"Reinventing Indulgence" One meal at a time!

I have been spoiled for many years spending time with my best friend’s Colombian family. I have been able to try many dishes from Bandeja Paisa to SANCOCHO! (I’m going soon to the V-SPOT Cafe in Brooklyn- they finally re-opened and I promise I will blog about their VEGAN Bandeja Paisa if it is still on their menu). Sancocho was generally prepared for big family outdoor events so it was common to see a huge pot  cooking for hours on a man-made fire pit… ah yes, the “camping” days! There was nothing better than that feeling of the warm soup with delicate plantains and delicious little corn on the cobs served over rice. Yes, it’s made with chicken (actually fish and/ or meats too) 
BUT- I had to make it vegan- I just had to! 

While getting lost in the cookbook section of a Long Island bookstore, I stumbled upon VIVA VEGAN: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers by Terry Hope Romero. I am a lover of many things latin– so obviously, I bought it! I am just now going through looking for healthy recipes or just famous dishes that I love so much. Easter sunday– VEGAN SANCOCHO on my mind- I did it! It came out spectacular!

I can almost hear my Dominican friends yelling in the background– “Sancocho is from DR”.. lol so I decided to do some research. It’s a popular dish in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Equador, Panama, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba- all having their own variations! Researching a bit further, I find, interestingly enough, that it’s origins are actually in Spain and the Canary Islands!

This is close to the original recipe in the vegan book with just a few more items!

Olive oil
Annatto-infused oil (I didn’t have this but it sounds good)
Hot chile- 1 or habanero pepper
Leek –1 large sliced into thin rings
Shallots- 4- I used scallions
Red onion- 1 
Green onions- 6 (I used 3 onions in total)
Bay leaf
Black pepper
Lime juice
Cilantro- while cooking and topped with when finished
Pumpkin- 1 calabaza peeled (I used half)
Potatoes- I used white and sweet potatoes cut into small chunks (not in original recipe- skins on for nutrition)
Yuca- I used frozen
Corn on the Cob- not in season so I used frozen (fresh, local and organic is best)
Green plantains- not my favorite but I used them
Sweet plantains- cut on a diagonal in slices- yummy!
Tomatoes- in the book but I didn’t want to go that route
Vegetable broth- recipe calls for 6 cups- I practically doubled it and mostly it was with water
*Avoid MSG flavorings, broths and boulions- save your neurological system from carcinogens
PROTEIN such as reconstituted TVP, seitan, lava beans or chick peas- I USED LIMA BEANS!

I started with a big sauce pot as used for making Sunday gravy- lol- that’s Italian talk for “BIG POT”– cooking for a big family meal! For the record, I call it sauce not gravy. Anyway, I started with the onion family- onions, leeks etc.. and the chile, all sautéed in olive oil. When this was going really nice, I added the heavier vegetables like the pumpkin, potatoes and carrots. At this point I added the vegetable broth and water. Each step I let this soup really cook. Next step was the spices– that’s the fun part! Then the green plantains followed by the frozen vegetables. When it was almost finished I added the sweet plantains and re-spiced! I don’t think re-spicing was in the recipe but come on… we all do it! 

Half way through this SANCOCHO process, I called AMPARO- the one who was always responsible for all the sancochos I have had. [Thanks Amparo & Angela!]  After she giggled at me for making it vegan (but proud at the same time)- she went over the ingredients with me- the only thing I forgot was GARLIC! Bad Italian I am- my grandmother would be rolling her eyes at me right now! I chopped some garlic in half way- and continued cooking, waiting and stirring. Funny thing is that I have usually had this meal over rice. I was going to make brown rice but how could I at this point. I had already turned this into a starch stew- but an incredibly fantastic one at that! 

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Sunday April 8th 2012 blog]


Comments on: "Vegan day 99: VEGAN SANCOCHO" (1)

  1. Thank you for posting this! I am a Colombian vegetarian and have been trying to make sancocho this way too. You should see the looks I get when I order vegetarian versions of Bandeja Paisa at Colombian restaurants. 🙂 Looks delish!

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