Tag: ginger

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

This pumpkin pie spice blend recipe is easy to make on your own, especially if you have a lot of spices in your cupboard. The recipe below is much better but you can always buy this one pre-made too.

  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground organic ginger
  • 2 tsp ground organic nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground organic cloves

DIRECTIONS
Mix spices together and use for your pumpkin pie recipes this year.

The Health Benefits Of Drinking Breakfast

drinking breakfast

Genetics isn’t the only reason V maintains a slim figure. For years, a vital component of her weight-management and gut-health strategy has been breaking the daily fast with liquids. Replacing a conventional breakfast with liquids has many health benefits and V’s here to explain…

If you’ve been following me for years, you already know how important NOT eating breakfast is.

But if you’re new to this concept, maybe you’re thinking, “Wait. I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day.”

Now, I don’t wanna suggest that your mom didn’t know what she was talking about when you were a kid. Without doubt, eating nutrient-dense foods like fruit and eggs is important for a developing brain and body.

However, now that you’re an adult, your metabolism might be starting to slow down. And one reason why might not have anything to do with your age. Rather, it’s the fact that your body has a high toxic load. In other words, your detoxification organs such as the liver can’t clear toxins out more quickly than they accumulate.

There are several reasons why toxic overload occurs. For example, heavy metals can accumulate in your body. There’s pesticides from the food supply and harsh chemicals in skin care products, hair care products and household cleaners.

So what does this have to do with not eating food for breakfast and instead only having liquids when it’s time to break your fast?

The answer is that by not eating food, you’re giving your body a longer time to detoxify.

lemon water

V’s Liquid Breakfast Routine

Actually, before I break my fast with Organic Green Drink, I have a tall glass of warm lemon water. Then I wait until I’m hungry to have a Green Drink.

Like naturally waking up with the morning light instead of being startled awake by a harsh alarm clock, a liquid breakfast gently wakes up your digestive system. And the water and Green Drink keeps the detoxification going. Your body naturally detoxifies every night. Or at least it tries to. But when you eat a standard breakfast first thing in the morning, your digestive and detoxification systems are hard at work again.

Now, in order to feel satisfied with a liquid breakfast, here’s what I do…

About half an hour after having my Green Drink, I’ll make a smoothie with fruit, veggies, vegan protein (pea protein is my fav) and healthy fats such as avocado, chia and flax seeds.

With my cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier (which you can get as a complementary download with a purchase of a CHEF V 21 DAY CHALLENGE), you’ll never get bored of smoothies.

In addition to my cookbook smoothie recipes, I have even more smoothie recipes on my blog.  My Tropitaya Smoothie, featuring super-easy-to-digest pea protein, is one of the most popular. I also like to add ginger and turmeric to it to support my metabolism and keep inflammation in check.

berry parfait

Benefits of Drinking Your Breakfast

In addition, I’ll add ingredients that support my gut health without bloating my belly, such as bio-k fermented vegan products. Unlike regular probiotic drinks that have dairy—one of the biggest triggers of inflammation in the body—the vegan probiotic drinks I use have fermented oat and pumpkin seed as a base.

Not only does a liquid breakfast make it easy for the digestive system to “wake up,” there are other benefits as well.

Of course, you could have a liquid breakfast consisting of coffee, orange juice and Red Bull to kickstart your day. Obviously, that ain’t healthy. But as long as you’re sticking to a routine of lemon water or herbal tea; Organic Green Drink followed by a smoothie with vegan protein and a small amount of fats, you’ll be supporting your health in many ways.

Healthy liquid breakfasts may help prevent overacidity in the gut enviroment (stimulates alkalinity) and help cleanse the colon of harmful bacteria.

But don’t just take my word for it. There’s plenty of research that supports this. For instance, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that a liquid breakfast improved the blood sugar levels of 123 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Another study in the journal, Appetite, concluded that a plant-based liquid breakfast (made with plant protein) led to consuming less calories and was more satisfying to the subjects than eating a conventional breakfast.

In general, I believe that liquid breakfasts are awesome for improving digestion, boosting detoxification and sharpening mental focus.

Give it a try for a couple weeks and see how you feel. For me and my husband, Brandon, and for thousands of Chef V customers, making the switch from a conventional breakfast to a liquid one has been one of the simplest yet most profound things we’ve done to look and feel our best.

Love,

V

What Do I Eat Today – The Importance of Liquids

what do I eat today liquids

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu focuses on the importance of liquids, especially at breakfast.

Liquids are alkalizing to the gut, help cleanse the colon, and have so many other benefits.

Start your day with lemon juice and water, followed by Green Drink. Enjoy my Herbal Tea recipe with ginger and cinnamon, and take a probiotic- I like Bio-K+.

Chose from two smoothies – my Tropitaya Smoothie, this month with fresh Ginger and Turmeric, or my Tropical Green Smoothie with Ginger.

For lunch we have Creamy Carrot Soup, and Raw Cucumber & Avocado Gazpacho is a cooling afternoon snack. For dinner, Creamy Broccoli Soup finishes the day.

lemon water

First Thing in the Morning

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

berry parfait

For Breakfast – Tropitaya or Tropical Green Smoothie

This “What do I Eat Today” menu includes a Tropitaya or Tropical Green Smoothie. The Tropitaya Smoothie is one of the most popular smoothies (and one of my favorites) at our stores in New Jersey and San Diego. In this month's menu, I add fresh turmeric and ginger.

