I’m so excited about today’s post because it combines my two favorite things in life: food and travel. Whole Foods invited me to take part in a blogger challenge on behalf of their new travel venture, Whole Journeys, which creates specialized, multi-day international and domestic trips for small groups. The trips are all about engaging with culture through food, whether that means wine tastings, lessons in cheese making, or hands-on cooking classes.
If you read our travel blog, then you’d know that this way of seeing the world is right up my alley, and there were more than a few examples to prove it. We asked the staff at a restaurant in Myanmar to teach us a traditional recipe. We worked on a Patagonian farm to gain a greater appreciation for food sources. We did a homestay in Mysore to try local meals. Food with travel makes us happy and fulfilled.
So my task was to create a recipe using an ingredient from one of the Whole Journeys destinations, and together we decided on Peru. Whole Journeys’ Peru trip includes meetings with Whole Planet Foundation microentrepreneurs and the COCLA Cooperative farmers whose organic coffee can be found in Whole Foods. For me, not only was Peru the first country of 14 in our backpacking trip, but we still think about the kind people, the rich history, and the innovative cuisine to this day.
My ingredient was cilantro, and even though I could make anything my traveling heart desired, I wanted to pay tribute to the country of the hour. Enter: the goes-with-everything aji amarillo sauce.
I couldn’t find aji amarillo paste, so it’d be more accurate to call this a Peruvian green chili sauce. We’d usually see this sauce served with chicken in Peru, but the locals eat it with everything. And once you make it, you’ll see that it’s the perfect complement to any dish. I doubled this recipe but cut down the jalapenos from four to three and skipped the salt because cotija is plenty salty. The lack of aji amarillo sauce? No biggie. Store the sauce in an airtight jar for up to a week and enjoy a little kick with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Oh, and a giveaway’s ahead!
Giveaway time! Whole Foods and I are giving away one $50 gift card to their stores. That’s right, 50 moolas to spend on fresh, organic, often local goodies. (Or their prepared foods bar! I seriously love the olives and marinated garlic.)
1. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. There are multiple ways to enter, so the more times you enter, the better your chances of winning.
2. The contest will run until noon PST on Monday, July 7, after which a winner will be chosen at random.
3. Open to U.S. residents only.
This post was created in partnership with Whole Foods. As always, all opinions are my own.