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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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 / See Additional Photos

Fix Me Pumpkinseed Salad by GreenChef Sarma Melngailis

Sarma Melngailis pumpkinseed salad 01 Fix Me Pumpkinseed Salad by GreenChef Sarma Melngailis

On our menu it’s actually called the Pumpkinseed and Herb Salad, but otherwise referred to by me as my favorite breakfast salad. I wake up craving this salad. And yes, it’s meant to fix me. I started eating this specific green mix because I was told that I probably need more of the sexy mineral zinc in my system, among other things. I haven’t been feeling well (at all) so this salad is part of my healing plan. My books are all about how raw food makes you feel amazing. I used to feel amazing. Why do I now feel like shit? And how can I admit that? (Doing it now). More on the healing plan as soon as I can find more time to write about it. Back to zinc. Pumpkinseeds happen to be very high in zinc. And so my love affair with pumpkinseeds has been rekindled.

Years ago in another (not raw) restaurant, I put a pumpkinseed salad on the menu: lolo rosso and red oak lettuces, shaved bosc pear, shaved pecorino, toasted salted pumpkinseeds and pumpkinseed lemon dressing. While I love delicate fluffy greens like lolo rosso and red oak, what I really can’t get enough of are kale and herbs. I could eat bathtubs of kale.

So, I started making myself this salad at the restaurant. Kale plus a bunch of parsley leaves, cilantro leaves, and torn mint leaves. Add hempseeds (full of omega-3’s… good for so many reasons!). Then toss the whole thing in a dressing made of pumpkinseed oil and lemon juice, and plenty of salt (ideally Himalayan crystal salt). You can also use a mix of olive (or other) oil with the pumpkinseed oil since the flavor is strong, and good quality raw organic pumpkinseed oil happens to be super expensive. (ours comes from Austria, raw and organic). I love maxium pumpkinseed flavor so I use just that oil and lemon (and salt). Top this green pile with a handful of pumpkinseed macadamia parmesan.

Sarma Melngailis pumpkinseed salad 02 Fix Me Pumpkinseed Salad by GreenChef Sarma Melngailis Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

The Raw Italian Artichoke Toss by GreenChef Natalia

Italian Artichoke Toss greenchef natalia 01 The Raw Italian Artichoke Toss by GreenChef NataliaPhotographer Natalia

When it comes to healthy living, I’m all or nothing. I love raw food, because it keeps me on track and feeling in control. Right before I even knew what this lifestyle was all about, I was a super junk food eating vegan. Like full on dinners of potato chips because, well, they tasted good and they were fairly natural, meat & dairy free. But healthy? Let’s get real. Overnight I decided raw was the way for me and haven’t looked back. Most importantly, I pushed through the transition and pumped my body full of as many greens as I could handle until I craved them as I once craved chips.

My lifestyle is rooted in pleasure—but not the kind of fleeting pleasure a bag of chips used to give me. This is a flow of pleasure. I love to go to the farmer’s market and hand pick every veggie, sniff the herbs and taste the ripe fruits. I adore creating in my kitchen. A little of this and a little of that = magic. As a life long foodie, you know I love to eat and indulge in all of the pleasures of gourmet raw food. But the most pleasure for me? I feel amazing. I don’t get sick, like ever. I’m completely blissed out. It’s deeply empowering.

Italian Artichoke Toss greenchef natalia 02 The Raw Italian Artichoke Toss by GreenChef Natalia Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Cucumber Salads For A Warm Summer Days By GreenChefs Golubka

cucumber salad ginger dill 01 Cucumber Salads For A Warm Summer Days By GreenChefs GolubkaPhotography Golubka

During the summers at our Russian dacha, meals were always accompanied by small, curiously shaped cucumbers that we picked from the garden that very day. Sometimes they were so perfectly sweet, that we would simply cut them in half and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Other times, we would toss a basic cucumber and tomato salad. Either way, this vegetable served as a cooling, hydrating, and nutritional companion to any summer meal. Cucumbers are at their best from May to July, and while we are at the peak of their season, here are two undemanding cucumber salads. One is a deserved favourite, and the other – a new addition. They are simple in preparation, and work well as side dishes or as snacks, on top of crackers.

