Avocado Cilantro Soup, and Travel Wrap Up
May 18, 2009

soup-11

Hi everyone,

I’m home!!!

Here’s a confession: I am not a born traveler. I like to travel, and I’ve had universally wonderful travel experiences (this weekend included). But I am always thrilled to get back to my beloved city. It’s my lifeblood, and no matter how exotic or exciting new cities or parts of the world are to me, none can ultimately compete with my lifelong romance with New York. I know that I’d probably be a more cultured or interesting person if I cultivated a bit of wanderlust, but I can’t. And won’t. So there.

I’m trying to combat a mild panic over my overflowing inbox and what I know will be a mountain of work on my desk at the office tomorrow. In the midst of this, I thought I’d share some additional insights into raw, vegan, and healthy traveling. Some of these are tips I missed in my last travel post, and some occurred to me over the course of the weekend. Without further ado:

Be prepared. This is especially true if your holiday includes lots of events. I brought a bunch of Larabars with me this weekend, but I neglected to tote any to Chloe’s graduation on Saturday. By the end of the ceremony, I was famished, and the cocktail reception after was totally devoid of vegan goodies – nary a crudite in sight! I nearly ate one of the raw veggie garnishes off the table. I pride myself on being an excellent planner, but this was an oversight. The lesson? You never know whether mealtimes will get postponed or how long your travel adventures will take, so come prepared with a healthy snack.

Be assertive. This weekend, I was lucky enough to stay with a friend who had a full stocked and healthy fridge and pantry. But she was also kind enough to ask me (and I would have reminded her had she not) for a small list of groceries she might pick up for me this weekend a day or two before I arrived. If you’re going to be staying with a friend, relative, or even an in-law, don’t be afraid to ask if they might pick up some healthy food for you as they stock the fridge for the week or weekend ahead.

This is not a social gaff! In my experience, being honest with family or friends about the best way they can accommodate you is always appreciated; they’re probably wondering how they’ll be able to feed a vegan in the house, and they’ll be relieved for some honest direction. Just be sure to ask politely! Assure your host or hostess that he or she needn’t do extra shopping if it’s any inconvenience, and be especially sure to offer to pay for all of the items (and insist on reimbursing no matter what). Here’s a photo of Chloe’s fridge, complete with a coconut! And, um, some bubbly ;-):

chloe-fridge

Eat appropriately on travel days. This is by far my most crucial tip!

Traveling is stressful: it typically entails early wake up calls, shuffling to and from gates and terminals, sweaty palms about making connections, frightening airplane food, and time differences. They last thing your body needs is the added stress of heavy duty digestion or unfit food.

On top of all this, travel means hours of being sedentary and a likelihood of getting dehydrated. Need I say the obvious? Eating and sitting + dehydration = constipation. And none of us like to be backed up on the family vacay to Hawaii.

I personally never eat in airports or on planes. I juice the morning of a trip and pack juice for the moment I land, and I do my best to drink water and tea in the air. I’ll also pick up orange juice or carrot juice at the airport if I can. Today, I had six hours of travel time ahead of me, so on my layover in Houston I managed to find a Jamba Juice. I consider most options at Jamba no better than junk food, but they did help me energize with a triple wheatgrass shot and a fresh orange juice:

jamba

Now, I certainly don’t expect you all to do as I do when it comes to travel: I’m comfortable doing this because I’m accustomed to juicing and to short fasts, not because I consider it vital for everyone. I do, however, urge you all to resist heavy foods at airports and on planes. Do everything you can to pack healthy meals for the trip. Don’t eat a synthetic airplane meal unless you really want it: pack a sandwich or fruit and Larabar, or pick up something suitable at the airport.

And please, please, take it easy on your belly during a layover! Do not hit the nearest Chili’s for frozen margaritas and nachos!! Your system will hate you for it. Hydrate, sip some herbal tea, and find the healthiest option in terms of dining venues. Today, I was delighted to find Larabars sold everywhere in the Houston airport:

larabars

As soon as you land, try to get some fresh juice or healthy, digestible food in your system. This could be a simple salad, a soup, or a light sandwich. For me, travel homecomings often end in simple soups. They’re nourishing, delicious, and (most importantly) highly digestible. Tonight, I made a new favorite: Avocado Cilantro Soup.

I based this recipe on a soup by the same name at my favorite lunchtime spot, Bonobos. I can’t say it’s quite as perfect, but I think it’s a pretty decent proxy! Unlike my sweet and rich Avo-Coco Soup, this is unbelievably light. It’s kept fresh with plenty of lemon juice and tangy with cilantro. Reminiscent of guacamole, it’s ideal for summer. I hope you all try it and enjoy!

Avocado Cilantro Soup (serves 1 or 2)

Ingredients

1 Avocado, chopped
½ bunch cilantro, or about 1 – 1 ½ packed cups (depending on taste; I like plenty)
2 tbsp (more if you like) lemon juice
¼-1/2 tsp salt
1 ½ cups water

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. If you need more water, go ahead and add it until the soup reaches a consistency you like. Ditto on the cilantro! As soon as it gets started, this soup blends easily, so you can absolutely make it in a regular blender. You can also make it in a food processor, but I recommend adding the cilantro in small batches. Here’s the lovely finished product:

soup-3 soup-22

 

I hope you all had wonderful weekends and Mondays of your own. I look forward to catching up on your blogs! And I’ll be back tomorrow with this week’s raw question: what sort of kitchen equipment do you need to eat raw?

