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Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Whole30 Journey - Cool Veggie-Packed Gazpacho

I am often asked where I am from, or where my family is from. Its a nice way of asking why I my coloring is as dark as it is. The truth is that I am fully American, like Mayflower American. Okay, maybe not that far back, but almost! I usually appease people with an answer that will give them the information they want: I have dark skin and hair because part of my dad's family is from Spain.

Spain is responsible for some pretty awesome contributions to this world. The language, the classical guitar, some awesome artists (Dali, Picasso, etc...), the siesta, and of course the food! Spanish tapas is one of the best culinary experiences available

Tapas is basically a smorgasbord of small portions of different appetizers or snacks. Usually you would order a few different items and share amongst the table. The idea is that you would have more opportunity for conversation because you aren't focused on eating an entire meal, and because you are sharing everything on the table. A little sangria doesn't hurt either!

One of the things I always order at a Spanish tapas resteraunt is gazpacho. Essencially cold soup. Gazpacho can really be anything from fruit soups (Tropical Fruit Gazpacho recipe) to salsa type soups. Everything in gazpacho is always fresh and flavorful. Its really so refreshing to sip down a cup of this chilled soup.

gazpacho served with stake and fried plantains (Whole30 approved!)
This particuallar recipe has been tweeked from Ina Garten's recipe. I added some extra veggies, and some fresh cilantro (love me some cilantro), and a little kick of jalapeno. I think my additions just kick up the recipe. 

I love a good bowl of this cool Spanish soup on a hot day. It has amazing flavors, spicy and fresh, it just makes your mouth sing! Its also packed with fresh veggies so its awesomely healthy.

heck yes! make your body happy!

Unless you are on a no-vegetables diet, this will be approved! Its paleo/primal/caveman, nut, grain, gluten, sugar, sweeteners, fat, soy, egg, and dairy free, its also vegan and raw. I mean come on! Talk about healthy! Its also pretty simple to make, just toss your veggies in a food processor or blender and then let it all chill so the flavors blend. Its a pretty impressive little soup for a dinner party or just keep it all to yourself and take it to work for lunch.

Cool Veggie-Packed Gazpacho
(adapted from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • zucchini 
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion (optional)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 23 ounces V8 tomato juice (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not over-process!After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop. Garnish as you like and serve with crusty bread, tortilla chips, or just on its own.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-8 (depending on your portion sizes, I got about 8 servings)

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