Tag Archives: olive oil

When Tomatoes are in Season, Make Gazpacho!

Gazpacho2Using the organic tomato “seconds” that I bought at the Reston Farm Market, I made a big batch of the components that go into gazpacho — but I didn’t actually make the gazpacho. Why not? Well, frankly, it’s easier to make the components in the kitchen and then let the diners do the finishing work at the table! And by the way, letting kids compose their own gazpacho at the table is like letting them play with food — and they love it!


Step 1. Using a high powered blender, puree the fresh tomatoes until you have a pulpy juice.

Tomatoes for GazpachoFresh Tomatoes Pureed for Gazpacho

Step 2. Juice a few fresh limes and then add a little lime juice to the pureed tomato juice.

Fresh Lime Juice

Step 3. Place the following on the table:

  • Pureed tomatoes mixed with a little lime juice (as explained above).
  • Cut up veggies for salsa. I used Sunbelt Fresh Organic Salsa from Costco (shown in photo below). If you don’t have this product, then use another fresh store-bought fresh salsa or make your own. The ingredient in the Sunbelt product are: chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, red pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, tomato juice, garlic, chili pepper, salt. It tastes just like cut up veggies. The seasonings are minimal.

Fresh Organic Salsa (Sunbelt) from Costco

  • Four fixings: Chopped jalapeno peppers, extra virgin olive oil, lime wedges, and salt.

Add ins for Gazpacho
After you’ve put the fresh tomato juice, salsa, and the four fixings on the table, your work is done! Now the diners take over and mix the ingredients, as they choose, in their individual bowls!  Don’t forget to make a bowl of gazpacho for yourself! 🙂

Enjoy and be healthy!

Preserved Lemon and Garlic Salad Dressing

Preserved lemon and garlic salad dressing

My go-to salad dressing consists of just:

To make this dressing: Mix these ingredients in a small jar and shake. Then just add a little more of this or that, until you get the taste you like.

I use Preserved Lemon and Garlic Dressing for all kinds of different salads and much more. For example:

  • Instead of dipping artichoke leaves in butter, dip them in this dressing (slightly warmed).
  • For a super summer side dish, mix this dressing with cooked/cooled artichoke hearts (from Trader Joes, in frozen section), chopped olives, chopped red bell peppers, and torn basil leaves.
  • To cook shrimp scampi.
  • To season cooked fresh asparagus.

NUTRITION TIP: Asparagus and the garlic are rich in prebiotic fiber, which we should eat more of and here’s why.

Enjoy and be healthy!


P.S. My Monamifood.wordpress.com blog is back! I plan to post short and simple posts like this one. Hope you enjoy it!

How to Find Olive Oils You Love and Can Trust

Olive oil

In the U.S., the standards for extra virgin olive oil are so lax that many inferior products — lacking in the healthful properties of olive oil — and even old and rancid products — can be found lurking under the label of “extra virgin olive oil.”

But you don’t have to buy inferior olive oils! You can buy the finest olive oils (without paying a fortune). Here’s how:

If you live in the DC area, you are fortunate, because you can easily stop in for a visit at Under the Olive Tree, a “delicious” store located in the Tyson’s Corner Mall. Here you can sample carefully selected, top-quality, single variety, extra virgin olive oils, including those that have been certified by the new Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil certification program (UP). The oils certified by this program are the best of the best and only available currently in 15 stores nationwide.

And while you are at  Under the Olive Tree, you will probably meet and talk with at least one of the owners of this family business, a charming couple and their daughters who are friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about olive oil — and on a mission to offer products you can trust and an experience you will enjoy.

Enjoy and be healthy!