Cookin' It Up in the Kitchen with the Ones You Love

     2020 started off strong then it came to a screeching halt. Every travel lover grounded. Ugh!! 

I know you enjoy seeing the world with those who you love —experiencing different cultures together and creating memories with each other in those wonderful destinations like Velas Resorts in Mexico.

One of the best things about traveling is tasting flavorful foods from local chefs. 

Now that you can’t travel for the time being, why not enjoy the flavors of food from around the world? You can create wonderful dishes from some international chefs while making memories with your family right in your own home.  

Here are some recipes from Velas Resorts Executive Chefs.

Grilled Chicken Pita  

Guillermo Carmona, Executive Chef at Velas Vallarta offers you a super yummy and healthy recipe. This chicken pita sandwich bursts with flavors in every bite.  

Your family will love making this sandwich with you and really enjoy eating every bite. No more PB&J. 

Make your grocery list from the list of ingredients below. 

Servings: 4

Ingredients for Pita Bread Filling:

½ sliced red onion

1 tbsp. of olive oil 

1 cup of canned chickpeas

¼ cup of lime juice 

4 pc of pita bread 

1 cup greek yogurt 

1 cup arugula (or any other fresh lettuce)

1 sliced tomatoes (or you can use the baby potatoes)

1 medium avocado 

Salt and pepper to taste


In a mixing bowl combine onions garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Grill pita bread then spread out some yogurt, add the fresh leaves, tomatoes (or baby potatoes), garbanzo beans mixture, some sliced avocado, and grilled chicken slices.

Serve with Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of black pepper over the top.

Ingredients for grilled chicken:

2 chicken breasts –boneless, skinless– 

½ cup of mayonnaise 

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp. of paprika

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all of the ingredients inside the bowl, marinate overnight, or at least 1 hour before.  Grill –high heat– for 6 to 8 minutes on each side.

Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Chef Philippe Piel from Grand Velas Los Cabos offers you a great recipe for delicious spicy meatballs, even your pickiest eaters will love this dish.

You probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen. Go pull all of these ingredients out and get started. 


1 lb ground beef

½ lb ground sausage meat (if fresh sausage) if not only use beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 tbsp. oregano o mix herbs or fresh herbs if available

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the sauce:

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ onion, chopped

3 tomatoes, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Chili, chopped thinly or if dry to your taste


In a large bowl, use your hands to combine beef, sausage meat, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then gently stir in, egg and herbs until just combined. Form mixture into 1″ balls.

In a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Working in batches, sear meatballs on all sides to develop a crust. Set meatballs aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low, and add olive oil, onion, and garlic to skillet. Cook for few minutes until the onions are translucid. Add the diced tomatoes and a little water.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, when the sauce is almost done and to the right consistency add meatballs back to skillet. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes more.

Sautéed chicken breast with chorizo and onion


1 lb chicken breast, cut in julienne

½ lb chorizo, cut in slices in an angle

2 tbsp. olive oil

½ onion, sliced

1 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Dry herbs if available or fresh


In a frying pan, heat oil to medium, add chicken breast and chorizo, cook for few minutes to get a little color.

Then add onions and garlic. Cook for another few minutes, until golden brown and chicken cooked through.

You can serve this with pasta or rice, even add a little tomato sauce or stock if available at home.

Taco shells filled with black beans purée 

The Executive Chef at Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta, Isaac Esparza, shares his recipe for some mouthwatering tacos.

1 pack of tofu

1  avocado

1 pc. of canned black beans

1 pc. yellow bell pepper

1 tomato cut in dices

Taco shells


Cut the avocado and tofu in small cubes, mix with salt, pepper and any other seasoning of your choice.  Cut the yellow pepper in julienne.        

A suggestion for black beans purée: if canned purée cannot be found, you can process cooked beans in a blender.  On a pan, heat the purée and fill the taco shells.

Mix the tofu, tomatoes, and avocado, and top your taco. Garnish with red or yellow bell pepper julienne. Note: you can add chopped fresh onion.

So until you can travel again, enjoy cookin’ up these recipes with those you love. Don’t forget celebrating your chef skills in the kitchen by taking a shot or enjoying a cocktail.

© 2020 Travel Leaders Group