If you’re like most busy people, you are probably pretty hungry by the end of an action-packed day. And let’s face it – a salad of greens, no matter how big, just doesn’t cut it on days like this. On the other hand, you certainly don’t want to slave in the kitchen to settle those tummy grumbles.

While many of the impressively tempting raw food recipes out there can get overwhelming in terms of ingredients and prep time, the truth is that you can whip up a scrumptious raw dinner that’s satisfying, nutritious, and full of life-giving energy. All that you need is a few free minutes and a big appetite to take care of cravings and avoid the temptations of packaged convenience foods.

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Here are five fuss-free raw food dinner ideas that you’ll love putting together and enjoying when you are ready to settle down for the evening:

“Pasta” Marinara

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One of the easiest raw food dinners to put together is “pasta” with marinara sauce. It’s tasty, hardy, and so beautiful it is sure to impress even those who are skeptical of the raw food diet. All you need for the pasta is a spiralizer or veggie peeler and your favorite vegetables to make noodles with such as:

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Parsnips
  • Spaghetti Squash

Spiralize or peel your noodles and put them in a large bowl. Then blend some sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, a couple of dates, fresh herbs, a clove of garlic, and a pinch of salt and toss the sauce with your veggie noodles. Voila!

Hardy Coleslaw

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Instead of a traditional green salad for dinner, bulk things up and try your hand at a bowl of satisfying and hardy coleslaw instead. Start with a huge bed of shredded or finely chopped coleslaw, and toss it with a simple creamy dressing like this one (just blend until creamy):

  • 1 zucchini, peeled
  • 4 tbsp cashews, macadamia nuts, hemps seeds, or sunflower seeds
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A pinch of soy sauce
  • Fresh herbs of choice (optional)

Then it’s just a matter of adding ingredients to your coleslaw that will fill you up – consider almonds, walnuts, marinated mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, raisins and other dried fruits, coconut flakes, and sprouted chickpeas.

Stuffed Mushrooms

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When mushrooms are marinated and dehydrated, they create a hardy meal that can be paired with salad for a super healthy and filling raw food dinner. Make dinner easy on yourself by marinating mushrooms in a bowl of soy sauce and lemon juice in the fridge the night before you want to eat them. The next morning, stuff the mushrooms with simple ingredients like freshly chopped tomatoes, herbs, and walnuts. Dehydrate them throughout the day while you work or play, and they’ll be ready in time for dinner!

If you’re really running short on time, consider stuffing your mushrooms without marinating them, and eating them as is. They won’t be quite a rich and warming when they aren’t dehydrated, but they’ll be packed with enough flavor to keep your taste buds happy if you let the stuffing sit in the mushrooms for just a few minutes before devouring.

Vegan Sushi Rolls

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If you’re a sushi lover, you’ll be happy to know that you can enjoy your favorite variety of sushi rolls raw style without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. Of course, you’ll need some “rice” for this meal which can easily be made out of cauliflower. Pulse a head of cauliflower in your food processor or chop it with a knife until it resembles rice, and then toss it with a little garlic powder for extra flavor. Roll the cauliflower rice and sliced avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and colorful bell peppers up in nori sheets. Crushed nuts, sprouts, and even mushrooms work well in sushi rolls too.

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Romaine Tacos

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Taco night is super easy when you’re using raw ingredients to create the meal. Romaine lettuce makes great taco shells because they’re naturally shaped like shells and they have a lot of crunch. To make your shells, just cut the end of a head of romaine off then separate the leaves and rinse them off.

As for fillings, simply cut some fresh corn off the cob, dice up some tomatoes and herbs, slice some mushrooms, and make a quick Spanish “sour cream” topping by blending up:

  • A Handful of Hemp Seeds
  • The Juice of a Lemon
  • A Teaspoon of Cumin
  • One Date

You can use half a zucchini in place of half the seeds for a lower fat version. Switch things up once in awhile and turn your tacos into fajitas by slicing mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions before marinating them for awhile in a mixture of Cajun spices, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Fill your romaine with the marinated veggies and top with the cumin sauce and some sprouts.

Get creative and try different ingredients each time you create your raw food dinners. This will enable you to enjoy the same basic meal plans without getting bored or facing cravings.

Lead Image Source: Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce and Portobello Mushrooms