Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Purple (and Green) Smoothie



The holidays are not quite over yet, but maybe you wish they were so that you could get back to eating normally.  Thankfully, there’s a week between Christmas and New Year’s where we can slow down with the food, and if you’re on vacation, where you can slow down with the body.  Often, if I want to take a break from food, I’ll turn to one of the smoothies below.  Maybe I shouldn’t refer to it as something other than food though.  There’s plenty in there to keep your blood sugar from plummeting after a couple of hours and heading to the leftovers. 

You can play around with the amounts and try different spices.  I love the warmth of cardamom this time of year and sometimes I’ll add ginger too.  Even a pumpkin pie spice would work well.  It tastes more like a treat that way! 

Happy holidays!

Purple (and Green) Smoothie

1 c water or almond milk
½ c frozen blueberries
½ frozen banana, cut into chunks
1 T chia or hemp seeds, or
1 scoop protein powder, or
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ avocado
handful of greens (baby lettuces, spinach, or kale)
sprinkle of spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, etc.)
1 t real maple syrup or honey (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  For a thinner drink, add more water or milk.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quick, Whole-grain Cereal


If you're trying to get away from the boxed cereals that are often loaded with sugar and artificial or genetically modified ingredients here is a great alternative that is easy to make and store.  It's a source of whole grains, proteins and healthy fats and is sweetened with natural ingredients.  You can also play with seasonings to change the flavor.  I made a quick bowl this morning and it was perfectly satisfying.  


Easy Homemade Muesli

3-4 c rolled oats, uncooked
1 c mixed unsalted nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)
1 c raw, unsalted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame, chia)
1/2 - 1 c dried fruit (raisins, currants, dried cherries, chopped apricots, etc.)
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves (to taste, optional)


Combine all the ingredients in an airtight container.  Serve with plain yogurt or almond milk.  For more sweetness,  add a bit of honey or real maple syrup.




Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Health Food You May Not be Eating



I’m a huge fan of meals in a bowl.  They can be soups, stews, hearty grain dishes, or even salads.  In fact, more and more, I prepare my salads chopped–meaning that the ingredients are cut small and tossed together to make more of a slaw than a chunky salad.  Which is one reason I also like the vegetable grater for veggies like carrots, beets, and zucchini.  Tonight, I took the grater to another vegetable, the daikon radish.  Shown above, it’s much larger than the typical round, red radish.  I’ve seen them over a foot long.  This one was not so big. 

Why eat daikon versus red radishes? I actually prefer them to red radishes because they have less of a bite.  The taste is similar, just less intense. And to me, this is one vegetable where looks can be deceiving because rather than a vibrant red or orange or green color, they’re white and I always associate bright colors with beneficial nutrients.  Yet for few calories, they’re loaded with vitamin C, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and lots of fiber.   And shredding really brings out the water in them, so they’re juicy and a little crunchy at the same time. 


Just wash, peel, and shred with the large grater.  Tonight, I ate them alone as a side dish with some greens and pumpkin soup.  But they’re great in a salad too and I like to cut them into sticks for dipping into hummus or guacamole.  If you normally shy away from radishes, I encourage you to try daikon.   It’s a simple healthy food you don’t want to miss out on…

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits


Why is it good this time of the year to have roasted pumpkin or squash ready to go in the fridge at a moment’s notice?   Because it can be used in so many tasty ways.  It can be added to a smoothie, it can be used to make a quick blended soup, it can be warmed up as a side dish and it can even be used to make dessert. 

A few days ago, I was about to try this easy and great sounding cookie recipe and instead, I used similar ingredients to make a pumpkin mousse parfait.  What was so wonderful about this recipe besides the flavor?  It took minutes to make–because I had roasted butternut squash in the fridge, and because it didn’t require cream to be whipped.

If you love the flavor of pumpkin pie, then you’ll love this easy, creamy, decadent, pumpkin mousse.  It’s actually a squash mousse, but that doesn’t sound so good : )  And besides, this can easily be made with fresh or canned pumpkin and I will try it some day.   I will also make the original cookie recipe, because if I like the taste of this mousse, I’m sure I’ll like the taste of the cookies.

