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Archive for the ‘Olive Oil’ Category

Although it was cold last night, I thought that a cucumber and celery will go well with the salmon and broccoli dish. Thinly slice the cucumber, sprinkle some salt on it, let it rest for a couple of minutes and squeeze well. Add finely chopped celery and season with sea salt, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a bit of sesame oil. Top with some sesame seeds.

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I bought some red lentils a long time ago and I kept looking at them and thinking what could I do with them. I found this interesting recipe here and I decided to try it yesterday. It was delicious, and the red lentils turn yellow after they are cooked!

I served the soup with zucchini-carrot garbanzo pancakes: I added some carrots for color and seasoned it with parsley, garlic powder, fennel seeds and sea salt.

If you are in an elimination diet please skip the cayenne pepper. I used ½ the amount of lemon. For a vegan version, please substitute the chicken stock by vegetable stock or water.

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Bean soup is a staple in Brazilian repertoire: because everybody eats beans in almost all meals, leftover beans are common, so the natural consequence is soup. We add pasta, such as elbow macaroni, or vegetables, such as watercress, to the soup. I am just topping the soup with some kale and parsnip chips, but you don’t want to add all of them as they get mushy very quickly. Just add a little to the soup for decoration purposes and serve the rest on the side.

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I never paid attention to parsnips before so it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I found out that this wonderful root is delicious and versatile. They are great for making chips, fries, puree etc.

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Kale Chips

I found this recipe at the James Beard Foundation site. I used lacinato kale (or Tuscan), which is very delicate so I didn’t remove the stems or chopped the leaves. You can make this recipe with any kind of dark greens, such as kale or collard greens. I skipped the cayenne pepper.

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Because Mahi-Mahi has a moderate fat content and a firm flesh, it grills very well and the fatty avocado salsa is a perfect complement to it. This dish is simple yet very delicious. I served the fish on a bed of red cabbage, fennel and sesame seeds.

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Lamb chops were on sale and they looked delicious, so we bought a rack. I just sprinkled them with kosher salt and pepper, some onion and garlic powder. Then let them come to room temperature and grill them for 4 minutes each side, covered with a foil or the grill cover, for medium rare. Cook 6 minutes each side for medium. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

I served the lamb with yucca puree and broccoli rice. If you would like more information on how to cook yucca root, please let me know. Sometimes I find it at the grocery store then I buy it right away.

Broccoli rice is a favorite at my parent’s house in Brazil, specially to go with “bacalhau” (salted cod). Everybody loves it. There was never enough. Its obvious Portuguese flavors goes well with fish or meat. Note: a very good olive oil is important for the success of this dish. I also used purified water and Himalayan salt.

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This is another favorite of mine. I always remember to make it when I see pumpkins all over the place. Yes I still have some from my CSA (community supported agriculture) box!.

For those doing the elimination diet, skip the half and half and the brandy. It will still taste really good as long as you use fresh rosemary.

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This soup is similar to the “White Bean and Kale Soup”, however, the herbs I use are different, thus the flavors are not the same at all. I think I’ve got this recipe in a book by Bob Greene but I can’t find it now. His recipe was white bean and kale, not garbanzos, but you can use either. Fresh rosemary is very important because the soup doesn’t contain meat: that’s where the flavor comes from. Fresh oregano is optional but if you use it, a new flavor dimension is added. For a vegan version, substitute the chicken broth by vegetable broth. For those in the elimination diet, skip the Parmesan, sorry.

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This soup is pure comfort: very nice in a winter day or if you think a cold is coming to get you. I added some peas and spinach for fiber and color. You can add any green vegetable. For the elimination diet, please skip the eggs.

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For this dish, I used brown rice fettucine. This dish is light and delicate, it goes well by itself of with meat. Or even with side vegetables. I served it with chicken. Make sure to use a very good quality organic extra virgin olive oil for maximum flavor.

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This is a recipe I posted in my other blog. I found years ago in a magazine: the flavors in this dish are wonderful, it’s fragrant and extremely aromatic. Please note, though, that for optimal results, it’s very important that you simmer it covered in very low heat for 45 minutes. For the elimination diet purposes, I am skipping the chili powder.

I served it with Chickpea, Zucchini and Quioa Pilaf (see the recipe here).

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I just wanted something to go with the Chicken Tagine. You may have noticed I am in my red quinoa phase. LOL, I go through phases with one ingredient then I forget about it for a long time. I also used some left over black lentils but these are totally optional. Garbanzos sound like a good match to quinoa, and what about something “green”… zucchini perhaps?

Since the Chicken Tagine is very rich in flavors, I wanted a dish that tasted almost “neutral”, so I decided not to add any herbs or spices, just a pinch of cinnamon. But if you are making this dish “standalone” I would recommend adding some lime, lime rind, parsley and cilantro.

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Hoppin’ John is a traditional dish with many variations, so I decided I could make it anyway I wanted. We love black-eyed peas. In Brazil this bean is called “Little Monk”, not sure why. It is believed that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity: we eat it often just in case. Black-eyed peas are an excellent source of fiber, calcium , folate, and vitamin A, among other nutrients.

I served it with Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes. See the recipe here. Instead of rosemary, I used thyme. For a vegan version, use vegetable.

