YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Golden Gazpacho Soup

You can think of gazpacho as soup and salad, both, at the same time. It will make a great first course at a nice dinner, but you can also take it to work for lunch (maybe with Mary’s Gone Crackers or a slice of toasted whole-grain bread). It would also make a scrumptiously satisfying mid-afternoon snack.

After my husband arrived home one time with a large tray of golden, acid-free tomatoes, I had my eye on those beauties from that instant on. We ate a few on Friday night, and a few more on Saturday. Then, I could no longer resist, so I swooped in on Sunday morning to pulverize the rest in my Vitamix! My husband said it was okay because he wanted to go buy more anyway. And he did.

I actually made this recipe to share at a barbecue and, no exaggeration, it was the best gazpacho I have ever made. Somebody was asking me for a gazpacho recipe the other day: If you’re reading this, use this one (with whatever tomatoes you have)! I love how simple it is. And I love that the tomato-ey sweetness is enhanced not with sugar but with red pepper and balsamic vinegar. Everything in this recipe comes in pairs: tomatoes and peppers, garlic and onion, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Alice Waters (The Art of Simple Food) would be so proud.

Ingredients:

9 medium golden-yellow tomatoes, quartered
2 additional golden-yellow tomatoes, chopped fine
1/2 red pepper, cored and seeded
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra-virgin)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

Set aside the two chopped tomatoes.

Add the remaining tomatoes, red pepper, onions and garlic to the blender, and blend on high 30-45 seconds until smooth. Pour in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and blend again for 10 seconds more.

Pour the soup into a pitcher or large glass jar, stir in the chopped tomato, and leave to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to blend the flavors. 

Note: You are going to need a high-speed blender to make this recipe. A regular one won’t work because it isn’t strong enough to pulverize everything. There are a number of good high-speed blenders, like Vitamix or Blendtec, and you should feel good about getting a refurbished one, too. A friend of mine got a refurbished one and it lasted more than 15 years.

Finally, a homegrown gazpacho prayer: thank you sun, thank you rain, thank you farmers and, of course, thank you Vitamix.

Serves 8-10. 


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Joe’s Sassiest Asian Slaw Ever

My buddy and longtime fan Joe Gardewin has come up with what he calls “the very best and sassiest Asian slaw ever.” He says it’s great on turkey tacos but you should also feel free to eat it plain, right out of the bowl, if you want! His list of veggies is somewhat flexible, but includes cabbage, daikon radish, and hot peppers at the very least, and he is proud to say that he is a legit food snob since he hand-cuts his slaw. Go, Joe! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Grilled Tofu & Cucumber Salad

Grilling season—yeah! Here’s something so delicious you’ll probably want to make it even if you aren’t vegan! Of course, if you do want to make something special because your favorite vegan happens to be coming for dinner, then this really yummy recipe is a great choice! And you should plan to make enough for everybody, just in case. The warm and cold; soft and crunchy; sweet, sour and heat all add up to a very pleasing set of contrasts.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Two Parsley Salads For You

There is a warm and cozy spot in my heart where the parsley goes. Parsley doesn’t usually get people riled up in the same way as basil, thyme, and oregano, but that’s about to change! What’s great about these recipes is that parsley is not the garnish but the main event. It’s the green, the herb, the everything. No competition, no second fiddle. It’s not a decoration, it’s just the parsley, and it’s definitely meant to be eaten this way. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Bamboo Rice Salad

Last week, my friend Conner brought me a container of bamboo rice, a short-grain white rice infused with chlorophyll-rich bamboo shoots to turn the rice the color of pale green jade. I had never tasted bamboo rice before, and I wanted to prepare it in a way that decreases the rate of absorption, reducing the glycemic index as it were, so as to decrease the height of the sugar spike that it might cause. Though bamboo rice is not a whole-grain product, the chlorophyll provides a different type of benefit. Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Simplest Salad

I’ve been making this salad for breakfast, yes breakfast, for months now. I know it’s a bit unconventional in the U.S. to eat salad for breakfast (though not in Europe and the Middle East), but it’s such a great way to start the day. Its success is built on simplicity. My strategy remains similar, week in and week out. It is never quite the same, and always delicious. Thank you to Alice Waters for teaching me to eat simply. This salad makes one single serving, but is infinitely flexible if you’d like to invite a friend or an army to your table to share a meal. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Lemon-Sesame Kale Salad

A kale celebration for kale lovers everywhere (!). If you don’t happen to have any kale right now, you can still make this salad with any other greens growing in your garden or sitting in your fridge. Radicchio is a good addition, too. Do I post a lot of recipes for kale? Maybe. But I know hardly anyone who eats enough green, leafy vegetables. What’s the deal with green leaves? They’re basically a nutrition powerhouse, with loads of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, you name it. Exactly like taking a multivitamin. But without the constipation.

Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Golden Beets

Last week we went to the West Side Market and brought home a big fat bunch of gorgeous golden beets. I was so pleased with how they turned out. We had a great big bowl full of golden beets, and they lasted four days while we ate them with everything! That’s because this recipe goes great with roasted chicken, thick tangy yogurt, scrambled eggs, a bowl of lentil soup, or greens sauteed in olive oil. Basically, everything.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Asian Cabbage Slaw

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending the evening with a wonderful group of new friends. The fire was crackling, the food and wine were wonderful, the company was delicious, and I had such a nice time. This Asian Cabbage Slaw was one of the inspired dishes we enjoyed together. I could tell you all kinds of reasons why this salad is so good for you, like the Vitamin C, and the heat from the capsaicin, and the benefits of acid, but the fact of the matter is that the best reason to make this is because it’s really good. Continue reading