and away we go


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

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.

Sesame Miso Viaigrette

If the vibrancy of this dressing fades, perk it back up with more lime juice.
Makes about ⅔ cup, about 6 servings
1 red Fresno chile, with seeds, finely chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil
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
½ tsp grated peeled ginger
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.
DO AHEAD: Vinaigrette can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.
Red Pepper Walnut Relish
Makes 1 cup, about 6 servings
¼ cup walnuts
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
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darker, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
Heat broiler. Broil bell peppers on a broilerproof rimmed baking sheet, turning occasionally, until softened and skins are blackened in spots, 20–25 minutes. Transfer bell peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes. Peel peppers, seed, and chop.
Toss bell peppers, garlic, mint, oil, Aleppo pepper, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and walnuts in a small bowl; season with salt, black pepper, and more Aleppo pepper and lemon juice, if desired.
DO AHEAD: Relish can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
SPiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch
Makes about 1 cup, 6 servings
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
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
Preheat oven to 300°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk egg white, agave, garam masala, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add nuts and seeds and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to baking sheet, letting excess egg drip back into bowl. Bake, tossing once, until mixture is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.
DO AHEAD: Crunch can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
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About bistroonesix

I have an interest in all things food and am lucky enough to be surrounded by people that share this same passion. There’s never a shortage of inspiration or partners in collaboration. Some of my happiest memories involve big tables covered with food, plenty of wine, and extra chairs pulled up to accommodate all the friends and family. If I can help facilitate these kinds of evenings, well then I’d say this is a great hobby to have. I live in Boise, Idaho with my husband and 2 adorable cats.

4 comments

  1. Ooh you are smart doing all the prep ahead! Luckily we are about to be snowed in, so the cooking should be easy to manage:) I absoutely loved that miso dressing today and can’t wait to make the roasted beet dish!

    • I agree! That salad dressing really made that salad! Were you able to find Jerusalem artichokes? I haven’t so far… might end up running to yet another store after work. Sure wish they included nutritionals with all their recipes too. That would be super helpful. Thanks for the comment and have a great day!

  2. Dave Arellano

    Hi Linda. Jerusalem artichokes are also called Sun Chokes. I saw them at the Co-Op and Whole Foods not too long ago. Recipes look great. I will definitely be trying some. Denise and I are cleansing as well. As usual, love the blog!!! Keep it up.

    • Thanks Dave! I think there must have been a run on them because I’ve been to the CoOp, Winco and Albertsons and no one had them. Last stop is Whole Foods! Thanks for the comment and enjoy your cleanse as well { at least on mine, I get an occasional glass of wine – I see you guys are giving up alcohol. Brave move! 🙂 }

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