Father’s Day is around the corner! Why not do something different this year, instead of braving the restaurant rush, try whipping up this heart-healthy menu, courtesy of Chef Letícia Moreinos Schwartz.
dLife recently featured Chef Letícia, an acclaimed cookbook author, TV host, and spokesperson, who recently appeared in the new film, A Touch of Sugar, a documentary created by Merck, and narrated by award-winning actress, Viola Davis.
The recipes that Chef Letícia shares are from her latest cookbook entitled, Fresh and Flavorful Latin Superfoods, releasing in Sept., which focus on diabetes-friendly Latin recipes.
Chef Letícia’s mouth-watering menu for Father’s Day:
- Mint Lime Cucumber Agua Fresca
- Brazilian Guacamole
- Arroz con Pollo
- Roasted Spiced Pineapple
Minty Lemony Cucumber Coconut Water
Perfect for a summer BBQ, refreshing, and super healthy. Makes 2 large glasses or Ball Mason jars.
- 6 sprigs fresh mint
- 10 thin slices of cucumber
- 1 lime, sliced thinly
- 4 cups of coconut water
- Ice cubes
Divide the mint, cucumber, and lime between the 2 Ball Mason Jars. Fill each with coconut water. Close the jar and let it steep in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add ice before serving.
It’s Chef Letícia’s version of the guacamole, with lots of bell peppers. Makes 3½ cups or Serves 8 to 10 people.
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
- Half red onion, finely chopped (about a ½ cup)
- Half red bell pepper, finely diced (about a ½ cup)
- Half yellow bell pepper, finely diced (about a ½ cup)
- Half an English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- 1 plum tomato, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ripe Hass avocados (about 220g)
- Combine the garlic, scallions, red onion, bell peppers, cucumber, and tomato and toss well. Season with the soy sauce, salt and pepper, parsley and cilantro and fold well.
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop the flesh out of their shells. Dice to about the same size as the other ingredients. Slowly pour the olive oil and fold everything carefully.
- Taste again to check to season. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours so that flavors can develop but remove from the fridge at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with toasts and/or crackers.
Arroz con Pollo
A classic Latin recipe, but everything is healthified, the rice, the sausage, etc. Serves 6-8.
For Marinating the Chicken:
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
For the Rice:
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 oz turkey or chicken sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb plum tomatoes (4-5), peeled, seeded, and chopped finely
- 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups (14 oz) brown rice such as Jasmine
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
Prepare the Chicken Marinade:
- 1- Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 2 teaspoons salt, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Stir in lime juice and oregano. Add the chicken pieces and rub all over with the marinade, until well coated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Cook the Chicken and Rice:
- Spread chicken over a sheet pan covered with a paper towel and pat dry. Season with freshly ground pepper on both sides.
- In a large heavy pot (at least 12-inches wide) over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the chicken skin side down until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side.
- Using a slotted spoon transfer chicken to a bowl and cover with foil to keep moist.
- If there is too much fat, drain a little. If there are too many pieces of garlic stuck to the pan, deglaze with a little water, about a ½ cup, scraping the bottom of the pan and bring to boil. Pour and strain into a small bowl. Reserve and prepare to cook the sausage.
- Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook the sausage until lightly brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Use the same slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to the bowl with the chicken. Cover again.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the onions and scallions. Cook until soft and tender, mixing occasionally with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the paprika, bay leaves, and tomatoes, and cook everything together until soft and tender, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir well making sure every grain is shiny and well mixed into the vegetable mixture. If you would like to use the deglazing juices from the chicken, now it’s the time.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken pieces, sausage, and any juice that accumulated in the bowl, arranging evenly all over the rice. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook gently until rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 20-30 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley.
This is a beautiful summer dessert and you can serve it with coconut sorbet if you want. Serves 6 to 8 people.
- 1 ripe pineapple
- A ¾ cup of orange juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ cup apricot jam
- 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 2 tablespoons cardamom
- 2-3 Star anise
- Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the top and bottom of the pineapple, and peel the fruit all around following the contour. Holding the pineapple in your hands, cut every dark spot remaining from the pineapple until you leave the fruit nice and clean.
- Cut the pineapple into 4 sections around the core and discard it. place the pineapple sections on a 7 X 11-inches baking dish.
- In a bowl, whisk the orange juice, lime juice, and apricot jam. Pour the mixture over the pineapple and add the spices to the baking dish. Bake the pineapple for 60 minutes, basting frequently (about every 20 minutes) until it’s nice and fragrant and a little darker in color.
- Remove from the oven and let the pineapple cool in the baking dish until it’s warm enough to handle about 30 minutes.
- You can serve the pineapple right in the baking dish, and spoon into nice ramekins, along with some of the sauce left in the pan. Feel free to serve it plain or with coconut sorbet.
You can enjoy more of Chef Letícia’s recipes in her latest cookbook, Fresh and Flavorful Latin Superfoods.
While her previous books, The Brazilian Kitchen, and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook are true testaments to Brazilian cuisine and contain richer ingredients, her new book will focus on healthy recipes that will work for the whole family.
“The next cookbook is a true celebration of food and family,” Letícia says, “What’s most rewarding is to see that the recipes work for entire families and not just one family member who is trying to watch what they eat. I truly feel honored that I can help people in that way.”
You can learn more about Letícia’s diabetes-friendly recipes on her YouTube channel and her website.
Recipe Image credits: Letícia Moreinos Schwartz.
Book cover image courtesy: Letícia Moreinos Schwartz.