Tag Archives: detox

Detox Salad with Tahini Dressing

One of the many upsides of doing a detox apart from feeling full of energy is that I swear you almost glow from the inside. OK perhaps it’s because I eat more non-detox food than I should, so when I am eating a diet of whole food, full of vitamins and nutrients … it shows more ?

I am convinced that I feel and look better because of all the wonderfully nourishing foods that are in this salad. Chickpeas provide zinc and folate for healthy skin, and the almonds and avocado provide heart-healthy, skin-moisturising mono-saturated fats. Beauty in a bowl !

Ingredients for two

  1. 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed
  2. 1 small zuccini, sliced
  3. 1 small red capsicum, sliced
  4. handful of raw almonds, dry toasted
  5. 1 avocado
  6. 100g chick peas, cooked
  7. Tahini – see recipe below

Method

  1. Grill the zuccini slices
  2. Arrange salad in bowl and dress with tahini, thinned with water to desired consistency

Tahini

lightly dry toast 100g sesame seeds and grind finely in a food processor. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, 1 small clove of garlic and a pinch of salt and blend well.

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Garlic and brocolli pasta

In the middle of one of my twice annual detoxes, I was in the mood for a simple pasta dish. I’ve found some really good organic brown rice pastas and also buckwheat pastas, which are detox-friendly, as well as having the added bonus of being gluten-free.

This dish is so quick and simple – perfect weekday dinner or double the quantity and you can have the leftovers as a pasta salad for lunch the next day.

Ingredients for one serving – adjust accordingly for more

  1. 3/4 cup dry spiral organic brown rice pasta
  2. 1/2 cup broccoli florets – no stems
  3. 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I love garlic so feel free to use less)
  4. good squeeze of lemon
  5. salt and pepper

Method

  1. Cook pasta according to packet directions in salted water
  2. When pasta is almost cooked, add the broccoli for a 30 seconds and drain – save about half a cup of the pasta water
  3. Sautée the garlic in a hot pan with some oil till soft
  4. Add the drained pasta and broccoli and toss in the garlic and oil – add a few spoons of the pasta water to help loosen the pasta up. The starchy water will help to give the pasta a nice silky texture
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Serve hot for dinner
  7. If you want to keep the leftovers for lunch the next day, add a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and pop into the fridge for a yummy pasta salad

Quinoea, Apricot and Nut Clusters

In the middle of my detox, I found myself craving for something sweet (chocolate, to be honest), but processed food is one of the big no nos for me this week, so I was thrilled to find this genius way of getting my sweet hit sans sugar (I replaced the sugar in the original recipe with honey) with the added bonus of quinoea.  The original recipe is from Martha Stewart.com. If you’re interested, the basics of my detox are here.

Ingredients (makes about 10)

  1. 1/2 cup quinoea
  2. 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  3. 1/4 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
  4. 1/4 cup shelled raw pistachios, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  8. 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  9. 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 2 eggs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
  2. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir quinoea; cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until most liquid is absorbed and quinoa is slightly undercooked, about 10 minutes
  3. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until pale golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in a large bowl
  4. Spread oats on baking sheet; bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add oats to quinoea
  5. Spread seeds and nuts on baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes. Add to quinoa mixture; let cool
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 150C (300F)
  7. Toss nuts, apricots and salt with quinoa mixture
  8. Beat honey, oil, and vanilla into eggs; stir into quinoa mixture
  9. Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Spoon 1/4 cup firmly packed batter onto sheet for each cluster – space 3 inches apart and bake until crisp, about 25 minutes
  10. Let cool on a wire rack. Store, loosely covered with foil, up to 2 days

All this good food leads to a good detox

Once or twice a year I find myself feeling sluggish, and that, to me, is my body telling me it’s time to give my liver a break and detox.  I have been doing a once or twice a year detox now for about ten years, and for me, it seems to “reset” my digestive system.  When I started I went truly hard core for two weeks, and I have to admit, it was the toughest two weeks where all I could think about was “bad” food.  I realise now after years of tweaking with new recipes and ideas, that everyone needs to plan their own detox programme according to their own lives – you need to factor in that ideally some of the detox recipes will end up working their way into your normal eating habits.

