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Detox Diet Recipes

17 July 2009

Sauteed Silver Beet with Chickpeas & Fried Bread


When I think of a chickpeas I think of hummus, falafels, healthy salads and nourishing soups. The last thing that I’d ever associate with it is sex. But don’t let this modest little legume fool you. It once had quite a reputation as potent aphrodisiac.

The chickpea was a medieval form of Viagra. However instead of gulping down a small blue pill, you’d wash down copious amounts of chickpeas with a mug of honeyed camel’s milk... Makes me wild just thinking about it.

If, however, you happen to run out of camel milk, I have a great back-up plan which I am almost as wild about: Sauteed silver beet with chickpeas and fried bread.

This dish works well as a side or as a main. I usually eat it for lunch and if I have any left over it's a brilliant addition to soup. For the fried bread, I prefer ciabatta for its crunchy texture however you can use whatever type of bread is at hand. 

Just before serving I sprinkle on a little smoked paprika. While I only use a small amount, the paprika imparts a sweet, full-bodied smoky flavor and also adds a spicy kick to the dish. I use the La Chinata brand. It's divine and it's my magic ingredient in many recipes.

A note on the chickpeas, for this recipe I use the dried variety which require soaking followed by about an hour of boiling in salted water with garlic. Also, if you're wondering what silver beet is, it's that leafy green vegetable with white stalks and large crinkly leaves. It's sometimes called spinach.

Continue reading "Sauteed Silver Beet with Chickpeas & Fried Bread" »

15 December 2008

Lamby's Lamb Kofta Salad


I'm sorry for my lack of posting over the last two weeks. It's a busy time. Life is flying past in a blur. I often think about why it seems that each year goes faster than the last. Is it because most of us are doing the same thing day in day out? Because life is not as new and unfamiliar as it was growing up?

I had a conversation with a friend a few months ago about this topic and he said to slow his life down, he did one new thing a week, even if it was as mundane as walking a different way to work. Sometimes he'd go to the symphony, go for a run in the park instead of the gym, or eat somewhere new for breakfast. Doing something different, no matter how small, gave him a kind of placeholder in his mind so he could distinguish each week from another.

My friend's name is 'Lamby' and I'm dedicating this recipe, a Lebanese lamb kofta salad, to him. I hope this week stands out in his recollections as a special week.


The lamb kofta salad is a dish I ate during my recent detox diet. I have a real weakness for Lebanese food, especially a garlic sauce often eaten with barbecued meats. I first tasted it in a small Lebanese restaurant called Fatimas in Sydney. I've tried on many occasion to replicate the creamy concoction but I never get it just right. I do come pretty close though.

The sauce is a combination of TWO garlic bulbs (yes, I do smell of garlic for the next two days), olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. It's fantastic smeared over lamb, chicken, beef, white fish and in salads. Just don't kiss anyone.

Continue reading "Lamby's Lamb Kofta Salad" »

23 November 2008

Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes


Today is the last day of my detox diet. Tomorrow I'm going to treat myself to a breakfast of ricotta hotcakes or maybe I'll just skip the hotcakes and go straight for a chocolate cupcake.

The detox breakfast itself hasn't been too bad, especially on weekends when I could enjoy a hearty meal of scrambled eggs with roasted tomatoes and potatoes. 

During the week I'd be more reserved with breakfasts consisting either of apples and berries, slow oats and soy milk, strawberry soy smoothies or a boiled egg on brown rice crackers with slices of fresh tomato. So it wasn't as if I had to sustain myself on a cornflake and a sniff of an orange peel.

For the scrambled egg recipe, I substituted milk with a little soy milk however I still cooked them with butter, which (for some reason I don't quite understand but am very grateful for) was the only dairy allowed in small quantities during the detox. I like my scrambled eggs to be soft and moist. And for that reason I very rarely order them when I go out for breakfast as they're undoubtedly rubbery and sponge-like.

