It’s time for the holiday that marks the end of summer, so make the most of it with delicious Beauty Detox-friendly food and drink recipes with crisp, refreshing flavors that you can take to your barbecue or picnic. Each one of these recipes makes enough for about six servings.
Soba Noodle Salad
16 oz dry gluten-free soba noodles
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 orange bell peppers, chopped
2 cups shredded carrots
3 cucumbers, chopped or sliced
1 small red onion (or green, if you prefer), chopped
2 Tbsp tamari sauce
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/8 cup basil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Cook the soba noodles until tender, but firm, and chill them. Once chilled, add the chopped and shredded vegetables. Set aside.
To make the dressing, put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend (add only half the water at first so you’re able to get your desired creaminess).
Pour the dressing over the noodles and vegetables and toss. Serve cold.
Parsley and Purslane Salad with Lemongrass Dressing
2 cups parsley, chopped
4 cups purslane, chopped (remove any coarse stems first)
2-3 zucchinis, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots, for sweetness to balance the slightly sour flavor of the purslane
*Note: If you can’t find purslane, you can replace the parsley and purslane with six cups of kale.
2-3 stalks lemongrass, sliced, yellow part only (discard tough outer leaf and trim the root end first)
1 clove minced garlic
½ cup pine nuts
3 Tbsp olive oil (you can leave the oil out if you like, but if it’s a mixed crowd, this may make more palatable to Beauty Detox newbies :) )
4 tsp oregano
3 Tbsp water
Juice from one Meyer lemon
Pinch of high-quality sea salt
Put all of the ingredients for the base into a bowl and all the ingredients for the dressing into the food processor. Process the dressing ingredients on high until relatively smooth (the lemongrass may still look a tiny bit chunky; just blend until the chunks aren’t very big). Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
Beauty Food tip: Purslane is full of healthy fatty acids, take for instance omega 3 vs omega 6 debate for reference. Who knew a weed could be so good for you? By the way, if you don’t have these growing in your yard (it really is everywhere!), you can sometimes find it at the farmer’s market.
Refreshing Lemon, Cucumber, and Ginger Water
1-2 inches of gingerroot, sliced
10-12 cups water
This one is super easy and super refreshing, but you’ll have to remember to do it the day before the event. Simply pour your filtered water into a large pitcher and place your sliced lemons, cucumbers, and (peeled) gingerroot in the pitcher, too. Let it stay that way overnight in the fridge and then pour it through a sieve to get all the ginger slices and loose seeds out since they’ll be small enough to swallow if your guests aren’t careful. You can put the lemon, lime, and cucumber slices back into the water for presentation.
Herbal Iced Tea with Lavender and Lemon
8 bags of vanilla herbal tea (one per cup of water)
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
Few sprigs of lavender flowers (these can be strong, so only use a few!)
3 Tablespoons stevia (or 9 packs, which are about 1 tsp. each) or raw honey (I think the honey plays especially well with the other flavors here)
Boil your water. Once the temperature of the water has cooled to just below boiling, pour it over the teabags, lavender, and stevia or honey. Let it steep for three to five minutes, then remove the teabags and lavender. Stir and let it cool, then add in the lemon juice. Serve over ice.
This one might even be good with a little of the berry puree from the next recipe stirred in!
You can usually find lavender that’s good for these types of recipes at health food stores. Check the fresh herb section. You don’t want to use just any lavender because the flavor can vary.
2 cups raspberries, blackberries, or both (I like both!)
½ cup lime juice
6 cups seltzer water
Liquid stevia to taste
Puree your berries in a food processor, then push the mixture through a sieve so you get rid of the seeds but keep the good stuff. Pour In the lime juice and add stevia, then pour in the seltzer water and stir. I’m not usually a fan of carbonated water, but some of your guests may be soda drinkers, and they’ll welcome the fizziness of this drink. If you’re in charge of the gathering, serve this when your guests get there, not with the meal, since there’s fruit in it and it’s best to have fruit on an empty stomach, not with a full meal.
BBQ Lettuce Cups/Wraps
This recipe is a substitute for the typical barbecue at summer holiday gatherings. I recommend eating it on lettuce or collard leaves.
1-1/2 cups mushrooms
1-1/2 cups walnuts
¾ cups pumpkin seeds
1-2 cloves garlic
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup water (optional, used to create a thinner consistency)
½ tsp. pepper
Pinch of high-quality sea salt
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground mustard
1.5 Tbsp raw honey
¾ cup organic ketchup
1.5 Tbsp tamari
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. onion powder
You’ll also need:
12 lettuce leaves for cups or wraps
Additional toppings, diced, like tomatoes, onions, or jalapeños
Place the ingredients for the “meat” in the food processor and pulse until chunky. In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients for your BBQ sauce, then add the mixture from the food processor to the bowl and mix everything together. You can serve this in lettuce leaf cups or wraps or try it in a collard wrap, kind of like my Raw Gorilla Taco Wraps.
Chocolate Ginger Layered Bars
Who doesn’t want chocolate as a little treat after a big meal with people they love on a holiday?
1 cup raw walnuts, soaked and rinsed
¾ cup raw pecans, soaked and rinsed
4 pitted dates
2-1/2 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut nectar
Pinch of high-quality sea salt
2 cups raw cashews or macadamia nuts, or a mix of both,
3 tsp minced, fresh ginger
½ cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
¾ tsp curry powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup cacao powder
¾ cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut nectar
This recipe may look complicated because of all the layers, but really, the food processor is doing almost all the work. Enjoy this one in moderation, since it’s full of nuts and sweeteners! It will make about 12 bars.
First, put all the ingredients for the crust into the food processor and blend it until it’s relatively smooth (it will form into a ball). Spread that out along the bottom of the pan.
Clean your food processor and then add the ingredients for the ginger layer. Again, process until smooth and spread it on top of the crust to form the second layer.
Finally, mix the cacao powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup or coconut nectar by hand and pour that on top to form the top layer.
Freeze until the chocolate layer begins to harden, about 10-15 minutes. Cut into bars, but don’t remove them yet unless you’re about to leave for the barbecue or picnic. If you’re making them early, you can pop them back into the freezer and then pull them out to thaw before the event. Cutting them before they’re thoroughly frozen just makes it easier.
Here are some of my other recipes that are great for picnics and barbecues:
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