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Cream Cheese Mushroom Dip

Mushroom Dip 3 cut small

As a busy Mami, I like recipes that are quick yet super tasty. This dip is an easy, hearty appetizer or snack. I first had it in Puerto Rico at my cousin Arlene’s house. I ate most of it.

Slightly decadent and melt-in-your-mouth yummy, I serve it with baked pita chips. Your guests will love you for this deliciousness!

Recipe below. ¡Buen provecho!


One bag of mushrooms (crimini, button)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Gigi’s Adobo
Black pepper to taste

1 8 oz package softened, room temp light cream cheese


Wash your mushrooms well. A word of caution, mushrooms are very porous and soak up lots of water. So don’t wash too long. Just enough to clean them off. Or use a little brush. Your choice.

In a sauté pan, heat some olive oil, enough to cover the sauté pan, about 2 Tbsps. Add the garlic finely chopped. Let sauté a couple minutes. Don’t let it burn.

Add the finely chopped mushrooms. It’s an appetizer so chop them! The mushrooms will release water as they cook down.

Add Gigi’s Adobo to taste. If for some mysterious reason you don’t have any, add granulated garlic, sea salt and a smidge of oregano. Start with a teaspoon of adobo, more later as needed. Grind some black pepper on top. Let this cook down. Taste. Adjust seasoning.

Remove from heat and let cool a bit.

In a deep, open bowl, spread the softened cream cheese halfway up the sides of the bowl.

Pour mushroom deliciousness into bowl. Spread so that it covers the cream cheese. If it’s too hot, it will melt the cream cheese. Now take a big crunchy pita chip and dip, getting just the right balance of cream cheese and mushrooms. So goooood.

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Cream Cheese Mushroom Dip

As a busy Mami, I like recipes that are quick yet super tasty. This dip is an easy, hearty appetizer or snack. I first had it in Puerto Rico at my cousin Arlene’s house. I ate most of it. Slightly decadent and melt-in-your-mouth yummy, I serve it with baked pita chips.… Read the rest

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Camarones con Mojito (Shrimp with Salsa)

The days my Mami made mojito was a good day in the Achecar household. She would make mojito con camarones (shrimp) or langosta (lobster) or pollo. Best of all, she would fry up some tostones (fried plantains, green banana or yuca) to accompany the dish and serve it over white rice.… Read the rest

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Pistachio Pesto

I’ve been a bit obsessed with pistachios lately.* In the spirit of invention, I peeked in the fridge and decided to use the basil that was on the verge of going bad, mix some cheeses (parmesano-romano and pecorino-romano) and blend it all together with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and a good salt.… Read the rest

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Puerto Rican Pasteles

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! May 2014 bring you and your loved ones an abundance of health, wealth, prosperity & good eats!! In Puerto Rico, there are traditional holiday foods. One of my favorites is PASTELES, our version of a tamale. The masa or “dough” is made with plantains, yautía, green bananas or even yuca.… Read the rest

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Toasted Pine Nuts & Thyme

My obsession with pumpkin continues… Today, I decided to try something different than the oft-made brown butter and sage sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sage with pumpkin ravioli, but this sauce is a twist on the old standby. You can substitute pecans for the pine nuts and sage for the thyme, but give this variation a shot too!… Read the rest

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Rosemary Bread Loaf

The smell of fresh bread permeates the house. Adriana can’t wait to eat it – warm, thick, crunchy on the outside, perfect texture on the inside. Doesn’t need anything on it, though a smear of goat cheese and apricot preserves would be lovely.… Read the rest

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Tasty. Healthy. Simple. I love to experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I go right back to testing. Ahem. This experiment was a home run! I paired it with a mixed grain couscous and sauteéd spinach. Drizzled the sauce over the couscous. … Read the rest


I Love Avocados

Molcajete 1Avocadoes are an extraordinary fruit. The avocado leads all other fruits in beta-carotene and exceeds the banana in potassium. It contains more protein, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin K per ounce than any other fruit.

