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Posts Tagged ‘green’

Ottolenghi’s Green Gazpacho

In Mindfulness, Nutrition, Recipe, Yoga on September 11, 2015 at 4:15 am
green gazpacho on grass

The greenest of green gazpachos

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” ~Margaret Shepard

Last night I took a yoga class from one of my very favorite teachers and she prefaced her class by acknowledging that life throws you many twists and blind turns which require faith and surrender in order to find the flow in the midst of uncertainty. She promised us that all the weirdness was leading up to something. Of course, she was referring to the vinyasa flow she was about to subject us to but, at the same time, she was asking us to acknowledge this parallel to life.

It’s been three months since I’ve posted. This is not due to writing drafts and failing to publish (although I still have an embarrassing backlog). Creativity was a luxury that I could not afford recently with my energy going to more practical matters. I’m finally pulling out of that period but not without a significant (and somewhat permanent) rearrangement of my daily life and routines. Well, to be fair, this hasn’t happened quite yet but I am already preparing for it. I’ll reveal more as a I fully wrap my brain around it and accept that I cannot see the future of this blind turn.

green gazpacho ingredients

All this green goodness goes straight into your processor or blender.

A heat wave is scorching San Diego right now and since the weather is usually so darn perfect year-round, many of us don’t have air conditioning. We aren’t used to the weather affecting our lifestyles let alone even being a discussion topic. Needless to say, there is a lot of whining going on and very little cooking. Gazpacho is a nice change from constant salad consumption – you get your greens but you don’t have to chew them!

This cold soup recipe is perfect for people who don’t usually like gazpacho. No tomatoes mean no acidity and no lingering urge to eat it with tortilla chips. There is something oddly addictive about this soup from Chef Ottolenghi’s cookbook – Plenty More. You can’t find the recipe online, only the ingredients, but, since it’s a gazpacho, the instructions are pretty intuitive: put everything in a blender and push the ‘on’ button. I didn’t follow the ingredients list exactly and will indicate where I deviated below:

Serves 6 (at least!)

2 celery stalks (including leaves)

2 small green peppers, seeded

6 mini cucumbers, peeled (I used Persian so I didn’t peel)

1 green chile (I chose a large jalapeno)

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp sugar (I used brown)

1.5 cups walnuts, lightly toasted

Parsley and Basil: Original recipe indicates 2 TBSP of parsley but I love its fresh, cleansing taste so I added a large handful of parsley while completely eliminating the basil (1 cup). I like basil but I guess I like parsley more – you decide. Maybe next time I will do a handful of each herb.

4 TBSP balsamic vinegar (original recipe calls for sherry vinegar but I prefer the caramelized sweetness of balsamic and perhaps this is the source of the addiction)

1 cup olive oil

3 TBSP greek yogurt (full-fat)

1 cup water (Ottolenghi uses 2 cups and 9 ice cubes. I like the taste with only 1 cup water so I stopped diluting)

salt & pepper

green gazpacho on the beach

Seagulls love this gazpacho too!

Croutons: toss cubes of sourdough baguette with olive oil and salt and bake at 375 for about 10 mins. Ottolenghi also added 3 slices of sourdough bread to his gazpacho but I left bread for the toppings only.

Directions:

1. Cram EVERYTHING GREEN (and garlic) into your processor first (leafy stuff on bottom, chunks on top)

2. Run it until its get really liquid-y, adding the one cup of water, if needed

3. After the veggies are fully processed, add balsamic, sugar, olive oil, and yogurt

4. Last, add the toasted walnuts and pulse until the texture suits you.

I like this soup best at room temp or only slightly chilled. The flavors aren’t as nuanced straight out of the fridge and, the fats, olive oil and walnuts, are best at room temperature as well.

Recommended consumption: on the beach with an icy Rose´

Green Smoothie

In Nutrition, Recipe on March 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

This drink may be a bit chunky if you don’t have a high speed blender but the flavor profile is still quite nice! The addition of raw, soaked cashews adds fat and protein making it a balanced meal that avoids blood sugar spikes. Place ingredients in blender in the order listed below for ease of blending. Comments from my neighbors, who are not regular green juice drinkers: “surprisingly refreshing” and “it kind of grows on you” hahahahaha

Mosty greens, a bit of fruit, and raw soaked cashews balance out this smoothie.

Mosty greens, a bit of fruit, and raw soaked cashews balance out this smoothie.

Ingredients:

2 chard leaves

2 kale leaves

1 cup parsley

1/2 cucumber – peeled, chopped

1/2 lemon – juiced

1/2 apple – peeled, cored, chopped

1/2 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup cashews – soaked

1 cup water

Makes about 16oz. Drink 1/2 in the morning and save the rest for an afternoon snack. Will keep for 1-2 days in fridge but tends to get thicker over time :/

8oz = 246 kcals, 12g fat, 5g fiber, 7g protein. Good source of vitamins A, C, & K, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

To Juice or Not to Juice?

In Nutrition on March 20, 2013 at 4:00 am

Juicing, especially the uber-trendy juice cleanse, is all the rage these days. As a way to get a major download of nutrients into your diet, I say “carry on”. But I can’t endorse juicing as a meal replacement or an excuse to not eat an actual vegetable. I’ll be addressing cleansing in another post but for now lets discuss juicing as a supplement to our daily diet.

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Heavy on the greens. Easy on the beets and carrots. Cautious with the fruits.

Why is juicing beneficial?

For those of us in a disease or re-building state (i.e. cancer, surgery recovery, inflammatory bowel), juicing is crucial and amazingly restorative. For the rest of us, I believe juicing needs to be put in it’s proper place. Yes, juicing can concentrate nutrients and allow for increased absorption but it also removes an important nutrient when extracting the pulp and skin from the final product – fiber. Fiber regulates blood sugar, supports digestion, and lowers circulating blood cholesterol. If you are going to juice, be vigilant about getting your fiber from other sources. Additionally, the major nutrients extracted from most veggies are vitamins A, C, & K. Vitamins A & K are fat-soluble meaning they can only be absorbed into our bloodstream while bound to fat. So, eat a handful of nuts with that green juice. Vitamin C is extremely fragile and begins to degrade when exposed to light, heat, and oxygen! Therefore, cold-pressed juice consumed immediately is the most nutrient-dense option.

What to be mindful of when juicing.

Be sure to steer clear of fruit juice as it’s a sugar bomb and highly caloric (go easy on beets & carrots, too!). For green juices, consider adding in garlic or ginger and, for palatability, be sure to rely mostly on low sugar fruits such as apples, pears, berries, and lemons/limes in small doses. Lastly, consider the fact that drinking your calories does not trigger satiety the way a meal with fiber and fat does…you may find yourself consuming additional calories.

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Earthy, grassy, refreshing green juice.

If I don’t eat a balanced meal, it’s like I almost start to twitch. It’s really uncomfortable and I’m not in therapy for it. As a result, I tend to rely more heavily on smoothies b/c they retain the fiber and I can add in healthy fats (avocado, flax oil, chia, coconut milk) and protein (hemp, tofu, nut butters). There are a TON of juice and smoothie recipes on the web. In choosing a healthy one, carefully evaluate the amount of fruit the recipe relies on, and then let your creativity run wild!