Raw & Delicious: Peach Arugula Salad

I love the summer bounty! The fresh vegetables and fruit are so colorful and succulent, who can resist eating these vibrant beauties? Our bodies thrive on raw plant-based foods. I think this is why our creator made fruits and vegetables look soo enticing! Asking yourself “How can I get this more of these beauties into my diet?” Then follow me over the next few weeks because I will be preparing raw plant-based recipes. Summer is the best time to set started – you’ll beat the heat (in and out of the kitchen) and eat seasonally at the same time!

Peach Arugula Salad

This beautiful summer salad will brighten up any meal. Great with peaches or try cherries, nectarines or plums!

Over the years, I have been trying to incorporate more raw foods into my diet and here’s why: I want to stay feeling and looking young, and free of disease. Plant-based foods are the best sources of disease-fighting antioxidants, inflammation-fighting polyphenols, and a host of nourishing vitamins and minerals and I want to load my body up with that protective goodness!

But a completely raw diet can be complicated and expensive. And I am a busy, working mom who’s a foodie, to boot. My goal is to find ways to easily prepare and enjoy more live raw food as a way of adding more healing nourishment into my diet. You don’t have to eat 100% raw to feel the energizing benefits. But it does take a shift in how and what foods you prepare. All you need is a little know-how to get started. Here are the steps that I took to get started.

5 Tips for Adding More Raw Plant-Based Meals

1.  Make Small Changes & Be Consistent

It’s tempting to make a drastic dietary change because we just want to feel better NOW. I commend your enthusiasm but remember, it is better to start small and follow through, then go big and get overwhelmed and give up. Choose one thing and stick with it. Try adding a green smoothie to your morning routine or swapping out your regular lunch for a big, raw salad. Once you’ve made this first step a part of your routine, add something else. These little steps will lead to big health changes over time.

2. Start with Adding

When starting a new way of eating, it’s common to focus on what you are losing. Instead, concentrate on what power foods you can add to enhance the nutritional value of each meal. Eating more plant-based foods may encourage you to experiment with different cuisines, along with new herbs and spices. Yum, yum! Don’t worry about what you’ll need to give up. Focus on what you’re gaining: flavor, nutrition and energy.

3. Keep It Simple

No need to over-complicate and feel stressed out! Start by sticking to the basics: smoothies, soups, salads, slaws. Over time, you will expand your collection of delicious, healthful, amazing raw plant-based recipes.

4. Prep Ahead

Find a day that works for you and take 30-40 minutes to prepare your fruits and veggies for the week ahead. Grate veggies (carrots, radishes, zucchini) for salads. Cut and freeze fruit for smoothies. Make staples to keep on hand (salad dressings, hummus, cooked grains). A little work today will help you make healthier choices all week long!

5. Plan

Ideally, every Sunday you have all of your meals planned and veggies prepped. Sound too hard? Start by planning two or three recipes for the week. I like to keep a folder of “recipes to try” in my kitchen for inspiration. Save time with leftovers and always keep raw snacks like nuts and apples with you. A little planning does the trick!

 

Here is a salad to get you started: it can be used for a side at dinner or bring it the next day for lunch by adding it to a wrap with hummus. It will keep nicely and actually tastes better the next day!

Peach Arugula Salad
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cups arugula or any other green
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews or slivered almonds
  • 4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 Tbs fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

1. Combine arugula, peaches, bell peppers, and cashews in large bowl.

2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, salt, and cayenne in separate bowl. Just before serving, toss salad with half of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings/ dressing.

Denise’s Tip

When dressing a salad, start by using only half of the recommended amount of dressing. The purpose of the dressing is to enhance the ingredients and marry them together – no need to drown your salad with dressing!  You’ll save on the calories and have more left over for another salad 🙂

 

Download Recipe Now!

So try adding some raw, plant-based dishes to your meal plan this week! I’ll be back next week with some more ideas and delicious recipes to help you moving forward towards a healthier, plant-based, deliciously raw table!

Peace and Energy to You,
Denise

 

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