Vege Chili with Beer

My airbnb guests often ask me which restaurants are the cheapest, with good food, that the locals go to in Vilcabamba. Here they are. Tell me if I’m missing any!

Mary’s Cafe – whole, huge meals for $2.50 and more, including the drink and a dessert

Kathleen’s, Papayas, and the one on the corner in back of the Terminal – traditional lunches for $2.50

The Chicken Broiler next to Timothy’s – ask for the $2.50 almuerzo (lunch.) It’s not one of the pictured meals, but it’s always there, huge, including soup, rice, beans and chicken. Same as Mary’s.

Tamale 60 cents plus a mango, 40 cents = $1.00

Smoothie at the Juice Factory – $3 or 3.50

Soup, amazing – always $1.00 at the Juice Factory

Split a huge enchilada or other meal at Mexibamba – $3 each and you get PLENTY.

El Yogur – an omelet for $3, and they’re really good, with veges and greens.

El Yogur – a juice and an egg

An avocado – 33 cents (3/$1.00) and celery to scoop it with – bring your hot sauce!

My sister writes – “My father in law always made his chili with beer.  I don’t recall that you could really taste it.  But I like the ideas of cashews.  Maybe even the raisins.

Recipe of the Day – Vege Chili with Beer


1 lb. cooked red beans

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 white onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2–3 T olive oil

1 lb. tomatoes

4-6 cloves garlic

6 T chili powder

1  T cumin

1/4 c. fresh parsley

1/4 c. fresh  oregano

1 can beer

1 c. cashews

½ c. raisins (optional)

Heat oil in large pot. Saute the onions until clear, then add celery, green pepper, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or so. Add tomatoes and beans; reduce to simmer. Add chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, beer and raisins (opt.). Simmer as long as you want. Sprinkle with cashews. Garnish with fresh parsley or grated cheddar cheese.

Word of the Day – cerveza – beer

Tip of the Day – Always look for the restaurants the locals inhabit frequently. That’s where the good food and best prices are!

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Banana No-Sugar Truffles

This woman stopped me in the street to exclaim on my daughter’s work with Faces of Montana.   Which is a page she started to get everyone tell their stories with healing from cannibas or cannibas oil. This woman also says she has looked at every piece of photography Clare had done and she says, in her words, that ‘Clare is at the forefront of artistic photography. She loves her work. ‘Here in Ecuador, commenting on my daughter in Montana. What a wonderful world network we live in! What!

Faces of Montana

is a project started to raise awareness about the people in our community. We are showing you who is being affected by limiting or changing the laws on medical marijuana. These are OUR PEOPLE, OUR LIVES, OUR COMMUNITIES that are being affected. If the laws in Montana make it more difficult to get a medical marijuana card, unnecessary suffering will happen.  In the state of Montana alone, it has helped over 13,640 people, and counting.

Recipe of the Day – Banana Truffles


3 bananas

2 c. oats

1/4 c. maca

1 c. almonds

chocolate coating: 1/4 c. cacao powder, dash salt, dash vanilla powder, 1 Tab. coconut oil

Directions: Blend the almonds in a food processor until they become flour. Add the bananas, oats and maca until mixture forms a ball. Roll into balls. Chill for 10 minutes or more. While you’re chilling, melt the coconut oil in a double boiler, then add the cacao, salt and vanilla until creamy.  Then roll each truffle in chocolate, and place on paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill or freeze. If you freeze them, they’re like ice cream!

Word of the Day – viaje – trip

Tip of the Day – These are great travel foods! Especially if you’ve got a little cooler to keep them cool.

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Sesame Oat Crackers

One of my sister, Mary’s favorite raw crackers. And mine! So good with guacomole, plain avocadoes, nut butters, salsa or almond yogurt. (See recipes this blog.) I’m having them right now with my morning lemongrass tea, and they feel so balancing to my body. 


Recipe of the Day – Sesame Flax Crackers

  • 1 c. flax/chia seeds
  • 2 c. tea or water
  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 T. dehydrated onion flakes or green onions
  • 1  1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. black sesame seeds
  1. Soak flax seeds in 2 cups water for 6 or more hours.
  2. Mix together with oat flour, 1/2 cup water, onion flakes, salt.
  3. Spread on non-stick dehydrator sheets about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and score with knife with your desired cracker shapes.
  4. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 4 hours. Remove non-stick sheets and place top up on screens. Dehydrate at least 4 more hours or until dry.

Word of the Day – valiente – brave

Tip of the Day – Every day I balance myself. Every day of my life. And I realize that greens are so much a part of that. Every day, to feel good, and happy, I have my greens. And sometimes I put greens in my crackers!

