Happy Homemade Soup Day!!! – Feijoada, Brazilian black bean stew recipe

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FEIJOADA, BRAZILIAN BLACK BEAN STEW RECEIPE

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (450 grams) dry black beans

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 pound (450 grams) pork shoulder, cut into chunks

2 large onions, sliced

1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 pound (450 grams) carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks 

1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh sausages, such as chorizo or Italianvsausage

1 pound (450 grams) smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa

1 smoked ham hock or shank

3-4 bay leaves

Water

1 14.5 ounce can (411 grams) of crushed tomatoes

Salt

DIRECTIONS

1 Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the stew.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes.

3 Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half.

4 Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours.

Serve with white rice and hot sauce. A classic side dish would be sautéed collard greens.

receita-feijoada

Happy Croissants Day!!! – Bacon and Cheese Croissants Recipe

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Ingredients

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 
4 slices (1 oz each) Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled 
1/4 cup chopped onion 
1 egg, beaten

Steps

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut cheese slices to fit on triangles; place 1 slice on each. Top with bacon and onion. Roll up loosely as directed on can. Brush with egg. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375°F 12 to 15 minutes.
Credit: Pillsbury

Happy National Blueberry Pancakes Day!!! – Todd’s Famous Blueberry Pancakes Recipes

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TODD’S FAMOUS BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 
1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 
1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 
1 egg
  • 
1 cup milk
  • 
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • PREP
10 mins
  • COOK
15 mins
  • READY IN
1 hr 15 mins

Directions

  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for 1 hour.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Credit All Receipes

Happy Green Juice Day!!! – How to cleanse with juicing and juice fasting?

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I’m often asked to name one thing that can be done right away to get healthier. With respect to food choices, the best suggestion I have is to begin drinking freshly pressed vegetable juices. Drinking just one freshly pressed juice each day is a reliable way of infusing your body with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that can protect your cells against premature aging and disease.

Making time to drink vegetable juices isn’t a problem for most people. It’s the time that’s needed to wash fresh vegetables, feed them through a good juicer, and clean the juicer afterward that prevents most people from making fresh juices a regular part of their lives.

But if you understand how beneficial freshly pressed juices are to your health, it becomes easier to make the time to juice several times a week.

THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS

The key to creating healthy vegetable juices is to make green vegetables the bulk of every batch. Green vegetables won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin like fruits and sweet vegetables like carrots and red beets will.

This isn’t to say that you can’t juice fruits, carrots, and red beets. Fruits and sweet root vegetables can be healthy additions to your drinks, and they’ll definitely add sweetness and flavour. You just want to make sure that they never make up more than one-third of each glass that you drink.

And if your blood sugar level tends to be high, you’ll want to use a blood sugar monitor to determine how much is acceptable for you. I’ve worked with many diabetics over the years who haven’t been able to handle even an ounce of fruit, carrot, or red beet juice in their drinks without negative health consequences, so please consider this point before you select your ingredients for juicing.

Romaine lettuce is one of the best green vegetables that you can juice. You can also juice other types of leafy lettuce like red or green leaf lettuce.

For variety, try adding large handfuls of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, Bok Choy, and other dark green vegetables that you might steam before eating.

For another layer of flavour, you can add a tiny slice of lemon (including the rind for its flavonoids) to your vegetable juices.

Some people enjoy adding a clove of raw garlic for even more bite.

Be creative and add any vegetables you crave. You really can’t go wrong as long as you make sure not to use too many carrots, red beets, or fruits.

Clearly, organic vegetables are better than non-organic vegetables. But my experiences have led me to believe that the health benefits of drinking juices made with well washed, non-organic vegetables far outweigh not juicing at all. If you’re only able to juice non-organic vegetables due to financial or other life circumstances, it’s still well worth doing.

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HOW TO EXPERIENCE AN EFFECTIVE JUICE FAST

Now that we’ve reviewed the fundamentals of how to make healthy vegetable-based juices, let’s take a look at how to carry out an effective juice fast.

Some people call juice fasting juice dieting, preferring to reserve the word “fasting” for water-only fasting. Juice fasting and juice dieting are the same thing.

Why consider doing a juice fast?

Drinking only freshly pressed vegetable-based juices for a day or two or even a week at a time can give your body much needed rest and time to heal itself of chronic health problems.

Because vegetable juices are extremely easy to digest, your body can spend much of its resources on healing damaged or exhausted tissues instead of spending its energy on digesting heavy meals.

You should only do a juice fast after consulting with your health care provider and confirming that your current health status should allow for a safe and effective juice fast.

What’s the difference between a juice fast and a water fast?

