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Archive for the ‘Bay Leaves’ Category

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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We like to have lunch at the Whole Foods close to our house on Sundays: it used to be a Wild Oats and it still has that neighborhood kind of feeling to it. They recently added a variety of grains to the salad bar which is a very attractive feature. Black lentils and red quinoa came up as a combination of flavors that I got addicted to. I had some leftover red quinoa from the Tabbouleh I made last Sunday, so I decided to make this dish which turned out really good. It is very versatile. You can complement it with some braised dark greens, a protein, such as fish, or avocado slices. You can also drain the lentils and use them as part of a salad.

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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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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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Brazilians don’t feel a meal is complete without beans. A typical Brazilian meal is composed of rice, beans, a small piece of meat and vegetables. Black beans are most common in Rio and in “Feijoada”, the national dish. We usually don’t use salsa, unless we are eating “churrasco” (BBQ). Then the salsa is made with tomatoes, onions, parsley and green onions, not avocado and cilantro. Actually, in Brazil, avocados are not used as a savory ingredient, but as a dessert!

I served the black beans with brown rice, lacinato kale (we usually serve collard greens but I couldn’t find them; kale is a good substitute), and avocado salsa (avocado, lime, red onion and cilantro). The kale was cooked with some olive oil and garlic.

Today I had a cocoa protein shake with a frozen banana and almond butter as breakfast. I won’t cook meals as I have left over black beans and lentil soup. But I will make more pesto and granola: I will try to put some banana chips on the granola. I’ll let you know how it turned out.

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