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With a trip to Vegas just around the corner, and a solid week of eating out almost every night behind me (no regrets!!), this week provides the perfect opportunity to experiment with some new foods and ingredients in an attempt to rid my body of that crappy, achy feeling that can come with too much over-indulgence. It all started at a little food co-op around the corner from my apartment called The Health Nuts, where I encountered this cup of gloriousness on Saturday afternoon:
Pretty orange, right? Nope, not a citrus smoothie. This is what some refer to as “Vegetable Juice,” and what I like to call ”Salad in a Cup.” That being said, it was surprisingly good. Clearly it’s chock full of carrots, which contribute to it’s sweetness and color, as well as some spinach, peppers, and other goodies. The Indian man who sold it to me convinced me, after warning me against ordering the cayenne-lemon cocktail on the menu, this would totally detoxify my system. Unfortunately, it just left me with a slightly awkward aftertaste and hungry rumbling stomach.
With this in mind, I decided to do some online digging into different “healthy” cleanses and other types of detox diets (yes, I visited Goop. Thanks, Gwenyth Paltrow), and came up with a few recipes that are high in fiber and protein, antioxidants, and organic ingredients – in other words, they will hopefully rejuvinate my body from it’s sluggish dining-out coma just in time to do it all again and Retox in the Mecca of epicurean extremes, Las Vegas.
But before I begin rambling on about the joys of having CraftSteak located in the lobby of the hotel I am staying in, here are the recipes for a detox breakfast and lunch that have actually been enjoyable to eat for the past two days. Fill in the blanks with Naked Coconut Water (sort of tastes like watered down Pineapple juice) and a handful of almonds whenever you start to get hungry. Go for a light organic soup, such as Pacific Natural Foods low-sodium Broccoli or Butternut Squash soups, which are made with just a handful of natural, fiber-rich ingredients, for dinner. Then it’s off to bed without a midnight snack (for those who know me, you know this is impossible).
For Breakfast: Blueberry-Almond Jumpstart Smoothie
In addition to your blender, you’ll need:
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and 3 or 4 frozen strawberries, stems and leaves removed
1 scoop of 100% Whey Protein Powder
I also added 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (sorry, the lemon was camera shy).
Here’s the best part. All you do is throw it all in the blender (don’t you just LOVE smoothies?) and hit ON. Don’t be alarmed by how thick it looks. That’s just the Whey Powder doing it’s thing. If it gets way too thick, like you sort of feel like you’ll wind yourself just trying to use a straw to drink this thing, do not fret – just add a little water. I threw a little cooled green tea in mine, and it was really good! Also, this was my first time making anything with Whey Protein powder, so I went with the plain variety, but it also comes in tons of flavors so if you want this to be a blueberry-almond-vanilla smoothie, just opt for the vanilla whey powder. Go wild!
Here’s the finished thick, creamy, delicious product! This kept me full for way longer than my standard oatmeal-almond-berry breakfast:
For Lunch: Wild Organic Fish with Lemon Quinoa and Olive Tapenade
Apologies for the lack of photos here, but if you really want to know what this looks like, you should go make it! If you can’t think of a better excuse than this being an easy, healthy, and absolutely delish lunch meal, then just go get your Thai food take-out already.
Here’s what you’ll need for 2 delicious detox lunches:
- 1/2 pound of an organic thick white fish, such as organic Cod or Tilapia
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup organic Quinoa
- 1 cup of low-sodium chicken stock
- 20 pitted black olives
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp of chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Turn your broiler on high, and prepare the fish by drying it with paper towels, sprinkling both sides with sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and chili powder. Lay on a sheet pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and squeeze the juice of half the lime over the fish. Place under broiler and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until fish is moist and flaky (cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fish).
Meanwhile, add the dry quinoa and chicken stock to a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered, at a simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. The quinoa should take only about 15 minutes to cook, and it’s done when it is fluffy and all the stock has been absorbed. Add the juice from 1/2 of the lemon, season with a little bit of salt and pepper, and stir.
For the tapenade, we once again get to experience the joy of the ON button on a food processor or blender. Simply add the olives, garlic, olive oil, and about a tsp of lemon juice from the remaining lemon. I also added a little parmesan cheese to mine, but that’s not really detox (no dairy is the rule, I believe) so I didn’t include it in the ingredients. Still, “detox” or not, I don’t think a teaspoon of cheese ever killed anyone. So just add it. Then hit ON! Note: This actually makes enough tapenade for 4 – 1 tbsp servings.
Then just add half the cooked quinoa to a bowl, top with a tablespoon of the olive tapenade, and a 4 ounce piece of the broiled fish. I topped the whole thing with some fresh squeezed lime juice and had it with a side of watermelon chunks. Who said detoxing had to be painful? This sounds pretty damn good to me!