Judita Wignall Raw in Costa Rica

judita rawin costa rica Judita Wignall Raw in Costa Rica

A couple weeks ago my husband and I headed to Mal Pais, Costa Rica for some fun in the sun. Our good friend and owner of Mary’s restaurant, a very popular seafood restaurant in Mal Pais, asked me if I wanted to come up with a raw food menu for a few nights. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity of creating a menu that utilized local ingredients but was still something special that no one else was doing in town.

Though there aren’t any exclusively raw food restaurants in the area there are a lot of vegans as well as raw options being offering at other eateries. I needed to reel the vegetarians in. My menu consisted of an appetizer of vegetable sushimaki made with coconut meat, avocado, carrots and cucumbers that came with bon bon sauce and sweet and spicy mango sauce. I also made hemp tabouli with zante currants and no-bean hummus. For my entrees, I made pistachio pesto pasta and beet ravioli with rosemary cashew cheese. For dessert, I made chocolate ganache with vanilla cream and a mango cheesecake. We put fliers up in the middle of town to lure the raw vegans and were surprised how many showed up to just to try out my offerings. It was so exciting! There’s talk now about coming back in January and February and making a nightly menu of raw specials. I’ll keep you posted!

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When I had requested lemons for my recipes I ended up with these wonderful sour mandarins instead. They’re like a lemon and lime in one. It gave my recipes a new dimension of flavor and is the secret ingredient in Mary’s fantastic mojitos.

There is a wonderful restaurant in the nearby town of Santa Teresa called Tres Cabezas that offers a small, creative raw menu along with their lovingly cooked selections of vegetarian and pescatarian dishes. My husband and I tried out their fennel watermelon juice as well as their papaya orange cucumber. Refreshing.

rawjudita rawcostarica 01 Judita Wignall Raw in Costa Rica

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We also had their entree of sunflower seed pate with julienned greens, zucchini hummus and seaweed. The atmosphere was wonderful and the service friendly. I was really impressed that someone was making a raw menu in this secluded part of the world. I’ve been coming to Costa Rica for the past five years and this was the first time I had seen the word raw even mentioned. One of the great things about Costa Rica, though, is that you can stay raw easily. Fruit is plentiful and almost every restaurant offers all fruit smoothies made with water. Salads are plentiful too but not as exciting as what we get in the states. On Saturdays, there’s an organic farmer’s market hawking every kind of glorious green as well as tropical fruits, raw cacao, honey and vegan muffins. I forgot to bring my camera that day. Aargh!

If you would like to see some more photos from my Costa Rica adventure check out my Flickr album. If you’re considering going to Costa Rica for vacation and interested in knowing more about Mal Pais email me or check out Costa Rica beach rentals website. Pura vida.

For eats we had their raw salad. I tried out their fennel watermelon juice as well as their papaya orange cucumber. Refreshing.

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  • Marcus

    I have wanted to head down to Costa Rica for the longest time, but just never did it. Now that I have seen your photos, I have to just do it. Thanks Judita

  • Camille

    Where can I get the recipes for the foods shown in your Raw in Costa Rica blog?

  • http://aBeginnersMind.com SproutingSeed

    Awesome! I live about 20 minutes away on the other side of the pinninsula in Montezuma. I need to check that place out! We have a cool vegan, with some raw menu options here called Organico, and there is a new all raw place opening up in Cabuya in September. It's a great place to be for a raw foodie!

  • http://www.savory.tv Heidi / Savory Tv

    I love Marys restaurant! My sister lives in Malpais and we eat there all the time, it's always delicious and such a cool atmosphere. Great photos!

  • http://www.rawjudita.com Judita

    I've been to Organico a couple times. Love it! Excited about the new place in Cabuya too!

  • Luis Protti

    Hey Judita! I´m Luis from Costa Rica. Good to hear that you had fun in CR! Next time you should visit Nosara, also a great place to eat and good raw food options. Lots of organic and sustainable movement going on. Also you should think about the possibility of teaching a raw food class! Great pictures by the way!

  • http://profiles.google.com/garybenton Gary Benton

    Do people grow very many fruits and vegetables in the Nosara area? We’re in Tamarindo and don’t see many farms, and no farmer’s markets. How is the farmer’s market in Nosara? Lots of fruit?

  • http://profiles.google.com/garybenton Gary Benton

    Is there a good farmer’s market there? We’re in Tamarindo and haven’t found any here. What kind of fruit grows there?



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