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Feijoada – Black bean stew

Credit: Vegetarian Times

I felt inspired to find a ‘veganized’ version of my favourite Brazilian dish because I met a beautiful lady from Brazil today. We had a nice chat and I am so happy I got to practice my Portuguese skills again. Believe me, it’s not that often that I meet somebody speaking Brazilian Portuguese, which is completely different to Portuguese from Portugal! As different as their cuisines dare I say. 

Brazil’s national dish

Many of you may immediately think of churrasco when you hear Brazilian food, but did you know that feijoada is the national dish of Brazil? 
Feijoada is a hearty black bean stew that is commonly served on a weekend. You’re meant to take your time to sit down with family and friends, and chat and laugh over a prolonged lunch that may last for hours. No rush when it comes to feijoada. Relax and enjoy!

Whilst the traditional feijoada is prepared with lots of meat, it can be easily modified to be vegeterian of even vegan. Once more I browsed the www and found a tofu-free’ recipe from Larissa. Tofu-free because I know that some of you don’t want to consume soya products, or not too much of them at least. I’ll do some more research on soya products and shall write up an article with some more information, pros and cons, soon. 

Spilling the beans

Beans like any other legume are low in calories, rich in protein, and packed with fibre and nutrients. I mentioned some of the amazing health features of legumes some days ago here, when I spoke about small but mighty peas.

Black beans come with an additional benefit: they strengthen your bones, help warding off heart disease and cancer, and help you maintaining healthy blood glucose and insulin levels. Moreover they help in managing high blood pressure, and weight. 

So – no more unhealthy weekends then! Right?

Typical feijoada side dishes –acompanhamentos

A traditional feijoada always comes with plenty of side dishes like white rice, chopped and fried collard greens, farofa, and either peeled oranges or fried plantain. So let’s not skip these sides.
Unknown to probably most of you will be the farofa. It’s a toasted cassava flour mixture, which, I admit, you need some time to get used to. It can be quite dry at times, so I recommend to mix it in well with your feijoada. 

farofa

Simple farofa side

  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 200g cassava / manioc / yuca flour

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and add the onion to a frying pan over a medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.
Then stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, and add the cassava / manioc / yuca flour.
Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until it is lightly golden brown and resembles toasted breadcrumbs.
Serve in a bowl alongside your feijoada as a side dish.  Any leftovers can be reheated in a frying pan.

side dishes – acompanhamentos

Oh – and don’t forget the classic accompanying drinks: an ice-cold beer, cachaça, or caipirinha.

Bom apetite!