It’s a week of speedy meals here at CR, and in spite of that, I’m doing my best to show you quick, easy, and healthy plant based fare. Thank you all for the great reaction to my parsnip rice with hemp seeds and basil!
As temperatures skyrocket this week, and DC is covered in a shroud of humidity, it’s time to break out the blender. We’ve already seen green juice with avocado (yum) this week, and today, when I got home from class, I had a hankering for one of my blended salads. What the heck is a blended salad? See this post for the deets and a DIY guide, but basically, blended salads are just soups of raw veggies, whipped up (typically) in a high speed blender. Think of them as the savory answer to green smoothies! They’re incredibly refreshing, and I think they’re ideal for summer months.
In every great raw foods cookbook I’ve ever read, one single piece of advice was offered on the topic of raw soups: texture matters. Because they usually have a blended vegetable base, adding some mix ins for texture and flavor is key. I love adding avocado and cherry tomatoes, but chickpeas, black beans, shredded carrots or beets, edamame, and green peas are all wonderful toppers. Today, I used about a half cup of black beans and the last of an avocado that was in my fridge: I definitely encourage you to use whatever odds and ends might fit your soup base!
Speaking of odds and ends, blended salads are generally good for putting the last of your veggies to use. Today, I had half a cup of cherry tomatoes, 4 carrots, a little bit of celery, and the last two leaves of kale from a bunch I’d been making my way through this week. They all went into my soup, along with some sundried tomatoes, cashews, and a bit of sacha inchi oil. The result was delicious; think V8, homemade. And it was ready after about 1 minute of blending, flat. Not bad for lunch on the go!
So, raw salads are quick, easy, healthy, and tasty. What they usually aren’t is pretty and photogenic: they tend to be thick, and often take on odd orange/green hues. No matter. These soups offer in antioxidant and vitamin power what they lack in photogeneity!
Blended “V8” Salad (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
4 medium sized carrots, roughly chopped
2 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
1/4 cup packed, sundried tomatoes
2 kale leaves, toughest parts of the stem cut off
1/2 tsp herbamare or Jane’s Crazy Mixed up Salt (substitute 1/4 tsp salt and a dash of black pepper)
2 pitted dates
1/4 cup cashews
1 cup water (more if needed)
1 tbsp hemp, flax, or sacha inchi oil
1 cup black beans (or so)
1. Blend all ingredients but the oil in a high speed blender till smooth. Put the cherry tomatoes and zucchini at the bottom to facilitate blending.
2. While the mixture is blending evenly, drizzle in oil.
3. Pour into bowls and garnish with beans and avocado. Serve!
Check out the tasty toppings:
As you can see, I also served it with some sprouted bread “toast points.”
Except that I didn’t toast them. Not in this heat
Nutrient dense meals can squeeze into even the busiest of days. When a blender involved, it’s especially easy to pack a lot of nutrition into a fast and easy meal!
Hope this post inspires you to experiment with your own vegetable blends. Believe me, this one is far from a template: there are so many different combinations to explore, so keep me posted if you come up with a winner!
Do you like blended soups? Which ones are your favorites for hot summer months?