Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho + Heirloom Tomato Relish

Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho - offbeat + inspired-3

This summer has been a season of getting healthy. Sure, I’ve enjoyed my share of baked goods and decadent treats, but for the most part I’ve been trying to get my eating habits back on track. As Tiffany shared a couple weeks ago, we’ve both taken the Whole30 challenge, which has brought my idea of clean eating to a whole new level.

Developing recipes while avoiding any added sugars, dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol and processed foods has taken me outside my culinary comfort zone. While I do enjoy healthy recipes, most of my cooking has included at least a hint of one of those non-Whole30 ingredients, even if it’s been just a tablespoon of honey or cream. Needless to say, over the last month my cooking repertoire has vastly expanded.

Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho - offbeat + inspired-5

Variety is essential for me. I get tired of the same foods pretty quickly – especially when I’m trying to eat clean. More than once during my Whole30, I’ve found myself wandering the aisles of Whole Foods picking up anything from passion fruit to plantains to melons to whatever else happens to strike my fancy that day. The “an apple a day” mantra just sounds boring. Why not an apple one day, cherries the next, blackberries after that and then kiwi?

Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho - offbeat + inspired-2

Not only has variety of the actual ingredients been important, but variety in the preparation has also been key. Fresh mango salsa, spiced stone fruit over pork chops, grilled romaine salad and chilled soups have made eating fruits and vegetables much more fun than the boring dishes I had grown accustomed to…and eating should be fun, shouldn’t it?

Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho - offbeat + inspired-7

This recipe for Cantaloupe Gazpacho hits all the important points – it’s simple, clean, chock-full of seasonal produce and differs from my normal preparation of fruits and veggies. Gazpacho is typically made with a tomato base, but I couldn’t resist featuring fresh, juicy cantaloupe. Of course, I didn’t want to leave the tomatoes out entirely so they’ve found their place in a relish served on top for added flavor and texture. (I chose heirloom tomatoes for added variety, but you can use any type you like.)

Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho - offbeat + inspired-6

Do you crave variety like I do? What are your favorite ways to enjoy fresh produce? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Want to know the results of my Whole30 journey? Click here

Cantaloupe Gazpacho
Yields 4-6 servings
Adapted from Savory Simple

1 ripe cantaloupe
1 large cucumber, peeled and halved (so it can fit in the blender easily)
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice off the outer rind. Cut the rest of the cantaloupe into pieces small enough to fit in a blender.

2. Add the cantaloupe and cucumber to the blender, along with the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend until fully incorporated.

3. Transfer soup to a container with a tight lid and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, and up to overnight. (This allows the flavors to really develop, so don’t skip this step!)

4. Gently stir the soup in case any ingredients slightly separated. Pour into bowls and top with Heirloom Tomato Relish. Serve and enjoy!

Quick Tip: Enjoy this dish as a refreshing first course or serve it in shot glasses at a cocktail party for “Gazpacho Shooters.”

Heirloom Tomato Relish

1/4 cup chopped heirloom tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir. Let the relish sit for about 15 minutes before using so the flavors can marry.

2. Spoon relish over Cantaloupe Gazpacho and enjoy!

This post was sponsored by Whole Foods. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Summer is officially here! That calls for fresh farmers’ market produce, backyard barbecues and, of course, cold drinks. I’ve shared before how to make smooth, full-flavored, cold-brew coffee for drinks like a caramel iced latte or coffee cocktail. While I love that method, it takes about 8-12 hours for the coffee to steep – and let’s face it…sometimes a craving for iced coffee hits when you don’t want to wait that long.

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Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade

Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade - offbeat + inspired-3

I used to think I didn’t really like lemonade – until I made it last summer for the first time with actual lemons. I should have started making the real stuff a long time ago, because now I’m completely hooked. There’s simply no substitute for the crisp, tart and sweet flavor of real, homemade lemonade.

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Clean Eating | Broiled Grapefruit with Yogurt + Cinnamon

Broiled Grapefruit with Yogurt + Cinnamon - offbeat + inspired-9

I don’t mind the cold and snow during the beginning of winter, but around this time of year I start to get antsy. My love for cuddling up with comfort food in front of the fireplace gives way to a desire to eat on a restaurant patio, run along the riverfront path or head over to the neighbor’s for drinks and laughs around their fire pit.

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Stenciled Coffee Table [Featuring Royal Design Studio]

Stenciled Coffee Table 1 - offbeat + inspired

When my husband and I moved into our house, I knew the living room was going to be my “blank slate” decorating project. I didn’t have any existing furniture for that room so I was able to start from scratch. The only problem? Furniture is expensive.

This wasn’t a room that needed to be functional right away, so I figured I could take my time (which is really challenging for an impatient person like me!). Rather than rushing to making purchases immediately, I’ve been scouring garage sales, consignment shops and the side of the road for pieces that would work without breaking the budget.

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DIY Rustic “Table” Photography Background

DIY Rustic “Table” Photography Background Pistachios 1 - offbeat + inspired

As I’ve been perusing the works of some of my favorite food photographers, one element I’m drawn to is the backdrop. I absolutely love the look of food composed on a rustic farm table. The natural look enhances homey, comfort recipes, contrasts formal dishes to make them really pop and showcases the beauty of simple ingredients.

I haven’t yet found my dream barn wood table that perfectly complements the recipes I’m working on (I know it’s out there somewhere!). Even if I did have that perfect table, the best natural light in my house comes from a particular spot near my family room window. It’s not at all a convenient place to store a table and I’d hate to have to move large furniture to that area every time I want to shoot.

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Maple, Banana + Pecan Muffins

Maple, Banana + Pecan Muffins 7 - offbeat + inspired

I’ve mentioned before that I typically don’t bake very often, but lately the tables have turned. This holiday season has stirred up for me a new love for creating fresh breads (some which morphed into this), cookies, scones, cakes and now muffins.

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Mocha Bread Pudding + A Giveaway! [Featuring FreshGround Roasting]

Mocha Bread Pudding 4 - offbeat + inspired

Food isn’t always about what ends up on the plate. For me, it’s about the process of preparing that dish. It’s about the people I get to share it with, where the ingredients originated, who passed along that recipe to me or how it morphed and changed in my kitchen.

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Coffee + Dark Chocolate Bark

Coffee + Dark Chocolate Bark 2 - offbeat + inspired

I’m not sure why Christmas has declared itself the chocolate bark holiday. Yet for some reason around this time of year, you can find these decadent chunks of chocolate in nearly every grocery store or at almost any holiday party. While I personally vote for it being around all year long, I’ve officially jumped on the Christmastime chocolate bark bandwagon.

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Pecan Rooibos + Orange Soap

Pecan Rooibos + Orange Soap 5 - offbeat + inspired

I’m one of those people who usually can’t think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I have friends who have to hold themselves back from decking their house out with red and green before the end of October, but I always feel like I want Thanksgiving to have its chance in the spotlight.

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