Tag: Veronica Wheat

Peaches & Cream Smoothie

Recently it was National Smoothie Day and National Peaches and Cream day so you know we had to make up a healthy Peaches and Cream Smoothie.

peaches & cream smoothie

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup organic cashews
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla pea protein
  • 1 dash of cinnamon (trust me!)
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

Blend the cashews with the water for one minute. Then add peaches and the rest of ingredients and blend for 1 minute.

Pour and enjoy. This recipe is perfect anytime this summer.

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.

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.

Green Soup with Lemon Basil Pesto

Green veggies are central to this recipe, full of vitamins. Cannellini beans add fiber and richness. A lovely soup for celebrating the end of winter, the bounty of summer crops, or anytime you crave something super fresh and seasonal.

green soup

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup leeks, thinly slicec
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 7 thyme sprigs, divide use
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

BASIL PESTO

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons cold-pressed olive oil

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks, garlic, and sea salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the stock, water, and 3 thyme sprigs.

Cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the peas, green beans, and cannellini beans. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the spinach.

Make the basil pesto sauce. Process all of the pesto ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth.

Ladle the soup into 4 bowls. Top each with the pesto and thyme sprigs and serve.

Creamy Berry Parfait

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.

creamy berry parfait

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4 people

Ingredients

Nut Mix

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 raw sunflower seeds
1/4 raw flaxseeds

Raw Cashew Vanilla Cream

1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
1/4 to 1/2 filtered water
1 tablespoon raw coconut
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

Berries

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions

Combine all the nut mix ingredients in a bowl. Next, process the Raw Cashew Vanilla Cream ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth and creamy.
To serve, assemble the parfait in a mason jar or clear glass:
Step 1 : Place 1/2 of nuts on the bottom;
Step 2: Sprinkle 1/2 of the berries over the nuts;
Step 3: Spoon the cashew cream over the top;
Step 4: Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the cream;
Step 5: Garnish with remaining berries.
For easy breakfast planning, my Raw Cashew Vanilla Cream recipe can easily be doubled and will keep for up to a week refrigerated.

Veronica Wheat: Chef V’s Rising Media Star

Veronica Wheat, Chef V

10 Years & Thousands of Green Drinks

The “V” in Chef V usually stands for Veronica, after Veronica Wheat Kress, the entrepreneurial force behind the nation’s first and largest Organic Green Drink and Cleanse delivery program, ChefV.com. 

But after helping thousands of customers easily cleanse their systems and feel healthier, the “V” now stands for visibility—high visibility, that is. 

Having just celebrated a decade in business, “V” as she likes to be called, has positioned herself as an industry thought leader. She’s been featured in numerous interviews, won awards and recently launched her own cooking video series on YouTube. 

Expect to hear, read and see more from Chef V in the future. In the meantime, we thought we’d take a look at some of V’s media highlights over the last few years.

Chef V Featured On Good Morning LALALand

Good Morning LALA Land, is the nation’s first live-streaming daily talk show. Filmed in Los Angeles (aka LaLa Land), the show has received well over 100 million impressions and our own Chef V had the incredible opportunity to showcase her cookbook/healthy living hardcover, “Making Cleansing Easy.”

Not to give the whole segment away, in case you want to watch the 5-minute interview, but V talks about the origins of starting the nation’s first Green Drink delivery business. 

Before launching Chef V, V got her start as a private chef in San Diego. V describes how she literally forced her clients to drink her homemade Green Drink to get an “influx of nutrients” before eating a meal. Demand quickly grew and the rest as they say is herstory. 

Watch V kill it on LaLa Land  

Best Juice Cleanse in New York Winner: Chef V

WLNY/Channel 2 New York, NY, a CBS News affiliate, listed Chef V as “Best Juice Cleanses in New York,” stating,

“Chef V offers a three-, five- and seven-day cleanse, a combination of juices and shakes. Everything is totally vegan, certified organic and gluten-free. Serious cleansers might want to check out the 21-day detox, a veritable master plan to get your health on track, combining sensible meals with the signature Green Drink and protein shakes. The aforementioned Green Drink packs—count ‘em—seven greens and apples into the bottle, practically guaranteed to boost your immune system and your spirit.”

Veronica Wheat  Expands Chef V Operations On The East Coast

In 2018, V expanded her East Coast operations, which for the previous five years was located in NYC. Outgrowing the NYC facility, V opened both a larger warehouse as well as a brick-and-mortar cafe/juice bar in New Jersey to better serve her customers on the East Coast. 

The borough of Essex Fells, NJ is located right next to West Caldwell, home of Chef V’s cafe. Essex Fells Magazine featured Veronica in the publication’s Feb. 2021 issue, writing that shortly after her arrival to the township, “All the Caldwells went crazy with excitement over this super healthy organic product right around the corner from home.”

Read the article here.

Best-Selling Author & Transformation Coach, Chuck Garcia

In the world of personal transformation experts, Chuck Garcia is literally at the top of the mountain. A professor, best-selling author, public speaker and mountain climber, Garcia has coached hundreds of clients, including Fortune 500 CEOs. One CEO Garcia recently interviewed was V. 

Garcia’s interview with Veronica Wheat focused on her leap of faith, scaling up a local meal delivery/private chef business and transforming it into her passion project, ChefV.com. 

Want more interviews with V? Check them out here

Get Cookin’ The Healthy Way With Chef V Life

Hey, when you’re a busy entrepreneur, taking the precious time to produce cooking videos is a luxury. But that’s just what V is committed to. Through her Chef V Life channel on YouTube, V will feature more quick healthy-meal planning tutorials as well as cleansing tips, interviews with customers and much more. 

Meet The Chef: Chef V’s Private Facebook Group

Chef V customers never feel like they’re alone and confused about how to stay healthy. The Chef V Community is a private facebook group personally curated by V, where customers’ questions and concerns are answered directly by V. Customers also share recipes, tips and success stories. 

Here’s to another 10 years of success. And most importantly to V, here’s to lots more people feeling healthier—for life.

Chef V: Cleansing from the Expert, Veronica Wheat

Chef V, Veronica Wheat, Interview

Doing a cleanse should be fun, easy and affordable. But many cleanses feel like torture. Sure, you might lose weight doing any cleanse on the market. But what happens shortly after the cleanse is over most of the time? That’s right … the weight you lost goes right back on. But doing a Chef V cleanse is different. And here to talk about how it’s different is none other than Veronica Wheat, Chef V herself.

Question: Veronica, how is a Chef V Cleanse Different Than Others on The Market?

Veronica: My Chef V cleanse is different from other cleanses in four ways:

#1: It’s certified organic.
#2: It’s very low in sugar and contains mostly all green veggies
#3: It contains adequate protein
#4: It teaches you both how to prepare for a cleanse and how to stay healthy long after the cleanse is over

As for the first point, we are one of the only cleanse programs that is a certified organic brand. This is something I am very proud of. Not only do my kitchen and production processes exceed the rigorous National Organic Program, everything we produce is made using locally grown organic produce and organic ingredients.

It is hard to cleanse your body if the produce you’re consuming contains pesticides. That’s why it is super important to me that the 7 green leafy veggies in our Green Drinks be certified organic. It is just better for your health. Also, as a nutritional therapist, I am always looking for ways to educate people about healthy living and the role that organics should play in our lives. To illustrate the importance of organics as the basis of a healthy diet, I developed my own organic food pyramid, detailing from top to bottom which organic foods we should eat and how much of each we should consume each day.

I strongly believe that we need to put the best organic foods into our bodies in order to get the best out of ourselves. And the fact that we’re a National Organic Program means our entire operation is protecting natural resources, maintaining biodiversity, and using the safest approved, non-genetically modified (non-GMO) ingredients.

Here’s what’s in my cleanse – watch the video:

Question: What do you mean by “low sugar”?

Veronica: Most cleanses on the market are simply juice cleanses. And many juice cleanses contain mostly fruit. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing on fruit here. As a nutritional therapist, I absolutely recommend consuming fruit every day. But 99% of the time, the only fruit you should be consuming is one serving of a whole fruit. Say a medium size apple. Or a handful or two of blueberries. That’s it. The problem with most juice cleanses is they contain far too much fruit sugar. Take the difference between a whole apple and apple juice, for example. A whole apple will contain less sugar and more fiber than apple juice.

But with a 3, 5, or 7-day Chef V Cleanse you get four 16-oz. servings a day of Green Drink, containing 7 Certified Organic green leafy veggies and just a tiny bit of apple for sweetness.

Consumer Reports recently published a report on green juices and my Green Drink exceeds the Consumer Reports expectations.

Question: Why are the veggies in the Organic Green Drink so important for cleansing?

Veronica: Dark leafy green vegetables — including collards, dandelion greens, parsley, chard, green leaf lettuce, and kale — are nutritional powerhouses for many reasons. They contain an abundance of phytonutrients and carotenoids. These are antioxidants that protect cells and play a key role in fighting and preventing diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

They also have high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other important vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens are great for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight thanks to being high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full and helps keep your blood sugar levels from spiking, leading to a more controlled appetite.

Doing a Chef V cleanse is a super easy way for my people to get more greens in their diets every day.

