12 Easy Raw Meals You Can’t Find in Restaurants

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We don’t think you need to eat 100 percent raw to see incredible health benefits. In fact, cooked food has a definite place in the Beauty Detox plan. It adds warmth and makes you feel more grounded, especially in the winter. However, easy raw meals have benefits that are impossible to ignore:

  • Better digestion because they bring along their own digestive enzymes.
  • Recipes are often super quick to put together, so they’re convenient.
  • Flavors are vibrant. You really get to taste the earthiness of the kale, the freshness of herbs, the sunny flavor in a fresh tomato. It’s like all the flavors are at their height and playing off of one another in a much more obvious way than they would in a lot of cooked dishes.
  • The bright colors of fruits and vegetables make for beautiful presentation.
  • Vitamins and minerals stay intact, not destroyed through the cooking process.

Delicious Raw Recipes for All Times of the Day

We love sharing recipes that have the benefits of raw foods but can’t be found in restaurants. Unless you live in a pretty health-conscious town, you may not even have access to too many raw meals at restaurants. These are healthier than your typical restaurant fare, and they’ll save you money, too. If you factor in the amount of time it takes to go out to eat, they can save you time, too.

Breakfast

You probably knew I was going to say the Glowing Green Smoothie, right? There’s really no better way to start off the morning. You can get all the energy that you’d get from coffee, without the jittery feeling. The Glowing Green Smoothie also helps keep your body in an alkaline state (which makes it harder for disease to develop or survive), whereas coffee has the opposite effect.

Mix things up, even in the green smoothie world, and switch up your fruits and vegetables. For example, the Puerto Rican Glowing Green Smoothie has papaya, sunflower sprouts, and lime juice for a tropical twist. Drink this when you’re longing for a tropical vacation.

Lunch-on-the-go

Though versatile enough to work as a lunch, snack, or part of a dinner, the Israeli Chopped Salad, in this case, is best served on top of a bed of greens. It’s got a fresh, earthy, exhilarating flavor, thanks to the mint, lemon, and parsley. Because this is a raw dish that features lots of watery foods (tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumber), it will also help you meet your hydration needs for the day.

The Dharma’s Kale Salad is another favorite, and you can pre-make it and then grab a huge bowl of it for lunch, then have leftovers the next night with your dinner. Because this uses hearty kale as its base, it keeps well in the fridge. The flavor palette is complex. There’s the earthiness of greens, spiciness of cayenne, saltiness of dulse, and brightness of dill. This is good for when you want something a little more substantial than a salad on a spinach or romaine base, plus it’s especially rich in vitamins and minerals thanks to the nutritional yeast (B vitamins) and dulse (minerals).

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The Open-Faced Avo Beauty Sandwich is mostly raw, takes very little time to make, so it’s good for a quick lunch, even though I wouldn’t say it’s good for making ahead of time and taking it to work in a lunchbox (you can toast your bread and slice your tomato ahead of time). This is a good option for people who really love the idea of having a sandwich for lunch but know the standard meat-and-bread combo is terrible for digestion. Because it’s a heavier option, you shouldn’t eat this daily, but every now and then is fine. The fat will help fill you up and the Probiotic and Enzyme Salad on top will introduce good bacteria to your system for optimal digestion.

The Raw Taco Mexican Salad is totally inexpensive to make and doesn’t take long at all. You can even do some of the prep work ahead of time and then throw it all together when you have a break at work. It has the same savory, zesty flavors you’d expect from the name, and even a texture like ground beef from the walnut mix (so if you miss eating meat…). It’s delicious, filling, and gives you the energy to make it through the rest of the day. (Can you tell it’s one of my favorites?)

Lunch is sometimes the hardest meal to manage when you’re leading a healthy lifestyle. Check out Raw Vegan Power’s collection of 25 raw vegan lunch ideas for inspiration.

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

You may find yourself dragging at work after lunchtime sometimes, or you’ll work out after work and need something between lunch and dinner. You can always sip on more GGS (or have another small salad), but there are other smoothies that will work at this time, too.

If you like to go to the gym, on a run, or visit a fitness class after work, making the Power Protein Smoothie (sweetened and spiced up a bit with cinnamon, vanilla extract, and stevia) afterward will make your muscles love you. You won’t be starving while you make dinner, either. The chia seeds and protein powder replenish your amino acids, and the acai is full of antioxidants. Because of the fatty acids in the chia seeds and acai, your skin and hair will get a little boost, too (and of course the protein helps your hair look more beautiful).

The Rainforest Acai Smoothie will give you a quick afternoon boost. Acai is a fattier fruit that doesn’t contain as much water as most of the others, so it’s fine to have it later in the day and combine it with other types of food (in this case, a creamy avocado). The cacao gives it a hint of chocolate flavor and adds antioxidants. Cacao has also been linked to the possibility of reduced risk of heart disease.

Dinner

Once you try the JMP Raw Lasagna recipe, you’ll never look at this classic dish the same way again. Who needs to go to an Italian restaurant for noodles, sauce, and cheese that will just make you feel heavy and bloated for at least the next day? This one gets the creaminess of cheese from pine nuts, the rich tomato sauce flavor from sundried tomatoes as well as fresh ones, and the noodles are replaced by squash. Since this has a good amount of fat from the nuts, you’ll want to save it for dinnertime.

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The Ananda Burrito makes a good, quick lunch choice, but how many times have you been tempted to either hit up a fast food restaurant, go to bed hungry, or just munch on a lot of random stuff around the kitchen after a really late day at work? This recipe is another super-fast one, plus it’s cheap. If you choose to go the nori route in lieu of the gluten-free tortilla one, you’ll get bonus Beauty Minerals (sea vegetables are so amazing for making sure you get those in your diet!). You can pair it with a green salad.

After-Dinner Treats

Though we may try to get food and all beverages other than water off our minds as soon as dinner’s over, that’s not always possible. We have some raw recipes for after dinner cravings.

Okay, as the name says, the Vegan, Superfood Almost-Raw Hot Chocolate isn’t completely raw, but it’s a delicious warm dessert-like drink you can sip on a cold night without hurting your digestion, so it’s worth a mention. Don’t drink this one too close to bedtime and don’t have it every night. Even though cacao has tons of health benefits, it still contains caffeine so it’s best left as an occasional treat. If you’re in the mood for chocolate and want something super rich to eat, take a look at Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe for Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge.

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The Raw Pecan Love Pie is amazing! You won’t even miss the real thing. Because this is such a heavy recipe and there are so many nuts, you’ll only want to have this on special occasions (sorry, a decadent dessert every night still can’t happen, even if it’s raw).

Raw Food Is Easy and Satisfying

As I mentioned earlier, we don’t recommend sticking to a strict all-raw diet. However, raw foods definitely have their place in a healthy lifestyle, and they’re often easier and more convenient than their cooked counterparts. Because the flavors are so vibrant, the dishes are far from boring, too. You can make and enjoy easy raw meals any time of the day.

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