So, when Maura Hernandez of “The Other Side of the Tortilla” blog invited me to an “I Love Avocadoes” Live Party with a bunch of other Latina Bloggers, I jumped!

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Herbes de Provence

Herbes de ProvenceIf you checked out EcoRicoTV this week, you saw the “Caramelized Brussels Sprouts” video. Super delish vegan goodness seasoned with a blend of herbs called Herbes de Provence. My mouth is watering, as I write. One of our viewers asked a great question: “What is Herbes de Provence?” So, inspired, I wrote this column.

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs, which are typically used in Southern French cooking. Hence, the name meaning “herbs from Provence, France”. Of course, one can add whatever one wants to the blend, but typical herbs used in the region include thyme, basil, savory, marjoram and fennel.

The combo I used in the video?

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Mangoes – the Eco Sexy Fruit

Mangoes Ep. 007When I was a little girl, my Abuela had the most beautiful, healthy mango tree in her back yard. This tree was magnificent. It produced the best mangoes I have ever had the great fortune to eat. I ate so many at one time, my family told me I’d get sick. But I never did. I just let mango juice drip down my fingers, hands and face as I picked and peeled another with my hands. Little did I know, I was eating one of the world’s most nutrient dense fruits.

Mangoes are known as the “king of fruit” or in the EcoRico kitchen - “the queen of fruit”. You can watch me gush about my love for mangoes in our video “Eat Mangoes!” here . And a big thanks to for supplying me with the delectable Organic Kent Mangoes from Peru in the picture to the right!

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The Blog is back!

Sauteed Duck Breasts ¡Hola EcoRicans! If you've missed my musings on all things Green, fear not, I've returned - with a slight shift. This blog will now be dedicated solely to all things healthy in food and lifestyle.

If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter (hello?? go ahead, click here to "like" and "follow"), you'll know I've been posting lots of great info, pics and articles on what I've been cooking, health and food policy (LABEL GMOS!) and life. Take that picture of the Sauteed Duck Breasts with Soy Ginger Shallot Sauce and Asian Slaw I made last week, for instance. Yes, it was that good.

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Cellulose in Food – Huh?

I was skimming articles online the other day and came across a little ditty about cellulose. Hmmm, I’ve seen it on labels. But what exactly is it? WOOD PULP! Yes, indeed, the cellulose, cellulose gel and cellulose gum that you read on labels is factory-created by cooking virgin wood pulp in chemicals to separate the cellulose and then “purifying” it.… Read the rest

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Lipsticks – Are They Safe?

Please welcome back Style Essentials Guest Blogger, Lisa D’Ligouri, an eco-cosmetics expert. Lisa has been kind enough to provide us info on that necessity of necessities – lipstick. My mother won’t leave home without it. So read on EcoRicans. Know what you’re putting on your skin!… Read the rest

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Who is Mother Earth?

I chose that picture at right because, as a mother, I know there is nothing more sacred than a child. A blessed gift from the Universe, God, Spirit. I want nothing more than to protect my baby. She wants nothing more than to make me happy. It’s a deep mutual love based on respect, admiration and TRUST. Neither one of us wants to disappoint the other.

Now, imagine our planet and her billions upon billions of children. Insects, birds, mammals, oceans, trees... A harmonically balanced system of life. Perfect in its complexity and simplicity. The duality of life in mutual symbiosis. A miracle. Read More

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Why I Love My Body

Before I get any comments about hubris, stop and think about this: If not me, then who? So let’s start there. Self-love. And food. You all know I love food. Especially when healthy, yummilicousness fills my temple. This morning I made my incredibly addictive organic oatmeal with mixed dried berries, brown sugar and a banana on top.… Read the rest

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I honor that in you which makes us all One. Namaste is a term and gesture of respect in the yogic tradition. Literally, it is translated as “Nama” – bow, “as” – I and “te” – you. I bow to you.… Read the rest