Warning…I wrote about the fact that nut butters, like almond butter are calorie dense and should be eaten in moderation.  This recipe uses an all-natural nut butter as well, so this mousse would compare to a traditional whole-cream-based mousse with regard to calories.  It’s meant to be eaten slowly and deliberately so that you can enjoy every bite. 

Pumpkin Mousse

1 c roasted squash or pumpkin
½ c all natural nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.)
¼ c  plus 2 T maple syrup
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg, cardamom
½ t ginger
¼ t cloves
1 t sea salt
plain Greek yogurt

Add the first eight ingredients (minus the 2T maple syrup) to a food processor and process until smooth and well blended.   Mix the remaining maple syrup, or enough to taste, into the yogurt to cut the tangy-ness. 

Into serving glasses or bowls, add a layer of mousse then a layer of yogurt then a second layer of mousse.  Top the desert with a dollop of yogurt.  Add raisins or chocolate nibs or shavings if desired.   Serve immediately.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rutabaga, Cabbage, and Leek Soup


This was a simple soup I made the other day that was inspired by a recipe that a friend made the last time I visited.  Hers was also a combination of cruciferous and root vegetables–made with only a few ingredients.  You would never know by the taste though and I wanted to achieve a similar intensity of flavor.   I think it came pretty close.  I like to use nutmeg a lot this time of year, too, so I also added it for a different flavor.


Rutabaga, Cabbage, and Leek Soup

Grapeseed oil
1 large leek, washed, dried, and sliced cross-wise into thin slices
½ medium head savoy cabbage, chopped into small pieces
½ large rutabaga, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 t nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


Wash and dry the leek then remove the bottom and slice crosswise into thin slices.  Heat a Dutch oven to medium then add one tablespoon oil and the leeks.  Saute until then get tender and start to caramelize.   Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of water.

While the leek is cooking, heat a medium saucepan to medium and add 1 teaspoon oil.  Saute the cabbage until it’s wilted and tender.  Add the leaks and rutabaga chunks to the pan and add enough boiling water to bring it about 1 inch from the top of the vegetables.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rutabagas are soft.    Add 1 t nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Working in small batches, blend the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender.  Return it to the pot and check the seasonings.   Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired. 



Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apple Zucchini Muffins



What to do when you’ve got a giant zucchini in the fridge?  Well, two of my favorite things to make with zucchini are quick bread and quiche.  Both require the zucchini to be shredded, which is a great workout for the arms–but it goes surprisingly quickly.  In fact, I still have some shredded zucchini leftover from the recipe below, which may indeed be added to a quiche tomorrow. 

This recipe combines both zucchini and apples, since they are in season, with gluten-free flours.  I like to play around with different combinations of gluten-free flours to taste the differences.  I’ve also added lemon rind and plain yogurt, but you could probably substitute apple sauce for the dairy.   In addition, I left these on the less-than-sweet side.  I would rather have the option of spreading on some pumpkin butter, or preserves, or eat them plain with the slight sweetness of the apples. 


Apple Zucchini Muffins

1 c buckwheat flour
1 c gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1.5 t baking soda
¼ t xanthan gum
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
1/3 c sugar (I used organic, raw sugar)
¼ c grapeseed oil
1 egg and one egg white
1 t vanilla
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 T grated lemon rind
2 c grated, drained zucchini
1 apple, peeled and chopped
½ c chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds)

In a medium bowl, combine the first six dry ingredients and mix well with a wire whisk. 

In a second large bowl, combine the sugar and oil and mix well.  Add in the egg and egg white and whisk until the eggs are well beaten and combined. 

Mix in the vanilla, yogurt, and lemon rind, then the zucchini and apples. 

Fold in the dry ingredients until just mixed in, then gently fold in the nuts.


Spoon the mixture by ¼-cup fulls into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back to the touch. 


