Well the kitchen is completely trashed but I am ready to start the Bon Appétit Food Lover’s Cleanse tomorrow. Friends on Facebook are talking about various juice cleanses but they aren’t for me – I like to chew too much. I need a different solution to press my gastronomical reset button.
So when a magazine I have subscribed to faithfully for years and years launched a cleanse for food lovers in 2012, my interest was piqued but I could always come up with an excuse. The grocery list was so daunting. It was going to take too much time. I had things on my schedule that was going to make it hard to adhere to. But this year I’ve run out of excuses. There’s an easy shopping list that breaks it all down – although I’m definitely not saying it’s a short list. I think with some organization that it won’t take that much longer than what I already spend on meals except that we’ll be eating in almost exclusively for the next 2 weeks which will be a pretty big change. And after a cram packed social calendar in December, there’s finally some nights at home in site. Yep. Out of excuses. I love to eat good food but after a glutinous vacation followed immediately by the holidays, it’s definitely time to get back on track and I’m hoping this will be just the way to do it.
To make the entry a little smoother, today I did as much prep work (hence the trashed kitchen) as I could making four of the condiments used throughout the menus. Never hurts to have a little head start.
And also today we did a whole different type of cleanse – polishing off those special holiday cheeses with the last package of crackers, dumping the tin of Christmas cookies, and eating the last two little chocolates in the candy dish. There’s a half bottle of champagne still taunting me so we should probably finish that off tonight, toasting the new year and all it may bring
So I hope you’ll join me for the next two weeks as I set out on this cleanse while trying not to let my taste buds know what I’m up to. And away we go!
The Greenest Tahini Sauce
Makes about 1-3/4 cup, about 10 servings
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more
1 bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 Tbsp (or more) fresh lemon juice
Cook garlic in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until slightly softened, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a bowl of ice water; let cool.
Return water in saucepan to a boil. Cook watercress, mint, and parsley just until wilted, about 15 seconds; drain. Transfer watercress and herbs to ice water; let cool. Drain watercress, herbs, and garlic and squeeze between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible; coarsely chop.
Purée watercress, herbs, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, and ¾ cup water in a blender until smooth, thinning with more water as needed to reach desired consistency; season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.
DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Shake before using.
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 red bell peppers (about 1 lb)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp (or more) Aleppo pepper or ½ hot smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp (or more) fresh lemon juice
½ tsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white
1 tsp light agave syrup (nectar)
½ tsp garam masala or curry powder
½ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
¼ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup shelled sunflower seeds