Garnaches and Street Food from Belize

Garnaches from Belize

Garnaches are a popular street food in Belize made by frying a corn tortilla and topping it with refried beans, pickled carrots, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. This recipe is so easy to make and even easier to love!

My Opinions on Street Food

Street food… my favorite way to eat. Listen, I’m ALL. FOR. going out to eat at fancy restaurants (just ask my boyfriend, he’ll roll his eyes and tell you I’m right). But when I’m traveling in a new country, there’s nothing like some good street food.

I don’t know what it is about street food, but there’s something that makes eating from a vendor cart make the food taste infinitely more magical. Eating with your hands while you’re walking down brand new streets, seeing beautiful sights you’ve dreamt of experiencing? Life doesn’t get any more perfect than that.

Garnaches from Belize

Street Food in Belize

So today, I’ll be featuring a Belizean street food on the blog… Garnaches!

Belize’s neighboring, Spanish-speaking countries influence most of the street food in the country. Besides garnaches, other popular foods are tacos, panades (fried corn patties with fish and beans), and salbutes (hot, fried tacos).

So what are Garnaches?

A garnache is a flat, fried corn tortilla topped with refried beans, carrots, cheese, cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes. This recipe for garnaches is purely vegetarian (and vegan!) and doesn’t include any meat. It would, however, be very easy to shred some chicken or pork and top your garnache with your protein of choice.

Garnaches from Belize

If you’re looking for an easy and authentic recipe from Belize, this is your go-to. You could make life complicated. You could make your own tortillas instead of buy them. You could make your own refried beans instead of buying from the can. I’m all for homemade, but I think that the beauty of this recipe has something to do with its ease. So buy the tortillas, pop open the can, and get enjoying these garnaches!

If you liked this recipe from The Foreign Fork, be sure to check out the Maamoul Date Cookies from Bahrain and this awesome Borscht Soup from Belarus. If you make this garnaches recipe, make sure to post a photo on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork. Leave a comment on the recipe, too, and tell me how you liked it! And don’t forget to come back next week to see some authentic recipes from the country of Benin.


Garnaches (Belize)

Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Belize
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 Garnaches

Ingredients

  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 can refried beans
  • Cabbage
  • One carrot peeled and shredded
  • One onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • Cheddar block shredded
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Place the shredded carrots and sliced onions in the ½ cup vinegar and allow to soak for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the oil to 325 degrees and fry the tortillas until crispy. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
  3. Heat the refried beans according to can directions.
  4. Top the fried tortillas with warm beans, pickled carrots and onions, shredded cheese, shredded cabbage, and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Belize

Banana Cake from Belize

This is my very favorite banana cake recipe, complete with an incredible cream cheese frosting. Flavored with a (perfect) overload of bananas, cinnamon, and buttermilk, this banana cake is almost like a combination of cake and banana bread. And boy, oh boy, are you gonna want to try it.

I eat, on average, probably about 6 bananas a week. It’s very rare for me to start a work day without a banana for breakfast, and when I’m hungry and craving something sweet on the weekends, a banana and peanut butter is my snack of choice. Bananas are a gift from the Good Lord… truly. They’re perfect portable snacks, complete with their own all-natural packaging! Nature is genius, I tell ya.

Banana Cake in America vs. Belize

Because of my love for bananas, I obviously love all banana baked goods as well. Banana bread… or banana muffins… can’t forget about banana cake. God, I love banana cake. And I especially love this treat when it comes with cream cheese frosting.

Banana cake is a little different in America than it is in Belize. In America, this treat is more of a cake-y texture; It’s light and fluffy. This texture is achieved by adding only a few bananas and quite a bit of flour to the recipe. The less bananas in the recipe, the less moisture in the batter, and the fluffier the cake!

Belizean Banana Cake

In Belize, the recipe is very different. Most recipes that I found for the Belizean version had around 6 bananas in the recipe, and not very much flour. Belizean banana cake is very dense, even denser than banana bread! It’s flat and moist and the banana taste is very prominent!

Both have their perks, right? I love a good light, fluffy cake, but I also love a great banana flavor. So naturally, I took the middle route. My banana cake had four bananas in the recipe, making it lighter than the Belizean version but still with the great banana flavor! The texture is comparable to a banana bread, but in a sheet form.

