Gingerbread Smoothie

If it’s warm for Christmas, like it is here in San Diego, I’ll be enjoying some pickleball and a nice refreshing treat after. Like this healthy vegan gingerbread smoothie.

It tastes like a cookie but it’s made with cauliflower and banana for lots of nutrients. It’s also packed with flavor from all the spices. I hope you enjoy this deliciously unique treat!  

Serves 2

gingerbread smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chef v almond or oat milk
  • 1 tbsp chef v vanilla protein (or pea protein of your choice)
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower chopped or riced 
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • A pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup ice 

Directions

Blend all ingredients together in a vitamix or blender for 1-2 minutes until blended smooth. I like to top with a tiny cinnamon and I found these super cute mug cookies to decorate with! 

gingerbread smoothie

Chef V’s Guacamole w/Pomegranate and Mango

I like to make this guacamole for the holidays – so pretty and festive!

Chef V tip: save the pit and keep it in the mixture to keep the guacamole from turning brown.

creamy green smoothie

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
1/4 small white onion, finely diced
3 fresh cilantro sprigs with stems, chopped
2 Tbs. diced mango
2 Tbs. pomegranate seeds
1 tsp. Chopped jalapeno (optional)

Directions

For guacamole: Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a bowl. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the avocado with the lime juice and 1/2 tsp. salt until the guacamole is smooth but still has a little texture and some chunks. Stir in the onion, mango, cilantro and jalapeño (optional). Top with pomegranate seeds. Taste and adjust the seasoning for dipping. Serves 4.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Warm butternut squash: this is a delicious holiday treat for those first cold days that signal the end of fall. It’s a hit at special dinners. 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.

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

Serving Size: 2 People

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.

Teryaki Chicken or Salmon

Instead of my usual diet, after giving birth I shifted to eating more warming foods. This included soups, bone broths, meat with bone, raw milk, and raw cheese. It was a significant change from my previous eating habits, but it was one that I found to be beneficial. This teryaki chicken recipe became a favorite.

green soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic chicken 
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb organic broccoli chopped and steamed in water with dash of salt. 

Directions

Make the sauce recipe and let sit and cool. 
 
Using 1 lb of organic pasture raised chicken cover in avocado oil and salt and pepper.
 
Grill the chicken for 4 minutes in each side or until done. Thinner chicken will take less time than thicker. I usually butterfly my breast so they are thinner and cook faster. 
 
Prepare brown rice or quinoa per directions on the bag or box. 
 
Plate rice, steamed broccoli and chicken. Drizzle in teriyaki sauce and enjoy! 

 

Teriyaki sauce

1 cup coconut aminos or tamari sauce
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)

Boil sauce ingredients, stir and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Use as a glaze for chicken, fish, any meat or veggies for teriyaki style.

Breakfast Taco

I like to make a big batch of these for the week so when I’m hungry after breastfeeding and playing pickleball I have a super nutritious meal to eat.

Of course I always chug my green drink post workout but about 15 minutes after that my body is ready for food.

These tacos are so good and you can actually lose weight eating tacos! Who knew?!

taco

Ingredients

Makes 6-8 tacos

    • 12 eggs
    • 1 pack siete cassava flour tortillas 
    • 1 tbsp avocado oil
    • 1/4 cup raw cheddar cheese
    • 1 pack organic bacon – no sugar added
    • Optional salsa, hot sauce and avocado

Directions

Cool the bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet. This is the absolute best way to cook bacon. It cooks completely even without ever having to turn it.
 
One trick I use is having the bacon room temperature before I add it to the sheet pan. Cook 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven and transfer cooked pieces on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up the excess oil. This will allow the bacon to cool and crisp.
 
Meanwhile cook the eggs. I use 1 tbsp avocado oil and then add the scrambled eggs to the pan to cook. Stirring continuously, add the raw cheese when the eggs are about 3/4 way done. Remove from heat. 
 
Heat the Siete tortilla on the stove in a small sauté pan. Just place the tortilla on the pan with no oil or anything. Warm each side for 30 seconds. Top with egg mix and crumble one piece of bacon on top. Optional to top with salsa and avocado  or hot sauce. 
 
Arrange and assemble the tacos in glass food storage for later use. I reheat one at a time in the microwave for one minute with a cover to help lock in the moisture. These keep all week. Enjoy! 

