Ugh, green smoothies. Like what’s new, right? So how about some Brazilian love, exotic fruit and samba grooves to welcome Spring and reboot your green smoothie routine? I just spent a week in Brazil visiting friends and working long-distance, and I had forgotten just how amazing the options of available fresh fruit juices and smoothies was there! Papaya and mango are like currency in this country, and forget about the insane amount of fruit you can squeeze into your happy hour Caipirinhas, from acerola to pineapple, passion fruit and cashew fruit. And man did I drink the life out of all the coconuts while I was there. I used to buy a fresh green coconut every day from a street vendor by my house who would crack it open with an actual machete and sip on it on my way to classes. Ah heaven. And just in general, I realized going back how much I had underestimated Brazil’s level of development when I lived there. I suppose I needed to go live in Peru to actually appreciate the level of comfort and the modernity of services available in Sao Paulo. I almost cried when I jumped into a taxi with a GPS or opened a restaurant menu with an actual salad section. It was really nice to go back for a few days. Now I’m in Lima for a week before going back to Cajamarca, which is cool because I never really got to discover Lima. I have been to Lima a few times but I always passed by for a couple of days or less when travelling to somewhere else and never had time to discover it though I know it’s an amazing city.
Sometimes, food is like art, and cooking like painting it. Beautiful, colorful, meditative. You assemble your material, take out your cutting board and knife, chop your vegetables one by one in a repeated, patient, practiced gesture, select the spices, herbs and condiments that will allow for the flavors to burst and intertwine. And with perfect synchronicity, you then turn up the heat, drizzle the olive oil, stir in the onions, then the vegetables one by one, let it smoke, sprinkle some salt, crack in some pepper, bring it back to a slow simmer, take a few risks, contemplate with satisfaction as your ingredients sizzle in the hot oil, release their wonderful flavors and come together in the most beautiful of meals. Every time I cook something, I look at it and think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve made. Until the next meal comes around of course. Continue reading
Who would have guessed but collard greens are a staple food here in Brazil. Eating the traditional Brazilian Feijoada (meat and black bean stew) without a side of collard greens is just not right. Before coming here I didn’t even know what a collard green was. In fact, my only experience with leafy greens was limited to lettuce and spinach. But when I go to the farmer’s market we have by our house every Sunday morning, there’s always a huge stall with all kinds of cabbages, root vegetables and greens. Oh my. Mustard greens, beet greens, chard, dandelion greens, collard greens, spinach and so on. So many choices. It’s my favorite moment of the market, plus I think one of the sellers there has a little crush on me because he always insists on filling my order and digging up the greenest, leafiest collards for me. How I interpret a big leafy collard as code for flirt, I sometimes honestly wonder where I get these ideas. Continue reading
This has been my go-to breakfast on many days since I decided to cut my lovely albeit gluten-full granola out of my breakfast ritual and still haven’t had time to learn to make my own version of gluten-free granola (but I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I’ve gotten around to doing that). On days when I miss cereal, I make a snazzy nut and chia seed porridge with coconut milk that I also have in my list of recipes to share. On regular days, I have these eggs.