Tag: vegan

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Salmon Beurre Blanc

Welcome to Chef V’s Cooking School!

I’m Veronica, Certified Nutritional Therapist, author, and proud owner of Chef V. You might know me for my Green Drink and Cleanses, but I started Chef V as a personal chef. In my first video cooking series, I’ll be sharing some of my clients’ favorite recipes with you.

Using this blog and my YouTube channel, I welcome you to my kitchen. We’re going to laugh, learn and cook – together.

This month we are making Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce, with my friend Maddi assisting.

Cooking with Chef V

Maddi is a friend and customer of Chef V. In 2017 she had a massive stroke, and has worked incredibly hard to recover. I’m honored to know her and to support her in eating healthy – and delicious. – Veronica

Maddi

SALMON BEURRE BLANC DIRECTIONS
Watch Veronica make the recipe in the video above

salmon beurre blanc

INGREDIENTS

for sauce:

  • 1 shallot (about 2-3 tbsp.) finely minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 tbsp. vegan butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For salmon and pasta:

  • 1 package lentil, quinoa, or brown rice pasta
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 4-6oz wild salmon fillets – rest to room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley (for garnish)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

quinoa enchilada ingredients

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

1. SHALLOT
Finely dice the shallot, slicing lengthwise and then chopping on its side. Save in a small bowl.

mise en place chopped

2. PARSLEY
Roll the fresh parsley loosely into a ball, then chop that up and throw that garnish into a small bowl.

salmon beurre blanc pasta

3. LEMON
Juice the lemon and save in a small bowl.

boil water

PREPARE THE PASTA

1. Bring the water to a boil with one tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.

boil water

2. Rip the dry pasta in half, adding it to the boiling water.

salmon cooking

GRILL THE SALMON

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Heat Grill pan or pan to medium high heat.

When the pan is hot, place the salmon in the pan with the skin side up, cook the salmon for 3 minutes on each side, and remove when still pink in the middle.

It is easy to cook something more, but you can’t undo an overcooked piece of salmon! Remove salmon and let rest.

making the sauce

making the sauce

MAKE THE BEURRE BLANC SAUCE

To cook the sauce add white wine, shallot and lemon juice to a medium heat saucepan and reduce to half. Slowly add one tbsp. of vegan butter at a time and whisk to create a thick sauce.

final recipe

ASSEMBLE THE DISH

Drain the pasta and place a portion on a plate. Place the salmon right on top. Then we take the beurre blanc sauce and pour it over the salmon and the pasta.

final recipe

NOW THE BEST PART – THE TASTE TEST!

Brandon says “mmmm… – that Beurre Blanc sauce – the lemon and the wine! Who knew eating healthy could be fun.”

Maddi says “it’s delicious” – and her sous chef Dad says “nice and light and delicious!”

Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate

What are some of the best memories around the holidays? Festive food and drinks are definitely mine!

Hot chocolate is a holiday treat but most of the time the ingredients are big NO-NO’s! Most hot chocolates you buy are instant powders pumped with chemicals or fake sweeteners. Most have dairy, cream or powdered milk (even worse!). Even if you go to a place serving hot chocolate, it’s rarely made in house with real ingredients. I created this delicious Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe using peppermint tea, my home-made almond milk, raw cacao and coconut nectar to sweeten it slightly. It is so delicious and it is actually healthy for you.

In this process I heat the almond milk and steep the tea in the milk to infuse the natural peppermint flavor. GOODBYE artificial flavorings!!!

vegan hot chocolate

Ingredients

Directions

Heat almond milk over stove and steep tea while you bring the milk to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add cacao and stir well. Add coconut nectar and stir well. Pour hot chocolate into a coffee mug or cup of choice. You can top with my Coconut Whipped Cream. You can also add cacao nibs or crushed peppermint candies if entertaining or not cleansing.

Serves 2

Vegan Eggnog for the Holidays

Spread holiday cheer with our vegan take on a traditional favorite, eggnog. This thick, wonderfully flavored beverage can be made in many ways than one. Why not try our adult version with coconut nectar and almond milk. Not too thick, this chilled iconic drink will warm the hearts of your family and friends. Homemade, delicious and beautifully presented, how can it not?! Happy holidays and enjoy!

vegan eggnog

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup brandy (omit if cleansing)
  • 2 tsp. coconut nectar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (for garnish)

Directions

Combine ingredients together in a large pitcher and stir with a large spoon or whisk for 1 – 2 minutes. Serve in individual glasses chilled over ice. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish.

Serves 2

Coconut Whipped Cream

Use this vegan, gluten free whipped cream on anything you want to make taste decadently delicious.

coconut whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerate overnight)
  • 2 tbsp. raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. real organic vanilla extract

Directions

Remove the can of coconut milk from refrigerator very carefully. Make sure not to shake the can at all.

Open slowly and scrape out the top layer of coconut that is creamy (don’t worry if you get a little of the water just try to get only cream).

Place in a mixing bowl with coconut sugar and vanilla extract.

Beat the cream on high for 2 minutes or until it becomes a cream substance. Top on pumpkin pie or anything else your heart desires this holiday!

Gluten Free Pie Crust

Gluten free pie crust – my recipe is so good you can use it for any pie recipes, sweet or savory. It’s a keeper! – Veronica

chia seed egg substitute
gluten free pie crust

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 tbsp. raw coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. organic sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. Chef V’s Chia Seed Egg Substitute
  • 1/3 cup water (add tbsp. more at a time if to dry)
  • 1-cup organic unsweetened almond milk

Directions

Preheat oven for 450°F. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and sugar. Add coconut oil and mix until crumbly.

