spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho

whelp, here we are smack dab in the middle of summer.

 

I I hope y’all had a fun  and safe holiday weekend.  Mine was a welcomed quiet time.  After a little bit of long overdue retail therapy, I found myself craving gazpacho .

I dug out my Original gazpacho recipe

as well as my Roasted veggie gazpacho

and kinda played around and came up with

spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho 

it’s similar to my roasted veggie one, but I played around with the flavors just a bit

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Spicy gazpacho ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil

4 Roma tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 sweet white onion, peeled and quartered

1 habanero pepper

1 red bell pepper, halved

1 garlic cloves, not peeled

1 lime, halved

small bunch each of flat leaf parsley and dill

1 can of whole tomatoes ( I used some I canned last summer.  Buy the best tomatoes that you can find. Where this isn’t cooked  you want the best tomato flavor that you can get.  San Marzano is a great choice)

1/4 cup good Olive oil ( same reason as the tomatoes)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt, white pepper, freshly cracked black pepper

 

place  cukes, salt, pepper and white pepper in a high speed blender and let sit.  The salt will start to draw the moisture out of the cucumber, making for a smooth base since the cukes will have started to break down.  Alternatively, you can use a food processor if you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll just have to make the soup in batches.

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Preheat grill to medium  heat.  Place an oven safe stoneware dish on the grill with the coconut oil . Season with salt and pepper and coconut oil will melt. Remove from heat and place veggies on the grill using  a basting brush, brush the coconut oil mixture atop veggies

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Flip the veggies after a few min and brush other side with oil mixture

Note~ each vegetable will cook at its own pace. Here, my tomatoes and habanero cooked first.  Once you see the carmalization ( those black lines are the sugars condensing and imparting a deeper flavor than raw vegatables). Transfer veggies to a plate .

 

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Now, let’s build this!

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Place the grilled veggies on top of the cucumbers. Add dill and parsley.

 

Purty, eh?

 

Next add the canned tomatoes with their juice

 

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a handful of ice cubes.

Blend. ( or process in batches if using a food processor )

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I had to use my food pusher to get it started.  If you don’t have one, take a break every few seconds and use a spatula to free up the veggies until they move freely

 

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Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Squirt lime juice in as well.

Taste for salt and pepper.

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Let sit covered in fridge for at least an hour ( if you can 😜)

 

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You guys.  This soup is incredible! I started by only added 1/2 of the habanero, but found that I still wanted it spicier, so I ended up using the whole thing.  Start will small amount of pepper and add what tastes right for your level of heat.

 

I served it with a bit of Mexican crema, ( you can sub sour cream ) a bot of balsamic vinegar and lime juice

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Enjoy !

 

 

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creamy citrus-hemp dressing

happy new year, y’all!  How’s 2016 treating you so far? Any resolutions? Made? Broken? Accomplished? 

Here’s mine

1- find a way to take in the arts about once a month. This can be anything from a play, to a museum, to a concert 😉😉😉

2-read a book a month.  ( die hard may disagree, but I’m including listening to audio books as well.  I’m current,y listening to Carly Simon’s ‘boys in the trees’. It’s her memoir and she is narrating it.  I’ve always been a huge Carly fan, but I have to say, listening to this has made me borderline obsessed. ) 

3-bullseye every damn day <—  failing epically at this so far 

Those are the ones I can  tell you about 😁😁😁

Sooo… My cousin was chatting about hemp seeds this morning on her Facebook page.  I mentioned a dressing that I used to make using hemp seeds as the base.  I went to find it on the blog and couldn’t.  So.. I threw a couple of ingredients together.

creamy citrus-hemp dressing  

  

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/2 shallot, roughly diced

2 clementines, peeled (you could sub approximate amount of other citrus if the spirit moves you) 

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt and pepper 

Place hemp seeds and citrus In high -powered blender ( those single serving ninja-type shake makers will work too ) 

Pulse a few times to blend. Slowly add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

That’s it, folks! 