Get the recipe

An alternative to my Tropitaya Smoothie in this menu, my Tropical Green Smoothie adds fruit and vegetables to Chef V's Tropical Green Drink. Optionally you can add 1 tbsp pea protein, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp fresh turmeric to the smoothie.

Get the recipe

creamy carrot soup

Lunch – Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy and delicious without dairy, this Carrot Soup recipe uses cashews to add richness and flavor. Fast and easy to make, the recipe is perfect for two, tasty and healthy. Add fresh turmeric and ginger for additional benefits.

Get the recipe

Afternoon Snack – Chef V's Raw Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, my Gazpacho is a great light snack. You can easily double or triple my recipe and have delicious leftovers. The beauty of my veggie-rich recipe is that its high water and fiber content slows how fast you eat and fills you up quicker.

Get the recipe

Dinner – Creamy Broccoli Soup

My Creamy Broccoli Soup is for dinner. Made with coconut milk and coconut oil, the fiber in this soup supports gut health and has anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties. For additional gut health assistance, try my recipe variation adding fresh turmeric and ginger.

Get the recipe

Creamy Carrot Soup

Chef V’s Tips: Many raw food recipes call for soaking nuts. Why? Soaking nuts (from 2 hours to overnight) improves the flavor and nutritional value of the nuts by releasing dust, residue and tannin into the water, leaving the nuts with a softer, buttery texture and increasing their digestibility. Never use the soak water – always discard it.

A healthy variation on this soup adds fresh ginger and fresh turmeric.

carrot soup

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil or cold-pressed olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups sweet onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/2 cup Chef V's Raw Almond Milk or coconut milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

OPTIONAL TOPPINEG

fresh chives, flat leaf parsley, raw cashews

For a healthy variation to this recipe, add 1 tbsp fresh ginger and 1 tsp fresh turmeric.

Directions

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the carrots, vegetable broth, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated ginger. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the cashews well.

Add the cashews and almond or coconut milk to the soup. Transfer to a Vitamix in batches, if necessary, and process until smooth. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, if desired. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish as desired.

Turmeric & Ginger: Twin Gut-Healing, Inflammation-Fighting Powerhouses

“V” loves adding turmeric and ginger to her protein smoothies, which she always has about 30 minutes after breaking her fast with Organic Green Drink. Ginger and turmeric are powerful  anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammation fighters. But did you know that they’re also great for your gut microbiome? Here’s how…

If there’s one easy thing you can do to support your health starting now, it’s the simple act of sprinkling ginger and turmeric into your Green Drink or plant-based protein smoothie. But the catch is that unlike candy-tasting cinnamon, both ginger and turmeric have a very strong earthy and pungent taste.

One way to get both of these incredibly healthy spices is to follow my recipe for Golden Milk, a frothy, delicious blend of almond milk (or any plant-based milk), cinnamon (another healthy spice) and coconut sugar. Yum. You’re going to absolutely love it. And thanks to the cinnamon and coconut sugar, you won’t notice the sharp taste of ginger and turmeric.

Over time, you’ll probably learn to love the taste of ginger and turmeric without needing to sweeten it. And if you want to love your gut and have your gut love you back, there are several reasons why you should consume ginger and turmeric daily. In fact, they are 2 of the 6 spices that I frequently use not only to spice up my healthy meals but also to prevent belly bloating.

Ginger for Gut Health

Everybody knows that ginger helps with nausea. So it’s great to take some ginger chews with you before you go on an airplane, roller coaster, whale watching tour, or anything else that can make your stomach queasy. And if you’re a sushi lover like I am, you know how ginger pleasantly cleanses the palate between each roll.

But here’s why I use ginger practically every day to support my gut health. You see, not only does it prevent nausea, this study shows that it pretty much helps resolve every gastric discomfort like bloating, reflux, indigestion and constipation. It’s also been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers (although only in animal studies so far).

A little bit of ginger can also help prevent vomiting during pregnancy. Another way that ginger helps with gut health is by actually changing the composition of the gut microbiome, according to this study.

In other words, this spice has the power to introduce more friendly bacteria in the gut and reduce the number of potentially-harmful bacteria. So in a way, it’s like a food-based probiotic.

And wait, there’s more to ginger for gut health. If you’re someone who gets a bad case of gas every now and then, a study in Food Science & Nutrition says ginger can help as well as resolve belly cramping.

Want to boost your digestion? Then definitely start taking ginger on a regular basis. Research shows that it helps activate your body’s own digestive enzymes, making it easier for you to digest protein and fat.

I’ll leave you with one more possible ginger benefit for gut health. Many people who have taken lots of over-the-counter pain pills have really bad gut health. These OTC pills just destroy the gut microbiome. The good news is that spices like ginger have been shown to repair the damage to the gut lining. That’s sweet … even if ginger isn’t.

Turmeric For Digestion

Now let’s look at the power of turmeric to improve your gut. Turmeric’s gut-healing potential is mostly because of the compound curcumin.

OK, so like ginger, curcumin has been shown in research to act like a natural probiotic, helping the good guys in your gut flourish while killing off the bad dudes. In fact, in one study, turmeric/curcumin was shown to destroy 36 species of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Not only that, turmeric was shown to help with leaky gut by supporting the intestinal barrier. That barrier is everything because without a strong barrier, undigested food particles, viruses, toxins and bacteria will leak into your blood.