And I should also mention that the juices in most cleanses are pasteurized using high pressure and heat. This processing kills some of the nutritional properties of the veggies. But the 4 daily Green Drinks our Cleanse customers drink are raw and made in small batches from the freshest locally sourced organic greens. Plus, the Green Drinks are cold-blended. Cold-blending preserves the fiber and other nutrients in the green leafy veggies.

Question: So is cleansing as easy as drinking Green Drinks?

Veronica: Just as important as adding fresh greens to your life is ridding your body of all the bad stuff you’ve been pumping into it —particularly those highly processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and pollutants. Manufacturers have added so many artificial substances, and so much sodium, fat, and sugar to their pre-packaged and canned foods to try to make them palatable, but in the end, these things just harm our bodies. Many doctors believe, as do I, that there is a cancer-sugar connection, and it really is in your body’s best interest to really restrict the amount of added sugars in your diet.

And let me point back to third way that my cleanse is different … the fact that it has more than enough protein. You see, doing a cleanse becomes a challenge when the only nutrient is carbohydrates. Remember the fact that most cleanses are just juice, juice, and more juice? Well, juice, even if it’s 99% organic veggie juice is mostly all carbohydrate. If you go a few days or more denying your body protein, you may notice that your skin, hair and nails will become more brittle. You’ll also likely have energy fluctuations and as a result, you’ll become cranky. But my Cleanse also includes vegan-friendly Protein Shakes and Detox Soups, which provide more than enough protein to support your metabolism and muscles.

Chef V Cleanse

Question: What’s the best way to start a cleanse? Should you dive in the deep end?

Veronica: Not everyone should dive head first into one. I’ve had clients who’ve said: “I’m going to the drive-thru tonight, and then I’m starting my cleanse tomorrow.” But that’s a recipe for failure. People who start this way often wind up feeling sick during the cleanse and may even give up on it. Their bodies are full of toxins, so of course they feel bad.

What I’ve learned is that you should pre-cleanse first so that you can ease your body into the detoxification process and begin to open up your channels of elimination, especially the liver and colon. This is achieved through a period of healthful eating, and to make it easier for you, I have compiled a chart of cleanse-approved foods. You should stick to these foods for at least two days before you begin my organic cleanse. If you’re used to having a lot of sugar, coffee, or alcohol, you may need to take three to five days. For continued success, stick to these cleanse-approved foods for two days or more after your cleanse.

Check out Heather’s experience with a 21 day cleanse challenge in the video below:

Question: Do you practice what you preach?

Veronica: Absolutely. I start off each morning with 16 oz of Green Drink. And because I travel a lot, I don’t eat healthy 100% of the time.  So a couple times a year at least I myself will do a cleanse.

But on any given average day, I probably drink close to a half gallon of Green Drink a day. Whenever my body is craving something, I give it my organic green drink first, then listen to my body and see what it really wants. Sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I have a little green drink and voilà! I wasn’t really hungry, I just needed some greens.

Question: Anything else you’d like to add about your cleanse?

Veronica: I know consumers have a ton of choices and sifting through all the information can be a challenge. If you’re serious about doing a cleanse, and not only that, but having it be a health transformation, I encourage you to do as much research as you can. But I strongly believe that reading other people’s experiences about cleansing helps cut through the clutter and the bull…. So I invite anybody who is curious about doing my cleanse to read some of the reviews on Yelp. And also, if you have any questions whatsoever, do not hesitate to contact my super knowledgeable staff.

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.

Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

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

breakfast smootihe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tropical green drink or green drink (If not green drink use 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water 
  • 1 cup greens (spinach, kale, or chard)
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup ice 
  • 1 tbsp pea protein 

Directions

Blend in vitamix or blender for 1-2 minutes until thick and smooth but not watery. Top with 1/2 cup mixed fresh cut fruit of choice and gluten free granola.

Sweet Watermelon Crunch Salad

Chef V’s tip: To blanch the broccoli, bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the broccoli in for 1 minute, and then remove and cool with ice water. This will make it slightly softer without losing much of the nutritional value.

sweet watermelon crunch salad

TOTAL TIME: 15 min
SERVES: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3 cups chopped watermelon, seeded
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets, blanched and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
ZESTY DRESSING
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

Plate the greens with watermelon, pears, broccoli florets, and a sprinkling of pine nuts.

Combine the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

The Best Natural Probiotic (Hint: It’s Not Yogurt)

apple core

I recently talked about how important it is to have good gut health. Your gut plays such a huge role in your overall health. But in the article, what I didn’t really focus on was how to achieve a healthy gut. And we’re not talking about crunches so you can have chiseled, six-pack abs here. Rather, we’re talking about hosting a multitude of good bacteria and a diverse amount of different bacteria species inside your gastrointestinal tract (the microbiome). 

So what’s the easiest and best way to do that? In the article on gut health, I mentioned taking a probiotic. If you eat a low-fiber diet rich in processed (junk) food, then you should definitely be taking a high-quality probiotic. 

But there’s an even easier, and perhaps healthier way to achieve a healthier microbiome. It turns out that the best probiotic source is …. Wait for it … wait for it…..

Best natural source of probiotics

So, is the best way to get lots of friendly, diverse bacteria in your gut by eating lots of yogurt? How about kombucha? Or is the best source of probiotics some other fermented food like kimchi or sauerkraut or kvass? 

Turns out it’s none of these. 

An article in The Atlantic, which references a study in Frontiers of Microbiology, suggests that the single best natural source of probiotics is: an apple. 

The average apple, the study says, contains about 100 million bacteria. 

Now, after I read that fun fact, my first reaction, I’ll admit, was the following, “Big deal, my probiotic supplement contains 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units).” That’s right, my probiotic supplement, in just one tiny little capsule, contains almost 10,000% more bacteria than an apple. 

But here’s the thing. It turns out that eating the apple might be better for you than popping a pill. The reason why? For the same reason eating unprocessed whole foods (especially fruits and veggies) is better for you than vitamin supplements. 

Makes sense, right? After all, whole foods offer the whole puzzle of interlocking health pieces, from micronutrients, antioxidants, as well as fiber, which the good bacteria feed on. On the other hand, supplements, perhaps probiotic pills included, represent, only a few pieces of the total health puzzle. 

In other words, just like in many other aspects of life, it’s quality that usually matters, not quantity. The 100 million or so bacteria in the typical apple are comprised of a myriad of different types of bacteria. Compare that to the average probiotic supplement, which contains maybe a few different friendly microbe species.

Work On Your Core – Apple that is

Now, before you rush out to your local supermarket and stock up on apples, there is a catch. Approximately 90% of the bacteria in the apple is contained, not in the skin, or the juicy main part of the flesh, but in the core. 

If you’re like most people, you probably throw the core away. And when you do that, it’s like throwing away the world’s best probiotic pill down the toilet. 

So from now on, it’s all about the core. Eat the seeds, too. They actually contain a trace amount of the natural toxin, cyanide. But if you eat an apple or two a day, core included, it’ll still keep the doctor away. 

Do you struggle to get enough vegetables in your diet? If so, don’t feel bad. You’re in good company. Approximately 9 out of 10 people don’t eat enough veggies, especially green leafy ones, which most nutritionists (like myself) consider the healthiest kind. 

The good news is that if you’re not getting enough leafy greens in your diet or can’t stomach the thought of eating apple cores, I have an easy solution for you….

Organic Green Drinks (Core Included)

Chef V’s Organic Green Drink is the easiest way to get your full day supply–and then some–of dark, leafy greens veggies. Containing two kinds of kale; collard greens; green leaf lettuce; curly parsley; green chard, and dandelion greens, Organic Green Drink is raw and cold-blended. This means the fiber and micronutrients are preserved for optimal nutrition and, yes, gut health. Fresh produce, suggests The Atlantic article, might just be the best source of natural probiotics in general. (But that finding seems like a no-brainer in my opinion.)

And guess what else is in Chef V Organic Green Drink? That’s right … an apple! Core and all. 

For every 16 oz of Green Drink you consume, you’re gut benefits from hundreds of millions of good bacteria. And remember, it’s not just the quantity of good bacteria that matters, it’s the diversity. 

As Dr. James Hamblin, author of The Atlantic article on probiotics puts it, “Food is the main way that our gut biomes are populated throughout our lives, and microbe-rich foods [especially the 7 certified organic greens in my Green Drink] seem to be important to maintaining diversity.”

Best Source of Natural Good Bacteria: Conclusion

Remember, when it comes to eating apples, don’t think if you throw away the core that you’re still getting a decent amount of probiotics. In fact, it’s only by eating the core that you’ll get the same strains of bacteria that are sold in pricey probiotic pills.  

Eating a plethora of fresh produce every day supports the intricate interconnectedness of the immune and digestive systems. By eating a wide variety of fresh produce, we feed our gut microbes the fiber and sugars they need to support our health. We scratch the bugs’ back, they scratch ours. 

And whether you eat a huge fresh salad everyday or not, Chef V Organic Green Drink is the perfect way to gently wake up your digestive system in the morning, and gently cleanse your vital organs, and, of course, feed the friendly microbes in your gut.

