Welcome to 2013! After all the festivities of the holiday season, I’m ready to…well, cook AGAIN!
This time, though, instead of the decadent, indulgent meals I’ve been enjoying for the past couple months, I’m diving head first into my quarterly ritual of resetting my diet. The first time I did this, I dropped 8 pounds in one week, but because I was so starved for flavor, as soon it was over, I binged. Big time. Half of the weight came back in a day or two. Since then, I’ve adjusted the rules for the Detox Diet. Freshness and flavor are the most important elements. And, because this is the Winter version, I get to have so many nummy-yummy flavorites of mine that are just as decadent as the fatty holiday fare.
Blended veggie soups, roasted and grilled veggies with uber-flavorful sauces…now, we’re talkin’! One of the best things about this program is I can do most of the cooking ahead of time, or if it’s not completely prepared, I can get things chopped, marinated and ready for action.
I wrote about the seasonal detox in Farmer’s Market Fresh, and here’s an excerpt…
Every season, I like to spend at least one week resetting my diet. This Reset helps me 1- reacquaint myself with the season’s bounty, 2-simplify my eating habits and 3- *a big bonus* drop a few pounds!
During this week, I keep my recipes simple, but delicious, of course. My breakfasts are generally the same, year round. During this time, it just gets downsized a bit. It looks something like this: ½-1 cup of a whole grain, or some combination of grains, a handful of something leafy (kale or Swiss chard in winter, herbs in spring and summer, salad greens in autumn) and a poached egg on top. Some variations may occur.
This meal is a habit that began with my first week-long detox diet. I got the program from Natural Health Magazine, and dropped 8 pounds the first time I did it!
Their version looks like this:
Upon rising, drink 2 8-oz. glasses of water, one with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in.
Breakfast = eat 1 piece of fruit, and after 15-30 minutes, have 1-1.5 c. whole grain, dressed with up to 1t. of an olive oil/butter blend.
Lunch and Dinner = steamed vegetables, dressed with the same oil blend.
Snacks = the water left over from steaming lunch and dinner…
I’ve done this version two or three times, but came out the other side so starved for flavor, I’d undo all the weight loss almost immediately by uncontrollably eating everything in my path. It also turned me against steamed veggies for a long time.
My way is similar, but so much more delicious, it barely seems like I’ve omitted anything at all.
First, I added some protein to the breakfast. A poached egg (or quarter cup of lentils) keeps me satisfied much longer and my energy level is far less likely to wane throughout the day. The morning snack is one piece of fruit (or up to a ½ cup of berries). Lunch and dinner are still a pile of veggies, just not steamed. Lunch could be a big salad with nuts or beans included and dinner could be grilled or roasted veggies.
I like to make a big mess of grilled or roasted vegetables at the top of the week, so there’s no question as to what to eat. Salad greens get assembled then, as well. All the adornments are prepped and ready for serving time, as well…
… Roasted Vegetables
When I’m preparing for Detox Week, I like to make a large quantity of these veggies. Eggplant, various types of squash, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, onions, okra, carrots, celery, fennel and new potatoes are some of my favorite staples. Seasonally, you can easily find similarly textured items.
Two half-sheet pans
Parchment paper or foil to line each
Up to 4 lbs. various vegetables of varying textures, cut into bite-sized pieces (1/2″ -3/4″)
Coconut or Olive oil (1 T. per pound of veggies)
Sherry Vinegar (1 tsp. per pound of veggies)
Up to 2 T. per pound of your favorite dry herbs or spices*
*I love using ground coriander and fennel seeds!
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss vegetables with oil and seasonings (you can let this sit as a marinade in the
refrigerator for as long as three days, for maximum flavor). Spread them onto lined sheet pans in a single layer, allowing for maximum contact with the surface.
Roast for 20 minutes, and then toss to expose another surface to the pan. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes more.
To serve, I like to drizzle a bit of sherry vinegar, or super-thick balsamic vinegar on these veggies, along with the oil/butter combo. I also enjoy an extra sprinkling of the coriander and fennel seed combination atop this dish.
My grilled vegetable option is marinated in the same manner, but sliced in a way that would provide a lot of exposed surface area for the grill; ¼- 1/2″ thick. While starchy vegetables lend themselves well to this preparation, items such as radicchio, broccolini, asparagus and green beans also work beautifully on the grill or grill pan.
In order to keep flavor high and additives low, I like to make this fresh condiment to dress any of these preparations.
1 clove garlic, (or more ;-)), finely diced or pressed
1 large tomato, grated
½ onion, finely diced
1 BIG handful assorted fresh herbs (feel free to borrow some big hands if necessary 😉
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium, fresh chile (optional)
Combine these items in a glass bowl, and spoon over vegetables, as needed.
If you’d like to get more of the recipes I use for this delicious cleanse, pick up Farmer’s Market Frugal on Amazon.com, at its new lower price.
Do you have a great way to bounce back from holiday indulgence? Leave a comment below!
Until next time,
Have a Delicious day!!