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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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Black Bean Soup

My favorite soups have always been rubble soups. I don’t know if this even makes any sense in english, but a rubble soup in portuguese is that kind of chunky soup you make with everything you have at home. Anyways, when I was a kid, I remember that I would only eat pureed soups. Even that tiny bit of spinach would ruin my meal. But what kid likes soup anyways? In fact, the only thing I recall enjoying when I was a child was a nice ice cream, a cake, a chocolate, a soda, no real food at all.
Since I really started enjoying food, my favorite soups have always been the rubble ones. Everything in the pot, complete chaos – meat, beans, sausage, cabbage, potato, turnip, pumpkin, everything you could possibly have in your fridge.

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Tzatziki 6

Tzatziki

Tzatziki. A spectacular name for shredded cocumber with yogurt. It even sounds that you really know how to cook when you present such food – “Do you wanna come over for dinner? I’ll make my tzatziki, it will blow your mind!”. Yes. Except, that it’s just shredded cucumber with yogurt.
Man, tzatziki even sounds like some sort of legendary sword from the Ottoman Empire. Something like – “Bahadir, son of Behram, raising the mythical blade, Tzatziki, made all the caliphate tremble.”. Except, that it’s just shredded cucumber with yogurt.
Jokes apart, I actually like tzatziki, a lot. It goes along very well with many recipes and it is a great dip for bread.
Cucumber it’s kind of a boring ingredient for most people. And I must agree. I’m also not a big fan of cucumber in it’s purest form, but it is a very versatile ingredient. It is quite tasty in oriental stir-fries or pickled, for example. And, besides that, it is the star of our recipe, today. And it’s not everyday that you can call tzatziki to something.

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