Tropitaya Smoothie

One of the most popular smoothies (and one of my favorites) at our stores in New Jersey and San Diego, the Tropitaya Smoothie is so refreshing after a yoga class or to cool off on a hot day.

super smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen pitaya
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 1/4 cup mango
  • 1 large piece of kale or other nutritious green
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp pea protein

Directions

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

Yoga with Mom to Start Your Morning Together

yoga and green drink

Yoga is so good for you on so many different levels. It is one of the safest types of exercise you can suggest to family, and even the most out of shape friend can gently find a path to better health.

Whether your Mom practices yoga everyday or is a beginner, I’ve selected some poses for a healthy and fun start to Mother’s Day.

yoga - downward dog

DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

tree pose - virksasana

UPWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Inhale and press your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off the floor.  Hold for five slow breathes.

Upward dog stretches the chest and spine, strengthening wrists, arms and shoulders. It stimulated the abdominal organs and improves digestion. It firms the buttocks and thighs, helping to relieve sciatica. It energizes and rejuvenates, relieving fatigue and depression.

tree pose - virksasana

THREE LEGGED DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your
feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips
high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Lift one leg as your opposite leg stays on the mat. Straighten your arms and press your shoulders back. Move your elbows forward and push your chest closer to your feet. Keep your hands, arms, shoulders and hips in a line. Three legged downward dog has the same health advantages as downward dog, adding a leg stretching element for encouraging length in your spine and increases hip joint flexibility.

tree pose - virksasana

TREE POSE (VIRKSASANA)

Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

prayer pose

PRAYER TWIST

Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg.

Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you.

Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock.

Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side.

Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales.

The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.

supine spinal twist

SUPINE SPINAL TWIST

Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest.

Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales.

Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest.

With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!

Chef V yoga pose

Chef V Moms on Instagram

Spicy Golden Pumpkin Hummus

This treat is so yummy you can eat it with gluten free crackers, veggies, on a veggie sandwich. For a party or everyday, I know you’ll enjoy it. – Veronica

sweet watermelon crunch salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups Chef V’s Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 cup organic lime juice
  • 1/4 cup organic tahini
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp organic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

Directions

Blend all ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor. Slowly add the olive oil while blending low. Continue to blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving and serve cold. Bon Appetit! – Veronica

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

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.

Easter Bunny Juice from Chef V

Check out this yummy Easter Bunny Juice from Chef V! It’s so easy and the health benefits are amazing! It is blended not juiced to retain all of the beneficial fibers that boost your energy, speed up your metabolism, improve your skin and hair, and even our teeth.

I recommend this recipe for humans, big and small, but bunnies might actually like it too! Just kidding! I call it Bunny Juice because of the bright carrot orange color and flavor.

Have a happy and healthy Easter!

Love, Chef V

skinny shamrock smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots
  • ½ Fuji apple
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger (optional for kiddos!)
  • 4 cups of cold filtered water

Directions

Blend for 1-2 minutes on high in a Vitamix or high-pressure blender. Enjoy 8-16 oz. or save for up to 3 days in your refrigerator.

Variety – Recipes for Green Drink, Ultra Shake, & Detox Soups

I created the recipes (links to PDFs below) for people that might be on a seven day cleanse or might have been on the green drink for a long time and just need a little variety to mix it up. Here are easy do it yourself variations for my Green Drink, Ultra Shake, and Detox Soup.

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

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

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!

Fastest Way to Get into Ketosis – Chef V Cleanse

Cleansing for ketosis

Following a ketogenic (“Keto”) diet puts your body in a state of ketosis. That means your body is burning its stored body fat instead of blood sugar for energy. But getting into ketosis can take up to several weeks if you’re not doing it right. One of the easiest ways to get into ketosis is by doing a Chef V Cleanse. It’s so easy, you won’t have to count carbs…

So you’ve flirted with keto for the last few years. You’re thinking about it but haven’t pulled the low-carb trigger. I get it. Ditching grains and even some of your favorite veggies and fruits is tough. For many people, it takes an extraordinary amount of willpower to eat an ultra low carb diet. 

How low should you go if you’re going Keto, you may ask? 

Well, everybody is unique. Some people may go into ketosis after consistently keeping net carbs to roughly grams per day. But for other people, it may require being even more stingy with the carbs to the tune of 25 net grams per day. 

(Net carbs equals total grams of carbs minus fiber and/or sugar alcohol. Example: one cup of cooked pasta contains 42 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. So that’s 40 net grams of carbs — definitely way too much to get into or stay in ketosis!)

Maybe every year around the holidays or after a vacation, where you’ve put on a few pounds, you tell yourself this is going to be the year that you conquer Keto. 

But you don’t. 

Don’t blame yourself. Carbs not only taste great. They are literally addictive. In fact, according to Dr. William Davis, author of the best-selling book, “Wheat Belly” which was instrumental in launching gluten-free and Keto diets, “Wheat is addictive in the sense that, if you don’t have any for several hours, you start to get nervous, foggy, tremulous, and start desperately seeking out another ‘hit’ of crackers, bagels, or bread.”

So it’s not you, it’s the molecules.

keto

Easing Into Keto 

I’m not going to lie. Following the keto diet is really challenging at first. There’s the so-called dreaded “Keto flu.” 

That’s when your body basically has withdrawal symptoms and has to get used to burning fatty acids (ketone bodies) for its primary source of energy instead of all that circulating glucose. 

This phase can last a few days — just like a real flu virus.

It’s always a good idea to gradually phase into ketosis rather than quitting carbs cold turkey like smoking. Try to lower your net carb intake over a two-week period. This will help reduce Keto flu symptoms. 

Then, there's getting used to carb counting. But actually, with all the keto apps (not appetizers) these days, it’s easy to get used to. After a short while, you’ll learn the net carb counts of the foods you most often eat. 

Now, to be sure, even if you ditch gluten and everything else with tons of carbs, you can’t know if you’re in ketosis unless you test yourself. 

Many people use urine strips. But they’re not the most reliable. They are a good bellwether for people with diabetes. However, if you don’t have a blood sugar disorder, urine strips aren’t the best way to test. That’s because urine strips only measure excess ketones—not the level of fatty acids your body is using for fuel. 

Urine strips are cheap so it might not be a bad idea to start out with them. But the longer you stay in ketosis, the more your body will adapt. So you’ll need a more reliable way to test. Blood meters are the most accurate. They’re the most expensive way to test, but you get what you pay for. 

cleanse success

CHEF V’s CLEANSE: The Easy Way To Get Your Body Ready For Ketosis

A big reason why some people fail with Keto is they just don’t know how to get started. It’s too overwhelming. 

The easiest solution for taking all the guess work out is by doing one of my cleanses. The Chef V Cleanse home delivery program offers 1, 3 and 5 day options.  

On each day of the CLEANSE, you get:

  • 4 servings of Organic Green Drink
    7 Leafy Greens with only 5 net grams of carbs each
  • 2 Vegan Ultra Protein Shakes
    One Chocolate, One Vanilla; 2 grams net carbs each
  • Detox Soup
    1 high fiber soup for dinner; 2 flavors: Ginger Carrot (days 1, 3, 5) & Sweet Potato Curry (days 2 & 4)

Now, it would be misleading for me to say that the CHEF V CLEANSE is keto friendly. For some people, the net grams of carbs from the carrots or sweet potato in the DETOX SOUP, even though they are nutrient dense, would prevent ketosis. 

However, if you really want to try Keto, the CLEANSE is the best way to transition to a ketogenic diet. That’s because your net grams of carbs will still be under 100. Consider that the average American diet consists of over 300 grams of carbs per day. 

And you don’t have to be a certified nutritional therapist like myself to know that most Americans aren’t getting enough fiber. 

So let CHEF V do all the work for you. I’ll ship the cleanse right to your door and you won’t have to worry about counting carbs or figuring out what you should eat in order to transition into ketosis. 

LEARN MORE

a green drink a day can support your mood

MANLY Lamb Chops

When cooking for someone you love you want meals that are hearty and healthy.  Chef V makes this delicious go-to recipe when she needs a man pleasing meal.

This recipe will make a romantic meal that leaves you both feeling great!

When shopping for lamb, try to find local USDA-Certified Organic Lamb. More and more, farms offering organic meat are built around the well-being of the lamb. The animals are all born and raised on the same farm on a simple diet of grass and hay; free of steroids, antibiotics, and hormones.

manly lamb chops

REST TIME: 2 hours
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
SERVES: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 rack of lamb (Frenched*, 7-8 ribs each, 1.5- 2 lbs. total)
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Directions

Rub the rack of lamb with rosemary, thyme, garlic, and pepper. Place in a gallon plastic bag with olive oil and coat the lamb in olive oil. Close the bag tightly and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Bring the lamb out 2 hours ahead of time so that it can rest at room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make diagonal cuts or slivers along the fat on top about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover the exposed tip bones with foil to avoid burning. Cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees then lower the temp to 300 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Lamb should be cooked to rare or medium rare and then be removed and covered with foil.

Let the lamb sit for 15 minutes and rest to finish cooking through. Slice the lamb in-between the bones, cutting away from the bone. Serve with rice, potatoes, or anything else your Man desires!