Let cool for a few minutes, then use a knife to loosen around the edges of each muffin and remove it from the pan.  Place on a wire rack and let cool completely (or dig in while they’re warm!).  Store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collard and Quinoa Wraps



If you’re like me, always looking for ways to sneak greens into your diet, here a great way to do it that at the same time helps to reduce the amount of bread/starch/gluten you may be eating.  It substitutes large collard leaves as wraps for just about anything you would put into a wrap.  Think grilled vegetables and hummus, egg salad or chicken with avocado and tomatoes, beans and rice with salsa or any combination you can come up with. 

The other day, after making a red quinoa with onions and beets, I decided to try it as a filling for collard wraps.  To make it more “sticky” so that it wouldn’t spill out while eating it, I combined it with roasted, mashed butternut squash and avocado.  The combination was unexpectedly great and the best part was that I was able to prepare a few the night before a trip and they made a great late breakfast the next morning.  I simply wrapped them in wax paper, put them in a sealable bag and packed them in my backpack.

This wrap combines a complete source of protein, fiber, a nice variety of carotenoids from the colorful vegetables, and a healthy source of fat.   To give them a bit of a kick, add some Tabasco, a splash of chili sauce.  Give them a try. 

Collard and Quinoa Wraps

Several Collard Leaves
Roasted butternut squash
Mashed or sliced avocado
Tabasco or Chili sauce (optional)


Wash and briefly steam the collard leaves.  Tip:  To save time and having to wash an extra pan, if you’re preparing a grain or bean mixture in a large frying pan/Dutch oven, place the leaves on top and cover the pan for a few minutes.  Any leftover steamed leaves can be placed in an airtight container in the fridge for filling later. 


Allow the leaves to cool and remove the tough bottom stems.  Working with one at a time, place the leaf down sideways on a working surface.  Place a small serving of squash on the center of the leaf, leaving plenty of room around all the edges.  


Spoon a tablespoon of quinoa on top of the squash, pressing it down a bit.  


Add a slice of avocado onto the mixture and a splash of the sauce if desired. 



Fold the top and bottom of the leaves in toward the center, then fold up one side and roll towards the free end to seal the wrap.  Enjoy immediately, or if packing for lunch, wrap a few tightly in wax paper and place in a ziploc bag, or place in a sealable container.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.  

"Red" Quinoa


Over the last several years, quinoa has become one of the few grains that I eat.  Maybe because I like the way it fills me up without making me feel like I’m “full”, like I feel sometimes after eating a plate of pasta.  I love the simplicity of this dish and the combination of the bright green and  deep red from the beets.  And it incorporates some Autumn vegetables while still maintaining a light, citrusy taste from Summer.   

If you make a large batch of plain quinoa ahead of time, it’s much easier to whip up a few different dishes throughout the week relatively quickly.  I made this one in under 20 minutes.  Because quinoa is a complete protein, this can easily be served as a satisfying lunch or dinner.  I also used it as a delicious filling to wraps, the recipe for which I’ll be posting next…


1 T grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium beet, peeled and chopped
2 c cooked quinoa
2 c chopped kale
sea salt and black pepper to taste
juice of ½ lemon


Add the oil to a heated Dutch oven then add the onion and beet and sautee for several minutes, until the onion is tender. 

Add the salt and pepper and kale.  Then add the quinoa and and a few tablespoons of water and cover the pan to let the quinoa heat through and the kale wilt.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and stir well.  Serve warm or cold.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kale, Apple, and Beet Salad




Autumn is on its way.  The mornings and evenings are cooler, the leaves are already turning colors, and the pumpkins are everywhere!  I love the colors of this season and the foods.  We’ll see how many dishes I’ll be making this year with pumpkin : )  

The cooler weather doesn’t mean that I’m giving up salads for a while, though.  On the contrary, there are so many great seasonal ingredients that will make a delicious salad until Spring. 

The other day, I combined kale with apples and beets for a hearty salad full of color and flavor.  I loved it so much that I’ve already made it twice and I know I’ll be making this a lot in the coming months.   