  

This is crazy delisious. At first you get the sweetness from the clementine, then the creaminess from the hempseeds and the tang from the shallot.  It marries perfectly with greens.  I used baby spinach 

  

This dressing is also super- healthy! It’s loaded with vitamin C, protein and omega-3 fatty acids ( helps prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation) annnnnd… Since it’s made with all plant-based ingredients, it’s cholesterol-free!  And no guilt! 

Keep working on those resolutions,friends 😘

roasted vegetable gazpacho 

friends, I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA.   While in the grand scheme of things it all may seem minor, I feel like the last few weeks I’ve had one thing after another go wrong. 

The latest is that my iPad screen cracked.  About a week after the warranty expired.

  

And since this is what I use to post on my blog, I’ve been slacking. 

Anyway..  I have a few recipes lined up to share with y’all… This first one will knock your socks off ( get it.. So you’ll be barefoot with me? ) Ok, ok, I’ll stop.   If you promise to make this! 

Here is my standard Gazpacho recipe.. and I really do like it.  

However, this past weekend I scored this at the farmers’ market 

  

And by golly, I had an idea! 

 

Roasted vegetable gazpacho 

3 ripe tomatoes

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced 

1-2 jalapeños ( depending on how spicy you like it, if you don’t like heat, substitute a red bell pepper )

1/2 red onion

1 handful of roughly chopped parsley 

1-2 tbsp of roasted garlic *

1 tsp dried dill 

Sea salt

Pepper

1 tbsp  red wine vinegar 

1 tbsp lemon juice 

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

—I roasted my vegetable on my grill, you could also roast them in a 375 degree oven 

Once your grill is heated to about 350, place tomatoes, peppers and onions over heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then flip using tongs 

  

Grill ( or roast ) for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and place in a dish with a small lip ( to catch any juices that will release … I did not do that and ran to save the juices!

  

In a large bowl, add parsley, chopped cucumbers, olive oil red wine vinegar and lemon juice.  Season woth salt and pepper.  When roasted veggies are cool enough to touch, finely chop and add to bowl .  add roasted garlic

  

Toss

  

Take a moment to marvel at the simple beauty of fresh vegetables 😎

Blend everything together using an immersion blender or a conventional blender ( you’ll have to process in batches) 

Be careful not to over blend. A little texture is a good thing! 

  

 

Test for salt and pepper, garnish with Greek yogurt mixed with roasted garlic and parsley.  

I cannot begin to tell you how much flavor roasting the veggies adds.  There’s a layer of sweetness that adds soooo much to this soup! 

This packs up perfectly for a summer picnic ( I’ll be finding an excuse to do that this weekend 😊) not to mention how figure- friendly it is! 

Roasted garlic 

1 head garlic

Olive oil

Aluminum foil

Cut the top off of the garlic 

  

Place in a square of foil and Drizzle with olive oil

Wrap tightly like a Hershey’s kiss 😘

  

Grill or roast for about 20-30 minutes or until garlic starts to feel soft. 

  

Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic onto a cutting board and use the side of a knife to mash into a paste 

  

This stuff is liquid gold! I use it in many recipes or simply spread on toasted bread for a fantastic heart- healthy treat.

Side note….  The green center in the garlic is not good to eat. I still roasted it, but removed the tough centers before I mashed it.  If you have fresh garlic, this shouldn’t be an issue, mine was just on the verge and I knew that I could still salvage! 

Enjoy this recipe.   I know personally I’ll be making this many times this summer 😎

On a side note, 1/2 of my tomato and pepper plants have started to come back 

 

That’s 2 weeks growth from this 

 

  

Isn’t Mother Nature amazing?! 

Ciao bellas! 

basic beef stock 

hiya, friends!  How’s your Thursday going? 

