Friday, April 14, 2017

Creamy Roasted Vegetable Gazpacho

I've been buying Muuna Cottage Cheese ever since I tried it last year. It makes a good quick snack that's a bit different from yogurt, but, like yogurt, it can be used for more than a grab-and-go meal.

I've been playing with different ways to use Muuna; the cheesecake recipe linked above is a no-brainer, but I thought why not use it in place of yogurt or heavy cream? For instance, in a dish that calls for a creamy element, but not the tang of yogurt. Heavy cream might seem like the answer there, but that stuff has 411 calories per half cup, with 2g of protein. Classic Plain Muuna has 110 calories per half cup and 14g of protein. If you smooth out the curds in a food processor (I like to use a mini-prep for this) Muuna falls somewhere between yogurt and cream in thickness, making it ideal for use in soups or pasta sauces.

My favorite warm-weather food is gazpacho, and while there are days still cool enough to deal with putting the oven on, I like to make it with roasted vegetables. In this recipe, I've roasted peppers and tomatoes plus onion for extra flavor. Muuna adds a lovely creaminess, but also protein, making this soup nice for lunch or a light supper with some crusty bread.

I'm in Baltimore, and I've found my Muuna pretty much everywhere I regularly shop: Giant; Safeway; Shoppers; Weis Market. If you're elsewhere, check out the store locator on their site.

Creamy Roasted Vegetable Gazpacho
If you're not into the whole idea of putting on the oven to make this lovely chilled soup, then by all means, do cheat with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and jarred roasted red peppers. Omit the onion, and use the jalapeno and garlic raw. The soup will be just as delicious.

2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
1 red onion, cut into thick slices, rings separated
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 cloves garlic, skins on
1 1/2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes
Olive oil
3/4 cup Muuna Cottage Cheese classic plain 4%
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco to taste
Pinch smoked paprika
Diced cucumber and tomato, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil.

Place the peppers, onion, and jalapeno on one baking sheet and the garlic and tomatoes on the other. Drizzle all veg with olive oil and salt and toss with your hands until everything is coated.

Roast for 40 minutes until soft and blackened in areas, turning pieces once halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature.

Slip off the garlic skins. Place the roasted veg in the jar of a blender and puree. Add the cottage cheese, cucumber, and vinegar and puree until smooth. Season with smoked paprika, pepper, Tabasco, and salt to taste. If soup seems too thick, add a little water or some extra virgin olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve in cups or bowls, garnished with a little of the cucumber and tomato dice.

Serves 4-6

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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