Sofrito and La Comida de Puerto Rico!

This week's Friday lunch theme was La Comida de Puerto Rico - the food of Puerto Rico! Here's the full menu:
  • Piña colada
  • Sancocho (Puerto Rican stew)
  • Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken
  • Pastelón (savory sweet lasagna)
  • Mofongo "Rice" (fried shredded plantain)
  • Tembleque (creamy coconut pudding)

We have several teens from Puerto Rico in our summer program this year so we are excited to share some food from their culture. One of our teens even brought in her mom's recipe for the pastelón! The recipe we're sharing this week is actually not for a dish, but for an ingredient used in many Puerto Rican dishes - sofrito.
Sofrito (or recaito) is essentially a fragrant blend of herbs and spices that is used to flavor many puerto rican dishes. Every Puerto Rican household is likely to have their own special version of the recipe. Here's ours, also based off a recipe from a MAP Youth mom. Many of the ingredients may be found in your local hispanic grocery store.

Sofrito (Recaito)
Makes: 1.5 cups (24 Tbsp)

  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 bunch of culantro (or recao) (if you can’t find add some extra cilantro)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 large onion
  • 1/2 lb. sweet chili peppers
  • 2 large green bell peppers
  • ½ cup olives with pimientos
  • 1 sm jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 2 tbsp. crushed oregano
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

  1. Rinse, peel and chop vegetables. Combine in food processor and puree.
  2. Use immediately or spoon into ice tray and freeze. Store cubes in zip-loc bag. Each cube measures 1 tablespoon.
  • Recaito is basically Puerto Rican sofrito. It does not contain tomatoes like the typical Spanish sofrito.
  • Recao is the Puerto Rican word for culantro. It is a dark green long leaf.
  • This recipe can be easily adjusted for taste.

Aloo Gobi

The theme for our second Friday lunch was Journey Through India! Here's the menu:
  • Nimbu Pani (spiced lemonade)
  • Roti w/ MAP Mint Chutney
  • Aloo Gobi (vegan curried potatoes and cauliflower)
  • Butter Chicken and Rice
  • Black Raspberry Lassi

We are highlighting the Aloo Gobi recipe for this week because it is entirely plant-based (and so, so tasty!). If you don't have ginger-garlic paste, you can simply use about 1 teaspoon each of minced garlic and ginger instead.

Aloo Gobi

~ 4 servings 


4 medium potatoes, sliced or cubed
2 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 onions, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur). (You may substitute 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice.)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
6-8 teaspoons oil
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt, to taste

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cauliflower florets and fry for 2-3 minutes and then add sliced potatoes
2. Fry on medium-low flame for 7-8 minutes till potatoes and cauliflower have some brown spots.
3. Drain on a tissue paper and set aside.
4. In the same pan, heat 1.5 teaspoon of oil on medium heat and add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
5. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes till translucent.
6. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes till they are soft.
8. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and amchur or lemon/lime juice. Cover the pan and let the masala cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the potatoes and cauliflower and mix.
9. Add chopped cilantro leaves and mix.
10. Add garam masala and cook the potato and cauliflower on medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes.
11. Add salt and cover the pan and cook more additional 6-7 minutes on low flame or till the potato and cauliflower are tender but not soggy. If you feel the masala sticking you may add some water. Add 1 tbsp at a time and only add enough to cook the veggies.
12. Garnish with some more coriander, fenugreek, and/or cilantro and serve hot.

Meet the 2019 Mobile Market Team!

Meet the 2019 Mobile Market Team!

Seasonal Staff

These two join us for the whole season as staff members and support the program by assisting with food procurement, market stops, back office tasks, and youth development.

Meet Courtney!

My name is Courtney Chavanne, and I recently graduated from D’Youville college with a degree in Public Health. While pursuing my Public Health degree I specifically became interested in plant based nutrition, and advocating healthy eating practices with these particular foods. I am committed to a career focused on increasing access to nutritious foods in the City of Buffalo, and my time interning with MAP last year allowed me to do just that. I am excited to be back this year as the Mobile Market Coordinator. Last season I was nine months pregnant working on the market, and now my daughter keeps me busy in my free time. I have been vegan for four years, and when I have some me time I love to cook and try new recipes.
Meet Zak!

I am currently enrolled in the Dietitian Education Program at SUNY Buffalo State, and hope to practice in the field of community nutrition upon completion of my degree. Before coming to work at MAP I worked in a number of commercial kitchens, most recently working as both a prep cook and nutrition educator at Westminster Community Charter School in Buffalo. I am passionate about cooking, gardening, and food justice!