If you’ve avoided eating kale raw because of its tough texture, this can be remedied by massaging it with spices or liquids, which helps to tenderize it.  In this salad, I massage some Himalayan salt and olive oil into the kale, and the result is fantastic.

Kale, Apple, and Beet Salad

1 bunch kale, washed, destemmed, dried, and cut or ripped into small pieces
Himalayan or sea salt
olive oil
1 - 2 apples, washed, cored, and cut into small chunks
juice from ½ -1 lime
1 small red onion, chopped small
1 medium raw beet, peeled and shredded
a handful of seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc., optional)
pepper
maple syrup
balsamic vinegar
avocado chunks (optional)

To begin, place the kale in a large bowl.  Sprinkle it with ~1/2 - 1 tsp of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  With your clean hands, work the oil into the kale by massaging it for a couple of minutes.  



Sprinkle the apple pieces with the lime juice and add them to the bowl, then add the onion, shredded beet, seeds if using, and pepper.   Toss the salad, then drizzle with a bit more olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup.  Toss again until the dressing is well distributed.  Chill if desired and serve with avocado chunks.



This went perfect with a quick warm black bean salad pictured.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Quick Red Lentil Soup



A few weeks ago, we had an unseasonably cool day or two and I could immediately feel my body wanting a warming, hearty soup.  Luckily I had some red lentils on hand that I used to make the quick recipe below.   By soaking them for a few hours in the morning, it helped to begin the digestive process, neutralize toxins, and boost the number of nutrients.  Not to mention, soaking them cuts down on the cooking time, and these tend to cook quickly!

Although this soup didn’t need it, I used strips of raw zucchini chopped into small pieces as a thickener.  I put them in at the very end of the cooking and they were tender in no time. 

Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber and according to Dr. Susan Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr., The Acid Alkaline Food Guide, are actually one of the more alkaline-forming foods in the beans/legumes category, which is unusual with high-protein foods.  If you’d like to see what else you’re feeding your body with lentils, you can check here.



Red Lentil Soup

1 cup red lentils, soaked for several hours and rinsed
1 T grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 stalk celery, trimmed and sliced thin
½ cup dried mushrooms (any combination), rinsed and soaked in hot water
vegetable broth (low salt, heated)
dried thyme, oregano, basil, and black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste (if using low salt broth)
1 medium zucchini, peeled and shaved to make thin strips


Heat a medium saucepan on medium and add the grapeseed oil.  Add the onions and celery and sauté for a few minutes, then add the carrots and cook an additional 3 minutes. 

Drain the lentils and add them to the pan, then add in enough vegetable broth to cover the lentils by about two inches.  Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot along with the soaking liquid.

Add the seasonings and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover lightly until the lentils are cooked, ~10 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook 2 minutes more, or until tender.  Serve hot.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sprouted Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds

A while back, I tried some of Kaia’s sprouted, seasoned pumpkin seeds and fell in love with them. They were so tasty and because I also like to sprout seeds, I knew that they were a nutritious snack. “Why bother “sprouting” pumpkin or sunflower seeds?” you might ask. Why not simply eat them raw or roasted? There are a few really good reasons:

  • Soaking begins the digestion process, which makes the seeds easier for your body to digest
  • The sprouting process neutralizes toxic compounds and enzyme inhibitors that were originally produced by the seed to protect it during dormancy.
  • Sprouting initiates a cascade of enzyme and nutrient production within the seed so that it can develop into a full-grown plant. Sprouts actually have a much more concentrated level of some of these nutrients than their full-grown counterparts, which is why I love to sprout broccoli and radish seeds as well as mung beans and lentils. It makes something that’s already good for you even better for you.

Soaked or sprouted pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds are simple to prepare and can be used a number of ways. They can be eaten as a snack, added to salads or grain dishes, or as a garnish for soups. Here’s a quick and easy to prepare them (the actual hands-on time is quick, that is)…

½ c raw sunflower seeds

½ c raw pumpkin seeds

clean, filtered water

1 - 2 T apple cider vinegar

1/2 t Himalayan or sea salt or to taste

Combine the seeds in a large jar and add enough filtered water to cover them completely. Seal the jar and allow the seeds to soak overnight or for 12 hours. Replace the water once if you can.

