A Healing Retreat Menu

A Healing Retreat Menu

Courtesy of Rancho La Puerta

Flavorful and nourishing recipes from leading retreats.

A retreat can recharge your relationship with food—especially when you take home a few recipes or cooking tips. Here are some sensational recipes that give you a retreat-worthy meal at home.


“Everything we make at The Retreat Costa Rica is a healthy alternative to favorite menu items,” shares founder Diana Stobo, celebrity chef and author of a number of books, including Get Naked Fast: A Guide to Stripping Away the Foods That Weigh You Down. “From a food-science perspective, each ingredient can be substituted with an anti-inflammatory ingredient without compromising the integrity of the food.”

Passion Fruit Muffins

Makes 4 muffins


2 eggs, separated

1 whole passion fruit (pulp and seed)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Courtesy of Retreat Costa Rica


1 whole passion fruit (pulp and seed)

1⁄3 cup agave syrup

1/2 cup of water

Pinch of salt


1. Separate the yolk from the egg whites and beat the egg whites until foamy. Then add the yolks and mix.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.

3. Add whipped eggs to batter and gently fold in.

4. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


1. Cut the passion fruit in half and extract the pulp.

2. Place the passion fruit pulp, syrup, water, and salt in a small pot and cook over low-medium heat for 20 minutes until slightly thickened.

3. To assemble, place one teaspoon of the passion fruit dressing on the muffin and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Waffles

Makes 3 waffles


1 cup cashews

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 egg

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Courtesy of the Retreat Costa Rica


1. Place the cashews and almond milk in a blender and blend on high speed until creamy.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix together.

3. Add the cashew-almond milk mixture to the other bowl and mix until everything is creamy.

4. Place 1/4 cup batter in waffle maker and cook according to manufacturer’s time.

5. Place the cooked waffle on a plate and top with fresh fruit, seeds, honey, or maple syrup.


When creating her phenomenal cuisine at Canyon Ranch Woodside Retreat, Executive Chef Isabelle Jackson Nunes says she tries to tap into all of her senses. “Aroma, texture, flavor, and sight,” she explains. “I think it’s important to challenge ourselves and grow our palates, but I also believe food should be approachable and pleasurable. If we aren’t nourishing all of our senses, I’m not sure what the point is!” Jackson Nunes believes that we should tap into the signals our body is sharing with us to guide us as we eat intuitively.

California Buttercup Squash Soup With Pepitas & Pickled Shallot

Serves 8


1 cup cranberries

1 cup pepitas

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, grated

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated

Courtesy Canyon Ranch Woodside


4 cups buttercup squash, cut into chunks

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable stock

3 chipotle chilis in adobo

1 tablespoon cumin, toasted and ground

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt to taste


2 shallots

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Begin by peeling the buttercup squash until the thick skins are removed. Remove the seeds and stringy flesh. Dice the squash into medium-sized chunks.

3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with olive oil and salt.

4. Place on a lined baking tray and roast until slightly browned and tender.

5. Clean and dice the yellow onion, medium dice.

6. Mince garlic.

7. In a six-quart pot, sauté together the bay leaf and yellow onion, adding the garlic last.

8. Add ground cumin, chipotle in adobo, and sauté for two minutes, bringing out all the flavor in the spices.

9. Add roasted squash and add vegetable stock.

10. Bring the pot to a boil, and once boiling reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

11. Season the soup with salt to taste.

12. Remove the bay leaf and blend until smooth.


1. In a medium metal mixing bowl, combine cinnamon, cranberries, nutmeg, and pepitas with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix until well incorporated and pour onto a lined sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and cool to room temperature.

2. Slice the shallots into thin rings about an eighth of an inch thick. In a small sauté pan, combine red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from the heat.

3. A spoonful of crema (or substitute sour cream) on the top of this soup is a great way to add an extra layer of flavor and acidity to the finished dish.


Place hot soup in a bowl and top with pickled shallot, toasted pumpkin and cranberry crunch, and finish with a dollop of crema.


Here’s a hearty and healthy recipe from Rancho La Puerta, where fresh lacto-ovo cuisine provides protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. The food at this iconic property is low in fat, sodium, and refined flour and sugar—while high in energy, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Cauliflower Tacos Al Pastor

Makes 10–12 tacos


3 guajillo chiles, seeded

2 pasilla chiles, seeded

1/4 cup onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon achiote (annatto) paste

1/4 cup pineapple, diced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

12–15 corn tortillas

4 limes, cut into wedges

1 avocado, pureed

Courtesty Rancho La Puerta


6 pineapple slices

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup mint, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a blender, make the adobo (Spanish for marinade) by first adding the chiles, onion, garlic, achiote, pineapple, vinegar, cumin, water, salt, and pepper.

2. Blend into a smooth paste; add more water if needed. Adjust the flavor, if needed, and reserve.

3. Place the cooked chickpeas in a bowl and pour just enough of the adobo to coat them.

4. Place the cauliflower in a separate bowl and marinate it with the remaining adobo for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Place the marinated cauliflower and chickpeas in the oven to roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

7. In the meantime, prepare the salsa and the limes. Once the cauliflower and chickpeas are cooked, place them in a bowl or container with a lid to keep warm.

8. Place at the center of the table with warm tortillas and prepare the tacos with a spoonful of the chickpea and cauliflower al pastor, a roasted pineapple salsa dollop, pureed avocado, and a squeeze of lime.


1. Place the pineapple slices on a grill or char directly over a flame. You can also roast them in the oven, but they won’t have a smoky flavor. Let them cool, and coarsely chop.

2. In a bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, pineapple, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and mint—season with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Reserve refrigerated until ready to serve.

Cauliflower Tacos Al Pator Photo Courtesy of Rancho La Puerta

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