Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

If you have tons of tomatoes, this is a great way to preserve them.  I make this sauce every August/September when I’m drowning in tomatoes and peppers, picked ripe from local vines.  None may go to waste!
Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Simmering tomatoes with olive oil makes the naturally occurring lycopene and carotenoids much more available for absorption by the body.  The longer, the better!

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Use this as a dipping sauce, pasta sauce or eat is alone as a soup.

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce:

Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

1 red bell pepper

1 tablespoon high quality olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (include skins and guts)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 turns black pepper

1/2 cup creamy homemade almond milk or walnut milk (whole milk if you’re okay with dairy)

1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Start by roasting your pepper:  Place pepper on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in your broiler.  Once you see dark browning/blackening, turn the pepper and repeat once or twice until blackened all over (should take about 10 minutes per side).  Remove pepper from oven and place in closed paper bag or covered bowl for 15 minutes to steam.  Remove blackened skins.

Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan until golden.  Add roasted pepper, tomatoes and salt.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered.

Blend simmered ingredients on high in blender until smooth.  Add nut milk and black pepper.  Continue to purée until silky smooth.  Transfer to a container or bowl and stir in basil.

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet


Quinoa Pilaf with Strawberries, Jalapeño and Mint

Quinoa Pilaf with Strawberries, Jalapeño and Mint - The Clean Gourmet Strawberry season ends quickly after it arrives, so when it’s here I try to enjoy strawberries in every way possible- sweet or savory.  This salad is probably my favorite way to enjoy them.  A hint of jalapeño for kick, pistachio for crunch and the tang of lime and mint perfectly round out the strawberries.  I do recommend chilling a bottle of white wine before you get this going… Since quinoa is a complete protein, as well as a source of low glycemic carbohydrates, and the nuts/feta provides fat, this dish qualifies as a complete meal on it’s own or as a satisfying accompaniment to lean proteins or grilled vegetables. I’ve provided detailed instructions on how to get fluffy pilaf-style quinoa.  If you aren’t a perfectionist or are in a hurry, feel free to cook the quinoa as you normally would.

Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cups hot water

sea salt

1/2 quart strawberries, small/medium dice (I like to quarter a few for presentation 🙂 )

1 shallot, fine dice/mince

1 jalapeño pepper, fine dice/mince

handful fresh mint, chiffonade

handful fresh parsley, basil or tarragon, finely chopped

zest and juice of 1 lime (a little more than a tablespoon of juice)

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for kale

4 cups baby kale, or cut lacinato kale

fresh lemon juice, for kale

2 ounces goat cheese or feta, crumbled

1/4 cup whole pistachios

What to do: Rinse quinoa to remove the bitter-soapy coating called saponin (unless your quinoa says “pre-washed”).  Drain thoroughly and toast in 1.5 quart saucepan until dry and starting to smell toasty.  Pour in hot water and a pinch of sea salt, stir and cover.  Reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, until a fork scraping the bottom shows no water.  Turn off heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes and then uncovered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and you’ve got perfect quinoa! Perfect Quinoa for Pilafs - The Clean Gourmet While the quinoa cools begin to prep other ingredients. Add strawberries, shallot, jalapeño, herbs, olive oil, lime zest/juice and a pinch of salt to quinoa and toss gently.  In a medium bowl, toss kale with a little olive oil, lemon and salt.  Top with quinoa mixture and garnish with pistachios and goat cheese.  Here you can either serve it nice and pretty with strawberry quarters and a little mint or just mix it all together. Strawberry, Mint and Jalapeno Quinoa Pilaf - The Clean Gourmet


Minted Zucchini Soup (Vellutata di Zucchini alla Menta)

This is a very quick and easy soup that’s also oil free.  I usually have it warm, but it’s also great chilled on a hot summer day.

What you need:

4 zucchini

2 shallots, roughly chopped

½ yellow onion, roughly chopped

4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

5 oz fresh baby spinach (about 4 handfuls)

Juice from 1 lemon

1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to serve

goat cheese or yogurt (not 0%), to serve

torn mint, to serve

What to do:

Throw zucchini, shallots, onion and broth into a pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiled, turn heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are soft.

Stir in mint leaves, spinach, lemon, salt and pepper.  Purée in blender or with an immersion blender.  Adjust lemon, salt and pepper.

Serve immediately and top with goat cheese or yogurt, pepper and a sprinkling of torn mint.  (Great cold too!)

Vellutata di Zucchini alla Menta:

Cosa Serve:

4 zucchini

2 scalogni, spezzettati

½ cipolla gialla, spezzettata

4 tazze di brodo di cipolla o di verdura

1 manciata piccola di menta fresca

4 manciate di spinaci freschi

succo di 1 limone

1/2 – 1 cucchiaino di sale

1/4 cucchiaino di pepe nero

formaggio di capra o yogurt intero, per servire

menta fresca strappata, per servire

Come Fare:

Mettete zucchini, scalogni, cipolla e brodo in una pentola e fate bollire.   Quando bollente, abbassate la fiamma e fate cuocere finché siano cotte le verdure.

Serve immediately and top with goat cheese or yogurt, pepper and a sprinkling of chopped mint.

Aggiungete la menta, gli spinaci, il limone, il sale e il pepe.  Frullate tutto nel mixer e aggiustate il limone, il sale e il pepe.

Servite immediatamente e metteteci sopra una cucchiaiata di formaggio di capra o di yogurt, un pizzico di pepe e un pò di menta strappata.  (Buonissima anche fredda!)

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