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Buy Fair Trade Chocolate

Ah chocolate. One of life’s glorious pleasures. But did you know the chocolate bar you’re eating may have been produced with child slave labor? Yes, my friends, child slave labor in cocoa production is an ugly truth on our planet.… Read the rest

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It Takes A Village

Adriana’s asleep on my lap on the plane home from La Isla del Encanto – Puerto Rico. We had an extraordinary trip. Family, friends, food, kayaking at night in a bioluminescent bay, jogging on the beach each morning, warm rain, big laughs.… Read the rest

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Thanks – Giving (Squared)

It’s my birthday on Thanksgiving Day. PERFECT! I love, love, love when that happens. It’s DOUBLE GRATITUDE. Double celebration. Today I had TWO cupcakes just because – one chocolate, one pumpkin. DOUBLE HAPPINESS. One person actually responded: “That sucks”. WHAT?! Au contraire.… Read the rest

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Pumpkin – Autumn’s Aphrodisiac

Ah, fall, the season of my birth and of one of my favorite desserts - pumpkin pie! And guess what? Pumpkin - in particular pumpkin pie spice - is a MONSTER APHRODISIAC.

And it makes sense or scents... (I couldn’t help myself.) What’s in Pumpkin Pie Spice? Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice. You guessed it. FOUR sweet-hot aphrodisiac spices. Each of these spices warms the body and increases blood flow. Read More

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The Scoop on Dioxins in Plastic

What is Dioxin? Dioxin is a toxic chemical compound formed as an unintentional by-product of many industrial processes involving chlorine such as waste incineration, chemical and pesticide manufacturing and pulp and paper bleaching. Dioxin was the primary toxic component of Agent Orange.

Bottom line: we need to avoid this toxic chemical. Read More

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Our Universal Bounty

I have the most glorious mutant tomato plant. Laugh, go ahead. Then take a gander at those ripe luscious tomatoes! To date, I’ve picked hundreds and hundreds of tomatoes from ONE plant.

My mutant monster is subsisting on the universal basics for a plant. More specifically THAT plant. It’s getting lots of those basics - soil, water and sunlight in abundance.

You know the next question – what are our basics? What makes us monster producers? I considered this question on my hike today. Naturally, the answer came while outdoors… Read More

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And The Winners Are…

As promised, last night I chose the winners of EcoRico's Summer Sweepstakes. How, you may ask? With the tried-and-true ages-old method of picking a name out of a hat!

I wrote every person's name who entered both sweepstakes on an exactly same-sized piece of paper. I put all the pieces of paper in a pile and mixed them up. Then I closed my eyes and looked away, mixed up the pile a few times and pulled out a piece of paper.

To say I was surprised by whose names were picked would be an understatement. So, without further ado... read more

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You Are What You Eat

When I was growing up, my Mom used to say: “dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres.” Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who are. Still true today. If you hang around a bunch of disrespectful, irresponsible people, you’ll eventually act like them.

And so it is with food. If everyone around you eats junk food, guess what you’ll eat. And guess what you’ll look like. I can always tell what a person eats by the tone and color of their skin, the heft around their middle, the puffiness on their face and neck.

So I’ve amended my Mom’s wise words. “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Read More

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Feed Your Temple

Last week I was interviewed for Latina Style magazine. (I was also in the May/June issue!) This time the reporter wanted to know about foods that help prevent and control Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol. I did the research and was frankly stunned by the wealth of studies on Power Foods.

What you eat, how you eat it, what you eat it with impacts how it gets digested and processed by the body. This 411 is critical to your well-being, and, by extension, your happiness! So I’m gonna give it to ya’. Cause, as you all know, happy people don't want to blow up the planet, they want to save it! Read More

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Think and It Will Be

Every few years, I pick up “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I love this book. Magically, I always receive the message I need to re-connect to my life’s burning desires. The last few chapters in particular have re-ignited a deep understanding that our thoughts create our reality – financial, spiritual, emotional, physical, professional.

