Spring Diet

Spring is upon us.  Although enjoying the beauty of gardens and milder temperatures, many of us are already contemplating the agony of shopping for a bathing suit and worst of all: having to wear it. The magazines are already parading a plethora of cute summer dresses, sleeveless tops and body revealing outfits. How many of us feel ready to disrobe at the first climb of temperatures? With all of it in mind I have started a detox/diet program to shed the last pounds that haunt me. Hopefully, instead of moping around, I will be ready to spend days in the sun (with sunscreen of course!) happy by the pounds lost. I am giving you some quick recipes that can be prepared in minutes with few ingredients. There will be no excuse for not following them. Try it at least for a week and see how you feel. The pounds dropping on the scale will be your best motivation.

For the next weeks, I will be including some quick ideas and loose recipes upon which you can improvise. You should aim for a protein and some vegetable and a leaf salad. In America we usually have the green salad first, but in France it comes at the end of the meal. To my surprise, I have found that eating the green salad after the main course helps me feel satiated in a very pleasant way. Try it and see which way it works better for you: before or after. Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners, sodas, fruit juices, potatoes, flour, corn and dairy products for the first 3 weeks. Be strict. Do you want to wear that donut on your way to the beach? I shouldn’t think so…

Renting in Paris

The French take their shopping seriously. They are meticulous about what they buy and if you think that French cooking is all about rich sauces you are mistaken. It is really about the freshest and most pristine ingredients which need very little manipulation.

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Thanksgiving is always a big thing in our family. We all get together and really connect for those five days. Against our better judgement we have decided to take the family to Disney World. We have rented a house large enough to accommodate all eighteen of us and I am now strategizing how to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner that is healthy, delicious and easy enough to be prepared in an unknown kitchen and limited supermarket choices.

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My week in Rio

Just came back from a wonderful week in Rio de Janeiro where I saw old friends, ate some of my favorite foods and attended a magnificent wedding.

I ate grilled fresh heart of palm and sipped lemonade with friends at one of my favorites: Via Sete, a perfectly located eatery in the heart of Ipanema, close to wonderful shopping and perfect for people watching.

I indulged in the delicious buffet of salads at Rascal, a shopping center restaurant that I love. The salad bar is beautifully presented as if prepared by an impeccable host. I could not resist and snapped a few pictures. Maybe I should send them to the Golden Corral…

Whenever I had a chance I ordered PICADINHO, a dish that speaks to my childhood and I am crazy for. Picadinho comes in many versions and each person imparts a special touch to the recipe. From the simple to the sophisticated version this counterpart of our Mac and Cheese is less fattening but equally comforting.  Even at the fancy wedding that I attended it was one of the star dishes of the buffet.

Years ago French Chef Claude Troisgros moved to Rio where he explored native ingredients and added sophisticated touches to our day to day dishes.  A movement was born and pride in our cuisine reached new heights.  You can now find typically Brazilian restaurants where familiar dishes have gained new life and refinement. One of them is Iraja where I had a very unusual but delicious version of picadinho.