Juana Cano’s Holiday Recipe

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The first thing you’ll notice about the soup stand Juana runs in the busy marketplace in her hometown of Jinotepe, Nicaragua is the long line of hungry diners out front. And you’ll understand why as soon as you catch a whiff of whatever delicious soups and stews are simmering on the stove that day.

Juana has been working in the market for more than thirty years—and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

In fact, she recently used FINCA loans to expand her business, turning it into a family operation. Four of her daughters earn extra income by helping out in the kitchen, while Juana’s two younger children spend their days in school.

The key ingredients to Juana’s success? Hard work, a good idea, and support from caring people like you.

The key ingredients to one of her delicious stews? Read on!

Nicaraguan Turkey and Rice Stew


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 celery stalks diced 
  • 3 medium carrots diced 
  • 2 whole canned plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick slices, plus 2 tablespoons liquid 
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed 
  • Left-over turkey shredded 
  • 1 quart chicken broth 
  • 3 cups water 
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice 
  • 10 to 12 stems fresh cilantro with leaves  
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint 
  • 3 medium red potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 1 medium zucchini diced 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped 
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges 
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4 inch cubes 
  • Pickled jalapeños, to taste

Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes and juice, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until onion is softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add broth, water, rice, cilantro, and mint. Bring to a boil over high heat, then, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Stir potatoes and zucchini into pot and cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Add turkey and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls and garnish with mint and cilantro. Serve with limes, avocado, and jalapeños.

And when one of your guests asks where you discovered this delicious recipe, you can tell them how just $25 can help a woman like Juana build a good life for her family!

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