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R’s Refried Beans

Over and over, and over and over, things work out, never in the way I imagined. Here’s an example.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I live on about $300 a month, right? For all my bills, my food, my addiction to JF chocolate smoothies, and my taxis. But, of course, sometimes things come up.  And it may be boring to read, but so interesting to see how it all comes out.  Like this:

I saved $25 to give to the computer guy, but then he said my computer was un-fixable, at which time I gave it to Jose to pay my water guy for changing the water to my name. And then I had $6 left, and I wanted to give $5 to Jose for standing out in the street and waiting for the water guy, and hanging around to make sure he did it right. (He always does that.) Well,  Jose hasn’t shown up yet, but Wilson did, to clear my front yard for nothing! Because he wanted to pay back a favor! Whoa. He didn’t have to, and I told him, no, but he showed up anyway. But then he ran out of gasoline and oil for the weed-whacker, and that cost $6. And I’ll bet you that Jose won’t show up until I have the money! It always works out, it always does, for 57 years so far.


Recipe of the Day – Rafa’s Refried Beans


1 lb. soaked red or black beans

1 pot water

1 c. rice (optional)

2 green onions

2 basil leaes

1 Tab. olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic

2-3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. paprika

3 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin


Soak the beans overnight. (The rice, too, if you like – makes it softer.) Pour off the water and pour in fresh. Boil for 2 hours, here, in this altitude, until almost soft. When almost soft, add the cup of rice (making sure there’s enough water to accomodate the swelling of the rice. )  Add more water, if needed. Add the herbs and garlic. Heat up a skillet, then pour in the oil. When hot, saute the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, then add the beans. You can mash the beans in the pan, if desired. Season to taste.

Word of the Day – frijole – beans


Tip of the Day – If you discard the soak water, then let cook for an hour and discard

Fruit- Infused Water

My eldest brother is a Catholic Priest/Psychologist, based in L.A., CA. And he eats for energy. Well, he travels around constantly, giving weddings and funerals, and working between his Parish, hospitals and churches. So he simply puts a piece of fruit in a glass jar, smashes it down and pours water over it, for a quick energy drink. He’s been doing this for years in his car, while traveling around the stressful L.A. area!

Recipe for the Day – Fruit-Infused Water

1 c. mora or strawberries
1 c. blackberries
2 peaches, sliced
6 c. tea of choice, or water
1 1/2 c.  coconut water
1 gallon clean glass jar with lid

1. Place berries into the bottom of your jar, then the peach slices on top. Pour the tea/water and coconut water on top. Stir, cover, and chill one hour to overnight. Drink within 48 hours, or less if it’s hot!

Word of the Day – agua – water

Tip of the Day – Drink it.

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Carrot Top Ginger Smoothie

Okay, so it’s amazing how stressful it can be when your computer is failing! It was clicking, clicking, while the ball of death was turning, and everything was stopping. I had to turn it off and four times. Then the next day it wouldn’t stay open for 15 minutes! I worked furiously to get my work done, and then plop, down again. Luckily there is this wonderful man, Bruce Mc; here in Vilca. I called him and he said how many and what are the programs I had open. Four, I said, Netflix, Skype, Facebook and my mail program. And we found out what version computer I have, and he said I’m six versions behind the newest Skype update. Yikes. So no parts will fit or work in my old computer. Yikes. Then, my IPAD started failing, turning off whenever it wants to! Is this a weird-tech week for anyone else? Maybe with the full moon, then the equinox, then the eclipse? All three?

Recipe of the Day –
Carrot Top Ginger Smoothie

1 c. cold tea

1 frozen banana

1 c. frozen papaya

1 qt. carrot tops (or less to suit you)

1/4 ” ginger root

1 buscapina leaf


Blend all, with more or less tea to suit you. Yum! I’m drinking this tonight to soothe my less-than-wonderful stomach, and it feels So good! Did the same last night and slept wonderfully!

Word of the Day – hojas de la zanahoria – carrot tops

Tip of the Day – Grow buscapina, a tiny plant with tiny white flowers, in your garden, for use as an incredible sweetener, but more for a tummy soother. And boy, does it work! Especially for stomach cramps, but also for nauseaa. I’ve given it to several guests, all with immediate results.

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Roasted Garlic and Onion Spread

Hey, I live very simply here in Ecuador, by eating the food I grow, riding my bike, and living a simple life of about $300 a month. I live off my income from airbnb, from teaching Chi and Yoga, and from people looking at this site! Thanks for reading! Dorothy

Recipe of the Day – Roasted Garlic & Onion Spread


3 c. vegetable stock

2 c. green onion, chopped fine

1 1/2 c. cashews, soaked in 3 to 4 cups of warm water until softened, then drained

1/3 c. almond or coconut milk

3 cloves raw garlic, peeled

6 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and black pepper, to taste


Saute the onions and garlic in a baking pan and bake it at 400 degrees F. until the broth is almost gone.  Blend that onion/garlic mixture with the soaked cashews and milk. Season with salt and pepper, taste, then decorate with the sprigs of rosemary.