Turkey Chili

Chef V’s Tips: While I generally do not use a lot of nightshade vegetables, I do think fresh or dried jalapeño peppers in small quantities add a kick to dishes and have detoxifying powers. For more protein, swap the cannellini beans with 1 pound of cooked ground turkey, if desired.

green soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion,
  • diced 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 1 (15-ounce) can of each: kidney, cannellini, and black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce, or to taste (I like Trader Joe’s ® brand)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (optional)
  •  
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • Sliced and seeded jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ cup Daiya ® cheddar shreds

Directions

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, and add the vegetable broth, kidney beans, cannellini, black beans, and chili sauce.

Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced jalapeños or cheddar shreds, if desired.

Vegan Herb Aioli

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

vegan herb aioli

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

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

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

White Sweet Potato Purée

Everyone loves mashed potatoes. But regular mashed potatoes are very starchy. That means the starch quickly converts into sugar. That’s more bad news for your gut. But this healthy recipe for mashed potatoes uses the nutritiously-superior white sweet potato. Instead of regular milk, I use almond or coconut milk.

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

sweet potato puree

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise

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

raw horseradish mayonaise

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

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

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Salmon Beurre Blanc

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

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

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

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

Cooking with Chef V

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

Maddi

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

salmon beurre blanc

INGREDIENTS

for sauce:

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

For salmon and pasta:

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

DIRECTIONS

quinoa enchilada ingredients

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

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

mise en place chopped

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

salmon beurre blanc pasta

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

boil water

PREPARE THE PASTA

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

boil water

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

salmon cooking

GRILL THE SALMON

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

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

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

making the sauce

making the sauce

MAKE THE BEURRE BLANC SAUCE

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

final recipe

ASSEMBLE THE DISH

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

final recipe

NOW THE BEST PART – THE TASTE TEST!

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

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

Beetox Smoothie

Cleansing and alkalizing the body in the morning helps repair and balance the gut from salty meats and high starchy foods. Having liquids in the morning really helps our gut repair from any holiday destruction. 

Using cold vegetables helps keep the drink fresh longer. Will keep 3-5 days refrigerated.

ginger apple berry smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 large red beet or 1/2
    small beet including green beet tops
  • 1 1/2 cups cold filtered water
  • 1 small carrot , chopped, top removed.
  • 1 small celery stick
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. ginger
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 fuji or gala apple
  • optional:
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup ice while blending to keep cold

Directions

 Blend 1-2 minutes until the juice seems pulverized and not chunky. Make sure to add ice to keep cold while blending. Shake well before drinking. Best with a straw. 

Making Bone Broth

I’m not a strict vegetarian, but I rarely promote meat. One rare exception is bone broth because it contains collagen protein. The process of slow cooking bones for many hours releases collagen from the bones. By consuming the collagen from animal bones, you’re helping revitalize your own body’s collagen.

Chef V’s Mango Burrito Bowl w/ Fresh Wild Halibut

I love fish. Its high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and other nutrients. It also tastes great and go fit in easily tomost dishes. I love seasoning this and adding it to a burrito bowl. Its light, gluten-free, high protein and tons of nutrients.

Add 4-6 oz halibut to this burrito bowl. Serves 3.

burrito bowl with wild halibut

Ingredients

  • For the fish:
  • 1 lb halibut
  • 1tbps. olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • For the burrito bowl:

    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

For the fish:
Mix the seasoning together in a small bowl. cover the fish in oil. generously coat the fish in the seasoning. Grill on the grill on medium for 3 minutes each side (depending on the thickness of your fish. Cook longer if thicker). Remove from grill, cover in foil and let sit for 5 minutes to rest and continue cooking). Add to the mango burrito bowl for a nice refreshing take on this classic.

For the burrito bowl:
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

Raw Caramel Cheesecake

This is my interpretation of a New York cheesecake. I’ve swapped the traditional cream cheese for a delicious mixture of cashews, coconut, and vanilla.

You will need to make this cake in 2 steps, and give yourself 24 hours to complete it, since you will need to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight and will need freezing time for the cake as well.

First make the crust and the “cheese” layers. Once those steps are complete, place the cake in the freezer for four hours or more. The final step is to make the topping and pour it over the chilled cake. You can serve the cake immediately or refrigerate it for up to a week. But I recommend eating it now!

