Monthly Archives: August 2018

Chicken and eggplant Stew

My mom is an incredible cook!  She just knows how to make everything so good that you can’t just have one serving. She was my first inspiration for learning how to cook. She taught us kids how to make some of the basics. She always said that if you know how to cook, you can survive anywhere!

She makes a version of this recipe but with pork chops that is out of this world. I took her recipe and added a few more things, and I use chicken legs instead of pork chops.  I have made it with both pork chops and pork chunks. Every single time I make it, it turns out to be a masterpiece. If you want to make it vegetarian, use some tofu cubes and replace the chicken bouillon with vegetable bouillon. Reduce the cooking time when using tofu. And even though in the video I made it with brown rice, you can accompany the stew with many things: white rice, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, cassava, beets, or parsnips, and on and on. I even have a friend that is cutting carbs and puts it on top of her salads! It goes great with everything.


I prefer to use chicken legs and thighs because dark meat is so more flavorful than white meat. You can use boneless, but to me, bones are the way to go. They add more flavor. Remove the skin and trim most of the fat from them before cooking. If you leave all the fat, you will have a layer of liquid fat on top of your stew and it is a chore to remove it all. A little bit of fat goes a long way.

The base for the recipe is the sofrito. Sofrito is something that you can use to make stews, beans, yellow rice, and soups. You can buy sofrito in some Latin grocery stores. This sofrito is full of flavor and spice, and you will not find it premade in any store.


Chicken and eggplant stew

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin, Puerto Rican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 165 kcal
Author: Victor Zeno

 A delicious stew using a sofrito base. It is adaptable to any protein of your choice. 




  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cup onion
  • 1 cup green pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ham bouillon
  • 1 tsp coriander ground
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 envelope Sazon
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp oregano chopped
  • 1 tbsp culantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp Spanish alcaparrado
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper


  • 3 cup eggplant peeled and cubed
  • 5 chicken leg quarters skinned, trimmed and cut
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup wine


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, pepper, and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Lower the heat to Medium.
  2. Add bouillon, coriander, basil, paprika, Sazon, stir and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano, culantro, cayenne pepper and Spanish alcaparrado. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Season the chicken leg quarters with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the chicken to the pot, covering it with the sofrito.
  6. Add the wine, stir and cover the pot. Cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
  7. Peel the eggplant and cut into small ½” cubes.
  8. Add the eggplant cubes into the stew and stir. Cover the pot and cook for 20 more minutes.
  9. The stew is ready when the chunks of eggplant are soft like pillows and the sauce is thick.

Recipe Notes

Serve over rice (brown rice recipe is included in this video), potatoes or any tubers or vegetables of your choice. 

Nutrition Facts
Chicken and eggplant stew
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 225mg10%
Potassium 264mg8%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 175IU4%
Vitamin C 10.7mg13%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Black Bean Hummus

black bean hummus far

Black Bean Hummus is addictive! It is so good and easy to make, it will become one of your go-to recipes. My friend Prissy brought it to a party and it was so good, it was all gone in no time! She shared her recipe with me and then, like any good chef, I gave it my own flare. It is a little spicy, which mixes well with the garlic flavor and the earthiness of the cumin and coriander.  It is a fresh addition to your party or any meal!  It’s DELICIOUS!

This recipe is easily made in a food processor. If you don’t have one, a blender will do the job, just divide your ingredients into small batches and then mix all in a bowl.

When adding cayenne pepper, if you are not a fan of spicy food, start with adding ¼ of a teaspoon to the blend and taste. If it is not spicy enough, or you can take a little more heat, add the rest of the cayenne. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper and then add more if needed. Salt is necessary to bring the flavors together.


Black Bean Hummus

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 268 kcal

A clever version of regular hummus, spicy and delicious!



  • 30 oz black beans rinsed, drained
  • 2 tsp lime juice or lemon if you prefer
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp culantro chopped
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced approx 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper start with a bit less, then add to taste
  • ½ cup tahini sesame seed paste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Salt to taste


  1. Add all the ingredients into food processor.

  2. Pulse food processor until all the ingredients are mixed into a thick paste.

  3. Add more olive oil if hummus is too thick. 

Nutrition Facts
Black Bean Hummus
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 268 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 299mg13%
Potassium 472mg13%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 145IU3%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is so good! I love white rice, but once I tried brown rice, I got hooked. Brown rice is high in fiber and considered a whole grain. It has a nutty aroma, a chewy texture, and many essential nutrients. I like to season my rice so it saves me from having to make beans or something else to go with the rice. I am using chicken bouillon but if you are a vegetarian, you can always use vegetable bouillon or just salt, just increase the amount of salt to at least 1 tsp. I prefer to use long grain brown rice, but if you prefer shorter grain, just increase the amount of water to 2 ½ cups of water per cup of rice. This recipe will make 3 cups of rice.

When cooking brown rice, patience is a virtue. If you try to cook your rice fast, it will dry up and will not cook all the way. Nobody likes crunchy uncooked rice!

Brown Rice

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 107 kcal
This brown rice is seasoned, perfect by itself or as a companion to any meal.


  • 2 cups brown rice long grain
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Put the water to boil in High heat. 

  2. Add the chicken bouillon, salt and bay leaf in the water while you boil it and make sure you stir it until it dissolves in the water.
  3. Once the rice is boiling, add the rice, cover the pot and reduce to Medium heat.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed by the rice.
  5. Add the olive oil and stir, making sure all the oil is covering all the rice.
  6. Cover the pot with the lid and cook the rice for around 15 more minutes or until the rice is completely cooked.
  7. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Recipe Notes

There you go! Delicious brown rice that you will want to eat every day!

Nutrition Facts
Brown Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 107 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 76mg3%
Potassium 50mg1%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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