The Global Kitchen: Recipes from Blue Osa, Costa Rica

It’s been a while since we last brought you a worldly recipe to try out from the comfort of your own home. We’re making up for it today with not one, but two delicious and easy recipes straight from the kitchen of Blue Osa. These recipes, just like Blue Osa, are extremely special to us. We hope you enjoy!

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Blue Osa Kitchen

The Osa Peninsula is located in southwestern Costa Rica. It very much remains remote and undeveloped, an idyllic tropical rainforest that has yet to see the burdens of over-tourism. The Osa Peninsula is where the magic happens; in reflection, it was easily the pinnacle of our Costa Rican journey.

Blue Osa beach

Tucked away on the eastern coast of the Osa Peninsula is a yoga retreat center by the name of Blue Osa. In a way, we accidentally stumbled upon Blue Osa; as it would turn out, we were so very glad we did. Our week at Blue Osa was much more than we could ever have imagined. But we can’t give it all away now—we’ll be blogging more about our Blue Osa Experience later this week, and we guarantee it’s an experience you’ll want to take part in. For now, we’re going to wet your appetite with a few gourmet snippets.

Blue Osa

Anyway, it’s only fitting to begin our Blue Osa narrative by talking about food. As soon as we arrived at the resort we sat down to a large, colorful lunch with the staff. It couldn’t have been a better first impression.

Blue Osa Salad Food_7

Blue Osa serves only fresh, farm-to-table food, a portion of it grown on the property grounds. This garden is the result of the sweat, heart and soul of Lara and Alex. Lara is a work exchange volunteer, actually cultivating the organic garden from the ground up in exchange for meals, accommodation, and yoga classes at Blue Osa. She’s a remarkable woman, and her positive energy radiates throughout the retreat grounds. Alex is a local Tico, a man who first came to Blue Osa as a part of the construction staff and now stays on as a crucial caretaker and creator of the garden.

Blue Osa Garden Staff

Lara and Alex were kind enough to give us a tour of the garden, to introduce to us the origins of some of the food we were so much enjoying during our stay. We saw lemongrass, star fruit, tomatoes, squash, peppers, aloe, lettuce, green beans…and that’s just the start! Dan and I have absolutely no gardening experience, but witnessing the passion that Lara and Alex have for their project is inspiring. Of course, our taste buds highly appreciated all their efforts.  Not all the food served at Blue Osa can come from the garden yet. However, all the food served is fresh and local, whether it’s the locally sourced fish caught straight off the coast or the free-range eggs picked up from the neighbor. Not only does this contribute to the fresh and flavorful cuisine, but to the local economy as well.

Blue Osa Garden_6

Star Fruit

Pinapple plant

Garden
If you have the freshest ingredients, it’s only fitting to have the best staff to prepare it. Once again, Blue Osa lives up to the call. The mother in the kitchen is Marie. Actually, Marie is very much the mother of the Blue Osa property; she was the initial owner of the grounds, and in a rather humorous anecdote, the first person Aaron and Adam (the Blue Osa visionaries we’ll introduce later this week) would meet. Aaron and Adam insisted that Marie had to come with the property. She did. A self-taught chef with French and Italian roots, Marie and her husband operated a French bistro in San Francisco, and later a French restaurant in Cartagena, Colombia.  Now she splits her time at Blue Osa amongst various other places, but her guidance and recipes still influence the kitchen staff. We had the opportunity to sit down with Marie for a few meals, and let us tell you—she is one energetic woman, full of wit and humor, often speaking a fabulous mixture of French, English and Spanish in the same sentence.

 

While Marie is the mother of the kitchen, we can’t mention the cuisine without also talking about the rest of the cook staff. Specifically, there’s Jose, the kitchen manager. Jose first came to Blue Osa as part of the construction team, but he would stay on after the retreat center was finished to blend, cut, boil and create alongside Marie. Jose brings his creativity and knowledge of local cuisine to meet Marie’s French and Italian background; the result is a unique fusion only available at Blue Osa.

 

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So it should go without saying that we are excited to be bringing you these special recipes today. Just typing them out makes our mouths water, invokes such sweet memories of the meals we shared with our new friends at Blue Osa. We encourage you to give them a try and then let us know what you thought!

 

Spicy Passion Fruit Cocktail

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I had one of these almost every night during our stay; I just couldn’t resist! They’re not too sweet, with just the right amount of kick. If you’re entertaining anytime soon, these are guaranteed to impress!

Note: Dan doesn’t do spicy, and he still loved these! However, the drink is also delicious if you omit the red pepper.

 

Ingredients:

 

Pinch of red pepper

2 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. sugar

1 lime, cut into wedges

1 basil leaf, cut into strips

2 oz. passion fruit infused Cacique*

1 oz. club soda

Ice

 

Preparation:

Combine red pepper, lemon juice and sugar; mix well and set aside. Muddle 4 lime wedges and basil leaf. Top lime and basil with ice, Cacique, club soda and red pepper mixture. Shake well and serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

*Cacique is local Costa Rican liquor. Substitute any passion fruit infused liquor, or try making your own!

