Buffalo chicken, cheese dip, and beer—these typical game day flavors can’t compare to this healthy and tasty raw dip. The fresh spinach, creamy avocado, plus the unique taste of curry powder makes it a refreshing combination of flavors. And since many Super Bowl party appetizers often feel heavy, this lighter option will really stand out in a crowd and help you keep up your energy for cheering on your favorite team.
By combining iron-rich foods (such as spinach) with food rich in vitamin C (such as the lime), your body better absorbs the iron. Add in the avocado and you get some additional vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. And the curry powder is known to be a strong anti-inflammatory. Delicious and nutritious—what’s not to love?
You’ll score points with everyone when you serve this curried spinach dip on game day!
Curried Spinach Dip
Serves 4–8 as a dip
Spinach dip is always an easy favorite. The addition of curry gives this an extra boost of health and flavor!
Finely chop spinach and place in bowl of food processor. Add avocado and lime juice and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined. We love to serve this with standard crudités or jicama.
While sometimes a bit tough, if you know how to prepare it correctly, Kale salad can be a tasty side dish or main course. Kale is a green that’s gained popularity in the past couple years—we see it in our grocery stores, farmers’ markets, salad bars, and restaurants. The leafy green is packed with vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. It’s part of the Brassica family of veggies (known to be super-nutritious) that includes cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Last week we posted about a raw food workshop some members of the Honest staff attended and we mentioned the importance of massaging the kale before you eat it raw. This may sound silly but for a tasty, healthy, and affordable green like kale, this 2 minute step is worth the extra effort.
Kale is in abundance right now at farmers’ markets because it’s in season, so you might be able to get a great deal (go to a farmer’s market about 30 minutes before it closes down when vendors are willing to haggle to get rid of their produce). Some specialty grocery and health food stores sell baby kale, which doesn’t need to be massaged, just soak it in an acidic dressing for about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Another great thing about kale is that since it’s a tougher leaf (hence the massaging and soaking) if you make a giant kale salad for dinner, you can easily save the rest for the next day’s lunch without it getting overly soggy.
Kale and Persimmon Salad
Meyer Lemon Dressing:
1. Wash and dry kale using a BPA-free salad spinner or a thin dishtowel. That’s it with this type of kale! No massaging necessary.
2. Wash and slice persimmons into two-bite pieces—large enough so you can really taste the flavor. Yum!
3. Using a chef’s knife, roughly chop about 1 cup of almonds.
4. Add all ingredients to a bowl.
5. To make the dressing mix 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil, with 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar. Squeeze 3-4 Tbsp. of juice from a Meyer lemon. Then grate as much zest as possible into the mix (Meyer lemon zest has an amazing flavor!). Finally mix in 1 Tbsp. organic agave nectar.
6. Toss and enjoy!
*Dressing adapted from DamnDelicious.net.
Kale and Pomegranate Salad
1. To prepare this type of kale, first spray with a veggie wash, leave on for 1-2 minutes, and rinse. Shake leaves dry and use a utility or paring knife to remove the thick stem leaving just the leaves. To make this easier, fold the kale in half with the inside facing out, exposing the stem.
Slice the kale into strips, so it’s easier to bite with a fork. Drain kale in BPA-free salad spinner or let dry in a colander.
2. Next you’ll want to massage the kale. This makes it less rough, easier to chew, and much more tasty! Pour about 2 tsp. olive oil, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt over the kale. Massage the lettuce for about 2-5 minutes until you notice it shrinking in size and looking more salad-like. When massaging it, act like you’re mixing cookie dough with your hands or even giving someone a massage—don’t be afraid to get in there!
3. Next, you’ll need to deseed the pomegranate. The easiest way to deseed a pomegranate is to fill a bowl with cool water. Slice the ends of the pomegranate, then begin to tear it apart while it’s in the water. The seeds should easily separate from the membrane. This also helps to prevent pomegranate juice from getting on your clothes because any juice that comes out of the seeds as you gently squeeze them ends up in the water. After all the seeds are out, pick out any remaining membrane from the bowl.