That’s bad news because then your own immune system will recognize those things and say, “Hey, that’s not supposed to be here,” and then it will tell chemicals in your body to activate so that it can mount a defense against them. This is what causes inflammation. And if you don’t repair your gut barrier, the inflammation will be chronic.

So turmeric is like an anti-inflammatory ingredient for your gut. Many people take curcumin supplements for the joints. But relatively few people realize just how powerful turmeric/curcumin can be for preventing inflammation in the gut and repairing the gut barrier.

Turmeric And Ginger Supplments

If you can’t stomach the taste of fresh turmeric or ginger, I encourage you to get them in supplement form. They are definitely among the two most healing natural ingredients I use every day.

But if you create some of my smoothie recipes that feature turmeric and ginger, there’s a great chance you’ll love the taste of these two amazing gut-healing spices.

Golden Milk: Drink your Turmeric

golden milk

Golden Milk … just the name of it sounds alluring, exotic, and appealing to our inner child. Kind of like chocolate milk. But golden milk is way healthier than chocolate milk.

In fact, golden milk isn’t really milk at all.

Golden Milk: What is it?

There are a few beverages you might want to drink everyday (sorry, coffee: you’re not on the list, though I do love you at times). First on the list is Organic Green Drink, a refreshing and delicious blend of the world’s most detoxifying green, leafy plants.

The next super beverage on my list of nutritional liquid powerhouses is bone broth. Bone broth from humanely-raised animals contains amino acids and collagen. Collagen can improve your gut health, skin, and immune system. It can also better cushion and protect your ligaments, tendons, bones and joints and make your hair and nails stronger.

Golden milk is the third beverage I highly encourage you to drink as often as possible. Golden milk’s featured ingredient is turmeric.  But let me catch you up to speed on why this golden-colored spice (hence the name golden milk) is, well, the spice of life.

Turmeric contains anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and heart-protective properties. Moreover, another of the golden milk health benefits is that turmeric helps normalize your blood sugar levels. This is super important if you’re trying to lose weight or detox.

To make an easy vegan golden milk, just add some nut milk, coconut milk (it’s one of the few foods I buy in canned form). You can also make golden milk extra creamy by adding coconut oil.

The healthy fats from coconut and the amazing health benefits of turmeric make golden milk a must do morning ritual.

Golden Milk Health Benefits: Weight Loss and So Much More!

Recently, I shared with you how several Chef V client relations specialists have lost weight following a low-carb diet. Low-carb diets are only healthy if you replace the starchy carbs with healthy fats. Coconut is one of those healthy fats. (I love coconuts so much I named my dog, Coconut.)

The fatty acids in coconut don’t get stored as fat. Instead, they are immediately used by the body as energy. Imagine if you were able to ditch crackers, cookies, and all those other junky carb foods and replaced those empty calories with healthy fats. You just might achieve super fast weight loss.

Making a golden milk recipe vegan is easy. Again, all you need is the turmeric spice, coconut milk and/or coconut oil. It’s important to add coconut to the recipe. That’s because turmeric is fat-soluble. That means you need to eat some fat (it doesn’t have to be a lot; a tablespoon is more than enough) to absorb it and get the golden milk health benefits.

Moreover, by using coconut milk, you’re getting lots of vitamins and minerals that you wouldn’t get with just coconut oil.

How to make easy Vegan Golden Milk

To make my version of this yummy drink, you’ll need:

2 cups of your favorite nut milk (I prefer My Almond Milk)

1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger (which has amazing health benefits, including clearing your blood of fatty deposits),

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (which helps lower blood sugar)

1 teaspoon of coconut nectar (which is a natural, low-glycemic sweetener that won’t spike your blood sugar).

Some nutritionists recommend adding a dash of black pepper as well to increase the bio-availability of the turmeric. The best thing about making a vegan golden milk is you can enjoy it hot or cold. To enjoy hot, simply heat up the plain “milk”. I prefer to simmer it on the stove rather than use a microwave. Take the warmed or cold  “milk” and place it in your Vitamix or other blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Easy as pie. Well, actually, much easier than pie.

Golden milk is a potent anti-inflammatory elixir that might just help you lose weight. The strong taste of turmeric might take a little getting used to. So only use a small amount at first. Enjoy it in a cup alone, alongside a special dessert or my favorite guilty pleasure, having it with a bowl of yummy cereal or oats!

GOLDEN MILK OATS

Add 1 cup gluten-free oats

2 Cups Chef V Almond Milk

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. coconut nectar

Chef V’s Immunity Smoothie

I’ve created this new Immunity Smoothie to start the day. Made with ginger, turmeric, kale and coconut water, it gives me extra drive as I start a busy day.

V with Asian salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 piece kale
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric
  • 1 dash black pepper

Directions

Mix all ingredients and enjoy!

Creamy Sweet Potato & Leek Soup

Chef V Food Fact: Sweet potatoes are the uber tuber – packed wth fiber and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar regulating nutrients. The best ways to prepare them for maximum health benefits are boiling, steaming and stir frying.

pumpkin pie

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 pound white carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained

For a healthy variation to this recipe, add 1 tbsp fresh ginger and 1 tsp fresh turmeric.

Directions

In a saucepan, sauté the leek and garlic in the coconut oil for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and vegetable broth and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Add the cashews. Transfer to a Vitamix in batches, if necessary, and process until smooth. Soup is best served warm.