Add egg substitute and mix in well, mixture should still be crumbly. Add water by stirring in one tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together for rolling. It is better to be more moist than too dry.

Cut mixture in a half add roll into two balls (one for crust and one for topping). Flour a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on a flat surface. Shape balls into disc shapes and place on surface.

Cover the dough with an additional piece of wax paper Roll crust out to slightly bigger than your pie tin. Remove the top wax paper, place your hand under the bottom piece of wax paper and turn over into your pie dish.

Slowly remove the wax paper from the top of the crust. If it breaks up just mold it back together. Press edges on crust with a fork to crimp the edges. Pierce bottom slightly with a fork. Add pie mixture.

Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup

The only thing more comforting than a bowl of soup is a bowl of homemade soup that is both vegan and gluten-free. There’s something special about cooking comforting meals like this during the Fall that will warm you up and have your kitchen smelling festive.

Cozy up with someone you love and enjoy this delicious pumpkin soup on a cool fall night! – Veronica

vegan ambrosia salad

TOTAL: 1 hour

Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook time: 30 Min

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup organic Crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. gluten-free flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Chef V’s Organic Pumpkin Puree (see recipe HERE)
  • ½ cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp organic sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Directions

Bring oil to medium high heat and saute onion and mushrooms for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Add garlic, curry powder and gluten-free flour to the pan to continue to cook for one more minute.

Slowly add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Cook and stir for a couple of minutes until the soup starts to thicken.

Add the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Continue to stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Blend small batches of soup in a Vitamix or blender to a get a smooth texture and serve hot.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin ice cream by Chef V uses all-vegan ingredients that won’t skyrocket your blood sugar and expand your waist. If you love ice cream, all things pumpkin and fall, and exquisite vegan desserts, you’ll love this recipe.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 3 Hrs 15 Min

Prep Time: 15 Min
Freezer time: 4 Hrs

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 can full-fat organic coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup Chef V’s Pumpkin Puree (see recipe HERE)
  • 3 tbsp. organic coconut nectar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. Chef V Pumpkin Pie Spice (see recipe HERE)

Directions

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth
Pour the blend into a container to freeze for 3 hours
Remove from freezer and cut chunks of the mix out and start to blend
Blend the mix until smooth and creamy
Fill the ice cream in a loaf pan and freeze for 1 additional hour before serving.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Have you decided what you will bring to your family and friends soiree this holiday season?

How about our Green Bean Casserole made from scratch, vegan friendly and enjoyable for all?! While this side dish isn’t the main attraction it is definitely a crowd pleaser. The perfect combination of crunchy and creamy in a vegetable dish… what more could you ask for!

vegan ambrosia salad

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:4

Ingredients

Crunchy topping

  • 3 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp. gluten free flour (not corn flour, we like Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 1 tsp. organic seas salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. organic coconut oil

Casserole

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water (do this first and add to cream sauce later)
  • 1 lb. whole organic green beans, washed and trimmed
  • ½ lb. whole organic yellow beans, washed and trimmed
  • 3 tbsp. organic white mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-cup organic unsweetened almond milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Topping

Cover the sliced shallots in flour, salt and pepper. Heat coconut oil to medium high and add the floured shallots. Fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from stove and place on a plate lined with paper towels and place the onions on top but do not dab with paper towel.

Casserole

Drain cashews and reserve ½ cup of the water. Place cashews and water in a Vitamix or blender and blend until they are a creamy consistency, set aside.

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and place in a 1 ½ quart baking dish.

Bring the coconut oil to medium-high in a saucepan. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and continue for 1 minute. Turn off heat and add almond milk and cashew blend. Mix well and pour over the green beans in the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Add Crunch topping and continue to bake 5 more minutes. Serve hot.

Sweet Potato Pureé

You just can’t have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes. But regular mashed potatoes are very starchy. That means the starch quickly converts into sugar. That’s more bad news for your gut. But this healthy Thanksgiving recipe for mashed potatoes uses the nutritiously-superior sweet potato. Instead of regular milk, I use almond or coconut milk.

I swear to you that my sweet potato pureé will have the same starchy mouth-feel as regular mashed potatoes. But this version contains way more minerals and is lower in calories. – Veronica

sweet potato puree

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

Boil the sweet potato pieces in the 3 cups of water in a large pot for 15 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the pieces to a Vitamix and add the milk, sea salt, cayenne, and red pepper flakes, and process until smooth. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Organic Pumpkin Pureé

Making your own pumpkin pureé means you get a fresher, more flavorful product, and you know where the pumpkin can from – and that it was grown organically. Use this recipe in my Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 1 hour

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook time: 45 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin

Directions

It’s so easy to make your own pumpkin puree. Just cut the top off any pumpkin, cut into 4 quarters and remove all the seeds and guts. Place in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 F (do not use oil). Remove from the oven and peel off the pumpkin skin.

Place your pumpkin in Vitamix or blender and puree. Use this puree for my recipes or any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin puree. The difference is AMAZING! You can store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

Vegan Tiramisu – Guilt Free Decadence

While we typically recommend steering clear of sugary treats, this healthy take on tiramisu is a must!

Take a look at the ingredients listed below before you start the process – some might be new to you but don’t let that stop, we’ve included links to some of our favorite products to help guide you at the grocery store.