People detoxify and heal more quickly with a water fast than with a juice fast. This is because with a water fast, your digestive passageway and organs are able to rest completely, which allows almost all of your energy to be used for cleansing and repair of damaged tissues.

With a juice fast or a cleansing diet of fruits and vegetables, your body must use energy (a minimal amount compared to when you are eating heavier meals) to digest nutrients, leaving less available energy for detoxification and healing.

Another significant difference is that more fat tissue is burned during a water fast, as your body must rely exclusively on fat reserves to supply its energy needs after the first one to three days of water fasting. Your body stores the bulk of incoming toxins in your fat reserves. As these reserves are burned for energy during a fast, any stored toxins will be released into your circulation, to be eliminated from your body through channels like your urine and respiratory tract. This mechanism of detoxification also occurs with juice fasting, but at a slower pace.

All of this considered, both types of fasting can be helpful to your health. The choice you make should take into consideration your circumstances and goals.

Generally, juice fasting allows for more gentle detoxification than water fasting. Juice fasting also allows you to have enough energy to keep up with most of your activities of daily living while you detoxify your tissues, where as an effective water fast requires almost complete physical rest.

Another significant difference is that juice fasting is much easier for most people to stick with. Water fasting is best carried out in a supervised setting while juice fasting is relatively easy to do from your own home.

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU JUICE FAST FOR?

It really depends on your health status and goals. If you’re looking to give your body a short but beneficial break, it can be helpful to do a juice fast for 48-72 hours over a weekend.

If you’re looking to experience significant detoxification and improvement in your overall health, you might consider doing a longer juice fast, somewhere in the ball park of one to two weeks.

Although it’s optimal to prepare for a juice fast by eating raw fruits and vegetables for 24 hours prior to beginning with juices only, most people do just fine in starting with juices without a pre-fasting routine.

You can drink however many juices your appetite calls for throughout the day. I have found that most people do well with an average of five freshly pressed juices per day.

You can use any of the juice recipes that are listed above, or any similar recipes that you create following your tastes.

While I generally recommend that people use fruit-based juices early on in the day and turn to vegetable-based juices as the day goes on, there’s really no requirement to stick to a specific order of juices.

ENDING YOUR JUICE FAST

You should end your juice fast by eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Credit: Prevent Disease

Bacon and Cane syrup Pecan Pie Recipe

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For the pie dough

  1. 7-1/2 oz. (1-2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  2. 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  3. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  4. 6 oz. (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  5. 5 to 7 Tbs. ice water

For the filling

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup cane syrup, such as Steen’s or Lyle’s
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon (3 or 4 strips)

Make the pie dough

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the largest pieces are about the size of corn kernels, 8 to 12 one-second pulses. Drizzle 5 Tbs. of the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture becomes a moist, crumbly-looking dough that holds together when squeezed in your hand, 4 to 6 pulses. If the dough is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of ice water and test again.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Gently gather and press the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Let the dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly (it should be firm but not rock hard), 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how long it was chilled. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin until it’s about 13 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Roll from the center of the dough to the edges and try to use as few passes as possible to avoid overworking the dough. After every few passes, run an offset spatula or a bench knife under the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking, and give the dough a quarter turn. Reflour the work surface and rolling pin only as needed—excess flour makes the crust tough.

Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it into the plate. You can also fold the dough in half and unfold it into the plate. To fit the dough into the plate, gently lift the edges to create enough slack to line the sides without stretching the dough. Trim off all but 3/4 inch of the overhang. Roll the dough under itself to build up the edge of the crust. Crimp the edge of the crust with your fingers. With the tines of a fork, prick the crust all over. Chill for up to 1 hour in the refrigerator or about 30 minutes in the freezer.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Line the piecrust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until the bottom looks dry and the edges are golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and put a large, rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack.

Make the filling

Put the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl set on a kitchen towel and add the vanilla. Combine the sugar, butter, cane syrup, cream, and salt in a 1-quart sauce-pan. Heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisking vigorously and constantly, very slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the yolks. Strain through a fine strainer set over a 1-quart measuring cup.

Credit: Fine Cooking

New England Clam Chowder Recipe by Dave Lieberman

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 

2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice

1 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pan Toasted Croutons:

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Pan Toasted Croutons:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

For the Pan Toasted Croutons:

Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss the bread cubes in the butter until browned and toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Happy Popcorn Day!!! – Why Microwave popcorn is an absolute nightmare!!!

