about 1½ hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh (not touching bone) reads 165°F (74°C) and the skin is browned and crispy. Serve with Salsa Verde Mágica.

NOTE: Both huacatay paste and ají panca paste are readily available to order online and highly recommended. However, to replace huacatay paste, use a mixture of 2 parts regular fresh mint, 2 parts fresh cilantro and 1 part fresh basil. Blend them together with a little olive oil to create a paste, and freeze extra in portions in an ice cube tray. You can use pasilla peppers or ancho chiles to replace the ají panca.

AIP COMPLIANT: Omit the ají panca paste and black pepper and double the amount of huacatay paste (or the substitute herb blend suggested in the note). Add 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger to give it a spicy kick without the nightshades. I made this dish often when I was following strict AIP.


Excerpted from "Latin American Paleo Cooking"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Amanda Torres.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jennifer Robins 11

Introduction 12

Platos De La Familia

Family Dinners 15

Milagros's Famous Pernil Al Horno: Adobo Mojado Marinated Pork Roast 16

Vaca Frita: Garlic-Lime Fried Shredded Beef 19

Lomo Saltado: Steak and French Fry Stir-fry 20

Piñon/Pastelón: Ripe Plantain Lasagna or Meat Pie 23

Pollo a La Brasa: Marinated Roasted Chicken 26

Home-Style Arroz Con Pollo: Chicken with Rice 29

Mofongo Relleno De Camarones: Mofongo Stuffed with Shrimp 30

Pasteles: Green Banana Tamales 33

Viandas Con Bacalao: Tropical Starches with Salted Cod 37

Ropa Vieja: Shredded Beef in Tomato Sauce 38

Lechón Asado: Mojo Marinated Pork Roast 40

Masitas De Puerco Fritas: Mojo Marinated and Fried Pork Cubes 41

Chayotes Rellenos: Chayote Squash Stuffed with Meat 43

Sancocho: Tropical Starch Stew 44

Pabellón Criollo: Shredded Beef, Ripe Plantains, "Beans" and "Rice" 47

Icomida De Fiestai

Party Food! 49

Empanadas Al Horno: Baked Meat Turnovers 50

Mofongo: Mashed Green Plantains and Fried Pork Belly 53

Pastelillos: Fried Meat Turnovers 55

Bacalaítos: Salted Cod Fritters 56

Pandebono: "Cheese" Buns 59

Alcapurrias: Green Banana Fritters 60

Pupusas Con Chicharrón O "Queso": Stuffed "Corn" Tortillas 63

Aborrajados De Plátano: "Cheese"-Stuffed Fried Ripe Plantains 64

Arepas Colombianas: Savory "Corn" Pancakes 67

Arepas Rellenas: Savory Stuffed "Corn" Pancakes 68

Carimañolas: Meat Stuffed Yuca Fritters 71

Patacón Maracucho: Fried Plantain Sandwich 72

Chicharrónes: Fried Pork Belly 75

Mini Papas Rellenas: Mini Stuffed Potato Balls 76

Arañitas De Plátano: Shredded Fried Plantain "Spiders" 79

Rápido Y Fácil

Quick and Easy Meals 81

Pinchos De Pollo: Marinated Grilled Chicken Kebabs 82

Reina Pepiada: Chicken Avocado Salad 84

Pollo En Sofrito Para El AIP: Chicken in Sofrito for the AIP 85

Canoas De Plátanos Maduros: Meat-Stuffed Ripe Plantains 87

Mojo Chuletas De Puerco: Citrus Marinated Pork Chops 88

"Arroz" Con Pollo: Chicken with "Rice" 91

"Vaca" Frita De Pollo: Garlic-Lime Fried Shredded Chicken 92

Carne Molida: Ground Beef Hash 95

Picadillo: Sweet and Savory Ground Beef 96

Bistec De Palomilla: Thin-Cut Steak and Onions 97

Pollo Desmechado: Seasoned Shredded Chicken 98

Pollo a La Plancha: Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast 101

Anticuchos De Corazón: Marinated Beef Heart Kebabs 102

Churrasco: Grilled Skirt Steak 105


Sides 107

Papas a La Huancaína: Potatoes in "Cheese" Sauce 108

Plátanos Maduros: Fried Ripe Plantains 111

Mangú Con Cebolla: Mashed Green Plantains with Onions 112

Tostones/Patacones: Twice-Fried Green Plantains 115

"Arroz" Amarillo De Coliflor: Yellow Cauliflower "Rice" 116

Arroz Amarillo: Yellow Rice 117

"Arroz" Blanco O Amarillo De Malanga: White or Yellow Malanga "Rice" 118

Dulce O Salado Pure De Boniato: Sweet or Savory Mashed Boniato 120

Guineitos En Escabeche: Green Bananas in Oil and Vinegar 121

Yuca Con Mojo: Boiled Yuca with Tangy Garlic Sauce 123

Yuca Frita: Yuca Fries 124

Couve à Mineira: Brazilian Garlicky Collard Greens 126

"Caraotas" Negras De Vegetales: Vegetables Black "Beans" 127

"Caraotas" Negras De Yuca: Yuca Black "Beans" 129

Un Poco Dulce

A Little Sweet 131

Flan De Coco: Coconut Milk Custard 132

Pastel De Tres "Leches": Cake Soaked in 3 "Milks" 135

Tembleque: Coconut Milk Pudding 136

"Arroz" Con Dulce: "Rice" Pudding 139

Hojaldre: Puerto Rican Spice Cake 140

Cazuela: Pumpkin Boniato Crustless Pie 141

Panetela De Guayaba: Guava-Stuffed Cake 142

Plátanos Calados: Stewed Spiced Ripe Plantains 145

Los Esenciales

The Essentials (Sauces, Cooking Bases and More) 147

Sofrito: Flavorful Cooking Base 148

Adobo Majado: Garlic Oregano Wet Rub 150

Ajilimójili Sauce: Garlic Peeper Sauce 151

Mojo De Ajo: Garlic-Olive Oil Sauce 153

Mojo Criollo: Sour Orange Marinade 154

Salsa De Ajo Y Salsa Rosada: Garlic Cilantro Mayonnaise and Pink Sauce 157

Chimichurri: Garlic Parsley Steak Sauce 158

Ají Picante: Spicy Green Onion Sauce 161

Curtido: Spicy Cabbage Slaw 162

Salsa Verde Mágica: Magic Green Sauce 165

Guasacaca: Spicy Avocado Sauce 166

Pollo Desmenuzado Sencillo: Simple Shredded Chicken 167

Caldo De Pollo: Chicken Broth 168

"Queso" Amarillo: Yellow "Cheese" 169

"Queso" Blanco: White "Cheese" 170

Stocking the Latin American Paleo Kitchen 173

A Few Notes on Paleo Ingredients 177

Acknowledgments 179

About the Authors 180

Index 181

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Latin American Paleo Cooking: Over 80 Traditional Recipes Made Grain and Gluten Free 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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Delish, simply delish