The Cream Cheese Frosting

And the cream cheese frosting….. Oooooh baby that cream cheese frosting makes all the difference in the world. I got the frosting recipe from my very favorite source: Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s fluffy and creamy and honestly, the best part of any recipe that its a part of.

Have I convinced you to try it yet? YES?!?!? Oh good. Because the recipe is posted below. When you try it, post a photo on Facebook and Instagram so that I can see (make sure to tag @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork). And leave a comment, as always, so that I know how it was. Don’t forget to tune in on Sunday for a GREAT Belizean street food recipe, garnaches.

Banana Cake from Belize
5 from 1 vote
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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Belize)

This is my very favorite banana cake recipe flavored with a (perfect) overload of bananas and cinnamon and an indescribable cream cheese frosting.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Belize
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 18 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 8 tbs 1 stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • tsp salt

Instructions

Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in melted butter.
  3. Use an electric mixer to add eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and buttermilk.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add dry mixture into the wet mixture, and mix until combined and then for 1 ½ minutes.
  6. Grease a 9×13 pan and pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and cover top with aluminum foil. Continue baking for another 20 minutes.

Make the Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add in 3 cups powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then switch to high speed and beat for two minutes.
  3. Once the cake is cooled, spread the frosting on the cake, top with banana slices, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Cake recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.

 

Frosting recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans from Belize

Red Beans and Coconut Rice from Belize

Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans from Belize is a great way to change up your rice and beans recipe! The rice is cooked with coconut milk to give the dish a rich, coconutty flavor.

It’s no secret that rice and beans are a staple in MANY diets across the world. Rice is universal, and I’ve already released a few rice and beans recipes on the blog to date.

It’s true that rice and beans never get old, but still, it’s necessary to keep things interesting. That’s why I was excited for this Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans from Belize. This recipe is perfect because it’s cooked with one of my very favorite ingredients… coconut milk!

The coconut milk gives the rice and beans a very unique taste…. They have a slight hint of coconutty flavor, which is what makes them so interesting.

Belizean Red Beans and Coconut Rice

The Beans in Your Red Beans and Coconut Milk Rice

The rice in this dish is delicious because it’s cooked with the coconut milk, but it’s made even more tasty by the addition of Red Beans! The red beans add some protein and fiber to the dish, making it more filling and healthy to eat.

This recipe calls for dried red beans, and the instructions walk you through the steps of softening up the beans to add into the rice dish.

If you want to use canned beans, you can definitely do so! Simply skip the soaking/boiling steps and add the canned red beans into the water about 10 minutes before the rice is done.

This will boil them enough to give them some flavor but not so much that they become too tender and fall apart.

Can You Substitute Coconut Milk for Water in Rice?

Yes, 100%! In fact, that’s what we do in this recipe. The water to rice ratio is normally 1:2. 1 cup rice to 2 cups of liquid.

Instead of substituting all 2 cups of water with coconut milk, I did a half and half split. This thins out the coconut milk to boil the rice in, but still gives a nice hint of coconut flavor!

I have also seen recipes that boil the rice as normal (with water) and then add the coconut milk in at the end. You can do this if you’d like, but it tends to make the rice a bit wetter. Instead, I like to add the coconut milk right into the cooking process.

What Ingredients are In This Dish?

Dry kidney beans
Garlic
Onion
Red bell pepper
Olive oil
Salt
White rice
Coconut milk
Water

How to Make Coconut Milk Rice with Red Beans

Place kidney beans in container and cover with water. Let sit for 8 hours overnight to soften.

Drain the beans. Put beans in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Add garlic.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour until beans are tender.

Remove from heat. Mix onion, red bell pepper, vegetable oil, salt and black pepper into the beans.

In a separate pot, melt the better. Toast the rice in the butter for about 3 minutes. 

Add the water and the coconut milk into the rice, and also dump in the kidney bean mixture. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.

Red Beans and Coconut Rice from Belize

Tips for Boiling Your Beans

The first time that I tried making this recipe, I boiled my beans until they were perfectly tender and ready to eat. I failed to realize that I still needed to cook them for a half an hour longer with the rice.