Word/Phrase  of the Day – Por favor, haz click – Please click!

Tip of the Day – Living simply has to do with an incredible enjoyment and love of the process. Living and breathing being in the moment, no thinking too much, bringing your creative solutions to bear, and asking for help when you need it. That’s the hard part for me!

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Almond Yogurt Rice with Pomegranate

Well, I went to town, taught tai chi, had a smoothie, got some groceries, then listened to the update of the meeting regarding solutions to the on-going violence in the area. But it was not until I ate a piece of chicken on top of salad – protein, that I had this immense feeling of just “Goodness”in my body. I had been vegan for five or six weeks, but was having depressions I couldn’t define the cause of. Anyway, I rode like a fiend back home, just feeling happy and well and singing “Zippidi-do-da.”                                                                                                                      A friend reminded me that, even though we don’t want to eat meat, and we’re so upset at the way animals are treated, we still have to go with our body types, sometimes, to feel balanced. So I ate that piece of chicken and felt dang good. Dang good! My daughter reminded me last night, that I started having this series of despondencies with the lack of meat in my diet. What a revelation! Hmmmm. And she’s right, it did occur at the same time, wow. It did have to do with the body. Wow. And I don’t have to have meat every day. Maybe once or twice a week of fish or chicken will suffice.

Recipe of the Day – Almond Yogurt Rice


2 c. cooked brown rice

1 c. yogurt (almond or pinenut, see this blog for recipe)

handful pomegranate seeds

1/2 c. cooked lentils.

a tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 bell or hot pepper


Mix the yogurt with the cooked rice. Then add the pomegranate seeds. Fry lentils in olive/coconut oil. Throw the mustard seeds in, and when they pop, add the turmeric and peppers. Stir well and eat room temperature.

Word of the Day – pollo – chicken, yogur – yogurt

Tip of the Day – Go with your body. Do what it tells you, and reallly listen.

Garlic Pine Nut Yogurt

From one of the new joy restaurants in Il Capo, the chef gave me her recipe for her delicious garlic yogurt. She uses it to dip her schwarmas, cucumbers and falafels, oh my gosh. I use it with my oat/sesame raw crackers. (see recipe this blog). Here’s my pine nut or almond version of the garlic yogurt.

Recipe of the Day – Garlic Pine Nut Yogurt


For the  pine nut yogurt:

1 c. soaked pine nuts or almonds

3/4 – 1 c. water

1 tsp.. rejuvelac or juice of 1/2 lemon

options: 3 cloves crushed garlic, or honey, or fruit

Directions: Put the nuts in a jar and soak one whole day. Drain the water. Let the nuts sit for a day. Pour in a blender with the water and blend well until creamy. Pour into a jar. Add the 1 Tab. rejuvelac or lemon into the jar and stir gently. Let sit with a paper towel or cheesecloth (something it can breathe with) at 70 degrees F. or higher, for 8 hours. After 8 hours, stir in your crushed garlic cloves, honey or fruit.

Word of the Day – restaurante – restaurant

Tip of the Day – Many foreigners here say, once they come to Vilca, they can eat milk products again. I’ve had a little of the cheese or yogurt occasionally with no adverse affects, quite unlike my history of discomfort with dairy foods in the U.S! Must be the lack of gmo’s, hormones and anitbiotics in the dairy!

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Fennel Gold Rush

“Look at those flowers, Dorothy,” Jose said. He was standing on the porch of my house, and we were looking out at the line of Copa de Oro’s – Cup of Gold flowers lining the stairway. “Those are from your house,” I said. He nodded. But I knew we were both thinking back over the year of all that he’d done for me: the house, the gardens, the flowers and trees from his own land. And for me, I was remembering the times he’d come over, like today, just to explain why the washer was holding water. Then he emptied it, cleaned it, cleaned the floor, and made sure I had all my documents for the new water line. For nothing. I didn’t even offer him money today, it would’ve been an insult to our friendship.

I humbly thank you for your friendship. Gosh.

Recipe of the Day – Gold RushIngredients:

1 qt. water

  • 2 parts lemon juice
  • 2 parts liquid honey
  • 1 fennel frond

Directions: Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice cubes.

Word of the Day – Copa de Oro – Cup of Gold

Tip of the Day – Drink lots of liquids, lots and lots. Always. Dorothy

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