Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fabulous Gazpacho

I'm definitely late in the game with my gazpacho-making this year. Gazpacho is, of course, a summer soup, making use of the raw, fresh bounty of high summer vegetables. I managed to make mine a couple days before the autumnal equinox. This was also my first time making it primal, and I think it came out fabulous.

Gazpacho is one of those soups that will definitely not taste right if your ingredients aren't extremely good. Stick to organic, if you can, and local/in season when possible. Trust me, it's worth it.

Primal Gazpacho
3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
1 English cucumber
2 sweet red peppers (bell peppers, etc)
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups almond meal
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar (or white wine, or red wine, in that order of substitution)
sea salt
1/4 of a red onion

1) Heat stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add in almond meal. Stir constantly until just gently toasty and starting to smell nutty, and all moisture has cooked off. Set aside to cool.
2) Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for approximately 30 seconds, then plunge in ice bath. Core. Peel off skin (should come off easily now) and chop coarsely over a large bowl, saving all the juice. Peel cucumber. Cut in half. Chop half coarsely, place in bowl with tomatoes. Cut the other half into neat cubes. Set aside.
3) Core the peppers. Chop 1 1/2 of the peppers into the same bowl as tomatoes/cucumbers. Cut the remaining half into neat cubes. Set aside with the cucumbers. Likewise cut the red onion into neat cubes, set aside with the cucumber and pepper cubes.
4) Mince garlic into bowl with vegetables. Add in the almond flour, olive oil, vinegar. Season with salt/pepper. Puree with an immersion blender to desired smoothness (I usually do mine fairly smooth). Cover bowl; set in fridge to chill for at least 1-2 hours, but no more than 5, to allow flavors to meld.
5) To serve: Adjust seasoning. Divide into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped cucumber, pepper, and onion. Drizzle with a generous portion of extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy immediately.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scrubby Time!

Alright, so I don't even have a picture to go with this post because the results aren't all that photogenic. I've had a tub of jasmine rice lurking in the back of the fridge for about a year at this point. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out (that whole, you know, wasting food thing) but I also have no intention of eating it. The other day, my partner was complaining that my adzuki bean-short grain rice face scrub was too harsh, and so I was struck by a moment of inspiration.

And I turned at least some of that rice into an awesome face scrub (but you could certainly use it for your body, as well).

The recipe? Well, it's one of those very adaptable things. Take some rice--I used about 1/2 cup of jasmine rice, but any variety will do. Heat up a steel skillet (you can do it with nonstick if you really want, but don't do it with cast iron) over medium heat for a couple minutes, then add in your rice. Stir it around gently until the grains turn translucent, but you don't really want them to toast or burn. You're basically just cooking off any moisture in the grains.

Leave in the pan to cool, then move to a grinder (I have a dedicated spice grinder, one of those cheapie coffee grinders that I'd never let near my actual beans because my conical burr grinder would divorce me). Add a couple tablespoons of ground coffee, tea leaves, cocoa powder, chamomile or lavender blossoms... basically anything you'd like that's skin safe and smells good. I used rice and a bit of coffee this time (we're both coffee fiends) and pulsed it until the mixture was soft and resembled flour. Grind to your personal preference, then mix about 1/2 tsp honey or yogurt (or face wash, if that's your thing) with about 1/2 tsp home-made scrub and you're ready to go.

Enjoy! :D