*Most stores already sell the rack of lamb Frenched. This means the skin, meat, and fat have been removed between the tips of the rib bone, to make it look nicer and easier to eat.

Little Leprechaun Soup

Check out this delicious Meatless Monday recipe from Chef V. Perfect for this St. Patty’s day or anytime!

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL: 45 minutes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Person

Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp. organic coconut oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 shallots, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 quart of organic vegetable broth
    • 6 cups organic broccoli florets, chopped
    • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
    • ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • ½ cup pepitas for garnish (optional)

Directions

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. Add onions, shallots, and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add broth & broccoli and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the soup and pour into a blender. Add thyme, coconut milk, and cashews to blender. Blend until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Serve in a bowl and top with pepitas or garnish with extra thyme sprigs.

Green Goddess Hummus

I love hummus. Kids love hummus too! I eat hummus probably once a week. I like to make different flavors all the time. I love avocado hummus, bruschetta hummus, hummus with curry, and lots more. Your kids will love this healthy and delicious treat. – Veronica

This Green Goddess Hummus is amazing! It’s so full of flavor from the cilantro, chives, parsley, and lemon. It has the bright green festive coloring that kids love. Bring out the Green Goddess in you this holiday, or anytime.

This recipe is easy and it tastes delicious! Eat it with naan, veggies, gluten-free bread or pita chips. I love Stacy’s brand gluten free pita chips, they are the best. Enjoy!

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL: 15 min

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4 Person

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives
  • 2 cups garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp. tahini paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold pressed olive oil

Directions

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or food processor. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve with gluten free bread, carrots, cucumbers or anything else your little leprechaun desires.

Green Eggs & Pancakes

Thinking of something fun to do with the kids this year for St. Patrick’s Day? I’m sure your kids love having fun green foods that aren’t normally green like green eggs or pancakes. 

However, food coloring is so dangerous to your kids health. The primary colors blue, yellow, and red are used to make up all of food coloring. Blue and yellow make green, red and yellow make orange, and red and blue make purple. So before you reach for the green food coloring this St. Patty’s Day, know what you are about to feed your little leprechaun before doing so.

Blue No. 1 food coloring has been associated with cancer risk and in lab animals, cancerous tumors have grown after being exposed to Blue No. 1 (Natural-holistic-health.com). Blue No. 1 and 3 have also been linked to problems with male sterility.  Yellow No. 6 has been linked to problems in the adrenals and kidneys. When exposed to Yellow No. 5, people experience headaches, dizziness, anxiety, asthma and behavioral problems.

green pancakes

Green Eggs and Pancakes

In light of St. Patty’s Day, one of my clients told me about how she adds my Chef V Green Drink to her kids eggs  to make them Green. She also added the Green Drink to pancake mix instead of all water and the pancakes came out Green and yummy!

Just add 1 tbsp. of green drink per egg until you get the color consistency you want. The result will be fun green eggs and pancakes made from natural ingredients. Check out this video to follow along as I try making green eggs for the first time. Enjoy and have a happy St. Patty’s Day!

mixing green eggs

Alternatives to Food Coloring

My great natural alternatives to food coloring:

  • Red coloring extracted from beet juice or paprika
  • Purple coloring extracted from juice of the red cabbage
  • Lighter purple coloring extracted from blueberries
  • Green coloring extracted from spinach or Chef V Green Drink
  • Yellow coloring extracted from saffron or tumeric
Read More of This Article About Food Coloring Dangers Here: http://www.natural-holistic-health.com/dangers-artificial-food-coloring/

Skinny Shamrock Smoothie

Shamrock Smoothies are popular around St. Patrick’s Day.  However, they are typically not very healthy.

Here is my favorite version of a Shamrock Smoothie. It’s light, healthy, creamy and it tastes so good!

It’s also a low sugar smoothie. Stay skinny and look your best in green with this delicious recipe.

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL: 15 min

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • 1 small avocado (or ½ large avocado)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds

Directions

Blend all ingredients together in Vitamix or blender for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Serve in your favorite glass and garnish with a spinach leaf cut out like a shamrock.

A Green Drink A Day Can Support Your Mood: Research Proves

a green drink a day can support your mood

Warning: stay away from me today. I got a late start to the day, skipped my daily morning yoga routine and didn’t have my Green Drink as early as I usually do. I’m having one of those days. Yes, dear hubby, Brandon, I still love you but watch out. Don’t get too close. I may bite!

 Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels off when skipping a wellness routine. A green drink a day can support your mood. My long-time, trusted graphic designer, Jean, the one responsible for making the Chef V newsletter look like a fancy glossy magazine, told me she feels “down in the dumps” if she goes a couple days in a row without having her Green Drink. 

Well, Jean, that’s exactly why I created my Green Drink Plan, to ensure you’ll never run out! But I get it, even if you get GD delivered to your home, life can get intense and overwhelming and you can just forget the things that help you live a high-vibration life. It happens, we’re only human. 

And Jean’s certainly not the only customer that feels off when skipping GD for a few days. But what is it about the 7 green leafy veggies that after you drink it, makes you feel like you’re going to conquer the day? Do the greens serve as a catalyst for cellular energy? 

No doubt that leafy greens are beneficial for cellular health and energy. But there’s also research that shows these highly-nutrient dense ingredients support a healthy mood. 

a green drink a day can support your mood

Green Leafy Veggies For Mood

According to World Journal of Psychiatry, 12 nutrients are critical to the prevention and treatment of depressive orders: Folate, iron, omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc. 

The highest scoring plant foods (those with the most of the dozen nutrients) are leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. Lettuce and peppers also made the list.

Co-authors of the World Journal of Psychiatry study analyzed several foods for “Antidepressant nutritional density.” The results were tabulated in a scoring system called the “Antidepressant Food Score” or AFS. 

“The AFS is based on a nutrient profiling system devised to identify foods with the highest nutrient density of nutrients with clinical evidence to support their role in depressive disorders,” the researchers explained in the article. 

Could it be that the reason many customers feel like they’re on their A-game when they make Green Drink part of their daily routine is that the 7 ingredients are at the top of the AFS scoring system? 

That’s food for thought. Er, drink for thought…

Lettuces like green leaf lettuce, an ingredient in Organic Green Drink, has an AFS score of 74% to 99%. 

Green chard, another staple of GD, scores 90%. Parsley: 75%. Kale and collard greens score 62% and dandelion greens 43%. 

Now that’s not to say that 43% is a low score. Remember, all these ingredients in Green Drink rank at the top of the list for the best foods on the planet for supporting positivity. Evidence that a green drink a day can support your mood.

“The nutrients considered have been shown in human studies to be beneficial with regards to treatment or prevention of depressive disorders,” concluded the researchers.

a green drink a day can support your mood

Are You Eating (Or Drinking) Enough Veggies? 

Unfortunately, many foods with a high AFS are not staples of the Standard American Diet. Most adults in the U.S. don’t meet the daily recommendations for vegetables. In fact, The Healthy People Initiative, launched by the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Human Services found that only 27.2 percent of adults ate three or more servings of vegetables per day. 

I get it. Life’s busy. And that’s why I created the Green Drink Plan so you can easily consume 7 leafy green veggies that are some of the best plant foods on the planet for supporting mental health.

Here’s to feeling good!

a green drink a day can support your mood

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.

V with Asian salad

Salad

Salad

  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 mandarins, cut into segments
  • 1 tbsp Asian dressing

Dressing

Asian Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar

Blend well.

Chef V’s Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

This is a new recipe I created recently that uses crushed almond flour crackers and is served with a honey mustard sauce. It makes a delicious main course, accompanied by my Mandarin Asian Salad.

chia seed pudding

Ingredients

2 chicken breast, boneless, skinless (pounded flat so they cook even)

Marinade

    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp. Chopped fresh herbs (oregano & thyme)
    • Pinch of salt and pepper

Breading

  • 2 cups Simple Mills almond flour crackers blended finely
  • Add 2 tsp fresh chopped oregano & 2tsp fresh chopped thyme

Honey Mustard

  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Use the sauce to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and dip in the breadcrumbs, coating the chicken on all sides.

Heat 3 tbsp. oil to medium high and add chicken to hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, carefully not to burn by reducing heat to medium as needed.

Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce. 

Safe & Healthy Easter Eggs

Happy Easter! What’s more traditional than decorating Easter Eggs? But what is in all of those nasty dyes that we’ve been using on our food all of these years? Healthy Easter egg dye is easy to make. You can save money buying artificial dyes and get creative this year with household items you already have.

I’ll be using turmeric, green tea, blueberries, beets, and a couple of other fun ingredients to make some colorful dyes. Last year I tested out some fun textures and patterns to put on the eggs. Herbs and flowers wrapped in cheesecloth make great patterns or you can use old ripped nylons. You can also use string or rubber bands to wrap a fun pattern around the egg.

FlashTats are temporary tattoos that are fun to decorate without the mess of dyes. I made a fun video showing you how easy it is to make the dyes!

