uff da. yes, i just said uff-da, and if you ask my hubby he will tell you that no joke that expression comes out of my mouth constantly. midwest for lyfe! so anywho, its time again for a late-summer-sweeping-of-the-guts! if you remember at all from last year, the hubby and i go gluten/soy/sugar/booze/processed food free for 14 days while using enzymatic whole body cleanse to give our body a good scrub down. this year is already tortuous on day 2 on account that “baking weather” just hit, and being processed/gluten free means no cookies, cakes, or pies for two weeks! cry cry cry… but, here i am, and i shall give you the lowdown on what we will be nibbling on so that if you need to do a little clean-up, you have a good place to start.i will skip adding breakfast, because its pretty much the same thing everyday: rolled oats with dried fruit, flax, and nuts, or a smoothie made with frozen fruit, unsweetened almond milk, flax,and unsweetened rice protein powder. we also eat the previous nights dinner for lunch to help simplify things, and chug lots, and lots of water and tea.
tuesday. spaghetti squash stuffed with brown and wild rice, pear, and red onion. par-bake squash, or nuke for 5 minutes to make cutting easier. slice in half, scoop seeds out, and fill with 1/2 c of cooked rice, 1/4 c diced onion, and half a chopped pear. i seasoned these up with a salt-free blend of sage, oregano, celery, thyme, pepper, savory…. cover and bake at 375 until soft.
wednesday. quinoa salad with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. served atop spinach. mix one pint of tomatoes with 2 cups cooked quinoa, one diced cucumber, and 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (homemade if you’re hard-core). dress with olive oil and your favorite vinegar.
tonight? i’m thinking hippy bowl!
Update! in lieu of not having any nuts, or cranberries (again!) i switched things up. i made the sweet potatoes that normally accompany hippy bowl, and jazzed up some green beans with pluots and rice wine vinegar. to make: saute 2 peeled and diced green pluots with 1/4 rice vinegar, and 1/2 tsp chinese 5-spice powder until soft and slightly syrupy. season with hot chili oil and use to dress 1/2 pound blanched green beans.
friday! potato kale soup! not pictured, but still delicious! in a heavy bottomed soup pot combine 2 pounds russet potatoes (cleaned and diced), a few scrubbed and chopped carrots, a diced onion, and some minced garlic. sweat over medium heat until the onions are soft and the potatoes begin to stick. add in 6-8 cups water or stock (check label for corn syrup) and bring up to a simmer. cook until the potatoes are soft and add in one bundle of kale that has been de-stemmed and ripped into 1 inch pieces. slap on the lid and ignore for 20 minutes. season with pepper and serve.
saturday! we cheated! i know, i know, i know, but we were celebrating our anniversary and we went right back to good eating on sunday. actually, we didn’t even make that huge of a cheat. when we went to the movies, we snacked on raw granola and raw almonds (win), and we had dinner at gorkha palace-wich is a new indian/neapali place. the food was ok, and definitely cleanse friendly-ish. we had chickpea masala, which was just a huge yummy pile of chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices. and aaloo gobi, which wasn’t the best, the cauliflower was still hard in the center, and the amount of potatoes were underwhelming, and also undercooked. boo. but the start, and deal breaker, were the cabbage-chili pakoras. its little palm-fulls of sliced pepper, cabbage, and onion dipped in chickpea batter and deep fried! they were so perfect that they weren’t greasy! and then we bar-hopped for the next 5 hours, drinking olive filled martinis and noshing on fried pickles and tater tots, so i guess in the spectrum, i did ok. ha.
sunday. back to cleaner eating. we had more raw trail mix for a mid-afternoon snack, and i started to pick everything out of the garden that i could. i collected 6 beautiful, shiny, red and green bell peppers, and had amassed a pile of tomatoes over the weekend. tonight we had the peppers stuffed with mushroom wild rice smothered in cashew cheeze sauce. it was so good that i had to pinch myself- it was technically free of processed ingredients, sugar, and soy, and was obviously vegan, but it was soooo good! or to be more specific, it was too flavorful and done-up to feel like it was ok for a cleanse. i think the missing link in vegan cheeze sauce is chickpea flour. i was startled at how the beany flavor really complemented the other flavors. i also made some balsamic kale too-yummers.
Super Stuffed Bell Peppers
3/4 c each wild rice, and brown rice
2 1/2 c water
2 cups sliced creminis
1 large red onion- i would actually suggest 2-3 if you love them!
