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Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup

This homemade cold cucumber soup is out of this world! It has texture and flavors that won’t stop! Not one of the flavors in this soup over powers another, it’s the perfect balance. You actually find yourself trying to distinguish between them only because you are aware of all the fresh vegetables and herbs that went into this amazing cold soup.

Being a born and raised East Coaster I have to say I have never been a big “cold soup” kind of person. With our unbearably cold winters we have here I really appreciate a very hot bowl of soup to warm the bones. So when ever I’m making this cold cucumber soup I’m slightly biased going in, not willing to give merit where it is due, until I take my first spoonful and it all changes!

My cold cucumber soup completely stands on it’s own and is very satisfying not to mention the medicinal qualities that cucumbers offer. Cucumber’s can reduce puffiness, help to eliminate toxins in your body and we all know that slice’s of cucumber over your eyes can help to reduce dark circles! Some of the vitamin’s cucumber’s offer are A, C and folic acid and minerals of potassium and magnesium.  All and all this homemade cold cucumber soup is a win win situation.

This homemade cold cucumber soup would be great for lunch with a side sandwich or grill up some shrimp like I did in the show. One of my favorite accents to this soup are seared scallops cut in half and placed right in the center on the soup. You can check out in my “Seared Scallop Show” to see exactly how to make the scallops.

King crab meat is also a lovely topping to this cold cucumber soup and was a big hit when I presented this soup this way to the tasting judges at my second MasterChef open casting call in NYC this past March (2016)! All of the MasterChef casting call judges didn’t have any critique for my soup during the tasting phase…they just said “they really, really loved it!” When I made my cucumber soup for the MasterChef casting call I added fresh fennel to the recipe to change it up and give it that je ne sais qua…that extra special something!

This cold cucumber soup is an amazing way to start your dinner party or even have for a luncheon. If you are thinking of other course’s to add to your soup you should check out my stuffed mushrooms, yogurt chicken kabobs, bolognese sauce with homemade pasta and end with my perfect chocolate cake that will rock your world! Enjoy 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 European cucumbers peeled and cubed – 4 1/2 cups – you do not need to remove seeds with the European cucumbers
  • If you are using regular cucumbers, peel and slice down the middle and remove the seeds scooping them out with a small spoon and cut into chunks
  • 3 ex-lg green onions or 5 small sliced in 1″ pieces from green tips to whitish green stems
  • 1/4 cup of diced cherry tomatoes OR diced heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ an avocado cut in chunks
  • 1 jalapeño chopped (take out seeds)
  • 1 lg garlic clove put through garlic press
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt – whole milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp of honey
  • 1/4 cup of seasoned rice vinegar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt – to taste  – (NOTE: I said 1 tsp in the show but I meant to say 1/2 tsp!)
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground pepper

         -FOR COLD CUCUMBER & FENNEL SOUP …ADD:

  • 1 cup cut up fresh FENNEL  …for a change up try this with the FENNEL – YUM!
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish
  • seared scallops , cooked Lobster, Shrimp, or Crab to top the soup in the center

Directions:

    1. Add all the ingredients in the list above to your blender except olive oil
    2. Begin to puree while slowly pouring in olive oil through the opening at the top
    3. Continue to puree for 20-30 seconds
    4. Be patient, all the vegetables in the cucumber soup will begin to slowly puree
    5. Stop and scrape down any herbs or vegetables stuck on the side’s and pulse for 10 more seconds
    6. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour
    7. Serve with a sprinkle of dill, finely chopped tomato, cucumber and avocado
    8. Top the center of the soup with seared scallops – room temperature cooked lobster, king crab meat, or shrimp AND then a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Energy Smoothies 101 VIDEO

Energy Smoothies 101 Recipe and VIDEO

Making homemade smoothies is such an ideal way to get so many wonderful nutritients into one beverage and not compromise on taste! These gourmet energy smoothies are absolutely scrumptious! Who doesn’t love a smoothie and now with all the high tech appliances available out there just for puréeing vegetables into drinks you can’t go wrong. Those juicers can get a little pricey though and an average Waring blender can get the job done too! So don’t feel like you can’t join in if you’re a novice to all this and start making your own homemade gourmet energy smoothies if you haven’t spent the dough…no pun intended 🙂 Yes, you can make your own!