To prepare the eggs, I whisk them using a small whisk or a fork until they're foamy. I melt the butter in a fry-pan over a medium-low heat and then add the eggs. I let them sit without stirring for about 40 seconds to allow them to set just a little. I then use a wooden spatula to push the eggs towards the centre while tilting the pan slightly to cook the runny bits. I continue to do this while breaking up the eggs with the spatula for another minute or two then I take the pan off the heat and serve the eggs. They might look a little too moist and soft at first, but it's important to remember that they continue to cook when removed from the heat.

In lieu of toast, I served young Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced and then roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. The vine ripened tomatoes were roasted for about 15 minutes until the point that they're just bursting and juicy.

Continue reading "Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes" »

17 November 2008

Spicy Popcorn


It's day five of the detox diet and all is going well although my chocolate cravings are starting to get out of control. It's not that I eat a lot of chocolate normally, I think it's just the fact that I'm not allowed any.

It's my boss's birthday tomorrow so I've spent the afternoon making vegan chocolate cupcakes to take to work. It's been tortuous. The smell of freshly baked cupcakes is playing tricks on my mind. I actually caught myself in a daydream where I was drinking the wickedly delicious batter right out of the Pyrex measuring cup. I'm turning into Homer Simpson

To sate my chocolate cravings, I've been turning to spicy popcorn. While it's not exactly sweet, the the popcorn's satisfying crunch tends to do the trick.

The spices are a simple mix of paprika, ground cumin, chili powder and salt. I don't have a microwave so I cook my popcorn on the stove top, which going by the reactions of my friends, must be old fashioned. It seems to work just as well though, and at least the kernels aren't being nuked!

During the detox diet I've been turning to a few old, yet trusty Taste Buddies recipes some of which include:


Continue reading "Spicy Popcorn" »

14 November 2008

Broccoli & Chickpea Brown Rice Pasta


It's day two of my 12-day detox. What I miss most on this diet is having a little piece of dark chocolate after my lunch. Everything else is manageable. I've actually been fantasizing about secretly placing a  square of chocolate in my mouth and quietly letting it dissolve. Who would ever know?

I would. 

Ok, I'm talking about chocolate again when all I want to do is tell you about detox recipe No. 2 -- broccoli & chickpea brown rice pasta. A dish I'd usually eat with normal spaghetti noodles tossed with pesto and loads of freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. But not this week or next week. To make up for the lack of pesto or cheese, I add a can of tuna in oil.

Stay tuned for more detox recipes...

Continue reading "Broccoli & Chickpea Brown Rice Pasta" »

12 November 2008

Roasted Squash and Asparagus Salad


As of tomorrow I start my 12-day detox diet. The diet is called the Wild Rose D-tox and was developed by Dr. Terry Willard of the Wild Rose College of Healing in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Willard is recognized as one of North America's leading clinical herbalists and has spent over 30 years studying the medicinal properties of plants.

Throughout the next twelve days I will eliminate dairy, flour, sugar, shellfish, tropical fruits, alcohol and yeast from my diet.

The diet also comes with four herbal formulas that are to be consumed with breakfast and dinner, the names of which are too graphic to repeat here and not appropriate for a food blog. If you want to see what they are, click here.

During the twelve days, I can eat as much as I want, as long as my diet consists of 80% alkaline-forming foods and less than 20% acid-forming foods. When digested, foods either leave an acidic or alkaline residue (or ash) in our bodies.

It is said that too much acidity is not good for us and alkalinity helps our bodies fight certain diseases. I've actually been trying to adhere to this concept for the past 6 months. I've been structuring my diet so that, to borrow from Michael Pollen's mantra, "I eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I've also permanently cut all all foods that contain ingredients I don't understand like "acesulfame potassium" or "calcium stearoyl lactylate".

So over the next fortnight, I'm only going to be featuring new and old recipes that align with my detox diet. Don't be deterred. The meals are nutritious and delicious.  I wouldn't have it any other way!

This brings us to detox recipe number one -- roasted squash salad with a garlic, basil and lemon dressing. Normally I'd eat this salad with some feta cheese crumbled on top -- but not today!

Continue reading "Roasted Squash and Asparagus Salad" »

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