Tag: raw food

Easy Raw Pesto

This rEasy Raw Pesto is so delicious. Besides my Grilled Chicken Pasta, try this on gluten-free bread as a spread or use it as a marinade for your favorite protein or vegetables.

Chef V Easy Raw Pesto

Chef V Easy Raw Pesto

TOTAL TIME: 15 min

SERVES 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Process all the ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth. Will keep for up to a month refrigerated.

Raw Cucumber + Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, soups are a great way to start a meal, but are also awesome as a main course. 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.

raw cucumber + avocado gazpacho

TOTAL TIME: 15 min

SERVES 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups filtered ice water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh chopped chives
  • Cucumber slices

Directions

Refrigerate all the ingredients overnight. Peel and seed the avocado and peel the cucumber and garlic.

Place all the cold ingredients in a Vitamix and process until smooth.

The colder the ingredients are, the less foam there will be. Serve cold and top with chopped tomatoes for a bright pop of flavor.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Chef V’s tip: Most of my salads are delicious with my Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette or Creamy Avocado Dressing. Use these on any salads unless otherwise specified.

creamy avocado dressing

TOTAL TIME: 10 min

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

1 large ripe avocado
1/2 small white onion, minced or grated
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 small lime, juiced
1 tablespoon cold-pressed-olive oil or avocado oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Process all ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Chef V’s Tip: Most of my salads are delicious with my Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette or Creamy Avocado Dressing. Use these on any salads unless otherwise specified. Dressings serve 4-6. – Veronica

creamy avocado dressing

TOTAL TIME: 10 min

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold filtered water

Directions

For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, process all ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth and well combined. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Shake well before each use.

It’s RAWGUST! Summer is the Best Time for Raw Food

raw food for summer

Thinking about doing a cleanse? Going raw vegan in summer is easy and can help detoxify your body before, during and after the cleanse.

There’s a misconception about me….

Some people describe me as a vegan chef.

Maybe it’s because another Chef Veronica out there. But she’s a low fat vegan chef. Personally, as a certified nutritional therapist, I don’t think low fat diets are very healthy.

Or, maybe because my first job, at age 15, was working at a vegetarian restaurant.

But I’m not vegan nor 100% vegetarian. 

However, I do love and advocate the vegan diet.

Going raw and vegan in summer (or anytime of year, really) is like pouring fuel cleaner into your car.

Meat, especially non-organic meat, gunks up your transmission; it’s much harder on your digestive system. Consequently, when you eat lots of meat, it can slow down your liver’s natural detoxification abilities.

So you can use my recipes for giving your system a cleanse while feeling like your indulging.

Especially now because as I write this, it’s the heart of summer: the best time to do a cleanse.

One of the keys to successfully doing a cleanse—anytime of the year—is to not feel like you’re missing out.

raw veggies

Going Raw Vegan in Summer

And when you learn to make raw vegan recipes that taste just as good as their non-vegan cooked alternatives, you definitely won’t feel like you’re punishing yourself doing a cleanse.

Eating raw makes you feel lighter. Which helps if you’ve fallen off the wagon as of late, like I did during my three-week trip to Europe eating decadent meals.

Here’s another plus of going raw in summer: cutting down on electric bills. The last thing you want to do when it’s really hot outside is turning on the oven to 425 degrees to bake, say, a salmon fillet.

Sure, you might have air conditioning. But where I live, in San Diego, many people don’t have it. Especially those people who live near the coast. Even if you do have A/C, though, you’ll save money by not using your oven.

What is Raw Food?

Technically, raw food is prepared at a temperature that won’t destroy naturally-occurring compounds and enzymes. There’s some debate as to what that magic number is.

But most raw foodists consider 104 degrees (fahrenheit) to be the maximum cooking temperature.

Therefore, if you like broccoli but not when it’s completely raw, you can lightly cook it.

You can also buy a food dehydrator to make raw food snacks such as dried fruit. However, here’s where the raw food temperature debate comes into play.

Dehydrated raw food still qualifies as raw by some people even though the dehydration temperature is usually between 105 and 115.

And don’t get me started about raw almonds. That’s for a whole other blog topic.

(Raw almonds really aren’t raw; they are pasteurized.)

Don’t get caught up in the technicality of what is and isn’t raw food.

If it’s something that comes directly from the ground or a tree, and is, at worst, very minimally processed, then I consider it a raw food.

In other words, if it’s a fruit or vegetable or nut or seed, it’s raw. Or, if it’s a byproduct of any of these, cooked at an ultra low temperature, it’s also raw to me.

raw vegan greens

Going Raw Vegan in Summer: Isn’t Going Raw Enough?

Most raw food is very easy for your belly to digest, with maybe the exception of nightshade veggies like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.

That’s why introducing plenty of raw vegan foods into your diet when you are cleansing is smart.

But isn’t going raw enough? Why also vegan? Can’t I eat raw cheese during a cleanse?

Great questions! Glad you asked 🙂

Yes, raw dairy is an option. But like raw almonds, raw dairy really isn’t raw, according to raw foodie purists.

The more important point is that dairy, even if it’s raw is not ideal for cleansing. In fact, I suggest you completely avoid dairy for at least 3-7 days before you start a cleanse.

Dairy gums up the works. If your liver is sluggish, eating cheese certainly isn’t going to help it release toxins faster.

Going Raw Vegan in Summer: Here’s What I’m Eating Now

Hardly anybody wants to eat hot soup in summer. Or drink scalding bone broth.

But a light yet satisfying cold soup is just what Mother Nature calls for this time of year.

That’s why I love gazpacho in summer.

And here’s one of my favorites: Raw Cucumber Cilantro Avocado Gazpacho. I know, sounds like a mouthful, right? Well, it’s got a huge taste.

For a main course, how about some pasta. Pasta … That’s not raw, is it? And it’s not vegan if it’s got ricotta in it.

But my Raw Pesto Lasagna with Macadamia Ricotta contains zoodles, not noodles. Check out the recipe to see how I make a raw vegan ricotta!

Finally, it’s time for dessert. I’m a sucker for cheesecake. But obviously, regular cheesecake is a no-no when you’re cleansing.

To get my healthy dessert on, I’m making this Raw Caramel Cheesecake.

Yes, it’s possible to enjoy a decadent-tasting dessert while doing your own cleanse?

Now, I feel I have to clarify something important here. If you’re doing one of my 3, 5 or 7 day cleanses, you’re sticking to Organic Green Drinks, Vegan Protein Shakes and Detox Soups.

But before and after the official cleanse is over, treat yourself with one of these delicious raw vegan desserts.

Follow these recipes to a T, or, pardon the corny pun, to a V, and you’ll have no problem going raw vegan in summer!

Chef V, Coco and kale

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.