Safe & Healthy Easter Eggs

Natural Ingredients for Homemade Dyes

  • ½ cup red beet
  • ¼ cup fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 3 green tea bags
  • Skins from 2 yellow onions
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 5 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Optional for design
  • Cheesecloth or nylons
  • Rosemary or other herbs
  • Small flowers

natural easter egg dyes

Fill 3 pots of water with 2 cups each and 1 pot with 4 cups. Heat the water and bring each pot to a boil. When the 4 cups boil, pour 2 cups into a glass container and add 3 green tea bags. Let steep for 20 minutes while other dyes cook.

Return the remaining pot to a boil. Add beet to one pot, turmeric to another, blueberries to one, and onion skins to last. Stir and reduce heat for each pot to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a glass container. Add 1 tbsp. of vinegar to each dye, including green tea.

Wait for the dyes to come to room temperature (about an hour). Drop the hard boiled eggs (room temperature) into the dyes (also room temp.). You can use cheesecloth or nylons to wrap the eggs and drop them in for cool patterns. I added some rosemary and flowers for different designs. Leave the eggs in the dye for 2 hours.

Remove and enjoy your beautiful Easter Eggs!

Flashtat Egg Decorations

Flashtat eggs are less messy than dyes and they look freakin’ awesome! The trick to this is that the eggs need to be room temperature and completely dry. They can’t have any dew or water on them. Apply the tattoo just like you would to your skin and set by dabbing with a damp towel. Slowly remove the tattoo and voila! These come out so cool!

MANLY Spaghetti and Meatballs

Freshly made gluten free spaghetti and hearty meatballs are covered in a tasty tomato sauce for a timeless and savory Italian dish. That’s amoré!

manly spaghetti and meatballs

TOTAL TIME: 45 min
SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 1lb. organic ground turkey
  • ½ lb. organic chicken sausage
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 20 oz. organic crushed tomatoes (divided)
  • 1 cup organic basil, washed
  • 1 box of brown rice or quinoa spaghetti

Directions

Combine raw ground turkey and chicken sausage in a bowl and mix well. Mix in 4 oz. of crushed tomato sauce, bread crumbs, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Start forming meatballs by grabbing a handful of meat mix and forming a ball shape. Make all the balls, to desired size. You can make all big, all small or small and big ones. Just know that bigger ones will take a longer cooking time in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a skillet on the stove with 1 tbsp. of olive oil to medium-high heat. Add 2-3 meatballs at a time, depending on how many will fit, and brown the outside of the meatballs for about 5 minutes total, turning and browning the entire outside of the ball. Once browned, move to a foil lined baking sheet and bake all the meatballs for 10-15 minutes for small meatballs and 15-20 minutes for larger meatballs. When removing, cut one ball open to check doneness. The inside should not have any pink and should be firm.

Cook pasta according to directions on the package. While cooking the pasta, heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan on medium-high. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add minced garlic and stir. Add 16 oz. crushed tomatoes and continue to stir until hot. Add chopped basil before serving. Spoon spaghetti onto plates, top with red sauce and a meatball or two. Top with additional sauce and serve with Love!

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!

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!

New Year – Same You but Better! Top 5 Myths About Doing a Detox

new year same you but better

You know it’s time for a new year – same you, but better!

Perhaps you haven’t been eating healthy but you are ready to make a positive change. Is your belly is chronically bloated? Does it take you a couple cups of coffee in the morning to wake up from the dead? And when the caffeine eventually wears off, your mental clarity and energy are foggy and sluggish, respectively. Your skin is bumpy and dull, and your sleep patterns are erratic. Let’s make the new year’s you the same you but better!

But some people are intimidated by detox diets. While the thought of coming out the other side of a metabolic reboot sounds appealing, you don’t want to be miserable doing it. “Detoxes” can mean different things to different people. Herbal supplements, colon cleanses, infrared saunas, digestive enzymes, and of course, juice cleanses. 

If you’re thinking about doing a detox, here are some common misconceptions. 

new year same you but better

Detox Myth #1: It’s Too Hard – Not True!

To some people, the phrase “detox” is synonymous with starvation. But a detox shouldn’t be deficient in nutrients, and it certainly shouldn’t be a lengthy, strict fast. While following an intermittent fasting schedule is great for your health (I do it, and so does Brandon, my husband.), not eating anything for over 24 hours could do you more harm than good. 

With my 21 Day Detox, you choose between one, two or three intervals of a 3 day cleanse. During the 3, 6 or 9 days, you’re on a calorie restricted diet. But you’re getting all the nutrients you need to detoxify vital organs and lose weight—without feeling deprived. 

On these cleanse days, you drink 4 servings of my Organic Green Drink (16 oz. per serving), a smooth-as-silk cold-blend of 7 certified organic green leafy veggies. You also get 2 packets of my vegan-friendly protein shake (about 20 grams of muscle-building protein per shake) and one Detox Soup for dinner. 

Essentially, these cleanse days are a liquid diet. But there’s enough protein and fiber to help your energy levels remain steady and prevent cravings.

soup

Myth #2: You Can Only Have Juice Or Raw Kale – No, you can have delicious soups and protein shakes as well

Many people associate cleanse or detox diets with juice programs. If you ever come across a program that offers only juices, whether it’s a 3 day program or a longer one, then run. 

Here’s why: most juice programs, even if the drinks are low in sugar (unfortunately, most juice detoxes are very high in sugar), they are woefully deficient in protein and fiber. Pressed juices don’t contain the fiber from the fruit or veggie. And when you have no fiber, your blood sugar levels fluctuate. The result is nasty mood swings. You really need protein, fiber and even some healthy fat to keep you full and maintain your blood sugar at a steady level during your detox. 

(By the way, my Organic Green Drink contains only 6 grams of sugar per 16 oz serving, keeping your energy level rock-steady.) 

As for the non-cleanse days — either 18 days, 15 days or 12 days depending on how many 3 day cleanses you choose during the 21 Day Detox, you get to enjoy entrees like nachos, wild salmon, mac and cheese, and pesto lasagna, just to name a few. 

How can you mack on mac n’ cheese when you’re trying to detoxify your body? When you order my 21 Day Detox, you get access to my recipe book, “Making Healthier Easier,” a PDF download that teaches you how to make your favorite entrees healthy (I use nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. 

I also provide you with an Eat This/Not That chart, and a Healthy Portions guide. When you’re eating dozens of delicious meals that you can take right from my book, and learn exactly what you should eat during a 21 Day Detox, 3 weeks goes by real quick.

soup

Myth #3: You Can Only Drink Water And Detox Drinks – No! How about a Watermelon Slush?

While I do recommend eliminating caffeine during a 21 Day Detox (for all 21 days), that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other drinks. 

On your non-cleanse days (again, it’s either 18, 15 or 12 days, depending on how many 3-day cleanse periods you want to do), you can use my recipe book to easily create craft “mocktails.” How does Watermelon Slush sound? It’s perfect for hot days when you need something sweet and refreshing. Or how about Creamy Green Smoothie, a delicious, filling blend of avocado, spinach, kale, dates, lemon, chia seeds and cinnamon … doesn’t exactly sound like torture, does it? 

cheesecake

Myth #4: You Can’t Have Any Sugar Or Dessert

Ideally, starting from right now and everyday for the rest of your life, you will eat a low-sugar diet. But there’s a misconception that when you’re doing a detox, you can’t have any sugar. Technically, that’s not true. All veggies, even green leafy ones, contain a tiny bit of natural sugar. 

Sure, you shouldn’t eat anything with added sugars while you’re doing a 21 Day Detox. But even on the non-cleanse days, you still get to feast on sweet-tasting things like berries and even a date or two. 

And the best part of my 21 Day Detox is that on non-cleanse days, you can have your cake and eat it, too. That’s right. In my cookbook, you’ll find recipes for Triple Layer Cheesecake, Acai, Chia Seed Pudding, Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and Vanilla ‘Milk’ Shake. 

Again, it doesn’t sound exactly like torture, does it? The reason you get to eat like a King while eliminating toxins is that you’ll be swapping out high-inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, for ingredients that aid in the body’s detoxification process, and cause no inflammatory reaction.

Omega 3 rich foods

Myth #5: It’s Expensive – No.

It’s true that some Detox programs cost thousands of dollars. But with my 21 Day Detox, you can easily lose 30 pounds or more, starting at only $249. That’s less than $12 a day. Not bad for the following:

  • 4 Organic Green Drinks, 2 Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup every day during your 3 Day Cleanse interval
  • My Recipe E-Book, Making Healthier Easier, which includes a healthy food pyramid (not the ridiculous one the federal government uses); a list of cleanse approved foods; detox drinks and smoothies; healthy breakfasts; tasty snacks and apps; super soups; sensational salads; easy entrees and sides; sweets and treats
  • Healthy Portions Chart and other handy printouts
  • Unlimited email and phone support

If you’ve been thinking about going on a detox diet but you’re confused, scared, and don’t know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. 

I’ll hold your hand every step of the way. I promise you will transform your body and mind (maybe even your spirit) when the 21 days are over. I also promise you won’t feel like you’re starving or miserable. It will take some dedication on your part. You must be willing to do some healthy meal prep and cooking on your own. But my recipes are real easy to follow and don’t take long to make. 