There are tons of detox programmes out there – the one I use follows these basic principles:
1) No meat – red or white
2) No processed food – white sugars, breads, cakes, biscuits etc
3) No alcohol
4) No caffeine
5) No dairy

What you can eat:
1) Any fruit, vegetable, legume etc (you know, the healthy stuff) – go for brightly coloured vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, peppers and avocados etc and you can’t really go wrong
2) Brown rice, whole grain breads, brown rice/corn/buckwheat/quinoa pastas, steel cut oats (if you can’t get these then try normal oats, just don’t ever eat the instant oats as they have been so processed that all the goodness of the oats is stripped away)
3) Raw nuts (the good fats in nuts can go rancid once they are cooked) like almonds and cashews and macadamias
4) Tofu and soy milk – look for non GMO products
5) small portions of fish if you want
6) Herbal teas – peppermint, dandelion, fennel
7) Start each day upon rising with a big mug of warm water with a good squeeze of lemon. This really helps to kickstart your metabolism.
8)You need to take two spoons of psyllium husk three times a day to really flush out your system and drink lots of water.  Try for 2L a day

Now ideally you’re meant to be on this programme for 2 weeks, but I have found that that is simply too long for someone who loves food so much – to the point where detoxing becomes a real chore and I’m likely to cheat, or quit and start hoovering steaks and cakes and guzzling bottles of wine.  I find that a week is enough to get to the point where you are just enjoying eating clean, healthy food, and you can feel a difference.  Stick to the basic principles as much as you can, my best advice is to plan plan plan – your social life, your grocery shopping, your meals.  At the end of the week, you should feel energised (not in need of a coffee to start the day), less bloated…overall, just healthier.  A plus is you might even feel some weight dropping off – basically it’s not the healthy food so much as you tend to simply consume less calories, but hey, can’t hurt.

I thought I’d share some ideas for meals below.  Good luck, try your best and just enjoy eating healthily for a week.

Homemade hummus:
1 can chickpeas (you can cook from the dried beans if you have the time – soak 100g overnight and simmer until tender)
100g sesame seeds – lightly dry toast them and finely grind in the food processor
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
Chuck them all in the food processor until smooth – you need to add enough lemon juice so that you can taste it but it doesn’t overpower the dip.  Serve with a sprinkling of paprika and chick peas and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Use as a dip with crudites as a snack, or use as a spread in sandwiches, on top of whole grain crackers with tomatoes and avocado or if you’re feeling very healthy, alfalfa sprouts.

Vegetable soup
Gently fry onions until soft
Add chopped carrots and celery and fry until coated
Add vegetable stock
Simmer 20 mins
Add a bay leaf  and harder vegetables (like beans) and simmer for 10 more mins
Add softer vegetables like chopped spinach, zuccini just before you take off the heat.
You can also add some quinoa for some texture and protein.

Some other great simple soup ideas:
Carrot and ginger
Pumpkin
Broccoli
Watercress (you can thicken with a potato if you want)
Potato and Leek

Wakame Salad
Soak dried wakame until soft, add to lettuce leaves, cucumber, tomato and silken tofu.
Make dressing with some tamari (or soya sauce if you can’t get tamari), sesame oil, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Other salad ideas:
Quinoa salad – cook quinoa and fluff, add chopped cucumber, red onion and red capsiscum.  Dress with mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts olive oil (basically a couscous salad)
Tuna nicoise salad (minus the egg) – add tuna on top of bed of lettuce and french beans, dress with olive oil and lemon juice

PASTA
You can get dried organic brown rice pastas from health food stores and make all sorts of vegetable sauces:
eggplant and tomato with basil
spinach
spaghetti aglio e olio
broccoli
pesto