Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

For the cold days ahead of us, this soup fills all the requisites: light and filling, packed with protein from the tofu and egg that go along so well  with the 2 varieties of mushrooms. A rich broth made with chillies, ginger and garlic adds heat and a spicy oriental flare to the soup. The original recipe calls for bamboo shoots instead of my second type of mushroom. It is from Jamie Oliver and you can find it here .


2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilly
sea salt
ground white pepper
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and diced
250 g shitake mushrooms , cleaned
250 g buttom mushroom, finely sliced
vegetable oil
3 tbs low-salt soy sauce
3 to 4 tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp honey

1.5 litres hot vegetable stock
150 g firm tofu cut in 1 cm cubes
2 green onions chopped
½ bunch of chives chopped
1 large egg, beaten


Peel the garlic and deseed the chillies, then roughly chop and place into a pestle and mortar, adding a pinch of salt. Peel, finely chop and add the ginger, combining it well.
Finely slice the buttons mushrooms and separate the threads of the shiitake mushroom.

Heat a tbs of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the chilli paste and mushroons and fry for a little bit.
In the mean time mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, the honey and the white pepper. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute, then pour in the hot stock and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced.

Add the tofu, the spring onions and chives.
Once reduced, remove the soup from the heat. Using a chopstick, stir the soup in a clockwise direction until you get a little whirlpool, then slowly add the beaten egg, stirring continuously to form thin ribbons. Stir in the tofu and return to the heat for 1 minute to warm through. Season to taste with soy and vinegar, then serve immediately with the spring onions and chives on top.

Detox papaya juice with ginger and Maca (belly fat reducer)

Detox papaya juice with ginger and Maca (belly fat reducer)


I grew up drinking fruit juices. Every kid in Brazil does. Freshly squeezed orange juice is something that the majority of kids have every day and many times a day. Every family has a juicer sitting on the counter top, and a blender, for that matter. Nothing new when fruit abundance is part of life, cheap source of vitamins and an awesome way to fight the hot temperatures. The normal statement is “no pops allowed”, pretty healthy, the combinations are endless everywhere you go. Oh my, I particularly miss the passion fruit juice!
I would have a juice or fruit shake every day but I know it better… Eating whole fruits, I am adding my fibers…
Anyway this is the juice I made today for our breakfast along with a mushroom omelette. Super tasty and with all the good healthy stuff in it: fresh ginger, Maca* (I am totally in love with it), orange juice, papaya and lemon. If you are not counting calories, double the amount of orange juice, instead of water and use honey or Agave nectar. Pure boost of energy and pleasure, while a great detox way for starting your morning!

* learn more about Maca here.

Papaya, ginger and Maca juice

2 portions

1 1/2 cup of papaya* peeled and diced
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Maca powder
2 tbs sugar substitute or honey or Agave nectar

Blend everything and serve immediately.

* tip: let your papaya ripen on the counter for a few days if you buy it green, which is normally the case. To do so, use a knife to make 4 length wise cuts, just to break the skin. You will see a little bit of the skin juice sipping out, which will greatly improve the ripening process (2 to 3 days). Watch it every day and when is nicely orange, softer but still firm, put it the fridge, where it will last up to 3 to 4 days. If you are not using the whole fruit at once, wrap it in wrapping plastic while in the fridge.
Papaya is an essential fruit in our fridge here. Although it is a bit expensive, it can last up for a week for nice additions to your meals. I add it to salads or have it plain as a dessert or snack.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Other juices and recipes with papaya:

Sweet tomato juice

Avocado and Maca shake breakfast

Arugula and papaya salad with ginger dressing

Exotic cream of papaya and ice cream

White fish pappilotes with Camembert and Mushroons

White fish pappilotes with Camembert and Mushroons


I am always trying to include more fish in our meals. Not so easy with my family though. Salmon and trout are welcome but white fish… they want it fried, preferably deep fried, our favorite way, of course, as most people like too, and we have once in a while, as treat. Way too unhealthy. But for this meal I tried something different and was very pleased with the result.

I found this recipe in a French blog and was happy that my French was good enough to translate it. What a great recipe, simple and easy to prepare! It is only a matter of assembling everything, put it in the oven and it is done. It was a feast! The Camembert and mushrooms added so much flavor, and the whole thing cooked in white wine made a sophisticated meal. We had it with mashed sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts but I think steamed white rice would do great too.