And if you’ve never done a 3-day calorie-restricted liquid diet cleanse, it might seem a little challenging to go that long without any solid food. But with the protein shakes and detox soup dinner, you’ll do just fine and you’ll be buzzing with natural energy after the 3 day interval.

Get Started. Experience the Chef V Transformation

Think how quickly the last 3 weeks or even the last 3 years of your life has flown by. You can do this. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. After the 21 days, not only will your clothes feel much looser, you’ll smile at your new slimmer physique when you look in the mirror, your skin will feel smoother, your thinking will be sharper … and overall, you’re going to feel like you’re living your best life. 

What do you say? Ready to get started. 

Click here to buy 21 Day Detox.

Mediterranean Butternut Squash + Carrot Stew with Quinoa

My Mediterranean stew is made with mellow spices for a flavorful and healthy meal.

This stew can be prepared a day ahead. It’s great to take to work or enjoy for dinner the next day, or for a warm and healthy meal for the kids to come home to and easily reheat.

mediterranean stew

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: black pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, ground ginger, cayenne pepper
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (if canned, do not drain: if cooked, save 1/4 cup of the cooking water)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups (about 1& 1/2 pounds) cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cups peeled carrots, cut into 3/4 inch slices

QUINOA

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups filtered water

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

First, prepare the stew. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the dry spices. Add 1 cup water, lentils (with liquid from the can or reserved 1/4 cup cooking water), and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Keep warm until the quinoa is finished, or cover the stew and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Next, prepare the quinoa. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, covered, until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often so the onion does not burn. Add the garlic, salt, and turmeric, and sauté for one minute. Add the quinoa and stir for one minute. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, for about 15 minutes.

To serve, stir half the cilantro and half of the basil into the warm stew. Spoon the quinoa onto a platter or divide among bowls and form a well in the center. Spoon the stew into the well and garnish with the remaining cilantro and basil, if desired.

Awesome Mac & ‘Cheese’

Chef V’s tip: This is my gluten-free, dairy-free version of macaroni and cheese. – Veronica

super smoothie

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice elbow pasta
  • Freshly ground pepper, optional

Directions

Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and cook the butternut squash for 20 to 30 minutes, or until soft. Process the cooked squash, almond milk, garlic, cashews, lemon juice, and salt in a Vitamix until smooth. Combine the ‘cheese’ sauce and cooked pasta, season with black pepper if desired, and serve.

Fresh Juice Vs. Powdered Greens: Which Is Better For Cleansing?

Fresh juice versus powdered greens

Thinking about doing a cleanse because you haven’t been eating healthy lately? If so, what’s the best way to get your daily dose of veggies: through juice or a greens powder? Here’s what the experts say….

Veggie Juice vs Greens Powder: Which Is Better For Your Health?

If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse or just want an easy way to get more veggies in your diet, both veggie juices and green powders have become very popular. But if you have to pick one, which is better?

I’m not going to string you along and have you wait with bated breath until the end to reveal the answer.

Nope, the clear-cut better solution for getting your daily dose of disease-fighting and weight-loss kick-starting nutrients is…. (A tiny bit of anticipation here….)

Veggie juice.

Especially cold-blended Organic Green Drinks.

Here’s why veggie juice beats powdered Greens….

fresh juice versus powdered greens - Consumer Labs

Poisonous Powder

For starters, some powders may be poisonous. According to ConsumerLab.com, which is an independent research group that tests supplements for purity and labeling accuracy, some brands are tainted with heavy metals. Heavy metal is great if you want to do some head-banging while doing a CrossFit workout. But heavy metals are something you definitely don’t want in your veggies. ConsumerLab, in 2016, found that at least 3 brands were contaminated with heavy metal. Barlean’s Greens is one of  the most well-known veggie powders on the market. ConsumerLab revealed that it contained 6 mcg (micrograms) of lead in each 8 gram serving.

If you were to purchase a powder called, “Greens Organics + Superfood Raw” you’d probably feel pretty confident that it’s a safe, healthy product. However, ConsumerLab found that this product contained even more lead than Barlean’s (6.5 mcg per serving). The third product that tested positive for heavy metals was HealthForce SuperFoods Vitamineral Green. With that mouthful of a product name, you also get 3.6 mcg of lead and 13 mcg arsenic.

One more brand of powder tested positive for poison: Naturo Science Green Food – Berry Flavored, which had almost 4 mcg of lead per scoop.

While these test results were from 2016, I don’t know about you, but personally, I’d be very skeptical about trusting these brands again.

Let’s give the benefit of the doubt to green powders and assume that the vast majority of them are not contaminated with heavy metals. Take that little inconvenient fact away and is it a toss up whether veggie juices or powders are better? Nope. Veggie drinks still come way out ahead….

Actually, if I may, a final word on contaminated powders: the problem might be worse. A recent U.S. News and World Report  article says that one third of greens powders marketed as “healthy, healthy, healthy” were found to be contaminated with heavy metals. Yikes.

Fresh Is Best!

When you buy green powder, who knows how old the veggies are?

Some brands of powders freeze-dry the veggies. I don’t know about you but I never ever put any fresh veggies in the freezer, do you? So why would you want a powder of freeze-dried veggies. Can you imagine a restaurant in Italy serving pasta with freeze-dried tomatoes? Freeze-drying might be great for wild salmon. But freeze-drying veggies kills both the taste and the nutritional content.

To get a powder to taste palatable, some brands will add sugar to it. And many times, fillers such as soy lecithin or rice bran get added to powders to bulk them up. If you’re trying to lose weight and detox, the last thing you need is any bulking agents.

powdered green drink with trace poisons

And according to this article on GQ’s website, some powders include in the ingredients, “propriety blend.” Why is this a problem? The article explains that this is a loophole for the company to not have to list specific ingredients, such as a food coloring or other additive. Don’t you want to know exactly what you’re putting in your body?

But when you buy veggie juice from a reputable brand (ahem, like Chef V) that uses veggies from their own organic farm (like we have) or buys fresh produce from an organic farmer (like I do) and cold-blends the juice on site (such as in our new store in suburban NYC), thus preserving the nutrients (yup, check … we do that), you know it’s a healthy product….

Juice Cleanse Comparison: How Chef V Compares

Not all green powders are created equal. That’s certainly true of green juices as well. In fact, the healthiest green powder is better than the worst juice cleanse. That’s because many juice cleanses out there hardly contain any veggies; they are mostly all fruit juice. As Consumer Reports explains, there’s a major problem with many juice cleanse programs. First and foremost, the sugar content of many juice brands is sky high. See how Organic Green Drink–only 3 grams of sugar per serving–compares with the competition here.

And if you’re looking to do a cleanse, there’s something else you should keep in mind….

Even if the veggie juice is super healthy, you’re going to need more than juice to keep you going. It doesn’t matter if it’s as little as a 3-day cleanse. Just having juice for 3 days will likely make you feel famished. You also need protein and real food to satisfy your belly.

3 day Chef V Cleanse contents

That’s why on each day while you’re on the Chef V Cleanse,  in addition to getting 4 servings of Green Drink, you also get:

  •  2 (two) Vegan Protein Shake packet: 20 grams per serving
  • 1 (one) container of Detox Soup: Sweet Potato Curry or Carrot Ginger Zing: rich in protein and fiber, tastes like homemade because it is!

Speaking of powder vs. fresh, there are some other cleanse programs out there that include soup. But some of the ones I’ve seen are powdered soup mix. I’ll put my homemade Detox Soup against powdered soup in a taste test any day!

As for fresh protein vs. powdered, protein powder as a supplement is a different story. After all, besides adding a raw egg to your homemade smoothie or Chef V Green Drink, it’s the only way to get a major protein source. (When you’re doing a cleanse, I don’t recommend consuming raw eggs.)

Look, I get it, powdered greens you can buy at a supermarket might seem like an easy way to get your daily dose of veggies. But powdered veggies is nowhere as near as beneficial for you as fresh, organic, whole food veggies. And besides, if it’s convenience you want, convenience you shall have. I’ll deliver Organic Green Drinks, Vegan Protein Shakes and Detox Soups right to your front door (not personally, although it would be awesome to meet you).

Learn more about Chef V Cleanses here: https://www.chefv.com/cleanses/

Keep it fresh!

Love,

Veronica (aka Chef V)

Chef V and tropical green drink

Blended Veggies vs Juicing fruits: What’s Better for You?

blending green drink

Blended veggies vs juicing fruits … whether it’s to lose weight or detox, or just for overall better health, which one is better for you?

Here’s a question I get a lot from people who are new to cleanses and detoxes:

What’s better for losing weight, blended vegetables or juicing fruits?

Spoiler alert: the answer by far is blended vegetables.

Here’s why.

Juicing fruits is a good way to get nutrients in a concentrated amount.

But if you’re trying to lose weight, there are two main problems with a juice diet.

losing weight

Juicing Fruits Problem #1: Too Much Fructose

First, the amount of fructose (fruit sugar) in fruit juice in some cases is almost as high as regular soda. That’s bad if you’re trying to keep your blood sugar level steady. If you want to be able to study all day or function at work, you need to eat and drink things that will keep your blood sugar rock steady.

