Salmorejo cordobés garnished with egg and Ibérico ham

This is a traditional Spanish dish from Córdoba (Andalucía). It’s similar to gazpacho and so is normally served in the summer as a refreshing way to keep cool. I like to serve it with egg and Ibérico ham – that’s a cured ham typical of Spain. The difference between gazpacho and salmorejo is that gazpacho normally has sweet peppers and vinegar, plus the additional bread in salmorejo makes it a thicker mixture. Both are normally served as a starter; you could try serving in shot glasses as part of series of little tapas! Traditionally it was made using a pestle and mortar – but modern technology makes it much easier!

The tomatoes mean that this soup is rich in vitamin C and also has lots of antioxidants, including lycopene. Fresh tomatoes have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Garlic is also beneficial for our health. You can read about it here.

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Salmorejo cordobés
Ingredients (for 4 people):

1 kilo of tomatoes
200 gr. of breadcrumbs (best if it’s one or two days old)
1 garlic clove (you can add more, depending how strong you like it!)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
100 gr. of Ibérico ham
2 eggs
375 ml of still water
salt
parsley

Instructions:

  1. Boil the eggs in a saucepan for 10 minutes, afterwards run under cold water and leave to cool.
  2. Wash the tomatoes, chop and put into a bowl or food processor.
  3. Blend the tomatoes until fully chopped.
  4. Sieve the tomatoes (I use something called a pasapurés) to remove the skin.
  5. Return to the bowl and add the breadcrumbs, water, chopped garlic and oil.
  6. Blend the mixture until a smooth cream.  Add salt to taste.
  7. Place in the fridge to cool.
  8. Peel and dice the eggs, along with the ham.
  9. Serve in a bowl, with the egg and ham sprinkled over the top and decorated with a sprig of parsley.

That’s it! Simple and tasty. ¡Buen provecho! 🙂

R x

 

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New cooking books

I am a big fan of Waterstones. I could get lost in that store for hours! I recently visited one of their biggest shops in Piccadilly Circus and purchased two cooking books that I now A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y adore!

Let’s start with the famous blogger Madeleine Shaw. I have been following her website and using her recipes for a while. She has always been a source of inspiration for me as I had issues with my body weight and eating habits pretty much since I was in high school. I love her ideas on healthy eating!

The blog is full of amazing tips where you can learn how to improve your lifestyle and change your nutrition habits. Her most recent book Ready, Steady, Glow is very affordable. I found it in Waterstones for £14.00 but you can purchase it on Amazon for £8.99. It is full of nourishing recipes and includes a meal plan for those who, like me, struggle to get themselves organised in the kitchen during the week.

I love the fact that this book holds a healthy fast food section. Sometimes I get so busy that I don´t even have time to think about what I am going to eat when I get home in the evening. That is where the danger resides… when you get home without an eating plan and you start nibbling anything you find like a voracious rat.

Naughty!

This is one of the reasons why this book comes in so handy for me. In the 30-minute mains section you will find a wide range of delightful healthy recipes. They are very easy to prepare and the variety of ingredients is wonderful: couscous, quinoa, prawns, beetroot, salmon, coconut oil, kale, you name it! And all in 30 minutes… or there about. It sometimes takes me a bit longer (I’m not going on Masterchef any time soon), but they are quick and easy recipes that always turn out delicious.

There is also a yoga section towards the end with exercises that you can attempt to do at home. I was scared to try these by myself as I am not a yogi and my knowledge of this discipline is very limited. I am more of a Pilates fan. But hey, I decided to give these a go and found out that they were quite approachable!

A few years ago I started to suffer from lower back pains so stretching has become a crucial part in my daily routine workouts. These exercises are very simple and will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I usually practise them in the garden after I have woken up so I can hear the sound of the birds and feel the morning dew. It is a great way to start your day.

The other book that I have recently found was designed by the wonderful Lorraine Pascale. This costs £20.00 in Waterstones but can be found on Amazon for £7.00. It is a fantastic alternative for those indulgent and extra cheeky recipes which I love but are not allowed in my weekly diet…. basically because I would turn into a big walking balloon…!

Anyway, here you will find a wide range of breads, cakes, puddings and some savoury recipes. One thing that I like a lot about this book is that she shows the comparisons of both the original recipe and her own version with the amount of calories, fat, salt, protein and sugar.

When I was reading her introduction, I remember how she mentioned that she struggled to reduce the amount of sugar and fat. I am not a nutrition expert (so your comments here are more than welcome!), but one product that I have recently included in my diet to avoid using sugar and still maintain the sweet touch is the Agave nectar syrup. I usually get this from Holland & Barrett but it can also be found at Sainsbury´s for £2.50. You only need a tiny amount so, if you are sensible, it will last you for a long time 🙂

I was very sad when I noticed back in 2014 that Lorraine had closed down her bakery the Cupcake Bakehouse in Covent Garden. Her career is truly impressive. She did modelling for Versace and Donna Karan, met celebrities like Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell and had her own cooking show at the BBC. I think her most recent book is called Eating Well Made Easy: Deliciously Healthy Recipes for Everyone, Every day and can be found in Amazon for  £9.00. I will let you know what I think of it once I have finished reading it.

Have a lovely weekend!

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