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

creamy broccoli soup

Serving Size: 6 People

Ingredients

  • Crust Ingredients:

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

    Cheesecake Layer Ingredients:

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

    Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

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

Directions

 

Things you will need:

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

Directions:

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

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

Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

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

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

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

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

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.

What Do I Eat Today – Featuring Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

what do I eat today

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

lemons

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

immunity smoothie

For Breakfast – Chef V's Immunity Smoothie

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

Get the recipe

For Lunch – Chef V's 'Chipotle' Mango Burrito Bowl

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

Get the recipe

Almond Flour Crusted Chicken, Mandarin Asian Salad

Dinner – Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

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

Get the recipe

Dinner – Mandarin Asian Salad

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

Get the recipe

Chef V’s BBQ Salmon

Get outside for the last enjoyable parts of summer!  Chef V founder Veronica Wheat created this BBQ salmon recipe as the main course of a special outdoor meal for her husband Brandon.

BBQ salmon

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets (6 oz.)
    (skin on preferred)

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

Marinate the salmon in the sauce for 30 minutes on the counter. Then, slap the non-skin side down on a bbq grill heated to 375 degrees.

Cook for 3-5 minutes and flip to the skin side with a large spatula. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon and how much you like it done. I personally like it medium rare and under cooked. I can't stand dry over done salmon. You can always add it back to the grill if need be, but not the reverse.

Serve with a salad, rice, sweet potatoes, or any side you desire.

Holiday Rack of Lamb

When cooking for a special occasion you want meals that are hearty, healthy and memorable.  Chef V makes this delicious go-to recipe when she needs a dinner party main course.

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.

Vegan Gravy

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

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

vegan gravy

TOTAL 1 hour

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Person

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

My oh my, pumpkin pie … how I love thee,
But how you seem to hate my belly.
For each sinfully delicious bite I take,
Your sweet and milky richness makes my tummy ache.
Is there a way to make you more nutritious,
All the while keeping you equally delicious?
The good news is yes there is,
And showing you how is my biz. (Mic drop)

Bon Appétit! – Veronica

pumpkin pie

My pumpkin pie recipe is better for your health because it contains low-glycemic coconut sugar and dairy-free coconut whipped cream. It is gluten-free.

Ingredients

chia seed egg substitute

Directions

Mix sugar, pie spice, salt, egg substitute and pumpkin puree in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add almond milk.

Press pie crust into a 9-inch baking pie dish. Pour the pumpkin mix into the pie crust.

Bake 450-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with my Coconut Whip Cream Recipe or refrigerate.

My oh my, pumpkin pie … how I love thee,
But how you seem to hate my belly.
For each sinfully delicious bite I take,
Your sweet and milky richness makes my tummy ache.
Is there a way to make you more nutritious,
All the while keeping you equally delicious?
The good news is yes there is,
And showing you how is my biz. (Mic drop)

Bon Appétit! – Veronica

pumpkin pie

My pumpkin pie recipe is better for your health because it contains low-glycemic coconut sugar and dairy-free coconut whipped cream. It is gluten-free.

Ingredients

chia seed egg substitute

Directions

Mix sugar, pie spice, salt, egg substitute and pumpkin puree in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add almond milk.

Press pie crust into a 9-inch baking pie dish. Pour the pumpkin mix into the pie crust.

Bake 450-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with my Coconut Whip Cream Recipe or refrigerate.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

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

chia seed egg substitute
gluten free pie crust

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

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

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

vegan ambrosia salad

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:4

Ingredients

Crunchy topping

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

Casserole

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

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Topping

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

Casserole

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

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

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

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

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

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

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

Coconut Whipped Cream

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

coconut whipped cream

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

That’s So Cheesy! Nutritional Yeast

'NOOCH' – The Plant-Based Superfood That Makes It Easy To Give Up Cheese

“There’s no way I can give up cheese!”

If I had a dollar for everytime I heard that one, I could buy a couple pounds of pule. Pule is the most expensive cheese in the world, fetching up to $1,000 per pound. And get this, it doesn’t come from sheep, cows or goats, it comes from … wait for it … donkeys! 

But I digress. Point is, giving up cheese for many people is as difficult as going cold turkey for a 2-pack-a-day smoker. 

If you can’t picture a life worth living without cheese, I’ve got some good news. Thanks to a flaky, yellowish powder that looks just like sprinkled, crumbly parmesan on pasta, you can experience cheesiness without the dairy. That’s good news for people like me who feel bloated and weighed down after eating anything with dairy.