I’ll open with this: “You have absolute control over but one thing, and that is your thoughts...If you fail to control your own mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else. Your mind is your spiritual estate! Protect and use it with the care to which divine royalty is entitled. You were given a will-power for this purpose.”

WOW. Meditate on that for a while.  Go ahead. I’ll wait… Read More

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My Cake Obsession

I’m obsessed with making the perfect Puerto Rican cake. I guess it’s what most folks would recognize as a butter cake, but it has a certain consistency and moistness that I’ve never found in another cake. It’s topped with merengue. Unusual. Super delicious. Melts in your mouth. Feels like home. Kinda like love.

So I'll make this connection up front – baking the perfect cake is like being in the perfect relationship. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect for me. Everyone’s got different tastes. That’s why God made the rainbow.

My basic ingredients are honesty, loyalty, compassion, intelligence, wit - the minimum RDA for yours truly. Read More

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Detach and Succeed

I love this picture. Reminds me of the winding path of LIFE. After 8 years, I once again picked up “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. First thought: “Why did it take so long?” Second thought: time is relative. The master appears when the student is ready. And so we begin anew - in a deeper, more open, more accepting manner...

I’ve been thinking a lot about DETACHMENT. Detachment from my attachment to a specific result.

Detachment is about living in uncertainty, not knowing how you’ll get from A to B, but, having unquestioning FAITH that you will get there. Not forcing solutions, but letting life happen. Read More

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The Right Dance Partner

One of my greatest pleasures is slipping on a sexy dress and heels and dancing. With the right partner, it’s effortless. We move across the floor in unison, following, leading, laughing, supporting. If we mess up, we try again. If we step on each other’s toes, we apologize and laugh it off. No judgment, no criticism, no drama.The wrong dance partner takes you off course and makes you forget Who You Really Are. The way he leads creates anxiety. His indifference chisels away at your self-esteem. His lack of commitment makes you feel unwanted. This partner needs lessons in compassion, forgiveness and self-love. Read More

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Serving Your Customer

Several weeks ago, I made an excursion to Paso Robles in Central California. For the uninitiated, Paso is the next Napa, on the cusp of world vino domination. At least I think so. What’s important to know is that the Paso Robles wine region has a sustainability certification program called SIP, Sustainability in Practice. This program goes beyond farming practices. It includes small, unimportant issues like fair labor practices and health benefits for workers. Obama, you listening?A great product + even better customer service = Giselle tells the world about your product. In my world, it takes less energy to be kind than it does to be an ass. Read More

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Toxic Fragrance in Cosmetics

EcoRicans, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Lisa D'Liguori, founder of Style Essentials, and this week's Guest Blogger! I met this fab eco-Mom through another eco-Mom that I met on Twitter. Social media works!

Lisa is an eco-expert on cosmetics and all things body care. I'm not, so I asked her to please write up some edu-tainment in the cosmetics space. And here it is! ¡GRACIAS Lisa!

Fragrance. Perfume. We just adore our scented products. In fact, a recent survey found that fragrance is the number one item on which we women will splurge our paychecks. Read More

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The New Golden Rule

I spend a lot of time thinking about The Golden Rule. Treat others as you want others to treat you. For Earth Day (and every day), I’m gonna create a New Golden Rule: treat the earth as you want her to treat you. Or, better yet - treat the Earth as you treat yourself.Of course, if you treat yourself like caca, then you already treat everyone around you like caca. That’s not gonna help anyone, least of all the planet. Which is why I LOVE to tell anyone who’ll listen – “Happy people don’t want to blow up the planet. They want to save it.” Read More

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Helping Others

I like to say: “Helping others, we help ourselves. Helping ourselves, we help others.” I’m gonna stick to the first piece of this truism. Next time, we’ll address Part Deux. Two days ago, a dear friend told me she recently had two surgeries. For two weeks she told no one. They were big surgeries and the reason for the surgeries caused her enormous fear: she feared she would leave her children motherless. That’s LIFE right there, folks.I contemplated my choices. I decided we needed to round up the girls and intervene with love to ease this woman’s burden and bring light into her world to help her heal. My friend, if you’re reading this, I’m about to ruin your surprise. Read More

