Wednesday 22 May 2019

Mangoes to soothe the heart

In the past few days, I’ve been trying to cope with bereavement and trying to find a way to function whilst the world carries on as normal. I am very privileged – thanks to my loving family and to the nature of my work – to have had the space to press a brief “pause”. This has enabled me to be in touch with the pain of losing a beloved brother.

As I‘ve been through some losses before, I kind of know the deal: grieving is a long process. You just have to allow yourself to go through some stages. It takes a while to heal but it’s important to acknowledge it.

So, how do we get back to our “normal” life again? As we are all different beings, each person finds their own tools or some external help to deal with it. The easiest thing to do is to not get out of bed and not leave the house for days. But this is also not the healthiest way. I try to find a connection with the person who has gone, and create a channel of communication with them. This can be through looking at old pictures, listening to a song, walking in a park, or cooking something that reminds one of them.

This week, I connected with my brother through something that was always a link between us: the love for food. For instance, whenever it was the mango season in Brazil, he used to call me on skype/facetime, to show those gorgeous golden fruits to make me, and especially my husband, jealous. But moreover, to let us know that he was thinking of us, and wished we were there to share them with him. So did we!

It’s the mango season in London at the moment, thanks to the Indian community. After spending days indoors, I went to the local Indian market and bought a box of the most orangey colour, sweetest, flavoursome Alphonso mangoes that we are lucky to get in this country. I also bought some eddoes - another thing that reminds me of him. We used to discuss all the health benefits they provide, every time we had them in our meals or juices in Brazil.

Using those two ingredients to make a nutritious dessert, I celebrated my brother in a very simple but enriching way. The way he used to enjoy life.

Here is to you, my brother! I am really thinking of you and I always will. 

Alphonso Mangoes
Mango and Eddoe mousse.
Serve it chilled with mango pieces, lime zest and toasted almonds.

Mango vegan mousse

This mousse-like dessert depends very much on your preference of texture and consistency. If you prefer it less creamy, add less eddoes. If you prefer it more like a smoothie, add more kefir or coconut water. As the Alphonso’s are naturally sweet I didn’t add any sugar. But as for a guideline:

I used 2 medium-sized mangoes (approx. 200g), 1 small eddoe* (approx. 100g, peeled, chopped, steamed and cooled), kefir (50-70 ml) or coconut water (if you want to make it vegan), juice of half a lime. Put all the ingredients into a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Put in the fridge to chill. Serve it with some toasted slivered almonds and lime zest.


* You can find eddoes in Asian and African shops and markets.

A healthy note

Mangoes (Mangifera indica) are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It contains digestive enzymes and dietary fibre that support our digestive health. They are a good source of several B vitamins, folate as well as vitamins A and C. Mangoes are good for the eye, skin and hair health. They contain the antioxidant mangiferin that is associated with many health benefits. Mangoes can improve the immune system and support heart health as they also contain minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

Eddoe (Colocasia antiquorum) is a small, funny and hairy looking root. It is a great source of complex carbs and dietary fibre, making this root a perfect ingredient for athletes or active people. Eddoe is also very good to give to children weaning off breastfeeding.
This vegetable is a little powerhouse that may improve gut health, blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health. Eddoe can also boost our immune system due to its good levels of vitamin C and B-complex (B1, B3, B5, B6 and B9). It contains minerals such as potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Eddoe provides resistant starch which is fermented in our large intestine, acting like a prebiotic to our gut bacteria. Studies have shown that resistant starch has similar properties to fibre and could result in the prevention of some diseases.
Eddoe is high in oxalates and should not be eaten raw especially for those suffering with kidney problems. It has a nutty flavour and it’s a perfect ingredient to add creaminess to your food.

Till next month!

Thursday 11 April 2019

Celebrating life: baked trout with wild garlic salsa verde

Hello everyone! It’s been a long time, right? So much has happened since my last post in September last year. Amongst many things, I took up a diploma course in Gastronomy and Nutrition at Le Cordon Bleu; started volunteering at Reffetorio Felix, where we cook for people in need, I’ve been cooking in different kitchens, and finally, I ran a workshop on Mediterranean diet organised by Oliveology, at Borough Market, last month.

I was very hungry to learn and to test new recipes. I was keen to research the traditional way of cooking in Mediterranean countries. Unfortunately, in the beginning of March, I received some bad news from Brazil: a family member was hospitalized in serious condition, fighting for his life. It’s been nearly two months and only last weekend better news arrived. Thank goodness things are looking a lot more positive now.

People have different ways to deal with sadness and stress. Some take refuge in food, others lose their appetite, some people work like mad, others want to sleep all the time etc. I am the kind of person who loses my appetite and the drive. Somehow, I disconnected from things that usually give me immense pleasure: in this case, to write and to cook.

These days there is huge pressure to be present on social media, no matter what. But I just didn’t feel like testing new recipes to post. All I could do was the work for others. I used the time that was left for myself to escape the “noise” out there.

I’ve decided that I will feed my blog posts monthly and will share recipes, news and other content weekly at my Instagram

Anyway, I am glad to say that since the good news from the family has been more constant, I’m regaining my appetite and I’m back in my kitchen, cooking new recipes to share with you. This one was prompted by a present from my friend and neighbour Alistair: a beautiful trout he and his son Max caught from Albury Estate Fisheries. The combination of fish and seasonal wild garlic transported me to a sun kissed place, celebrating life. Here is for you to have a go before the end of the wild garlic season. 

Trout ready to be baked with wild garlic salsa, lemon slices and herbs.

Oven-baked trout with wild garlic salsa and lemon slices


For the wild garlic salsa

50g wild garlic leaves
6 fresh basil leaves
6 fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons capers
4 anchovies in olive oil, chopped
50ml olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the fish

1 trout, gutted and descaled
1 unwaxed organic lemon
a bunch of coriander leaves
sea salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C fan).

Put all the ingredients for the wild garlic salsa in a food processor and blend. Reserve.

Place a parchment paper in a flat baking tray. Place trout on it and coat the fish with a little bit of olive oil. Season the inside and outside of the fish with salt and about 1 tablespoon of the wild garlic salsa. Stuff the fish with the coriander, lemon wedges and black pepper. Place some lemon slices over the top.

Bake the fish in the pre-heated oven for approximately 15-20 mins or until it is cooked and flaky.

When the fish is ready, remove it from the oven. Serve it along with the salsa.


A healthy note: Trout is a great source of protein, omega 3 (the essential fatty acid that is good for your heart), calcium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamins A, B-complex and D. Studies have shown that oily fish like trout may reduce and prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases. 

Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum): also known as Ramsons or Bear’s garlic. Wild garlic has similar health benefits to the cultivated garlic. It is very good for your digestive system, immune system and the cardiovascular system. It can help to control blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, reducing blood stickiness. Wild garlic has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It also prevents colds and flus. Wild garlic is known to ease stomach pain and acts as a digestive tonic.

Till next month!
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