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Tamara Lukens

Tamara Lukens
Contributor

Tamara Lukens is the founder and editor of T’s Tasty Bits, a recipe and food blog dedicated to Ecuadorian and Latin American cuisine.  Born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Tamara developed a passion for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen at a very young age, inspired by the Ecuadorian cooking show “Día a Día con María Rosa”.  As a young adult, Tamara moved to the United States in pursue of her dreams of a college education and a career, but cooking never left her heart.  Tamara now documents her memories of growing up in Ecuador and her kitchen adventures on T’s Tasty Bits, where she recreates the meals she ate growing up. 

Name: Tamara Lukens
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Ajís, or spicy sauces as they are known in Ecuador, are great ways to add a bit of a kick to any meal, and one of the traditional spicy sauces from Ecuador is ají de tomate de árbol. Tomate de árbol, also known as tamarillo, is native to the Andes region of Latin America, so you will not only find this fruit in Ecuador, but also in...
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Tamarillo and Aji Sauce
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I decided to give a twist to this spicy sauce and use habanero peppers, which are very spicy, but have a sweet, fruity quality to them.  Use this sauce to flavor fish tacos - even as a spicy dressing for a salad.  If the spicy proves to be too much to handle, you can tame this down by squeezing on some extra lime juice.
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Ecuadorian Plantain Mash (Tigrillo)
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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. There's the option of both sweet or savory dishes that satisfy whatever mood you wake up in. Back home in Ecuador, my breakfasts tended to gravitate more towards the savory side, and my preferred way to start the day was (and still is) with a good serving of tigrillo, a green plantain mash, which I...
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Tigrillo
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Tigrillo is a great one-person meal.  One green plantain equals one serving.  It is also a one pot meal: the same pot you use to initially boil the plantain is the same pot you use to finish cooking the dish.  To give tigrillo its creamy consistency, all it takes is stirring in some of the water used to boil the plantain.  The...
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Mote Pata: Ecuadorian Pork, Hominy and Peanut Soup
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Ecuador is a country of many traditions, and one of them involves the celebration of Carnaval. Usually held in February, Carnaval is a public celebration that precedes the Cuaresma, or Lent.  Each region of Ecuador has a unique way of celebrating Carnaval, and food plays an important role.Growing up on the coast of Ecuador, our Carnaval...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Mote Pata: Ecuadorian Pork, Hominy and Peanut Soup
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In Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador, people enjoy the Carnaval festivities with a healthy bowl of Mote Pata, a hearty soup made of pork, hominy (mote) and peanuts.
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Cocido de Albóndigas y Verduras: Meatballs and Vegetables Stew
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If you happened to be like me as a child, you despised vegetables.  Don’t get me started on the little leaves floating around my soup; you know, cilantro or parsley.  However, for inexplicable reasons, this cocido de albóndigas y verduras stew was the only way I would eat my veggies.   I decided to take advantage of the...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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This cocido de albóndigas y verduras stew might be the only way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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In Ecuador, some tamales are made using banana leaves in lieu of corn husks. Banana leaves infuse a sweet flavor into the food being cooked inside. These leaves also provide an environmentally-friendly food container!I remember when I moved to the United States over a decade age, banana leaves were almost impossible to find -- especially in...
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Cabbage and Spinach Tamales
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These tamales are made with eggs, which are separated, and the egg whites are whipped into a light meringue.  The beaten egg whites are then folded into the rest of the mixture, wrapped in the leaf and then steam-cooked.  The result is a fluffy, flavorful, meatless tamal.
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