After countless false starts and misfires on getting my eating habits in order, it took a bit of vanity to kick my butt in gear and eat a little cleaner. I’ve been wanting to do some exploration on cutting some things out of my diet – dairy and many of the carbs I’d been eating – but my busy work schedule and, frankly, my laziness have kept me from sticking with it. It took thinking about my upcoming wedding to make me get serious about getting my habits in order. Not so much as a weight loss exercise but wanting to feel better during this really happy but hectic time – less puffy, less sleep deprived, fewer rollercoasters when it comes to my energy levels.
So I did it – 30 days without any processed sugar, no dairy (except for that vinaigrette that had Parmesan cheese in it – curses!), no white flour or bread of any sort and eggs/chicken/fish as my forms of protein. There were moments that were challenging. Having to get up at 6 am to make a salad to take to a photoshoot. Traveling for work and having to navigate restaurant and take-out menus. Maneuvering through this detox while living with someone that wasn’t. In the end, I have to admit: I feel great. After a pretty gluttonous celebratory weekend, I’m actually looking forward to eating this way more often than not – something I hope you’ll see on the blog, too.
This was my first gazpacho of the summer (!!!) – whipped together in between wedding emails and craft projects. I love gazpacho that has peppers as the base but, to me, the texture of them can be a little weird. Roasting the yellow bell peppers before you make the soup with them helps with that gritty, fiberous texture and added a deeper flavor. Rather than mess with de-seeding jalapenos, I used the green Tabasco in this soup – it makes it really easy to adjust the heat level to your liking.
Roasted Yellow Pepper Gazpacho – serves 2 as an entree and 4 as a starter or side
I think this gazpacho has better texture if you whiz it together in a high-powered blender like a VitaMix or a BlendTec – it really breaks down the fiber of the pepper and makes it almost silky. If you don’t have a blender that can do the job, a food processor is fine – just know you’ll get a more pulpy, fluffy texture. While I kept my garnish simple – I was looking for crunch to go with the soup – topping this with avocado or some queso fresco couldn’t hurt.
- On the burners of your range, turn the flame up to high and place a pepper or two over the fire, turning periodically, until the skins are charred. Repeat until all 6 are done and then place them in a sealed paper bag to steam for 10-15 minutes. Remove and peel off the blackened outer skin. Cut off the stems, remove the seeds and roughly chop. If you do not have a traditional range, you can roast your peppers under the broiler, on a grill or any other preferred method.
- In the container of a high speed blender (or your food processor), combine the chopped roasted pepper, garlic, and cilantro. Pulse a few times to break them up. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil, lime juice and water. Add in the Tabasco Green sauce and some salt and pepper and then whiz it together again. Taste and adjust the spice and seasoning to your liking and give it a final pulse or two. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Garnish each serving with a bit of chopped cucumber and red onion.
This recipe is one in a series of recipes I’m developing for the Tabasco Tastemakers program.