These 6 Spice Ingredients Prevent Belly Bloating & Improve Digestion

spices for health at the holidays

If variety is the spice of life, I say a variety of spice ingredients is the key to a long, healthy life. Herbs and spices improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and may even prevent cancer, along with other benefits. I’ll share with you my favorite 6 herbs and spices for optimal digestive health.

Feeling a little bloaty and gassy? Having a hard time buttoning your jeans? The 6 ingredients – herbs and spices – I’m about to share with you can dramatically improve your digestion. These spices are so good for you I recommend using them every day.

Dandelion

Did a rich dessert back your system up? Then sip on some dandelion tea. The reason why is dandelion root is really good for relieving constipation. Not only that, it reduces the amount of time food sits in your belly. In fact, one study suggests it’s better than a drug at speeding up digestion.

And if you’re a little down in the dumps because you put on a couple pounds, here’s how else ingredients like dandelion help….

When we overindulge, it’s really easy for water and metabolic waste to accumulate in our digestive system. But dandelion comes to the rescue by acting as a diuretic, removing excess water from your gut.

dandelion

Turmeric

Is it me or is turmeric becoming more popular than ketchup? Turmeric has been blowing up the Internet because of its inflammation-fighting and blood-sugar lowering actions. But did you know it’s also great for digestion? Here’s why I love adding ingredients like turmeric spice to my smoothie, tea and meals….

Sometimes when we’re invited to a dinner party and eat something we don’t normally have, toots happen. It’s a part of life. Nonetheless, flatulence is embarrassing. But turmeric is a potent fart-fighter! The very uncomfortable post-meal combo of gas and bloating can be greatly reduced just by adding a teaspoon or two of turmeric.

Turmeric may prevent embarrassing gas and uncomfy bloating because it helps digest fats. It also helps your belly keep its supply of stomach acid. Many digestive problems are caused by not having enough digestive juices to break down food.

I realize it might not be practical for you to carry a bottle of turmeric spice in your purse to a dinner party. But you can easily drink some tea or a smoothie before you head out for the night. You can also take a turmeric supplement before the dinner party.

Keep in mind turmeric is fat-soluble. That means you need to consume a little fat in order for your body to absorb turmeric. That’s not a problem if you’re adding it to a meal. But if you’re having a smoothie, make sure you add a tablespoon of olive oil or other healthy fat.

My next favorite spice for digestion also helps your body absorb turmeric….

turmeric

Black Pepper

Without black pepper, your body doesn’t absorb turmeric very well. But adding just a pinch or two of this ingredient, fresh ground black pepper, can increase your body’s absorption of turmeric by 2,000%!

Not only that, there’s something in black pepper called piperine, which is great for digestion. It helps you break down all the tryptophan and other amino acids in holiday turkey. It also helps you get rid of excess water and it stimulates your belly’s release of hydrochloric acid, the main digestive juice in your gut.

But to get your belly feeling better with black pepper, don’t cook with it. Just sprinkle some fresh ground pepper corns in your tea or on your food.

black pepper

Ginger

ingredients: Ginger is Mother Nature’s weapon against indigestion, stomach pain and nausea. When I go for sushi, I always ask for extra ginger. Not only does it cleanse the palette in between bites of a rainbow roll, it’s also great for digestion. It helps move food through the digestive tract so all that rice and fish in the sushi doesn’t just sit in your gut for hours, leaving you bloated and gassy.

Here’s an easy digestion hack you can try with ginger that’s been used for thousands of years in India’s ancient traditional system of medicine (Ayurveda): try eating some fresh ginger slices about a half hour before your meal. This will activate your digestive fire. Or better yet, have a cup of ginger tea.

(If you take a blood-thinning drug, don’t use too much ginger as it can negatively interact with the medication.)

ginger root

Cardamom

I do love me a cup of low-sugar chai tea. Each sip delightfully awakens my taste buds. But more than that the ingredients in chai tea like cardamom are great for digestion. Cardamom is like ginger’s cousin. Like ginger, it can help prevent gas and bloating. There’s also some research that shows it can help if you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Not only that it can help if you have belly cramps, diarrhea or constipation.

If your bottle of cardamom spice is gathering dust in your pantry, move it to front and center of your spice rack. And if your local coffee shop can do a low-sugar chai spice tea, go for it. Besides cardamom and cloves, traditional chai spices also include ginger  black pepper, and cinnamon.

Speaking of which, here’s the final of my favorite spices for digestion….

cardamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an ingredient miracle. Not only can it make bland oatmeal taste great, it’s also good for digestion. It can help with indigestion, gas, heartburn, nausea and stomach cramps. Now, obviously, sprinkling cinnamon on stuffing, turkey or mashed potatoes is … let’s just say, weird.

But what you can easily do, if you know you’re going to be indulging, before you head out for the big holiday meal, is make a cup of tea and sprinkle some cinnamon in it. Or, you can make yourself a cup of Golden Milk.

Golden Milk (click here for my recipe) is a dairy-free drink that I make with almond milk and features several of the spices above. My recipe for Golden Milk includes turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, and of course, a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.

If you’re going to indulge a little, no worries, you’ll get back on track. Just make sure to start using these spices every day to help you digest those heavy meals.

