July 18, 2010

Nine Day Detox: Day Six

It's day six in my Natural Detox Program, and it's been a pretty quiet day. I started off the day with my usual shake and then went to the farmers market.

If you are not familiar with the Santa Barbara Saturday Farmers Market, it is quite the experience. It's the largest of the weekly markets and it's packed with vendors selling everything from the most beautiful heirloom vegetables to locally raised grass-fed beef. Today I was interested in the vegetables, and things that I could have on my detox diet. I got some extremely large artichokes, a bunch of asparagus, a bottle of olive oil and some amazing lavender smoked olives.

Fusano California Valley Olive Company is located in Paso Robles, and they are a welcome fixture at our Santa Barbara market selling their line of olives, olive oil and tapenades. Their line of smoke olives are absolutely unbelievable, and I was excited to see that they had a new lavender version. I tried one and had to get them. I can't wait to try them in salads or with some roasted vegetables.

For lunch I had more of yesterday's Cabbage Cilantro Salad, which was still great. For dinner I made artichokes and roasted asparagus and potatoes. I steamed the artichokes and served with just some olive oil for dipping. You can read all about artichokes and the recipe for steaming in Becky Green Aaronson's article from our spring issue.

I noticed that my energy level has been down all day. That could be because of the heat or it could be the detox. It was a great day to catch up on some reading and to putter in the garden, and I'm looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.

July 17, 2010

Nine Day Detox: Day Five

CilantroSalad.jpg

Day Five in my Natural Detox Program is where it starts to get intense. I'm drinking the shake four times a day and eating only fruits and vegetables. I've even let go of my tea for now. It all sounds pretty harsh, but it isn't for some reason. I guess partly because I know this is only for nine days or perhaps because eating fruits and vegetables for a while isn't all that bad. Summer is a great time to do this sort of thing.

For breakfast it was just a shake, which I supplemented with frozen strawberries and coconut milk. And then I had another shake later in the morning. By lunch I was ready for some food. It wasn't that I was starving, I just wanted to eat something. So I made the Cabbage Cilantro Salad pictured above, and I've included the recipe below.

You definitely don't have to be on a detox program to make this salad. It's a wonderful salad to serve alongside anything from Mexican food to Curry dishes. If I wasn't on the detox, I would probably add tamari soy sauce to the dressing and some chopped peanuts. The recipe makes a lot, so I put the dressing on just the amount I was going to eat for lunch and put the rest of the salad, undressed, in the refrigerator. It holds up pretty well. Substitutions work well with this salad, too. If you don't like avocado, leave it off. Or try adding thinly sliced green onions, radishes or shredded carrots. Things with bright, crunchy flavors work great.

After another shake in the afternoon, I wasn't feeling terribly hungry for dinner, but I knew I needed something. So I made a big pan of roasted vegetables: potatoes, parsnips, onions, zucchini and green beans. I tossed them with olive oil, and added some Salish Smoked Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. It was delicious and just what I needed. I may not be eating much, but I am eating well.

Cabbage Cilantro Salad
6-8 servings

1 small to medium Napa Cabbage
1 bunch minced fresh cilantro
2 thinly sliced ribs of celery
1/4 cup of mixed sprouts
Dressing:

Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon raw honey
6 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional:

1/2 avocado, slice, per serving
Quarter the cabbage, and remove and discard the tough central core. Shred by cutting very thin slices along the length of each quarter. In a large bowl add the shredded cabbage, minced cilantro, sliced celery and sprouts. Toss to mix.

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl with a whisk. Pour dressing over slaw. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish each serving with sliced avocado if desired.

July 16, 2010

Nine Day Detox: Day Four

DetoxFruit.jpg

It's day four in my Natural Detox Program, and I think I'm getting the hang of things. I had a great bowl of fruit for breakfast with my shake. And I've discovered that adding a little coconut milk and some frozen fruit to the shake is a wonderful thing. I picked up so much fruit yesterday between my CSA and the Farmers Market, that I needed to freeze some of it.

A friend (who is also doing the Detox Program) and I went to Zooker's for lunch. She ordered the Tofu Saute without tofu, mushrooms or cheese - so basically brown rice with sauteed vegetables. But she said it was amazingly flavorful and she didn't miss the tofu or cheese one bit. I had a cup of their gazpacho soup and the Roasted Vegetable Salad without the goat cheese, and everything was delicious.