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IMG_1393When my friend Camilla and I went for a walk in the park she mentioned this turkey burger recipe and I was very intrigued, so I decided to try it. It’s a dish at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago restaurant and it looks like Oprah is a fan. It is a little bit of work but not much and it’s totally worth it, it’s delicious! I make a big batch every once in a while since then.

The second main ingredient of the Major Grey’s Chutney is high fructose corn syrup, so I replaced it with some pureed apple, a drop of apple cider vinegar and a little extra lemon juice. I also skipped the Tabasco. Everything else is good for the elimination diet. If you are not in an elimination diet, you should definitely use the Major Grey Chutney, it’s really delicious.

Check the recipe on Oprah’s web site here with amounts for 8 burgers. I adapted the recipe to yield 2 burgers, which actually produced 4 good sized burgers.

I just updated this post (finally after 4 years) with some corrections and a better picture: this is a sandwich with plantain bread (you can check online, there are several recipes out there but they all take eggs), arugula and tomato.

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The vegetable broth I used has a yellow color, which I think turned the soup prettier. If your broth is transparent, you may want to add some chopped carrots to the ingredient list. Add them with the kale.

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I took advantage of the broiler while the chicken was cooking and cooked some green beans at the same time. Put them in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Broil them for about  10 minutes, tossing them once or twice, until they start browning. I also made more Japanese Style Napa Cabbage and Cucumber Salad to go with it.

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I used vegetable stock instead of wine and no red pepper flakes. This is one of the easiest, fastest and more delicious dished I ever made: it took me less than 5 minutes to prepare, the rest of the time was just waiting for the roasting in the oven. Find the original recipe here.

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Green Quinoa

I am a little obsessed with pesto sauce these days, I guess that I am realizing it’s so delicious, healthy and versatile. I love pine nuts, but I decided to try to make this dish with almonds just for a change. I used blanched almonds but you can use slivered, whole etc. It turned out really good!

If you need help on how to cook quinoa, check this blog, Food and Style. This blog is wonderful, it’s worth taking a look!

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I tried to make a different kind of bean or legume each day during this vegan week, I guess I almost did it. Today is my last day of the vegan week and I will not cook as I have lots of leftovers in the fridge, from lentils, yellow split soup to black-eyed peas.

I love black-eyed peas. I usually make this dish with tomatoes and yellow bell peppers. Actually the combination of vegetables I used turned out pretty good. You can use any crunchy vegetable such as carrots and turnips for example. I cooked the beets very slightly so they were a little crunchy. My husband loved this dish so much he even asked if he could take it to the office for lunch!

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I just put together some greens, yellow beets (I love them, and they don’t stain everything as red beets do), heart of palm, sprinkled with slivered almonds, sesame seeds, sea salt, black pepper, lime and olive oil.

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Middle Eastern cuisine is a great fit for this diet (should we still call this a diet? It’s been sooo delicious!): their main staples are grains, spices, herbs and lamb. This lentil soup is comforting and delicious. The flavors are intense and the food, fulfilling.

The only change I made to the original recipe is that I reduced the amount of olive oil to 1/3 and used carrots, parsnip and squash instead of potatoes. See the original recipe here. This recipe yields to a lot of soup. You may want to reduce the recipe to half but then you will have a problem when blending the cilantro and garlic in the food processor: you won’t have enough. I had to use some water as I didn’t want to use 1/4 cup of olive oil.

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Today I started the vegan week of the elimination diet. I had creamy rice with granola for breakfast. For lunch, I baked a sweet potato and boiled some brown rice pasta. When the pasta was almost ready, I added zucchini strips, drained and mixed with some pesto. There you go, delicious lunch in no time (given that you have the pesto sauce). Some meals are too simple to deserve a full recipe. If you’d like more details please let me know. Tonight I think I am making some Lebanese lentil soup, yum!

In order to get the most of a meal, focus on whole, fresh ingredients, try to bring lots of flavor into the dish by using herbs and spices and most importantly, make sure it has beautiful colors!

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This recipe is from Epicurious, see the original recipe here, and here is their comment about it: “This dip was inspired by a recipe for bissara, a garlicky purée from Egypt made from dried broad beans, in Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery.”

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You can make this spread with any left over or canned fish.

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Roasted Asparagus

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The flavors in this soup are wonderful and it’s full of nutrients, so a little goes a long way… and a drop of pesto on top made it taste like heaven! I made a full recipe so I can have it again for lunch and as a snack.

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Hummus is a delicious, versatile and super healthy dish. It is great for snacks with chopped vegetables, gluten-free crackers, sandwiches and lettuce rolls.

Garbanzos are a great source of fiber, zinc, folate and protein. Tahini, a sesame seed paste, is a very good source of monounsaturated fats, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and zinc. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, and polyphenols which are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticoagulant actions.

Garlic, ah garlic, protects against evil or ward off vampires. Garlic contains manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C. But most importantly, garlic, like onions, markedly reduces inflammation. It’s also antibiotic and antifungal, antibacterial.

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Non-Diary Pesto

Use pesto in pastas, soups, pizzas, sandwiches, or to season some fish. It complements and brings big flavors to once dull dishes. A little goes a long way. The original version takes Parmesiano or Romano cheese.

Basil contains flavonoids, volatile oils and eugenol: they protect the cell, they are anti-bacterial and anti-inflamatory. We already talked about garlic and it’s wonderful preventive and healing properties.

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