Garlic Shrimp

My annual Portuguese summer vacation is coming up, and I can hardly wait to dig into all the delicious food! The one type of food I look forward to the most is seafood! From the fresh fish to the shellfish, the seafood tastes incredible. 

Luckily where I live, we get the fresh seafood that helps me kill my cravings throughout the year. One of my favorite dishes to eat in Portugal is Camarões com Alho (Shrimp with Garlic). The shrimp are cooked in olive oil and lots of garlic! The shrimp comes to your table with their legs and tails attached and served with a side of toasty bread to dip in those juices. It’s a simple and insanely delicious dish to cook for a weeknight meal or a crowd!

My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients 

  • 16 extra-large shrimp

  • 1 lemon, juice and zest

  • 2 teaspoons of piri-piri oil

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • ½ cup of butter

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • Salt

Recipe

  1. Devein the shrimp, but keep head intact, season well with salt. Reserve.

  2. In a frying pan – I like to use a heavy well-seasoned cast iron pan, place olive oil and butter plenty of garlic crushed with the peel and some chopped. Sauté a little. 

  3. Add the prawns and fry. Season with Piri-Piri oil.  Add the bay leaves, the white wine, a bit at a time and squeeze the lemon to keep the sauce going. It will take no more than 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 

  4. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and parsley and serve immediately.

  5. Serve with toasted bread.

Fava Bean Salad

Beans, Beans... Fava, black, white, red, or soy beans, they are all good for you!

They provide minerals, soluble fiber, protein, and no saturated fat.

Pretty much every culture has their own bean dish.

From black beans served with meat and rice in South America, red baked beans on toast in the UK, to the famous French dish, Cassoulet made with pork, and white beans, every country has their bean signature dish.

Portugal is no exception. We eat a lot of beans, in stews, soups and as a side, we too are crazy for beans.

When I was growing up, I had the typical dishes like feijoada, with white or red beans, or vegetable soups made with kidney beans, but what I loved the most was when my mom made simple salads with beans.

The bite from a bean in a salad creates a different texture from what I was used in stews and soups.

In the warmer months, especially, my favorite thing to do is to add beans to my salad, not only do they add a great bite, but they help you feel fuller for longer.

My Fava Bean Salad is made with blanched fava beans, shaved asparagus, and drizzled with a light lemon & honey dressing. This bright and super easy salad is great for a quick side, appetizer, or meal!

Fava Bean Salad
Fava Beans
Fava Beans

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs. fresh fava beans in pod

  • ½ cup thinly shaved cooked asparagus

  • A handful of small arugula

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest

  • Sea salt & ground pepper

Recipe

  1. Remove the beans from their pods.

  2. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Add the beans to the boiling water, cook for about 2-3 minutes, just to really blanch them. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.

  3. Drain the beans, and add them to the ice water to stop cooking, then remove the skin layer from fava beans by carefully piercing the bean and squeezing it out of its skin. Discard the skins.

  4. Shave the asparagus lengthwise with a peeler.

  5. In a small bowl, add the minced shallot, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until all combined.

  6. Assemble the salad, add the arugula first, then add the fava beans, shaved asparagus.

  7. Finish with the dressing and lemon zest. Season to taste.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

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Ingredients 

Mint Gremolata

  • ¾  cup mint, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • salt & pepper

Lamb Chops

  • 4-6 lamb chops

  • Salt & pepper

  • oil

Recipe

Mint Gremolata

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, crush  the mint, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and zest. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should remain course, so if using a blender, pulse it until the mixture is just combined. Set aside.

Lamb Chops

  1. Heat up your grill pan. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the pan, and place chops on grill pan, cooking 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

  2. Once they are done, plate the chops and drizzle the gremolata on top.

Beet & Citrus Salad


Ingredients 

  • 2 medium beets mixed variety , sliced (such as red, gold)

  • 4 oranges mixed variety (such as Cara-Cara, blood orange, or navel)

  • 2 radishes, sliced

  • Handful of fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of  red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.

  2. Place the beets in the middle of a large foil. Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up each bundle to seal it. Roast until tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the size of the beets). Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Let cool completely.

  3. Using a sharp knife, peel and pith the oranges. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

  4. Slice the radishes.

  5. Once the beets are cooled, slice them into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Set aside.

  6. For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey together. Season to taste.

  7. To assemble, arrange the oranges, beets and radishes on a large platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette and top with the fresh mint leaves.

