Milk & Marigolds’ Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

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This gazpacho (a chilled soup) is refreshing, healthy & bright in flavour.

Planting and growing cucumbers was new for us this season, so when we planted 6 seedlings, they went wild and we ended up with enough cucumbers to feed a small village!

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Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Prep: 10 minutes, plus 3-4 hours to chill             Yields:  2 small bowls
Author: Milk & Marigolds

Ingredients:
2 large cucumbers, (3 cups roughly chopped, deseeded)
1/2 avocado
1-2 limes (3 tablespoons juiced)
1/2 – 1 whole jalapeño, chopped and deseeded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (stems and leaves) plus more for garnish
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, shaken
1 spring onion, chopped
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold water or 1/2 cup ice
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Garnish Suggestions:
thinly sliced cucumber & Jalapeño
coconut milk
olive oil
fresh herbs

Equipment:
high speed blender
fine grater or microplane grater
peeler
Metal spoon
knife
cutting board

Instructions:

1. Begin by peeling your cucumbers and use a metal spoon to remove any seeds. Roughly chop your ingredients and finely grate half of a small garlic clove.

2. Deseed the jalapeño. You can wear gloves to avoid touching the hot seeds if needed. I recommend adding in a quarter of the jalapeño at a time to assess your desired level of spice. Roll (this helps to release the juices) then squeeze your limes to collect 3 tablespoons amount.

3. Shake the can of coconut milk so the coconut cream mixes with its water. Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and pulse until smooth or until the desired texture is achieved. Chill for about 3- 4 hours, add salt and pepper to taste, garnish and serve as soon as possible. This keeps in the fridge for about 2 days.

Copyright 2015 © Milk & Marigolds

Carrot-Turmeric Soup with Carrot Top ‘Pesto’

carrot soup with carrot top pesto

No matter the season, carrot soup is comforting and is especially savoury with this no-fuss carrot top ‘pesto’. The next time you get carrots with its leaves intact, consider using them. Carrot top leaves are similar to parsley in taste with a hint of carrot flavour. 

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carrot soup with carrot top pesto

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Carrot-Turmeric Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

Prep Time: 20 minutes               Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 small bowls / 2 lrg       Author: Milk and Marigolds

Soup Ingredients:
4 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 leeks, diced
1 large potato (120g or 10oz), diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
A few generous turns of black pepper
1 900ml carton unsalted chicken or veg broth
1 to 1.5 cups of water depending on preferred consistency

Carrot Top Pesto: (Yields 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup packed carrot top leaves off stems  (or parsley)
1/2 packed cup fresh basil
7 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small garlic clove (microplaned or grated very finely)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp plus a pinch of salt
a few turns of black pepper

Suggested Garnish:
fresh basil
carrot top leaves
sautéed leeks
sautéed carrots
chili flakes
extra virgin olive oil 

Instructions:

1.Start by preparing the soup. Make the pesto once the soup is cooking. Wash, peel, prepare and dice your vegetables.

2.Add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to a medium- large sized pot at medium heat. Add the leeks once the oil is warmed and start to sauté them. Cook for about 5 minutes, stir. Remove a small sautéed amount of the leeks as garnish for later.

3.Then add the diced celery to the pot. Continue to stir. After a few minutes, add the remaining vegetables and the garlic. Sauté for a few more minutes while taking care that the garlic doesn’t brown or burn. 

4.Next, add in your spices and seasonings (salt, pepper, ground cumin and turmeric) and stir for a minute or so. Follow by adding the broth and water and cover the pot. Bring to a light boil and then lower the heat to a simmer on low-medium heat. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally. Follow by pureeing the soup. Keep in mind that the pesto will add some extra salt and seasoning to the soup once added/served.

5.In the meantime, prepare the carrot top pesto. If you don’t have carrot tops available then parsley makes for a good replacement. You can certainly do this step by hand or by using a food processor. Roughly mince the carrot top leaves and fresh basil (reserve some whole leaves for garish). 

6. Combine the minced greens with the fresh lemon juice, finely grated garlic, salt and pepper and then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle on top of the soup when ready to serve.

Copyright 2015 © Milk & Marigolds

Refreshing Watermelon Salad with a Twist

Sweet, spicy & aromatic, this watermelon salad is light and refreshing and pairs perfectly with a hot summer’s day. The favours were inspired by a delicious watermelon cocktail I had that was served with lime and spicy jalapeño.

watermelon salad with feta

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I would love to see your creations!

watermelon salad with feta

Watermelon Salad Served with Spicy Jalapeños, Lime & Feta

Prep Time: 10 minutes        Author: Milk & Marigolds.      Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1/2 a small watermelon cut into slices or chunks
1/2 to 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced with or without seeds (depending on how much spice you like)
1 lime, zested and half juiced (zest before juicing)
1 small handful of fresh cilantro and mint
1 small pint of blackberries
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper from a height to liking

Add as little/as much of the ingredients as you’d like. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Drizzle over olive oil and lime juice right before serving.

