Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Costa Rican Experience

On my journey to wellness and renewed health, several people have had a profound impact on me. Kat Conrad is one of those people. Kat is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Holistic Health Counselor, Nutritional Coach, incredible raw food chef, and best of all, my friend. Recently Kat went to Costa Rica, to the Tanglewood Wellness Center, and came back with renewed health, and some great raw food ideas. These ideas turned into a Costa Rican Inspired Raw Vegan Culinary Experience. And an experience it was!

I had the opportunity to be a helper, decorator, photographer and guest at this extravaganza. I took almost 300 pictures and had the hardest time deciding which ones to post!

While Kat and her Mom, Lynda, were busy doing magic in the kitchen. Stevie, Kat's roommate, an event planner at TASM, and I decorated. OMG, Stevie can make a weed look great. Out to the backyard she went, and in came cuttings of this that and whatever, and the house was transformed. It was so fun.

This is Stevie. She is such a beautiful person.

And she can stand on her own two feet. (Check out those shoes!!!)

Here are a few of the evenings decorations:

Kat's mom, Lynda, made the place mats and the napkins. 

Even the bathroom sink got decorated!

Now let's talk about the menu. I never heard of half of the things on the menu, but I am here to tell you I ate them all! Yes, this was a culinary delight!

Check out this pitcher. I want it! This was the drink of the night: "Chan Fresco"
This chia seed drink with lime juice and honey was excellent.

Served with a wedge of fresh pineapple, it was totally refreshing.

The First Course: Ceviche
"white fish" marinated in lime juice with sweet peppers, red onions and cilantro

The white pieces, the "fish," was made from oyster mushrooms and even tasted "fishy"! I loved the presentation. The chips were amazing too. 

The Second Course: "Guiso de Maiz"
Corn stew with "chorizo sausage" & "bacon"

This was my favorite dish of the night. You better believe I left none in my bowl!! The "bacon" and "sausage" topping totally enhanced this yummy stew. I will make this stew, soon!

The Third Course: "Flor de Calabaza Tamal"
Squash blossom tamale filled with creamy cheese & Anaheim peppers

The squash blossoms were fresh from the farmer's market and the filling was creamy and delishious. Another pretty presentation of the night.

The Fourth and Main Course: "Casado Tipica"
Marriage of typical Costa Rican foods: "Gallo Pinto" (rice and beans), marinated "beef," "white fish," sweet plantain, fresh green salad, avocado, mango salsa, sour cream and corn tortillas.

All plated beautifully on a banana leaf. What a combination of flavors and textures on this dish! And color!

This is Kat and her Mom. Two amazing ladies. 

The Fifth Course: "Arroz con Leche"
"Rice with milk" pudding with cinnamon, cloves, raisins and lime zest. The perfect final touch to this amazing eating experience. 

The square of chocolate was made by Kat's friend, Ronnie Landis, who is launching a chocolate line. It was awesome chocolate!

With dessert, Teeccino was served.

This is a really nice alternative to coffee. Here is the package in case you might want to try it.

So there you have it: a Costa Rican Inspired RAW Vegan Culinary Experience by Kat Conrad.

The flavors, the colors, the textures, the smells, the creativity, combined with some great people, made this an evening that truly was a culinary experience. 

Then of course, there is this. Holy cow. The clean up! Lynda is one hard worker in the kitchen.

And here is Kat, eating the fruits of her labor, at the end of the evening. She is just remarkable and one of the sweetest people I am fortunate to know.

And there is more . . . an ebook! Kat is giving each guest an ebook with every recipe she created to make this dinner. 

I can't wait to get mine! 


  1. SO SORRY I missed this one!!! I haven't been feeling great, but I hope to come SOON!! Fabulous Photos Kathy!

  2. What is that brown tortilla looking thing made out of?


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