Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream (+ Cookbook Giveaway)

by | Sep 9, 2013
Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream

Photo Credit: Leo Gong

Today I’m thrilled to share a recipe from The Longevity Kitchen, the fabulous new cookbook by Rebecca Katz, MS. Rebecca is a Marin-based nationally recognized cookbook author, nutrition expert and chef. She is the founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, which is dedicated to transforming lives through nutritional science and culinary alchemy. Her previous book, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, is a two-time IACP award-winner.

Rebecca was kind enough to share her amazing gazpacho recipe, which is a perfect use of the abundance of summer tomatoes that are flooding farmers markets this time of year. Filled with rich, earthy flavors like cumin, coriander and fennel, and blended until smooth as velvet, this gazpacho is a huge step up from the more traditional chunky versions.

We’re also giving away two free copies of Rebecca’s new book, The Longevity Kitchen. To enter simply leave a comment below explaining your biggest challenge to cooking healthy food at home. Two winners will be selected on Friday.

To learn more about Rebecca visit her website and follow her on Twitter @rebeccakatzyum.

Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho

by Rebecca Katz

Some folks like shots of tequila. Well, my choice of a shot is much, much healthier. Take this Mediterranean gazpacho. It makes a hit of V-8 look like amateur hour. The great part about gazpacho is it’s really a vegetable orgy: cucumbers, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, fennel, garlic.

At this point readers often scream, imagining they’ll look like a bunch of nine-fingered piano players after all that veggie chopping. Believe me, I know—at culinary school, gazpacho prep is the equivalent of Ninja Knife Skills Boot Camp, where teachers walk around the kitchen with (I’m not kidding) rulers to make sure each veggie is uniformly diced. That’s nuts, and unnecessary; here we toss everything–veggies, spices, herbs, oil–all into the Vitamix, add a little olive oil and shazam! It’s party time.

I took this to an Independence Day dinner and poured out the cheer into shot glasses topped with a little avocado cream. You know you’re doing something right when everyone corners you for the recipe (I’m an easy touch on that one). This is like a drinking a Virgin Mary. No hangovers. Promise.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: N.A.

Serves 8

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into quarters
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup basil and, or cilantro roughly chopped
  • 3 cups tomato juice (low sodium, I like Knudsen’s Brand)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon, sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8-teaspoon cayenne

Other Ingredients
  • 1 medium avocado
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped

To make avocado cream place the  “Other Ingredients” in blender and blend until very smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. No need to rinse blender before proceeding.

Place the tomato juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, spices, vegetables and fresh herbs in a high-speed blender and process until velvety smooth. Taste. You may need another pinch of salt or an extra drop of maple syrup. Pour into small glasses and garnish with a dollop of avocado cream.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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69 Responses to “Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream (+ Cookbook Giveaway)”

  1. Tami says:

    The biggest obstacle to eating healthy is the need to tell myself often that I really do have time. I have far more time than generations before me. I have electicity, refrigeration, gas, and grocery stores. The process of preparing food should be part of my life not something to check off my to do list. I need to remember to enjoy the whole process not just the sitting down with my plate. Gathering in the kitchen to chill and catch up on the day as dinner is prepared makes cooking just life not a to do. Munching on what I am chopping and enjoying an ice tea, coffee, or other beverage with my family should be a gift not a to do.

  2. Abby says:

    This looks delicious! I find that after a day at work, I would rather spend time with my two young children than cook, most days. We have eliminated processed foods and have been eating a lot more vegetables and protein in the past few months, but I worry that it will be much harder to keep up this habit during the winter months when there is not so much delicious inspiring fresh food around!

  3. JoAnn says:

    My biggest challenge in eating healthy is planning and finding the time to do advance prep, so that it is easier to cook up something healthy on busy days.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! My biggest challenge is my addiction to chocolate!

  5. Julie says:

    The biggest challenge is ALWAYS time. I make the time, but I sacrifice a lot to do so. I batch cook for the week so my husband and I have something healthy to eat for all meals all week. I cook on Sunday and it usually takes all afternoon (morning is spent at the gym). After running errands all day Saturday, it can feel like I have no time for anything besides food. But I like eating, so it’s not so bad. 🙂

  6. Nikki says:

    My biggest challenge with eating healthy is enjoying cooking for one. I live alone and often find that cooking just for me is a little depressing … but having someone over every night is exhausting. It’s easier just to meet a friend for dinner, but eating healthy while eating out can be either laborious or expensive. All over-comeable challenges – I’m about to have roasted zucchini, chicken with sausage seasonings and a gorgeous salad with a small glass of rose (its the end of summer in Seattle, after all!)