Sooooo… Remember earlier this year when I told y’all about my jawbone up24

Yeahhhhh.  It’s disappeared. Like off the face of the Earth. 

And I’m obsessed. Completely obsessed with finding it. 

I know the day and the time that I lost it.  And since it was the day of the NCAA men’s’ hockey semi-final, I even know what I was wearing ( YAY PC!)

But I cannot find it. And it’s frustrating.  

Ugh. 

Anyhooooooooo….

After a very long conversation with my eldest son last night about the benefits of Bone broth , I’ve decided to share my basic beef broth recipe. 

It’s quite similar to my Chicken stock recipe, but there are a few more steps. 

Start by getting some beef bones from your butcher.  I usually ask for them and the cut them for me.  I get a mixture of marrow and knuckle.  And they are really  inexpensive! 

***( I usually have him cut my an inch thick marrow to give to my pup as well) 

basic beef broth 

2-3 pounds of assorted beef bones from your butcher 

( optional.. Tomato paste) 

1 large onion

1 large carrot

A few celery stalks 

Tomato 

Garlic cloves 

Handful of fresh parsley,,,  stems and leaves 

Bay leaf 

Healthy splash of Apple cider vinegar 

Preheat oven to 375

Place bones, a carrot,onion and celery on a baking sheet , toss with salt and pepper and of you desire, tomato paste 

  

Roast for an hour or two until the bones get some color..  Color equals flavor! 

Remove from oven and let cool completely. 

Add everything from the pan including drippings and anything you can scrape to a large Dutch oven 

Add a healthy splash of apple cider vinegar ( it helps extract the minerals from the bones) 

  

Add bay leaf, fat handful of parsley Chopped tomato, garlic cloves ( no need to peel) celery stalks and ice cold water to the top of the pan 

Bring to boil over medium heat, skim any foam and Reduce to simmer. 

And wait.  Like a long time .  I usually start mine early in the morning and let it cook allllll day long. 

At the end of the day, remove from heat, let cool and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, this will look pretty gross.  Don’t be discouraged.  It’s all part of the process 

 

All of the fat will have floated to the top and congealed. Gross. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove as much fat as possible ( a little bit is ok…. You will be straining it a second time.  Don’t stress) 

 

 Return to heat and once again…  Cook over low heat all day. 

Pour through strainer, into a bowl, this time discarding all bones and veggies 

Cool completely. 

 

  Finish by straining through a fine mesh strainer ( I strain it into a large Pyrex measuring cup because the pourer- thing makes life easy ) 

Pour into jars and enjoy ! ( it will also freeze beautifully for up to 6 months) 

  

It may seem like an awful lot of work, but the flavor that you develop is insanely good! Like great!   And these two jars are half of what I made.   I froze the other half. 

Let me know if you make this! 

Have you ever lost something and drove  yourself crazy trying to find it? 


**** bone marrow and dogs.   I’ve done a lot of research,  you can give a dog a fresh marrow bone, and trust me, he/ she will love you.   But the bone HAS to be raw.   Any sort of cooked bone dries out and can cause slivers and shards and hurt your pup. 

Some dogs may have GI issues if you have a bone woth a lot of marrow (  from what I’ve read) 

My pup seems to do ok with it. 

  

 My favorite little old lady 💞

spinach fennel salad with blood orange and herbed gouda

spring has sprung! And with spring, we have spring veggies popping up everywhere! 

( my local farmers’ market starts up again this Saturday and I’m giddy with excitement! ) 

Today’s dish is a combo of sweet and savory, crunchy and tart. 

Spinach fennel salad with blood orange and herbed Gouda 

1 fennel bulb

1 small blood orange 

Small handful of pecans 

Small block of Gouda cheese ( I found one with cinnamon notes, use what you like ) , chopped 

Handful of baby spinach 

Extra virgin olive oil ( for the dressing ) 

  

Start by cutting top of of fennel bulb, reserving some frawns for garnish.  Cut bulb in half, remove outer tough leaves and cut a V in the base to remove tough bulb 

 

Slice thinly. 

