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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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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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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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Dióspiro 9

Raw Persimmon Pie

During the XVI century, Jeffrey Hudson, a 7 years old dwarf, was served to King Charles I and Qeen Henrietta Maria, inside a cold pie. Just right before Her Highness started carving the pie, the top started cracking and, from its interior, emerged the smallest human being anyone had ever seen. The queen liked Jeffrey Hudson so much that embraced him as her own personal dwarf during 18 years.

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Miso Soup

Miso is a traditional japanese paste obtained through the fermentation of soybeans with salt and koji (some fungus variety). It is also possible to find varieties made from fermented barley or brown rice. In Japan cuisine this paste is used to season meat, fish, prepare sauces, fillings or even soups. Like almost every oriental fermented food, it is quite salty, so you may take it easy on your salt intake when cooking with miso. On the other hand, this paste is super rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and probiotics. A true spectacle to the gut, I would say.

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