Monday, March 19, 2012

Cleansed or Crazy Part 2

Welcome to day two of my experiment.

As you know, I started day two feeling pretty cruddy. Here's a little recap. My eyes were burning and bright red, I felt a tad feverish and I was totally, totally lethargic. But here's the part that surprised me: I was REALLY upset that I wasn't going to be spending my afternoon cooking, and that hubby and I wouldn't be sitting down to a special meal together before he had to head back to Pittsburgh. I hadn't ever thought of myself as someone who has an emotional relationship with food, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Nevertheless I pushed forward and made a Purple Power Juice:

  • 4 Cups Purple Grapes
  • 1/2 Cup Blackberries
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Inch Ginger
Pretty tasty! But alas, my will to NOT drink the juice proved to be stronger than my hunger. By lunch time the previous night's headache was back, I'd only had about 4oz of the Purple Power Juice, I'd skipped my mid-morning snack juice, and I didn't seem to be getting off the couch to make a lunch juice. It was about this time that we decided I should probably eat something, so I made a small bowl of plain oatmeal (with water) and chopped up a banana to mix in. Half an hour or so later I was feeling a million times better.

Do I think my juice cleanse was a failure? hhMmm. Maybe a little, yes. But ultimately it served as a reminder that I need to only put the best things into my body, because getting the bad things out is HARD. Do I still believe in the idea of a detox? Absolutely. I just don't think the same methods work for all people.

Once I had my energy back I realized that if I was giving up on my juice cleanse, I was going to have to figure out something to do with all those veggies!!!! I didn't want to abandon the idea of the detox completely, so I vowed that for the next week or so I am going to stay away from caffeine and all things processed or artificial (my affections for Diet Coke and York Peppermint Patties go against everything else I believe in).

So, are you curious to know what the heck I turned my fridge full of veggies into?

Kale Chips

1 bunch  kale
Olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Mist with Olive Oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Sweet Potato Hummus and Veggie Snacks

(Adapted from this recipe at Blissful Blog)

1 pound sweet potatoes,peeled (roughly 2 medium)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chili, canned in adobo sauce
1 garlic clove chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini
course sea salt 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pierce potatoes several times with a fork; place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour or until tender.  Cool slightly, then peel and add to the bowl of a food processor.  Add chickpeas, lime juice, tahini, olive oil, chipotle and garlic.  Puree until smooth and thin with up to 2 tablespoons of water if necessary. Season with salt.  Refrigerate for up to 1 week in an airtight container. 

Fennel & Swiss Chard Soup With  Red Pepper Yogurt Sauce

(Adapted from this recipe in Cooking Light Magazine)


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 large fennel bulbs with stalks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leek (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large)
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 swiss chard leaves, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of red pepper


1. Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and chop; set aside.
2. Trim tough outer leaves from fennel. Mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons; set aside. Remove and discard end of stalks. Chop bulbs and remaining stalks, discard core of bulb. 
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add fennel, leek, and next 3 ingredients (through salt); cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, water, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in swiss chard and black pepper. Cook until fennel is soft.
4. Using a blender (in batches) or an imerssion blender, puree the soup.
5. Combine roasted bell peppers, yogurt, lemon rind, lemon juice, and ground red pepper in a food processor; process until smooth.
6. Top each serving of soup with 2 tablespoons of red pepper sauce and a sprinkling of fennel fronds.

Quinoa With Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries and Nuts

And a side of Israeli Salad

(Adapted from this recipe at Gluten-Free Goddess)

1 cup  quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, skin on, cubed
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 of a medium red onion, diced fine
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Olive oil
Pure maple syrup, to taste
Sea salt
A sprinkle of ginger and curry, to taste
1/4 cup  pecans
1/4 cup cashews
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a large pot. Cook until broth is absorbed.

In a large bowl combine sweet potato, cranberries, onion and garlic. Drizzle with a dash of olive oil, and a teaspoon or two of pure maple syrup- not too much. Sprinkle with sea salt, ginger and a dash of curry. Toss everything together.  Spread on a baking sheet, lined with parchement paper. Roast in the top half of the oven until the potato is tender- about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet and lightly toast the nuts.

Combine the sweet potato mixture into the quinoa pot. Add in the toasted nuts and chopped parsley. Taste test and adjust seasoning.  Serve warm.
Apple Crisp

(Adapted from this recipe in Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 5 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 4 apples)
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 375°.

Toss apples and raisins in a large bowl.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats,  sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Mix half of the oat mixture into the apple and raisin mix.

Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a medium baking dish, spread apples into the dish.

Cover the top of the apples with the remaining oatmeal mixture.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until apples are tender.

These dishes were all FANTASTIC. I also made a tuna salad with celery and apples for crunch and flavor (a trick I learned from my mom).

Not bad right?? I used up 90% of the vegetables that I couldn't freeze or store. But I still have a TON of left over celery...thoughts? A girl can only eat so many ants on a log!


  1. I'd try something like this with the celery:

    1. It's great!! And SUPER simple. It's not a "whole meal" soup, but a great starter or side, and it sure did use up all my celery!!

  2. Ah yes. Your two posts on juicing brought back such horrible memories of the few times I have done this. Be proud of yourself! Its hard and it takes us wacky, earth and body loving people to even do things like this. The funniest thing about all of this is that I have plans to do a juice cleanse before James comes home. I haven't been that good to my body this past year while he has been in Afghanistan...I still juice, but I also eat a shit ton of pizza! Now I'm not looking forward to the headaches and tiredness I will experience; plus, the mess. You are 100% right on the mess.

    1. I think that when your husband serving in the military in Afghanistan for a year, Pizza IS what your body needs ;-) But if you decide to do a cleanse before he comes home, good luck!!! I'm impressed you've attempted this multiple times!!