I’ve been on a serious raw foods kick! What began as a weekly occasion has quickly transpired into a daily experience.
What a surprise!
As a conscious carnivore, I’ve always believed a raw diet to be beneficial, just never actually considered it for myself. In an attempt to understand the limitations a raw foodist may face I participated in a 30-day raw challenge. This ended just shy of two weeks with an adamant, “oh hell no.” I recall feeling excessively restricted and dreadfully bored.
Raw food has an obvious connection to its source, making it a sustainable and primal choice. What’s more, raw food ensures its vitamins and minerals are left intact. Raw food is energizing, invigorating and power-packed. Essentially, it’s optimal fuel.
How do we enthusiastically incorporate this optimal fuel into our repertoire without feeling limited?
You may call it salad in a bowl. I call it eating the rainbow!
Begin with what you know- If you’re comfortable with quinoa, lentils, beans or nuts start there for your green protein.
Base your bowls with greens- Be it arugula, spinach, red leaf lettuce, romaine, watercress, kale or dandelion, greens should be the bulk of your bowl. Mix it up. Try something new and incorporate a variety of greens.
Play with color- Think up new and innovative ways to incorporate color. Vary your fruits and vegetables. Eat seasonal and experiment. Think in terms of variety of color and you’ll cover nutritional bases.
Add your oils- Extra virgin olive oil and vinegar are automatic- that is, unless you’re feeling crafty. Homemade vinaigrettes are easier then expected.
Experiment- Nutritious dips and spreads are a great way to add some dimension to your bowl. Try your hand at Roasted Red Pepper Hummus or Beet and Cashew Dip.
2 cups soaked chickpeas (canned will do as well)
1 jalapeno pepper, roasted (you may not need the entire pepper depending on your palate)
1 red bell pepper, roasted (homemade better)
1 cup fresh spinach
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons pesto (store bought just as good)
Himalayan sea salt to taste
I’m going to warn you- if you opt for homemade (which is almost always the better choice), this recipe is a pain in the ass! Especially if you use dried chickpeas and roast your own peppers. However, in doing so you’ll produce a mind-blowing lean protein!
Throw ingredients in a food processor (preferable) or Vitamix and pulse until evenly blended.
Garbanzo Beans in a Slow Cooker
2 cups dried chickpeas (produces 6 cups when cooked)
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-6
Roasted Red Bell Peppers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Roast peppers for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip with tongs. Roast another 20 minutes. When fully roasted the skin will be charred and the inside soft. The peppers will be slightly collapsed. If not, give them more time. Slice peppers vertically. Pull stem and let cool slightly. When still warm strip skin (under running water if need be- though the peppers may lose a bit of flavor). Store in glass jar with a drizzle of olive oil. Saves for 2-3 days.
Let me know how your bowl turns out! 🙂