I’m of course talking about nutritional yeast, the darling of the vegan culinary scene. I’m not 100% vegan, but I have been using nutritional yeast for several years now. (I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it until now.) 

In this post, I’ll discuss what nutritional yeast is and focus on its health benefits.

Why You Should Replace Regular Cheese With Nutritional Yeast

I don’t like being told what to do (ask my husband, Brandon) and I don’t like telling people what to do. So I’m not going to lecture about the evils of cheese and dairy and tell you that you should give up cheese. All I can say is that for many people, dairy tends to promote inflammation. 

But wait! What about the French? How do they get away with eating all that cheese and not suffer from the same chronic diseases endemic in American society? Ah, that’s what they call the French Paradox

While French eat plenty of cheese, they also eat a Mediterranean Diet and don’t snack all day like Americans. In traditional French society, people walk everyday and buy fresh, local, small-batch, artisanal foods. If you want to go ahead and eat some cheese here and there, fine. But if you’re not eating a Mediterranean Diet and living like the traditional French and other Mediterranean cultures do, then eating cheese is like pouring fuel on the inferno of metabolic disorders. 

If you eat plenty of fresh, local, organic produce and avoid processed foods, go ahead and enjoy a portion of pule. But if you’re like the average American who has trouble with controlling portion sizes and leading a mostly sedentary life, reduce your cheese intake. Start replacing regular cheese with “NOOCH.” 

What Is Nutritional Yeast?  

Nooch (not to be confused with booch) is the most common yeast in food fermentation. Afraid of getting a yeast infection? Don’t freak out. You won’t get one by eating nooch. Nonetheless, it is a yeast. But it’s not the same as brewer’s yeast that makes beer bubbly (and bad for your gut). It’s also not the same yeast that makes bread and baked goods rise. (Nooch doesn’t rise and it’s not doughy.) 

But the cheesy, nutty taste and mouthfeel will make your spirit soar because if you haven’t yet experienced it, you’ll be amazed by how much it tastes just like regular cheese. (I can’t say if it tastes specifically like donkey cheese because I’ve never tried pule.) 

I want to reiterate that nutritional yeast won’t contribute to an overabundance of harmful yeast in your gut. Sprinkling some nooch on farro, couscous, or other grain, or making a velvety faux-cheese sauce isn’t a recipe for having to do a Candida cleanse. To be sure, nutritional yeast is the same species as brewer’s yeast. But it’s a radically different product. Brewer’s and baker’s yeasts are active yeasts; nooch is an inactive yeast.

Not only is nooch cheesy, it also has an umami profile. If you’re not sure what umami is, it’s one of the five food tastes. There’s sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savory. Umami describes a rich, savory flavor. 

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

I could regurgitate a bunch of nutrition facts like one tablespoon of nooch contains 17.6 micrograms of vitamin B-12. But you’ll probably forget these stats. What’s important to know is that nooch is one of the best sources of vitamin B-12 for vegans. B-12 is one of the hardest nutrients for the body to absorb. And if you don’t have good gut health, you’ll have a difficult time absorbing B-12, which is necessary for cellular energy. 

But the good news is that, at least according to an exhaustive study in the journal Nutrients, nutritional yeast seems to be good for the gut. I’ll get into that in a sec. 

Nooch also contains an impressive amount of protein, fiber, minerals and other B vitamins in just a small serving size. If you’re making, say, a big casserole, you’ll need more nutritional yeast, so you’ll get even more of the health benefits. 

The Nutrients study says nooch increases the absorption of minerals and helps detoxify mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are pathogens that grow on mushrooms. Nooch also helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood, and acts as an antioxidant. 

Nooch might be good for your gut because of its probiotic effects, says the study. It helps maintain the epithelial barrier integrity of the intestinal mucosa. What does that mean in plain English? It means like bone broth, it might be one of the best foods for preventing leaky gut.

Nutritional Yeast Probiotic

A while back, I wrote about traveling with kids. I revealed the best probiotic to take on your trip to prevent traveller’s diarrhea. It’s called saccharomyces boulardii. It’s actually not a bacteria like all other probiotics, rather it’s a yeast. S. boulardii is the only yeast that has been shown in research studies to benefit the good bacteria in your gut. 

