By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC
This past Saturday at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, I had the opportunity to lead a fun, hands-on cooking class, SHOP+CHOP+COOK. During this class, I guided the participants to create their own veggie pasta. Often we think about making veggie pasta with zucchini, but during this class, we also spiralized a local organic butternut squash and a few sweet potatoes.
We also created a delicious vegan, dairy-free pesto with pre-soaked raw cashews, fresh organic basil from Maya’s Farm, a little lemon, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. This dish was so incredible that a local farmer friend of mine with “The Community Exchange” Table stopped by and enjoyed the left-overs.
The key takeaways from this class were that we can make a pesto without cheese and we and eat some veggies raw that we would generally think we’d need to cook.
EXCERPT from A New View of Healthy Eating
Spiral Veggies with Nut-Based Creamy Dressing
Learn how to spiral colorful veggies and create a simple dressing with raw cashews and basil.
Basic Salad Dressing: Raw Cashews & Basil Pesto
A vegan, dairy-free, creamy dressing is the base for this colorful raw spiral veggie salad. With fresh basil and lots of garlic, this refreshing dressing is a perfect alternative to a cheese-based pesto.
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3-4 hours in water
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 fluid ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients except organic extra virgin olive oil into food processor.
- Add olive oil little by little until smooth.
- Taste and add extra garlic, lemon juice, or basil leaves to create a taste that’s right for you.
Cashews are an excellent substitution for cheese in raw vegan dishes, as they are creamy and smooth in sauces and dressings.
A raw spiral veggie salad is a perfect way to introduce raw food to everyone, from young kids to adults. It’s simple, delicious, and fun to prepare.
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 butternut squash, solid end, peeled
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 red beet
- 1 golden beet
- Spiralize veggies into long, pasta-like shapes using a spiral vegetable slicer with a small blade. Be sure to spiralize the red beets last and separate them from the other vegetables to limit bleeding.
- After spiralizing each vegetable, slice to make the pieces shorter.
- Allow the vegetables to sit at room temperature to dry.
- Toss all spiralized vegetables together.
- Add pesto to the vegetables and toss.
- Serve and enjoy this fresh raw salad.
Spiralizing veggies is very mindful and meditative. I love creating the long, beautiful spirals with a rainbow of different colored vegetables.
Have fun experimenting with spiralizing different types of organic veggies and creating a vegan pesto. Share your dishes with us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating
I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has already purchased my new book, A New View of Healthy Eating. It was a joy to share the book publically for the first time at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market this weekend.