Source: CanolaInfo | Story Posted: October 10, 2014 | Category: Recipes & Cooking

Simple Swaps for Latin Cooking

Latin cooking can be healthier with simple swaps that make traditional recipes better for you and enhance the flavors. In these recipes from his soon-to-be-released book “Whole Body Reboot”, registered dietitian and author of the Peruvian Power Foods book series, Manuel Villacorta replaces unhealthy fats such as lard and butter with heart-healthy canola oil. Try all three together for a colorful and delicious family meal.

Peruvian Beans à la Cilantro

These nutrient-rich beans are loaded with flavor thanks to two traditional techniques: adding a fragrant aderezo (seasoning) to the pot as well as a cilantro-based broth. Canola oil’s neutral taste lets these flavors shine brightly. No need for lard here!


  • 1 pound canary adrezo beans 
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ají amarillo paste (or mild chili paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 4 cups vegetable stock 
  • Salt and pepper  


  1. Put beans in stockpot and cover with 3 inches of water. Let them soak 4 hours. Drain beans in colander, discarding water.
  2. Transfer beans back into stockpot and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain beans in colander, discarding water (this process helps remove oxalates in beans, which are responsible for gastrointestinal discomfort).
  3. Transfer beans back into stockpot and set aside.
  4. Put canola oil in medium-size sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, prepare aderezo (seasoning) by adding onion, garlic, ají and cumin to pot. Sauté mixture until soft and fragrant. Add aderezo to pot with beans.
  5. Put cilantro and stock in blender. Purée until smooth and transfer to pot of beans.
  6. Bring beans, aderezo and cilantro mixture to a boil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat and cook beans at a simmer for about 1 hour or until soft. Serve warm.

Note:  Beans will keep in the refrigerator for three to five days and can be reheated as needed.

Servings: 4. Serving size: 1½ cups.

Pork Tenderloin with Peruvian Spice Rub

Chili, cumin and turmeric spice up this pork tenderloin – one of the leanest cuts of pork. Canola oil binds these flavors in the rub plus its high-heat tolerance makes it ideal for roasting at high temperatures without burning.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup ají panca paste (or mild chili paste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin


  1. In small bowl, combine canola oil, cumin, turmeric, ají band garlic. Stir to form spice paste.
  2. In small roasting pan, place pork tenderloin and coat with spice rub, making sure to cover entire surface. Let it marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 °F.
  4. Roast pork tenderloin for 20 minutes or until desired doneness. Let it cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Note: Pork tenderloin will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

Servings: 8. Serving size: 4 ounces.

Ají Vinaigrette

With lime juice and chili paste, this vinaigrette is bright and lively for any salad. Added bonus: it’s healthier and tastier made with canola oil.


  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ají amarillo paste (or mild chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt and pepper  


  1. In bowl of food processor, put all ingredients and process until smooth. Store in airtight container, refrigerated, for one to three days.

Servings: 4. Serving size: 2 tablespoons.