Why am I mentioning this? Because research has shown that S. boulardii is virtually identical to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, aka nutritional yeast.

So while regular cheese can make the belly’s of lactose-sensitive people squirm, nooch seems to actually offer protection against inflammatory gut reactions. 

That’s the cherry on top for this cheesy topping that goes great on popcorn, sauces, soups, stews, and lots of other recipes

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

Macho Nachos

My Macho Nachos recipe has everything a macho guy (or gal) could want in flavor and crunch, without the harmful fats and calories.

Whether for Cinco de Mayo or the Super Bowl, this easy to make recipe is a hit with everyone.  – Veronica

Chef V Macho Nacho with Taco seasoning

Serving Size: 2-4 People

Ingredients

CHEF V’S TACO SEASONING
2 teaspoons hot chili powder
1 teaspoon of each: paprika and onion powder
½ teaspoon of each: sea salt, garlic powder,
ground cumin, and oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon of each: cayenne pepper and
red pepper flakes

TORTILLA CHIPS
4 gluten-free, corn-free tortillas (I like Rudi’s®)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon Chef V’s Taco Seasoning
½ cup shredded Daiya® cheddar shreds

NACHO ‘MEAT’
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ cup diced yellow onion
2 cups diced mushrooms or 1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon Chef V’s Taco Seasoning
¼ cup water or Chef V’s Homemade Almond Milk

TOPPINGS
1 cup cooked or canned black or pinto beans, warmed
1 whole avocado, diced
½ cup of each: diced and peeled mango, chopped
cilantro, and chopped green onion

Directions

Chef V’s Tip: For more protein, use 1 pound ground turkey instead of mushrooms. This is great for entertaining!

Combine all taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the tortillas into chip shapes.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning, if desired. Add the chips and gently coat.

Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper or use an oven-safe serveware piece. Place the chips in a single layer.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, but do not completely cook the chips. Remove the chips from the oven and sprinkle with Daiya® shreds. Bake for 3-4 more minutes, until the shreds are melted.

To make the nacho ‘meat,’ melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms (or ground turkey) and cook for 3 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and water or almond milk. Continue to cook through, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 more minutes. Keep warm on the stovetop.

To serve, transfer the chips onto a serving plate or leave on the oven-safe serveware piece. Top with warm black beans or pinto beans, nacho ‘meat’ (vegan or turkey), avocado, mango, cilantro, and green onion.

Warm Pumpkin Salad

This is a delicious fall treat for those first cool days that signal the end of summer. It’s very filling and makes you feel full even though it’s a salad. It’s also very healthy and vegan. – Veronica

pumpkin quinoa salad

Serving Size: 2-4 people

Ingredients

Warm Pumpkin Salad

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet or yellow onion
  • 1 small pie pumpkin, skinned, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 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 lettuces)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

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

Add the garlic, nutmeg and thyme, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the pumpkin to a bowl and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

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

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Vegan Moussaka

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

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

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

In this special episode, we have a virtual guest. Michael lost over 200lbs with Chef V and implemented a healthy lifestyle. His story is so inspiring. We make a vegan version of moussaka using a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

Cooking with Chef V

Michael says:

“I’ve reached my goal weight in June, losing a total of 245 plus pounds over the last 22 months. Chef V has helped in this as my morning drink since I started my Green Drink Plan from you. Thank you.”

Vegan Moussaka
Step by Step

moussaka ingredients

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS

dicing onion

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 6×6 inch baking dish with coconut spray.

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

ONION
Cut off both ends of the onion, remove the skin, give it diagonal cuts all the way across the cut end.  Slice across cut end for perfectly diced onion.

chop mushrooms

MUSHROOMS
Chop the mushrooms – I love the nice meaty texture they give to the dish.

sliced zucchini

ZUCCHINI
Cut off the ends so the end is flat. Slice lengthwise making pieces like a lasagna noodle.

saute onions

SAUTE THE ONION, MUSHROOMS & GARLIC

In a saucepan, saute onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about one minute, until translucent. Add the garlic, then the mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes more.

bechamel sauce in pan

MAKE THE BECHAMEL SAUCE

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a saucepan, add the flour into the oil, and stir. Slowly add the almond milk while stirring. Add 1/2 cup vegan cheese.

Once the cheese is melted add the spices – 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon rosemary.