  7. Jessica says:

    My biggest challenge in cooking healthy food at home is actually two-fold. I was never taught how or properly introduced to healthy foods. So I really have no knowledge of how to cook healthy and the things I pick up on from online reading are extremely difficult because I have sensitive taste buds and most fruits and vegetables are overpowering to me and it’s very difficult to try to incorporate them without overwhelming myself.

  8. Jane B. says:

    The most challenging thing for me in cooking healthy at home is that it takes SO much time — to prepare and to clean up. I don’t really enjoy the *process* of making a good meal, so the length of time seems unbearable to me. And it always seems to me the recipes are soooo involved. I LOVE eating a delicious, healthy, home-cooked meal *someone else* took time to make, but (sigh) I can’t be bothered to do it for myself.

  9. My biggest challenge is probably the temptation to bake sweets.
    My main meals are usually loaded with vegetables and fibre but I’m a sucker for desserts.

  10. Katie Elizabeth says:

    First of all I’d like to say, Thank you!! this website is wonderful. I just happened across it this evening reading about coconut sugar. ^_^

    I would love a copy of “The Longevity Kitchen” I am a young mother(22) of two beautiful children, I have a wonderful husband and I want to insure we live a long happy HEALTHY life. I am doing everything I can; reading every blog and cookbook so that I can learn and get a grasp on how to feed my family and still let life taste as fantastic as ever! My BIGGEST challenge in the kitchen is convenience. When I only have so much time in a day to plan and I am so overwhelamed with this new knowledge I am finding sometimes its just so easy to make a box of mac & cheese (organic at least of course >_<)or a pb&j on generic store brand wheat bread.
    I am currently trying to go gluten free and refined sugar free & learn how to make tasty things so my foodie hubby(who looves sugar) and picky babies can enjoy what I'm cooking. I remember as a child, my mom was a total health freak; everything tasted like cardboard :X which set me off health food the remainder of my teenage years. Until, I choose to understand for myself what was really going on in my food. I want my children to grow up understanding and enjoying healthy food. I have to change our bad habits now so we don't rub them off on our kiddos!
    Anyways, thank you for your awesome page! Definitely subscribed <3
    Namaste! ^___^

  11. Dawn S says:

    My biggest challenge is planning healthy meals out so that I have all of the ingredients, etc. on-hand!

  12. Lynda says:

    my biggest challenge is how to cook healthily in a short amount of time and menu planning without having the same things over and over again…

  13. Gratia Note says:

    My biggest cooking challenge is finding the right foods or combination of foods. When I eat foods by themselves I am hardly satisfied; when I eat certain foods together I’m either starving an hour later or completely full and happy. I am constantly experimenting with foods because I have yet to figure out which foods to combine in order for my body to get what it needs, keeping it in balance, all in good taste. I am striving to solve my problems with overeating and starving myself. I’m a very fit person but I find it hard to take care of my body properly the way that it personally needs to be taken care of. I have been getting a much better idea of what kinds of nutrition my body needs through experimentation (like today, I discovered that lettuce and sweet corn paired with avocado, garbanzo beans, whole wheat pasta, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar is exactly what my body needs to be satisfied and healthy and happy!) But I have had a thousand failed attempts!Nutrition is only good when it’s successful, and a cook book would be a great way to help me unlock the keys to my what my body needs. I demand a lot of my body, and have put it through a lot; I want to do whatever necessary to put it and keep it on the right track– to build it up and keep it ever healthy!

  14. Natasha says:

    My biggest challenge is simply coming up with ideas… it seems like I make the same dishes over and over!

  15. Catherine N. says:

    My biggest challenge is cooking for one, and not having the same thing for leftovers for a week! (The second biggest is using up the veggies before they turn “interesting”)

  16. Meryl says:

    The biggest challenge is having to go shopping frequently so I have all fresh produce in the house at all times to cook with!

  17. Louis S. says:

    Coming up with new ideas all the time, so I’m not bored eating the same old dishes.

  18. Amy says:

    My biggest challenge to cooking healthy at home is coming up with new ideas.

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