Quinoa bowl with “Rocha” pear for breakfast / Taça de quinoa com pêra Rocha

In Portugal, there is a distinctive variety of pear, the West “Rocha” Pear (Pêra Rocha do Oeste), and is one of the main horticultural product that Portugal exports. The pear’s pulp is fine, soft and aromatic, and has a thin and smooth skin, which enables to eat the skin and the flesh. The “Rocha” Pear can be eaten fresh and cooked, has I did in this recipe.

This recipe also has a scent of coconut in the cooked quinoa which makes the dish more flavorful, but you can use other types of milk if you don’t have coconut milk. Feel free to use other toppings, like fresh and dried fruit.

Quinoa bowl with “Rocha” pear

(serves two)
½ cup quinoa
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
1 “Rocha” pear
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of agave
2 tablespoons full of almonds (about 15 almonds)
½ teaspoon of salt

Combine the water, coconut milk, salt and quinoa in the same pan and heat on stove over medium heat. Once it begins to a boil reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking prepare the pear. First cut into four pieces, then cut those pieces in half to obtain eight equal slices. In a nonstick pan heat the oil. Place the pear slices and the tablespoon of agave on top. Fry until the pear is slightly softened, then turn the pieces to fry the other side and add cinnamon and almonds. Fry 3 minutes more, remove from the heat and serve over the quinoa bowl with more cinnamon if desired and almond milk.

Note: This recipe can be a little too sweet for some people, so for those who don’t appreciate the sweetness of cooked pears I suggest serving the bowl with fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries and mango, to contrast the flavor.

Taça de quinoa com pera Rocha

(duas doses)
½ chávena de quinoa
½ chávena de leite de coco
½ chávena de água
1 Pera Rocha
1 colher de sopa de óleo vegetal
1 colher de sopa de agave
15 amêndoas
½ colher de sal
Canela a gosto

Junte a água, o leite de coco, o sal e a quinoa na mesma panela e aqueça no fogão a lume médio. Assim que começar a ferver diminua para lume médio e deixe cozinhar ao todo durante 15 minutos.
Enquanto a quinoa está a cozer prepare as pera. Corte-a em quatro e depois a meio para obter 8 fatias iguais. Numa panela antiaderente espalhe o óleo e aqueça-o. Coloque as fatias de pera e a colher de sopa de agave por cima. Deixe fritar um pouco até a pera amolecer, depois vire a adicione a canela e as amêndoas. Deixe fritar mais 3 minutos, retire do lume e sirva por cima da quinoa com mais canela se quiser e leite de amêndoa.

Nota: Esta receita pode ser um pouco doce, para aqueles que não apreciam tanto a doçura da pera cozida sugiro sirvam com frutas frescas como amoras, morangos e manga, para contrastar o sabor.

Tofu “mexido” com cogumelos e espinafres

(Update das fotografias: 12/06/2016)
tofu mexido2
Embora não goste particularmente de receitas que mimetizam pratos que utilizam ingredientes de origem animal, até gosto bastante deste, por ser facilmente posto em prática no dia-a-dia. A receita não demora mais do que 15 minutos a ser feita, e não requer muitos utensílios para além de uma frigideira e uma faca. E quanto aos sabores, já se sabe que esta proteína vegetal embora seja versátil, não prima pelo sabor, e por isso podemos, e devemos, adicionar uma variedade de especiarias e condimentos a gosto. Eu gosto particularmente de envolver orégãos, colorau, salsa e pimenta preta, mas podem ser feitas muitas outras combinações, tais como, por exemplo uma pitada de açafrão, gengibre, e 2-3 colheres de sopa de leite de coco, que resulta num tofu “mexido” muito cremoso, mas também gosto muito de uma versão mais mediterrânea, com azeitonas, tomate seco, manjericão fresco, orégãos secos e uma pitada de alho em pó e cominhos.
Considero que esta receita também é prática pois permite a adição de vegetais ao refogado, e, dentro destes, gosto de juntar espinafres, cogumelos, couve Galega, cenoura em palitos, pimento doce em tiras, e tomate cereja.

tofu mexido.1

Travelling: Barcelona

Travelling is probably one of the best ways to open our minds, see new cultures and ways of standing in life, so, the wish of travelling plays a main roll in humans existence, so that they can get access to more and different knowledge. This allows us to achieve a personal knowledge and a better understanding of the world that only traveling, connecting with different people and cultural means can offer.

(The view from Park Guell)

Barcelona was my first trip after turning 18 and starting to travel independently, and I guess I couldn’t have chosen a better destination having in consideration my interests, money, time and company.

My partner and I rent a apartment in the area of Poble Sec, which was practically near the city center and had a metro station with the line L3 that was very useful in our discovery of Barcelona.

In those 5 days, that past so, so quickly, we saw some of most beautiful monuments that we have ever seen and which I highly recommend everyone to visit during their lives.

One of our first visits in the city was the port and the beach. We had a walk in the Ronda del Litoral and Rambla del Mar in the end of the afternoon and it was so pleasant to see such beautiful fusion between the Mediterranean Sea and the downtown of Barcelona. Here we found many restaurants with traditional food, which we had to visit in our last day.

(Casa Batlló)

In the next day we visited La Rambla and Barri Gòtic where we found a lot of commerce. We stopped in Plaça de Catalunya to eat our sandwiches and delicious fruits that we bought in a huge market called Mercat de la Boqueria. Then we headed to Passeig Gràcia to visit Casa Batlló and Casa Milà “La Pedrera”, both design by Antoni Gaudí, with an architecture considered to be completely innovative by the time their were built.

The following day was spent appreciating the beauty of Picasso’s paintings in Picasso’s museum and the huge and spectacular Sagrada Familia, a church that I recommend everybody to visit because of its grandiosity and unique architecture.

I also have to refer a small bakery we found close to the Picasso museum called “Barcelona Reykjavik” that sells organic bread, and some sweet treats like cookies and muffins, so delicious, so natural and pleasant to our palate. (This is their website http://www.barcelonareykjavik.com/ca/)

Barcelona, besides the distinctive architecture has impressive parks like Park Guell that contains amazing stone structures and stunning tiling designed by Gaudi and the evolving natural beauty of trees and plants chosen to be part of Park Guell.

In our last day we visited Montjuïc, Joan Miró Foundation and some of the many parks that we found in this hill.

At night, we went to a typical restaurant in the area of Barceloneta, and had a pleasant and romantic Saint Valentines dinner. We wanted to try traditional food, so we started with a potato tortilla as a appetizer, and as a main dish my partner ordered a seafood paella and I ordered a vegetable paella. The vegetable paella was completely mouth-watering, so I advise everybody to try it when visiting Barcelona!

A final note, if you are vegetarian it might not be easy to eat in Barcelona. There are some health food stores all over the city, like Veritas, and you can easily find Maoz Falafel near La Rambla and “Organic” in La Boqueria, but it’s hard to find more than that, so if you are planning to dinner out in a veg restaurant you should do some research before.