After moving to Uvita Costa Rica, with my wife during the summer of 2021, we quickly discover one of our favorite local dishes, El Casado Costa Rica.
Casado is a traditional Costa Rican cuisine served for lunch in a lot of the local sodas, restaurants, and homes. The meal is a smorgasbord food from the 5 different food groups. It consisting of rice and beans, fried plantains, pasta, salad, and a flour or corn tortilla with an option of beef, chicken, pork, or fish.
I love Casado, and no one in town prepares this dish better than the soda Ranchito Dona Maria. But since it’s not always practical to hit up Dona Marias soda every time I have a hankering for this hardie meal, it’s simple enough that I can prepare it at home. All I need to do is make sure that I have all the right ingredients.
Luckily for me, I don’t have to travel far to do my shopping. I can pick up everything that I need from one place and be certain that the food is among the freshes available in town. What and where is this magical place? Well, it’s the Uvita Farmers Market, and it’s located right behind my house.
Uvita Farmers Market
The farmer’s market is a twice-weekly event showcasing farmers and artisans, as well as their tasty products made with love. The Uvita Farmer’s Market is one of the markets in Costa Ballena.
The Uvita farmers market is open twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. It offers a wide variety of fresh and organic products available. Eggs, creams, Icecream, honey, jams, sauces, fruits, vegetables, coffee wines, juices, bread, and pastries to name a few. You can also find arts and craft products at the market like water paintings, jewelry, and stone carvings.
Shopping at a farmer’s market is an easy way to support local growers and producers. It’s also an easy way to eat healthily. If you are visiting the market for the first time, make your trip a success by following these tips.
Bring cash. Most vendors don’t have the means to process a credit card payment.
Bring bags. If you plan on buying more than your hands can carry, you’re going to need a bag and the vendors don’t provide them.
Make a list. Nothing worse than forgetting the items that you came for in the first place.
Basic Casado Ingredients
This Costa Rican food typically consists of protein, fiber, starch, salad, and tortillas. You can think of it as a superfood bowl on a plate.
A Casado will always include fresh beans, white rice, picadillo, and green salad. Fish, chicken, pork, and red meat are the most common proteins, but there are many variations.
Costa Rican Casados may be adorned with the following extra ingredients:
- fresh avocado
- hard-boiled eggs
- tortilla chips
- sour cream
- pasta salad
- corn tortillas
- pico de gallo
- green plantains
- Salsa Lizano
- fried egg
- fresh cheese
- shredded lettuce and carrot
- Chimichurri sauce
- coconut milk
Vegetarians and vegans can make Casado by omitting the chicken shredded and increasing the amount of Gallo pinto used. Be sure to try it with Sopa Negra or Costa Rican Tamale.
After my visit to the farmers market, I was able to buy all of the key food elements for this meal. I had enough ingredients where I could meal prep my lunch for a few days of the week.