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falafel 5

Falafel

I already mentioned my great fascination for the word tzatziki. Today I bring you me great fascination for the word falafel. If tzatziki sounds like a legendary sword from the Otoman Empire, falafel was, certainly, the name of some pharaoh from ancient Egypt.
“Falafel III, The Shining One, son of Mehotep, inherited the throne at the age of seven, succeeding to his brother Takelot IV.”
Notice that these are also spectacular names for football players.

I recall my first time eating falafel like if it was yesterday – it was in Joshua’s in the Forum Algarve when I was about 15 or 16 years old, right before heading to a tuning meeting.
I actually had no ideia what I was ordering. I just did it because it had a stupid name. In fact, almost every dish in Joshua’s has a spectacular name. But 15 years ago, in the Algarve, all that was quite new and unknown for me. I ended up eating a baguette from Pans & Company. The falafel tasted like pigeon poop.

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Thai Chickpea and Pumpkin Curry

Somewhere in a faraway summer, I worked with my friend João in a beach shack. Every sunday we used to have thai chicken curry with roasted peanuts. By that time, I was quite young, and I used to think that super hot food was for real machos.
The first time I made thai curry for my friends, me and Diogo end the up the dinner wearing nothing but boxers, the girls didn’t go further than the first bite and my friend Midário made me cook some chicken breasts for him.
The first time I made thai curry for my family, not even my father could eat. And he enjoys his piri piri sauce. The next day I took the rest of the food to my uncle’s coffee, in the Island where I’m from, and none of my father’s tough bearded friends could touch it.
Nowadays I like my food much less hot. Even Joana enjoys hotter food than me. In my opinion, when the food is too hot, you just miss all the other flavors. But I understand that in some cultures people are used to eat food so hot that they developed a higher endurance and addiction to it.
Today’s recipe is harmoniously balanced between fresh, hot and sweet. If you like spitting fire, you can always add more hot chilli peppers to it.

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Baked Quinces

In Ancient Greece, the fruit was used to treat several stomach and skin infections. It was also one of the most popular offers to the gods, due to it’s peculiar parfume. Actually I think people would just taste that sh*t raw and then offer it to the gods – “Hmmm, such a good looking quince! It smells so good! Holy f*ckaroni, this tastes like sh*t! It feels like I just licked a board full of splinters and then cleaned my thong with a burlap bag! I think Demeter is having an offer tonight…”

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Arroz Main

Rice Porridge with Wild Berries

Rice for breakfast may sound weird to me that I’m portuguese and pretty much to all the people living in the western world. But, in many cultures, specially in Asia, of course, rice is present in pretty much every single meal, including breakfast.
Rice with raw egg and nattō in Japan, soup with rice and vegetables in China, white rice and lentils dahl in India, rice with fried egg in the Philippines, kuy teav with rice noodles in Cambodja or rice with fried fish in Indonesia. These are not dinner or lunch, but, in fact, the first meal of the day for most people.
When I’m asked how does a traditional portuguese breakfast looks like, most times I don’t know what to answer.
When I was a kid I used to eat cereal with milk, then I turned myself to toasts with butter and coffee with milk and just when I was older I realized I could also eat fruit, smoothies and other stuff. Of course I’ve also been through the boiled eggs, tuna with chickpeas and chicken breasts phase, like any other idiot in the gym.
But, after all, how does a typical portuguese breakfast looks like? Most of my friends didn’t even use to take it. Unless an espresso and four cigarettes until lunch time could count as breakfast. Ok, ok, some would also eat a pastel de nata (portuguese custard pie).
When it comes to the islanders from the little island where I’m from, they like to eat their pork sandwich with a cold beer in the morning. But most of them start working at 4:00AM! After four or five hours of work, breakfast doesn’t really taste like breakfast does it?

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Guacamole

Guacamole

Halve the avocado – Pit the avocado – Peel the avocado – Mash the avocado = Guacamole. Almost as simple as this.

The avocado is kind of a special fruit. While most fruits are basically carbs, avocados are extremely rich in fat. Besides giving it a unique texture, it also gives it a very different taste.

Nowadays I’m a big fan of this magnificent fruit. I like to spread it on the bread with some crushed black pepper and oregano, to dice it and top my rice and beans with it, to combine it with hummus and make delicious sandwiches and, above it all, to make guacamole for my burritos.

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the legume. Legumes are plants or fruits/seeds in the family fabaceae. Well-known members of this family are beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans and peanuts (yes, peanuts are legumes, not nuts).
After meat, poultry and fish, legumes provide more protein per serving than other types of food. Besides, it is a very good source of dietary fiber and minerals and, like most plant-based foods, no cholesterol. Every cup of chickpeas, for example, contains 15 gr. of protein (29% DV), 4.7 mg of iron (26% DV), 80.4 mg of calcium (8% DV), 78.7 mg of magnesium (20% DV), 2.5 mg of zinc (17% DV), 12.5 g of fiber (50% DV) and the list goes on.

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