‘Eat Real Food or Else’! It sounds a bit like a threat. Not to worry, it is anything but.
‘Eat Real Food or Else’ is a cookbook….sort of.
Calling it a cookbook is a bit of a misnomer. It is more like a magic decoder ring for understanding basic nutrition science…with recipes! As an athlete, I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how best to fuel my body – without losing my will to eat in the process. Some ‘clean’ diets can be just SO BORING. Also, you dig into one approach only to learn later that there may be a better approach.
Eat Real Food or Else takes a different (and I think better) direction. It leads with a very straightforward technical primer on nutrition science. This first section of the book (titled ‘The Basics’) provides just what it promises – a basic framework for approaching nutrition. It gives you the building blocks you need to make the choices that are right for YOUR body.
…Oh yeah, the rest of the book is chock full of healthy approachable delicious recipes!
Why should I believe them? The book was put together by a powerhouse team: a local doctor (Dr. Mike Nichols), a trained chef (Charlie Vollmar), and an award-winning cookbook author (Lien Nguyen). Together these three have created a wonderful resource for both learning and eating.
Want to learn more than ‘the basics’? There is a whole section of the book dedicated to further reading. In addition, all three of the authors have their own blogs. Dr. Mike’s is the one to look at if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details of nutrition science.
But what about the food? Isn’t THIS blog mainly about food?
When picking a recipe to highlight in this post, Gazpacho with Avocado Relish jumped right off the page (probably because I’d been reading about nutrition AND it was 100 degrees outside). It did not disappoint.
Gazpacho with Avocado Relish
This soup checks all the boxes: it is easy to make, delicious, and chock full of both flavor and nutrients. Add the relish to the top, and you have an elegant dish that you can also feel good about both serving and eating.
NERD ALERT …in addition, the avocado in the relish is rich in medium short-chain fatty acids – a good fat necessary for brain health!
SIDE NOTE …this soup gets even better after a day or two in the fridge. After serving it the first time, I threw the leftover relish and a bit of extra cilantro right into the soup – rather than store it in a separate container. It made for an amazing lunch – even two days later!
Get your own copy of the book! Eat Real Food or Else by Lien Nguyen, Mike Nichols M.D. and Charlie Vollmar.
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Gazpacho with Avocado Relish
- 2 English cucumbers peeled
- 6 medium ripe tomatoes peeled
- 1 medium red bell pepper seeded
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice lime may also be used
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
- 1 avocado firm but ripe, diced in 1/4" pieces
- 1/2 English cucumber diced in 1/4" pieces
- 1 large ripe tomato peeled, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- avocado oil
- Coarsely chop the cucumber, tomatoes and bell pepper. Combine with the lemon juice, oils and minced garlic.
- Puree in batches in a blender or food processor until just blended, but still slightly chunky. (I used an immersion blender.)
- Pour into a non-reactive bowl. Stir in the chopped cilantro, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour - or up to 8 hours.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the relish in a non-reactive bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Finish with a drizzle of avocado oil. Fold gently to combine.
- Add a healthy spoonful to the top of your soup as garnish.