Tuesday, July 24, 2012

0 Recipe #313: Mexican-style Gazpacho

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Revive yourself with this tasty, tangy Mexican-style gazpacho. Rich in antioxidants, electrolytes, and Omega-3 fatty acids, this soup is a superfood extravaganza! It's also got TONS of health benefits that are just PERFECT for athletes and other healthy-minded individuals! The ingredients in this soup promote cardiovascular and eye health, regulate blood sugar levels, increase nutrient absorption, lower cholesterol levels, help fight cancer, and provide a wide range of anti-inflammatory benefits, which are of course useful in reducing post-exercise soreness among other things. Drink this soup and you'll be drinking to your health! :)

The flavors of this particular gazpacho recipe have a Mexican twist to it. The traditional Mexican flavors of cumin, lime, oregano, and cilantro complement the soup's base of tomato, cucumber, red onion, garlic, and avocado. The avocado adds just the right amount of creaminess to give this soup some extra "oomph," while the addition of mint balances out the soup's tangy, slightly spicy taste with a fresh, clean flavor that goes hand in hand with the crisp, cool flavors of cilantro and cucumber in this soup.

Not only is this recipe super-quick and easy to make, but there's no cooking required. And on a really hot day, like the ones we've been having lately (!), you'll be glad that you won't need to turn on your stove. :)

Mexican-Style Gazpacho

3 c. grape tomatoes
1 c. cucumber, peeled (in alternating vertical stripes) and diced*
1/2 c. red onion, peeled & diced (about 1/4 small onion)
1/8 c. garlic, peeled & minced (about 4 large cloves)
1/2 c. Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (1/2 Haas avocado)
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, densely packed
1/8 c. fresh cilantro, densely packed
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
3 c. V-8 tomato juice (for milder gazpacho, add another 1/2 c.)

Optional Garnishes:
3-4 Tbsp. cheddar or Parmigiano-Reggiano (or vegan) cheese, shredded (about 1 Tbsp. per serving)
1/2 c. Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced (1/2 Haas avocado)
fresh mint &/or cilantro leaves, finely minced
1/4 c. scallion, (green and white parts), sliced crosswise into 1/4”-thick rounds

Directions: Add all solid ingredients to a blender, pulse to combine, then add liquids, and pulse again until desired consistency has been reached. Divide into equal portions and pour into bowls. Top each portion with avocado slices, shredded cheese, &/or other desired garnishes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Yield: 3-4 servings.

Chef's Notes: *For higher nutritional value, peel the cucumber in alternating vertical stripes. This way, you'll preserve more of the nutrient-rich peel.

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