And juice diets can make your blood sugar fluctuate.

It’s true that the fructose in whole fruit doesn’t skyrocket your blood sugar like regular soda. However, when you’re juicing fruits, you tend to consume more fruit than is necessary.

If you crave fruit, just eat a handful of berries. Later in the day, you can eat an organic green apple. Both these examples equal one serving of fruit.

Without a doubt, fruit plays an important role in helping prevent chronic diseases like cancer. However, you only need to eat about 4 or 5 servings a day to get the benefits of fruit’s phytochemicals (disease-fighting nutrients).

The problem with juice diets is you get too much fruit sugar. Think about how many oranges it takes to produce a fresh squeezed glass of OJ. Instead of that large glass of OJ at brunch, just eat a whole orange. (Though I admit to enjoying the occasional mimosa at brunch.)

In short, you might be getting adequate vitamins from the juice fruit, but you’re also consuming too much fruit sugar in one sitting. And if you consume sugar at a meal, there better be a nutrient to slow down your digestion to prevent energy crashes and weight gain. This missing nutrient leads us to the second problem with juicing fruits….

kale

Juicing Fruits Problem #2: No Fiber

When you juice fruit, you’re missing out on fiber. There are a few huge benefits of fiber for weight loss and detox.

First, fiber helps you feel full. Blending veggies, especially cold-blending them like our Green Drinks preserves the fiber content.

On the contrary, when you juice fruit, even if it’s organic, it lacks fiber. And when you don’t have fiber to slow the blood sugar rush, you will likely feel hungry soon after drinking the fruit juice. If you’re doing a 7 day juice cleanse, it’s going to be a hellish week for you. You’re going to likely feel cranky, irritable, and moody.

Furthermore, when you feel hungry after a blood sugar crash, you might crave foods with lots of carbs like pasta or bread.

I admit I hear people claiming weight loss and detox success by juicing fruits, even on a 7 day juice cleanse. But I really don’t recommend it. As a nutritional therapist and healthy chef, I encourage you to lose weight and detox by consuming foods and drinks with fiber. And juicing fruits provides zero fiber.

Here’s another reason fiber is so important. It’s vital for overall health and a strong digestive system. The 7 certified organic veggies in our Green Drinks contain insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool. This helps you detox because the bulk activates your elimination. (In other words, it helps you go #2 and when you go #2 you are detoxing!)

Juicing fruits doesn’t help you in the detox/elimination department. In fact, if you’re doing a 7 day juice cleanse, there’s a good chance your elimination will be sluggish. That’s because of the lack of fiber in a juice diet.

To be clear, cold-blended fruit juice does contain some soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. In addition, soluble fiber slows your digestion. This is a good thing because when your digestion slows down, you don’t get hungry as often or quickly. Which means you won’t have cravings.

However, as I mentioned above, there’s a better way to get your soluble fiber from fruit. And that’s eating a whole piece of fruit a few times a day or blending it in a drink or smoothie.

Chef V kitchen

Blended vegetables vs. juicing fruits: the winner is….

Clearly, blended vegetables are healthier than juicing fruits. This is true for overall health, detox, and weight loss.

Cold-blending both veggies and fruits provide antioxidants. If you need a snack, that’s a perfect time for having a piece of whole organic fruit.

But when it comes to drinking your antioxidants, make it blended vegetables.

We’re here to do the dirty work for you. All the veggies in our Green Drinks are grown locally and certified organic.  Instead of shopping, washing, chopping, blending, and cleaning up, let us deliver your healthy blended Green Drinks.

The great thing is it costs about the same price as shopping for all these organic veggies yourself. But we save you time and money by delivering Green Drinks to you overnight!

Chef V and tropical green drink

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup, warm and comforting, is a creamy main course for a crisp fall evening. You can easily double or triple this recipe and have delicious leftovers on hand for easy meal planning. Always try to use dried or canned organic black beans and organic vegetable stock, preferably homemade. – Veronica

Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

Black Bean Soup

  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups cooked black beans

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Directions

In a large stockpot over medium high heat, saute the onion in coconut oil for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the cumin, cayenne pepper, and sea salt.

Add the broth and black beans.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a Vitamix in batches, if necessary, and process to desired consistency. I like it chunkier or puree until smooth.

Top with cheddar shreds and cilantro, if desired.

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.

Poached Pear with Gluten Free Crumble & Vegan Ice Cream

Although alcohol is not recommended for cleansing, this recipe cooks out any of the alcohol and makes this a decadent dessert. You can always omit the champagne and use any liquid, even water, for this recipe.

poached pear

TOTAL 80 minutes

Serving Size: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup champagne or other liquid
  • 3 pears (d Anjou, Bartlett, Asian) halved and scooped with melon ball 
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 1/2 cup gf flour 
  • 3/4 cup gf oats 
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar 
  • Pinch sea salt 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter 
  • Vegan ice cream to serve 

poached pears in oven

Directions

Preheat oven 375 F. Mix honey and champagne together.

In a shallow baking pan lined with foil, lay the scooped pears on the pan, skin side down. Pour champagne mix to cover. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. Add another 10 minutes if pears are not ripe.

While pears bake, mix flour, oats, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla.

Remove pears and foil. Top evenly with crumble. Continue to bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown. Remove pears.

Serve on a plate with scooped vegan ice cream. Enjoy this delicious and healthy dessert! 

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.

Join Chef V For A Mind, Body & Spirit Reboot!

3rd Annual Women’s Holistic Wellness Retreat In Santa Ynez, CA
February 4-7th, Santa Ynez Valley, CA

How does a four-day retreat in Santa Barbara’s stunning wine country sound, getting pampered with therapeutic massages and jacuzzi soaks, dips in the lap pool, yoga and fitness classes, guided meditation, horseback riding, one-on-one wellness coaching sessions and gourmet nutrient-dense meals and more? 

Feel the stress melting yet? 

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to treat yourself to this total well-being experience. Go ahead … You deserve it!

Not only will you feel physically and mentally refreshed, you’ll also develop lifelong relationships with like-minded holistic-health-minded ladies. 

Yes, this is a wellness retreat but we’re going to have a ton of fun and let our guard down. Ladies: this ain’t no cloistered nun convention—there will be wine tasting. 

The scenery is gorgeous. Picture yourself soaking in the hot tub with an incredible view of the stars. And when the retreat is over, you’ll return home a stronger spiritual warrior, armed with tools to maximize abundance manifestation, living in the present, minimizing anxiety and more…

Veronica on couch talking

The weekend will be filled with experiences including yoga, fitness, horseback riding, meditation, conversation, wine tasting, chef-inspired meals, laughter and maybe even some tears!

Veronica

Meet Your Retreat Hosts

Veronica Wheat is a successful entrepreneur who built her meal delivery service, which featured her trademark recipe for Green Drink, into a nationwide business serving clients nationally with New York, New Jersey, and California delivery drivers.

An avid yoga practitioner and teacher, Veronica wakes up each morning excited to build upon ChefV.com’s success, not so she can sell more Raw Juice, Green Drinks and Cleanses, but rather, what motivates her to succeed is reading the comments in her inbox from customers who have experienced dramatic health improvements. Be it weight loss, being able to stop taking diabetes medication, lowering cholesterol by 50 points, sleeping like a baby, having clearer skin and living each day with natural, steady, high-buzzing energy.

The road to entrepreneurship isn’t always smooth sailing, but Veronica stays steady at the helm, grateful and amazed each day by the inspirational success stories from customers all over the country.

Veronica

Lauren Griffith is best known for her 12-Week Transformation Program, one-on-one coaching, high-energy fitness classes, corporate wellness and instructor training programs. Lauren continues to create fitness and yoga programs to motivate and inspire her clients, including various at-home fitness products, such as Agility Barre®.  After her studies, she went on to teach a wide variety of fitness and mind-body classes and continue her passion for helping others. Lauren now resides in San Diego with her daughter Haley and son Hunter.

A former collegiate cheerleader and fitness/figure competitor, Lauren also specializes in leading instructor workshops for Yoga, Barre and Sculpt. She has been a fitness professional for over 24 years and strives to help others achieve their personal best through her fun, yet challenging workouts.

Lauren has contributed to many fitness segments on Fox 5 News San Diego and is an ambassador for ToeSox, as well as an influencer for ChefV, nanoGreens and alumni ambassador of Lululemon Athletica.

tacos

The Food

Veronica prepares beautiful meals and snacks using organic, nutrient-rich foods that are cleanse approved and good for your body.

But don’t think that means boring or bland! Your meals will be delicious and look amazing too. Veronica’s cuisine uses fresh, raw ingredients, a wide variety of herbs and spices, and gluten-free, dairy-free foods that are loaded with flavor.

chef v retreat food tray

From breakfast to dessert, you will experience delicious and satisfying meals that treat your body right. These dishes are so yummy, you will not feel deprived but will think you are indulging big-time.

chef v retreat food tray

chef v retreat

Yoga + Green Drink to Stress Less, Feel Better

yoga and green drink

I’m finding it harder to stay centered. Are you stressed out too?