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Burnt Popcorn

If you or someone you know is still eating microwave popcorn, listen up! I can’t tell you how many countless times I used to eat microwave popcorn when I worked in an office. My co-workers would buy one of those packs from the vending machine in the break room and pop that sucker right into the microwave and the whole floor would smell DELICIOUS! I just couldn’t help myself. It was the one thing in the vending machine that always had to be refilled week after week – way before the stale peanuts.

I’m so glad I stopped that habit, when I finally gave up my use of microwaves, because let me tell you, this stuff is horrible for your health and here’s why… 

THE BAG

The bag almost all microwave popcorn varieties come in is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This chemical is the same toxic stuff found in teflon pots and pans. It can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time. This chemical when heated has been linked to infertility, cancer and other diseases in lab animals. No long term studies have been conducted on humans, but the EPA lists this substance as a carcinogen.

THE CONTENTS

Here’s a snapshot of several popular popcorn brands and the ingredients they contain.

Popular Popcorn Brands

Even though there are no sources of genetically modified popcorn kernels being produced (that’s saved for other varieties of corn), there are several other GMO ingredients in the form of oil or emulsifiers to be found in these popcorn flavors. GMOs have never been tested long term on human beings and are linked to a slew of health issues that are rising in this country. All of these brands do not use organic corn either, so you can be sure they contain harmful pesticides.

Brands like PopSecret and Jolly Time still use trans fat, which is considered one of the most deadly fats available because it is associated with 20,000 heart attacks a year and over 7,000 deaths according to the CDC.

Proply Gallate that is found in PopSecret is one of those ingredients that’s being phased out in the rest of the world, but still being used here for a preservative in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It’s linked to all sorts of health issues like skin rashes, stomach issues and breathing problems.

TBHQ that is found in Smart Balance, stands for “Tertiary Butylhydroquinone.” It’s a dead giveaway that you shouldn’t be eating this, if food companies have to use an acronym for a long chemical name on the ingredient label.

TBHQ is a chemical made from butane (a very toxic gas) and can only be used at a rate of 0.02 percent of the total oil in a product. Why is there a limit to this? Maybe because eating only 1 gram of this toxic preservative has been shown to cause all sorts of issues, from ADHD in children, to asthma, allergies and dermatitis to dizziness and even has caused stomach cancer in laboratory animals.

Limiting TBHQ to a certain percentage, is the same logic the FDA made when allowing a product to still contain 0.5 grams of transfat and be labeled “transfat free.” If you are consuming processed foods, eating at fast food restaurants or chains that use processed foods you are consuming an overload of preservatives and other chemicals. The accumulation of eating all these different preservatives and man-made chemicals at once has not been studied by the food companies or the FDA for safety.

THE HIDDEN INGREDIENTS

Even though natural flavors and artificial flavors are listed on the ingredient label of microwave popcorn, we have no way of knowing what’s actually in these ingredients. Food manufacturers won’t tell you and they hide things in there like MSG, beaver’s anal glands and diacetyl butter flavoring. What’s so wrong with a little bit of artificial butter flavoring? Well a lot. This stuff is seriously toxic, which forced Conagra Foods to remove it from their Act branded Microwave popcorn recently because it causes lung issues in workers. This ingredient is also linked to brain issues which cause Alzheimer’s Disease too. Dr. Mercola reports:

“Researchers conducting test-tube studies revealed that diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health. Not only can it pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is intended to help keep toxins out of your brain, but it can also cause brain proteins to misfold into the Alzheimer’s-linked form known as beta amyloid. It also inhibits mechanisms that help to naturally clear the dangerous beta amyloid from your brain.1

It’s not known at this time whether eating diacetyl-containing foods (it’s used not only in microwave popcorn but also in other snack foods, baked goods, pet foods, some fast foods and other food products) increases your risk of Alzheimer’s, but the finding that it may contribute to brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s at very low concentrations is concerning, to say the least.

Orville Redenbacher’s label explicitly says they do not use this flavoring anymore, but there are popcorn varieties that still do, so watch out, if you see the words “artificial flavor” on the label of any processed food, back up far away!

MAKE YOUR OWN (IT TAKES 5 MINS!)

Making your own popcorn from scratch is so EASY and you can avoid all of these health pitfalls. If you need to take some to the office or where ever you are going (like sneaking it into the movie theatre), I recommend making it in advance and throwing it in a reusable bag.

This recipe takes 5 mins. The extra 2 minutes (over microwave popcorn) is time definitely worth committing to.

