It was a scorching hot day in Toucacas, Venezuela. Local women in colourful dresses chattered in Spanish as they prepared a local favourite. Through the language barrier they managed to teach me how to make these healthy, satisfying dishes which I found to be just as good at home as they were abroad.

“Re-Chicken” salad

Sprinkling your re-chicken salad might just do the trick.

Sprinkling your re-chicken salad might just do the trick.

Surprisingly, this salad is completely vegetarian. Similar to coleslaw, it contains cabbage (repollo in Spanish), and the Venezuelans enjoy poking fun by combining re and pollo (chicken). Creamy, filling, and easy to make, this “re-chicken” salad is a winner in my books.


• 2 cups carrots (shredded)

• 2 cups cabbage (finely chopped)*

• ¼ onion (chopped, add to taste)

• Mayonnaise (to taste)

• 1½ tbsp fresh cilantro (finely chopped, to taste)

• Salt and pepper


1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

2. Put salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy.

*Though the traditional recipe calls for green cabbage, using red cabbage works too for a tangy taste.

Wasakaka salad

For those feeling a bit fancy, or wanting an excuse to eat a giant bowl of what is basically guacamole, go for the Wasakaka salad. Though this one doesn’t keep as long, it serves many, and your friends at the party will be your biggest fans.


• 4 avocados, cut in small cubes

• 2 big tomatoes, cut in small cubes

• ½ onion, finely chopped

• 1 red pepper, finely chopped

• Juice of one lemon

• Garlic

• Salt


1. Add salt, lemon juice, and garlic to taste.

2. Mix all ingredients together.

Tip: Keep the avocado pits and put them in the salad. They keep the avocados green longer.