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Easy Tomato Basil Soup

Easy Tomato Basil Soup

I have a confession. I despise raw tomatoes. I know, it’s sad. It’s the texture and the taste that I just don’t like. Every year, I try a variety of tomatoes, hoping that I’ll develop new taste buds and actually enjoy them. Heirloom tomatoes, plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, campari tomatoes, green tomatoes, you name it, I’ve tried it.

I was hoping this year was going to be the year that I fall in love with these nutrient-packed beauties. I turned 30, my mother started growing her own tomatoes, and I joined my first CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) where I get fresh, organic produce delivered straight from the farm every Tuesday.

Last week I received a juicy, ripe, and colorful mix of yellow, orange, and red tomatoes fresh from the farm. My lovely mother, Linda, told me to try the organic tomatoes since they’re “so much better” than store bought tomatoes.

Epic fail. I still dislike raw tomatoes. 

The good news is, I LOVE cooked tomatoes. Weird, I know. Grilled tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato sauce, you name it, I love it! What a beautiful thing. Eating lots of tomatoes, any way you can, is great for your health. This fruit that acts like a vegetable is loaded with health properties that I want to take advantage of (and you should too).

Which brings me to this week’s recipe, homemade tomato basil soup. This recipe was super simple to make, it took less than 5 minutes to prepare (thanks to my Vitamix), and it was surprisingly delicious. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

 

Easy Tomato Basil Soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Ingredients
  • 6-7 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash all produce well.
  2. Prepare produce by cutting tomatoes in half and chopping onion into small chunks.
  3. Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil leaves, pepper and sea salt into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  4. Select Hot Soup program (or switch machine to Start and slowly increase speed to Variable 2).
  5. Switch machine to Start and allow to complete programmed cycle (or continue blending for 30 seconds).
  6. Season soup with additional pepper, as needed.
  7. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight glass container for up to 3 days.
Notes
If you don't have a Vitamix, don't worry! Any high-speed blender will do! Just follow these directions instead:
1. Wash all produce well.
2. Prepare produce by cutting tomatoes in half and chopping onion into small chunks.
3. Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil leaves, pepper and sea salt into the blender container and secure lid.
4. Start blender on Low and blend for 30 seconds.
5. Switch machine to High and continue blending for 30 seconds.
6. Transfer blended mix to pot and simmer on the stove for 30 minutes to 1 hour (the longer it simmers, the greater the flavor).
7. Season soup with additional pepper, as needed.
8. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight glass container for up to 3 days.

Please choose organic ingredients when possible.

 

Sun Kissed Sunrise Juice

Sun Kissed Sunrise Juice

Awaken and refresh with this antioxidant-rich juice that combines the crisp taste of carrot, ginger, and lemon with the sweetness of cucumber and orange. Drink this juice for natural energy and gorgeous, glowing skin!

Sun Kissed Sunrise Juice
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 large carrots, ends removed
  • 1 cucumber, ends removed
  • 1 small mandarin orange, peeled
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
Instructions
  1. Wash all produce.
  2. Prepare produce by cutting into pieces, small enough to fit into the top of the juicer.
  3. Add one ingredient to the top of the juice at a time.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight glass container for up to 48 hours.
Notes
Choose organic ingredients when possible.

 

Skinny Jeans Boot Camp

Skinny Jeans Boot Camp

Have you indulged a little more than usual this summer? Do you need guidance and support to get back on track with your health and fitness routine? Skinny Jeans Boot Camp is a 4-week fitness program designed to help you get fit and feel fabulous in your fall skinny jeans!

This Boot Camp is for beginners, avid exercise enthusiasts or anyone who is just tired of the same workout routine. Expect 45-minutes of high-intensity military style training designed to challenge, strengthen and redefine your body and mind. Class combines body weight resistance exercises and muscle burning plyometrics to sculpt your body head to toe.

Every class will be challenging and no two classes will be the same. So if you’re serious about getting into shape, making new friends, and having fun while you’re at it, then this is the Boot Camp for you!

Dates: September 5 – October 3

Times: Monday & Wednesday Nights 6:30-7:30pm

Location: Pure Essence Fitness & Wellness Inc., 3135 Niagara Falls Blvd, Amherst, NY 14228 (located inside Anytime Fitness)

Program Includes:
  • Kick Off Party (review fitness plan, meet fellow boot campers, complete initial fitness assessments)
  • The Final Fitness Plan (featuring nutritional guidance and exercise recommendations)
  • Two PURE Boot Camp classes per week
  • Fitness Assessments
  • Before and After Photos (optional)
  • Access to my private Facebook group
  • Accountability and support to reach your fitness goals
  • Prize for best results!

Prizes Include:

  • Free enrollment in the next 4-Week Boot Camp at Pure Essence Fitness & Wellness Inc. ($99 value)
  • Grand prize winner will also receive a $50 Tony Walker & Co. gift card!

Note: Winner will be chosen based on class attendance and final results (% weight lost, % body fat lost, total inches lost)

8 spots available, reserve your spot today!

Investment: $99

Get fit, tone up and gain confidence for your skinny jeans. Join Skinny Jeans Boot Camp today!

Register online at www.pureessencefitness.com or email info@pureessencefitness.com.

Hope to see you there!

Rachel Signature

Outdoor Adventures With Darren & Rachel

Outdoor Adventures With Darren & Rachel

I have exciting news! My better half, Darren, and I are launching a series of free outdoor fitness adventures (Biking, Hiking, Rollerblading, Adventure Runs) that will take place August – October throughout Buffalo, New York. We thought this would be the perfect way to enjoy the warm weather while it’s here and spend time with friends.

Join us this Tuesday, August 4th for our first adventure!

ROLLERBLADING: ELLICOTT CREEK TRAILWAY

Grab your skates, strap on your helmets and protective gear, and prepare to have fun! Join us for an adventurous inline skating experience along Ellicott Creek’s Trailway. At just over 7 miles, this trail is perfect for beginners.

Meeting Place: Audobon Town Park entrance/parking lot on N. Forest Road (look for tennis courts).

Start Time: 6:00pm

End Time: Sometime between 7:00-7:30pm or whenever you get tired and want to go home 😉

Tips: Bring a towel and a water bottle. Dress for the weather. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.

Cost: FREE

All outdoor activities are open to men and women (18 years+). Invite your family and friends to join us! RSVP required.

Register online at www.pureessencefitness.com.

Questions? Contact me.

Glowing Goddess Green Juice

Glowing Goddess Green Juice

Give your skin that healthy glow. This green juice is packed with essential minerals and vitamins, including chlorophyll, which promotes overall health and gorgeous skin. BONUS: Parsley is a great diuretic to help you beat bloat, while the cucumber is ultra hydrating and contains silica, a mineral known for its skin-toning benefits.

Glowing Goddess Green Juice
 
Prep time
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Author:
Yield: 16-24 ounces
Ingredients
  • ¼ head romaine lettuce
  • 2 flat-leaf kale leaves
  • 2 collard green leaves
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small cucumber, with ends removed
  • 1 green apple, cored
  • ⅛ bunch parsley
  • ½ lemon, peeled
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled
Instructions
  1. Wash all produce well.
  2. Prepare produce by cutting into pieces, small enough to fit in the top of the juicer.
  3. Add one ingredient to the juicer at a time.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight glass container for up to 48 hours.
Notes
Please choose organic ingredients when possible.