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 clove garlic minced
6 medium-large bell peppers
cashew cheese sauce
1/4 c chickpea flour
2 tbs olive oil
2 c unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/4 c cashew butter
1 tbs mellow white miso-opt. some miso has soy.
1 tsp salt.
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bundle kale torn into 1 inch pieces, stems discarded
2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
trim and slice your onions into thin half moons. place them in a cast iron pan over low heat and cook until caramelized, about 1 hour. remove them to a large bowl, and leave any bits stuck in the pan. you can also do this in a mini crock-pot! it may take up to 4 hours, but if you have stuff to do-its a life saver. cook the combined rices in water until soft and the wild rice has split open. set aside with the onions.
pre-heat oven to 375
now, wash your peppers and cut a “door” on the top. basically, find which side it sits best on, and trim out the side that faces up. it should be oval shaped, and not go as far as the “rib” or where the pepper sharply indents. carefully leave the stem intact, but cut out all of the extra membrane and seeds, and the inside end of the stem as best as you can. take the flaps of pepper and dice them up. in the same cast iron that you cooked your onions in, add the mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium. when the mushrooms release their water, use it to scrape up any onion bits still stuck on. once the liquid has evaporated, let the mushrooms brown slightly and then add in the bell pepper pieces and the garlic. continue cooking until the peppers have softened. add this the the rice and onions, and stir in the thyme. add salt and pepper to taste.
scoop the rice mixture into the cavities of the peppers, pressing and packing the filling in. place the bells in a lightly oiled lasagna or casserole pan and cover tightly with foil. bake until the peppers are soft-about 45 minutes. while the peppers bake, you can prep the kale and the sauce.
to make the kale, start by using the same cast-iron pan that made the onions and the mushrooms. add the tomatoes first, then the carrots, and finally the kale. cover with a lid and turn the heat to medium low. once the kale has started to shrink, remove the lid, and pour on the vinegar. cover again and turn the heat to low. leave this unattended while the peppers bake, only checking the heat to prevent sticking. the water in the veggies, and the vinegar will provide enough moisture to cook the veggies.when the peppers have 5 minutes left, remove the lid on the kale and raise the heat to medium. saute until almost no liquid remains. add pepper to taste.
for the sauce, combine the oil and the chickpea flour in a medium sauce pan over a medium flame. whisk smooth and heat until bubbling. now whisk in the cashew butter until smooth, slowly followed by the almond milk. keep whisking to avoid lumps, and add the nutritional yeast, and miso if using. heat until a low boil is achieved, and the sauce has thickened. add up to 1 tsp salt to taste. (if you want a more traditional white sauce, use oatmeal flour and cut the yeast in half. omit the miso, and add 1/2 tsp each garlic and onion powder, and a grate of nutmeg)
by now, the 45 minutes should have elapsed, so uncover your peppers and check for done-ness. once ready, spoon a generous 1/4 c of the sauce over each pepper and pop back into the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the peppers have started to turn golden on top.
Monday: Black Bean and Brown Rice Salad with Cilantro Pesto
combine 3 cups cooked brown rice with 3 cups cooked black beans. pit and dice 2 avocados and nectarines and add to the rice. add in 1 cup sweet corn kernels, and 1 large diced yellow tomato (the last yellow brandywine of the season!). toss well. in a food processor combine the juice of 2 limes, 1/4 c+ olive oil (i choose to not omit oil while cleansing) 1 handful raw almonds,1 jalapeno, 1 large clove garlic, 3 scallions, and the top of one bundle-or 2 cups loosely packed- cilantro. pulse until chopped and then blend until smooth. add a dash of salt, a good grind of pepper, and mix as much as you’d like in to your salad. let hang in the fridge for one hour and serve on a pile of spinach leaves.
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Potato and Kidney Bean Stew
in your slow cooker, combine 2 pounds scrubbed and quartered red potatoes, 1 diced red onion, 1 clove garlic, 3 cups cooked kidney beans, 1 cup sweet corn, 3 sliced carrots, 8 cups vegetable stock, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 bay leaf, and one teaspoon each oregano and basil. cook on low for 8 hours or until the potatoes are very soft. use a potato masher to mush up 1/3 of the soup so thats its chunky, but not blended. to make it even more rich and creamy, stir in 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and a few tablespoons cashew butter.