I am on Day 4 of my wellness cleanse and I truly feel great! I normally eat fairly healthy so through the elimination of either the gluten or dairy or maybe both, my body feels lighter and I seem to have more energy and alertness.
Planning meals does take some thought. There is an abundance of allowed food, however, pulling it all together to create a filling, appetizing meal can be tricky as key ingredients such as flour, dairy – eggs, milk, cream cannot be used. Of course, there are substitutes that can be used like almond milk, gluten-free flours and egg replacements. Again, it takes some testing and time to develop dishes I will enjoy and feel satisfied.
Recipes online and in books are certainly not lacking. Prepared frozen gluten-free foods are also readily available. At this beginning stage though I am more inclined to prepare my own meals using basic ingredients.
The following is my menu through today, Day 4. I have not felt hungry or any cravings for missing foods. In fact, I look forward to planning and preparing my meals. I have lots of ideas in mind but so far I have decided on my meals as the day approaches.
Day 2: Breakfast: Oatmeal with pumpkin puree, cranraisins, walnuts and almond milk. Lunch: Leftover Quinoa Pasta with Carmelized Onions, Cabbage and Walnuts. Dinner: Roasted Veggie Quesadilla and sauteed cauliflower with onions. For the Quesadilla I used a brown rice tortilla, hummus replacing cheese for the ‘glue’ and roasted slices of zucchini and red and yellow peppers.
Day 3: Breakfast: Gluten free waffles, pumpkin almond butter and agave drizzle. Lunch: Large chopped salad. Dinner – Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup and Roasted Pear Salad, recipe below.
1 small cooking pumpkin, about 2 pounds, cut, into cubes or use 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 large apple, seeded and cut into wedges
1 large onion, cut into quarters
1 large yam, cut into cubes
1 large garlic bulb, slice off top, drizzle with oil, salt & pepper and wrapped in foil
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 to 6 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning or Cayenne (depending on your level of spiciness)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cut pumpkin, apple, onion, and yam on large baking sheet. Drizzle on oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Place foil wrapped garlic bulb and baking sheet in oven and roast until fork tender and lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Place the roasted mix into a blender and add vegetable stock to cover. Blend until very smooth. For a very smooth soup, strain through a fine strainer into a large sauce pan. Add remaining vegetable stock and all seasonings and heat soup about 15 minutes. Taste to correct seasoning to your preference.
The soup can be made a day ahead. Reheat over medium heat. Serve with toasted corn tortilla as mock crutons.
Roasted Pear Salad
For the salad, I roasted one pear (per 2 servings) while roasting the veggies for the soup above, sprinkling the pear with oil and kosher salt. I topped the roasted pears over a salad of mixed greens, chopped cucumbers, green olives, cranraisins and walnuts. For the dressing, I prepared a 2:1 olive oil to Pear Infused Balsamic Vinegar (or white balsalmic vinegar), Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and dried oregano and thyme.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.