Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hello summer... Gazpacho for one...

Craving a savory smoothie today, I thought of gazpacho, which reminds me of Spain... where even Burger King has this refreshing cold soup. I whipped this version up today for lunch - it lacks bread, which is traditional, and contains basil, which is not. I kept it all for myself, but if you wanted to share, use another tomato, a whole cucumber and green pepper, and a bit more water. You could also use a different fresh herb in place of basil - parsley or cilantro, perhaps?

Gazpacho for one

3 cups ripe tomatoes – about 4 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 peeled chopped cucumber
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/4 cup onions
1 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 Tblsp small green chilli (optional if you don't like heat)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, sea salt, or more to taste
1/2 cup filtered cold water o
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tblsp white wine vinegar

Blend all of the above in a blender or Vitamix...

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Vietnamese Cabbage & Carrot Salad

So, I have a recipe for baked Moroccan fish tagine featured in the new Zumba Lovers Cookbook, available exclusively from Zumba.com (though I can get it for you at a 20% discount if you're interested ;) The cookbook is actually surprisingly good. I mean, if Zumba can make an amazing dance fitness program and a clothing line, why not a cookbook, right? But I would have been skeptical had I not tried some of the recipes, which are actually really good. What's also cool about the cookbook is that the it is comprised entirely of recipes submitted by Zumba enthusiasts, along with stories about how many of them lost weight and adopted healthy lifestyles through Zumba. And they tested every recipe - I know because I was in communication with the editor multiple times about measurements and other issues with mine. The cookbook is also visually beautiful, full of bright pictures of food and people.

I've tried making several of the recipes in the cookbook so far, and most have been impressive. One of my favorites is this red cabbage and carrot salad. Lately, I've discovered that there are many vegetables that I despise when cooked but love when raw - brussels sprouts and cabbage are two of those. This red cabbage salad is crunchy, bright, and colorful, much like the cookbook itself. The peanuts add protein and a bit more heft to it, but it is still light. Original recipe credit goes to Huong Nguyen of Perth, Australia, but I've altered it somewhat, below (less vinaigrette than the original, more herbs)...

Vietnamese Cabbage & Carrot Salad

2 Tblsp. lime juice
1 Tblsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small red chile, seeded and diced (optional if you don't want heat)
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 Tblsp. honey

1/2 red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups - could use green if that's what you have)
2 medium carrots, peeled & julienned (about 1 cup)
1 Tblsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tblsp. chopped fresh mint
1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together first six ingredients for vinaigrette. Set aside.

Place cabbage, carrots, and herbs in a large bowl. Pour in dressing and toss. Add peanuts. Season with salt and pepper.

If you want to make this ahead of time, mix the vegetables and refrigerate but don't add nuts and dressing until you're ready to eat it.

4 servings, 315 calories, 10 grams protein. 0 mg cholesterol.