Well, we are a few days late in starting our Olympic cooking experience this year.  I don't know why, but it seems as if the Summer Olympics sneak up on me every four years.  With the busy summer schedules and now gearing up for back to school, it's been more challenging to plan and prepare for our meals.  My older two were absolutely adamant that we were going to do it again this year, while the youngest didn't want to because she doesn't like to eat anything but chicken nuggets, hotdogs, and french fries.  Since this might be the last time we'll all be home together during the Olympics, I figured we'd do it again!

I spend quite a bit of time researching recipes that I can adapt to be dairy-free and that the kids might actually enjoy eating.  After a two hour shopping excursion to get all the groceries we needed (had to use google several times to figure out what some ingredients are!), Bug decided she'd help me get the cooking started!

Tonight's recipes are from the host nation of Brazil. We had coxinha (a deep-fried chicken and dumpling), Brazilian style greens, and casadinhos (lemon sandwich cookie with a guava center) for dessert.


The verdict:
The greens were very tasty and the casadinhos were delicious!  The coxinha was okay, but none of us loved it.  The dough didn't completely cook when I fried them so that could have played a part in our not caring for it.

Coxinha (adapted slightly from a recipe at Brazilian Flair in the USA)
(note:  below is my interpretation of the recipe.  The original directions were confusing and unclear to me, which I didn't realize until I was in process so I couldn't ask the original posters the questions I had. Feel free to use the link above to try the original recipe if it makes more sense to you!)

Ingredients needed:
      For the dough:
            2 cups chicken stock
            2 tablespoons of dairy-free butter substitute (I use Earth Balance)
            2 cups of flour
     For the filling:
            1 TBSP oil
            2 chicken breasts
            1 onion, finely chopped
            3 cloves of garlic, minced
            3 cups of chicken stock
            2 TBSP fresh cilantro, finely chopped
     For cooking:
            salt and pepper (added to taste)
            oil for deep frying
            breadcrumbs (I used Panko breadcrumbs, about 2 cups)
            2 eggs

    Start by boiling the chicken in the chicken stock until the chicken is cooked through and tender.  Remove the chicken and strain the broth.  After chicken has cooled a bit, shred it into very small pieces.  Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until it softens. Add the chicken pieces and saute for a few minutes.  Add the diced cilantro and remove from heat.  If mixture is too dry, add a few drops of the broth. 

    Next, prepare the dough by heating 2 cups of the chicken stock with the butter and salt. Once it's boiling, add the flour in slowly and stir well, until a smooth ball of dough forms and comes unglued from the bottom of the pot.  Place the dough on a greased, smooth surface and let cool, but do not let it get cold.  Once it is cool enough, knead the dough while it's still warm, until silky and smooth.

     To assemble the coxinhas, flour your hands and take a piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball.  Form a hole in the top of the dough ball and add a small spoon full of the chicken filling inside the hole.

     Then press the dough closed up around the filling and shape the top into a little pear shape. After you have all the balls/pears formed, set them aside for a moment.

    Fill a saucepan with enough oil to cover the coxinhas and heat the oil on medium-high.

    Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Place the the bread crumbs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Next, dip the coxinhas in the egg, then immediately in the breadcrumbs until they are fully coated.

    Fry the coxinhas in batches until they are a golden brown  (our coxinhas didn't cook fully so perhaps fry them at a slightly lower temperature so that they don't burn but the dough still fully cooks inside).  Remove the coxinhas from the oil and set on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

    Brazilian Style Greens (recipe from A Taste of Brazil) - I used this recipe as is, so I'm not going to repeat it here, but check out the link!

    Casadinhos (recipe from Brazilian Flair in the USA)


    8 TBSP dairy-free butter substitute, room temperature
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    Zest of 1 lemon
    1 cup flour
    1 cup cornstarch
    1/2 cup baker's sugar (otherwise known as caster sugar - not powdered sugar)

          guava jam (if you can't find it, check the original recipe for how-to make from guava paste)

    Place butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix with a large spoon until its well combined. Don't overmix.  Add the egg, vanilla extract, pinch of salt and lemon zest.

    Stir until smooth.  Sift the cornstarch and flour together in a separate bowl, then add them into the dough mixture.  Gently mix until smooth.

    Roll dough to 1/4" thick and refrigerate the dough for 3 hours.

    Using a 2" round cookie cutter cut the cookies and place them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or non-stick mats.

    Freeze them on the sheets for at least 30 minutes until they freeze completely.

    Preheat oven to 350.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until they are very light golden, not brown on the bottom. Cool on wire racks.

    Spread half the cookies with guava jam and sandwich together with another cookie.

    The original recipe says to roll the casadinhos in powdered sugar, but we didn't do that since they were sweet and delicious without the extra sugar.

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