The sauce will get creamy and thicken. Reduce the heat and simmer it. Add the broth and continue stirring.

assemble dish

ASSEMBLE THE DISH

In a 6 by 6-inch baking dish, assemble the moussaka. 

  • Cover the bottom with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella shreds.
  • Top with mushroom mixture.
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella shreds.
  • Cover with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Top with sauce.

moussake oven

BAKE THE DISH

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

tasting

TASTE!

Creamy Sweet Potato & Leek Soup

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

pumpkin pie

Ingredients

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

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

Directions

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

Raspberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are tiny superfood heroes. They come in either white or dark brown/black and have a huge nutritional profile. They contain Calcium, Manganese, and Phosphorus and are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy Omega-3 fats. They are basically tasteless so you can add them to nearly any kind of dish. Add raspberries, cocoa nibs, and coconut and you have a decadent yet healthy dessert.

chia seed pudding

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. coconut nectar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh organic raspberries
1 tbsp. coconut flakes (optional)
1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs (optional)

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, combine milk and chia seeds and stir until there are no lumps.

Add coconut nectar and vanilla and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Place raspberries in a Vitamix or food processor and puree.

Mix the raspberries with the chia pudding until completely mixed.

Serve in a glass or bowl and top with coconut and/or cacao nibs (optional). Happy V Day!

Acai Bowl

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

Acai is a berry-like fruit native to the rain forests of the Amazon. It has a bitter 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.

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

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.

Chai Spiced Cakes with Ginger Icing

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

This makes a lot of cupcakes so I keep them in a bag in the fridge. Pop one out and place in microwave for 10 seconds and then top with frosting when done. These are great to have in the house for a delightful yet healthy treat when you have a sweet tooth. 

chai spiced cakes with ginger icing

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (use my fresh almond milk recipe)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup runny almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour 
  • 1 cup oat or gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Frosting

  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • a small pinch of black pepper
  • 1 ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours and drained
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream + 2 tbsp (as needed)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Combine maple syrup, coconut sugar, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, almond butter, and vanilla. Melt in the microwave or stovetop, whisking until smooth.

Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.

Scoop into a cupcake pan lined with paper liners, filling each 3/4 of the way (makes 8).

Bake 20 minutes at 350ºF.

Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, drained soaked cashews and add to a blender along with remaining ingredients. Blend on high until very smooth, adding more coconut cream if needed.

Transfer to a container and chill for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight for a thicker, pipe-able frosting).

Frost cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Stop the presses…most olive oil is fake! Here’s how to tell…

You know olive oil is healthy. But not all olive oil is of high quality. Here, Chef V schools you on what constitutes healthy, organic olive oil.

When weather cools and days are shorter, I crave comfort food.

Here in sunny San Diego we have to wait a little longer to feel the cool nights. But when temps dip into the high 50s at night – Brrrrr. That's the time to bust out the flannel sheets and the comforter!

And it's also time to cook comfort food dishes with seasonal veggies. Below, I'll share with you one of my favorite fall recipes: Mediterranean Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew with Quinoa. (If you love the recipe, you can get more delicious ones in my book, Making Cleansing Easier.)

As you'll see in the recipe, one of the ingredients for both the stew and quinoa is olive oil.

Not too long ago, I read a report that up to 80% of olive oil sold in stores is either fake or of really low quality. In fact, the problem is so pervasive in Italy, there's a special police unit devoted to olive oil fraud! Many olive oils are cut with food coloring or vegetable oil. This makes it easy for food fraudsters to make some easy profit on unsuspecting customers.

In light of this shocking statistic, before you reach for a bottle of Italian extra-virgin olive oil, learn these tips about finding a truly high-quality olive oil….

Healthy Organic Olive Oil: location matters

You might come across a bottle of olive oil that looks legit. On the back of the bottle, it says the origin of the olives is Spain, Greece, and Italy. These three Mediterranean countries might be home to delicious olives (I especially love cantanzaro olives, yum!). Therefore, you might think, wow, great olives from the best places in Europe in one bottle. However, the problem is the olives shouldn't derive from more than one origin.

The reason why is that there are a few things that turn olive oil rancid: air, light, heat, mixing with other oils.

When olive oil comes from more than one location, there's too much air from the bottling process. So instead of buying healthy organic olive oil, you're really purchasing olive oil that could already be rancid before you open the bottle.