Mobile Market Interns

These fantastic interns volunteer their time to make sure each Mobile Market stop is a great experience. 

Meet Chloe!

This is Chloe. I am dietetic intern from University at Buffalo. I will graduate in December 2019 and hoping to get the RD exam done after graduation and become a RD!

Meet Ashley!
Meet Ashley!

I am a student studying linguistics with a minor in photography. I love learning, people and cultures.

Meet Porshea!

I'm an Anthropology major at Buffalo State with a passion for nutritional anthropology and food culture! I'm originally from the Midwest and have studied agriculture and environmental science since high school.

ImageMeet Leeza!

I’m a public health student at D’Youville College! I’m interested in the social determinants of health and health equity. Access to fresh, healthy food is important and a basic right.

Meet the 2019 ABLE Team Leaders!

Meet the 2019 MAP ABLE Team Leaders!

This summer we have four incredible ABLE Team Leaders who lead our teens through all of their programming and employment during our summer program.

Six years ago I didn’t know what food security was. Now it’s something I’ll be fighting for, for the rest of my life. Hi, I’m Neena Hussey, a current senior at Syracuse University majoring in Food Studies, social justice activist, and lover of food. I first stepped into MAP’s doors when I was 15. I was both excited and nervous to start my first job. I still remember my first few days; playing the name game, going over rules, and talking about what MAP does. Looking back now, I can’t remember when or how it started but this place began to feel like home. I’m so grateful for the time I’ve continue to have here and the people that have inspired me and my new life’s mission to help create a more just world where farm workers are protected, and access to healthy affordable food is a right no matter a person's race, culture, religion, sexuality, or class. This time next year I’ll be graduating with my Bachelor’s in Food Studies. I’m excited to see some familiar faces and meet our new youth! I hope by the end of the summer, they feel more empowered and know that their voice matters. I hope they have the confidence to go after their dreams whether it be related to food security or not. 

My name is Dillon Hill, I was born in 1997 and have worked at MAP since I was 14. Some of my favorite activities outside of MAP are trying to cook, reading, listening to music, and traveling. I’m not great at cooking, but I like trying to cook anything anyways. I originally started working to save up money to get a car, but I quickly found out I do not like driving and I enjoy working. Nowadays I use my money to travel as much as I am able to. I like to go to new places, and to just go back to places I really like. Since I have been at MAP so long, I have done a lot. One of my best memories from a MAP summer was when we went to Beaver Meadow in maybe 2016. We all got to go canoeing, which I had never done and I had a blast that day because of that. 

My name is Tyler Bauer, I was born in the early morning of January 1st, the second child born in Buffalo in the New Year of 1991. I grew up on a farm that grew hay, corn, and even strawberries for a time. I always loved sports but by my mid-teens I was a self-avowed hippie and music connoisseur. How the world looked from behind a camera inspired me to major in video production in college. A trip to India in 2013 then ignited a passion for travel and culture that has since taken me around the world. I love spending time with my friends and family, but as an introvert, I require plenty of quiet as well. I consider myself to be funny, empathetic, and honest to a fault. I’m both idealistic and cynical, which has helped form my distinctly leftist politics over the years. 

I’m Gabriel Cohen, and I will be an ABLE team leader this summer. I have worked with MAP for the last two and a half years as a Growing Green youth. This will be my first summer as part of the ABLE team, and I am incredibly excited for this opportunity. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and moved to Buffalo about 4 years ago. I attended I-Prep High School on the west side, and will be leaving Buffalo at the end of this summer to attend SUNY ESF this fall. I have learned so much through my time at MAP. My hope for this summer is to teach the new youth about nutrition, food justice, and cultural significance through our lunches this summer.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp


2 TBSP Canola Oil 
1 Serrano Chile, thinly sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
2 TBSP Lime juice
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. Place a large sauté pan on high heat. Let the pan heat up for a minute and then add the oil. Let the oil heat until it's shimmering. If it starts to smoke, remove the pan from the heat for a moment.

2. Add the chiles to the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat with oil. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed for 1 minute before tossing again so they get a little bit of a sear. Stir-fry until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. 
3. Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro, then the lime juice. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve alone, over rice, or in a folded heated flour or corn tortilla.

1. Adjust the amount of chile in this recipe to control the amount of spice.

2. Quick, easy to prepare meal after a long day at work.

3. Try this recipe with any other shellfish (scallops, squid, etc..)

      This recipe is brought to you by Massachusetts Avenue Project! Find MAP’s Mobile Market to purchase items on your ingredient list by visiting www.mass-ave.org or follow @massaveproject and #foodthatmoves on your favorite social media site.