Viva Brasil

And it’s a GOAL…

It seems that, for the months of June and July, in order to get someone’s attention you need to either talk football (if you are really into football) or simply do a Samba dance just to be in touch with Brazil. In short, it’s called the Fifa World Cup Craze. Well, i’m much into that too, no complaints. 
So, if your family and friends are like mine, then any moment of the year is an excuse for a party. This post is an inspiration from my sister, Sheetul, who just realised that we need to party HEALTHY (She even took the pictures of few dishes, thanks Sista). Well the World Cup comes only after 4 years and I personally think that even if you don’t like football, if is the perfect occasion to unite all your family and friends over a brilliant match. Girls, enjoy yourselves watching the hot torso of Ronaldo, Joe Hart, Neymar Jr, Van Persie or whoever you want to, you’ve got 90 mins.
However as you know Mauritian cuisine is the yummiest but our samoussa, vindaye poisson or pate over all matches can make us gain a few kilos.
The good thing is that since we are travelling to Rioooooooo, I think having Brazil as a theme could be a really fun idea. It is also a cool way to show off your brilliant Chef skills and invite everyone to praise your knowledge of Brazilian cuisine.

This is how you and your guests can enjoy the World Cup in a healthy way, not even realising it.

1.Small Vessels = Small Portion

Don’t serve big plates and large Beer glasses. Go for small, tiny ones. This will prevent your guests from filling their vessels with huge portions.

2. Run like Ronaldo

Oh yes, you can do some fitness while watching a match. It’s simple. When there’s a goal, Jump as high as you can, scream, shout and hug everyone. You can dance a few steps and even run around a table or on streets. You may look stupid, but who cares! It’s called football fever.

3. Raise your glass to…

Alcohol can a real disaster on your “calorie-meter”. However don’t panic, cocktails can be your savior. Just remove your crazy high-calorie beverages from the table. Display all types of fruit juices, fresh fruits (pineapples, strawberries, apples…) and ice cubes. Cut a few limes into wedges (Lime is well-known to prevent a hangover. God bless Lime). Now all you need to do is invite your guests to be a bartender for a day. Popular Brazilian cocktails are Caipirinha, Brazilian Martini, Passion fruit Batida, Brazilian Beets, Coco Cabana and O Magigo. You can also create your own cocktail.
Just for your information, Brazil has a strong Portuguese influence and being so beautifully gifted with the Amazon Forest, they are never lacking sweet fruits like guavas, passion fruits, pineapples, mangoes and many more. Brazilians live on a diet of fish, manioc, beans, various nuts and fresh veggies such as okra, tomatoes and onions. Brazil equally has some European and African influences and the district contribution of each of these regions of the world is still apparent today in many Brazilian dishes, while still preserving their own identity. Well, Brazilian food is Beautiful, Sexy and Hot (you can say Bonita, Gostosa and Quente for the Portuguese touch). You will love it. 
Here is a Delicious and Healthy Menu idea so you can live the World Cup in a BrAAAzilian way:

It’s Apero time-

1. Spicy Oven-Baked Chicken Wings:

Just mix,in a ziplock bag or a bowl, about 20 chicken wings, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1 tablespoon (Tsp) crushed garlic and 2 teaspoons (tsp) chilli powder (completely optional) or Paprika (if you are not too spicy). Season with salt and pepper. Shake it well so that the chicken wings are well coated and bake them for about 1 hour at 200 degrees in an oven.

2. “Herby” Oven -baked Wedges:

Cut about 6 potatoes into wedges and put them over boiling water for about 10 mins (just for them to be a little bit tender). Drain the wedges and Mix them with about 1 Tsp herbs (i used “Herbes de Provence”), 1 tsp chilli powder or Paprika and 1 tsp garlic powder (optional). Season with salt and pepper. You can add more spices if you want to. Place the wedges on a baking tray and coat them with 2 Tsp olive oil. Bake for about 1 hour at 200 degrees, up to when they are golden and crisp. Serve with guacamole or salsa sauce. 
You can bake both dishes at the same time in the oven (One up and the other down). While they are cooking, get to your main course.
Next the Main Course-

1. Louco (Crazy) Rice:

This is a simple way to mix lots of Brazilian veggies with Rice. Start by cooking your rice depending on the number of guests you are receiving at your place. Now, lets prepare the flavourings. Sautee in a pan some chopped onions, crushed garlic, green ,red, yellow bell peppers, corn kernels (you can use the canned corn kernels) and dried raisins with 1 Tsp olive oil or any vegetable oil. Stir the rice with the veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some fresh parsley on top and serve with a Brazilian Feijoada and a fresh salad.

2. Feijoada (Brazilian Black Beans with Meats)

Feijoada is one of Brazil’s national dishes which is meant to serve to a large group of family and friends. The following
recipe is a modified version of the dish, specially depending on what I readily got in Mauritius. It is highly inspired by one of my favourite Chefs, Jamie Oliver. So, first I opted for red kidney beans instead of the traditional black beans but not to worry both can be cooked in the same way. 
Soak about 2 cups of beans overnight. If you don’t want that you can use the canned red beans, readily available in supermarkets. After the soaking process, drain the beans and cook in a pressure cooker with water for about 30 mins until tender. In a pan with 2 Tsp of oil, sautee 2 chopped onions, 6 crushed garlic, 3 Tsp tomato paste, 5 dried bay leaves, 2 tsp cumin powder, some sausages and meats like chicken, turkey… (No red meats, lets be light). Add 1-2 cups of water and the cooked beans. Simmer for about 45 mins, over low heat, until the meat is tender. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tsp of sugar.
Note: One small tip to prevent your spices from sticking to your pan, add a lil water instead of oil.
Red kidney beans are very good sources of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They can help you replenish your iron stores and are excellent sources of vitamin B1 and manganese needed for neurotransmitter function (memory) and antioxidant defenses respectively.

We save the best for last. There is no Brazil without COFFEE. Brazil is one of the largest producer of Arabica coffee and a small amount of Robusta too. So finish the finals with a good cup of coffee and a SAMBA dance.
Ole Ole Ole Ola… Viva Brasil…

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