Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a raw vegetable soup that originated in Andalusia. It is mainly comprised of tomato, onion, cucumber and garlic, mixed together in a blender or food processor. This gazpacho is a fresh summery soup to accompany lunch, but it also works well as a tapa served in a small shot glass.

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This gazpacho is made from tomatoes, a bell pepper, an onion, garlic, half a cucumber, salt, pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and a bit of parsley.

Firstly, roughly chop 1 kilo of tomatoes, an onion, a bell pepper, and crush one clove of garlic.

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Add the chopped tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar to a food processor or blender and pulse until the ingredients are mixed well and the consistency is smooth.

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Scrape the seeds out, and very finely chop the cucumber into small pieces. Then, stir these through the mixture in the blender – but do not blend, as this will create a nice chunky texture. Season the gazpacho with salt and pepper – you will need more than you think, so be generous, and keep tasting.

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Pour the gazpacho into a bowl or jugs and chill in the fridge for at least one hour, as the flavor will intensify over time and the gazpacho is best served chilled. While this chills, finely chop a handful of parsley, and for presentation bonus points, you can prepare a cucumber garnish (image below).

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Serve in glasses and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg roma tomatoes (or other ripe and in-season tomatoes will do), roughly chopped
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

 

Method:

  1. Add roughly chopped tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, and crushed clove of garlic into a blender or food processor along with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Blend the ingredients until a smooth texture is achieved.
  2. Stir in finely chopped cucumber to the mixture, but do not blend.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Serve in glasses and season with parsley.

Tortilla Española – Spanish Tortilla

…or as my brother calls them: “those Mexican things”, hahaha. I got the base for this recipe from my best friend’s mom, aka my madre número dos. I think the first time I had Spanish tortilla was at my best friend’s house at one of our many sport team dinners, as it is great as a tapa at a potluck-style dinner. A tortilla is very versatile, you can add ingredients to make it taste however you want. I’ve made tortillas with chorizo, chicken, jalapeños or peppers, or you could basically any other ingredient you want. The recipe here is simple and pretty straightforward with potatoes, onions, and eggs, although I also added some red peppers to it.

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The first step is to cut and peel a kilo of potatoes. This is probably most time-consuming part of the process, however making sure that you have thin slices of potatoes is essential. As always, I cheated and instead of manually cutting a billion slices, I used the slicing disc on my Magimix food processor. This thing is literally a lifesaver!

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Next, add the potato slices to a large bowl and coat in approximately a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Now this is where my recipe differs from most conventional recipes: I partially cook the potato slices in the microwave instead of in a frying pan. This can be done by placing the bowl with potato slices in the microwave at the highest setting for approximately 10-12 minutes (with stirring and checking in between) until the potatoes are soft enough to be cut with a fork. While the potatoes are microwaving, you can dice two large onions and two red (or any other color) peppers.

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When the potatoes are done, add them to a large, lightly oiled non-stick pan together with the onions and peppers. Cook these until the onion is translucent.

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Next, beat 8 eggs in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the contents from the pan to the bowl and cover potato mixture in egg. Transfer the contents of the bowl back into the non-stick pan, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes.

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Now comes the tricky part: flipping the tortilla. I’m sure that very few people actually own a special tortilla-flipping plate (basically an oversized plate with a handle), so what I do is I get a large plate that fits well over the pan. Then while wearing oven gloves, I turn the pan upside down and transfer the tortilla onto the plate and shuffle it back into the pan. I have ruined many a tortilla by flipping it incorrectly, so through through trial and error I’ve figured out this way that works for me….so good luck!

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Once the tortilla is flipped and back in the pan, cook it for another five minutes and flip it onto a plate and serve!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Cut and peel potatoes and add to a large bowl. Coat in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Microwave potato slices on high for 10-12 minutes until nearly cooked, with occasional stirring.
  3. Add potatoes to large non-stick frying and add diced onions and peppers. Cook until onion is translucent.
  4. Beat eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer potato mixture into the bowl with eggs and mix well.
  6. Return the potatoes now covered in eggs to non-stick pan and cook on a low heat with a lid for 5 minutes.
  7. Flip tortilla and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is another great low-carb (or paleo) substitute for grains like rice. The way this cauliflower rice is prepared, I think I prefer it to actual rice as it has a lot more flavor (and I can eat a mountain of it without feeling absolutely stuffed). I enjoyed this cauliflower rice last night as an accompaniment to Greek meatballs. If you’re a carb-person you could even substitute the cauliflower for approximately 2 cups of cooked rice and then follow this recipe.

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The first step is to finely chop a carrot, an onion and two cloves of garlic, or you can be lazy (like me) and just make the food processor do it for you.

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Next, add the chopped veggies to a pan and sauté (approx. 4 minutes) in a tablespoon of ghee (aka fancy butter, but I guess you could use regular butter or coconut oil) until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic smells fragrant.

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During this time,  if you’re handy,  you can rice your cauliflower in a food processor by pulsing a large head of cauliflower (cut into florets) in about 10-15 pulses. Just make sure you don’t puree the cauliflower, you will regret it.

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Take note: this is what ricey-cauliflower should look like. It is not pureed. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

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Add the cauliflower to the pan with the carrot mixture and add 125 ml of chicken stock. The chicken stock I used was homemade but you could also use about 1/3 to 1/2 a chicken stock cube and dissolve it in 125 ml of warm water, and then add this to the pan. Steam the rice mixture for about 10-12 minutes on a low heat. You want the resulting texture to still be ricey, but if you steam it for too long it will turn into mush, so keep checking and tasting small bits with a spoon.

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If you want to be fancy, like I was yesterday, you can chop up some coriander (cilantro) as a garnish and put it in a pretty plate. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 125 ml chicken stock
  • coriander, to garnish

 

Method:

  1. Finely chop the carrot, onion and garlic and sauté in a pan with ghee until onion is translucent, approx. 4 minutes.
  2. Rice cauliflower in a food processor (about 10-15 pulses) and add to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken stock and steam, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10-12 minutes.
  4. Garnish with coriander and serve.