Love,

Veronica (Chef V)

P.S. Having a daily 16 oz. serving of my Green Drink will also do wonders for your digestion. That’s how I start my day, even on the holidays.

Brandon, veronica and Coco

What Do I Eat Today – A Chef V Retreat Menu

what do I eat today retreat

This menu plan is from one of my retreat events. My retreats are three day wellness experiences in gorgeous locations with lots of activities and of course, great food.

At my retreats, we start with lemon water then Green Drink. For breakfast, in this menu plan I serve Smoothie Bowls with an abundance of fresh organic fruit to top the bowls.

For lunch, I serve a Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing. And we have a snack – my Easy Hummus with carrot slices, cucumber, celery, snap peas, and Simple Mills almond flour crackers.

For dinner,  We have grilled Miso Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Sweet Potato Puree and Asparagus. And the best for last – my Chai Spiced Cakes with Ginger Icing.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

breakfast smoothie

For Breakfast – Smoothie Bowl

My breakfast smoothie is delicious, good for you, and easy to make. What's not to like?

Get the recipe

For Lunch – Chef V's Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

Green is good! Starting with fresh locally sourced organic greens, add carrot, celery, radish, red onion, and grilled chicken (optional). Top your salad with my Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.

Get the recipe

salmon sweet potato puree asparagus

Dinner – Miso Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Sweet Potato Puree and Asparagus  

This ginger glazed salmon is super easy. For the salmon I just broiled it for 5 minutes with this marinade. Let the marinade sit for 30 minutes on the fish before cooking.

Get the recipe

Dessert – Chai Spiced Cakes with Ginger ICing

This recipe may seem long and daunting but it’s really easy and worth it! Most the ingredients are spices that you hopefully already have.

This makes a lot of cupcakes so I keep them in a bag I frosted in the fridge. Pop one out and place in microwave and then top with frosting when done. These are great to have in the house for a delightful yet healthy treat when you have a sweet tooth.

Get the recipe

Miso Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Sweet Potato Purée and Asparagus

I think that it’s good for most people to have a little animal protein every now and then. Especially cold-water oily fish rich in omega-3s like salmon.

This misoglazed salmon is super easy. For the salmon, broil it for 5 minutes with this marinade. Let the marinade sit for 30 minutes on the fish before cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 six ounce wild salmon fillets
  • 3 tbsp. white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos           
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 8 spears asparagus
  • 1  white sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a glass measuring cup. Arrange salmon and cover in marinade for 30 minutes.

Salmon

Place salmon on a different sheet to cook than the one it was marinated on. Broil the salmon for 5 minutes and check firmness. I like my salmon under cooked and let it rest. You can always add the salmon back in but you can’t “uncook” it. 

Asparagus

Then I rub the asparagus in remaining marinade and cook for 10 minutes at 350F in the oven on a baking sheet. 

Wasabi Sweet Potato

The wasabi sweet potato purée is simple.  Just skin and boil one white sweet potato (you can tell by scratching the skin if it’s white).

Drain water but reserve ½ cup. Blend potato with 2 tbsp hot water and 1 tsp wasabi paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Chef V’s Carrot Ginger Salad

Green is good! Starting with fresh locally sourced organic greens, add carrot, celery, radish, red onion, cucumber, and grilled chicken (optional). Top your salad with my Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.

carrot ginger salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 celery chopped
  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • 1 radish thinly sliced
  • Red onion slices 
  • 4 oz grilled chicken (optional) 

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Blend in blender, add 1 tbsp water at a time to get the thickness you like.

Directions

Layer the ingredients and top with carrot dressing.

What Do I Eat Today – Menu featuring Turkey Risotto

what do I eat today turkey risotto

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, a Gnger Apple Berry Smoothie you are going to love.  For lunch, my Spicy Vegetable Soup, and for dinner,  Turkey Risotto, demonstrated in a Chef V Cooking School video.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

ginger apple berry smoothie

For Breakfast – Ginger Apple Berry Smoothie

A morning ginger apple berry smoothie not only tastes great but is loaded with antioxidants to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Get the recipe here

My “What do I Eat today” lunch is Spicy Veggie Soup. This is a spicy vegetable soup with jalapeno, quinoa, zucchini, black beans, and lots of spices. Vegan and gluten free. Add or reduce spices if you like your soup milder or super hot.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Turkey Risotto

A super simple recipe, it has only 7 ingredients and is so easy to make. It has so much flavor, is so filling and balanced, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! “You don't even know do', it's the BEST Risotto!”

While most risottos have a lot of cream and butter, we're not going to use those. Using arborio rice, this risotto has a nice creamy texture that we'll make using vegan broth.

This recipe is featured in my Cooking series on YouTube and you can watch me
prepare the recipe here.

Veronica and cleanse ingredients

What Do I Eat Today – Featuring Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

what do I eat today

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, a new recipe for an Immunity Smoothie you are going to love.  For dinner,  my new recipe for Almond Flour Crusted chicken, served with my Mandarin Asian Salad.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I’m hungry to have my Green Drink.

immunity smoothie

For Breakfast – Chef V’s Immunity Smoothie

I’ve created this new Immunity Smoothie to start the day. Made with ginger, turmeric, kale and coconut water, it gives me extra drive as I start a busy day.

