Monday, September 26, 2011

Cleanse Smart

I've undertaken one of the nicest things you can do for your three cubic feet of blood and bone and meat. If you think about it, that's what we are, and why shouldn't we give our insides a good scrubbing? I am presently doing a cleanse from Renew Life and I feel amazing. What has happened to me so far:

-more energy, thus more yoga and running
-no dips in energy throughout the day, nice and steady!
-cleanse clarity: clear thoughts, less mental rambling
-my pores look smaller
-lots of poop
-more motivated and concentrated
-awesome mood all the time
-no food cravings
-feel energized from eating, no more afternoon fatigue

What's more, here's what you can EAT when on a cleanse. I pretty much cut out all dairy, wheat and sugar. Everything is yummeriffic nonetheless.

Typical cleanse dinner: roasted veg mixed with red rice, some brussel sprouts (I LOVE BRUSSEL SPROUTS) and half a plate of salad. Awww yeah.

Following the greens/grain/protein train, here we have a tabouleh salad with tomato, some barley with a swirl of sriracha and a tofu burger. Did you know you can stick a tofu burger in the toaster? So quick and easy.

A delicious spicy vegan chilli with pinto and kidney beans. Made it epic with some fresh avocado and nutritional yeast sprikled on top.

Brunch for winners: omelette with leeks and peppers. Didn't even miss the toast!

Green goddess stirfry with peanut sauce. Snow peas, broccoli, cabbage and leeks turn into a feast of healthy goodness. Gonna blog this dish, it's definitely a keeper.

I'll continue to document my eating on the cleanse as I get cleaner and cleaner. I like thinking about food to begin with, and the cleanse is just another awesome challenge to encourage me to keep thinking up creative and healthy dishes!

Holy Tabouleh

You know you want an easy and extremely healthy salad that keeps well in the fridge. Trust me.

Gather the ingredients. A clove of garlic, a medium tomato, two cucumbers, parlsey, couscous, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Get cutting! Chop the veggies into uniform small bites. Mince the garlic and throw it in all together in a bowl. You can do this while listening to music, or watching something on your computer!

In the meantime, get your couscous cooked. It requires boiling water and 5 minutes of waiting time. The package or google will provide you with more information. As a wheat free alternative, you could substitute the grain with quinoa.

Rince the parsley well, trim off the stems and chop away as if your life depended on it. Do your salad proud.

Combine the ingredients and squeeze the juice of a lemon all over. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Done!

Friday, September 16, 2011

French Onion Soup

Can you feel the chill in the air? Why, just last weekend it was balmy and warm...September you fickle fool. I know what's coming though, and it's only going to get worse! The one saving grace about autumn is nature's bountiful harvest, and inexpensive, fresh and local produce. Although I enjoy visiting the Jean Talon market at any time of the year, it seems as though we are now in the apex of freshness and possibility.

I made a simple onion soup to keep the chill away on the first of fleeting fall days. Why is fall so short and winter so long?

The culprits in question: 5 onions, veg stock, thyme, butter, olive oil. Put these humble ingredients together and it makes a party for your mouth!

Methods I have seen used firsthand to prevent onion tears:

1) Wearing ski goggles whilst chopping.

2) Shoving a piece of bread inside your mouth between the teeth and upper lip.

3) Holding an unlit match between your teeth.

4) Keeping the onions cold in the fridge.

What I do: Nothing. I just cry through it. Enjoy the cathartic release, people!

After wiping away the tears, I massaged the onions in a soup pot with:

3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs olive oil
a few pinches of salt
a splash of water

Then it was time to sweat the onions. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. When the water has evaporated, remove the lid and it's time for the best part: caramelizing the onions! They go from firmly pungent white strings to sweet, softly yielding golden filaments. All in one hour, while making your kitchen smell absolutely fantastic.

When an hour has passed, it's time to make these caramelized onions into soup!

Add 6 cups of stock. I used veggie bouillon cubes but I am sure this soup would work amazingly with a homemade stock. Then, add about a teaspoon of thyme and simmer for 15 minutes. I tasted mine and it was way too sweet so I added a tablespoon of port vinegar to impart some tang to the soup.

Ce n'est pas une vrai soupe aux onions sans le fromage et le pain! Yes, so we need some bread and cheese to finish this baby off. Some multi grain baguette and some emmenthal grated and over top and then broiled should do the trick!

Get that bread in the soup bowl and laddle your creation over top. There's something slightly subversive about wetting toasted bread. It expects to stay crispy but I had other ideas for it!