Copyright 2015 © Milk & Marigolds

 

Carrot Noodles with Peanut Chili Sauce & Crispy Tofu

milkandmarigolds.com carrot noodlescarrot noodles (milkandmarigolds.com)

Carrot noodles served with crispy golden brown tofu makes for a perfect summer meal while upping your veggie intake. I recommend investing in a spiralizer if you are looking to make your own vegetable noodles. Pressed for time? Most grocery stores conveniently sell fresh or frozen spiralled noodles.

milkandmarigolds.com carrot noodles with crispy tofu

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Carrot Noodles with Peanut Chili Sauce & Crispy Tofu

Prep Time: 30 minutes            Total Time (including marinade): 1 hour + 15 minutes 
Author: Milk & Marigolds.      Serves: 2 large or 3 small

Noodle Sauce Ingredients:
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 tsp chilli garlic sauce (I used the brand: Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce)
1 tsp of minced ginger root
(2 limes) 2 tbsp of lime juice, reserve the remainder of the lime for wedges
1/3 cup water

Tofu Marinade Ingredients:
400 g extra firm tofu (vacuum-sealed without water if available), cubed
4 tbsp tamari (g-free soy sauce)
3 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Salad Ingredients:
5-6  (2 lb (900 g) large carrots, thinly spiralized
2 scallions, sliced thinly on a diagonal  
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro (stems and leaves)

Garnish Suggestions:
crushed peanuts or cashews
lime zest
cilantro or thai basil
roasted sesame seeds
chillies or red Thai peppers

Equipment:
A spiralizer (or store-bought spiralized noodles)
Whisk
Container to hold tofu marinade
Measuring cup
Zester or microplane 
Large non-stick frying pan
Tongs or two wooden spoons

1.Begin by prepping your tofu and any other protein of choice. The tofu should be marinated for at least an hour. Cut the tofu into about 1 inch or smaller cubes. Whisk the marinade ingredients together and combine with the tofu in a container that allows the tofu to be submerged as much as possible.

2.In the meantime, wash and prep your produce. Sprialize the carrots or buy them spiralized if available. Then, thinly slice the scallions on a diagonal, mince the ginger root, zest half of the lime while reserving the other half for wedges. Juice the zested lime (you need 2 tbsp amount) and prep any desired garnishes. Set prepped ingredients aside.

3.Next, prepare the sauce for the carrot noodles. Combine all of the ingredients listed above under “Noodle Sauce”. Whisk until smooth. This sauce will yield more than enough and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week for any leftovers. Set aside.

4.Once the tofu is ready, remove it from the marinade and prepare a large frying pan by setting it to a medium heat. Place a tablespoon or more of oil (I used canola). Once hot, add the tofu and cook for about 4 – 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Once the tofu is cooked, add the spiralled carrots to the pan and sauté for just a couple minutes to just slightly soften the carrot noodles. 

5.Then pour over some (not all) of the noodle sauce and gently combine. Add sliced scallions, freshly chopped herbs and garnishes. Enjoy warm or cold. Add more sauce as needed.  

Copyright 2015 © Milk & Marigolds

Simple Pea Pesto

This simple pea pesto pairs beautifully with pasta, is delicious on sandwiches and is great as a pizza sauce base. Frozen peas are a versatile ingredient and contain about 8 grams of protein per cup.

I served this pesto on pasta as I am a pasta lover. My go to brand for gluten-free pasta is @Catellipasta because it tastes just as delicious and flavourful as the real thing.

pea pesto by milkandmarigolds.com pesto with catelli glutenfree pasta

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pea pesto

Simple Pea Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes     Author: Milk & Marigolds.
Serves: 4 with pasta (easily scalable)

Ingredients:
Catelli Gluten-Free Spaghetti
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil
2 tbsp lime or lemon juice (I used lime)
1/2 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp water
A couple turns of black pepper
Optional: 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes

Suggested Garnish:
Basil leaves
Parmesan cheese (or vegan alternative)

Equipment:
Measuring cup
Food processor
Fine grater or microplane grater
Kitchen scissors or sharp knife
Spatula

Instructions:
1. Cook the peas (I cook them for 3 minutes in the microwave) and then rinse the peas under cold water. Salt a large pot of water if preparing pasta.

2. Meanwhile, get out your food processor and a fine grater or microplane grater. If you have neither, cut up half a small clove of garlic and mince it as finely as you can.

3. Once the peas have cooled, add them to the food processor along with the grated garlic, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Do not add the basil, lime/lemon juice, water or the oil as of yet. Pulse until the peas are chopped but still have some texture to them. Use a spatula to scrap the sides of the processor to help evenly distribute the ingredients.

4. Then add in the lime/lemon juice and water and pulse a few more times.

5. Set aside a couple of basil leaves for garish. Roll the remaining basil leaves together and use kitchen scissors to cut the basil up into small pieces directly into the food processor. Pulse a few more times and then slowly add in a little of the olive oil at a time in-between pulses. Pulse until you’ve achieved a desired consistency. I personally prefer mine almost smooth.

6. Use your spatula to scrap out the pesto into a jar or container or use it right away. Mix the pea pesto with pasta, spread it on crusty bread, on a sandwich or use it as a pizza base. Garnish, and salt and pepper from a height.

Note: This pesto contains no dairy, so it freezes well.

Milk & Marigolds © Copyright 2015
pea pesto by milkandmarigolds.com