I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends, Lisa, come up to visit and help me celebrate my birthday last weekend. She and I have been friends since before we could talk and have kept in touch ever since, even though we’ve often been living in different cities and even sometimes different time zones…!
While Lisa was here we reminisced about old times and laughed about how much influence we had on each other growing up—we liked to play the same games, wear the same clothes, both had a big crush on Brad Pitt (maybe still do!), and we even liked and disliked the same food. Since I am a tad bit older than Lisa, I like to joke that she was the one always copying me.
But Lisa really did copy me when it came to tomatoes. I think she probably happily ate them as a little girl, until I started telling her just how gross they were. Yes, I had a strong dislike for tomatoes growing up—I would even say that I hated tomatoes. Tomato sauces didn’t seem to be a problem, since I inhaled pizza and ketchup. I did, however, pick out every chunk of fresh tomato from my food and for years wouldn’t eat sliced tomatoes in my sandwiches. Lisa, of course, did the same.
Over the year’s my taste in food has changed and apparently so have Lisa’s. We both now really like tomatoes. My mom always said that would happen—one day we would realize that we liked tomatoes and regret all the years that we wouldn’t eat them. I can’t speak for Lisa, but I wouldn’t say that I really regret not eating them. I certainly do take advantage of the opportunity to eat them now though.
I was even excited when several tomatoes came in our CSA box recently. Along with the tomatoes there was a cucumber and red bell pepper—a perfect combination for gazpacho! If you haven’t tried gazpacho, it is a chilled soup that is usually made from raw vegetables. I’ve had a few different types of gazpacho and the ones I like best have a spicy kick to them. If you also like some spice, give the gazpacho recipe below a try…
Spicy Gazpacho Soup
Adapted from Real Simple, July 2010
I love gazpacho with lots of garnish, so I saved a few cucumber and pepper pieces for topping. I also added a little diced avocado and a few croutons as garnishes.
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 small red bell
- 1 can (4 oz) of green chilies
- juice from half a lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
Roughly chop the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and bell pepper. Put the chopped vegetable into a blender and add the chilies, lime juice, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste.
Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:
|Recipe Report Card||Notes About Recipe Ratings|
Four Chefs (Delicious!)
|Cool and refreshing with a little spicy kick—just the way I like it!|
Four Easy Chairs (“ABC, Easy as 123…”!)
|Not much to it, just chop a little and blend.|
Five Apples (My Body is My Temple!)
|The soup is all vegetable goodness with just a little bit of olive oil. Careful though—too many non-vegetable garnishes can decrease the health rating.|
Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)
|The only thing that keeps this green rating from being a five is the little can of chilies and the lime. All of the vegetables were local and organic.|