Pea & Mint Risotto

Going green in celebration of Earth Day!

This fresh and vibrant green Pea and Mint Risotto is luxurious while still being a light dish. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal, as it is very quick to whip up.

When the warm weather arrives, my backyard gets taken over by mint! All Spring and Summer long I have plenty of mint to cook, bake and make tea with. So this recipe helps utilize my garden’s herbs and celebrate this wonderful day! GO GREEN!


Ingredients 

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1-½ cups uncooked Arborio rice

  • 4 sprigs fresh mint

  • 4 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth

  • ⅓ cup white wine

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the broth and keep warm.

  2. In a large nonstick pot, sauté onion in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

  3. Add the rice, cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.

  4. Stir in heated broth, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the liquid to absorb between each addition.

  5. Meanwhile, in a blender, add the peas with a splash of water and blend into a puree.

  6. Cook until risotto is creamy and almost tender around 20 minutes. Add the sprigs of mint & the pureed peas. Cook until heated through.

  7. Remove the mint sprigs.  Add Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

    Garnish with pea shoots or asparagus for an added bite.




Bacalhau à Brás (Cod fish with potatoes and eggs)

Tomorrow is Father’s Day in Portugal! In honor of my Dad, I have made his favorite recipe - Bacalhau à Brás, and one that he cooked often when I was growing up. Every bite brings me back to when I was a kid, seating at the dinner table and telling him that I hated olives! But now this is one of my favorites!

It’s such an easy recipe to do, cod mixed with onions, fries, and eggs. If there is a recipe to make someone fall in love with cod, it has to be this one! 

My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried salt cod

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups)

  • Enough oil to fry potatoes

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 8 large eggs

  • Salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided

  • 18 black or green olives

Recipe

  1. Soak the salted cod in water for 24/36 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times – depending on the thickness of the cod

  2. Heat oil in deep heavy bottom pot

  3. When hot, add potatoes and fry until golden – you want the potatoes light golden not to crispy

  4. Dry on paper towel to get rid of excess oil

  5. Add the cod to a pot of water, bring to a boil.

  6. Lower the temperature and simmer the cod for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove the cod pieces with a skimmer and onto a plate.

  8. Remove the skin from the cod and shred it, making sure to discard all the bones

  9. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes while stirring.

  10. Add the cod, mix and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

  11. Add half of the matchstick chips and mix.

  12. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  13. Add the eggs to the cod mixture and stir until the eggs are half-cooked.

  14. Add half of the matchstick chips, half of parsley and stir one last time.

  15. Remove immediately from heat to avoid overcooking the eggs

  16. Arrange in a dish.

  17. Garnish with leftover parsley and black olives.

Fennel Citrus Salad

I am a HUGE salad fan. I eat salad every single day! Boring, I know. But to make it exciting and delicious, I use a variety of different ingredients. One of my favorite ways is to add fruit to my salads. I like having a nice crushing bite of an apple or a refreshing orange, and it completely elevates the entire dish.

In honor of citrus season, I decided to highlight the citrus and add ingredients that would compliment them. Fennel is a great ingredient that I feel is not used enough! The licorice flavor is definitely not for everyone, but when paired well, it helps pull the entire dish together.

I used a mandolin to slice the fennel, as it is very fibrous, so slicing them very thin is the best way to eat it. In addition, the salad is topped with chopped pistachios, fennel fronds and drizzled with a light vinaigrette!

This dish is perfect for serving alongside a steak or a frittata for breakfast!

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cara- cara oranges, peeled & sliced

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & sliced

  • 2 blood orange, peeled & sliced

  • 1 large fennel bulb, peeled & sliced

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. honey

  • ¼ cup. crushed pistachios

  • 2 tbsp fennel fronds

  • Sea salt

Recipe

  1. Halve and core the fennel bulb. Chop the fronds and set aside. Using a mandoline, carefully slice the fennel into thin slices. Set aside.

  2. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½"-thick rounds.

  3. For the vinaigrette, using a small bowl, whisk the olive oil,  lemon juice, and honey together.

  4. To assemble, plate the citrus and fennel on a platter. Scatter the chopped pistachios and fronds over the salad. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Overnight Chia Pudding

This 3-ingredient Chia Pudding is the easiest breakfast you will ever make! 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but mornings, during the week, are usually quite hectic in my house. So, for me, having a breakfast made and ready to go is the truly a time saver.