Plus, once you start baking and cooking with these healthy ingredients, there’s a good chance you’ll want to continue! For instance, using coconut sugar is better for you then real cane sugar as it’s low in fructose and higher in antioxidants than cane or brown sugar. And it tastes great too!

vegan tiramisu

vegan tiramisu

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

Lady Fingers
2 ½ cups all purpose gluten-free flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup coconut sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup filtered water
Cooking spray (we like Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray)
Square baking sheet

‘Mascarpone’ Filling
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours, drained
1 can coconut cream (we use one from Trader Joe’s)
1 ½ tsp. organic vanilla or vanilla bean
2 tbsp. coconut nectar
1 tbsp. cold water (add more as needed)

Assembly Needs:
6 small glasses ( martini or wine glasses or 4 mason jars)
1 cup coffee (use decaf if you are cleansing)
6 tsp cacao powder (use 1 tsp. per glass)
Cacao nibs (optional) topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ‘lady finger’ ingredients together.

Add oil, vanilla and water. Stir until lumps are gone. Pour the mix in a large oiled square pan.

Cook for 12 minutes or until the cookie mixture is lightly golden. Let the cooked mixture cool then cut into lady finger shaped rectangles (approximately 1” x 3”).

While the cookies are cooling, make the ‘mascarpone’ filling.

Blend the cashews, vanilla, coconut nectar and water together in Vitamix (or blender) on high until it becomes a creamy consistency. Add the coconut cream and cashews to a large bowl. Whisk together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Once the cookies are completely cool, pour the coffee into a shallow glass. Dip each lady finger cookie into the coffee. Start to layer the bottom of your dish with cookies, then cream and repeat. The top layer should be all cream with a layer of cacao powder. Add the cacao nibs for extra deliciousness if you’d like.

Homemade Oat Milk

oats

Making your own homemade oat milk is SO easy! All you need is a blender (I prefer Vitamix), a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, raw oats, and filtered water. I soak the oats for 30 minutes to remove the dust or any mold from shipping and handling, which also improves the nutritional value. Then drain the oats and use fresh filtered water to blend. Cheese cloth is great because you get so much in one package, it’s so versatile, and you can use it on a million things (making nut cheese, poaching fish, nut milks, straining seeds from fruit, and lots more.) However, I bought a nut milk bag and it is so much faster and easier to use the nut milk bag.

I use oat milk in so many things. I cook with it any time a recipe calls for milk and no one can ever tell the difference. I also use it in my smoothies to make them creamy. You can add it to coffee or tea, cereal, or just have a refreshing glass with ice.

The milk will stay fresh about 3-5 days in the refrigerator. I keep them in mason jars, since each jar is about 2 cups and this recipe makes 4 cups. I use two jars so the milk stays fresher for use later in the week.

Once you try homemade oat milk it will be almost impossible to drink store-bought milk again, which is pumped with artificial crap to keep it fresh on the shelves. The sad part is that a typical consumer would have no idea about what is inside of store bought oat milk or that it’s actually bad for you. The toxic ingredients found in oat milk stress your immune system and weaken your health. The ingredients in commercial oat milk may include added sugars, high sodium, inflammatory oils, carrageenan and xanthan gum. But the worst thing about store-purchased oat milk is it usually doesn’t even contain much oats!

In light of this, I suggest making your own nutritious and delicious oat milk. And the great part is, it’s really easy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw oats
  • 2 cups water, for soaking
  • 4 cups cold filtered water, for blending
  • High power blender (I prefer Vitamix)
  • Nut Milk Bag or Cheesecloth

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the oats in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain the nuts and rinse. Blend 1 cup of oats and 4 cups of cold water on high for 2 minutes. Pour the oat mixture into the cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Squeeze out excess milk. Pour into mason jars or a milk jug. Save the leftover oat meal for future recipes.

You can do this by heating the oat meal at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Make sure to mix the oat meal frequently while baking to dehydrate the water from making the milk. Use Chef V’s Oat Milk right away or store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.

You can add some oat milk to your Green Drink to make it a little creamy. Yum!

Protein Powder: What you Need to Know before you Cleanse

protein powder

When you think of a juice cleanse or detox diet, does protein come to mind? If not, it should. But not just any protein. In fact, many protein powders can be toxic to your health. Learn why you need protein if you’re cleansing and what kind is best for your body. Here’s what you need to know.

new protein shake

Doing a Cleanse? Why Protein Powder is important

All animals must eat protein every day to survive. Us wild human animals included. Now I’m not saying you need to eat a 72-ounce T-bone steak every day for health. I’d feel very sorry for your colon if you did that.

You don’t even need a small bite of filet mignon every day. In fact, there’s no proof that you need animal protein for optimal health. Any natural vegan protein will do, including nuts and seeds.

Here’s a fun nutrition fact to chew on: the human body can’t live more than 70 days without eating any protein. Give or take a day. I haven’t personally tested this theory. And I don’t recommend you try either.

But if you’re reading this because you’re researching the best juice cleanse, there’s a very good chance you’re going to kill yourself just a little bit. And thanks to me, I’m going to save you from that. I’ll explain how in just a sec….

You see, if you go ultra low carb like the keto diet, no problem. Some of that dietary fat you’re feasting on will be converted into glucose (sugar) for your brain to feed on. Even protein can be converted into glucose. If you eat that 72-ounce steak, there’s a good possibility some of the cow meat will turn into sugar and get stored as fat.

But your body can’t store excess protein. It also can’t make protein from carbs or fats or anything else. That’s why you need to eat protein everyday for optimal health.

Your lean muscle tissue, hair, skin, and nails all need adequate protein to look healthy.

So if you’re checking out some different cleanse or detox diet options out there, here’s the big problem with them….