4. For texture purposes, we peeled the apple and sliced it into strips, but feel free to use the skin!
5. Toss the apple in with the kale, add about half the pomegranate seeds (or as many as you’d like. We’re saving the other half for pomegranate martinis!).
6. To make the dressing mix 3 Tbsp. cold-pressed organic olive oil, 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate juice), 1 Tbsp. agave, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, vinegar, and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour dressing over salad. Toss. This should lightly coat the leaves with a sweet flavor.
What are your favorite kale recipes? Tell us in the comments!
A group of Honest staff members attended an eye-opening (and delicious) raw foods workshop at The Matthew Kenney Academy, located in the heart of Santa Monica. The academy is the nation’s first and only classically structured raw and living foods educational center in the world. They had the privilege of learning about raw cooking from three amazing instructors, one of whom being Meredith Baird, creative director for the Matthew Kenney Lifestyle Brand. Meredith writes cookbooks, opens restaurants, and guest blogs on PureMamas (and our blog!) in addition to teaching at the academy. The other instructors Sean Murray and Jasie Costigan had endless patience with newbie cooks in the Honest group and were kind and helpful throughout the weekend-long course.
One of the great things about raw food is that you don’t have to worry about your food not being healthy or feel guilty about it later. It may seem labor intensive, but raw “cooking” is a lot easier than it looks if you stick with a few simple raw recipes. For more details, and even more recipes, you can buy Matthew and Meredith’s book Everyday Raw Detox. Below are some of the favorite tips, tricks, and recipes from the weekend intensive.
Why this is a great meal: Adding chia seeds to your diet is an easy way for you to get a healthy amount of fiber, which is important for digestive health. You can load-up on omega-3′s and it is easier to digest than flax seeds. It is great for helping you feel full for longer periods of time, helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, and is just plain delicious.
Blend together nut milk, sweetener, banana, vanilla, and salt. It starts out as a pure liquid, and then pour chia seeds in an even top coat over liquid. Stir thoroughly, and soak for 30 mins to 1 hour in the refrigerator, allowing the chia to set up and give it a pudding-like texture. Portion 3/4 cup into a parfait glass or small bowl and top with fruit. Some of the Honest students topped theirs with goji berries and bee pollen for extra nutrients.
Why this is a great meal: This delicious and filling smoothie is a great way to start the day! It would also be delightful as a mid-afternoon snack. It is extremely cleansing and rich in beneficial healthy fats. Pears are great because they contain less sugar than richer tropical fruits.
Blend ingredients together and enjoy!
Why this is a great meal: It is a wonderful light lunch or dinner dish. This salad is packed full of nutrients and contains additional flavors with apples and walnuts. Also, massaging the kale makes all the difference!
It is important to make the walnut medley separate, then add to salad for optimal taste.
Massage kale and Swiss chard with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt to break down the fibers, making it more pleasant to eat, and easier to digest. Once the greens are wilted, add in apple and berries. Prepare the walnuts by tossing them in a separate bowl with the thyme, oil, salt and pepper, then add to salad (making the walnut medley separately helps to achieve best results). Add salt to taste.
Why this meal is great: It is a nutrient-packed dessert that the kiddos will love (and you will too)!
Date Paste Ingredients
Blend these ingredients together until they reach an applesauce-like consistency. This should yield about 1/2 cup of paste that can be used directly with other ingredients. Making the paste first means you can just throw the other ingredients in on top of it in the next step!
Add cacao powder last, blend until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses or bowls. Try adding sea salt on top for a great balance of flavors. This dessert is also great to freeze and make as fudgesicles.
These are just a few recipes from Matthew and Meredith’s book, Everyday Raw Detox. Be sure to check out the book for these recipes and more!