White fish Papillote with mushrooms and Camembert

4 cod fillets or any other white fish ( I used Halibut)

200 gr Camembert cheese sliced

50 gr butter

1 onion sliced

100 gr mushrooms sliced

1 lemon sliced

1/4 cup dry white wine

pepper, onion powder and salt to season

Pre heat oven at 350F.

For each fish fillet, get a large piece of aluminum foil and start the papillotte arranging a layer of mushrooms and Camembert on the top. Lay the fish on top of the cheese, season with salt, peper and onion powder and cover with the onions, butter and the slices of lemon. Pour some of the wine on top of each fish. Fold the foil over, making sure all sides are secure.

Bake for 10 min to 20 min depending on the thickness of the fish.

Adapted and translated from the French blog:


    written by Raquel Boyes
Arugula and papaya salad with ginger dressing

Arugula and papaya salad with ginger dressing


This is a simple and easy salad for those days when you feel like skipping a meal and replacing it with a light, meatless option to get some detox going. Specially after summer holidays, when we indulge too much in bacon and eggs, dips and lots of carbs.

The thing is that arugula, combined with the sweetness of papaya and a spicy ginger dressing, makes up for a feast of flavors. Add just a piece of 7 grain bread and you’ll feel fed.

Arugula and papaya salad with ginger dressing

1 bag of arugula salad

1 1/2 cup of papaya diced in small pieces

Ginger dressing

4 tbs canola oil

5 tbs white balsamic vinegar

2 tbs fresh grated ginger

pinch of salt

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. In a large salad bowl toss the dressing and the arugula and papaya together. Serve immediately and Enjoy!

yield : 4 portions

    written by Raquel Boyes
Yummy coconut popsicles

Yummy coconut popsicles


Coconut reminds me of summer, always.

I remember a “gelateria” in Ubatuba, Brazil, that had some amazing coconut popsicles. Going there in the evening was the highlight of our summer holidays at the beach. They had this white coconut popscicle, with lots of coconut that was my family’s favorite. In my wildest dream I would have 2 of those every day but my sister and I were never allowed. lol

I searched for a recipe and I found one in the Skinnytaste blog, which by the way has amazing and healthy recipes.

I modified it, as always using Splenda, and substituted some of the evaporated milk for 5 % cream, I wanted a more creamery taste. Because of the evaporated milk they are not white as the ones I used to enjoy but they were delicious, rich and a real filling treat. We can’t have enough of them now!

1/2 can evaporated milk

1/2 can 5% cream ( I used the same can of the evaporated milk as a measure)

1 can coconut milk (the is a low fat version if you are trying to cut down calories)

1/2 cup Splenda or sugar

2 tsp coconut extract

1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut

Blend all ingredients, pour into the popsicles molds and freeze. Enjoy!

yield: 6

    written by Raquel Boyes

    Ice cream & avocado dessert

    Ice cream & avocado dessert


    If you like avocados you need to try this dessert! Simple, light and cool for the not so many days of summer that we still have ahead of us. I always loved milk shakes made with avocado and milk, this time I thought I would add ice cream to get something similar to my Papaya cream dessert and it turned out fabulous! I would say it is a perfect dessert for the cottage, easy and fast to prepare! I wish I had thought about it when we were still there!

    I made it as a diabetes friendly version using sugar substitute and no sugar added ice cream, but you can play with the amounts of ice cream and sugar for a sweeter and thicker version. It is really to die for!

    Ice cream avocado dessert

    4 portions

    2 ripe avocados (check if they are a bit soft, the skin turns darker, but should not be black)

    1 cup milk

    1 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

    2 tbs sugar or any sugar substitute

    Blend everything together and it is ready! Serve immediately.

    Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

    You might also like:
    Ice cream and papaya dessert

    Ice cream & papaya dessert

    Ice cream & papaya dessert


    This is our favorite dessert for the summer, of for a fast light dessert, simple, easy, fast preparation, a big hit!

    Combine vanilla ice cream, or frozen yogurt, with papaya, blend it, add a splash of Cassis liqueur and you will have the tastier and more exotic dessert ever!

    Ice cream and papaya dessert

    1 cup of papaya, cut in cubes
    2 cups of ice cream
    2 tbs of Cassis Liqueur

    Blend the papaya first and then add the ice cream and blend it until it becomes a smooth cream, pour the Cassis and serve immediately. Add more 1/2 cup more of ice cream if you like it more consistent. It is such an awesome dessert, very light, ideal for after a filling meal!

    Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

    You might also like:

    Ice cream & avocado dessert