Most cleanse programs contain zero protein. Instead, all juice detoxes are is a slick marketing trick for selling you fruit juice with loads of sugar. That’s the opposite of cleansing! (Compare my cleanse program to popular juice cleanses here.)

Think how brittle your hair and nails will look after going several days without protein.

Some people think that it’s not good to have protein during a cleanse. Why? They assume it’s bad for the digestive system. Well, in a way, that’s true. But only if it’s processed meat or unhealthy protein powder.

I’m here to steer you in a healthy direction and recommend a protein powder to take while doing a cleanse.

protein burger

Vegan Protein Powder For Cleansing

Multi-colored, attractive bottles of juice may be effective for marketing. But they’re not good for health. You see, many commercial juice cleanse programs include about a half dozen different kinds of juice, each a different color of the rainbow. But each containing 20 grams or more of sugar and zero protein.

As far as I’m concerned (as a certified nutritional therapist), you need just one color of juice: green. Green-leafy vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods and play a critical part in the body’s detoxification process. But even my cold-blended Organic Green Drinks don’t have any protein.

That’s why several years ago, I brainstormed on a protein powder that would be healthy for everybody, including people doing a cleanse. The result is my Organic Vegan Protein Shake. With 17 grams of high-absorbance pea protein per packet, brittle nails don’t stand a chance.

You’ll have to trust me (or the 5-star reviews on Yelp) that the shake tastes great. How does it taste good without adding gobs of sugar? My recipe uses organic vanilla powder, stevia, and monk fruit extract. Stevia and monk fruit are natural, calorie-free sweeteners.

Pea protein has become more popular. When I decided to use pea protein a few years ago, I never thought it would be just as effective for the weightlifting community. But check it out. This study shows that it produces the same increase in muscle thickness as whey protein.

There are a couple reasons I don’t use whey in my Protein Shake for my cleanse programs. First, many whey protein powders are contaminated with heavy metals. (Says this Harvard research report.) And also, whey protein is not good for people with lactose intolerance. True, I could have used whey protein isolate, which contains close to zero lactose, but I just don’t trust how whey is manufactured. And I don’t think it’s good for cleansing overall.

What About Soy Protein Powder For Cleansing?

Some people are concerned about soy protein’s effect on women. This is because soy is a phytoestrogen, and if the body has too much estrogen absorbed, it could produce a hormonal cancer such as breast cancer.

Thus far, there are no studies linking soy protein powder to breast cancer. However, I do believe that processed soy is not good for health. Also, I think there is something to the too much estrogen theory. After all, it’s not just the food supply from soybeans that causes estrogen dominance, it’s all the plastics and everyday cleaners that can mimic the effects of estrogen.

50% off Chef V Cleanse

Muscle Heads

You don’t need to buy one of those huge tubs of protein powders that huge weightlifters buy for bulging biceps.

If you’re not doing a cleanse, I really don’t think you need any protein powder at all. But if you are going to do a cleanse, you absolutely do need some protein if you don’t want your muscles to waste away and your immune system to get weak.

Dietary protein plays a major role in virtually every thing that happens in your cells. And not only that, protein helps you feel full. If you go even a few days without it, just having juice will make your blood sugars go up and down. You’ll get tired and cranky.

Look, even if you don’t choose one of my cleanses, I do highly encourage you to consume a little high-quality vegan-protein every day (hemp and brown rice are also good choices).

A little protein every day goes a long way for health.

Best wishes and to your health,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

Chef V Tropical Smoothie

Chef V’s tip: Mangos contain tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid, which help maintain the alkaline balance of our bodies. Use my Tropical Green Drink as the base for this recipe for a cool, refreshing smoothie.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 2 cups Chef V Tropical Smoothie Green Drink
  • 1/2 cup ice

Directions

Process all ingredients in a Vitamix for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

Bon Appétit!

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

Easiest Way To Be Eco Friendly: Power Yourself by Plants!

vegtable protein sources

Even if you drive a gas-guzzling car, crank up the A/C in the summer and heat in the winter, you can still do your part to tread more lightly on the Earth. Learn how easy it is to be more eco friendly….

Power Yourself with Plants: Plant Powered Proteins

The easiest thing you can do to tread more lightly on the Earth is eat less meat.

Did you know that over 30% of the Earth’s landmass is being used livestock (meat- and dairy-producing animals.) Nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of meat every now and then if it’s grass-fed, organic and humanely-raised.

However, for me, that’s a rare treat. Especially knowing that almost 10 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere is because of feeding and caring for livestock.

Ten percent might not sound high, but here’s the problem: Livestock accounts for a shockingly-high amount of harmful greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are chiefly responsible for global warming. Feeding and taking care of domesticated animals that eventually turn up on our dinner plate generates about 65 percent of nitrous oxide (N20). What’s the difference between N20 and CO2?

cattle in stockyard

Nitrous oxide has the potential to warm up the planet 300 more times than CO2.

Also, all those animals grazing and pooping uses a lot of water and takes up land that could otherwise be used for public open spaces.

My intention isn’t to freak you out about global warming nor is it to convert you to vegetarianism.

Rather, my intention is to let you know how easy it is to be more eco friendly simply by eating less meat. Do you eat meat three times a day? Cut down to twice a day. If you eat meat three times a week, see how you do eating it just once or twice a week.

protein burger

And now that there are so many delicious plant-based meat alternatives it’s really easy to have less of a carbon footprint. In fact, if you’re already vegetarian or vegan, let your friends and family know about the delicious brands of plant protein burgers. Bring a package of Beyond Meat’s “Beyond Burger” to the next barbecue you go to.

