December 17, 2012

Brazilian Chicken Salad

Known as Salpicão de Frango, this recipe is one of the typical Brazilian side dishes for the Holiday.

servings: 8 to 10
time: 35 minutes

2 large chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
1 green apple, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
½ onion, cut into very thin strips
2 grated carrots
10-15 chopped olives (black or green)
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tbs. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
crushed potato chips to garnish

1 – Mix apple and lemon juice in a pot while you chop the other ingredients.
2 – In a large bowl add onion, carrot, olives, raisins, almonds and parsley. Stir well.
3 – Add apple with lemon juice and the shredded chicken.
4 – Seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil and mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the spices to your taste.
5 – Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. After that, put in the bowl that you will use to serve and garnish with the crushed chips.

Tips and Options
  • Use different ingredients as corn, peas, celery, cabbage, potatoes, green beans or radishes.
  • Want a lighter option? Instead of mayonnaise, use 2 tablespoons of yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon mustard.
Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salpicão de Frango.

December 10, 2012

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Chocolate cookies + nutella = delicious!

servings: 24 cookies
time: 40 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ to ¾ cup Nutella (or other chocolate hazelnut spread)
24 nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios...)

1 – Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick spray.
2 – In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy (for about 2 minutes). Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat well.
3 – Mix in flour mixture at low speed, just until combined.
4 – Turn dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and knead a few times until it is smooth and shiny. Shape dough into 24 (1-inch) balls.
5 – Arrange balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie, leaving an indentation.
6 – Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
7 – Spoon a generous teaspoonful of Nutella into the center of each cookie.
8 – Add a piece of nuts on top of each cookie.

*This recipe is adapted from

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Cookies de Chocolate com Nutella.

December 04, 2012

Chickpeas with vegetables

Chickpeas are low in fat and are a helpful source of zinc, folate and protein. They also provide dietary phosphorus and can assist in lowering cholesterol in the bloodstream.

servings: 6 servings
time: 50 minutes

1 ½ cups chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
3 cups water
½ onion, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
½ cup chopped leeks
1 chopped tomato
2 cups chopped vegetables (in this recipe, were used broccoli, yellow squash and green beans)
salt and olive oil to taste

1 – Soak chickpeas overnight.
2 – Discard the water and put them in the pressure cooker with 3 cups of water. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes, after the pan start to beep, and remove from heat. Before opening the pan, wait for the pressure stops completely.
3 – Throw out the water and set aside the chickpeas.
4 – Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a pan and sauté onion, garlic and leeks.
5 – Next, add the chopped vegetables and tomatoes. Cook until the vegetables are as soft as you like.
6 – Add chickpeas, salt to taste and mix well. Serve while still warm or as a salad.

Tips and Options
  • At the end, add olive oil and juice of ½ lemon.
  • Parsley, chives, thyme, curry and black pepper are also good spices to the dish.
  • Because cooking chickpeas is a bit of work, I do a larger amount (depending on the capacity of the pressure cooker) and freeze in containers with lids. Then, just remove from the freezer and use for salads, soups or with vegetables, like in this recipe.
  • If using a sauce pan, the cooking time for chickpeas is between 1 and 2 hours.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Grão de Bico com Legumes.
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