Cucumber Almond Gazpacho Sauce

Last night I decided to whip up a cooling gazpacho sauce to take off the nonstop heatwave that we’re feelin’ here in Manhattan…it surely has been a bit too hot to turn on my oven and strike up the stove, so I opted for a fresh gazpacho sauce which I drizzled atop my tilapia dinner.

This sauce was the best idea because I was instantly rejuvenated and felt like  new person after sweating in this sweltering heat all day…So, why not get creative when making a gazpacho sauce and toss in some blanched almonds, agave and balsamic vinegar to add the perfect hint of pure sweetness to my fresh cucumbers and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Pinch of sea salt and white pepper
  • Chives for garnish

Directions

  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients; blend until well combined.
  • Serve atop fresh fish, tofu, salads or any summertime dish.  Garnish with chives.
  • Enjoy!

Do you enjoy making cooling meals during the summer days? If so, I’d love to hear your recipe for chilled go-to entrees.

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Stonyfield Oikos Recipe: Orange Zest Chicken Gyros

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I have been eager to share with all of you my fabulously delicious Oikos Greek yogurt recipe for the Stonyfield Oikos contest.

I created this yummy recipe last week.  As all of you know, I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek yogurt and always have at least one container in my fridge at all times.  It’s incredibly versatile and I often use Oikos in my morning breakfast, afternoon smoothies, lunchtime tuna salads and evening marinades.

This time around, I opted for creating a fun ‘finger-food’ meal, which is perfect for lunch or dinner.  If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, seitan or another alternative.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Oikos Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 5 pitas (without pockets)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 (16  ounce containers) Oikos Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of olive oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, oil and cilantro.  Slowly add chicken and rub to ensure coating of the marinade.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour a dash of olive oil into a large skillet, cook chicken fully; toss to ensure even cooking.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside to cool and slice onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place each pita in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; heat for 10-15 seconds per side over medium heat.
  • Top each pita with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, scallions and dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Directions for Yogurt Dressing:

  • Strain yogurt with a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl; let sit overnight to release moisture.
  • Shred zucchini and carrots.
  • Combine yogurt, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.

Be sure to visit the Oikos Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/oikos and the Oikos website here for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes.



Collard Wraps

Today for lunch, I packed my special Collard Wraps…they were the perfect way to kick off the 1st day of September.  Fresh, local veggies stuffed inside collards with a delicious and tangy dipping sauce…yum…is your mouth watering yet?

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Ingredients

Collard Wraps:

  • 6 Large Collard Green Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. Hummus (Any Flavor of Choice)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 Avocado, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 Ruby Red Grapefruit, peeled and pieced out of skin
  • 1 cup Sprouts
  • Dash of chili powder
  • Dash of lime juice
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Dash of Dulse flakes
  • Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dipping Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Agave Nectar

Directions

  • Steam collards for 1 minute. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl combine nutritional yeast, lime juice, hummus, chili powder, Nu-Salt, pepper, dulse flakes, flax seeds and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
  • Spoon mixture into the center of each collard leaf.  Spread evenly.
  • Top each leaf with mushrooms, avocado, cucumbers, sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes and grapefruit pieces.
  • Wrap the leaf like a burrito and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • For dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, agave nectar and tomato paste; mix well.  Set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Enjoy the collard wraps dipped into the yogurt dipping sauce.
  • Yum!

Eating a Rainbow of Colors

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By now, we’ve all heard, “Eat your Veggies”, well there’s a whole rainbow out there of amazing produce known as Superfoods.  Incorporating these babies into your daily diet can fight cancer, improve your memory, and keep those nasty colds away.  So, what are these superfoods that everyone is talking about?

Superfoods are fruits and veggies that are full of antioxidants.  It’s easy to incorporate their rainbow variety into your diet; simply mix n’ match various colors for a plate that is not only pleasing to the eye, but your stomach, as well. 

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Yellow and Orange

  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe
  • Butternut Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Our yellow and orange fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants that boost our immune systems and provide a nice, big dose of Vitamin C.  Moreover, eating fruits and veggies of these colors help ward off age-related eye disease.  I personally love cooking Butternut Squash and making my Butternut Squash Fries, which can be prepared in minutes and popped into the oven.  Another easy way to incorporate these colors into your diet is combining the above fruits into a smoothie.

    Green

    • Avocados
    • Asparagus
    • Cucumbers
    • Leafy Greens
    • Green Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli

    These greens help relieve the effects of serious eye ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Moreover, they help clear the arteries that keep blood flowing to your brain.  My favorite way to incorporate greens into my meals is sauteing spinach and collard greens with garlic and pine nuts.

    Tan and White

    • Parsnips
    • Turnips
    • Cauliflower
    • Onions
    • Mushrooms
    • Bananas
    • Garlic

    These guys  may not have a lotta color to them, however, they pack a serious antioxidant punch with phytonutrients that help protect the heart and fight cancer.  My favorite way to eat the “whites and tans” is to roast parsnips in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chili powder.

    Blue and Purple

    • Blueberries
    • Raisins
    • Purple Grapes
    • Purple Potatoes
    • Eggplant

    These blue food friends supply us with a healthy dose of antioxidants, which are beneficial for memory and motor function.  I personally love to cook Eggplant Parm–(the gluten free/dairy free way), of course.

    Red

    • Tomatoes
    • Cherries
    • Strawberries
    • Watermelon
    • Radicchio

    Red fruits and veggies contain lycopene and flavonoids are important antioxidants to help fight diseases and various cancers.  Try a rice dish with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and tomatoes.

    What’s your favorite way to incorporate a rainbow into your daily diet?