Wow, the Vida Vegan Conference was nothing short of amazing. It was such a pleasure to meet and hangout with some of my favorite people in the world. More on that is coming, but today I bring you a guest Meatless Monday post while I collect my thoughts and download photos from the weekend!
Today's guest post comes from my friend Gail in Dallas who is also a chef and makes the most delicious food! At a recent vegan potluck she brought this Watermelon Gazpacho that was so amazing I had to get the recipe. With hot weather still affecting us in Texas I thought you enjoy this chilled soup!
Catering Fresh “caters” to all tastes, with the focus on clean, fresh foods. However, for me, my personal choice is vegan/vegetarian fare. I had the pleasure last Saturday of attending my first vegan potluck. I met some fun, passionate people (hi Teresa!). It seems everyone has their own reasons for eating vegan; to save the animals to save the planet or to save their bodies or all of the above. I became intrigued with the idea several years ago and it’s been an entertaining, satisfying journey. My mission is to create healthy vegan fare that everyone enjoys (even carnivores). Everyone knows that eating more plants is healthful. If the palate is convinced that vegan is delicious, then no matter the cause, everyone and everything benefits. For those who need another reason, how about the “bottom line”. To raise a cow to slaughter, you have to water and feed the crop and then water and feed the cow. Doesn’t it make more sense to just water and feed one time? Food for thought America.
(Makes 8-10 servings)
8 cups of seedless water melon (1/2 cubed small) 1 ½ tsp sea salt
2 tomatoes diced 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow or red bell pepper diced 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
2 jalapenos seeded and diced ¼ tsp ground chipotle pepper
¼ cup purple onion diced (sweet) Juice from 1 large lime
½ cup chopped cilantro 2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup diced and peeled mango or peach 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
For a pureed version throw all ingredients in processor except cilantro and basil. Puree in batches. I like it chunky. Leave out about ¼ of the fruits and vegetables to stir in after processing. Add herbs last.
Gail is the “Health Nut”. She didn’t attend a fancy college and doesn’t have any prestigious degrees. Life has been her best teacher. At the tender age of 14, she discovered her passion for cooking while preparing family meals alongside her father. Raising 3 children as a single mom, Gail made the food and health connection early on. It became her mission to provide delicious, nutritious meals for her children even on her miniscule budget. She has the amazing palate for spices and flavors and the uncanny ability to make “something from nothing”. Her cooking passions lean toward vegan fare incorporating the exotic flavors of India and Asia. She is a self-taught, talented, natural in the kitchen.” Follow her on her website and on Facebook.