Organic Olive Oil: Where to buy local

If you're in the U.S., California has some amazing-quality healthy olive oil. If you want to know for sure that an olive oil is of high quality, check out the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). You can enter your zip code on their website, and it will show you which stores have COOC-certified olive oils. Some of them are even organic olive oil, which I prefer to buy.

The highest-quality and most affordable olive oil is sold at Trader Joe's, under the label California Estate Extra Virgin. It's only $5.99 for a 500ml bottle. It's not certified organic olive oil, nor is it COOC-certified, but it's still a very high-quality oil. All large producers in California who produce over 5,000 gallons are required to comply with mandatory state quality standards. So whomever is supplying Trader Joe's with the delicious olive oil I love is certainly producing at least 5,000 gallons.

And if you live on the East Coast, you can get high-quality olive oil from Georgia.  Yes Georgia, which, in 2011, became the first state east of the Mississippi to harvest olive oil.

Healthy Organic Olive Oil: Buy Extra Virgin, Never Light

What is extra virgin olive oil? In short, it's olive oil that was produced without chemical processing. Instead, extra-virgin olive oil extraction is via mechanical pressing. In addition, the extra virgin healthy olive oil is lower in acidity.

There's no reason to ever buy light olive oil. “Lite” does not mean it's a healthy olive oil. On the contrary, lite or light olive oil undergoes extra processing. This denatures the oil. Also, virgin, fine and light olive oil are more acidic than extra-virgin.

Speaking of light, never buy olive oil if it doesn't come in an opaque, dark bottle. If it's a clear bottle, the light will ruin the oil.

One reason the Mediterranean Diet is so popular is because it emphasizes healthy monounsaturated fats like extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). EVOO is one of the healthiest foods for your heart.

Organic Olive Oil: Good or bad for weight loss?

But if you worry about the calories in organic olive oil, limit your intake to about 3 tablespoons per day. Olive oil is a calorie-rich fat, which is a double-edge sword. On one hand, the 100+ calories per tablespoon will help keep you full and prevent cravings. On the other hand, though, all those calories may lead to weight gain if you don't burn off those calories through exercise. So have healthy organic olive oil often, just don't drench your salad with it.

Don't cook with organic olive oil at high temperatures. Extra-virgin organic olive oil has a smoke point of about 375 degrees. Once it's smoking that's a sign it's turning rancid. You can lightly sautee with organic olive oil. However, I prefer coconut oil for higher temp stir-frys.

Healthy Organic Olive Oil: First-Press is Best

If you have the money, spring for small-batch, first-press olive oil. First-press olive oil contains the highest amount of antioxidants. You won't often find first press (aka “Olio Nuovo”) olive oil in stores. That's because the first press doesn't yield that much olive oil. Most olive oils that you buy in conventional stores are derived from olives harvested late in the season. This results in greater yields and therefore, more olive oil that can be sold. However, even if you don't buy a first-press olive oil, if you get a COOC-certified oil or similar high-quality, it's still very good for your health.

I prefer to buy food that comes from local sources. In fact, every single one of our ingredients in our Green Drinks and Detox Soups either grow on our farm or from nearby farms. But if you want to buy extra virgin olive oil from, say, Italy, here are a couple things to keep in mind. The bottle should have a harvest date and a geographic origin and EU certification.

Now that you know a few key facts about what makes olive oil high quality, it's time to share with you my nourishing soup that I love to make in the fall. So without further ado, enjoy the recipe!

Chef V Tropical Smoothie

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

For a variation on this recipe, add fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and vanilla pea protein powder.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 2 cups Chef V Tropical Smoothie Green Drink
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla pea protein (optional)

Superfood boosts:

  • 1 tsp. Fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. Fresh turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Bee pollen

Directions

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

Bon Appétit!

Creamy Green Smoothie

My creamy green smoothie has it all: a rich creamy flavor from avocado, plus dark leafy greens, a natural sweetener from dates, and fiber from chia seeds. A pinch of cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon add spice and acid. Health alert: potassium is an important mineral that most people don’t get enough of. But instead of reaching for a banana, eat an avocado – it contains more potassium and way less sugar. 

Chef V’s Food Fact: Avocados are a nutritionist’s dream food – packed with nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. Have one in a creamy green smoothie!

creamy green smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 2 large leaves green kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

Bon Appétit!