Stay tuned!

xo

Categories: Raw, Soups

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    37 Comments
  1. Hi Gena!

    I love the simplicity of your recipes and your approach to raw food 🙂 I’m starting nutrition at uni next year and plan to focus on plant-based nutrition like yourself. Thanks for the inspiration and amazing recipes- I’m making this soup for lunch!

    Emma

  2. […] diet (and realized that you can omit the red onion from guac!). I hated cilantro until I discovered avocado and cilantro soup. Even cooked spinach used to give me the heebie jeebies; raw spinach, though, tastes refreshing and […]

  3. Hey Gena, Thanks so much for the soup recipe- after a few months doing this whole Detox thing this week was the first time I did a blended soup! I did a gazpacho this weekend and the avo-cilantro soup for dinner tonight. Delish! I used a couple of green onions as well.

    I did some back and forth business traveling last week and it was not good for me. Sleeping twisty on the plane two days in a row has totally jacked my back. But it was a good test for the traveling I’ll be doing this summer- 7 days away for work. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Gena,
    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Congrats again to Chloe on her graduation and how fun you got to meet up with Kath. Both of you are adorable! It is always so nice to get home, especially when you love where you live!

    Might just have to make that avocado soup for raw Wednesday. I love cilantro so much.

    Hope you’re have a good week thus far and thanks for all the travel tips.

  5. Great tips! But those airport Larabars are WAY expensive. $3.99! Whole Foods here charges like $1.29….next time I travel, I be sure to pack my own!

    The soup sounds fantastic. I love, love, love avocado.

  6. What great travel ideas. Thank you! this soup looks so good! It amazes me how simple your recipes are, yet they look so decadent. I’m going to try this recipe.

  7. Great travel tips Gena!!
    They still don’t allow you to carry on liquid correct? So when you say you bring juice for the moment you land, are you packing it in your checked bag? How are you keeping it cooled?
    Thanks!

    • Yup, it goes in my checked bag. I only pack pressed juice. It warms up, but not so much that I don’t enjoy it!

  8. Great post! Very helpful as I am getting on a 6 AM flight tomorrow. Tonight I am going to freeze my green juice and have it waiting in my checked suitcase to enjoy as soon as I get off the plane. Not ideal but good enough until I get into the city. Water and sleep will be my drugs of choice for the flight!

    Glad you’re back!

  9. Great post! Very helpful as I am getting on a 6 AM flight tomorrow. Tonight I am going to freeze my green juice and have it waiting in my checked suitcase to enjoy as soon as I get off the plane. Not ideal but good enough until I get into the city. Water and sleep will be my drugs of choice for the flight! Glad you’re back!

  10. I am definitely making a raw soup over the weekend or next week! Your creations look so good! 🙂

    I usually eat very light when traveling as well. My last trip I brought a Lara Bar and some fruit on the plane. I also drink a ton of water to stay hydrated!

    The only equipment I use for raw is my blender (which is so horrible and ghetto) and my Henckels Knives. I have a dehydrator and food proccesor but I don’t use them as much.

    • Hey sweetie!

      I love that you keep it simple in the kitchen, too. That is the only way to go. Hope you’re having a good week so far…

      xo

  11. thanks so much for the traveling info! i’ve found it’s also helpful to put fruits and veggies in the dehydrator that i would otherwise throw away before leaving. i already know i’ll have dried mango, banana, zucchini and eggplant for this weekend 😀
    the soup looks GLORIOUS! sounds super easy, too. just wish this avocado would ripen so i could do something with it 😉
    have a great day!

  12. 3.99 for a Larabar! That’s insane!!!

    LOVE the soup but I’m not a cilantro fan =( Do you think any other herbs would work? I love how creamy it looks! YUM!

    • Hey Shel,

      It was sooooooo good!!

      I think dill would be lovely in this soup, especially with the lemon flavor!

      Gena

  13. Hi there! (new reader here)

    Just wanted to say I enjoy reading your blog ..especially all the advice and recipes…
    Great travel advice..I agree on not eating heavy during layovers…such a bad bad idea lol… The soup looks great by the way..would you just eat it chilled?

    • Hey Jocelyn,

      Welcome! It’s lovely to have you here. And yes, I eat the soup chilled or room temp.

      Gena

  14. Gena,

    Hey doll! Sorry my comments have been sparse as of late… I’ll be catching up as soon as I finish finals-tomorrow!

    Why oh why didn’t I have all these wonderful tips a month ago when I went back to visit RISD? They would have been so darn handy!

    I can’t believe they’re selling a larabar for 3.99… What a crazy mark up!

    Hope you have a beautiful Tuesday darlin!

    With Love,

    Emily

  15. Welcome home to the lovely heartbeat city that no doubt loves you back, girl! I can’t wait to get back myself– NYC in the summer is such a hot sweaty dream.

    You sound like you are nearly 100% after being sick; stomach bugs take so long to get over. Don’t let the workweek mow you over too hard!

    xoxox
    Nieves

  16. I love your tips. I am leaving for China in less then a month and trying to prep myself for what lies ahead of me food wise

    As equipment I ordered a spiralizer, the one from your giveaway, I still need a juicer and will need a vita mix shortly.

  17. okay, i just wanted to comment first. I have now read the post. I am truly learning to appreciate planning, it is easier to eat healthfully, resist temptation and safe money when you do. Per example, a $1 larabar at whole foods, versus a $4 larabar at the airport! Great post, I am glad you had fun, now go make out with NYC, it missed you. Don’t stress about work, hopefully you have a lunch hour yoga class in your schedule! xoxo