Entree

Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Whenever I eat gazpacho, I’m transported back to my time living in Spain, enjoying the warm summer evenings in the outdoor plazas, sipping a bowl of the chilled tomato soup beside a glass of rosé and a bowl of freshly made potato chips. Since moving home to Oakland, it’s become a summer tradition to whip up weekly batches of gazpacho in an attempt to recreate that scene. With the temperature slowly rising, I thought it the perfect time to share my take on the classic warm weather recipe.

Gazpacho is a cold tomato soup that originates from the Andalucía region of Spain. While its main base is made up of tomatoes and tomato juice, it also consists of cucumbers, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, and olive oil. Traditionally, bread is served alongside a bowl of gazpacho, though it can be enjoyed just as well without it by adding your own unique blend of spices and ingredients. In today’s variation, I chose to incorporate orange juice and zest for a bit of sweetness, along with pumpkin seeds for a little protein and crunch. If you’re looking to make a well-rounded meal out of the soup, try pairing gazpacho with a seasonal corn salad (recipe below), or grilled fish.

Not only is this soup satisfying to eat, it’s also a delight to prepare. The brightly colored reds, greens, and purples that make up the ingredients are all colors reminiscent of authentic Mediterranean produce markets. They also contain antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene that are responsible for giving tomatoes and bell peppers their bright-to-deep colored hues. In terms of health benefits, these antioxidants play key roles in keeping our cell membranes strong, thick, and fluid, which are in charge of allowing nutrients in, while removing cellular waste and preventing toxins from entering. By eating vegetables rich in antioxidants, we prevent free radicals from causing heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. Now that’s what I call a win-win.

gazpacho

Gazpacho

INGREDIENTS
4-5 ripe Roma tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and peeled
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
1/2 garlic clove
1 red chili, seeded
1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus zest for garnish
2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup low-sodium tomato juice
1 cup cold pure filtered water
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Using a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients, including the tomato juice and water. Pulse or blend until all ingredients are mixed well. Depending on your preference, you can blend until smooth, or keep the mixture a little chunky.
2. Pour mixture into a large bowl and season to your liking. Chill the soup for at least an hour. When ready to serve, garnish with parsley or torn mint, orange zest, pumpkin seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime. You can also add the remaining diced vegetables and avocado.

gazpacho

Corn Salad

INGREDIENTS
1 ear of white or yellow corn
3 tbsp. diced cucumber
1 tbsp. diced red onion
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for 3 minutes. Immediately drain and cool it under cold water to stop the cooking. Placing the ear upwards on a cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut along the side of the ear, removing the kernels from the cob. Toss the kernels into a large bowl with the red onions, cucumber, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

gazpacho

Recipe posted in The Elysian Edit

Bean-less Beet Hummus

EE_Beet_Hummus_Final.PNG

An easy way to ensure you’re getting enough essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet is by consuming the colors of the rainbow. It is natural medicine at its best, once again, as we call forth bodily self-healing. By adding color through nutritional nourishment in your daily meals, you can protect yourself from ailments, diseases, and even uplift your mood and spirit.

beethummus

Running with this idea for today’s recipe for Elysian Eats, I’ve decided to make a beautiful and vibrant beet hummus. For those intolerant of beans and legumes, fret not — this recipe is bean-less and you wouldn’t even know it. As a general rule of thumb, instead of limiting yourself from your favorite foods, try simply reshaping the recipe by adding something healing in its place.

Aside from it’s eye-catching hue, this beet hummus makes a wonderful snack, packed with exquisite flavors that pair well with vegetables and whole grain breads. Even if you aren’t a beet lover, the lemon and garlic in this recipe balances out the beet’s earthiness, making it an ideal dish to bring along to your next summer gathering. Read on for the health benefits of each ingredient included in today’s recipe.

beethummus

• BEETS

The magic of beets is the way they encourage liver cells to rid themselves of toxins. Beets contain a special type of fiber that flushes these toxins from the body, as opposed to getting reabsorbed, as they do in many cases. For example, constipation or feeling ill during a detox or colon cleanse may be an indication of toxin reabsorption. Beets prevent this from occurring.

• TAHINI

If you aren’t familiar with tahini, you should be. Tahini is a Greek sesame seed paste that also aids in liver detoxification due to its powerful amino acid, methionine. Tahini has a higher digestible protein source than most nuts. Not only does tahini offer a rich, nutty, creaminess to this hummus, but it also provides sustenance from its protein and healthy fat content.

• CUMIN

Cumin is a potent spice that possesses an earthy, spicy, and bitter flavor. It harbors many stimulating properties, such as liver cleansing, and improvement to digestion and appetite.

• ZA’ATAR

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made from dried thyme, sesame seeds, sea salt, and dried sumac. The result is an exquisite tangy flavor with an intoxicating aroma. Try sprinkling za’atar over your hummus for an added punch.

beethummus

INGREDIENTS

2 medium cooked, peeled, and cooled beets
2 tbsp. tahini
1 raw garlic clove
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more as needed
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
Sprinkle of za’tar (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the beets into chunks and put them in a steam basket in a pot of boiling water. When beets are soft enough that a fork will slide into them without effort, remove and cool. Once beets are cool, place them in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl (if you are using an immersion blender). Add in the tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt, and process until completely smooth. Add a little more olive oil as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Recipe posted in The Elysian Edit