While it’s true that Beyond Burger is a little on the pricey side, it’s a fraction of the cost of what you’ll have to pay should you God-forbid develop a chronic illness.

That’s not to say that vegetarians don’t develop chronic disease, but there’s no denying the fact that eating lots of meat puts you at more risk for developing certain cancers like colorectal. (This is especially true if you’re eating lots of red, processed meat like bacon, as well as deli meats with nitrites and nitrates.)

In addition to yummy pea protein burgers, you can also boost your plant-protein intake with hemp protein, which is one of the plant-powered proteins for my Organic Protein Shake recipe, which you get when you do one of my Cleanses.

Chef V protein shake

Reduce Water and Plastic Usage

Reducing the amount of water you use is another way to be more eco friendly. Try to reduce the time you’re in the shower by one minute. Set a timer on your phone to let you know when time’s up.

Another way to cut down on the amount of water you’re using while showering is by installing a low-flow showerhead.  If you own a home, the incentive to be more eco friendly will be worth it. That’s because low-flow showerheads will result in a lower water bill.

Also, if you’re still using plastic water bottles, get with the program and use stainless steel water bottles. If you’re using plastic because the water at your home doesn’t taste good, spend the money on a good water filter for your sink. Or you can buy one of those water filter pitchers.

The overwhelming majority of plastic water bottles end up in garbage landfills. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of commercial water bottles end up in landfills. Every time you toss a water bottle in the trash, keep in mind that it’ll take up to 1,000 years for it to decompose. And in the meantime, the bottle will be leaking harmful chemicals into the environment.

You can easily do your part to reduce the amount of plastic that’s discarded into landfills. Just say no to plastic water bottles. We offer a glass option for our weekly Chef V plan delivery (not available for shipping at this time), just email customer service to make the switch.

When I travel by plane, I bring my own water bottle and fill it up at the airport. They always have water stations or if not a restaurant will fill it for you.

water bottle

Ditching The Dairy Is Eco Friendly

As I mentioned above, livestock (think: cows) require an enormous amount of land, feed and water. And the methane gas from their back ends is a major contributor to greenhouse gas. In fact, methane is 85 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. That’s right, cow farts and poop are bad. Real bad. (And it’s worse than we thought, according to this Forbes article.)

So in addition to cutting down on meat, it’s eco friendly to ditch dairy, too. But if you can’t stand the thought of not having your milk and cookies, there’s plenty of healthy plant-based “mylks” out there. For example, try my recipe for almond milk. I add almond milk to Golden Milk, which is one of the healthiest, most delicious drinks on the planet.

I realize some people can’t do without cheese. Having a picnic in a field with some red wine and slices of delicious Manchego (a variety of sheep cheese) is heavenly. I get that. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat huge wedges of cheese every day. I’m not saying you need to give up cheese completely. Just as with meat consumption, try to reduce the amount of conventional dairy you eat. The cows are still going to be farting away in the fields. But the less demand for cheese and dairy overall, the less the livestock will need to be fed.

Brandon and Veronica

Other Easy Ways to Be More Eco Friendly

Just cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy you eat as well as the amount of water you use are impactful ways you can more eco friendly. Doing so makes a huge difference.

And other ways you can easily reduce your carbon footprint include:

  • Keeping canvas bags in your trunk to use everytime you go to the supermarket or farmer’s markets. You can also bring them into restaurants when you’re getting take-out.
  • Speaking of restaurants, buy some Pyrex containers and use them for leftovers.
  • Use organic sunscreen. Conventional sunscreen is partly responsible for killing coral reefs.
  • Don’t use paper towels. Instead, use cloth hand towels to wipe your face and hands.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water.
  • Replace old lightbulbs with more energy-efficient LED lights.

Pretty simple, right? You don’t have to feel pressured to make these changes all at once. Adopt one recommendation at a time if that works better for you. Even making one of these changes will make a significant difference. It might not seem like much but every bit helps.

Love,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

Chef V Raw Mayonnaise

Sometimes you just need a luscious rich tasting spread – so I created this cashew-based mayo. Easy to prepare, you can use it in dressings, dips, on a sandwich, anywhere you want that mayonnaise experience – only healthier. – Veronica

raw mayonaise

TOTAL 10 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, washed and drained (pre-soaked 1 hour)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. organic sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. raw coconut sugar

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

Beet-It Smoothie

Go red! Research has shown that red fruits and vegetables such as beets and raspberries are nutritional superheroes. So drink up! – Veronica

ginger apple berry smoothie

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup organic raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup diced organic red beet, raw & skinned
  • 1 piece organic red chard
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
  • Optional 1 serving of vegan protein powder (hemp, pea, or brown rice)

Directions

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

Eating For Your Blood Type: Does The Blood Type Diet Work?

blood typing

Eating right for your blood type. I’ve always been so intrigued. I recently found out I’m type A+ and my husband, Brandon is O+.

So from now on, should my food shopping ritual be different? Should I fill half the cart with A-friendly food while the other half will be O-centric?

(The polarity [+/-] of the blood type doesn’t really matter when it comes to dieting.)

According to the blood type diet, I should be eating lots of vegetarian-friendly food. As somebody who eats a 99% plant-based diet, I would have no problem eating for my particular blood type.

But what about Brandon? Should he go on a hunting trip and shoot some wild game? Type O’s should eat basically a Paleo diet: high in lean animal protein with a minimal amount of grains.

