Marlena’s Healthy Vegan Summer Snack

We’re excited to welcome Marlena Torres, clinical nutritionist and author of Health Through Indulgence to the Kimberton Whole Foods blog. Try Marlena’s recipe for this healthy summer snack next time you’re in the mood for a dish that will nourish your body and satisfy your taste buds!

Who doesn’t love pizza? Giving up the traditional friday night slice or two (or three) of mushroom pie was not easy for me, as I grew up on it! For years I substituted cow’s milk cheese with more digestion friendly raw goat’s and sheep cheeses, but during the summer, I like to opt for vegan variations, as it feels so much more refreshing to me during these warmer months.

The trick to getting that tangy cheesy flavor in a vegan cheese, dressing, or dip, is using lemon juice and garlic. I think that the best vegan cheeses use nuts, seeds, or their butters to lend that dreamy creaminess that belongs to cheese, but avocado is a really nice and more affordable option that can be used if you’d prefer.

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is a wonderful introduction to vegan cheesiness! It’s easy to make and tastes delicious, and it’s perfect to bring to a summer picnic.

Red Pepper Healthy Summer Dip Kimberton Whole Foods

Creamy Vegan Pizza Salad Dressing or Dip
  • 2 cups chopped red bell pepper OR tomato (opt for tomato if you’r
    e going for a thinner dressing, and bell pepper for a thicker dressing or dip)
  • 1 or 2 big cloves of finely chopped or minced garlic, depending on how much you enjoy raw garlic!
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 heaping teaspoons pizza seasoning
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes, soaked so they are soft and able to be easily blended (I LOVE the Mediterranean Organics brand)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter, tahini, or 1 whole avocado

First place your chopped raw vegetables and lemon juice in your blender, then add the almond butter, tahini or whole avocado, and then the sun dried tomatoes. Making sure that your more water rich ingredients are on the bottom near the blade will ensure the quickest and easiest blending experience.

Blend away!

This recipe makes a fantastic salad dressing, dip with crudite, crackers, or chips, and a fantastic topping on lettuce boats, which is how I enjoyed them.

These are very simple to make. Use either a romaine or napa cabbage leaf and top with your favorite seasonal vegetables and salad greens, and drizzle your pizza dressing on top. It’s like eating a super healthy, hydrating, nutrient rich, local and seasonal pizza taco without any drawbacks!

If you’re not a huge fan of pizza seasoning, you can leave it out! There are some other options you have while still using the base of this recipe:

  • Instead of the pizza seasoning, add a teaspoon of cumin. Use tahini as opposed to the avocado or almond butter, and use two cups of peeled and chopped zucchini instead of the red bell pepper or tomato. You will find that you have a dip that tastes and looks very much like hummus, but way easier on your digestion.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of nama shoyu or tamari along with a tablespoon of minced ginger and top a leafy green salad with fresh Thai basil, cilantro and mint for an Asian inspired salad. I especially love this variation with almond butter, but tahini or avocado are really delicious as well.

You’ll find that by playing with your favorite seasonal vegetables and herbs, eating a diet that’s easy to digest, local, delicious, hydrating, and nutrient dense is easy, tasty, and fun.

I hope this recipe inspires many meals for you!

About Marlena

Hi there, I’m Marlena Torres, and I’m a clinical nutritionist with a huge appetite for health, happiness, and beauty. I have found that by eating whole foods in a way to optimize digestion is key to experiencing abundant energy, achieving your ideal weight, a glowing complexion, happy relationships, and a beautiful life.

I focus on eating whole foods in simple combinations to ease digestion. Every week I publish new content on my blog so that my clients and readers have access to recipes and ideas that will give them the inspiration they need to heal any health issues that may be holding them back from living the life they desire. My recipes and writing are all focused on achieving wholeness in your body and in your life, for you personally, and for your family. Every recipe I create is kid friendly, as I have a two year old daughter with whom I share almost every drink and meal!

I hope you enjoy my writing and recipes! You can get more recipes and free exclusive content, such as my 7 Day Jumpstart Ebook, and an audio on juice cleansing the smart way when you become a member of our website (it’s free):

4 thoughts on “Marlena’s Healthy Vegan Summer Snack

  1. Looks great and seems easy! I will try this recipe to replace my Friday nite pizza habit!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. GREAT post!! I liked the recipe, but it lacked two of the main qualities of real bacon: salt and fat. So! I added oil after the cooking, along with a bit more tamari and smoke, plus salt. Now it’s a lot closer to the real deal without the suffering of an innocent animal. Yum. Thanks.

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