Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spicy Gazpacho and Return to the Pool

Hello friends!  I hope all of you had a great week!  This has been a pretty full week, with us getting carpet.  That was a couple full days of work to get ready for the carpet and then get the house back in order afterwards.  (I’ll admit… I still have some work to do.)  Plus, I have taught 3 Zumba classes this week.  Even though I am not working, I feel like there has been a lot to do!

Today, I returned to the pool.  A couple of years ago, I was doing a lot of swimming and water aerobics.  I loved it, but I have not been doing it lately.  I have found that water aerobics instructors, like any other fitness instructors, are all very different.  Some are very relaxed and cater more towards those with limited mobility and arthritis.  Others are hard core and you get an amazing calorie-burning workout.  My favorite instructor cut back her classes drastically, and her only class is Friday nights now… which is a hard night to make it to class.  It seems like there is always something going on.  I haven’t been swimming laps either, and I missed it.  So I decided that this summer was going to be my return to the pool.  Not just to lay out and relax… but to swim, too. 

Lookie what I got today…


…a swim cap and goggles!  I’ve learned the hard way that big hair drags you down.  I wasn’t even sure if a swim cap would fit over all my hair… but it did—just barely!  It really helped me to not have to deal with my hair in the pool.  And eyes + chlorine = pain.  I don’t know why I have never owned goggles. 

I swam 1100 meters today: 12 laps of breaststroke, 8 laps of freestyle, and 2 laps of sidestroke.  I have also always been afraid of the cold pool, but I realized that it actually doesn’t feel cold after about 2 laps!

After all that swimming, it was time to have some lunch!  Post swim lunch:

Spicy Gazpacho, Turkey, and organic red grapes! 


(shout out to me—made this bowl myself!)

I am excited to share this gazpacho recipe with all of you!  I have been eating gazpacho all my life.  My mom always made it in the summers, and we would always eat it after long days swimming.  Then last week, I was visiting my sister Adrienne and she made some.  I’ve been wanting to make it ever since!  I didn’t consult any recipes to make this.  It’s based on what I remember my mom making and watching my sister make it last week.  You do need a food processor to make this.


Spicy Gazpacho


  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 handful of baby carrots
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1 bell pepper (I used a yellow pepper)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of V8 Juice (add more if you like it thinner, less if you like it thick)
  • 1/8 cup EVOO
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar (I think rice vinegar or white wine vinegar would work also)
  • Frank’s Cayenne Sauce (Amount can vary—I used several tablespoons because I wanted it to have a kick—but you can adjust to your liking)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • chopped green onions (optional—for garnish)


First, rough-chop all the veggies.  Then place each veggie (chopped) into the food processor.  I started with tomatoes. 


Chop them, then put them in the processor.  Transfer to a bowl.  Then move to your next veggie.  Chop, process, and add to the bowl.  When you get to the garlic, process that with your last veggie, since the cloves are a little small to process alone.  Mix all together. 


Add the V8, EVOO, vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper to the bowl.  Mix well with a large spoon or spatula. 


Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.  Before serving, garnish with green onions.



This makes a great light lunch—especially in the summer when the weather is hot.  Pair it with a meat or half a sandwich.  It really is so filling!  And you are getting a serious serving of veggies! 

Here’s to summer, swimming, and spicy gazpacho!


  1. Looks delicious, Liz!  Wish I had more time off work in the summers to spend time with you all and do some fun things!  Oh well, I'll just keep looking forward to our annual beach trip... Enjoy the time off even if you're staying busy - you'd probably rather be busy anyway, right?! ;)

  2. I always have trouble getting swim caps to fit on my head--I have a lot of hair and just a huge head in general. Boo.
    Your lunch looks fantastic! I am on a major gazpacho kick lately, so I'll have to give your version a try!

  3. I have major hair, so if one will fit on my head, it is a miracle. Your gazpacho looked great, too. Some people like it more blended and some like it more chunky (for lack of a better word.) I really was thinking it would be great with some small boiled shrimp thrown in. I may try that out next time. Have a good weekend!

  4. I know that everyone hates all the teachers in the summer when we are off. It is nice to balance out the constant wondering about whether my job will be around for another year. No job security... but time off. Ha! There are good and bad sides to every job.

    SO ready for the July beach trip!!!

  5. I've been meaning to make a gazpacho and this might get me to do so. Looks refreshing and delicious and congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  6. It really is a perfect summer meal! Thanks! Never made the Top 9 before!

  7. Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

  8. Thanks for subscribing! I am thinking up some posts right now! We will see what I come up with! :)


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