Serve up a plant-based menu courtesy of Laura Wright’s The First Mess Cookbook, a collection of healthy recipes brimming with the freshest of ingredients.
Serves 4 to 6
- • 6 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
- • 1 small red onion, chopped
- • 1 English cucumber, chopped
- • 2 stalks celery, chopped
- • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- • fresh chili pepper, chopped, to taste (optional)
- • 2 tsp celery salt
- • 1/3 cup raw almonds, soaked for at least 6 hours
- • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
- • vegan gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or gluten-free tamari soy sauce, to taste
- • hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
- • ground black pepper, to taste
- • thinly sliced celery
- • thinly sliced red onion
- • lime wedges
- • pitted green olives
- • additional hot sauce
- In a large bowl, toss together the chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumber, celery, garlic, chili and celery salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Uncover the vegetables and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Pour all the marinating liquid from the bowl into the food processor as well. Drain the almonds and add them to the food processor. Run the motor on high until the vegetables and almonds are puréed. Reduce the speed to low and drizzle in the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Stop the machine when you have a smooth mixture.
- Run the gazpacho through a fine strainer into a large bowl. Season with Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and pepper.
- Store the gazpacho, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve with the garnishes. The gazpacho will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Laura Wright grew up in Ontario’s Niagara region, eating farm-to-table – and sometimes farm-to-hand (she picked produce for her father to sell at the local farmer’s market). Now Laura is helping others put seasonal, plant-based dishes on their plates. The First Mess Cookbook -- her debut collection, named after the blog she started after finishing culinary school -- boasts 125-plus recipes, which make veggie-based eating hearty and accessible. – CHRIS DANIELS
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