To continue on our path of learning from cultures around the world, we are going to make a stop for lunch in Brazil. Brazil is home to some of the most beautiful people in the world, somehow producing super humans such as Victoria Secret models Gisele Bunchen and Alessandra Ambrosio, so what exactly is their trick that we are all dying to know?
Other than just really good genes, it is actually Brazilian’s traditional dish of rice and beans that keep them slim. A study in the journal Obesity Research found that a diet consisting primarily of rice and beans lowers the risk of becoming overweight by about 14 percent when compared with typical Western fare. This is directly due to the fact that rice and beans are complex carbohydrate foods that are high in nutrients and fiber. What this means is that they digest very slowly causing controlled blood sugar. Therefore, they cause you to feel quite full for an extended period of time with less calories and less fat.
The best advice for utilizing beans and rice as a weight loss tactic is to substitute them for the meat portion of any meal. This will dramatically reduce the calories and saturated fat of the meal making it a great way to help you loose weight. Not to mention that when you combine rice and beans, you actually create a complete protein therefore keeping your protein intake for the meal. To learn more about vegetarian protein options go here.
I typically have some variation of beans and rice weekly, but I must say that my favorite “go-to” Brazilian version is the following:
- 2 14 1/2-ounce cans organic vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1-pound package long-grain or brown rice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained, rinsed (BPA-free cans)
- 2 organic red bell peppers, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
- 1 bunch of green onion, diced
- 1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 avocado, sliced
Transfer rice to large bowl and fluff with fork. Mix in black beans, bell peppers, jalapeño, green onion, chopped cilantro, oil, lime juice, vinegar, cumin and chili powder. Season to taste with unheated sea salt and pepper. Top with sliced avocado.
* If you would like to make the beans from scratch feel free to go here for more details.
So now that we are wise to those beautiful Brazilians, lets get cooking!