January 2012

When it’s tough to manage the food requirements on a detox, sometimes you feel like you have to live like a monk – in silence, at home eating tiny bowls of plain brown rice.  But it just ain’t true.   One of the things that you can do quite enjoyably while detoxing is make Sunday dinner.  Of course it doesn’t have to wait til Sunday, Saturday is good too.  It just means making a pile of good food so that you have leftovers or invite some friends over so that your lifestyle feels less monkish.

Roast chicken with double-baked potatoes is the perfect kind of menu for this.  It’s hearty food that you wouldn’t make on a weeknight and the baked potatoes make it feel a little special.  Double baked potatoes are the perfect thing to do on a weekend day when you’re puttering around.  They need time, you want to start early, but they’re not a lot of work.

The other cool thing about a dinner like this is that it helps you save a bit of money.  Detoxing can feel expensive but you get a lot of meals from a roast chicken.  After you’re finished de-meating it, throw the chicken bones in the freezer until you have time to cook them up to make a stock.  Divide the stock up and use some for adding flavour to rice and stir fries.  Or make a veggie soup.  Add some brown rice to your veggie soup and it’s a stick-to-your-ribs detox lunch.

Baking potatoes are easy on the budget too.  They aren’t expensive and you can make a bunch of them, freeze or refridgerate them and then bake them when you’re ready to eat.  Or even microwave one for a quick detox lunch.

I’m not providing a recipe for roast chicken because you can find a million of them online and i don’t have a particular favourite.  But here’s how to do the:

Double Baked Potatoes

Start early in the day so that you can let the potatoes cool before you scoop out the guts, it’s not worth burning yourself.  You’ll need 4 evenly sized baking potatoes.  Turn the oven on to 400 and scrub the potatoes.  I love potato skins, it’s where all the vitamins are, so scrub ‘em good because you’re inviting me over too right?  Prick them each a couple times with a fork and then put them in the oven.  Don’t worry if the oven isn’t up to 400, the potatoes can use the extra time.  Set your timer for 60 minutes.

At the 60 minute mark, prick them again with the fork.  The skin will be firm, but the potato inside should be soft.  If not, give them another 10 and check again.

Once the potatoes are done, set them on the stove and let them cool.  When you’re ready for the next phase, cut each potato in half and scoop the guts out with a spoon into a good sized bowl.  Try not to destroy the skins.  Put all the skins on a large pie plate or plate.

Mash the potato guts and add 1 TB of butter and a bit of chicken stock at a time until you get a nice mashed potato consistency.  I put in about 1/4 cup of stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkled in some dill if you like it.

If you like a simple smooth mashed potato, you can stop here and fill the potato skins.  If you like “stuff”, consider adding a chopped green onion.  Also a handful of parsley is good.  You could also put in some lightly steamed tiny broccoli bits to add color.  Be creative.  If you have a lot of guts, the potatoes will be nicely mounded and that’s ok, they’ll just need a bit more time to warm.

If you know your guests will have *no* interest in eating like you are, sprinkle a little cheddar on their potatoes, you know, the stuff that’s getting hard in the back of your refridgerator because you’re detoxing.

Cover the potato plate with plastic until your chicken is 15 or 20  minutes from finishing and put them in the oven.   If the potatoes start getting browned they’re done, but as long as they’re warmed through you’re good (i stick a finger in one to see what the inside temp is and then memorize which potato it is to ensure it ends up on my plate).  If your chicken needs to sit for a bit, you can put the potatoes back into the warmed oven.

Make another veg or salad for this meal and your friends will so impressed.  You may  get another detox convert to join you next time.  Happy detoxing.

Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.

Mary Manin Morrissey

Wow Happy New Year.  And what a time of imbibing and noshing I’ve had!  Although I’m not a big resolution person (I seem to attempt improvements all the time) I do have some plans for bettering my eating, getting my exercise and rest.

I know for many, the new year involves starting a detox and good on you!  Sometimes when I start a detox I am totally keen and can’t wait to kickstart it. When I feel that way I make this soup.  It’s super good for you and also tastes really good.  There’s something about green and white veggies that pack a double whammy of cleansing with high octane nutrients.

This recipe is from my second detox cookbook and when I was recipe testing I gave it to some friends for lunch (who weren’t detoxing) and it was so good they asked for seconds.  It’s also really flexible, I swap in spinach, peas and broccoli for the green, if that’s what I have in the house.  I also add a handful of leftover brown rice to my bowl when I want a more substantial meal.

Green Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks
1 leaf of kale
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic
2 slices of fresh ginger
½ cup chopped parsley
chicken or veggie stock*

Chop the leeks and sauté them in olive oil.  Add coarsely chopped kale, celery, garlic, ginger and parsley.  Add enough stock to just cover the contents and simmer for 30 minutes.  Allow the soup to cool a little and then puree it.

*always check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t include ingredients like msg and yeast that should be avoided during the detox.  I find organic brands are the most reliable.