I’ve always liked to pair cucumbers with dill, but came across the idea of combining them with apple cider vinegar in Carol Alt’s book.

Todays salads are the Cucumber and Dill Salad (an old favourite) and Ginger Cucumber Pickles (a Japanese salad).

cucumber salad ginger dill 02 Cucumber Salads For A Warm Summer Days By GreenChefs Golubka Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

The Salad | Aria Alperts, Italian Journals

arial alperts italian journals thesalad 012 The Salad | Aria Alperts, Italian JournalsPhotographer: Aria Alpert

It’s my last night here in Roma before I take to the train. Time just seems to go by smoothly here. There is a flow that has effortlessly slipped into my Roma life. Well, in my life in general but I am here now so…

Tomorrow, I am off to the town of Lecce, to attend, hopefully an amazing week long authentic Italian cooking school. Which happens to be in the Region of Puglia, right along the Adriatic Sea. Damn. I can’t believe this is my life. I have always been envious of those brave people taking trips like this, alone. And then, boom, here I am, doing it. Wow, how quickly your life can change if you choose to change it. Magic starts to sprinkle in and you suddenly find yourself in Italy. In ROMA!

This is also my first night without plans and I am hungry. A familiar loneliness crept in to my mind but thankfully quickly left. Aria, I said to myself, you are in Roma, get over yourself. No time to get depressed. No need to wallow. Get your ass up and out and explore the streets. Stumble upon a cute little café for dinner and embrace life. This moment. As is it is. Cause, remember the last post? I am here now. And it is perfect. And if it wasn’t, well, then, it would be different, right?

So I go walking, feeling the gentle warm breeze guiding me along the cobblestone street and the fresh Roman blisters on the bottom of my feet growing with each stride. It’s already 8:30pm and I seem to be falling right into the late dinner schedule here perfectly too. What do I want…hmmmm…a nice big crisp salad. Greens. Dark. Bitter greens. Simply, that is all I want.

arial alperts italian journals thesalad 02 The Salad | Aria Alperts, Italian Journals Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Spicy Sesame Sweet Cabbage Slaw (Bite This)

spicy sesame sweet cabbage slaw 01 Spicy Sesame Sweet Cabbage Slaw (Bite This)Photographer V Blak

Napa and savoy cabbage are a softer and sweeter variety than your regular green cabbage, so choose either for this recipe. This is a wonderful accompaniment to serve with one of your favorite winter soups. Adds a refreshing crispiness to your meal.

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A Raw Moroccan Carrot Salad (Bite This)

bite this post 01 05 2011 raw moroccan carrot salad 01 A Raw Moroccan Carrot Salad (Bite This)

This maybe a simple salad, but believe me it pacts a flavorful punch. The sweet carrots mixed with Moroccan spices and fresh herbs are a heavenly combination and a refreshing colorful addition to any of your winter meals. Warning, you may wanna eat the whole bowl all by yourself…

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A Raw Macro Bowl And My Knock-off Dragon Sauce By GreenChef Callie England

raw macro vegan bowl with dragon sauce 01 A Raw Macro Bowl And My Knock off Dragon Sauce By GreenChef Callie England Photographer: Callie England

I rushed home tonight to whip up this raw version of the Macro bowl I had from Aux Vivres last week, so I could share the yummy goodness with all ya’ll before the weekend. You can skip the bowl, but I wouldn’t skip the sauce. I said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s ridic.

raw macro vegan bowl with dragon sauce 02 A Raw Macro Bowl And My Knock off Dragon Sauce By GreenChef Callie England

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Romanesco & Fresh Herb Toss By GreenChef Natalia

romanesco fresh herb tossed salad natalia 01 Romanesco & Fresh Herb Toss By GreenChef NataliaPhotographer Natalia

Here in Florida, we are blessed to be at the height of our Farmers Market season. My Saturday ritual involves getting up as early as possible (but never early enough) and heading downtown to visit my favorite organic farmers. Every week I vow to arrive earlier when I hear that I missed out on the strawberries or the last of the Lacinato kale. But come Saturday, sleep always wins. When I finally make it to my favorite booth, I’m always on the hunt for something exotic. Sometimes I can find rare tropical fruits (more often in the summer) and unique citrus varieties. Last week I scored the last of the pink tangelos and WOW–what a treat.

