Spice Up the Holidays with Latin Sides

Roasted Winter Veggies

(Family Features) Prepare a fiesta this holiday season with side dishes inspired by the Latin kitchen for a lively alternative to your typical celebration. Recipes that draw on regional ingredients, such as chili peppers, cilantro, yuca and quinoa, are a delicious way to amp up flavor and bring Latin American style to holiday spreads.

“These recipes are a change of pace to more traditional holiday menus and are also good for you with an average of only 125 calories per serving,” said Manuel Villacorta, an award-winning registered dietitian who developed CanolaInfo’s recipe collection. “The dishes have all the Latin flavors I love + an extra measure of nutrition thanks to canola oil, which has a neutral taste to let other ingredients shine, and also contains the least saturated fat of all common vegetable oils.”

Fiesta Rice

  1. In large saucepan, bring broth to boil, then stir in wild rice and salt. Reduce heat and simmer covered 40-45 minutes, or just until kernels puff open. Uncover and fluff with fork and simmer additional 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid.
  2. Place cooked rice in large serving bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. In large sauté pan, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until translucent.
  4. Add peppers, walnuts and raisins. Cook until lightly browned and fragrant. Add sautéed mixture and parsley to wild rice. Stir to combine and serve warm.

Serves 16

Quinoa Salad with Aji Amarillo Dressing

Quinoa Salad




  1. Rinse quinoa well under cool water in fine sieve for several changes of water. Drain well. In large pot, boil vegetable broth and quinoa over medium heat. Reduce to simmer and cook quinoa until tender but still firm to bite, about 15 minutes. It’s done when germ separates, making it look like a curly Q. Drain well and return quinoa to pot off heat. Cover with tea towel and replace lid, allowing it to steam and fluff as it cools.
  2. For dressing, add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. For salad, if using fresh peas, bring medium-size pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add peas and cook about 5 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water to cool. If using frozen, skip this step.
  4. In large mixing bowl, combine cooled quinoa, peas, beans, celery, red onion and dressing. Mix until dressing is distributed evenly and serve.

Serves 10

Notes, Tips & Suggestions: May be prepared one day ahead.

Green Bean Saltado

Green Bean Saltado
  1. In large sauté pan or wok, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add green beans and cook 5 minutes.
  2. Add onion, garlic, paste, vinegar, soy sauce and cumin. Stir to combine. Cook 3-5 minutes or until onions are fragrant but still hold their shape.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add cilantro. Stir to combine. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Roasted Winter Veggies and Tri-Color Potatoes

Roasted Winter Veggies
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In large roasting pan, place vegetables. Add rosemary, canola oil, salt and garlic powder, and stir to combine. Cook about 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 10

Source: CanolaInfo

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