Green Protein Smoothie (with Kale)

Adding Kale to a green protein smoothie makes it so good for you. Kale is a wonder in the world of superfoods. It is packed with carotenoids and flavonoids, the key antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals.  – Veronica

green smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 medium leaf green chard
  • 2 large leaves green kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 1 cup Chef V’s raw almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 scoop plain or vanilla vegan protein powder (use hemp, pea or brown rice protein, do not use soy protein)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

    Bon Appétit!

White Sweet Potato Purée IBS Version

You just can’t have a special meal without mashed potatoes. But regular mashed potatoes are very starchy. That means the starch quickly converts into sugar. That’s more bad news for your gut. But this healthy recipe for mashed potatoes uses the nutritiously-superior white sweet potato. Instead of regular milk, I use almond or coconut milk. This recipe is designed for people with IBS who are following a low FODMAP diet.

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

sweet potato puree

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Banana Blue Smoothie

A smoothie recommended for the nursing mom!

This is our most popular smoothie and the smoothie my husband has every day: Banana Blue. I don’t typically share banana based smoothies since bananas are excluded from the Chef V cleanse because of their high starch and sugar content.

However, for nursing moms, banana and blueberries are great for healing the uterus and producing breast milk. I’ve added some nutritional super boosts too like chia seeds and almond butter.

And of course remember to use all organic!

banana blue smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chef V's Almond Milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 loose cup of kale, spinach or other greens
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tbsp. Chef V vanilla pea protein
  • 1 tsp. Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Almond butter

Directions

Blend in high for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Enjoy! Serves 1.

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.

For additional protein, add my Almond Crusted Chicken to the dish.

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.

Vanilla “Milk” Shake

Vanilla milkshake recipe –  Too much dairy can be bad for digestion, especially for kids, which is why more people are choosing to limit their intake or eliminate it completely from their diets. Here’s a creamy and delicious mock milkshake recipe that will please your taste buds and your tummy! – Veronica

Vanilla Milk shake

  • 1 cup – Chef V's Raw Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup – Cashews (soaked for one hour and drained)
  • 1 cup – Ice 1 tbsp – Raw Coconut Nectar (I use Coconut Secret)
  • 1 tsp – Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped (optional)

Process all ingredients in Vitamix blender until smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Share a pic of your Vanilla “Milk” Shake with me! @chefvlife #chefvlife

Find this and other easy recipes in my new book, Making Cleansing Easier. Visit ChefV.com/book

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!

Red White & Blue Smoothie Bowl

My Red White & Blue Breakfast Smoothie Bowl is delicious, good for you, and easy to make. Start off the holiday celebration with this yummy breakfast!

Use any smoothie as the base. Top with raspberries or strawberries, blueberries and coconut shreds.

My favorites smoothies to use as the base are:

red white blue smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups smoothie from my drinks recipes 
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, blueberries or other fresh organic berries

Optional: gluten free granola

Directions

Fill bowl with one of my favorite smoothies. Top with raspberries or strawberries and layer the coconut shreds and blueberries to make a patriotic treat.

Grilled Mango Salad

My Grilled Mango Salad makes any meal delicious. It combines the hearty flavor of black beans with the luscious richness of mangoes and avocado, all in a healthy salad, perfect before or after a Chef V Cleanse.

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

Serving Size: 4 People

grilled mango salad

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

Medicinal Herbs: Get Busy Cooking!

CBD oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample Code

Ginger 

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

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

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

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

Turmeric

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

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

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

medical cannabis

Mushrooms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cinnamon

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

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

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

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

Leptin function

Mint

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

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

To your health.

Chef V

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

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

creamy avocado dressing

TOTAL TIME: 10 min

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Watermelon Slush

Who doesn’t love a little watermelon on a hot summer day? It’s practically the quintessential summer snack for all ages, and that’s why it is the perfect base for a healthy summer slush. Our watermelon slush recipe is the perfect way to quench your thirst and get all your nutrients – not to mention it’s SO refreshing! – Veronica

Watermelons are a good source of thiamin, potassium, and magnesium, all of which protect our bodies from disease. Watermelon is also rich in vitamins A and C.

watermelon slush

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped refrigerated watermelon
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 12 oz. cold filtered water

Directions

Blend for 1-2 minutes and serve immediately.

Bon Appétit!

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. 

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.