This week I was late. Kale, a major staple for me–gone. So I fumbled around trying to figure out what else to get. I’m a total list maker. I have to be, while shopping for me, my hubby and a handful of clients. Though, in keeping with fresh and seasonal ingredients, my favorite list entry is often “stuff for salad”. Walking around the booth, it was impossible to miss the gorgeous display of Romanesco (a broccoli & cauliflower relative). This is seriously the most beautiful food I have ever seen. It’s bright, lime green and full of spiraling florets. Even better, as much as I love broccoli and cauliflower, Romanesco is a bit more subtle in flavor. I grabbed a perfect looking piece, a ton of fresh herbs and knew I was in for a treat this week. This salad is so light, delicious and absolutely full of fresh herby flavor. If you can’t get your hands on Romanesco, feel free to substitute broccoli or cauliflower.

romanesco fresh herb tossed salad natalia 02 Romanesco & Fresh Herb Toss By GreenChef Natalia Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

A Simple Warm Family Friendly Salad Starter For The Holidays

warm vegan bread salad 01 A Simple Warm Family Friendly Salad Starter For The Holidays Photographer: Nadia

This is my first holiday season as a vegan healthy eater and I have to admit that my family is in shock. Especially my mom. She’s been calling almost every day to ask what to prepare for the family dinner and when I say just veggies and fruits she seems ready to cry…

Don’t get me wrong, my mom is the master chef of the family, her meals are always so stunning that my brother spent a couple of years convincing her to open an restaurant. But they are not healthy at all and absolutely no vegan like. The negotiations continued a whole week and although I can think up of a lot of her specialty meals made the vegan way with a little adaptation, the idea of changing her dishes is not something she is very fond of. I believe no one will be.

warm vegan bread salad 02 A Simple Warm Family Friendly Salad Starter For The Holidays

In the end we made an agreement – I will spend Christmas day with her and prepare the meals we all will eat. The salad I chose to make is a mix of an appetizer and a salad, which goes great with a glass of red wine. Really does tastes amazing. Especially the base, a must have for your holiday dinner parties. You can actually use the base and cover it with any salad you want, in my case a green one with some added Christmas spirit by the red grapefruit. Enjoy!

This is my first holiday eating “G” and I was wondering, how do you handle your relatives and family dinners. Do you make your own foods or do eat whatever the rest of the family is having? Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Our Monday Salad, A Green Bean, Rocket, Peach & Fig Salad With A Raspberry & Balsamic Vinegar Dressing Salad..

Green bean fig salad 01 Our Monday Salad, A Green Bean, Rocket, Peach & Fig Salad With A Raspberry & Balsamic Vinegar Dressing Salad.. Photography Alice Savorelli

This is V here: It’s Monday and starting today and ending today we will post a new salad every Monday. And now on to Alice’s recipe:

Fast, super-easy, hearty and full of flavors, this is the perfect salad for the late-summer, early-fall season. Refreshing and satisfying, colorful and elegant, this fruit and vegetable salad works amazingly well as a light lunch but you can certainly serve it at a dinner party, just make sure you prepare it right before serving time as the vegetables -and fruits- can get too soggy. The main components of this dish are typical summer fruits -such as fresh white peaches, figs and raspberries- that are usually eaten on their own or in a fruit salad. Here, I combine them with green beans, rocket and fresh herbs -thyme and chives- and the result is a tasty, sweet and sour salad which is a great feast of tastes and textures, beautiful to look at but also good for your health.

Balsamic vinegar complements all the different fruity and herby flavors.
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