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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Brilliant Sauteed Broccoli

I am a little spoiled when it comes to vegetables: in Brazil we have a big variety and all vegetables taste wonderful. I think broccoli in the US doesn’t have any taste … but I found out that baby broccoli tastes much better. So I am using it in this recipe. You may think baby broccoli is expensive but in the end, I think the cost ends up being the same as the regular broccoli, because you pay for the super thick stems. With baby broccoli you use everything.

This method of cooking (blanching/shocking) is very good: the final consistency of the broccoli is very nice and its color, awesome! Instead of brown sugar and red pepper flakes I just added some garlic powder when sauteing. I didn’t use Parmesan cheese either. See the original recipe here.

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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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We were invited to dinner at our friends Joe and Luiz, so I made a salad to take there. I put together romaine lettuce and English cucumber, topped with shredded carrots and sliced fennel. Then sprinkled with some black and white sesame seeds and dill.  I made a dressing with goat cheese, vinegar, white wine and dill, but if you are in the Elimination Diet, stay with lime and olive oil. The dinner was delicious and fun!

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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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These pancakes were delicious! I made half the recipe but I should have made a whole one, as my husband came looking for seconds, and there was none left!

I used coconut oil instead of olive oil and skipped the chili and the curry. No zucchini flowers either. I served it with the Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger (see the recipe here), which has a lot of flavor, so I seasoned it with just a bit of garlic powder and some chopped cilantro in place of the garam masala.

If you are serving this dish “standalone”, I recommend that you use all the spices (except the chili and curry, if you are doing the elimination diet).

This recipe is very versatile, I think it should be really good with carrots or other vegetables and any combination of spices and herbs. Besides the burger, I also served it with some chopped red cabbage and carrot salad.

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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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The original tabbouleh recipe is made with bulgur wheat which is not gluten free. Substituting it by red quinoa makes the dish lighter and the result is delicious! This is a great way to get the vegetables to the family table.

I served it with Coho fillets and baby broccoli.

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If you are making white fish, follow the recipe below. If you are making salmon, as I am, skip the lemon and the garlic powder: salmon has a strong flavor and we don’t want to overpower the dish by mixing too many strong flavors. The crust was very crumbly and it was kind of falling apart and the taste of almonds was not so evident. I think the results of breading the fish with garbanzo flour like in the Garbanzo Flour Crusted Cod, Yucca Root Puree, Collard Greens recipe were much better. However, the taste of the almond crust is really delicious the next day…

I served it with garlic broccoli rabe (rapini) and some left over Hoppin’ John.

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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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I won’t  detail the recipes here as I really didn’t measure anything when cooking today. But I will sure tell you briefly how I made each dish. Please send me a message if you’d like more details on how to cook these dishes. Note that these recipes are all ok for the elimination diet.

Garbanzo Flour Crusted Cod: Season fish with sea salt and pepper. Mix garbanzo flour with garlic and onion powder. Dredge the fish with the flour mixture. Sautee the fish with coconut oil for about 3 minutes each side.

Yucca Root Puree: cook yucca in water and sea salt until soft. Drain, save about 1 cup of cooking liquid. Cut in 1 inch pieces, return to pan. In low heat add ghee and some of the cooking liquid until it forms a lumpy puree. Add fresh chopped parsley.

Collard Greens: check recipe here.

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This is a very versatile dish: you can use a variety of vegetables. The list of vegetables in the recipe below contains the produce that was fresher at the store. Mix white, yellow and green vegetables. I used broccoli rabe instead of broccoli as it was on sale. Broccoli rabe  or rapini is bitter and pungent, for me, similar to mustard leaves.

Serve the Chicken Stir Fry with brown rice or soba noodles.

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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 came across a beautiful wild sockeye salmon and I had to buy it. The fish was so beautiful that I think the only way to cook it in order to enhance its flavor is the tea-smoked process. Tea-smoking is delicious, super easy and fast: see the recipe here. I added fresh dill to the fish and to the pesto brown rice pasta that I served on the side.

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This dish is inspired in a Japanese dish called “Gomoku Gohan (5 Ingredient Rice)”. The original recipe uses soy sauce, sake and sugar. In this dish I am using sesame oil and kombu instead. It is very important to use kombu and burdock root: these two ingredients bring “umami” to the dish. You can find burdock root at your local Asian store. Make sure to keep it in a container with water in the fridge. That way, it will last for a long time. Burdock is widely used in the macrobiotic diet.

I served it with Japanese Style Napa Cabbage and Cucumber Salad.