When Brandon and I go out to dinner, we usually share a couple of entrees. But if we’re both following the blood type diet does that mean we can no longer share food?

birds sharing food

While I always believe in really listening to what your body is telling you and following the 85/15 rule—consume at least 85% of your calories be from clean, organic, unprocessed or minimally-processed plant-based foods—I wanted to dive a little deeper into the blood type diet and see if I should be sticking to it 100% of the time.

Here’s what I found…

Each of the four main blood types comes with its own preset dispositions to lots of different physical characteristics. For example, the risk of developing a chronic disease, how much stomach acid your gut produces and the composition of your gut microbiome may be, at least in part, predicated on your blood type.

In fact, a study published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said the risk of cardiovascular disease is lower in individuals with blood type O and increased in individuals with blood type A, compared with those in other blood groups.

So should I be freaking out that I’m more at risk of dying from a heart attack because I’m type A? Meanwhile, Brandon gets to enjoy playing caveman and worrying less about croaking from a heart attack because he’s type O. And is having a higher risk of developing heart disease the reason why type A’s like myself should be predominantly vegan?

(“B” blood types can get away with eating dairy while A/B can eat a more varied diet.)

To answer the first question, no I definitely shouldn’t worry about cardiovascular disease just because I’m type A. Especially not if I’m following my 85/15 rule and managing stress through yoga and meditation.

To answer the second question, whether or not type A’s should follow a blood type diet, here’s what the researchers from the study above concluded…

The study participants were asked to follow a low-fat vegan diet and attend weekly educational classes to help them stick to the blood type A diet.

But the researchers discovered that the participants’ body weight, body fat, triglycerides or blood sugar was not affected by specifically following the blood type diet.

Instead, the participants’ health improved just because they were eating a healthier diet to begin with.

vegan vegetables

Where Did The Blood Type Diet Come From?

A naturopathic doctor named Paul D’Adamo popularized the diet in the west. His book, The Blood Type Diet “Eat Right For Your Type” was published in the mid-90s and remains popular to this day.

D’Adamo claims in his book that the diet is based on a plethora of scientific evidence. But the truth is, for the most part, research studies do not support the blood type diet.

Without doubt, there’s a lot of people who have followed the blood type diet and claim that it has significantly improved their health. But again, was it really the specific diet or was it simply the fact that the Standard American Diet of heavily-processed food was replaced by generally healthy foods for all blood types?

In fairness to D’Adamo, in order to properly study whether or not the blood type diet works, you would need hundreds if not thousands of participants in a very well-designed clinical trial. But that takes a lot of time and money to pull off. And with no backing from a major university or pharmaceutical company, that kind of gold-standard research is unlikely to happen.

Another strong talking point for D’Adamo is that in some cultures, blood typing runs blood deep in the culture. Take Japan for instance. Known as ketsuekigata, the Japanese blood type theory does not so much apply to diet; in this homogenous society, the traditional Japanese diet applies to all four types. Instead, the four blood types rule apply to personality traits.

Blood type matching in Japan plays a big role in marriages. Even some job ads in the country list preferred blood types to fill available positions.

image below Photo by National Cancer Institute

woman in lab

Does The Blood Type Diet Work? Conclusion

There is some research that supports following the blood type diet to minimize the risk of developing certain health outcomes to which your specific type is genetically more susceptible.

For example, type O is more likely to develop stomach ulcers. So if you’re a type O and you eat a ton of grains, it may (or may not) make you more at risk for developing gastric problems.

If your blood type is A like mine is, and you eat a ton of animal protein, you may find yourself getting sick more often or even developing a chronic disease.

Likewise, if you’re type O like my husband, Brandon, and you’re eating a ton of dairy, the same scenario could occur.

Does that mean if you are type AB, which has more flexibility, you can get away with eating whatever you want?

No. The takeaway is that everybody regardless of blood type should be eating adequate amounts of low-sugar fruit and lots of low-starch, nutrient-dense plants.

And if you need to get more antioxidants in your diet the easy way, check out my Organic Green Drink delivery plan.

But there’s no harm in trying the blood type diet. Do it for a month or so. And if you feel better, then try sticking to it.

Chef V and kale

Grilled Artichokes with Two Sauces

Grilled artichokes, precooked and finished at the picnic. They’ll love these on the barbecue. Serve with my two vegan sauces:  Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise, and  Vegan Herb Aioli.

grilled artichokes

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 1 large fresh artichoke
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a stockpot.

Trim the thorns from the artichoke leaves with scissors. Cut the artichoke in half vertically and remove the fuzzy center. To the boiling water, added the artichoke, garlic, and onion. Boil, covered, for 45 minutes – one hour, or until the leaves pull out easily. Transfer the artichoke halves to a paper towel cut side down or drain the water.

Heat a grill or grill pan. Place the artichokes cut side down on the hot grill or grill pan and char for 2 to 3 minutes, until you get good grill marks. This will add a nice smokiness. Plate the artichoke halves cut side up. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and vinegar, drizzle over the artichoke, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and serve with Vegan Herb Aioli or Raw Horseradish Mayo.

Vegan Herb Aioli

Aioli, a traditional Mediterranean sauce, is just right for dipping veggies or drizzling over toasted baguette. It makes a delicious accompaniment to my Grilled Artichokes. – Veronica

vegan herb aioli

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, washed and drained (pre-soaked 1 hour)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. organic sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. raw coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise

Sometimes you just need a luscious rich tasting spread – so I created this cashew-based mayo. Easy to prepare, you can use it in dressings, dips, on a sandwich, anywhere you want that mayonnaise experience – only healthier. Add raw horseradish to make a zippy dip for my Grilled Artichokes. – Veronica

raw horseradish mayonaise

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, washed and drained (pre-soaked 1 hour)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. organic sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

Grilled Mango Salad

My Grilled Mango Salad is perfect for a hot summer day. It combines the hearty flavor of black beans with the luscious richness of mangoes and avocado, all in a healthy salad, perfect before or after a Chef V Cleanse.