Using a grater, grate some on the orange zest and place in small jar for dressing.  Juice half of the orange into the same jar. Add equal amount of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Place top on jar and set aside until ready to serve. 

Toast pecans in dry skillet over medium heat, watching carefully so that they don’t burn. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop and set aside.

Peek skin off of remaining blood orange half and separate into sections. 

Start by adding spinach to a serving bowl and surround the edges woth the slivered fennel. 

Scatter orange wedges, cheese, and nuts on top. Sprinkle frawns on top. 

  

When ready to serve, shake dressing in jar, drizzle atop salad and toss to serve! 

I’m looking forward to many fun salads this season ! 

  

More salad recipes

Sweet pea salad with goat cheese 

 Strawberry- balsamic chicken salad

Roasted beet and goat cheese salad

Prosciutto cantelope salad with mint  

turkey-stuffed peppers with dried cranberries,pine nuts and feta

today’s recipe comes to you courtesy of a still rainy day and a trip to the store that had me wandering and tapping into my inner rumbly tumbly. 

It all started when I saw watermelon on sale…  And where there’s watermelon,there’s feta. And since I was buying the feta, I decided to include it in my stuffed peppers.  A quick look around the kitchen when I got home, and voila! 

Turkey-Stuffed peppers with dried cranberries, pine nuts and feta 

1 pound ground turkey breast 

1 cup cooked whole grain rice 

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

1/4 cup red wine 

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1/4 cup pine nuts ( you could sub a less expensive nut, maybe walnuts? I just happened to have these in my fridge ) 

3 peppers 

Big handful of flat leaf parsley 

1 large egg 

A few gratings of nutmeg 

1tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

  

Start my charring your peppers.   Simply place over a gas fire or under the broiler. You can skip this step, but I really think it adds flavor.  Using tongs, careful place on cutting board allowing to cool. 

  

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in small cast skillet over medium heat.  Watch carefully..  They burn quickly. 

Pour wine over cranberries and heat up either in small pot on  the stove or in the microwaves. This reconstitutes them and add tons of flavor 

When peppers are cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove seeds. Place peppers in a lightly oiled baking dish . 

Chop parsley fine and mix with turkey, egg, rice,pine nuts, feta, cranberries ( with juice) and spices,  season with salt and pepper. 

Divide mixture into 6 portions and carefully stuff each pepper . 

  

Cover with foil and bake at 350 until internal temp is 165. Remove foil, sprinkle with a bit more feta and let cook an additional 5 minutes.  

Serve alongside a salad! 

  

A balsamic glazed like I used in Goat cheese and beet salad would have been perfect as a drizzle on top, but I was surprisingly out of balsamic vinegar!   Must buy some soon! 

Other stuffed recipes 

Pork stuffed peppers with raisins and pine nuts

Caprese- stuffed tomatoes

Lightened up cabbage rolls

Chicken sausage stuffed peppers

home-made chicken stock 

good morning, friends!

It’s a rainy Sunday morning here in Denver, and I’m starting my day by sipping on  a giant mug of chicken broth.

Its a perfect combo 🙂

Last week I was chatting with y’all about BROTH BOWLS and the health benefits of bone broth. (Stock)

Making stock is really quite easy.. And inexpensive ( bonus!)

A few months back, I started saving all of my veggie scraps ( onion tops and skins, carrot tops and shaving, parsley stems, pea pods, potato skins, celery leaves and ends… Basically anything except for peppers or cauliflower)

I save them in a Tupperware dish and when it’s full, I make broth

For veggie broth, simply add all of your scraps to a pot, fill with cold water, a few pepper corns, sea salt  and a bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour.  Once liquid is cool enough, drain through a colander ( into a bowl ) and voila! Free veggie broth!

Chicken stock is quite similar, but there are a few more steps.

