I love food. What about you?
When I first discovered that my health challenges were due largely to the foods I was eating, my heart sank.
You see, I am the type of person who acts on new knowledge relatively quickly.
Learning that my favorite foods were making me sick was a big blow.
So I resigned myself to a boring diet of celery and apples, put one foot in front of the other, and I never looked back.
(Well, maybe I peeked back a little at first, but when I set my mind to something, I follow through.)
To my surprise, rather than finding myself bored with the food, I found myself rather intrigued by the variety of tastes and textures I had never before experienced. Who would have thought that cauliflower dipped in almond butter could taste so good?
As time went on, I found myself becoming adventurous with my foods.
I discovered that the meals I enjoyed the most consisted of vegetables and dips or vegetables drenched in a yummy sauce.
One of my favorite ways to eat is what I now call “Grab ‘n Go”.
Dr. Ritamarie's Raw Food on the Run: “Grab n' Go” Meals
In my “to be released later this year” book on blood sugar balancing and insulin resistance, there is an entire section called “Grab ‘n Go”.
I'd like to share a few tips from there.
If you lead a busy lifestyle and you understand the benefit of eating only pure, fresh, unprocessed foods, but you don't feel like you have the time then “Grab ‘n Go” meals will be an answer to your prayers.
Making nutritious meals doesn't have to consume all your time and energy. Many recipes are quick and easy to make and can be put together in 5 – 10 minutes.
What follows is a set of time saving tips I've learned over the years that will allow you to make a meal in as little as 5 minutes.
All it takes is a little advanced planning and making a few items every 3 – 4 days.
You'll find great recipes in my e-book, Deliciously Quick Lunch and Dinner Ideas. I'll actually be demonstrating some of these recipes in our upcoming VITAL Community “VITAL Healing Kitchen” show.
I've also shared some of my secrets in the Raw Food University Healthy “Fast Food” video as well as in the B4 Be Gone program recipe guide (my “Grab ‘n Go” strategy is included in entirety in the B4 recipe guide).
3 Samples of “Grab ‘n Go” Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas
#1 – Raw Food Dips and Cheese
Make 1 or 2 dips and/or “cheese” recipes – they last several days. These are created using all fresh, whole ingredients – raw nuts and seeds, vegetables, and herbs. If you register for my newsletter, you'll get 3 of my favourite recipes once the July 28th newsletter is posted to the archive.
Be sure to make more dip before you run out. Preparation takes no more than 5 minutes per dip on average. Dips are very versatile and, in addition to making a terrific meal in and of themselves, can be eaten with a variety of raw vegetable sticks or dehydrated crackers.
Dips or “cheese” can be used in wraps, on sandwiches, on salads, and as a sauce for steamed or raw vegetables. They are also good drizzled on top of a soup.
#2 – Raw Food Spreads and Paté
Make 1 or 2 spreads like “Mock Tuna”, Nomi Shannon's Sunny Pate (available on her website), or Creamy Pesto made from veggies and herbs.
Spreads, sometimes called paté, are made with vegetables and nuts or seeds and are similar in texture to sandwich spreads like those made from tuna and salmon. These are easy to make in the food processor and will last for 4 days, sometimes longer.
#3 – Raw Food Salad Dressings and Sauces
Make a couple of salad dressings and/or sauces. By having these already made, you can quickly make a delicious meal by tossing with your favorite greens and vegetables, some of which can be purchased pre-washed and cut to save you time.
Examples of some of my favorite dressings and sauces are:
- Creamy Tahini Dressing
- Sunflower Italian Dressing
- Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing
We'll be demonstrating these dressings on the VITAL Healing Kitchen show on Saturday, July 28th.
You can register here as a VITAL member:
Store these dips, dressings, and spreads in the refrigerator and stock up on romaine hearts, celery, cucumbers, jicama, red bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, and green leafy vegetables.
Use Herbs that Heal in Your Quick Meals
You can also fortify your creations with herbs specific to your particular health needs.
- Add kelp or other sea vegetables to support your thyroid.
- Add some burdock for liver support.
- Using daikon adds a super flavor and is good for breaking up mucous.
- Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium and are helpful for your thyroid.
- You can even add some holy basil to support your adrenals.
- Use cilantro for clearing toxins and heavy metals.
The possibilities are endless.
How to Make a Raw Food “Grab ‘n Go” Meal: Step-by-Step
Once you've created the dressings and dips and stocked the fridge with vegetables, making a meal is a snap.
Open the refrigerator at lunch time and take a look around. Which vegetable appeals most as the outer wrapping? Bell pepper? Jicama? Collard?
I must admit, I usually choose those requiring the least amount of work like red bell pepper and collard greens. Those are wash and go. Jicama takes a little longer to peel and slice, but it can be prepared as part of your beginning of the week time-saving prep steps.
Example of a Quick and Portable Meal: Raw Food Sandwich and Wrap Alternatives
- Choose a vegetable to use as your base.
- Choose a spread.
- Choose vegetables and sprouts to add green nutrition.
- Choose a dip to add to the top.
- Wash and cut vegetables if necessary.
– Red bell peppers are cut lengthwise down the middle.
– Jicama is peeled and cut into 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick rounds.
– Romaine lettuce and collard leaves are simply rinsed.
- Lay vegetable on a plate.
- Start with a layer of greens – either baby greens or large leaf greens that have been cut into bite-sized pieces and wilted with a salt massage are recommended.
- Add a layer of spread (optional).
- Spoon on sauerkraut if desired.
- Add sauce or dip.
- Top with sprouts and any other chopped or grated vegetables.
- Wrap if need be.
- Eat and enjoy. It's like eating a salad in a wrap.
I've actually made salad then realized I'd rather eat with my hands and took the entire salad and wrapped it in a Nori sheet or collard green leaf. In this way, you can take a salad wrapped in a leaf to a ball game, meeting, or to your desk to eat (although this is not ideal, sometimes it's necessary).
This entire process takes about 5 minutes, including clean up. There's very little clean up, save for the spoons and knives used in preparation. The meal is filling, delicious, and very nutritious.
Example of a Grab ‘n Go Dip Meal
- Select a variety of vegetable sticks and stiff romaine hearts alone or with some dehydrated chips.
- Grab a pre-made dip or two. Spreads can also be used as dips.
- Eat and enjoy.
Using the “Grab ‘n Go” method you can make meals as simple or as elaborate as you'd like.
How to Enjoy Endless and Easy Fast Raw Food Meal Ideas
There's a lot of variety possible and a lot of possible usage for leftovers. Leftover sauces from one meal can turn into a topping for a “sandwich.” Veggies and dips make great portable lunches, as do sandwiches.
You can bring along the components in small containers and assemble at work or even in your car if you're travelling as a passenger. Salads can be pre-made and stored in the refrigerator or carried to work by keeping dressing separate to add right before eating.?
I must admit, “Grab ‘n Go” is my absolute favorite way of eating.
Do you have a favorite dip recipe to share? Or an energy zapping old recipe you love, but you're looking for a healthier version?
Post your comments and recipes below!