Brazilian Rice with Carrots and Nuts

Those of you who regularly follow my blog will know how important rice is for Brazilians and how there are tons of different rice dishes here. Brazilians do not just eat white rice, on the contrary, they like to flavor their rice in as many ways possible. When it comes to rice in Brazil, almost anything goes in terms of flavoring and enriching your white rice!

This is something I absolutely love about Brazil and has opened up a world of kitchen exploration for me. I often like the simple things in cooking. I usually find that it is the simple recipes that I like best, have the most fun making and are the things that will most likely get repeated often in my kitchen. Rice is one fo those things. I make rice almost on a daily basis and after a few days of eating just plain white rice we like to add some different flavoring to our rice for some diversity. Often I will mix brown and white rice or will simply add lentils to my rice. But, there are times when I like to add nuts or other vegetables.

A few weeks ago I had a lot of carrots in the house and decided to use them in my rice together with some brazil nuts. I grated some carrots and roughly chopped up about a handful of brazil nuts. After quickly frying some garlic I add the nuts and carrots to my pan, then added the uncooked rice, water and salt. I let everything cook together until all of the water had evaporated. The rice turned a beautiful orange and was delicious with meat and collard or eaten just on its own.

This recipe is a little bit different from my rice and lentils recipe as the carrots and nuts are cooked together with the rice. By cooking the carrots and nuts together with the rice it adds much more flavor to the rice.

Brazilian white rice with carrots and nutsBrazilian White Rice with Carrots and Nuts

Ingredients

2 cups of white rice
4 cups of boiling water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup of grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped brazil nuts
Salt

Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clean, set aside to dry.

Grate the carrots and chop the brazil nuts.

In a medium sized pan add approximately 2 tbsps of olive oil. Heat the olive oil and add the crushed garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots, nuts and washed rice. Fry for another minute, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups of boiling water and the salt. Lower the heat and cover the pan, leaving just a little opening. Cook until all the water has evaported. Once all water has evaported, remove from the heat, stir the rice well. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Bolo de Beterraba (Beet Cake)

Beet Cake - Isn't the color amazing?

Beet Cake – Isn’t the color amazing?

This sounds like a strange thing to make, but trust me it is really tasty and the color from the beets is absolutely amazing! This is not a traditional brazilian cake, nor have I actually every seen anyone make it, but the recipe is based on my carrot cake recipe and is a wonderful variation from a tasty brazilian carrot cake.

A little while ago I was searching for beet recipes and somehow I stumbled across someone who had made a beet cake, it looked interesting and I thought I would give it a go. It turned out wonderful with a beautiful purple color and an earthy flavour from the beets!

Since moving to my farm I have struggled to make cakes and I actually stopped making cakes for about a year and a half. No cake that I made ever worked and eventually I gave up because I was losing so many ingredients to disastrous cake attempts. About half a year ago, after talking to my sister about her struggles with high altitude baking (she lives in Colorado at 9000ft) I thought that maybe this was the reason I was having difficulties with my cakes (I live at 1600 meteres/5250 ft). I did some research about what alterations to make to cake recipes at high altitudes and made a first attempt (beet cake was my first attempt). Guess what, it worked, I had finally succeeded in making a cake at home!

Since my first successful cake attempt I try to make a cake almost every week, and this beet cake has become a regular!

I am sharing this recipe because it follows the same process as making brazilian carrot cake, which if you haven’t tried check out my recipe HERE! It is super easy and everything goes in the blender!

I have included a recipe for a glaze for the cake, but I rarely make it. Instead I make a quick icing by melting some chocolate, mixing with a little bit of milk and pouring it over the cake!

Organic beets from my farm that I used for the cake!

Organic beets from my farm that I used for the cake!

Ingredients 

Cake:
3 medium beets, peeled, chopped and raw
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
3 cups white flour
1 tsp baking powder
Juice from half a lemon

Glaze:
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups milk

Pre heat the oven to 180C or 350F. Grease a medium cake tin, I use a bunt tin.

Peel and chop the beets (do not cook them). Place them in a blender with the eggs and oil. Blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Pour the beet mixture (isn’t the color amazing???) into a bowl. Add the sugar and flour a little at a time, mixing and incorporating into the beet mix. Once all the sugar and flour is well incorporated add the baking powder and mix well. Lastly, add the lemon juice and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until done!

The Glaze
Put all of the ingredients into a pan and heat on the stove until all melted. When the cake is cooled pour the glaze over!

Instead of following this recipe you can also follow my carrot cake recipe and just substitute the carrots for beets and add a little bit of lemon juice!

Note:
I use lemon juice in this recipe to decrease the earthy flavour from the beets. If you like the earthy beet flavour you can always leave the lemon juice out.

Salpicão (Chicken Salad)

SalpicãoIf you like tuna salad or egg salad I think you are going to love salpicão.

Salpicão is not something that I have seen around too much or had the opportunity to eat too many times, but I know that it is very popular and it is very tasty. This is so simple to make and can be eaten in so many different ways that there really isn’t any reason not to love it.

The first time I encountered salpicão was on a sandwich my husband ordered. I don’t know why but I wasn’t entirely convinced. However, after trying it I was hooked. Although eating salpicão on a sandwich is tasty I prefer it as a side salad.

SalpicãoWAIT, I haven’t even told you what salpicão is. Simply explained it is a glorified vegetable salad with shredded chicken. Once again there are hundreds of different recipes, but generally salpicão will be made with shredded chicken, carrots, apple, celery, raisins, and mayonnaise. You can eat it on  a sandwich or as a salad or as a cold side.