 

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto is a signature Tico (Costa Rican) dish. It’s commonly served for breakfast in Costa Rica, but try it any time of the day at home!

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Ingredients:

 

2 cups of cooked white short grain rice

1 cup of cooked red beans

1/2 cup of Salsa Lizano*

1/3 red pepper (chopped)

1/3 white onion (chopped)

1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic

1/3 cup of chopped cilantro

 

Preparation:

 

1. Sauté the onions, pepper, and garlic in a large pan

2. Add the cooked beans and the Salsa Lizano

3. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes

4. Stir in the cooked rice

5. Simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until all excess liquid is absorbed

6. Fold in the fresh cut cilantro

7. Serve warm

 

*Salsa Lizano is a signature sauce of Costa Rica. If it is unavailable at specialty shops, try substituting a blend of Worchester Sauce and Red Picante (Spicy) Sauce. If you’re really ambitious, you can also try this substitute.

 

Blue Osa does a wonderful job of proving that healthy, fresh and natural food can be mouth-wateringly delicious, too! If you’re looking for a few more dishes to enhance your week-night menu, check out the Blue Osa Blog. They share recipes, amongst other inspirations, on a regular basis!

Remember to stop by later this week for Part 2 of the Blue Osa Experience. In the meantime, happy cooking!

 

What’s your favorite recipe you’ve learned to cook on your travels? Have you ever tried Gallo Pinto? What international cuisine would you like to know how to cook?

Meet: Casey Siemasko


Casey Siemasko is a blogger, content marketer, and co-founder of A Cruising Couple. She has been living and traveling outside of the US full-time since 2011. She finds her life inspiration in exploring the world and seeks to find the magic in the most ordinary of places.

17 Comments

  1. Yum yum yum! Oh my god, the avocado! And the pineapple! So jealous right now – here in wintry Europe, we won’t be tasting anything that fresh for a while.
    Sam recently posted…Vegetarian Cuenca: Best EatsMy Profile

    Reply
    • We are definitely taking advantage of the fresh fruits and veggies while we can before everything (including us) will be frozen when we fly into Sweden.

      Reply
  2. I really regret now not having visited Osa Peninsula while in Costa Rica. Blue Osa looks like a great place to stay and the food … the food nothing better than getting it fresh out of your own garden. I have to go now cause I want to try out this spicy passion fruit cocktail 🙂 Can’t wait to read more about your stay there.
    Freya recently posted…Top 5 things to do in Cusco PeruMy Profile

    Reply
    • The Osa Peninsula was like all the best things about Costa Rica on steroids! The perfect reason to go back 😉

      Reply
  3. I would certainly love this place as I’m a big fan of fresh fruits and healthy food. I totally agree with Freya that there is nothing better than getting your food fresh out of your own garden!

    Reply
    • They do a great job of using whatever happens to be in season and it always tastes amazing!

      Reply
  4. Food was the biggest surprise to me when we visited Costa Rica – much higher quality than I expected and a huge focus on organic.

    Though rice & beans got a bit old 😉

    Great recipe btw – I’ll give it a try!
    Adam @ Visit Flyover Country recently posted…Albuquerque, NM: Duke CityMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tico cuisine is not typically known for it’s quality/variety :-p We had rice and beans a loooot more than we would have liked, but this recipe was by far our favorite! The variety of food at Blue Osa was such a welcome relief.

      Reply
  5. Food just tastes better when it comes from nearby, doesn’t it? I would LOVE to try that cocktail!! I just found guava rum here so I might try it with that!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted…Roatan Month 17 RoundupMy Profile

    Reply
    • YUM guava rum sounds delicious! Let us know how it goes if you try it!

      Reply
  6. Don’t you just love staying at a place that also has great food. Even though I love to go out and find places to eat, I also love it when all I have to do is walk downstairs to a great meal. I can wait to try your recipes…I’m soooo hungry!
    Corinne recently posted…Instagramming the Berlin WallMy Profile

    Reply
    • Couldn’t agree more! We also love to explore and eat street food and what not, but sometimes it is so nice to have something like a ‘home-cooked’ meal all ready for you at the end of the day 🙂

      Reply
  7. This place looks like the one I would stop to have some food, I’m always looking for fresh fruits and veggie, also that spicy passion fruit cocktail sounds quite intriguing, I wanna try it.
    Franca recently posted…Unusual Architecture at the House Of The Owls, RomeMy Profile

    Reply
    • It is so, so yummy!! Thinking about making some for myself this weekend 🙂

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Traveling in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Guide - A Cruising Couple - […] Gallo Pinto: Typically served as a breakfast dish, Gallo Pinto consists of rice and beans (mixed together), scrambled eggs,…
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  3. The Blue Osa Experience | A Total Mind-Body-Soul Transformation - […] Osa is a place to rejuvenate. We already talked about the healthy and delicious food the Blue Osa kitchen…

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