I am pretending it’s Spring… Sweet Pea Soup! (Bite This)

spring split pea soup 01 I am pretending its Spring... Sweet Pea Soup! (Bite This)Photographer Aria Alpert

It’s still cold here. And I don’t mean kinda cold. I mean freaking cold. Like snow is still in the forecast. It’s almost April?! I don’t think I am the only one having trouble accepting this very out of control weather pattern. So, this (chilly!) afternoon I am gonna do what any full blooded California girl does when it snows….pretend that spring has sprung and make a Spring Sweet (frozen) organic pea soup!! And it worked. Well, that is until I went outside…brrrrrr… :)  

spring split pea soup 02 I am pretending its Spring... Sweet Pea Soup! (Bite This)

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Black Eye Pea “happy new year” Salad (Bite This)

bite this post 12 31 2010 Black Eye Pea Salad 01 Black Eye Pea “happy new year” Salad (Bite This)

Eating black eye peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity for the new year so… eat this yummy stuff UP and have a very very happy successful delicious new year!! And don’t forget your greens!

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Creamy Broccoli Leek Soup (Bite This)

Creamy Broccoli Leek Soup vegan 01 Creamy Broccoli Leek Soup (Bite This)Photographer V Blak

I love making vegetable soups. They can be very nourishing and are for the most part very easy to create. And since we got such a wonderful response for my Cauliflower soup, I figured I’d share my Broccoli Leek soup with you all. See which one you like betta…

Creamy Broccoli Leek Soup vegan 02 Creamy Broccoli Leek Soup (Bite This)

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How To Love Your Beets, by GreenChef Aria Alpert

Flesh Monkies prepare yourself for what I am about to tell you. This is V Blak by the way. I know you and I don’t feel this way, we are freaking Monkies after all, but the truth is, sadly most people, HATE, I mean really hate Beets. Even our hip youngish first lady, Michelle Obama has something against these red bloody beauties. She told Ladies Home Journal “Neither the president nor I have the beet gene”. What does that mean? You have to have a gene to like one of the best veggies on the planet? I am taking a wild guess here, but I bet they had that all to common first taste beet experience, you know the one, the dreaded dirt taste.

Yes dirt, come on, lets admit it, beets are very very earthy and if you are a clueless fleshy, like I was, you just don’t know how to properly bring out the lushes side of beets. The result can have them coming out tasting like the backend of a dog. Okay not that bad and no I haven’t tasted a backend of a dog, and anyways I think that taste is exclusively reserved for Durians.

“Neither the president nor I have the beet gene”.

My own first experience with beets almost completely turned me off them forever. I was just beginning to juice and I tossed in way too many beets, greens and all and the result, I could barely keep from tossing the thing back up. I thought I was going to be sick. I just completely over did it. I may have also added garlic to that juice. I think I was sick or something. My point is, it was just too many beets and too little of the sweet stuff. Life is about balance and sometimes I just completely forget that. Oh well, lucky for me, I have an experienced beet lover close at hand now days and she has completely turned me around. I’ll admit it, her beautiful smile and her contagious laugh might have opened me up to giving the beet a second chance, but in the end it was her Beet dish which closed the deal. And maybe if your unfortunately in the hater camp, she can do the same for you. I present to you, GreenChef Aria Alpert and her love love love for the dirty little Beet.

Aria and I whipped up a short GreenChef video just for you, about you guessed it, the Beet. Sit back, click play and enjoy the first GreenChef video from the new G Living Pad in Palm Desert and afterwards, jump down to the comment section and tell everyone why you love or hate beets. And if your in the love category, spill the beans and maybe even share your beet recipe / story. We would love that…. Recipes and photos after the jump.

roasted beets aria alpert recipe greenchefs 02 How To Love Your Beets, by GreenChef Aria Alpert

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Garden Sweet Potato, Carrot & Cilantro Soup (Bite This)

Photographer V Blak

We escaped the cold ass east coast winter and are staying in a cabin along the Pacific Ocean. It’s warm and beautiful. Winter is a distant memory right now. It is wonderful. We are also staying on a property that has, of course, an incredible organic garden abundant with carrots, garlic, cilantro, greens and lettuces. So I picked up one of my favorite cookbooks, Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters, for a little inspiration. I had to make a few adjustments here and there, but this recipe is all Alice and it was good. It turned out so delicious that my BF went for his camera. Unfortatley the Monkie left it at the office, so we did the next best thing. We made an iphone video. Now go bite this one!

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Cool Down With A Watermelon & Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho By GreenChef Judita

Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho 01 Cool Down With A Watermelon & Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho By GreenChef JuditaPhotographer Judita

The early autumn continues to bring us gorgeous watermelons and heirloom tomatoes in southern California. The perfect ingredients to create a soup that is as tasty as it is healing. Perfect if you’re on a raw food cleanse. It’s very high in cancer preventing lycopene and the flavor is simply fantastic. I taught this at my Brooklyn Kitchen classes and everyone raved about how much they loved it. If you’re cleansing you can skip the sea salt and if you want a richer soup add a tablespoon or two of good quality extra virgin olive oil to the base.

Serves about 6 to 8

For the Base

4 cups watermelon, chopped

1 small red heirloom or Roma tomato, seeded, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh spearmint

2 tablespoons fresh basil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

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A Chickpea, Mint and Parsley Spread (Bite This)

bite this post chickpeas spread A Chickpea, Mint and Parsley Spread (Bite This)

You will never make hummus again. Well, maybe you will but I promise you will make this recipe more! It’s one of my all time favorites. So full of flavor and so satisfying. Toast some whole grain bread or pita and you’ve got a wonderful appetizer for your holiday dinner parties.

