Time for some more recipes! The Crazy Sexy Cleanse is going fantabulous. I'm on day 7, and feeling great. I gave up meat, wheat, dairy and sugar - though technically I was already mostly a vegetarian (I do not eat factory farmed meat) and eat a gluten-free because of a gluten intolerance (for those unaware, gluten is found in wheat and other grains, so that means no bread, pasta, tortillas etc unless they are made from gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, millet or others - of which there are many).
The hardest part for me is sugar. I am a huge sugar addict! I love sweets! However, I use Stevia, a liquid no-cal sweetener that is healthy and all natural and that helps keep the sugar cravings at bay. Plus you can have fruit and that kind of thing but just not foods with "added sugar." The funny thing is that after just one week on this, yesterday, I had a sip of D's smoothie at Whole Foods that had honey in it and it tasted sooo sweet to me, and he thought it was under-sweetened and had to add some honey. In my normal life, I'd probably have thought it was not sweet enough too. And the green/veggie juices I drink daily which have very, very low sweetness are perfectly delicious to me now. I actually was using week 1 to transition slowly off sugar rather than cut it out 100% but I managed to almost totally eliminate it other than natural sugars anyway. Tomorrow starts week two so here goes ....
I wanted to share a couple of my favorite new recipes! This first one - Zukamole - is a delicious dip made from roasted zucchini and it comes from Kim O'Donnel at The Washington Post. I had bought a whole bag of these summer squash for $1 at my local grocery store and Googled to find recipes. They are labeled Calabaza Squash but when I google that it comes up wiht winter squash not summer squash but these things are essentially like zucchini in look, feel, taste except they are shorter and squattier and lighter green.
3 pounds summer squash
Approximately 1/2 head garlic
1 large onion (sweet varieties preferred, i.e. Vidalia, Walla Walla)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup basil and/or mint leaves
1/2 cup parsley, stemmed
2 tablespoons juice of lemon
salt and pepper to taste
(I have no idea how to know what 3 pounds is - I didn't actually weigh it - but I just used what I had. I also made it twice - once with mint, and once with basil. Both were great but I think I actually favor the mint version more. I thought I'd like the basil one more because I LOVE basil. But there ya go).
Preheat your oven to 375. Slice zucchini (or whatever summer squash you have...) in half, lengthwise. Separate garlic cloves but keep skins on. Quarter onion. Place vegetables in roasting pan and drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Roast until extremely tender, at least 1 hour and up to 90 minutes (This is important - the squash gets almost mushy. They were sooo good just on their own too! I've never had roasted zucchini but mmm - delish! Also note that the garlic will burn to a crisp at this length of time, so remove them at 45-60 min while the onion and squash can roast much longer).
While vegetables are roasting, prepare herbs; pull leaves off stems and tear or chop coarsely. After removing veggies from the oven, let them cool slightly and squeeze garlic from skins. Place all vegetables into bowl of food processor and pulse. Add herbs (parsley and mint or basil). Puree until smooth. Add lemon juice and salt. Drizzle in remaining olive oil. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
ZOMG it is soooo good! I serve it up on brown rice cakes, which are low-fat, gluten-free and vegan! It is a nice crunchy snack with a yummy topping.
Next up... Raw Kale-Avocado Salad. This one comes from Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet book, but is all over the internet. It was apparently "invented" by Raw Food chef Chad Sarno. I even include a great video below by Raw Food coach Karen Knowler. Plus you get to listen to her super cute British accent.
5 large handfuls of green curly kale
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 green onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Directions: After washing and draining, chop kale into centimeter-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt. With your hands, massage the oil and salt into the kale until the kale is reduced, soft and shiny. Then, again using hands, massage avocado into the kale, squeezing...so that the kale is coated with avocado, but with a few small whole pieces remaining amongst the leaves. Add the lemon juice. Last, you can add any variety of vegetables to make this salad to your taste. Green onions add the perfect kick. Or you can add sun-dried tomatoes, nuts, torn spinach, or fresh tomatoes. Mix all ingredients well. Serve with a light dusting of cayenne, if desired. Yum! It should be eaten within 1-2 days because the avocado on the leaves will start to oxidize and taste funny. An alternative is to add the avocado before each serving.
Until next blogging - have a great week and eat healthy!