For soaking, drain the seeds and rinse them in a wire mesh basket, then dry then with a towel. Place them in a bowl, add the vinegar and salt and mix well.

For sprouting, place the seeds back in the jar and cover it with a nylon screen or cheesecloth. Invert the jar into a bowl and allow it to sit at room temperature away from direct sun or heat. Then rinse, drain, dry, and season as above.

Spread the seeds in a single layer in a baking dish and place in a warm oven*. Ideally, it should be no hotter than 115°F to preserve the enzymes. Allow the seeds to dry completely. It took ~2 hours in a warm oven. Cool and store in an airtight container.

You can see a demonstration of sprouting in my video below:

*If you have a dehydrator, great, then it’s perfect for these.

You can also add whatever spices and seasonings you'd like, such as:

  • sea salt and garlic,
  • curry spices,
  • herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano with sea salt,
  • or even a sweet version with cocoa powder, cinnamon, and honey or maple syrup

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

I came across this recipe in the cookbook of some friends, Andy and Hannah, who are very talented musicians. Andy also happens to be a great cook and I originally met him at one of my talks on food and energy. He and Hannah practice yoga at the same studio where I practice, which is how I stumbled upon the cookbook. Their CD HannaH’s Field, Music, Magic, Medicine actually comes with a cookbook inside the cover. How cool is that? In it, there are fourteen delicious sounding recipes, including the one below for black bean brownies.

I am such a fan of brownies, more so for the texture I think than anything (besides the chocolate-y flavor of course!). So with the original recipe, I made a slight modification by cutting the sugar in half. I didn’t miss the extra sugar at all, maybe you would. Next go around, I’ll cut the fat down as well. That, however, may make a big difference with the texture, which is what I love the most about them…

But being able to eat a chewy, chocolate-y brownie knowing that it’s full of protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals makes eating them less of a guilty pleasure and more of a guiltless pleasure.

Black Bean Brownies

½ c semi sweet chocolate chips or cocoa powder

1 c butter (or grapeseed oil)

2 cups black beans, cooked, drained, and rinsed

1 c walnuts

1 T vanilla

½ c brewed coffee (don’t like coffee, try Teeccino!)

½ c sugar (this is half the original amount - I used organic natural cane sugar)

¼ t salt

¼ cup flax seeds ground

½ c gluten free flour (original recipe called for oat flour; I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free flour)

¼ t xanthan gum (optional)

Melt the butter with the chocolate chips and let cool slightly. In a food processor, puree the black beans and walnuts. Add the melted butter and chips, vanilla, brewed coffee, and sugar and pulse until mixed. Combine the flour, flax seeds, salt (and xanthan gum if using) and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350°F, 25-30 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch. Cool before cutting.

These were delicious and I’ve made them with either butter or oil. I’ve also made them with ½ c of cocoa powder instead of the chips. They were perfect for me, but for you, they may need additional sugar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

The other day, I found this simple recipe online on a blog that I can’t find so I began searching and realized that there are variations of this recipe everywhere! The most similar recipe I found to the one I made below is from Paula Deen. It’s the first recipe I’ve ever seen of hers that didn’t call for butter. Seriously, I love her bubbly personality and her recipe sounds delicious!! She adds oil and the lime zest, which I didn’t do. The zest would taste great and I don’t think the oil is necessary because the avocado gets creamy and serves as a fat. But a little olive oil wouldn’t hurt. And since it’s summer, I also took advantage of fresh corn that I grilled and removed from the cobs. This is so simple and so tasty as a side dish, or for lunch. I would even eat it as a snack.


