Brazilian black bean and rice (Feijao e arroz)

This dish brings back wonderful memories from Rio de Janeiro and it’s  now become a staple in my home. Simple yet delicious, I call it my favourite healthy dish 🙂

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Ingredients:

2 cups black beans
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions diced
6 garlic cloves chopped
2 cubes chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of water. Drain and rinse well. Fill a big pot of water (don’t worry about adding too much water), add the beans, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to very low and allow it to simmer for 2h.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly stirring often for about 5 min. Add the garlic and cook until the mixture turns to a golden brown (about 3-5 min).

When the beans are cooked, remove excess water and keep just enough to create a stew (this is not a soup). Then take a small bowl, pour 2 spatulas of the beans and mash them completely with a fork. Pour it back onto the pot with the rest of the beans. This will act as a starch allowing the liquid to thicken. Add right away half of the onion/garlic mixture, the broth cubes and continue cooking for about 20-30 min to allow the sauce to thicken. Remove from heat, throw the bay leaves and just before serving add the rest of the onion/garlic mixture, salt and pepper. Serve it on a bed of rice.

My chocolate class :)

I am SO thrilled I took this amazing chocolate class with Lee Ann Mitchell (http://www.chocolatebydesign.ca/) and look what I’ve come up with by the end of the class 😉
Unfortunately I cannot give you Lee Ann’s delicious recipe for these truffles and ganaches (you would have to contact her for that) but for a close version please look into my truffles recipe under the Recipes tab. You can then roll your truffles with any toppings you like 🙂

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Almond butter

Imagine making your own nut butter at home! I was thrilled when I learned that and mainly when I found out how easy and quick this was 🙂
You could use peanuts, cashews and any other nuts of your choice.

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For a full jar (like the one on the picture) you will need around 500g (16oz) of raw almonds.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 15min (make sure your oven was fully preheated prior to roasting the almonds).
Let cool slightly and mix with a food processor for a total of 15min-20 min. This will give time for the nuts to release their oil adding some elastic texture to your butter. Stop the food processor several times during the process and scrap the bowl with a spoon to make sure all the nuts get well blended.

Apple crumble

Apples, cinnamon and crunchy buttery sugary oats….what best could there be?
Here is a delicious recipe from one of the most beloved Quebecois chefs Ricardo !
(Translation here-below)

Apple crumble 2

Ingredients:

Crisp topping
310 ml (1 1/4 cup) instant cooking rolled oats
60 ml (1/4 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
60 ml (1/4 cup ) brown sugar
75 ml ( 1/3 cup ) unsalted butter, softened

Filling
125 ml (1/2 cup ) brown sugar
2.5 ml  (1/2 tsp. ) ground cinnamon
3 Cortland apples , peeled and sliced
3 McIntosh apples , peeled and sliced
15 ml (1 tbsp. ) Lemon juice

Preparation:

Place rack in the bottom of the oven . Preheat oven to 180 ° C (350 ° F).

Crisp topping:
In a bowl , combine the oats, flour and brown sugar. Add butter and mix well. Put aside.

Filling:
In another bowl , combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the apples , lemon juice and mix well.
Spread in a square baking dish 20 cm (8 inches) . Cover with the crisp topping. Bake for about 50 minutes. Let cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with vanilla ice cream .