Recipe Testing for New Breakfast Menu Items at the Rainforest Inn

Renée prides herself on making innovative gourmet vegetarian breakfasts for the guests here at the Rainforest Inn. Her passion for delicious healthy cooking brightly shines and is evident in the way she prepares the meals through every step until the plating which is always beautiful. Even from my fairly short time here, I’ve observed that guests are consistently blown away with the food served every morning. During breakfast time, Renée and Bill go above and beyond (as usual) to make sure everyone feels right at home. After the meals are served, they usually sit down with guests and talk about fun things to explore on the island, or have general chit chat about life experiences. I was eager to become a part of this daily ritual, one that greatly impacts guests’ overall experience at the Rainforest Inn.

I consider myself to be a fairly knowledgeable cook, but when Renée asked me to develop new recipes for the inn, I was a little nervous. The recipes she makes now are so creative and diverse, I was challenged to come up with new ones that were as amazing. Luckily, I have some experience making vegetarian and vegan cuisine, so I relied on my previous knowledge to come up with some exciting new recipes.

When brainstorming ideas, I headed to trusty Pinterest for inspiration. Renée had mentioned she wanted to make a new version of the vegetarian sausages she serves several days of the week. The ones she served now are delicious and proven guest pleasers, but Renée wanted me to find a new recipe that used natural ingredients from the Rainforest Inn gardens as well as other local sources. I flagged down a few recipes that looked good, and headed to the kitchen to try them out. The one I chose seemed simple enough, it used mushrooms and beans as a base, which sounded delicious to me! The dough was easy to make, but I knew the hard part was yet to come. Later, I had to hand roll the sausages, and individually wrap them in plastic wrap. That in of itself took me an hour! At this point, I was feeling pretty discouraged, and was hoping this dish would be worth all the effort.

Base of the veggies sausages- mushrooms, apples, onions, and garlic

Base of the veggies sausages- mushrooms, apples, onions, and garlic

Veggie sausages after they had been rolled out and individually wrapped

Veggie sausages after they had been rolled out and individually wrapped

Unfortunately, after tasting the sausages I came to the conclusion that they weren’t worth the effort. They were ok, but definitely under-seasoned, and the ones Renée serves for breakfast were far more tasty. Feeling a little defeated, I decided to make some other breakfast recipes that I had tried before, and knew were good.

The second breakfast item I made was chia seed pudding layered with mango puree and coconut flakes. I’d made chia pudding before (it’s very simple and quick to prepare), and this one was a big hit! The tanginess of the mango puree complimented the thick creaminess of the chia pudding very well. Renée tried it and really liked it as well. She said it would make a great addition to her breakfast repertoire.

Chia seed pudding layered with mango puree and coconut flakes

Chia seed pudding layered with mango puree and coconut flakes

The last recipe I made was also something I had made before; blueberry and rosemary scones. They’re vegan too, which is an added bonus for guests that come here and subscribe to that kind of eating. Rosemary is my favorite herb, and I love the combination of sweet and savory. Renée grows rosemary in her garden on the property, so I picked some fresh for this recipe! The scones are surprisingly easy to make and that means a lot coming from someone who isn’t very keen on baking! They came out great and everyone who tried one really enjoyed it- even Bill who can be hard to please!

Rosemary blueberry scones before going in the oven

Rosemary blueberry scones before going in the oven

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

The final result

The final result

Recipe testing for new breakfast items at the Rainforest Inn was a sometimes stressful, but mostly enjoyable experience. As someone who loves to cook, I feel right at home in Renée’s kitchen, especially because her kitchen is so large and complete and she has basically every cooking gadget known to man. I will follow with further blogs of more ideas for the breakfasts and also which ones Renée has chosen to include. You will never have a boring meal here at the Rainforest Inn!

Hiking in the Rainforest - our choices for the best hiking shoes and clothes

Hiking in the Rainforest - our choices for the best hiking shoes and clothes

Hiking boots or even most trail running shoes just become caked mud ice skates when hiking El Yunque trails. Laurie discovered the aggressive lugged-tread flexible souls of Inov-8 shoes and now I bought some new ones and tell of my experience with them.

Let us spoil you at the Rainforest Inn

Let us spoil you at the Rainforest Inn

When you stay at the Rainforest Inn you have options. Think of us more like a boutique hotel. Instead of joining the conversation with other guests at the breakfast table you can choose to be served on your private porch or even bring a tray to your partner in bed. Let us help you make your stay as romantic as possible!

Fresh Papaya for breakfast

We are lucky to have a couple of papaya plants that we grew from a Hawaiian papay seed. It is a delicious tasting papaya that has hints of floral and none of the strong smell of ordinary papayas.  

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

The best way to pick papayas is with a tall ladder. If you use a fruit picker pole  you risk damaging the soft ripe fruit.