Grilled Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad

4-5 ears of corn, grilled and removed from the cobs (*see instructions below)

~20 cherry tomatoes cut in half lengthwise, or 2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks

½ medium red onion, diced

handful of fresh cilantro, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped

juice of 1 lime

sea salt to taste

1 avocado

In a medium bowl, mix the corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime, and sea salt and mix well. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, chop the flesh of the avocado into small pieces and add to the salad. Stir well so that the avocado gets a little creamy. Serve immediately.

*To grill corn, pull back the husk and remove the corn silk. Replace the husk, then soak the ears in cold water for a few minutes. On a grill set to medium heat, place the husks directly on the bottom rack, or wrap each ear in foil first then place them on the grill. They will have to be checked often and turned. Alternatively, place the ears in a baking pan, cover with foil, and place on the grill. Check after 15 minutes. They should be tender and plump. Remove from the heat and let cool before cutting kernels off the cob.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Black Bean Pancakes

I’m very much into veggie burgers and love to make them, but it’s sometimes difficult to get the batter just right so that the burger will stay together and at the same time, not be too dry. After looking up a few black bean burger recipes online, I decided to combine the ingredients below. Rather than use store-bought breadcrumbs made from white bread, I decided to use a toasted sprouted whole grain bread as a thickener. Still, the taste was incredible, but the mixture was a bit soft and I didn't want to add more bread to the mix. So rather than add more thickeners or fight with the batter, I decided to make pancakes instead of burgers.

The first go around, this meant large pancakes which were delicious with a cucumber salad, and the second time, I decided to make them smaller, which makes them much easier to handle when cooking and which I believe would make them ideal for appetizers or finger foods. For lunch today, I spread mashed avocado on a kale leaf and topped it with two small pancakes and shaved carrots. The result was a very light and crunchy wrap. Red or green leaf or romaine lettuce leaves would make wonderful wraps too.

Black Bean Pancakes

1.5 c cooked black beans

1 c diced, sautéed onions

½ cup chopped roasted red peppers

2 slices Ezekiel sprouted grains bread, toasted and broken into small pieces

1 - 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 egg

1 clove garlic, diced

1 t dried or 1 T fresh basil

sea salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth but grainy. It can be refrigerated for several days at this point (and perhaps frozen, although I haven’t tried this yet).

Heat a skillet to medium and coat the bottom with a thin layer of grapeseed or coconut oil. Using an ice cream scoop, drop several servings of batter into the skillet, leaving enough room for them to spread. Using the back of a large spoon, flatten each scoop to ~1/4 - ½ inch thick pancakes.

When the bottom is lightly browned (~2-3 min), flip the pancakes and with the spatula, gently press them down. Continue to cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes, or until the bottom is brown and the inside is dry.

Serve the pancakes on a salad, in a whole grain wrap, or wrapped in a lettuce or kale leaf with mashed avocado and lemon juice and shaved carrots.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho

The other day on The Daily Detox I posted a link to several cold soup recipes from Eating Well Magazine designed to help us beat the heat that’s been hovering in the high 90s here! As a gazpacho lover, I immediately decided to try their Watermelon Gazpacho recipe although I couldn’t resist, I had to make a few changes (like add tomatoes : ) Because of the beautiful, colorful produce around this time of the year, I thought yellow watermelon, orange tomatoes, and red pepper would make a vibrant, tasty soup, and it sure did! I also added a little garlic to give it a little kick. So, here is my version of the soup:

Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho

4 cups diced, seedless watermelon

2 small to medium cucumbers, washed and finely diced (I did not peel them)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped

½ c fresh basil, stems removed and chopped

¼ c fresh parsley leaves

1 small red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 T balsamic vinegar

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 t sea salt or to taste

Mix the ingredients together, except the watermelon, then add them to a food processor (this can be done in two batches). Process the mixture into finely chopped pieces, then add half of the watermelon and process briefly to incorporate. Transfer the soup into a glass or ceramic bowl and repeat the process with the other half of the ingredients. Refrigerate until chilled, then serve cold.

This was so light and refreshing! I even had it over cold quinoa for a heartier meal.