Vegan Raw Food Cleanse

Celebrate the inauguration of a “new you” with a vegan raw food cleanse. It just might be the change you’re looking for. We consulted with nutrition guru and personal chef Sitarani “Sita” Brian to find a cleanse that would detoxify our bodies without depriving us entirely of solid food. Her solution: A surprisingly delicious (and easy to stick to) vegan raw food cleanse.

You’re probably already familiar with the term vegan, but what exactly does “raw food” refer to? Quite simply, raw foodists believe that foods lose their nutritional value and become harmful to the human body, if heated above 115-degrees F. Believe it or not, within the raw foodism following, there exist fruitarians who only eat fruit, and sproutarians who only eat food that has literally sprouted like bean sprouts.

In the one-week program Chef Sita designed for us, we enjoyed a colorful array of meals that were designed to rid our bodies of toxins, and provide valuable enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost energy and promote overall health.

Our satisfying menu included three meals per day with recipes like Tri-Colored Lasagna with Pesto, Tomato Sauce and Pine Nut Ricotta, Thai Salad with Marinated Greens, Carrots, Mango, Herbs and Sesame Cashews, Stuffed Pepper with Nut Cheese, Currants and Parsley, Israeli Salad with Falafel and Cashew Hummus, Fig and Grape Cleansing Shake, Carrot Ginger Juice, and Rich Cacao Milk.

The favorite of the recipes: Tri-Colored Lasagna with Pesto, Tomato Sauce and Pine Nut Ricotta is a great one to try, if you’re skeptical that raw food can taste good. This recipe comes from Raw Food/Real World written by Sarma Melngailis and Matthew Kenney of NYC restaurant Pure Food & Wine.

Tri-Colored Lasagna with Pesto, Tomato Sauce and Pine Nut Ricotta
serves 6

For the pignoli ricotta:
2 cups pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons filtered water

Place the pignoli nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined.  Gradually add the water and process until the texture becomes fluffy like ricotta.

For the tomato sauce:
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes
1 small tomato, diced
¼ small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Squeeze and drain as much of the water out of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes as you can.  Add the drained tomatoes to a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

For the basil-pistachio pesto:
2 cups packed basil leaves
½ cup pine nuts
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined but still slightly chunky.

For the assembly:
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cut in half and then sliced
Whole basil leaves for garnish

1.  Cut the zucchini crosswise in half, or into 3-inch lengths.  Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices.  In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

2.  Line the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with a layer of zucchini slices, each one slightly overlapping another.  Spread about 1/3 of the tomato sauce over it and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using about 1/3 of each.  Layer on about ½ of the tomato slices.  Add another layer of zucchini slices and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, “ricotta,” pesto, and tomato slices.  Serve immediately or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours.  Garnish with basil leaves.

3.  Alternatively, to make individual servings, place about 3 zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, in the center of each serving plate, to make a square shape.  Spread tomato sauce over the zucchini, top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto and a few small tomato slices.  Repeat twice more.  Garnish with basil leaves.  Any leftover lasagna, whether made in a tray or individually, will taste great if kept in the refrigerator for at least a day or more, but it won’t look as good (which doesn’t matter if you’re standing by yourself and eating it directly from the refrigerator, as we’ve been known to do at home).

Interested in trying out a vegan raw food cleanse of your own?
Consult with Chef Sita at or email her at In addition to vegan and raw foods, Sita offers multi-regional cuisine, health supportive techniques and diet management.


  1. Rick Daley says:

    Thank you for the great raw food article and info.
    Great looking website.
    Thank you

  2. Stopher says:

    great post, thanks for providing so much. Keep up the good posts.!

  3. I think these are great recipes! I’ve put a link to it on the health site I write for. Hope you don’t mind, and thanks for the tips.

    Happy Holidays,

  4. […] eat on a raw food diet, many recipes can be found online.You can also try Parties that Cook’s Vegan Recipes for some great ideas as […]

  5. Hi Lisa! Thanks for reading, Cheers!

  6. Lots of Great information in your posting, I favorited your site so I can visit again in the future, Cheers

  7. raw foodism says:


    Its a great post.
    Thanks for the raw food recipes.

  8. Owen Laverde says:

    My special vegan recipe is avocados with raspberry vinaigrette. These days I cook for my 7 neighbors. They really like my vegan cooking.

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