Stress can have a major influence upon mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health. Acute stress, especially if the threat is unremitting, can damage health.

To stay centered and calm, my go-to is yoga.  Yoga can reduce stress, shift your mindset, and help you feel better.

Before coronavirus,  I made sure to do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga every day. Now, I’ve increased my practice and recommending that all my friends and clients fo the same. The more stressful your day, the more you need to start your day off with yoga. To those who know me, I might seem centered but without meditation and yoga, I might be a mess.

Here are some of my favorite yoga poses for reducing stress and getting back to center. Zen out in the comfort and safety of home.

Cheers to your very best health –  Veronica

yoga - downward dog

DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

tree pose - virksasana

TREE POSE (VIRKSASANA)

Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

prayer pose

PRAYER TWIST

Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg.

Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you.

Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock.

Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side.

Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales.

The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.

supine spinal twist

SUPINE SPINAL TWIST

Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest.

Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales.

Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest.

With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!

Chef V and kale

Sweet Potato Holiday “Cookies”

sweet potato bunnies

Check out my little friend as we make a holiday version of my sweet potato bunnies. Holiday “cookies” remade to eliminate the sugar crazies – and she loved them!

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow sweet potato
  • 1 orange sweet potato
  • 1 purple sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Holiday Cookie Cutters
  • Sweet Topping
  • 1 tbsp. monk fruit or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger

slicing potatoes

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

Brush the tops of the sweet potato with coconut oil.

slicing potatoes

Shake the “cookies” with the cinnamon and monk or coconut sugar seasoning. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.

slicing potatoes

Remove and let cool. Using a bunny cookie cutter, cut bunny shapes from the sweet potato.

slicing potatoes

You can replace in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up more or just serve on a plate and enjoy these little bunnies!

Healthy Gut, Smooth Skin, Glossy Hair And Strong Nails

kale

The best veggies for a healthy gut, skin, hair and nails are the same ones in Chef V’s mega-popular Green Drink. And it’s no coincidence that these same veggies are also the best for helping you cleanse and detox. Chef V covers how each of the veggies benefits your beauty.

I created the recipe for Organic Green Drink several years ago back when I was a private chef. Over time, demand grew for my Green Drink and that’s really the catalyst for launching Chef V.

I did a ton of research for the Green Drink recipe. I wanted to select the best veggies that would not only taste amazing cold-blended, but that would also be the best for a 3 day cleanse or 21-day detox. And as it turns out, the seven veggies in Green Drink not only happen to be the best for cleansing and detoxing, they also happen to be the best veggies for skin, hair and nails.

Now I admit, it would be a pain in the behind to have to chop green kale, black kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, green chard, curly parsley and green leaf lettuce every day. And then have to juice it. Then clean up.

The main reason why I transitioned from being a private chef to launching Chef V: making healthier easier for people just like you. And it doesn’t get any easier than having a bottle of our certified organic Green Drink delivered to your home.

Not only can you lose weight, gain energy and sleep more soundly by having Green Drink every day, but there’s also a very good chance your skin, hair, and nails will look better.

So let’s take a look at how the ingredients in Green Drink are the healthiest veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

your microbiome - bacteria

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Kale

Sure, there’s some excessive kale craziness these days. But for good reason. Kale is rich in vitamin K. And it’s really hard for most people who eat the average American diet to get enough K. Vitamin K actually helps minimize dark circles in your eyes. That’s why it’s one of the best veggies for the skin.

In fact, kale can even help tighten your skin. How? Well, one of the reasons why your skin isn’t as tight when you get older is that the aging process weakens your collagen. Collagen is the body’s main structural protein. In fact, over one-third of the thousands and thousands of proteins in the body is collagen proteins. Collagen provides strength to your tendons, ligaments, teeth, nails, hair, bones, gut lining, and much more….

The vitamin C in kale along with the antioxidant, lutein, promotes collagen regrowth and production. In addition, vitamin A in kale helps prevent damage to the skin. It also repairs damages to the epidermis.

There’s a good reason why kale has been added to several beauty products. Because it’s such an efficient detoxifying nutrient, kale can help clean your pores. It’s even beneficial for your hair pores. Moreover, kale contains fatty acids such as omega-3s. These fatty acids provide moisture to your hair and skin.

There’s even a nail polish with kale extract. Supposedly, it can help stimulate keratin production. Keratin is the other main protein that’s in your nails.

These facts about kale make it one of the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails. So drink your Green Drink and schedule that kale facial!

weight and your microbiome

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Dandelion

Another incredible detoxifying green veggie in our Green Drink is dandelion. Dandelion widens your pores. That’s how it helps your body get rid of toxins. And according to this article, dandelion shrinks wrinkles. It may also help whiten dark spots and reduce fine lines.

Like kale, dandelion also contains lots of beta carotene and vitamin C. It’s also rich in B vitamins and vitamin E, which is a standard ingredient in many skincare products. Moreover, the minerals and trace minerals in dandelions may actually help regrow hair.

collard greens

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Collard Greens

The reason why collard greens are one of the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails is the same reason as kale and dandelion: it’s loaded with beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A). One benefit of Vitamin A for your skin is the production of sebum. You can think of sebum as a waterproof lubricant for your skin. Without sebum, your skin would feel like it’s been scorched in a sauna for hours. And sebum is also in your hair. Without enough of it, your hair feels like straw.

Collard greens also contain iron. And one major factor for thinning hair is low iron intake.

probiotic

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Chard

Here’s why I think chard is one of the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails….

Just one serving of it contains over 700 percent of your vitamin K suggested intake. It’s also got about 200 percent of your beta carotene needs and about half of your daily vitamin C needs. And chard is also very high in minerals such as magnesium. Getting enough magnesium in your diet is very important for healthy skin. It can help balance the amount of oil you have. Obviously, you need some oil but not too much. If your skin tends to run on the oily side, magnesium can reduce the amount of oils.

Chard is also high in biotin. Biotin is vitamin B7. There’s a good reason why many hair care products contain biotin. That’s because biotin stimulates hair follicles. Consume enough chard and your hair may benefit by appearing shinier and fuller in texture. And like all the other of the best veggies for your skin, chard is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants repair and help regenerate new skin cells.

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Parsley

Poor parsley. Most people just eat a tiny bit of it as a post-meal garnish to freshen the breath. But here’s why you should consume more of it. (And what easier way to get your daily dose of parsley than having one or two Green Drinks per day?)

Parsley is a wrinkle destroyer. As I say above, vitamin C-rich foods help encourage the production of collagen in your body. And parsley is particularly rich in vitamin C. And the more collagen production your body undergoes, the more wrinkles and fine lines will fade.

Moreover, parsley is a natural antibiotic. Thus, it can help kill bacteria-causing acne. There are several other benefits of parsley for your skin as well. But this post is already long and we’ve got one more of the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails to cover:

21 day detox from Chef V

Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur, and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Without a doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays.

So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, but they’re also the best for your skin, hair, and nails.

Chef V and Kale

Chef V’s ‘Chipotle’ Burrito Bowl

Here’s 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

chia seed pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic mixed greens (arugula, spinach, red leaf, kale, chard, green leaf, or romaine, etc.)
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa or brown rice, cooled
  • 3⁄4 cup organic black beans, cooked and cooled
  • 1⁄2 mango skinned and cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄4 small red onion diced
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1⁄2 avocado, skinned, cubed
  • Optional: 4-6oz protein like grilled chicken or salmon.

Directions

Fix two bowls with lettuce on the bottom. Top with plain quinoa (or rice) and beans. Mix mango, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl. Add mango mixture to top of salad. Top with avocado, optional protein and serve. Bon Appétit!

Serves 2

Acai Bowl

Chef V tip: Try an acai bowl for breakfast, too!

The acai berry is a grape-like fruit native to the rain forests of the amazon. It has a tropical, sweet taste and a very short shelf life, so we don’t often find them fresh in the store. Acai berries contain antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.

acai bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen unsweetened acai smoothie packet (I like Sambazon)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or blackberries
  • 1/2 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh seasonal fruit (blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, peaches) use your favs!
  • 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed raw almonds, optional

Directions

In a Vitamix, process frozen acai juice, blueberries, raspberries, and almond milk on medium until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with your favorite fresh fruit, coconut, and almonds, if desired.

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.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Warm butternut squash: this is a delicious fall treat for those first cool days that signal the end of summer. It’s also a hit at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s very filling and makes you feel warm inside even though it’s a salad. It’s also very healthy and vegan. – Veronica

DOWNLOAD PDF

warm butternut salad

TOTAL 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4 people

Ingredients

Warm butternut squash

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet or yellow onion
  • 1 small butternut squash,
seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups wild greens (arugula, spinach, or mixed herbs)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

Warm butternut squash: In a large non-stick pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and butternut squash. (The smaller the squash is diced the more quickly it will cook.) Sauté the squash and onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Do not burn the squash or onions.

Add the garlic, nutmeg and thyme, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the butternut squash to a bowl and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool mixture in the refrigerator.

To serve, mix the dressing ingredients and drizzle over greens. Top with cooled butternut squash mix and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serves 2-4.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.