These tiny little seeds are a great protein source and are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, omega -3 fatty acids, iron and calcium which makes them one of the most nutritious foods on earth!

Topped with my Raspberry Chia Jam, this overnight pudding will hit all your taste buds and will become your favorite go to breakfast!  

 
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding

Ingredients 

Raspberry Chia Jam

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries

  • Zest & juice of ½ lemon

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Chia Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup, to taste

Recipe

Raspberry Chia Jam

  1. Add the raspberries, honey (maple syrup or agave), lemon juice, and  zest to a small saucepan and allow it to cook, over medium heat, until the fruit is thawed and the sauce is brought to a boil.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Bring the pan back to the heat for 2-3 minutes until the jam has thickened.

  3. Store in an airtight jar mason jar for about 1 week.

Chia Pudding

  1. In a bowl, add milk, chia seeds, and agave. Whisk to combine.

  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 3-4 hours. The chia pudding should be thick. If it has not thickened, add more chia seeds, stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

  3. To assemble it:  layer the Raspberry Chia Jam, followed by the Chia Pudding and top it with the jam again.

 

Ginger Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

Being raised with my grandmother, one of the things I remember most is how much soup she would make and how much soup I was forced to eat!!

We ate a variety of vegetable soups from carrots and potatoes to spinach soup. Finishing the bowl before being able to go outside and play was a daily struggle.

As I’ve gotten older I’m happy to have been raised that way, I think it helped my palette, and I love a nice warm bowl of vegetable soup!

One of the top three favorite soups is this Ginger Carrot and Sweet Potato soup. Its velvety, and full of flavor. The ginger gives it an extra zing, alongside some fantastic health benefits.

This soup is a time saver! The vegetables are all dumped in a pot cooked until tender, blended and served. Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some seeds to for added texture, this soup is perfect for all.

My Portuguese Mother // Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
My Portuguese Mother // Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
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My Portuguese Mother // Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
 

Ingredients 

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

  • 4 medium carrots, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tbsp thyme

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 5 cups of water

Recipe

  1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the chopped onions, garlic, sweet potato, carrot and ginger, season with salt, pepper and thyme.

  2. With a wooden spoon, stir to mix the ingredients.

  3. Pour the 5 cups of water into the pot. Cover and allow it to come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots and sweet potatoes are tender when pierced.

  4. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

  5. Transfer back to pot, heat and serve. Dress the soup with a drizzle of olive oil and pumpkin seeds.

Citrus and Avocado Salad

I live in an area where I am lucky to have four seasons. My least favorite of all of them  has to be winter, from the cold to the mountains of snowfall each year, there is nothing I like about winter, except for citrus season.

Interestingly enough, citrus is at its sweetest during the winter. As it may be obvious, these citrus fruits are grown in temperate regions, such as California, Florida and Texas. Luckily for us, we can pick them up at our grocery store and celebrate the citrus season as if they were grown in our own backyards!

The best way to use citrus fruits in your meals during this season is to make them the star of the show. So, for this recipe, I wanted to keep it simple and compliment the balance of the sweetness of the fruit by adding  salted pistachios and  making a vinaigrette with avocado oil and lime. 

 This salad is a perfect pairing with fish, such as a grilled salmon or a great side to brighten up a steak dinner.

My Portuguese Mother // Citrus and Avocado Salad
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My Portuguese Mother // Citrus and Avocado Salad
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cara- cara oranges, peeled & sliced

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & sliced

  • 1 blood orange, peeled & sliced

  • 1 avocado, peeled & sliced

  • ¼ cup avocado oil

  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 2 tbsp. crushed pistachios

Recipe

  1. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½"-thick rounds. Cut the avocado into slices. Transfer to a medium serving platter.

  2. For the vinaigrette, using a small bowl, whisk avocado oil,  lime juice, and honey together. Drizzle over the salad.

  3. Scatter pistachios over the salad, finish with sea salt and ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Roasted Citrus Salmon

Whether you follow a meatless Monday or just need a quick dinner recipe, this citrus salmon is the perfect go-to weeknight meal!

Cooked in under 10 minutes, the salmon is then topped with the easiest and brightest citrus salsa. Combined with lime zest and juice, it will cure all your winter blues.

Citrus Season is at its peak now, so this salsa is a perfect recipe to make use of oranges or grapefruits you might have around!!

