Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week #2 of the Cleanse- Trying New Foods

  As Week #2 of the cleanse has gone past, and Week #3 draws near its end I've been left feeling great about my food choices.  Not only have I been pretty much solely subsisting on whole fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and fish but I've been trying new foods I never even knew I liked. 
  Take the sardine, for example.  My mom used to eat them out of the can, the mustard kind.  I was disgusted, as any adolescent girl probably would be.  Until recently, the gross mustard image was all I knew of sardines, and for that reason I had pretty much condemned them to my list of fish that I don't eat.  But let's re-examine the sardine.  Actually several types of fish related to the herring, sardines are a whopping good dose of all things healthy.  These little soft-boned fishies contain Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, tons of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and more.  Not only that, but Pacific Wild-caught sardines are about the most ecologically friendly fish you can buy and eat.  At the bottom of the oceanic food chain, sardines feed on plankton and have been found to be lacking in high levels of heavy metals. 
And boy are they delicious!
Mixed greens w/ tarragon, clementines, sardines and toasted pumpkin seeds

Breakfast continues to be something I look forward to.  The offerings were:

Tofu scramble w/ beet greens and turmeric
Try the tofu scramble with black beans and Sriracha for a little kick. 
Vegetable-miso soup with chickpeas
This soup is so delicious it has made it into the breakfast rotation two weeks in a row.  I know, you're thinking: Soup for breakfast?  And really, that's all you need to ask yourself, and then you need to eat it!

My smoothie creation: Kiwi + pineapple + mango

Lunches have been just as satisfying, but with more substance.  The sardine salad above makes an excellent lunch for two (or two days!)  But who can resist spicy black bean salad with mangoes?  Raw kale salad with pomegranate?  Or red lentil soup with turnips and parsley?  I couldn't...good, good, gone.

Red lentil and turnip soup with parsley
Spicy Black Bean Salad- Try this with mangoes and/or avocado for a savory treat

Raw kale salad with pomegranate and toasted walnuts

Dinners have been the height of delectable.  I've learned to cook en papillote, as the French say, or in parchment paper as we Americans say.  It's a great way to preserve nutrients and cook food fast!  Plus, it's fun to open up your dinner like a present.

Rainbow trout cooked en papillote with fennel, apple and broccoli slaw
Grilled salmon and bok choy with avocado salsa
Roasted winter vegetables with cannellini beans
Snacks remain by far the most important component of this eating plan!  I've stuck with a few of the same recipes from Week #1, and added a new dessert-like snack.  
Pistachio-stuffed dates with toasted coconut
Meet, the date.  Nectar-sweet, golden and sticky, the date has become my new favorite dried fruit.  Could.  Not.  Stop.  Eating.  Them!  Even when they weren't smooshed with delicious pistachio crumbs and dusted in coconut.  It's a good thing they're so darn good for you!  Packed with vitamins A1, B1, B2, B3, B5 and over twenty essential amino acids, there's a reason this fruit has been a staple of the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diet for centuries.  I buy the kind already pitted to save myself the messy, sticky trouble of pitting them.  

It's quite remarkable the difference food can make in your life- whether it's good food or bad food.  I feel fortunate to be able to try new things and make wise choices about what I'm consuming.  I also feel fortunate to have some new kitchen toys that I'm bursting to write about!  After the cleanse...and after I write AT LEAST ONE poem for a poetry gig next weekend...Here's to feeding my inspiration. 


Kate said...

all I have to say is pistachio stuffed dates! yumm-o! I have A MASSIVE amount of miso so have been trying new ways to use it (other than miso tofu soup). Tonight I did tilapia with a miso glaze.

Christina said...

Nom nom nom...

It's amazing how good-for-you food can make you salivate. I want to make EVERYTHING you listed here. It all sounds delicious. And I'm a big fan of savory breakfast food so I'm planning on making a huge pot of veggie miso soup over the weekend. :)

Great tips E! <3