Start with a ROAST CHICKEN.  Pull off and discard any excess skin.  Remove as much of the meat as possible and reserve for another dish.  Add bones to a large stockpot and add vegetable scraps

( if you don’t have scraps, use one onion, chopped ( don’t bother peeling) a carrot or two, a few ribs of celery )

Add ice cold water … This is very important,  you need the cold water to properly extract the minerals from the bones

add either some white wine, lemon juice or vinegar. ( healthy splash ) it also helps extract the minerals

Add a bay leaf or two, some peppercorns, sea salt and place pot on  medium high heat and slowly bring to a boil. If any foam should arise, skim off and discard .

Once pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and allow stock to simmer for 2-3 hours.

When stock is cool enough, drain first through a colondar ( into a bowl…. Once I forgot the bowl and poured the soup right down the drain. )

Pure.

Genius.

Not.

Once stock reaches room temp, refrigerate until fully chilled.  The fat should float to the top.

Strain again, this time through a fine mesh strainer to remove excess fat.

Test for salt and pepper and voila! Enjoy as is or use in your favorite recipe!

Click for more soup recipes

Basic beef stock 

 

Creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup

Crock pot potato cheese soup

Chilled cucumber soup 

Autumn mushroom soup with cognac

Kale soup

Creamy curried butternut soup 

Veggie chili

potatoes baked in buttermilk 

I had a crazy craving for Homemade buttermilk dressing last week .  So I got down with my bad self and made it! 

But the buttermilk only came in a large container and I Had leftovers 

Fast forward to Saturday.  It was cold and raw, so I decided to roast a chicken.  And although I’m not crazy about Potatoes ( insert gasp here) I picked up a local russet and tried to get creative. 

Friends… This recipe is a keeper.  I made it Saturday and Scott actually asked me to make it again last night.  2 nights in a row! That’s unheard of in these parts! 

  

Potatoes baked in buttermilk 

1 tsp olive oil 

1 russet potato sliced thinly 

1 shallot sliced

1/2-1 cup low fat buttermilk 

Sea salt 

Pepper 

Chopped chives 

Slice of low fat cheddar cheese ( optional )

Preheat oven to 350 

Spread oil in small baking dish. 

Layer potatoes and shallots , sprinkling each layer with salt. 

Pour buttermilk over potatoes and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for about 1/2 hour or until potatoes are fork tender. 

Remove foil and top with cheese 

Place under broiler for about a minute and sprinkle chives on top 

 

 

  

Quick.: run..  Go buy these ingredients! 

Oxox

healthy broth bowls

Hi friends! I’m here to share a quick, easy and oh so convenient recipe with ya’ll.

I’m seeing more and more broth bowls these days. Basically, it’s a flavorful broth with other ingredients added, such as pretty much anything.

Bone broth in particular ( stock made with a base of bones) is actually really good for you! The collagen extracted from the marrow of a properly made stock is good for your skin, your hair, nails, joints.. The list goes on and on.

I saw a restaurant advertising their new bowls the other day and decided to take a crack at it myself. 

( links to beef and chicken stock recipes below ) 

I usually have chicken stock in the freezer, so I defrosted and went at it

I started by layering ( in a ball jar )

2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 lemon slices ( I love me some acid)
1/4 cup kelp noodles ( don’t be afraid… I’ll tell you more in a second )
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms ( I’m not crazy about raw mushrooms, so I sautéed mine in a bit of coconut oil. It’s your bowl, do what you want!
Splash of shiracha sauce ( omit if you don’t like heat )

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Simply layer the ingredients in a ball jar.

Add hot stock and stir. You can feel your body getting healthier with every nourishing bite!

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Have fun with this… You can add peas, sprouts, noodles, beef, chicken, tofu… Whatever you want. If you put the broth in a separate jar, and close both with a lid, they are great for on the go.. Just heat broth and pour over!

They are also uber easy to prep a whole bunch at the beginning of the week!

