Quinoa and mushrooms blend great together, both in terms of flavour and texture, somehow inducing a sort of nostalgia for that good old mushroom risotto. The topping, like an unfinished guacamole, is absolutely perfect: the chopped onion and garlic give it an extraordinary kick and the poweful zest of lemon, as always, goes great with avocado.
I remember completely underrating those big summer holidays as a kid. In middle school, we had some two or three months of holidays, but all I could think of was getting back to school and seeing my friends again. This attitude sounds more reasonable, though, if I tell you that my parents would roughly have a month of holidays, and that, until they were free, all my brothers and I could do was to hang around the house. Once in a while, I'ld go out with them or some friends, but we would mostly just stay home until August. To tell the truth, being somehow held at home during half of the summer is in part how my passion for cooking developed.
As I grew up, I'ld be allowed to go out more often. And as I grew up, I got much fonder of those free summer days and less thrilled about being back to school. I guess it happens with everybody. University days went by, working days started, and, as it could not be otherwise, those summer days became precious. Especially because, you know, I love the beach, the sea, the sand and everything that comes with them. And now that I can't always be there when I want to, I miss it more than ever.
I guess that, as kids, we underrate mostly everything that we come to value the most as grown-ups, and we overrate things that later become absolutely superfluous. Yet there are two things that we wouldn't think about as kids that this generation of twenty-somethings has not quite grown to appreciate.
One of them is the importance of eating healthy. And that does not mean ingesting 'healthy foods'.
I think our generation has been overloaded with way too much, too varied and even too contradictory information when it comes to good and bad eating habits since we were kids. For our parents and grandparents, things were easier to figure out, if they had the wealth for it: codfish liver oil, soup and then eat your vegetables and fruit, that was it. Nowadays, it seems to me that it has become much scarier to be a parent, for there are way too many different diet paradigms to choose and take responsability for. I guess no other period in history has seen so much change when it comes to eating. From an infinitude of diets that come and go to all the 'newly found' superfoods that have been going global or, better yet, viral. I find this great, and I do encourage that you consume them, but if it is about health, is it really that good for you to get that packed quinoa from the supermarket for lunch and then eat it at your desk... every day? Are we actually making the most of all this overwhelming load of knowledge? Do we know what was wrong with our usual eating habits by the time we decided going gluten-free could be a good idea, even if we are not gluten intolerant? Why are we going paleo, or avoiding this and that, even when our body is telling us that some diet is not gonna work for us as it did for someone else? (this could go on for hours...)
The second one is the importance of disconnecting. And putting all the technology aside with it.
I am the ultimate Internet freak and I am known to have a love affair with my MacBook. Yet I am firm on this one. As said before, this world keeps moving faster and faster, and we can't avoid but falling for it and going with the stream. As kids, we mostly craved for challenges and activities, because stopping was boring. There is actually some proverb (from the old days, obviously) that goes like 'to stop is to die'. But no, you are mistaken. Not stopping will be to die, and disconnecting from this fast paced world and connecting with yourself (and with those around you) is that important.
The good news are... Summer is here! Or at least for those of you who share hemisphere with me.
And summer is the perfect time to get in touch with these two issues.
For the first one, just you look around! There are so many more types of fruit and vegetables out there now... so many different colours... It couldn't be easier to give a step towards being healthier: bring them all home and pack your body with all those summery nutrients! Slice them up, eat them whole, blend them into a smoothie, bake them, mix them with other things! Summer is also the perfect time to eat more salads and raw foods, and even to eat less - c'mon, how is a heavy stomach comfortable when it's 35ºC inside? Summer is also perfect for grilling, and to get used to drinking more water. Any changes on your diet you'ld like to make - make them during the Summer, it is much easier! And Summer holidays are the perfect time to gather friends and family around the table, something that is actually a vital part of the southern culture.
And for the second one, I guess that it is pretty obvious how. With all this heat, disconnecting is the least, the best and the most you can do. Blame it on the heat and do all those things you'ld like to make and yet never seem to find the time for, because they require you to stand still and do nothing else: like reading!
quinoa de cogumelos com salada de abacate, alho, cebola e limão.
porque é bom experimentar com ingredientes menos usuais, especialmente dos saudáveis!
1/2 chávena de quinoa
12 cogumelos paris pequenos
1/2 cebola pequena picada
1 dente de alho picado
sumo de meio limão
mistura de pimentas, moída na hora
sal fino e sal grosso
Lavar o quinoa e cozer em 1 chávena de água fervente numa panela tapada cerca de 12 minutos, em lume brando. Desligar o lume e deixar repousar, fechado, mais 5 minutos. Temperar com sal fino, misturando. Deixar repousar.
Enquanto o quinoa coze, lavar e fatiar os cogumelos. Levar a refogar em azeite numa sertã, com 2/3 do alho e cebola, temperando a gosto com sal e pimenta.
Cortar o acabate em pedaços pequenos e irregulares, colocar numa taça e juntar o sumo de limão, sal e pimenta. Misturar cuidadosamente e deixar repousar.
Juntar o quinoa aos cogumelos e levar a lume médio, mexendo, para que absorva um pouco do sabor.
Empratar: começar com o quinoa de cogumelos e dispor o abacate no topo. Servir com uma salada de rúcula.
because it is good to experiment with unusual (and healthy!) ingredients.
1/2 cup quinoa
12 small white mushrooms
1/2 small onion, thinly chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly chopped
juice of half lemon
mix of peppers, freshly ground
thin and coarse salt
Wash the quinoa under running tap water. Take 1 cup of water to a boil, add the quinoa and close the lid. Let if cook for about 12 minutes over medium heat. Turn the heat off and let it rest, lid closed, for another 5 minutes. Season with thin salt, stirring. Set aside.
While the quinoa is cooking, slice and wash the mushrooms. Sauté in a pan with olive oil and 2/3 of the garlic and onion, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Chop the avocado in small and irregular pieces. Toss it into a small bowl with the lemon juice, seasoning with salt and pepper. Give it all a stir and set aside.
Add the cooked quinoa to the cooked mushrooms and take it all to the heat, while stirring, so that the quinoa absorbs a bit of the mushrooms' flavour.
Plate: start with the quinoa and top with the avocado. Serve with an arugula salad.
wish you a great week!