Sunday, October 20, 2013

What's Cooking?

When it comes to what is on the dinner table, for many Hispanic Americans, traditional recipes are a favorite. But lately with different health and fitness trends like going organic, paleo, or vegan coupled with exercise like Crossfit, abuelita’s cooking just isn't cutting it. For health conscious Hispanic Americans, when it comes to cooking at home, many are trading their seriously fattening white rice for brown rice, some scrapping it from their diets altogether. In an effort to fight obesity and adopt a more healthy lifestyle, traditional recipes are being altered by substituting traditional ingredients for healthier options.

Another thing to take into consideration about dietary changes in the Hispanic American community is the fact that second and third generations are learning to cook online. In the past, recipes for Hispanic dishes have been traditionally passed down in the kitchen at home from generation to generation by mothers, fathers and grandparents to children and grandchildren. Today, more and more people are going online to websites such as Pinterest and cooking sites like and allrecipes for dinner ideas. These websites are host to a community of people from all kinds of backgrounds that want to share their recipes with others.The end result is less time spent by second and third generation Hispanic Americans learning traditional Hispanic recipes, and more time online for culturally varied dishes at the dinner table. In the past, it may have been rare to see something like stir fry or fettuccine alfredo on a Hispanic dinner table, now it is the norm.

I like to think I have found a way to balance healthy eating habits and preserving the traditional recipes of my Hispanic American culture. I still occasionally make all of the traditional dishes but use as many organic and locally grown ingredients as possible. I also try to incorporate more vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini, and broccoli in addition to the ones Cubans traditionally use like beans, yucca, and  tomato. Even though, I believe tomato is technically a fruit... We are totally in denial.

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