January 30, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Bread

Healthy, tasty and easy to prepare!

servings: 15 slices
time: 1:30 hour

½ cup butter (4 ounces)
½ cup brown sugar (3 ¾ ounces)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 large bananas, cut into chunks (about 1 pound before peeling)
¼ cup honey (3 oz)
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour (8 oz)
½ cup chopped walnuts (2 oz)

1 – Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9.25x5.25x2.75 in loaf pan.
2 – In the mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
3 – Add vanilla, salt, and bananas, beating until well combined, but leaving some small chunks of banana.
4 – Beat in honey and eggs.
5 – Add flour, walnuts and baking soda, stirring until smooth.
6 – Spoon the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
7 – Bake for 50 minutes, then gently put a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

8 – Remove bread from the oven and allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.

Tips and Options
  • Add raisin or Brazilian nuts to the batter.

+ Info
Recipe adapted from: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/heavenly-healthy-banana-bread-recipe

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Pão Integral de Banana com Nozes.

January 23, 2014

Spaghetti alla Carrettiere

Easy, quick and delicious!

servings: 5
time: 30 minutes

1 lb spaghetti noodles
3 to 4 garlic cloves
extra-virgin olive oil (about 4 tbs)
sea salt, to taste
red chili pepper flakes, to taste
grated parmesan cheese, to taste
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

1 – Boil pasta according to package directions.
2 – While the pasta is cooking, mash the garlic with a good pinch of salt.
3 – Combine garlic and olive oil in a bowl and set aside.
4 – When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of the water, and drain the remaining.
5 – Mix well pasta, garlic with olive oil, salt, pepper and grated cheese, to taste.
6 – If the pasta is too dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved water.
7 – Add the parsley and serve while still hot.

Tips and Options

  • What is the difference between “Aglio e Olio” and this recipe? In the first one, garlic is sautéed with olive oil. In Spaghetti a Carrettiere, garlic and olive oil are used raw. It seems subtle, but gives a big taste difference. Try both ways and decide which one you like more! :)
  • The origin of the dish comes from Sicilian drivers, who needed to carry on their travels a tasty, convenient food which does not spoil so easily. Hence, the name Pasta Alla Carrettiere.

I learned to do this recipe in an Italian cooking class, with Matthew Hamby.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Espaguete à Carrettiere.

January 16, 2014

Cassava Salad

Great side dish for BBQ and roasts.

servings: 5
time: 1 hour

2 lb cassava (also known as yuca)
3 tbs olive oil
3 mashed garlic cloves
salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup chopped parsley and chives

1 – Peel and cut cassava into pieces about 2 inches long.
2 – In a saucepan with water and salt, boil the cassava until it is soft.
3 – In a bowl, mix olive oil and garlic. Set aside.
4 – Once you remove cassava from heat, drain the water and place cassava in the oil/garlic bowl. Mix well.
5 – Add salt, pepper, parsley and chives.
6 – Serve cold or at room temperature.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salada de Mandioca.

January 09, 2014

Mai Fun Salad (Rice Noodles)

Excellent dish for hot days and as a side dish for that BBQ!

servings: 6
time: 25 minutes

1 package rice noodles, Mai Fun (1 lb)
6 oz chopped turkey breast
6 oz chopped mozzarella
1 carrot (grated or diced very small)
½ cup chopped olives
1 chopped tomato (or 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
chopped parsley and chives, to taste
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
3 tbs olive oil

1 – In a large bowl, add all ingredients (except the pasta) and season with salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
2 – Following the instructions in the noodles' package, boil water in a large pan and place noodles to cook (mine took only 3 minutes). Remove from pan, drain the water and put the noodles in a bowl with ice water for 2 minutes.
3 – Drain the water and mix Mai Fun to the other ingredients. Serve cold.

Tips and Options

  • Add corn, peas and/or chopped bell peppers to the recipe. Chopped ham is also a great combination.
  • Without using any type of meat, the dish is a great choice to please vegetarians.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salada de Bifum (macarrão de arroz).

January 02, 2014

Rice Cake

Don't waste! Make cakes with rice leftovers.

servings: 36 to 40 mini cakes
time: 1 hour

4 cups cooked rice
½ chopped onion
½ cup all purpose flour (whole wheat or white)
3 eggs
2 to 3 tbs grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley and green onions

1 – In a large bowl, mix all ingredients by hand.
2 – Shape the mixture into little balls and place on greased baking sheet.
3 – Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top of each cake.
4 – Bake in preheated oven to 400°F for about 40 minutes, until the cakes are nicely browned.

Tips and Options

  • The cake can be dip fried in oil. Baked is healthier but surely fried will taste better.
  • Enhance the flavor of cakes by adding fried bacon pieces, corn, boiled potato pieces, peas and/or diced mushrooms.
  • When making the balls, add a piece of mozzarella in the middle, before baking.
  • Serve with rose or marinara sauce, mayonnaise and/or ketchup.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Bolinho de Arroz.
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