Now.., about those kelp noodles.. Don’t be scared. A friend of mine ( hi Suzette! ) ordered these at a restaurant a few months back. Reluctantly, I tried them

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They actually have no flavor.. Just texture. Why add them you ask? Because a full cup of these are only 15 calories!

I contacted the restaurant to get the exact brand and found them on amazon. I’m trying to add the link but WordPress is being poopie… The brand I like is Sea Tangle.

While they are made of kelp, which is also healthy ( I take daily supplements). The outer part is stripped in these noodles, so the nutrition is not abundant. But if you are looking for a super low calorie ( free on ww) noodle, this is it.

If you just don’t want to go down this road ( although I do encourage you to try ) you could sub rice noodles, just prepare them first… You could added cooked pasta, rice… Whatever you want!

I haven’t made beef stock since culinary school, but I bought some bones today and will be making tomorrow .

I just finished my last prepped jar as I’m typing this, and I’m looking forward to trying a different spin on them this week… Red pepper, beef and onion, perhaps? Mushroom, beef with a splash of red wine for the beef burgundy flavor?

I’ll let you know what I chose.

If you try these, let me know what you think!

And if you want me to show you how to make chicken stock… I’m happy to share that as well!

Ciao, friends!

Basic beef stock recipe

Chicken stock recipe

gnocchi in a lemon-ricotta cream sauce with prosciutto and spring peas

so… Did I grab your attention?

I posted a picture on my personal Facebook page the other day promising the recipe to my friends.

Since ya’ll are my friends, I’m sharing with you too!

This all started after a disappointing gnocchi dish a few weeks ago while out celebrating a friends’ birthday.

Also responsible is me going to trader joes while very hungry. BIG mistake!

But this recipe came as a result of the trip, so everyone wins!

Trust me… You want to run out and get the ingredients today. This is amazeballs!

1 package gnocchi ( you can find it at most grocery stores near the dried
pasta)

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup ricotta cheese **
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh PEAS ( Tjs has a good sized bag of shelled peas for 4 bucks… If you can’t find fresh, use frozen petite peas)
2 – 3 slices Parma prosciutto
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley to garnish

(This whole meal can be made in 15 minutes )

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, In a skillet, over medium heat melt butter and olive oil ; add shallots and reduce to low. Season with salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes (shallots so start to wilt) add wine, stir to pic up any loose bits in the pan and simmer until liquid is decreased by half. Turn off heat.

When the water is boiling, add gnocchi. Stir. They should cook within 3-5 minutes. Test one. If it’s tender, add the peas and let cook 1 minute. carefully remove about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve.

Drain gnocchi and peas and set aside.

Tear up prosciutto and add to now empty stockpot with a tiny bit of olive oil. They should start to crisp up.

Add ricotta directly to procuitto as well as the lemon zest and juice. Return gnocchi and peas back to the pot as well as the sautéed shallots and any remaining juice . Cover for 1 minute so that the ricotta warms up, then stir, adding reserved cooking liquid a little bit at a time until nice and creamy ( you may not need all of the liquid)

Season with salt and pepper

Serve in a large bowl and garnish with Parmesan and parsley.

Enjoy!

***. There are varying degrees of quality when it comes to ricotta

In a recipe such as this, it’s important to use a high quality cheese.
Most ricotta in the grocery store by the pre-packaged cheese are full of things that make it the consistency of jello. Yuck.

Many stores now offer fresh ricotta in the gourmet cheese section. It’s more expensive, but worth every penny.

You could attempt to make it yourself as I did HERE
It’s easy and fun, I promise!

Or, if you are lucky enough to live by a trader joes, they carry a fabulous… Almost as good as homemade whole milk ricotta for under 4 bucks! I should take stock in this cheese. I could easily live on it for the rest of my life!

Ciao! Go make this!

IMG_3436-3.JPGRelated recipes

Sweet pea salad with goat cheese

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