I call this recipe “Superfood Popcorn” because it contains three amazing ingredients:

  • Coconut oil that is great for your metabolism
  • Hemp seeds that are full of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Red palm oil that contains the highest amounts of vitamins A and E of any plant-based oil

I have to say, the red palm oil took this popcorn from about an 9 to an 11 on a scale from 1 to 10. It looks and tastes like yummy comforting butter (and the color matches that movie theatre popcorn without all the added chemical ingredients). Also, the added texture of the hemp seeds combined with sea salt is so good and crunchy.

I made a bowl of this last week and it was heavenly! It’s seriously amazing – I can’t wait to hear your reports.

Please note red palm oil is different from palm kernel oil (that is grown in SouthEast Asia and killing orangutans). Red palm oil comes from Ecuador and harvested sustainably. Dr. Oz does a great job of explaining the difference between red palm fruit oil and palm kernel oil here if you’d like to learn more. 

Credit: Food Babe

Easy Peking Duck with with Homemade Mandarin Pancakes Recipe

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Ingredients

For the duck:
 
4 duck breasts (about 6 to 7 ounces each) with the skin on, rinsed and thoroughly patted dry with a paper towel
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
Pinch of five spice powder
1 tablespoon oil
 
For the mandarin pancakes:
1 1/2 cups flour 
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon oil
For the fixings:
 
1 cucumber, de-seeded and julienned
1/2 cup julienned cantaloupe (optional)
2 scallions, julienned
3 cloves garlic, finely minced and mixed with 1 teaspoon oil to make a paste (optional)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Directions

First, marinate the duck. Mix the salt, soy sauce, wine, and five spice powder in a small bowl and massage into the duck. Leave the duck breasts skin side up on a plate uncovered, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight to marinate and to let the skin dry out. (If you don’t want to wait overnight, reduce the marinating time to 30 minutes).

Next, prepare the Mandarin pancakes. Mix the flour and salt in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling hot water into the flour mixture and use chopsticks or a spatula to mix until a dough ball forms. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough for 8 minutes until smooth, adding flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover with plastic and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Roll the dough into a cylinder and cut into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a dough ball, then flatten them out into a small disc about 2 inches in diameter. Lightly brush 6 of the discs with oil, ensuring the sides of the discs are also brushed with oil. Layer the remaining 6 discs over the 6 oiled discs so you have 6 pieces, each comprised of 2 discs.

Use a rolling pin to roll the discs into 7-inch circles, flipping the pancakes frequently so both of the dough discs are rolled into the same size.

Heat a wok or frying pan over medium low heat, and place one pancake into the pan. After 30 to 45 seconds, you should see air pockets begin to form between the two pancakes. Flip the pancake; it should be white with just a couple of faint brown patches. Any more than that, and they are overcooked. After another 30 seconds, the air pockets should be large enough to separate the two pancakes. Remove the pancake to a plate, and let it cool for another 30 seconds. Now carefully pull apart the two pancakes at the seams. Place finished pancakes onto a plate and cover with a warm kitchen towel. Repeat until all pancakes are done.

The pancakes can be reheated in a steamer for about a minute when ready to serve. They also keep in the freezer for up to 3 weeks if you decide to make a larger batch. Next, prepare your fixings and place in small bowls to serve alongside the duck. (Using cantaloupe as one of the add-ins was new to us but was quite common in China. It’s a surprisingly delicious addition!).

Next, preheat the oven broiler on low heat. Heat an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to coat the pan. Sear the duck breasts, skin side down. Move them frequently so the skin crisps up and fries in the duck fat that renders out. After 8 minutes, or when the duck skin is golden brown and a little bit crispy, carefully drain off the duck fat and discard (or save for later application to other recipes!). In the pan, flip the duck breasts (so they are skin side up), and transfer them to the broiler for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the skin, which at this point should be a bit crispy.

Remove the duck from the broiler and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The duck will be cooked about medium well and will be very juicy. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut into thin slices.

Serve the duck with your warmed pancakes, fixings, and sauce.

Check out the full recipe @ The Woks of Lie

 

Hey you want to get Brunch? – Eggs in Muffin Cups Recipe

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Eggs in Muffin Cups Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 thin slices deli roast beef
  • 6 slices process American cheese, quartered
  • 12 eggs

Directions

  1. Press one slice of beef onto the bottom and up the sides of each greased muffin cup, forming a shell. Arrange two cheese pieces in each shell. Break one egg into each cup. 
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Yield: 6 servings (2 each). 

Credit: Taste of Home

Brain Ninjas – Quickly find 3 words that really describe you

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I PERSONALLY FOUND “FAT“, “BROKEN” & “WHORE” IN THAT ORDER… -_-

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN FOR SUCCESS: READ SMARTER, REMEMBER MORE, AND BREAK YOUR OWN RECORDS