When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cafe Rio Recipes

My sweet daughter, who is pregnant with her first child, is having cravings for Cafe Rio.  The problem is, they have recently moved from Utah, and there is no restaurant close to them that has the same flavor of food.  So, what is a loving mother to do?  Luckily, one of my blogging friends, Serene posted Cafe Rio knockoff recipes last week, so we have willingly been cooking and trying them out, (in the name of science, of course) making versions of recipes that remind us of the lovely place in Utah that we all love.  The two recipes that we like the best are Cilantro Lime Rice, and Sweetened Pork.  Here are my versions to the recipes from Serene, you can try  hers also by visiting her site.  I made this on Sunday and it cooked all day while we were at church we came home, made the rice, added the sugar, sode and salsa to the meat, and had ourselved dinner in under an hour.  We all loved it, and I am betting these recipes will become new favorites for us!

Sweet Lime Cilantro Rice

1 quart water with chicken bullion or chicken broth  (I did not have the broth, so used bullion.)
2 cups rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice (1 - 2 limes)
2 tablespoons mayonaise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 - 2 Tablespoons cilantro  (we like it, so we used two)

Stir ingredients together and cook according to the directions on your rice cooker, or bring to a slight boil then cook on low for 20 minutes (or until rice is done) covered, on the stovetop.

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

3-4 lb. pork sirloin roast
1 cup salsa (We used mild, but it would be equally good with medium)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Sprite or 7-up (we used sparkling apple cider as that was what was in the pantry).

Place the pork roast in crock-pot. Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours, then drain out the liquid from the pork. Shred the meat and add the Salsa, brown sugar and Soda.  Let it cook on low for another one to two hours or until sugar is desolved.  (We only cooked it an additional hour as the kids were hungery!!)  The amount of sugar can be adjusted, the original recipe called for 1 and 1/3 Cups of Brown sugar, we found that to be too sweet for us and adjusted it down.  I actually think that I will adjust it to 3/4 cup next time. 

We used this with the rice in burritos with cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, onions, pinto beans and guacamole.   I did not make the dressing, but am including it here if you wuld like. 

Serene also posted this recipe for the dressing, since we did not have the tomatilloes in our pantry, we were unable to try this out with the rest, but it is definitely on the list for the next time around.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

1 cup Ranch dressing
1 (12 ounce) can tomatilloes, drained (you can also use fresh, but you will need to cook them first!)
1/2 bunch cilantro
dash of cayenne or hot pepper sauce (optional)

Puree all together in your blender and enjoy!

So, Emily and Matt, these ones are for you today.  I hope you both enjoy your meal in far off places, just as much as we did here.


  1. yea, I have made the sweet pork quite often. We finally find some tortillas that are just as good too. There is a Cafe Rio in So. Cal now. And Costa Vida is up here in Roseville in No. Cal.

  2. Looks like you are eating well!! I've seen these copy-cat recipes for Cafe Rio and haven't even made one yet. Now I'm wishing I had some right now. :)

  3. I bet the apple cider worked marvelously. I've cooked chicken in apples before and really enjoyed them. Here's to some pregnant cravings! And these are so much better than my first pregnancy: squirt and mac n'cheese...makes me sick just thinking of it. Luv you!