Friday, April 25, 2014

Did you ever get a treat in the mail that was even better than you had hoped? That is exactly how I feel about my copy of The Blender Girl Cookbook by Tess Masters. Not only does it contain 100 easy, healthy gluten-free and vegan recipes, but it is chock full of tips, information, advice and Tess' warm personality.

This book delivers on its promise for "super-easy" and "super-healthy" recipes. I had friends over yesterday at the last minute to celebrate a friend's new baby (the beautiful Eden). I needed a company-worthy dish that came together quickly and that wouldn't burn the baby if we dropped some on her head! I whipped up the watermelon gazpacho from The Blender Girl Cookbook, and it was delightful. It was fresh and summery and made the lunch feel like a party.

Each of the recipes is gluten-free and vegan (so egg, dairy and animal-free), but nuts and soy are present in a fair number of the recipes. I think the book is still worthwhile, even with those allergies, though, because there is so much information that will be helpful to anyone interested in healthy eating, and there are many recipes that will work regardless of restriction.

Did I mention that this book is GORGEOUS? 
My soup turned out beautiful, but I could not come close to capturing is prettiness like the picture in the book does, so I'm going to show you that one (with permission, of course)!
Photo Credit: Anson Smart

This recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho is provided courtesy of Tess Masters and The Blender Girl Cookbook.

watermelon gazpacho is the bomb!

The name says it all. Gazpacho rocks, and this concoction delivers a surprising taste

explosion with every spoonful. A happy blend of sweet and spicy, the flavors in this

chilled first course or main mellow nicely with time. In fact, the change in flavor

is quite pronounced. This is particularly true of the onion. Like a fabulous sangria

(see page 174), this soup is better the next day. But, it’s delicious a few hours after

preparing, so don’t feel like you have to wait beyond the three-hour chill.

  • serves 8 as a starter, 6 as a main
  • 4 cups (640g) roughly chopped seedless watermelon, plus 6 cups (960g) diced
  • 2 cups (300g) diced tomato
  • 1 cup (145g) peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup (70g) diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced green serrano chile, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Put the 4 cups of chopped watermelon into your blender and puree on high for 30 to 60 seconds,until liquefied. Pour into a serving bowl. 

Add the 6 cups of diced watermelon and all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine well. Tweak flavors to taste (you may want more onion, lime juice, chile, or salt).

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably 12 to 24 hours to allow the flavors to fuse and the vibrant red color to develop. Before serving, tweak flavors again (if it’s too spicy, add some lime juice). Pass additional lime juice and salt at the table.

Some of my other favorites from this book are: 
  • Ginger Apple Pear Butter
  • If You're Chilly Grab Some Chili 
  •  Cheerful Chimichurri Bowl
  • Pineapple Vanilla Sangria
Happy Cooking!

My new book,  Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

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