We want to thank the Matthew Kenney Academy for hosting us and teaching us so much about what food can do for your body and health. You don’t have to adopt a completely raw diet to reap the benefits. Making small changes is all it takes. If you are interested in
attending the course you can sign up by clicking here.
Do you incorporate raw recipes into your diet? Share some of your faves in the comments!
Save money, calories, and probably some preservatives by packing your own lunch. Check out these healthy lunch ideas you can take to work from Chef Meredith Baird. They make the perfect addition to a healthy lunchbox. The beauty with these clean recipes is that they can go without refrigeration during a long commute.
“Packing a healthy lunch is a lot easier than people think,” Meredith says. “Fruits and vegetables are nature’s ultimate fast food.”
Check out this colorful and healthy recipes:
Makes 4 large burritos or 8 small burritos
This is so tasty and it makes the perfect lunch. Collards make one of the best wraps to stuff with just about anything because they are such a hearty green they won’t get soggy in your lunchbox like a nori wrap or even a tortilla . Plus, this is super simple to make. This is really best to make with leftover quinoa, but you could use rice, faro, or any other grain that you have on hand. It is the perfect carrier for healthy ingredients from dinner the night before. And feel free to add roasted mushrooms, roasted veggies, olives, nuts etc. Just toss all of the ingredients in. This is our version, but feel free to get experimental!
Filling: Toss all ingredients together except avocado Crème Fraîche and collard leaves. Allow to marinate for approximately 10 minutes before serving. If you want to serve it warm, and you made fresh quinoa, toss ingredients together immediately and serve.
Assembly: Lay collard leaf flat and spread with a little Avocado Crème Fraîche. Fill with a generous serving of quinoa mixture. Top with sunflower sprouts, if using. Roll collard leaf tightly. Serve with extra crème fraîche for dipping. Slice in half, if preferred.
*You don’t want to split the collard leaf in half. Just slice the stem out in a V shape.
Avocado Crème Fraîche
Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth
Winter Greens and Walnuts
This salad is a take on the classic massaged kale salad. We chose to take it in a more fall-like direction with the addition of thyme and walnuts, but you could certainly use any of your favorite herbs and nuts. Walnuts happen to be a favorite around here. This is a great salad to pack for lunch because the flavor marinates and gets better throughout the day. Kale is a hearty and healing lettuce—perfect for the detox lunchbox.
Salad: Massage kale and Swiss chard with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt to break down the fibers. Once the salad is wilted, toss in apple and Inca berries.
Walnuts: Toss walnuts with thyme, oil, salt, and pepper.
Assembly: Toss walnuts with salad. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme and walnuts, if desired.
What are your favorite healthy lunches that are easily portable for work? Tell us in the comments.
Recipes by Meredith Baird. Meredith is a certified raw food chef and instructor. She is also the creative director at the Matthew Kenney Academy where chefs and health foodies can learn the art of making raw food.
Photo Credit Adrian Mueller
Sure, oatmeal is delicious but it’s fun to shake-up breakfast once in a while. The New Year is a perfect time to incorporate some new, healthy breakfast recipes. Perfect for cold winter mornings, this quinoa porridge will warm you up, plus it’s packed full of iron and protein. Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, making this a great dish to serve to guests if they have any diet restrictions.
Warm Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
Almonds, quinoa and antioxidants make this is just about the healthiest way to start the day. This can actually be served warm in the winter months, or cold in summer months, or vice versa—whatever makes you happy!
1. Bring a pot of water to the boil, and add the quinoa. Cook it until it’s just underdone, just a few minutes less than it says on the packet. Drain it and put it back in the pot over a low heat. Then add the almond milk, almond/peanut butter and vanilla, and keep stirring for a couple of minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and add the berries, seeds and nuts. Give it a taste. If you’d like to add more honey, almond milk, etc. it’s up to your preference. To serve, give a little squeeze of lime/lemon to sharpen it up, and place in a bowl topped with a few mint leaves. Beautiful.
What are some creative and healthy breakfast recipes you plan on making this year?