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For Lunch – Chef V’s ‘Chipotle’ Mango Burrito Bowl

My “What do I Eat today” lunch is my Mango Avocado Burrito Bowl, a spin on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s awesome burrito bowls. Use my recipe as a starting point and add any of your favorite ingredients like grilled chicken or fish to make your own. You can also turn this into an easy wrap with gluten-free tortillas.  – Veronica

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Almond Flour Crusted Chicken, Mandarin Asian Salad

Dinner – Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

A new recipe that uses crushed almond flour crackers and a honey mustard sauce. It makes a delicious main course, accompanied by my Mandarin Asian Salad.

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Dinner – Mandarin Asian Salad

You can use lots of different greens to make this Asian inspired salad but I always include cabbage. If you are cleansing, just skip the mandarin oranges to keep it cleanse friendly.

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Digestive Bitters: Don’t Be Sad If You’re Bloated, Get Bitter

older woman hiking

If your belly feels like you’re in the first trimester of pregnancy after a meal, don’t get down, just get bitter, digestive bitters that is. Chef V highlights a handful of her favorite bitters. 

I’ve been bitter these days. No, it’s not because of the new scary variant (“scariant”?) or anything like that. I’ve hopped on the bitter bandwagon because lots of my lady customers are of a certain age that let’s just say brings changes. 

And when the changes come, one of the first symptoms to manifest is compromised digestion. When your hormones are out of whack, it gets more difficult for the body to detox. It also becomes more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. 

That’s why I recommend digestive bitters for any age really, but especially for mature ladies. 

image above is of Gentian, an edible bitter herb

bitter face

What Are Bitters? 

Out of the roughly 10,000 taste buds tickling your tongue, you’re probably only getting a steady dose of sweet and salty. Unfortunately, that’s the American Standard Diet for you. 

Maybe if you eat a little yogurt, your sour taste buds will spring into action. But out of the five tastes our tongues can detect—savory is fourth—if it’s a slimmer belly and weight loss you want, seek out the fifth taste: bitter. 

There’s a good reason why the back of your tongue is reserved for bitter taste. If your bitter buds were in the front of your tongue, you’d have a perpetual bitter beer face. (Remember that funny commercial?) In fact, the four other tastes are peppered throughout the tongue. But it’s only bitters that are relegated to the back of the tongue, which, fun fact, is technically considered a digestive organ. 

We have an innate recoil response towards bitter food. Would you stuff your face with a head of the radicchio or an endive? No. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid bitters. Digestive bitters are bitter-tasting herbs that people have been using for thousands of years for bloated bellies and other digestive upsets.

red beet hummus

Chef V’s Favorite Bitters

Kale and dandelion are a couple of my favorite bitters. That’s just one of many reasons they are staple ingredients in CHEF V ORGANIC GREEN DRINK. 

Now, my next favorite bitters aren’t necessarily meant for weight loss, but they do have a part in a balanced diet: dark chocolate/raw cacao and red wine. Isn’t it nice to know that if a little square of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine is your only indulgence, it’s actually a very healthy one? 

If you want to experiment with digestive bitters, the best ones for bile production and metabolism that I recommend are:

● Citrus peel

● Ginger root

● Milk thistle (You can buy this as a supplement; take it if you drink alcohol because it’s great for liver detox!)

● Gentian root

● Chicory root

● Wormwood

Oh, and how can I forget the most widely-used plant-based bitter on the planet: coffee? Personally, I don’t drink coffee, but I’m certainly not going to judge you if you do. I don’t think coffee is good to drink when you’re trying to cleanse. But if you have a cup or two every day, it may even do your body some good. But I recommend cold-brew coffee instead of hot as it’s 60% less acidic and is much easier on your esophagus and digestive system.
In fact, women who drink coffee have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than women who don’t drink it. 

Conclusion

If you’re having trouble with weight management and no matter what you’ve tried, nothing seems to work, try adding more digestive bitters to your diet. There are several others, from broccoli to grapefruit, arugula and lots more. 

So don’t worry and don’t get mad if your digestion is off. Just get bitter.

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Cleansing In A Winter Wonderland

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

It’s easy to do a cleanse in August, or RAWGUST, as Chef V calls it. When it’s warm, eating lots of light, raw foods like salad seems so satisfying and appropriate for the season. But in mid-winter, what are you supposed to do if you’re looking to give your digestive system and liver a fresh start? Chef V dishes out the tips for winter cleansing…

It will probably come to you as no surprise that most of my customers begin a CHEF V CLEANSE or 21 DAY DETOX in the summer. When it’s so hot you don’t even feel like eating and certainly not cranking up the oven to 425 degrees, it’s simple to go raw. 

But how can you give your digestive system a reboot and stay warm in the winter? This is the time of year when we crave starchy carbs like mashed potatoes, pasta and bread. 

For carnivores, the dilemma gets even more complicated. Freezing cold weather leads to cravings for red meat. But if your elimination is sluggish, eating a steak is like throwing more toilet paper into a backed-up toilet. 

The good news is that you can gently detox your digestive system with these smart winter cleansing hacks…

detox tea

Winter Detox Tip #1: Warm Yourself Up From The Inside Out

When you’re following a cleanse program like this one, it’s a good idea not to exercise too hard. That’s because you’re going to be consuming less calories than you ordinarily would. So it’s best to take it easy whether you’re just doing a 1 day cleanse or a 3-day or 5-day one. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t crank up your internal thermostat without hardcore exercise. 

One of the easiest ways to quickly go from frozen to toasty warm without moving your body all that much is through kundalini breath of fire exercises. Just do a search for kundalini breath of fire for beginners on YouTube and you’ll come across several free videos. 