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Just thinly slice some English cucumber and sprinkle with sea salt. Let rest for about 10 minutes and squeeze well. Thinly slice some Napa cabbage, mix it in a bowl with the cucumber. Dress with sea salt, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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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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This soup is delicious and easy to make. I just omitted the cayenne pepper and increased the spinach amount. Store bought garam masala could be used in the tadka, however, it contains red chili or cayenne, so I recommend that you make your own spice mix. I also used light coconut milk, as I think the regular one is a little too heavy for this recipe.

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I boiled some brown rice pasta, added asparagus cut in 1.5 inch pieces in the last 5 minutes, peas in the last 2 minutes, drained, mixed with pesto and ready! That was my lunch yesterday, plus a small green salad and an apple with almond butter.

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This dish is inspired in a Middle Eastern dish that I used to have in Brazil: a type of flat bread filled with escarole. I served it with asparagus on the side.

That was dinner last night. This morning I had a brown rice tortilla wrap with black beans from the other day, asparagus from last night and avocado.

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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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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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So I am thinking what do I have for breakfast today? I have a left over half sweet potato, some greens, avocado. I thought about adding some nuts or the leftover Indian cauliflower and parsnip but it was going to be too much. So I spread a little hummus in a brown rice tortilla, mashed the sweet potato and spread over the hummus, topped with the arugula and avocado. One thing about the brown rice tortilla: first, remember not to heat it too much, heat it just enough to make it flexible, then work fast as it gets hard when it cools down.

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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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I served this vegetable dish as a side for some biriyani leftovers from yesterday. This dish is originally made with potato and cauliflower. I made a version with cauliflower and parsnip. And no chili. It turned out pretty good.

This recipe was adapted from “Potatoes and Cauliflower with Peas” (From Curried Flavors, Maya Kaimal MacMillan).

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This is a special dish for New Year’s Eve. On a normal elimination diet, one should not have too much refined grains or fried food. According to the author, this recipe is a simplified version. I used chicken broth instead of yogurt, ghee instead of butter, no eggs, no chili, no cayenne. For the chicken fry, I used 1 tablespoon of oil instead of ¼ cup.

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Poaching is a very easy and healthy cooking technique. The fish was moist and perfectly flaky. The trick is not to boil the fish, but you need to bring it to boiling temperature slowly and keep an eye on the heat.

I served the fish with some brown rice fusili, broccoli and pesto.

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The original recipe is from Food and Wine and it’s for pizza, see their recipe here. But I think the final result, which is delicious, looks and tastes more like a pancake, in my opinion. It turned out really good with salmon spread and arugula.

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This is a no-chili chili, so I am adding additional cilantro for taste. I served it with an arugula bitter greens salad on the side. Beware of chicken broth when you buy: check the label carefully. Most of the organic brands contain sugar cane or soy. The brand I am using is the organic free range “Imagine” chicken broth.

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Tea-Smoked Salmon

I adapted the recipe from a blog called Invitado de Invierno (see the recipe and blog here) and it looks like the recipe originated from “Simple Ming” episode 203. I have been making it over and over. The result is delicious, exotic and the preparation, more than easy.

I served it with on a bed of baby bitter greens such as kale, tuscan kale, escarole, radicchio and frisee, dressed with lime juice and olive oil. If desired, you could sprinkle some nuts or olives on top of the greens. Then I topped the with leftover roasted winter vegetables. I always cook a big batch of food so I can have it in more than once and/or I can use some of it when cooking further meals. This saves time and helps in case you are caught short handed. Also, note that I usually have a big piece of fish or meat in my final pictures: that’s for photographing purposes, I eat 3 oz of that portion, the rest goes for another meal!

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There is no fixed recipe for this very versatile breakfast. Today I used one brown rice tortilla, spread a thin layer of hummus all over it, covered the hummus with baby greens, a slice of turkey, ¼ avocado slices and some asparagus from yesterday. I wanted to add some winter vegetables but they wouldn’t fit!

Brown rice tortillas are delicious but a little chewy. It’s important to warm it up but not too much, otherwise it will get too flaky or crispy. Crispy is good if you want to make tortilla chips.

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I am using vegetables that looked good at the store today, but any winter vegetable can be used. You can also use any herbs or spices, such as basil, oregano, parsley, chives, cumin etc.

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Roasted Asparagus

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This fish turned out really good. The lemon caper sauce is a classic sauce originally made with butter. Steaming fish is an Asian technique: it’s easy, fast and healthy. I served the fish with oven-baked sweet potato fries.

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Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries

4 Servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel potatoes, cut each in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 6 wedges or ½ inch wide strips. In a large bowl, combine the cut potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper. Toss until potatoes are evenly coated. On a baking sheet, arrange potatoes in a single layer and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked through — about 30 minutes. Turn every 10 minutes with a spatula, carefully. Serve immediately.

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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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