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How to chose an avocado? A very hard avocado is under ripe; a mushy one is overripe. Chose one that gives in slightly to the touch. Because it’s so hard to find perfectly ripe avocados, I usually buy under ripe ones and leave them on the counter top or place them in a paper bag (if I am in a hurry). It will take them 1 to 4 days to ripen. Once they are right, I move them to the fridge right away (check them every day). They will be good for a couple of days.

Avocados turn brown once exposed to air. In order to prevent the browning, add lime or lemon juice to them and make sure to coat each piece really well.

To find out about the wonderful health benefits of avocados, go to the World’s Healthiest Foods site by clicking here.

What’s the secret for creamy, delicious beans? Soak them overnight in purified water. Discard the water, put them in a stockpot with new purified water. Never add salt or any acidic ingredient until the beans a completely cooked. Actually it’s best to add all the seasoning after the bean has cooked, except for some basic spices, such as bay leaves.

To find out about the wonderful health benefits of beans, go to the World’s Healthiest Foods site by clicking here.

Fennel and Carrot Salad

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!

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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Baked Parsnip Chips

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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