These breathing exercises involve short and powerful inhalations and exhalations and as a bonus, your abs get a workout. Practicing the breath of fire pattern for a few minutes will heat your body up and you might even feel tingly all over. 

You can also do a light yoga posture flow going from cat/cow to downward dog or full sun salutations for 5-10 minutes. 

Another simple tip for staying warm while doing a cleanse/detox in the winter is sipping hot beverages throughout the day. Duh, right? But not just any plain hot tea or water will do. To generate internal warmth, add a dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, cayenne pepper and ginger to herbal tea or water. 

And what to do about sipping on Organic GREEN DRINK? After all, on a CHEF V CLEANSE, you drink four of these refrigerated drinks on each day that you’re cleansing. If you’re lucky enough to have central heating in your home, maybe it’s not a problem to drink cold GREEN DRINK. 

But even if your cozy comfy home is set to 72 degrees, just knowing that it’s frigid outside might not put you in the mood for a GREEN DRINK straight from the refrigerator. 

So here’s what I do. In the morning after I wake up, one of the first things I do is pour myself a glass of green drink. I pour it in a mason jar and seal it with a lid to reduce oxidation. I let the jar of GREEN DRINK sit at room temperature for about an hour so it’s not so cold. 

Important side note: Make sure you put the bottle of GREEN DRINK you’re not using back in the fridge right away. Each GREEN DRINK is made fresh and because it’s raw to preserve all the phytonutrients, it has a shelf life of 7 days unlike dead, pasteurized commercial juice that never goes bad.

red beet hummus

Winter Detox Tip #2: We’ve Got The Beet

Beet juice is not a staple in a CHEF V CLEANSE. (You get 4 Green Drinks, 2 vegan protein shakes and 1 Detox Soup with your juice cleanse.) But I feature beets in many of my recipes including red beet hummus. For my customers who want a longer program to reset their metabolism, my 21 Day Detox features some of these recipes with beets. 

So why are beets one of the best winter cleansing foods? The answer is that because of the winter holidays, many people overindulge in added sugars. The excess sugar gets stored as body fat by the liver. If the liver is already overworked, this is bad news. Beets are a cleansing superhero because they protect the liver (this study shows). 

Sure, you can eat beets any time of year. You can add them to summer salads. But in winter, you can add them to a veggie soup.

Tip #3: Sip On Bone Broth

Now, with my guided cleanses, I recommend going meat-free for the duration of the 1, 3 or 5 day cleanse and the 21 Day Detox. But if you’re following all my other instructions to the “V” I think it’s perfectly ok to add some chicken bone broth that you can sip on during the day to stay warm. 

If you want to learn how to make your own chicken bone broth, check out my video recipe here

Tip #4: Drink Your Greens & Cook Your Greens

In order to support my digestive system, I make ORGANIC GREEN DRINK a part of my daily routine 365 days a year. Even when I travel, I take GREEN DRINKS with me. But in the winter, I also make sure to eat a ton of cooked leafy greens. I sautee the leafy greens in a cast iron skillet with avocado oil. To feel full, I’ll add a scoop or two of healthy grains like quinoa or wild rice. 

Again, the CHEF V CLEANSE includes 4 Green Drinks, 2 vegan Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup per day. But you don’t have to do an official Chef V cleanse to give your digestive system some cleaner fuel. 

(But if you do want the quickest transformation then follow a CHEF V CLEANSE…) 

Eat a few servings of cooked leafy or cruciferous greens every single day in the winter. The healthy fats in the avocado oil and the clean-burning carbs from the quinoa, brown rice or quinoa will keep your tummy satisfied and give your digestive system a break from all those Christmas cookies and eggnog. 

To your health, 

Chef V

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Warm Carrot Ginger Smoothie

Warm Carrot Ginger Smoothie – As the weather gets cold, I’ve found myself wanting something loaded with veggie goodness but not cold in my mouth – brrr! So here’s my new recipe, a smoothie that’s a little sweet, a little spicy and comforting on a cold winter morning.

warm carrot ginger smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger
  • 1 cup hot water

Directions

Blend all ingredients except hot water in blender. Remove, pour into cup and top with hot water.

Medicinal Herbs: Get Busy Cooking!

CBD oil

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 

As a certified nutritional therapist, I strongly identify with the quote from the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates. 

With the exception of a rare cheat meal, every single bite of food—and drink—you consume should support your health. 

That’s why the first thing I do every morning after drinking a glass of water and waiting half an hour or so is drinking 16 oz of Organic Green Drink. The 7 leafy greens flood my trillions of cells with pure phytonutrients. 

But when it’s time to get cooking in the kitchen, not only am I preparing low-starch veggies and lean proteins, I’m also sprinkling in an extra dose of medicine: herbs. 

Herbs are so much more than flavor enhancers. For thousands of years in the Far East, medicinal herbs have been used topically to treat skin conditions, fevers and dozens of other symptoms. Medicinal herbs have also been used as food, not just to enhance taste but also to keep the body in balance, or help it get back to balance if you’re sick or feeling tired. 

There’s a good chance you’re already using some medicinal herbs in your own kitchen. Here are some of the most popular herbs that are also used in traditional herbal medicine in China and other countries in the Orient. Start cooking with them daily and notice if you feel the difference!

