We're just three days in to our week-long "spring cleaning detox" which J so nicely described in her pre-detox post. So far it's been fairly easy, and I have to say a lot of our eats have been consistent with how we usually eat. We aren't doing anything crazy, no starvation diets or six-juices-a-day-- we're not even going vegan!
Our main guidelines:
Healthy fats (nuts, avocado, olive oil, ground flax)
Whole grains (literally, whole)
Processed grains (including flour or any store bought baked item including bread)
Unhealthy fats (certain meats, butter, etc)
So basically, we're just following what your doctor would recommend with some modifications. I'm also trying to get J off the cereal rut (most cereals don't fall under whole grain) by suggesting a different breakfast item each morning. However, we usually have about 5-10 minutes in the morning to make breakfast, so we're sticking with the basics- but, don't let this limit you!
So far, I've made:
Easy Vegan Overnight Oats
(Oh She Glows)
Perfect for extra-busy mornings, since all the prep is done the night before! Mix 1/2 cup regular oats, 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, 1 scoop of protein powder, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract together, then add half a chopped banana and 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, mixing well to incorporate the wet and dry together. Finally, add 1 cup of milk of choice (we used almond milk), give it a final stir, and place it in the fridge overnight. Don't worry if it looks like a soup-y mess-- the seeds and oats will absorb way more milk than you would think! In the morning, you can add more milk if it's too dry, another dollop of peanut butter, maple syrup, or, like we did, a dab of low-sugar jam.
1-Minute Better than Granola
(Healthy Tipping Point)
Simply combine 1/2 cup regular oats, a few pinches of unsweetened coconut, a tsp. of chia seeds, and 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds-- I went with a mix of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I also made mine into "3-Minute Better Than Granola" by toasting the seeds for a few minutes on the stove. Add the mix to 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 chopped banana, a little drizzle of maple syrup, and you're ready to go-- another quick and easy, healthy and delicious breakfast.
Our lunches and dinners have been focused more on the vegetable and protein side of things-- and we've been careful to produce enough food at the evening meal to provide lunch for the next day. Recipes for four are a good thing around here!
Vegetable Soup over Barley
First up, I gave J the task of making a miso soup, full of tofu, kale, and carrots, but somehow a forgotten ingredient turned this into a fairly simple vegetable soup, which she served over barley. A new-to-us grain, barley can stand in anywhere you would typically use rice. It takes a bit longer to prepare (about 60-75 minutes), but the large, chewy, nutty grains are worth it to us. This item will definitely stay in our meal rotation post-detox!
Kale, broccoli, onion, carrots, and mushrooms were all sauteed until softened, and then a box of strained tomatoes (basically thick tomato juice) was added to the pot to serve as a nutrient-rich broth. Before serving, a few chopped green onions and parsley went into the mix, and a small sprinkle of Parmesan rounded it off. Over the creamy, cooked barley, it was a good start to the week.
Mexican Quinoa-Cornbread with Grilled Chicken
The second dinner of the week was a bit more of a challenge- with the boyfriend coming over to eat with us, I had to meet the criteria of the detox while still masking most of the vegetables. I also had a few missing ingredients for my planned meal, so produced a totally random dish instead. Using masa (cornmeal is a whole grain, apparently) and cooked quinoa as a stand-in for flour, I produced a cornbread-like dish that was full of diced, sauteed onions, softened spinach, diced canned tomatoes, ground flax, and lots of tomato juice (strained from the can). I added flavor with chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin, and baked it until set, throwing on a 1/2 cup of shredded white cheddar and some chopped green onions at the end of the baking time. Served with grilled chicken breasts coated in a similar spice mix, it fit the bill.
Maple-Tofu Barley Bowl with a Tahini Dressing
Our third day ended with a meal actually inspired by a recipe, which I followed fairly closely. This meal has several components, and reminded me of a Bento box or a sampler platter, with many flavors that complement each other but don't necessarily fit together into a single dish. It also took a good bit of time to prepare, although much of that time wasn't active cooking.
I started by preparing barley-- yep, twice in three days. The original recipe calls for rice, or you could easily substitute quinoa or another grain here as well. I then sliced up the acorn squash and stuck it in the oven to roast while preparing the broccoli and tofu. The tofu must first be squeezed to remove as much water as possible, then sliced and pan-seared to brown the edges and help firm it up a bit. Then, I baked it alongside the broccoli for about half an hour with a little drizzle of maple syrup (although plain would be fine as well). Finally, I made a dressing out of tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, and a splash of sesame oil. As the barley finished cooking, I threw 3/4 cup of frozen peas into the pot. Pile everything into a bowl, drizzle with the tahini dressing, and enjoy! Seriously, a bit random, but it covered all of our bases and left us very satisfied-- there is something about salty, smooth tahini that is good on anything.
So there you have it-- the first half of our week-long detox, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We almost always eat a snack in the afternoon (faux Kind bars, you are my friend!), and have a cup of decaf tea and a macaroon after dinner. J has sworn off caffeine for the week, but to that, I must channel my inner Gleek.
Part 2 coming soon!