I didn't have any headaches today, but I did feel my energy dropping quite a bit around mid afternoon. For dinner I had another shake and some celery and hummus. I had every intention of making rice and vegetables, but I wasn't very hungry so I had an apricot and that was my dinner. Tomorrow begins the intense 3 days of the detox where I'll be eating only fruits and vegetables, but it seems as though I've almost done that today, so I think I'm ready.

July 15, 2010

Nine Day Detox: Day Three

On day three in my Natural Detox Program I was really missing my morning cappuccino. The wonderful organic mint white tea is just not the same. I used to be strictly a tea drinker, mostly herbal teas. Then I went to Italy, and the espresso culture there completely won me over. So, for the last seven or eight years, we've had an automatic espresso machine to fulfill our need for a cappuccino, latte or macchiato each morning. The irony is that right before starting this detox we just got a new machine. The old one had a faulty pump, so we invested in a new De'Longhi. It makes fabulous espresso. But for now, I will try not to think about that.

For breakfast I attempted to have oatmeal, but after a couple bites, I decided that I am not an oatmeal person. I may have also been feeling grumpy about not having my cappuccino, but again I will try not to dwell on that. I did add a frozen banana to my shake and that made it much better, so at least I had that for breakfast.

I packed a lunch today: celery sticks, rice crackers, hummus and cherry tomatoes. I also brought some more mint white tea with me, and I felt fine all day - no headache and not starving. Later in the day I had another shake with frozen banana (must remember to pick up some more bananas), and then I went to the Farmers Market at Harding School. With what I picked up at the market and from my CSA box, I made a big salad for dinner and some pasta. The pasta was the biggest surprise. I bought some brown rice pasta (since wheat and gluten is out), not really thinking that it would be very good. I thought the texture and flavor would not come close to the real thing. But I was completely wrong. It was actually very good. It probably helped that I put a spicy tomato sauce on top of it, but I was quite amazed that something that was a substitute would taste this good. This is something that I would now regularly keep in my pantry. And I guess that is one of the points of this whole detox, to try something new and hopefully instill some healthy new eating habits long after the nine days is over.

July 14, 2010

Nine Day Detox: Day Two

It's day two in my Natural Detox Program, and it's the first day that I have completely cut out my morning cappuccino. Could this be why I had a slight headache all day? I've decided to have some lightly caffeinated tea. I found a mint white tea blend - all organic - that I think will be a good compromise. It has very little caffeine and is the least processed of teas.

The rest of the day wasn't difficult. I had sourdough toast with a little lemon infused olive oil on it that was delicious. For lunch I went to Zooker's again and had a cup of their black bean soup and a small green salad.

After picking up some vegetables at the farmers market, I made soup for dinner. We finally have some beautiful sunny weather, and it seems odd to be making a pot of soup. But I had a craving for my potato, corn and squash soup. The yellow squash and corn is so great right now. This is a wonderful creamy and hearty soup that I have been making variations of for years. It was inspired by the Yukon Gold and Yellow Squash Soup in the Silver Palate New Basics Cookbook. Whether you are on a detox diet or not, I encourage you to try this soup. I like it served hot, but you can serve it chilled and, if you do, be sure to add the optional garnish.


Yellow Potato, Squash and Corn Soup
Serves 4-6

1 onion, finely diced
olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 yellow summer squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peel on, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 ears of fresh corn, cut from cob
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnish:

2 or 3 mild to medium chili peppers
1 or 2 small jalapeno peppers (if you want even more heat)
1 avocado

1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, saute the onion in some olive oil until lightly browned. Add the the stock, potatoes and squash, and bring to a boil. Add some salt, lower the heat and simmer partially covered until the vegetables are tender. It should take about 20-30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, if you are doing the optional garnish, roast the peppers on a grill or over a gas flame until blackened. Put in a paper or plastic bag for a few minutes to “sweat” then scrape off the blackened skin. Chop the jalapeno peppers. Peel and dice the avocado.

3. Remove the soup from the heat and puree until smooth in the pot with a hand held blender (if you don’t have one of these great devices, transfer to a blender or food processor). If the soup is too thick—you should not be able to stand a spoon up in it—add a little more stock.

4. Then add the corn and cilantro and cook over low heat until the corn is heated and tender but still has a little crunch, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Potato soups can take more salt than you realize.

5. Serve the soup. If you use the optional garnish, put each of the garnishes in small bowls and allow guests to garnish with as much heat as they like.

About Me

I am the editor and co-publisher of Edible Santa Barbara, a quarterly magazine celebrating the local food and wine of Santa Barbara County.

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