By the time I finished the last step of the recipe, I realized I had overcooked the beans so badly that they had become dry and crumbly.

I recommend that you cook the beans until they’re almost ready, but not quite. You want to be able to bite through them easily, but you don’t want them completely soft on this first step.

What Goes Best with Coconut Rice?

This dish has enough protein in it that it can act entirely as a main course if you need it to. This would be a great way to get a healthy and cheap meal to last you a really long time.

If you want to add some protein with your Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans, I have a few ideas for you:

Red Beans and Coconut Rice from Belize

What To Do with Leftover Coconut Milk Rice

This dish was DELICIOUS and became my packed lunch for work for 2 whole weeks (yes, I cooked this recipe two weekends in a row). Towards the end of the rice and beans’ life, I really wanted to switch up the flavor a little bit, so I turned my Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans into FRIED Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans.

Put a tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan. Once it heats up, add about one serving of your Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans. Then, scramble an egg in a separate bowl and add it to the pan to cook with the rice.

When the rice warms up and the egg is almost cooked through, add about a tablespoon of coconut aminos or soy sauce to the pan. This adjustment to the rice and beans makes them taste like an entirely different, but still incredibly delicious, meal. I would highly recommend!

If you try making this Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans from Belize, make sure to take a photo and post it on facebook or instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork. Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think!

If you liked this recipe, make sure to also check out these recipes that I chose just for you!:

Red Beans and Coconut Rice from Belize
4 from 2 votes
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Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans

Coconut Milk Rice and Red Beans from Belize is a great way to change up your rice and beans recipe! The rice is cooked with coconut milk to give the dish a rich, coconutty flavor.

Course dinner
Cuisine Belize
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Soaking Time for Beans 12 hours
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry kidney beans
  • ½ tbsp chopped garlic
  • ½ onion chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Place kidney beans in container and cover with water. Let sit for 8 hours overnight to soften.
  2. Drain the beans. Put beans in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Add garlic.

  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour until beans are tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Mix onion, red bell pepper, vegetable oil, salt and black pepper into the beans.

  5. In a separate pot, melt the better. Toast the rice in the butter for about 3 minutes. 

  6. Add the water and the coconut milk into the rice, and also dump in the kidney bean mixture. 

  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For personal or educational use only. 

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin from Belize

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin is the perfect recipe for an easy meal. The meat will soak in the marinade for about three hours, you pop the meat in the oven, and viola… A yummy, boozy dinner straight from Belize.

I have a confession here. The original recipe for this recipe was Rum Soaked Pork Chops. But I gave Mama Foreign Fork a shopping list on cooking day and she came home with some teeny pork tenderloins so… the recipe became Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin. If you really want to know the truth, I didn’t even know the difference until my dad pointed it out while we were eating dinner #sorrynotsorry. We just don’t eat a lot of pork in my house.

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin Plate

Picking Rum for Your Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin

Soaking your meat in alcohol is, for some, a dream come true. I’m not really a meat gal or an alcohol gal (beer chicken is NOT my thing), so it took some convincing to make this recipe. But yeah, it’s a keeper. I used Bacardi on my Pork Tenderloin, because it was the only white rum I had laying around the house. I’m sure there’s some higher quality rums out there that you could use if you prefer. For me, the Bacardi worked just perfectly.

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin Close Up

This recipe is sweet from the brown sugar but a little tart from the lime. And it definitely has a nice touch of rum flavor. It’s the perfect combination for a dinner outside on the summer patio. Make yourself a mojito to go with it and you have yourself a feast.

If you liked this recipe for Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin from Belize, make sure to check out my recipe for Bahama Mamas from the Bahamas. If you make this recipe, post a photo on Facebook or instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork. Leave a comment below to let me know how you like it!

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin (Belize)

Rum Soaked Pork Tenderloin is the perfect recipe for an easy meal. The meat will soak in the marinade for about three hours, you pop the meat in the oven, and viola… A yummy, boozy dinner straight from Belize. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Belize
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of 1 inch thick pork tenderloins
  • ½ cup white rum
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a bag to marinade and let rest for about 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Put in a baking dish in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes at 350 until reaches 145 degrees internally.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.