Chef V’s tip: Add grilled chicken or fish for more protein!   – Veronica

ginger apple berry smoothie

TOTAL 30 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4 People

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 mangos, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 4 cups mixed greens (use your fav!)
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled or 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup Chef V’s Cilantro Lime Dressing

Directions

Preheat a grill or grill pan on a stove over medium-high heat. Place the mango sliced on the grill rack or pan and cook for 1 minute, or until grill marks appear. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the grilled mango into smaller chunks.

Plate the greens and top with grilled mango, red onion, and black beans. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Ginger Apple Berry Smoothie

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

Antioxidants are substances that may prevent cell damage. Berries are great natural sources of antioxidants.

Enjoy this popular smoothie in the morning after your 16 oz. of Organic Green Drink.

ginger apple berry smoothie

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • ½ Fuji apple
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 2 small pieces organic red chard
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced (I use a garlic presser)
  • 1 cup ice
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • Optional: 1 serving of vegan protein powder (hemp, pea, or brown rice)

Directions

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

Super Antioxidant Smoothie

Antioxidants are substances that may prevent cell damage. Berries, kale, and beets are great natural sources of antioxidants. Enjoy ihis super antioxidant smoothie 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 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup organic raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup diced organic red beet, raw
  • 2 pieces of organic green kale
  • ½ cup ice
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 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!

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!

Morning Mojito Smoothie

Keep it up! After you cleanse, it is important to maintain healthy habits – have 16 oz. of Chef V’s Organic Green Drink first thing in the morning, then followup with a healthy smoothie. 

sweet potato bunnies

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • ½ cup ice 2 cups organic spinach
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen pineapple (skinned and chopped)
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 5-10 mint leaves (depending on how minty you like it!)
  • 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!

Sweet Potato Bunnies

Check out my cute little sweet potato bunnies! They are so cute and can be seasoned sweet or savory!

sweet potato bunnies

TOTAL 1 hour

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Person

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow sweet potato
  • 1 orange sweet potato
  • 1 purple sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Bunny Cookie Cutter
  • Sweet Topping
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • Savory Topping
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. red chili flake

Veronica shows off her sweet potato bunnies

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the sweet potatoes thin and lengthwise. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet, sprayed with coconut oil.

Brush the tops of the sweet potato with coconut oil. Drizzle half the bunnies with the sweet seasoning and half the bunnies with the savory. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Using a bunny cookie cutter, cut bunny shapes from the sweet potato. You can replace in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up more or just serve on a plate and enjoy these little bunnies!

Add apples, pineapple, walnuts and coconut shreds. Mix well. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

sweet potato prep

Vegan Ambrosia Salad from Chef V

Ambrosia salad is to die for Yum but also you might die from the ingredients! Yikes! Sugar on sugar on sugar! Oh wait, a little cream too! So, I’ve decided to remix this classic and make a yummy, healthy and vegan ambrosia salad.

vegan ambrosia salad

TOTAL: 2 hours

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 different apples, diced (I choose one green and one honey crisp)
  • 2 cups pineapple, diced
  • 2 cups coconut cream or 2 cans coconut milk (Trader Joe’s has the cream)
  • 2 tbsp. raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean or vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts

Directions

Refrigerate the coconut cream overnight. If you don’t have coconut cream you can use canned coconut milk, you will just need two cans. For coconut milk, not cream, refrigerate the cans and when you remove, be careful not to shake the can as the cream is at the top. Carefully open the can and scrape out the cream from the top, the milky water will be at bottom. Don’t worry if you get a little bit of watery milk in cream just try to avoid it and get all cream. If you found coconut cream, you don’t have to do that step. You do need to refrigerate but just remove the cream in a bowl. Add coconut nectar and vanilla to cream and whip for 1-2 minutes.

Add apples, pineapple, walnuts and coconut shreds. Mix well. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Vegan Gravy

There’s nothing better than homemade comfort food during the holiday season. Gatherings at home with friends and family sharing home cooked meals on these cold winter nights is one of our favorite things. .

Impress family and friends with my easy-to-make healthy gravy recipe as the finishing touch to your meal. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or simply a healthy eater, holiday meals don’t need to feel stressful. Instead, enjoy delicious meals without regret and be thankful you made the right decision! – Veronica

vegan gravy

TOTAL 1 hour

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Person

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. gluten-free flour (I like Bob Red Mills brand)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock

Directions

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium-high. Add yellow onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are translucent. Reduce the heat to low and mix in the gluten-free flour with the onions. Slowly add the vegetable broth and continue to stir until the gravy becomes thick. Add more flour to thicken and add more broth to thin. Serve over any of your favorite sides in place of regular gravy this year.

Raw Caramel Cheesecake

This is my interpretation of a New York cheesecake. I’ve swapped the traditional cream cheese for a delicious mixture of cashews, coconut, and vanilla. You will need to make this cake in 2 steps, and give yourself 24 hours to complete it, since you will need to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight and will need freezing time for the cake as well. First make the crust and the “cheese” layers. ONce those steps are complete, place the cake in the freezer for four hours or more. The final step is to make the topping and pour it over the chilled cake. You can serve the cake immediately or refrigerate it for up to a week. But I recommend eating it now!

