Perfectly Balanced: Reasons to Love Costa Rican Casado

Can you imagine the sweet scent of your favorite meal? Can you taste it on your tongue, feel the texture of it in your mouth?

Maybe your favorite meal is something well-balanced like a vegetable stir fry. Maybe it’s meat, or fish, or something Italian.

Today we’re going to take a look at Costa Rican casado. Casados include a balanced range of nutrients that the body needs while still being delicious enough to eat by the truckload.

Read on to learn the main staples, the side items, and how to make your own casado.

Casado Staples

The casado can vary a bit depending on where you are and what you like, but there are a few mainstay parts to it.

Wherever you find a casado, you’ll always find a scoop of white rice on one side of your plate. To the side of your rice, you’ll have some black beans.

The black beans and rice are separate in a casado, so don’t confuse this with the Costa Rican favorite of gallo pinto where the rice and beans are mixed.

Alongside the rice and beans, casados always come with some sort of meat. This can be beef, pork, or fish – it all depends on your personal preferences.

Casado Optionals

Any casado will always come with rice, beans, and a type of meat. Once you’ve got those three staples, casados are a little bit more flexible on what else is included.

Many casados come served with another carbohydrate-heavy food like potatoes or a light pasta in addition to the rice. This section of your plate is often intended for flavor and will have spices to add a little kick.

Costa Rican people like their veggies, so you can expect to see some sort of salad. Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, lemons or limes, and peppers can all find their way onto the salad to give you a nutrient-packed dish.

Also, lots of Costa Ricans like to add a hint of sweet to their casado. A fried plantain or banana can top of this dish to leave you with a nice aftertaste.

Casado Recipe

Your own casado will depend a bit on what you like. We recommend starting with the beans and letting them slow cook overnight if possible. Be sure to add any meats, spices, or salts for maximum flavor.

Once the beans are ready, cook white rice and begin on your favorite meat. Beef, pork, and fish are common, but feel free to use a vegetarian alternative like tofu if you’d prefer.

Next, decide what optional foods you want on your plate. A salad helps balance the meal by adding some more vegetables, but many Costa Ricans like spicy potatoes for their flavor.

Add a hint of sweet to your plate by frying up a fruit. Bananas are a common plantain alternative and are sweet when fried. If you don’t want to fry a fruit, toss something on else. Many Costa Ricans like pineapple or papayas.

If you want to add a big hint of sweet to your meal, try some dulce de leche. You’ll be in heaven.

Your Next Dish

Now you know how to make a healthy and delicious casado. Check out our blog to read more about Latin foods, which ones are best for you, and how to make them.

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