October 29, 2012

Crunchy White Cake

The basic white cake has a nice crunchy in this recipe. Check it out.

servings: 15 to 20 pieces
time: 45 minutes


Ingredients
4 eggs (separate whites and yolks)
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of hot milk
1 tbs butter
1 tbs baking powder
1 pinch of salt
180 gr. of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
1 cup chopped mix of nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans)

Note: melt the butter in the hot milk.

Directions
1 – Beat egg whites until they are very firm.
2 – Add the egg yolks, one by one, and put the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light yellow.
3 – Add flour and salt, alternating with the milk mixed with butter.
4 – Put the baking powder and stir lightly.
5 – Pour batter into greased and floured baking sheet.
6 – On the top, sprinkle the chocolate and nuts mix.
7 – Bake (in a preheated oven) for about 35-40 minutes at 350°F.

Tips and Options
  • Use the nuts you like the most to make the crunchy. The mix can be made with almond, Brazilian nuts, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts or pecans.
  • Another option to make the cake even more crunchy is by using chocolates bars like Toblerone or Crunch.
  • For a little variety, add 1 package shredded coconut (unsweetened) to the batter.
  • The chocolate can be milk, semisweet or white.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Bolo Crocante.

October 23, 2012

Chinese beef with broccoli

Bring some Chinese taste to your dinner.

servings: 4
time: 25 minutes


Ingredients
1 lb. beef cut into strips or cubes (tenderloin or sirloin)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of ground ginger
1 tbs. canola or olive oil
1 onion, cut into very thin strips
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. roasted peanuts, chopped
1 tbs. sesame seeds (optional)
chopped chives to garnish


Directions
1 – Season the meat with salt, pepper and ginger.
2 – Heat the oil in a large pan and add the meat. Fry well (without stirring) for approximately 3 minutes.
3 – Mix and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
4 – Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally.
5 – Once the onion is golden, put the broccoli, soy sauce, peanut and sesame seeds, mixing well.
6 – Cover the pan and set the fire to medium-high and let it cook for about 5 minutes (or until the broccoli is cooked to your taste).
7 – Turn off the heat and add the chives.

Tips and Options
  • If the bottom of the pan starts to dry too much during the preparation of the dish, add a little warm water.
  • This recipe can also be made with chicken breast.
  • Spice up the dish with other vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, eggplant or cabbage.
  • Ginger can be used powdered or natural, grated (in this case, use only 1 teaspoon).
  • White or brown rice and green salad are great side dishes.
  • If you want to serve in Chinese style, place the rice in individual bowls and add the meat on top.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Carne chinesa.

October 15, 2012

Grilled Vegetables

Your barbecue days are going to be healthier, tastier and fancier with this easy recipe.

servings: 6
time: 25 minutes


Ingredients
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into thick slices (about ½ inch)
1 sliced onion (also cut in ½ inch)
1 zucchini, sliced
12 stalks of asparagus
2 large bell peppers
6 large fresh mushrooms
6 thick cheese slices (can be fresh mozzarella or tofu)
6 to 12 basil leaves
salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
6 stalks of rosemary to decorate

Directions
1 – The bell pepper is the one who has different preparation and should be grilled whole. To grill, let it be black on all sides. Then, place it in a sealed plastic bag. After a few minutes in the bag, will be easier to remove the skin and seeds, which are not used. Cut them into 3 pieces and set aside.
2 – Cut all other vegetables and place them on the grill. Cook until you can see the grill marks and turn the vegetables.
3 – When they are cooked to your taste (more or less soft), place them in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
4 – To plate, start with the eggplant or peppers as the base (since they are the largest) and then add the other ones, alternating with cheese and some basil leaves.
5 – On the top, put 2 stalks of asparagus crossed (as the picture shows) and drill a hole right in the middle (with the help of a barbecue stick), putting a stalk of rosemary for decoration.
6 – Sprinkle the seasoning of your choice (I used olive oil and balsamic vinegar) and serve.

Tips and Options
  • To prevent the onions to fall apart while grilling, attach the slices with a toothpick.
  • Any other vegetable can be used (or replaced) in this recipe: potatoes, green beans, carrots... The only thing that changes is the cooking time for each one.
  • To make that a complete meal, add grilled chicken to the layers.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Legumes na churrasqueira.

October 08, 2012

Salad with Sesame Salt

Sesame + sunflower seeds are excellent helpers for weight loss.

servings: 1
time: 20 minutes


Ingredients
Salad

2 collard greens leaves
3 cabbage leaves (white or purple)
3 radishes
1 can tuna
½ tbsp (tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbs sesame salt*

*Sesame salt
1 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup black sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs sea salt





Directions
Salad
1 – In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon and sesame salt.
2 – Add the tuna and stir well.
3 – Put collard greens, cabbage and radish, chopped to your preference.

Sesame salt
1 – Place all ingredients in a dry pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.
2 – Grind the mixture coarsely, using a blender or food processor.
3 – Store in a dry pot, with lid.

Tips and Options
  • Add parsley or chives to the salad.
  • Instead of collard greens and cabbage, use other leaves such as lettuce, spinach or napa cabbage.
  • For a lighter recipe, use tuna in water.
  • Chicken breast or turkey are also good options for this salad.
  • The sesame salt can be used as a salt substitute for salad dressing, rice, soups, vegetables and meats.

+ about sesame salt
Also known as gomashio, the sesame salt is a Japanese condiment. The mixture is an excellent option to reduce the amount of salt consumed, reducing body water retention. Sesame seeds help to reduce cholesterol, contain antioxidants, manganese, copper and calcium. Sunflower seeds are source of vitamin E, calcium and phosphorus and has anti-inflammatory action.
How to use: Prepare food as usual and use the sesame salt as topping.

*This sesame salt recipe is from my sister-in-law, Fernanda Sansone, who is a nutritionist.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salada com Gersal.

October 01, 2012

Strawberries & Nutella

Easy & yummy

STRAWBERRIES & NUTELLA
20 strawberries / time: 5 to 10 minutes (Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese)

Ingredients
20 strawberries, washed and dried
3 to 4 tbs. Nutella

Directions
1 – Put nutella in a bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir well.
2 – Dip the strawberries in nutella, one by one, covering only one side.
3 – Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Tips and Options
  • Strawberries should be washed and dried thoroughly.
  • If the nutella begins to harden while you are dipping the strawberries, microwave again (10-15 seconds).
  • Sprinkle nuts or chocolate sprinkles on top of the strawberries.
  • Keep the strawberries in the refrigerator. Preferably, in covered bowl.
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