Loving the BITE: World Cup Brazilian-Inspired Coconut Milk Sauce


brazilsauce1I’ve got a fever. It’s called World Cup fever.  Loving the Bike may be about life on and off the bike, but us cyclists can get excited about a little futbol as well, right? Every 4 years we get to celebrate another wonderful sport and watch as the world competes.  Then, we can get on our bikes and ride for even longer. #CyclingWorldCup

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s great fun…I’m a fan of most all sports, but as an official soccer-mom, the World Cup is serious business in our household.

In honor of the World Cup 2014 hosted by Brazil, and #CyclingWorldCup hosted by Loving The Bike, we’ve got a spice-loaded sauce recipe that will add nothing but antioxidant, anti-inflammatory goodness to your diet. Make it in less than 10 minutes – really. Serve it over any protein source you’d like, and you can even use it to keep your dinners “light at night.”  Here’s the what, the how, and the why:

Recipe of the Week: 10 Minute Brazilian-Inspired Coconut Milk Sauce


  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


1. Place all ingredients in medium saucepan, mix well, and heat on medium-high to a simmer.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.

2. Add sauce to cooked protein and vegetables.

3. If you have a few extra minutes and would like to saute fresh garlic and onions, first saute 1/2 onion (chopped) and 2 cloves minced garlic in 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil (or avocado oil) on medium high-heat.  Saute, stirring continually, until soft (about 3-5 minutes).  Then, begin with step one and exclude garlic and onion powders).

If eating meat, use organic, local, and/or grass-fed if possible.  Cook by grilling, sauteing, stir-frying, baking, or slow-cooking.  If you’d like a non-meat option, cook quinoa and beans, firm organic tofu, lentils, veggie/black bean burgers, and others for a great balanced meal.  For vegetables, try grilled or sauteed bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, and more!

Comments:  Where do I even start when we’re using this many great ingredients?  From spices to healthy fats to wonderfully nourishing vegetables, it’s loaded with powerhouse super foods.  Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Powerful antioxidants in turmeric, ginger, cumin, cayenne and black pepper.  They neutralize free radicals and reduce their damage to our cells and tissues.  They also provide anti-inflammation benefits, and specifically reduce joint swelling and pain associated with joint overuse when consumed regularly.
  • Ginger and Turmeric also acts as an effective treatments of inflammatory bowel disease and digestive issues.  Believe it or not, the nutrients in turmeric safely relieve colitis symptoms, and can remain protective for the gut for days after consumption!
  • The phytochemicals and nutrients in garlic, onions, tomatoes, and spices (especially ginger and turmeric) may reduce risk of cancers, improve cystic fibrosis symptoms, and relieves arthritis pains!  This recipe is a beautiful mix of vibrant colors, all of which indicate high antioxidant levels.

Next, this quick and easy sauce recipe allows us to promote health while eating “light at night.”  If you’ve been around Loving the Bike and Loving the Bite in the last year, you’ve likely heard this before: I recommend reducing carbohydrates and loading up on vegetables, healthy proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants at dinner (while minimizing grains and carbohydrates at night).

The what and the why of our “Light at Night” Brazilian-inspired dinner:

  • Proteins: Again, many different meat and meat-less proteins will work.  Look for local, organic, and grass-fed if possible.  If using tofu or other processed vegetarian proteins, make sure they are organic, non-GMO, or have minimal ingredients like organic firm tofu, beans and quinoa, etc.
  • Healthy Fats: In this recipe, we’re using canned coconut milk (coconut cream), which is high in coconut oil.  If possible, use organic coconut milk.  Its fats are high in lauric acid, a health-promoting fat found in tropical fats and breastmilk.
  • Vegetables: The more, the merrier!  For cooked vegetables and stir-fries, I recommend those that are firm and stand up to cooking well: bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, and more. Vegetables are a great source of antioxidants that supports cellular repair and decreases the oxidative stress that’s often elevated from training.
  • Carbohydrates: Where’s the rice? Why not grains and other carbohydrates?  While I think it’s fine to include these occasionally, and even more often if you’re already at your goal weight, I recommend reducing evening grains/carbs if you’re actively trying to lose fat or keep a lean weight.  In this case, keep it to just 2 dinners or so a week.  Carbohydrates are simply not needed by the body in the evening if you’re relaxing, and serve only as an extra calorie source.  They promote increased insulin levels, which promotes fat storage, especially when they are not readily used (as they would be immediately before, during, or after training).  They are often inflammatory in the body, especially if they are refined grains or sugars (refined grains act very similarly to sugars in the body). What’s more, the extra insulin output can interfere with hormones that are released at night and work to promote optimal muscle repair and recovery.  Instead, load on extra vegetables…you’ll likely not even miss the grains!

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.  Proactively add carbs back in, around 30 grams or so, when it’s the evening before an extra strenuous or long ride or if it’s immediately after an evening training.

Thirty grams of carbs is the equivalent of 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, or beans, 1 large banana, 1/2 cup raisins or dates (these taste great with this sauce), 1 medium sweet potato, 1 cup whole-grain pasta, 1 1/2 cup fruit, 8 oz. chocolate milk, etc.

The 10 Minute Brazilian-Inspired “Light at Night” Sauce: With easy recipes like this, you can make wonderful, homemade nourishing dinners a reality in your home.  You can keep it “light at night” to lose fat.  And, you can continue to support your body with wonderful nutrients.  This week, we hope you enjoy the challenge of cycling more than watching matches (#CyclingWorldCup), cheering on your team, and eating healthy real foods.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.


Enjoy Your Ride
Pin It

Leave a Reply

Featured on these top sites

Check Out These Sites

Cycling 360 Podcast


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

Nutrition Tips