Last week our neighbors gathered together for our annual summer block party! Like other years, each family signed up to bring one or more dishes – appetizers, main dish or dessert – to get 20+ adults & kids through a long, lazy afternoon into evening potluck pool party.
The awesome array of delicious choices was overwhelming; here’s what the menu included …
- grilled veggies, including eggplant, red & orange peppers, portobello mushrooms, yellow squash & red onions
- grilled shrimp dusted with a garlic, ginger and chipotle powder rub, olive oil, salt & pepper
- cedar plank grilled salmon topped with corn, tomatoes & chopped garlic
- asian cabbage salad with ramen noodle bites & sliced almonds
- sliced filet mignon with home made horseradish sauce
- Hawaiian meatballs with pineapple chunks
- tandoori chicken & jasmine rice
- our homemade gazpacho
- ratatouille with quinoa
- baked beans
The home made desserts included Alexandra‘s contribution – her favorite blueberry pie (with vanilla bean ice cream of course) – plus an awesome apple tart, 2 delish pecan pies and a fabulous trifle – yum, yum, yum!
We got a lot of great feedback about my tweaked version of the American Heart Association’s Gazpatcho recipe – so here’s a very heart healthy and tasty recipe just in time for your end of summer and Labor Day celebrations!
Pattie’s Yummy, Heart-healthy Gazpacho -
This is a bit labor-intensive – especially if you double the recipe like I did – but it is WELL worth it to hand chop everything versus using a food processor. The result is a chunkier, colorful version of gazpacho with a little juice, versus a too-soupy, blended-color, lumpy mix.
Sadly I took pictures of lots of other dishes but not my gazpacho - here’s what it SHOULD look like when it’s done! Instead of fruit my version’s yellow comes from yellow peppers.
Mix well in a large metal bowl…
6 cups of peeled & coarsely chopped fresh ripe tomatoes
1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped yellow, red or orange pepper (I used yellow & orange)
1/2 cup peeled and chopped cucumber (I used an English seedless cuke)
1 cup of low sodium Spicy Hot V-8 juice
1 cup organic roasted red pepper and tomato soup
2+ tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro
1 large clove of garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice from 1/2 freshly cut lime
Refrigerate and serve cold – serves 7, calories approx. 90 per cup. Can be made and eaten within a few hours, and is still a tasty, low calorie lunch or snack for several days after!
Garnishes: I was a little behind so I opted for store bought garlic croutons which I mashed up (while still in the pouch) and put out in a small serving dish, as well as some light sour cream. Top your helping of gazpacho with a sprinkling of crushed croutons and a dollop of sour cream - you’ve got bliss in a bowl!
Got any favorite summer recipes to share – post ‘em below!