eating clean September 24, 2013

Roasted Yellow Pepper Gazpacho

After countless false starts andĀ  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-seedingĀ  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.

  • 6 yellow bell peppers
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, tough stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small red onion. diced

- 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.

Comments

Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate Sep 24, 2013 07:09 pm

The processed sugars are the hardest for me. I don’t eat a lot of junk food (well none really in terms of chip and pop and such) but I love candy. I am constantly sucking on a werther’s or chewing a piece of gum. It’s not that I don’t eat a ton of vegetables and fruits but it still feels like such a bad habit!

thelittleloaf Sep 25, 2013 09:09 am

I’ve been suffering from skin rashes recently and am thinking about giving up dairy and sugar – this would be the perfect dish and I love how you’ve roasted the peppers first.

Kulsum Sep 25, 2013 09:09 am

you always have best gazpacho recipes! Congratulations Tami – it’s been a while since I left a comment.

Rachel@theFromagette Sep 25, 2013 10:09 am

Good for you!!! I am on a similar path – mostly ridding my diet of sugar and white flour…

Jamie Sep 27, 2013 12:09 pm

Yes, eating clean is SO important these days! Thank you for posting this gazpacho recipe; can’t wait to try it! I’m so conscience of what I eat. Check out http://www.BetterOffHealthy.com for more great recipes!

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