There is no bigger luxury for me than visiting another country and eating good, wholesome, flavour-filled food. I was fortunate enough to take a little break and sneak away to Europe to visit a few different cities – Barcelona, Spain, and Nice, France. I’m a sucker for farmer’s markets and was able to find one in each of the stops. I also get excited (maybe a little too excited), when I find restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients. I came across several ‘slow food’ restaurants, and you could taste the freshness with each bite. For those of you that are new to the term ‘slow food’, it is the concept that aims to ‘prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat’. It all comes down to celebrating food and life.
Another highlight of my trip food-wise was taking a cooking class in Spain. I love food, and wanted to experience how to prepare Spanish meals so I can recreate a dish at home. One of the dishes we made was gazpacho.
Spending some time with the heat in Spain made me appreciate the properties food delivers. I’ve been so focused on warming foods for the last few seasons, that when the heat came around, I saw that I was craving different foods, and watched the impact that these foods made in balancing the temperament of my body. Now that our warmer months are approaching, I think gazpacho will be something that I may add to my food repertoire to help cool my body.
Again, I’m not creating anything new as its been around for ages, but wanted to bring this goodie some attention. I’ve mentioned it time and time before, but I like to eat local, and the ingredients are just around the corner for us here in Vancouver. This cold soup dish contains the following, along with its nutritious benefits:
Tomatoes – Although its known for its lycopene, it is better achieved when cooked. Regardless, there are still so many benefits including: helps to clear heat, detoxifies the blood, and is alkaline upon ingesting it, high in Vitamin C, Vitamins A and B complex, and minerals including potassium and phosphorous.
Bell Peppers – high in Vitamin C, beta-carotene, Vitamin K, and several minerals including folic acid and thiamine.
Garlic – antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, helps with and endless amount of things including ear troubles, flue, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, helps grow healthy flora, eliminates toxins
Cucumber – this water filled vegetable helps clear heat, quenches thirst – perfect for hot conditions. It does wonders for digestion due to its enzymes.
Give this recipe a try and tune in to see if you can actually feel it cooling you down. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS Serves 1
6 Tomatoes (preferably on the vine)
1 clove of garlic (you can add more to taste)
1/2 red peper
1 small green pepper
1 + 1/4 cup of water
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1. With traditional gazpacho, you slice open a tomato in half, and grate it on a grater (eg – cheese grater). This removes the skin, and allows you to have a smoother end result. If you are ok with the natural thickness in the soup, you can skip this step.
2. Roughly chop the peppers and cucumber in an equal sizes.
3. Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend till you reach a smooth consistency.
4. In order to allow the flavours to marinate together, refrigerate for at least an hour, or even better, overnight.
5. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with finely chopped peppers, or cucumbers.