This is my recipe for salpicão. Although I have given specific measurements for everything you can really do what you want with this recipe. If you want to do more or less of something go ahead. If there is something you want to add to the recipe or take out no one will complain. The great thing with this recipe is that as long as you have the chicken and mayonnaise you can do whatever you want with the rest. One thing I am going to add next time is raisins!

SalpiãoIngredients

600g cooked and shredded chicken breast
1 large carrot, diced
2 apples, diced
2 cups red grapes, cut small
1 cup cabbage, cut small
2 cup celery, cut small
handful of parsley
mayonnaise
salt

SalpicãoBoil the chicken using a pressure cooker or normal pan. Once the chicken is cooked and tender remove from the broth and shred. Set aside to cool. Prepare all of the vegetables and fruit. Place in a large mixing bowl. Combine vegetables, fruit, and chicken. Mix well. Add the parsley, a sufficient amount of mayonnaise, and salt to taste. Mix well and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Eat as a side dish, a salad, or on bread!

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

Bife a Rolê

Beef RollI don’t usually cook meat! In my house it is usually my husband who is in charge of cooking the meat and I do the rest of the cooking. Ok, so I do cook some meat, but it is mainly chicken. My husband credits himself with teaching me how to cook meat and getting over my squeamishness with even touching it. When I met my husband in 2005 I didn’t eat much meat and what I did eat generally consisted of chicken, turkey, and some more chicken. After living in Brazil for half a year in 2005 and 2006 I had been converted into a full meat eater. Yes, my husband did have a large role to play in this as he is a die-hard meat eater and needs it almost on a daily basis (me, not so much)!

Beef RollWhen I started on this journey to learn how to cook Brazilian food I knew that meat would pop-up at some point and I would have to buckle up and make an effort to really cook those red meats right. In such a meat-loving country as Brazil there is no way to avoid cooking meat. So, when I discovered this delicious dish I figured that this would be the perfect way to start my new meat cooking experiences. There isn’t too much seaoning, frying, grilling…etc that goes into cooking Bife a Rolê, so not too many areas to get it wrong. 

This is such a tasty and simple dish to make that after making it once I think I am now going to include it into my regular weekly cooking. If you have a pressure cooker at home this dish is quick and no hassle. This is a wonderful to eat with rice, beans, and collards. Of course, if you do not have a pressure cooker you can just follow the same cooking directions, it will just take longer!

For some beautiful pictures of how to assemble the Bife a Rolê take a look at the beautiful blog A Clove of Garlic, A Pinch of Salt. Tiffany adds a few more ingredients to her Bife a Rolê and there is nothing stopping you from adding whatever you think might go great in this dish.

Happy rolling!

Beef RollIngredients

1/2 kg (1 lb) patinho or (in the USA) silverside beef
1/2 onion, sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
4 strips of bacon
16oz can whole tomatoes
3 cans of water (same as the tomato)
oregano
salt

Flatten the meat and cut into long strips of approximately 2 – 3 inches wide. Roll each strip with carrots, bacon, and onion inside (or any other fillings of your choice). Hold the rolls together with one or two toothpicks. Put tomato, water, oregano, and salt in the pressure cooker. Place the beef rolls in the tomato mix making sure that they are fully covered by the liquid, if not, add more water. Cook for 30 minutes. Open the pressure cooker and cook open for approximately 10 to 15 more minutes depending on how much liquid is in the pan and how much liquid you want to serve with the bife a rolê. Serve hot with rice, beans, and sautéed greens.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

The Brazilian Version of a Simple Salad

Simple Salad

The salad that came with our lunch!

A Brazilian salad is probably not going to be the first thing that you think of when you turn your attention to Brazil. Instead, you will probably think about football (soccer for the Americans), beaches, barbecue, fruity drinks, warm weather, and bikini’s. Well, let me add something else to your list of Brazilian associations….a simple Brazilian style salad.

Although Brazilians eat salad almost everyday it is not their speciality and they have not made a name for themselves from their saladDespite all of this I have come to love the Brazilian style salads and think more credibility needs to be given to them! Since first seeing and having a salad in Brazil I have not been able to get enough of the beautiful salad displays and the simple mix of fresh flavors.

Recently I went out for lunch with my husband and a friend, we each ordered a simple plate of rice, beans, fries, collard, and meat and with our meal came a salad. Before the salad came out I really didn’t think much about it. All I could think about was the amazing tasting pineapple and mint juice I was drinking (more about the delicious Brazilian juices to come). When our salad came out I was immediately excited to dig in. The beautiful orange color of the carrots, the red tomatoes, green olives, onions, and cheese looked stunningly simple on the plate. Before even tasting it I knew that this salad would be wonderful….and it WAS!

Yes, Brazilian salads are simple, but I think the simplicity of them is so exciting…and they are always really tasty. The traditional salad dressing is also wonderful: just olive oil, lemon, and salt bring out the amazingly fresh flavors of the grated and sliced vegetables and the lettuce.

Simple Brazilian Salad

My salad at home.

Ingredients

1 head of lettuce
1 grated carrot
1 grated beets
1 thinly sliced tomato
1 peeled and sliced cucumber
1 lemon or lime cut into wedges
Olive oil to serve
Salt to serve

Wash and prepare the lettuce. Cut thinly or leave the leafs whole. Arrange leaves on a large plate. Grate the carrots and place in a small pile on the plate. Grate beets and place in a small pile on the plate. Finely slice the tomato and place on salad plate. Peel and slice the cucumber and place on salad plate. Cut lemon wedges and arrange around or in a pile on the salad plate.

You can add or take away anything from the salad, three other things that I like to include in this salad are onions, green or black olives with pit, and feta cheese.

For a PDF of this Recipe CLICK HERE!