Serve this to the most finicky eater and watch them become a raw food convert!  – Veronica

creamy broccoli soup

TOTAL: 1/2HR

Soak Time: overnight 
Prep Time: 45 min
Freezer Time: 3 hours

Serving Size: 6 People

Ingredients

  • Crust Ingredients:

    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 1 cup pre-soaked pitted dates (soaked in water overnight)
    • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract

    Cheesecake Layer Ingredients:

    • 3 cups pre-soaked cashews (soaked in water overnight)
    • 1⁄4 cup organic coconut oil
    • 1⁄4 cup coconut nectar
    • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
    • Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon

    Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

    • 1 cup pre-soaked pitted dates (soaked in water overnight)
    • 3 tbsp. coconut nectar
    • 2 tbsp natural almond butter
    • 1/4 tsp. organic sea salt
    • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

 

Things you will need:

8-inch spring-form pan (bake-ware that sides can be removed
Coconut oil cooking spray (or cold pressed olive oil spray)

Directions:

Soak dates in water overnight. Soak cashews in water overnight. Add all crust ingredients to your vitamix and pulse until blended with still some nutty texture. Spray an 8-inch spring-form pan with healthy non-stick cooking oil.

Spread the crust evenly to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Add the cheesecake layer ingredients to your food processor and blend until completely smooth (scrape down the sides to get all the ingredients). Spread evenly over your crust.

Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Place your Caramel Sauce ingredients into your food processor and blend until completely smooth (scrape down the sides to get all the ingredients).

Remove cheesecake from the freezer. Place the cheesecake on a serving pan.

Remove spring-form sides. Spread the caramel sauce evenly over the cheesecake. Cut into slices, serve and bon appetit!

Chef V Ranch Dressing

Total: 10 Min

Prep: 10 Min

Serving Size: 2-4 people

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Chef V Raw Mayo (recipe HERE)
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup unsweetened almond milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix or blend all of the ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill before serving.

My Ranch Dressing is a great dip for watching football! Made with vegan mayo and almond milk, it is healthy and delicious.

Vegan Moussaka

Chef V's Tip: For a vegan version, replace ground lamb with 3 cups of minced mushrooms.

buffalo cauliflower

TOTAL: 1HR 25 Min

Prep Time: 40 Min
Cook Time: 45 Min

Serving Size: 4 People

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil, divide use
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk, room temperature (see recipe)
  • 3/4 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds, divided use
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise like lasagna noodles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 6×6-inch backing dish with coconut oil sprat. Set aside.

    In a non-stick skillet, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of oil for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and lamb (and/or mushrooms). Sauté for 3 more minutes, until the lamb is cooked and mushrooms are soft but still have texture. Set aside.

    Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan over the medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk until it is completely incorporated. Let the flour cook for 1 more minute. Slowly whisk in the almond milk and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of shreds and whisk until completely melted. Add veggie broth, rosemary, nutmeg, sea salt, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

    Assemble the moussaka in the prepared baking dish:

    1.  Cover the bottom with a layer of zucchini slices.
    2. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella shreds.
    3. Top with lamb and/or mushroom mixture.
    4. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella shreds.
    5. Cover with a layer of zucchini slices
    6. Top with sauce.

    Bake for 45 minutes or until the sauce is golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Easy Homemade Almond Milk

Making your own almond milk is SO easy! All you need is a blender (I prefer Vitamix), a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, raw almonds, and filtered water. I soak the nuts for 24 hours to remove the dust or any mold from shipping and handling, which also improves the nutritional value. Then drain the nuts and use fresh filtered water to blend. Cheese cloth is great because you get so much in one package, it’s so versatile, and you can use it on a million things (making nut cheese, poaching fish, nut milks, straining seeds from fruit, and lots more.) However, I bought a nut milk bag and it is so much faster and easier to use the nut milk bag.

I use almond milk in so many things. I cook with it any time a recipe calls for milk and no one can ever tell the difference. I also use it in my smoothies to make them creamy. You can add it to coffee or tea, cereal, or just have a refreshing glass with ice.

The milk will stay fresh about 3-5 days in the refrigerator. I keep them in mason jars, since each jar is about 2 cups and this recipe makes 4 cups. I use two jars so the milk stays fresher for use later in the week.

Once you try homemade almond milk it will be almost impossible to drink store-bought milk again, which is pumped with artificial crap to keep it fresh on the shelves. The sad part is that a typical consumer would have no idea about what is inside of store bought almond milk or that it’s actually bad for you. The toxic ingredients found in almond milk stress your immune system and weaken your health. The ingredients are also misleading and include words such as Vitamin A Palmitate, which can cause birth defects and bone fractures. Vitamin D2, which if taken in excess, can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, muscle weakness and bone pain. But the worst thing about store-purchased almond milk is it usually doesn’t even contain much almonds!

In light of this, I suggest making your own nutritious and delicious almond milk. And the great part is, it’s really easy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups water, for soaking
  • 4 cups cold filtered water, for blending
  • High power blender (I prefer Vitamix)
  • Nut Milk Bag or Cheesecloth

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the almonds in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain the nuts and rinse. Blend 1 cup of almonds and 4 cups of cold water on high for 2 minutes. Pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Squeeze out excess milk. Pour into mason jars or a milk jug. Save the leftover almond meal for future recipes.

You can do this by heating the almond meal at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Make sure to mix the almond meal frequently while baking to dehydrate the water from making the milk. Use Chef V’s Almond Milk right away or store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

You can add some almond milk to your Green Drink to make it a little creamy. Yum!

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