Cheap Food – Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

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I was given a Costa Rica cookbook for my birthday this year and this was the first recipe I’ve tried, with some personal tweaks of course. It is a tuna pasta salad and uses my favorite shaped pasta, shells. I was surprised to see that the recipe didn’t call for much in the way of sauce except the mustard, so that’s where the improvising began. This is the Cheap Food Here version of the recipe:

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

1 8.8oz (250 grams) bag of mini shell pasta
1 standard sized can of premium chunk white tuna fish
1 cup baby peas
2 Tbl cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1 Tbl mustard
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
2 Tbl Olive Oil
Garlic salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1) Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package. Then rinse with cold water.
2) In a large bowl combine all remaining ingredients with the pasta and stir.
3) Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Cheap Tico Food – Jaco Beach

Where to find cheap food here in Jaco

Where to find cheap food here in Jaco

So, we finally made it to the beach this weekend and chose the tourist hotspot, Jaco Beach or Playa Jaco. We would have preferred something less busy, but it’s the closest to San José and without a car, we are trying to limit our time on the bus. It takes about 3 hours by bus to get to Jaco from the center of San José at the Coca-Cola Bus Terminal. Sidenote- you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the Coca-Cola district.

The first place we went to eat in Jaco was by our hotel, just on the edge of the main Jaco shopping strip. It is called Los Sabores Ticos (The Tico Flavors) and I am going to rave about their food. Typically sodas are sodas (traditional tico restaurants) in Costa Rica, until you find the hidden gems. And we hit the jackpot on Sunday morning when we stumbled on the first eating establishment we came across. Los Sabores had large delicious papusas with meat, black beans and cheese for 500 colones, which is a little less than $1. The beef inside was slow cooked and perfect. I also had a fruit plate with granola (about a $1.50), and you can’t really beat the fresh fruit of Costa Rica.

There are a lot of expensive places to eat in Jaco, so make sure you are looking for the most non-descript place with dishes for 1,500 colones, plus or minus. And remember them always.