Food Lover’s Cleanse 2012, Day 1

As you may remember from last year, I did the two weeks of Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse – this is not one of those vinegar-cayenne-honey liquid cleanses, but is basically two weeks of eating real, whole foods after the abundance of fractured foods present at the holidays.

This year, I’m doing it again, though not as strictly as last year (it made lots of leftovers and was a little overwhelming). Plus I’ll change things up to be more compatible with NT ways of cooking. So with this in mind, I know 2012’s Food Lovers Cleanse is going to be a fun adventure.

In the tradition of being less strict, I didn’t start until Tuesday the 3rd. From the start I altered things. I chose for breakfast to do soaked oatmeal (rolled organic oats, since I don’t have any steel cut right now) with whole milk, grass-fed yogurt, and the last of the frozen blueberries from the summer. I also spiced it up with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.

soaked oatmeal blueberries

I was sad to see the blueberries go, but dang they were tasty. I will definitely freeze blueberries again next year, and in bigger quantities. I’m currently eating a pasteurized whole milk yogurt from Trader Joe’s, since I ran out of raw yogurt; I’ll get some more of the raw stuff soon. This is a pretty decent commercial product, though. I like that it’s full fat and made from the milk of cows that eat grass.

For lunch I ate leftover Hoppin’ John from new years – leftovers are actually called “Skippin’ Jenny” (one day delayed for me). I had some roasted butternut squash with that, too.

Mid-afternoon I walked over to my friend Denise’s home and she made us some wonderful food. We had kimchi pancakes made with sprouted mung beans, homemade kimchi, and some spices – known as bindaeduk. We has a nice green salad with it, dressed in oil and homemade vinegar. It was all washed down with a naturally fermented hibiscus rose soda. Everything was so delicious and we had a lovely time together. More on the ferments and pancakes in a future post.

She also made a toasted sesame honey ice cream, which was out of this world. So good!

kimchi pancakes bindaeduk

I still wanted to make dinner for later that night. So, I prepared a big pot of lentils, cooked in water, olive oil, and aromatics; caramelized a couple pounds of onions in duck fat; roasted sweet potatoes with sea salt, chile powder, and orange zest; and made an unsuccessful variant on the fish dish specified for the evening’s menu. It was pretty bad (well, the tuna was ok, but the addition of Calvados was baaaad). But the rest of the meal was very good.

I was especially proud of the caramelized onions.

caramelized onions in duck fat

Aren’t they beautiful? The original recipe specified olive oil but I had the duck fat (from a LI duck I roasted earlier in the fall) and though it would add something nice to the onions, cooked also with salt and thyme. I was right – these onions are fantastic! Savory in a way the olive oil wouldn’t have permitted. If you can get access to duck fat, I highly recommend using it in caramelized onions. If you can’t get it locally, D’Artagnan supplies duck fat.

I was also thrilled with the way the sweet potatoes came out. I don’t roast them like this usually – cut in slices – but I really liked the outcome and will do it this way more often. I could also see using cumin on them. Or curry powder.

sweet potatoes with chile and orange zest

Dessert was 73% dark chocolate (soy-free) and a tangerine. A very satisfying end to the meal.

I’ll be posting about this cleanse throughout the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

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