My Portuguese Mother / Citrus Salmon
My Portuguese Mother / Citrus Salmon
My Portuguese Mother / Citrus Salmon
My Portuguese Mother / Citrus Salmon
 

Ingredients 

Salmon

  • 1 1-2 lb. salmon filet

  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs basil, cilantro or thyme, plus more for garnish

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tsp freshly grated lime zest

  • 1 blood orange, grapefruit or orange thinly sliced

  • salt & pepper

Citrus Salsa

  • 1 blood orange, grapefruit,  segmented and chopped

  • 1 orange segmented and chopped

  • 1 small shallot, diced

  • 2 tbsps fresh chopped cilantro

  • Juice & zest of 1 lime

  • salt & pepper

Recipe

Salmon

  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, chopped herbs, garlic, lime zest, and salt and pepper  together.

  3. Place your salmon on your lined baking sheet. Rub your butter herbed mixture on the salmon. Then, place your slices of citrus fruit on your salmon.

  4. Broil the salmon for 6-8 minutes, until your salmon is just opaque and your citrus slices are slightly browned.

  5. Flake your salmon, and serve with citrus salsa.

Citrus Salsa

  1. Peel, segment and chop your citrus and add them to a bowl. Add your diced shallot, cilantro, the juice and zest of 1 lime and salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Once your salmon is done, spoon your salsa over the salmon.



 

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Store bought jams are usually filled with  preservatives, and unwanted sugars, but making your own jam at home allows you to control what you are putting into it.

This superfood jam is made with 4 ingredients, and perfect for spooning over toast, crackers, oatmeal and yogurt.

The addition of the Chia Seeds not only adds more texture but adds an additional list of health benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants.

Make this jam and store it for the week for a quick topping for your breakfasts and snacks.

Tip: If raspberries aren’t your favorite berry, swap it for blueberries, blackberries or strawberries, or a combination of all.

 

 
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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries

  • Zest & juice of ½ lemon

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Recipe

  1. In  a small saucepan over medium heat, add the raspberries, honey, lemon juice, and zest and allow it to cook until the fruit is thawed and the sauce is brought to a boil.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Bring the pan back to the heat for 2-3 minutes until the jam has thickened.

  3. Store in jar for about 1 week. Serve over your yogurt, oatmeal, toast or waffles/pancakes.

 

Buckwheat Waffles

Eating a healthy breakfast doesn't mean you need to limit the good stuff!

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these Buckwheat waffles are rich in flavor, filled with fiber and protein and are gluten free!

Easily frozen, making these waffles ahead for the week can ease your mornings!

Top them off with this deliciously tangy Raspberry Chia Seed Jam, or with yogurt or maple syrup.

 

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, shaken

  • 4 tbsp. melted butter

Recipe

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.

  3. In small bowl, or measuring cup, whisk the egg, buttermilk and melted butter together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.

  4. Oil your waffle iron, pour the mixture into the heated waffle iron, cook the waffles until light and crispy.

  5. Serve with maple syrup, or with a dollop of raspberry chia seed jam.

*Waffles can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely, then transfer them to airtight plastic bag and place them in freezer.  To thaw, preheat a toaster oven, or a traditional oven and heat them until crispy.

 

Coconut Granola

Happy New Year!

Getting back into a routine after the holidays, or in my case after a trip is always difficult. This year, I spent NYE in Portugal, so my new year resolutions got slightly pushed back!

Now that I am officially back and in cooking mode, I am dedicating this month to healthy recipes and whole foods. Being Portuguese, I was raised eating a Mediterranean diet which if you haven’t heard is 2019 diet of the year!

So kicking off, I whipped up this quick granola recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack! This 8 ingredient granola could not be easier to make! Packed with nuts, chia seeds and big chunks of coconut, this recipe is also easily adaptable for your preferred flavors.

Once you try out this recipe and see how easy it is to make, you will never go back to store bought granola again!

 
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granola 3
 

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups of rolled oats

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ½ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

  • 1 ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds

  • ¼ cup pistachios

  • ½  cup coconut oil, melted

  • ½  cup maple syrup, or honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone matt or parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, coconut flakes, chia seeds, almonds, pistachios and mix to combine.

  3. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil and maple syrup until the coconut oil is completely melted and mixture is slightly warm. Whisking frequently, whisk  until the two mixtures are totally combined. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients, gently stir until the entire oat mixture is coated.

  4. Pour the granola onto prepared pan in an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes.

  5. Let the granola cool completely. Break into clumps.

  6. Store the granola in an airtight container or sealed bag, at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.