Sample Code

Ginger 

Every home chef uses ginger from time to time. But research studies show that it’s one traditional medicinal herb that’s worth using a lot more often than not. 

When I was a kid and had a tummy ache, my mom would give me ginger ale. Even with all the sugar in the soda, the ginger compounds would get rid of my nausea or cramping instantly. I’m sure you can relate. 

Over 100 compounds have been isolated from ginger. Studies (like this one) show that ginger functions as an antioxidant, antimicrobial and prevents inflammation in the brain. And ladies, if your monthly cycle is painful, get slicing on the fresh, raw ginger. (You may even want to consider also taking a ginger supplement.)

If you tend to run cold, even if it’s not a frigid winter day, cooking with ginger can instantly warm you up. Ginger also fortifies your immune system. If you tend to catch colds easily in the winter then you should definitely add ginger to your stir fries. 

Turmeric

I believe this yellow-ish spice is just as valuable as gold, if not more so because, well, if you eat edible gold, you can’t absorb it. But turmeric on the other hand is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory medicinal herbs. With the exception of ginger, turmeric has probably been the focus of the most research of any medicinal herb. 

If you’ve ever had a curry dish, you’ve tasted turmeric. I know it might not sound appetizing and probably sacrilegious to Italian foodies and chefs, but I’m so down with turmeric I even add it to pasta dishes. 

I admit that turmeric has an acquired taste; peppery, earthy, slightly bitter. But once you get used to it, you’ll learn to really appreciate its bold flavor. For at least 2,000 years, turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb in Southeast Asia. In traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is thought to unblock blood stasis and move the Qi. Translation: it improves blood circulation, which leads to feeling more energetic. 

medical cannabis

Mushrooms

Wait, mushrooms are herbs? I thought they were a fungus? 

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re not wrong. But according to herbalism, edible ‘shrooms are considered herbs precisely because they have medicinal value. 

Mushrooms are having a magical moment in the West after being relegated to a bland, squishy pizza topping for the most part for so long. These days, mushrooms are added to coffee blends, adaptogenic herbal energy drinks and more. 

And this is a good thing. That’s because mushrooms help support a balanced immune system. 

Like all produce, the best mushrooms to purchase are organically-grown varieties that you can get at your local farmer’s market or CSA (community-supported-agriculture).

In traditional Chinese medicine, mushrooms like reishi—the king of all mushrooms in China—are added to soups and tea, and are used to treat coughing and wheezing. 

Lately, I’ve been so impressed by how far edible mushrooms have come. I have sunk my teeth into a vegan mushroom burrito that I swear had the consistency and taste of steak!

Cinnamon

Another common medicinal herb that you’re probably already using is cinnamon, but most likely, you’re only adding this spice to coffee, tea, yogurt or waffles. (Both spices and herbs come from plants; spices are derived from roots.) 

Try adding cinnamon twigs to other dishes from now on. Similar to ginger, cinnamon has warming properties. So if you’re constantly running cold, adding a cinnamon twig to your dishes can fire up your furnace. 

Managing blood sugar levels is one of the biggest benefits of consuming cinnamon on a regular basis. If you gotta have some honey or maple syrup with your yogurt, then definitely sprinkle a bunch of cinnamon to slow down the blood sugar spike. 

But try to also add cinnamon twigs to stir fry dishes, salad dressings, low-carb baked treats, and more. 

Leptin function

Mint

I’ve included a couple Yang-fortifying herbs above: ginger and turmeric. Mint is a Yin-fortifying herb, which helps cool the body down. If you’re sweating over the stove in the summer, add plenty of mint to your food or drinks. Mint helps clear the body of excess symptoms associated with heat imbalances, according to Chinese medicine. So if you have a fever, rash, sore throat, or cough drink plenty of peppermint tea and add sprigs of mint to your dishes. 

Mmmm. I’m getting hungry. I wish I could come over and help you get cooking with these medicinal herbs!

To your health.

Chef V

Super Smoothie

This Super Smoothie has everything – fresh fruit, avocado for richness, kale for vitamins, ginger for zing, and my protein powder for nutrition. Enjoy it in the morning after your 16 oz. of Organic Green Drink.

super smoothie

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • ½ organic pear,
  • ripe ¼ avocado
  • ½ organic cucumber
  • ½ lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 pieces organic green kale
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 serving of Chef V Ultra Shake protein powder or Powder of your choice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add ¼ cup filtered water if necessary. Bon Appétit!

Ginger Glazed Salmon w/ Baby Bok Choy

I think that it’s good for most people to have a little animal protein every now and then. Especially cold-water oily fish rich in omega-3s like salmon. If you do eat salmon, here’s one of my favorite entrees from my cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier: Ginger Glazed Salmon with Baby Bok Choy. – Veronica

ginger glazed salmon

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. coconut nectar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or pressed
  • 2 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • Sea salt, optional to taste

Directions

Mix the olive oil, coconut aminos, lemon juice, coconut nectar, garlic, and ginger in bowl.Divide the marinade between 2 shallow dishes or zip-top bags and place the salmon in one and the bok choy in the other. Marinate both for 30 minutes.

Heat a grill or grill pan and grill the salmon for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked to desired level of finish (I prefer a tiny bit of pink on the inside so the salmon doesn’t get dried out). Grill the baby bok choy until lightly charred, 1-2 minutes per side, or until tender. Brush with extra marinade while grilling.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.