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Avocado Lime Dressing (Bite This)

bite this post 12 29 2010 Avocado Lime Dressing 01 Avocado Lime Dressing (Bite This)

A perfect way to use your very soft ripe avocados, not to mention a deliciously spicy way to eat them! Pour this raw dressing over just about anything you like really. You will be very happy you did… Perfect for salads, steamed vegetables, grains, seaweed, baked potatoes, beans…Mmmm Mmmm

Oh and if you happen to be one of those people who hate cilantro (I cry at even the thought of hating cilantro. I am a huge lover of the herb) use a combo of mostly parsley some basil, and a few leaves of mint.

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Gingered Green Split Pea Soup (Bite This)

Gingered Green Split Pea Soup 01 Gingered Green Split Pea Soup (Bite This)Photographer V Blak

I promise you won’t miss the ham hock in this deeply satisfying soup. Remember to soak the spilt peas overnight or, if you wake up craving this soup, soak them first thing in the morning so they will soak all day and you can make the soup for dinner! Soaking makes the beans cook faster and some say, makes them less gassy. Well, ahem, you be the judge of that. :) I also love to make this soup using yellow spilt peas. They add a lovely brightness to your meal in the wintertime but I only had green on hand so…yep…still as yummy!

Gingered Green Split Pea Soup 02 Gingered Green Split Pea Soup (Bite This)

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Rustic Fall Garden Vegetable Soup with Pistou (fancy way of saying basil pesto)

Vegetable Soup with Pistou by greenchef aria alpert 01 Rustic Fall Garden Vegetable Soup with Pistou (fancy way of saying basil pesto)Photographer: V Blak

I woke up this crisp September Sunday morning with the feeling of Fall. A slight chill in the air. Mist along the west coast. Mmmmm. I LOVE these morning’s. Especially here in Cali, where the weather of the season’s seem to always blend together. Finally, a change! YAY! Gonna embrace this new day in all it’s glory. Enjoy it while it lasts. Stay cozy for as long as I can. And that means, makin’ one of my most beloved dishes…SOUP! Woooooooo hooooooo. Yes, I am really THAT excited to make some yummy homemade soup! And, yes, I am the type of gal that fantasizes about makin’ it in the last long hot days of summer…just sayin’…

Soooooooo stay in your warm comfy PJ’s, put on some holiday music (I know it’s very early in the season for some holiday cheer but, I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve been know to rock out in the kitchen to those fab festive jams while makin’ me soup as soon as it gets chilly outside…:) ). And be sure to call some friends and invite them over for a delish homemade Sunday Soup Supper! Just ask them to bring a baguette and a bottle of wine and you got a wonderful din din…

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Flavor Punch Micro Greens, Apple and Fennel Salad by GreenChef Natalia

micro green fennel apple salad GreenChef Natalia 01 Flavor Punch Micro Greens, Apple and Fennel Salad by GreenChef NataliaPhotographer Natalia

I love the delicate nature of micro greens and every time I get my hands on them, I’m always so impressed with their depth of flavor. Despite their daintiness, they pack a huge flavor punch! Locally, I get a mix of red mustard, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, red cabbage, amaranth, celery and radish. Actually, what I’m finding is labeled “exotic tiny greens”, so I think they are a bit more mature than your average micro green, but who’s counting? This week, I was thrilled to find them for my book photo shoot. They make the loveliest garnishes on savory dishes.

In the summer, I’ve always been all about salads. Even before raw food, fresh salads in the summer just made sense. It’s hot out and you want to keep your kitchen and your body cool. The only problem with summer salads at the moment is that in Florida, all of my beloved organic famers are on vacation! Well, probably not vacation, but it’s too hot to grow and they’re prepping for their next season. It is a tough transition to go from huge baskets of dirt cheap, freshly picked produce to the limp, shipped from who knows where, sitting there for who knows how long, offerings as my local health food store. Oh, it’s almost painful. I do the best I can, picking through and finding what looks the freshest. This week, the fennel was looking nice and I had apples from my co-op share. With the micro greens I had left after my photo shoot, I was inspired to toss this together. It’s a really nice, fresh change from my normal daily lettuce or kale-based salads.

micro green fennel apple salad GreenChef Natalia 02 Flavor Punch Micro Greens, Apple and Fennel Salad by GreenChef Natalia Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Green Herb Soup with Chili Seeds By GreenChefs Heather Pace

greenherb soup chiliseeds greenchef heather pace 01 Green Herb Soup with Chili Seeds By GreenChefs Heather PacePhotographer Heather Pace

Green soup is great any time of year, and a tasty way to consume protein rich greens! Raw soups in general are cost effective, nutrient dense, and filling from all the fiber and water.

Play around! Even one ingredient change can make a huge flavor change, so the sky is the limit here. I also like adding a bit of tomato, or whatever happens to be in season. Avocado provides some body and creaminess to the soup, herbs give heaps of flavor, and a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar adds a bit of acidity to balance flavors. Always remember to add a little something salty, like himalayan or sea salt, nama shoyu, or seaweed, to bring out all flavors.

Occasionally I like to garnish my soups with crunchy, flavored seeds. I like to make big batches to keep on hand. They store for ages in the fridge!

For the Green Herb Soup

1 cup spinach

1 large stalk celery

1 handful fresh cilantro

1 handful fresh parsley

1 handful fresh dill

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 avocado

1/2 clove garlic

Pinch cayenne

Salt, to taste

Hot water

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