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Organics v. GMOs

The Green blogosphere continues to blow up about the USDA’s recent decisions to 1) totally deregulate GM (genetically modified) alfalfa, and 2) allow planting of GM sugar beets this spring as well as 3) a type of corn used to make ethanol. Next up: fast-growing salmon! I just lost my lunch…I think you know my position on this issue: ORGANICS AND GMOS CANNOT CO-EXIST. In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated: “…several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.” This article is not for the faint of heart. Read More

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Why Peace is Green

I’ve been getting questions about this particular philosophy. So I thought I’d explain it. At first, I thought: how obvious, of course peace is green! Mother Earth gives and loves unconditionally and so should we. I believe that in my core. Without the air, water and food provided by our home, we are extinct, dead, kaput. Arrivederci humans.We have a personal responsibility to take care of the planet and each other to reap the rewards of LIFE in all its magnificence.If the earth is sick, so are we. If our soil is pesticide-ridden, so are we. If our water is full of chemicals, so are we. If our air is toxic, so are we.And by extension, if the earth is healthy, so are we. Symbiosis.So what is peace? Read More

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Our First Guest Blogger!

January 10, 2011¡Hola EcoRicans! As a big welcome to 2011, we have our first Guest Green Blogger. If you recall from our Holiday Green Tips, I believe KINDNESS IS GREEN. Why? Because Mother Earth gives and loves unconditionally. Anything that inspires us to practice the Golden Rule is green - music, writing, videos...Meet Tiamo De Vettori, a singer/songwriter from San Diego, who spreads the same message I do. Change Yourself. Change the World. This man is EcoSexy! Posted here with his permission is an inspiring email I received from Tiamo titled "My conversation with Jason Mraz..." Be the dream my friends. Read More

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Green Your Holidays!

Giselle's 5 Simple Ways to Green Your Holidays

1. Recycle wrapping paper / Reuse Gift Bags, Boxes and Tissue Paper

It pains me to see how much waste the holidays generate - garbage bags full of plastic packaging, paper boxes and wrapping paper. All of which are RECYCLABLE, including the garbage bag!

I haven’t purchased a gift bag or tissue paper in YEARS. Why? Because I reuse all of it. We get a gift, I simply fold up the bag and tissue and store it in my gift bag container. Think of the money I’ve SAVED! Read More

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Building an Empire

Editing. At this point I’m sitting in a corner, holding my knees wondering WHAT THE HELL?! As a producer, post-production has shown me two things 1) I LOVE my talent and 2) I’m a complete neophyte when it comes to editing. Alas, it’s all for a good cause, right? The Planet.

When you’re an Army of One…

You still need troops.

But only if the job requires troops.

And this one doesn’t, so here I am nine straight hours into editing for the umpteenth time while on vacation in Atlanta for my Dad’s surprise birthday. I got him a belly dancer. It was a hit. Then I went back to editing…

Today, I turned in my cuts for episode 002 to Jimmy, who’s gonna put it all together into a show. Hopefully, ya’ll’ll love it.

So what’s new with Eco-Rico? Read More

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The Birth of Eco-Rico

I can’t move. I’m collapsed on a dining room chair. Around me, empty plates, wine bottles, lights. Laughter.

My Mom washes an enormous stack of dishes in my soon-to-be-famous kitchen. My daughter plays with imaginary friends. My boyfriend cleans up a crazy mess. Jimmy, the cameraman, uploads the day’s footage to a hard drive. I look at my phone. 8:31 pm.

Tears well. I am utterly, deliriously exhausted and spent. Thank God for my family and friends.

Their faith in me and my vision has never wavered. They have shown up ready for whatever the day would bring. They have laughed at my jokes and suffered through my crankiness. They have been nourished by my food, and I by their wisdom.

16 days. To the minute. Read More

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