My energy smoothies 101 recipes and video start you off with some basics on how to create these delicious energy smoothies. I make it easy for you with a proven lists of ingredients that taste incredible and help your body to feel good too. Granted, there’s always that afternoon cup of joe that you can grab for a boost and let me tell you I do love my caffeinated beverages! Standing by my coffee pot in the morning in anticipation of pouring that first cup is how I begin my day. Then there’s mid-afternoon when we all seem to need that extra zing to keep us going and that’s when I usually go for my cup of tea which has sentimental reasons for me as well reminding me of my Grandmother and I having tea and crackers together when I was very little. BUT when I add an energy smoothie into my day I definitely feel the difference with more of a long lasting energy and good feeling surge!

Making these energy-power smoothies will give you that “feel good” energy surge and when we are feeling up it puts us in a good mood! There are studies that show an anti-inflammatory diet that is high in protein really does have an effect on our moods and increases our stamina… who doesn’t need that!

While doing some research on high protein and anti-inflammatory diets I was recently turned on to Muscle Milk. Muscle Milk is a product that a lot of athletes use because it’s great for after work out recovery. It’s also formulated for people who are lactose sensitive, it’s gluten free and they do carry a line of Muscle Milk Light too. Best of all, while offering up all that great protein it taste scrumptious in my first “tropical vanilla energy smoothie”! The vanilla Muscle Milk compliments the vanilla Greek yogurt making for a creamy tropical flavor. It’s truly a tropical vanilla flavor that’s luscious.

My second smoothie is called the “green zinger” because the spinach turns it green and the fresh grated ginger gives it that underlying needed zing. This may me one of the most unique and delicious smoothies I have come up with. Maybe it’s because I absolutely adore the taste of fresh ginger and honey together and if you haven’t had this combo yet please put it on your bucket list! Fresh grated ginger and honey with a little squeeze of lemon will send your tea through the roof in flavor…please try it 🙂

And last but not least is my third smoothie called “the berry-beta bomb” where the color alone is enough to make you smile. There is a small amount of beets in this smoothie which give you a unique source of that wonderful nutrient called betaine. Betaine is like a power nutrient that protects our cells from stress which help fight inflammation and at the same time caring more iron than even spinach…woo hoo I say who’s better that you! I have you baking the beets for a no fuss way to cook them. If you are not big on beets try the golden beets or chioggia striped beets which you can find at Whole Foods or our local Bishop Orchards because they are definitely milder in flavor and it’s important to have them in this smoothie.

When you make your homemade batch of smoothies don’t forget to freeze a small amount in containers. That’s take some of the work out of your next round and makes for refreshing little energy snacks in the afternoon. I take them right out of the freezer and eat them like an Italian ice. Make sure to watch my show on how to make these babies! Enjoy and stay healthy!

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE TROPICAL VANILLA SMOOTHIE W/ MUSCLE MILK:

  • 1 cup Muscle Milk
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 cup frozen cut-up mangoes
  • 1 cup frozen cut-up peaches
  • 2/3 cup frozen cut-up bananas
  • 3 tbsp honey

INGREDIENTS FOR THE GREEN ZINGER SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup frozen cut-up mangoes
  • 1 cup frozen cup-up peaches
  • 2/3 cup frozen cut-up bananas
  • 1 heaping tbsp fresh zested ginger
  • 3 tbsp honey

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BERRY-BETA BOMB SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup roasted beet – diced up (If you are not a big beet lover use lighter colored beets like golden beets, or Chioggia beets – the striped beets because they are more mellow in flavor
  • TO COOK BEETS: Cut stems off of beets 1/2″ up on stem from actual base of  beet, wash and dry the beets, place them in a small shallow baking dish like a pie plate, cover with foil snugly and bake for 1 hr. When beets are done, let them cool and then peel off skin with your fingers.
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen cut-up peaches
  • 3 tbsp honey

DIRECTIONS FOR ALL SMOOTHIES:

  1. Place ingredients into blender and puree til smooth.
  2. You use frozen fruits in these energy smoothie 101 recipes but feel free to add crushed ice as well to add in volume and help keep them frosty.
  3. Keep in the frig if you are drinking right away or put into several small containers and freeze to have at a later time.
  4. If you do freeze them in containers just take out from freezer when ready and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes and stir to drink or eat them right out of the frigerator scrapping with a spoon like an Italian ice! Enjoy!

(Note: Muscle Milk is not a paid sponsor at this time I just happen to really like the product 🙂