Saturday, January 7, 2012

4 Tasty Recipes To Help You Detox From Your Holiday Hedonism

Confession: I ate like a horse this holiday season. Too many sweet treats, way too much meat and enough raw oysters to choke a small cow.  While it was fun in the moment, I'm certainly paying the price now.  I'm afraid of my skinny jeans and my scale makes me want to curl up and cry.  To make matters worse, since it's birthday party season at my house and birthday cake is my kryptonite, I'll be in purgatory for the next 5 weeks baking cakes I can't sample...seriously masochistic.

There is one bright spot in all of this holiday regret, I get to set some new goals and kick some butt doing it. My food choices are also a silver lining. I have assembled a menu that will make your day(and mine) a bit brighter.  Here are your seriously tasty food options for the week. Again, no flogging yourself for being naughty over the holidays.  Just step up and start taking control of your body, 'cause before you know it we'll be embarking on swimsuit season and no one wants to be the fatty on the beach. 


Here we go, your back to basics weekly menu:


Easy Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Home-Made Salsa and Fresh Farmer's Cheese 







Pork Tenderloin

pork tenderloin (trimmed)
salt (1.5 tsp)
pepper(1 tsp)

  Home-made Pinto Beans

2 cups of dried pinto beans
5-6  cups of water
1/4 c canola oil
2 large yellow onions
1 tsp salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced

Fresh Salsa

3 ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
salt and ground pepper


Other Ingredients:

gluten-free soft taco shells
fresh shredded farmer's cheese
sour cream
hot sauce



1. Preheat oven top 350.  Trim and rub down pork with salt and pepper.  In a cast iron skillet, sear pork on all sides.  Transfer pork to the oven for at 30 minutes.  Remove and let rest for 15 minutes prior to slicing.

2. Sort through beans and discard any stones.  Rinse beans, place in a pressure cooker and cover with 5 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil, cover pressure cooker with locking lid and cook pinto beans down for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat canola oil and add onions cooking down until slightly brown(10 minutes).  Add garlic and saute for another minute. When beans are done boiling, run pressure cooker under cold water until the over pressure plug falls and the pot lets out a hiss. Remove top, add sauteed onions and garlic to pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes(without the lid).  Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes before mashing with a potato masher or blending into a thick puree with a hand-held blender.

3.  Finally, combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, salt, lime juice and pepper in a bowl and let chill in fridge for 20 minutes.  Grate farmer's cheese and place in a bowl.  Heat soft gluten-free tortillas on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and assemble tacos. 




  Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Naturally Sweet Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Garlicky Kale Salad



Crab Cakes

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons tarragon
4 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
2 cups breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs are preferable),* divided


2 tablespoons (or more) butter
2 tablespoons (or more) grapeseed oil


1. Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add crab meat and half of the breadcrumbs and set aside. 
2. Place remaining breadcrumbs in a deep plate, oil hands, form crab mixture into patties,  press  both sides of patties into breadcrumbs and set on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet.  Meanwhile, heat skillet to medium and add grapeseed oil and butter. 
3. Brown patties in butter and oil for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Plate with a wedge of lemon on the side and serve immediately.  


Naturally Sweet Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 stick butter or 2 tbsp coconut oil (for vegan sweet potatoes)
1 banana, sliced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 cup chicken stock(or veggie stock for vegan sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper 

1. Boil potatoes until tender, drain and set aside in colander.
2. Return the pot to the stove top over medium heat. Add butter and bananas to the pot. Cook bananas down for 3 minutes and add the juice of 1 orange to the pot, reserve the zest. Allow the juice to cook out, 1 minute.
3. Add potatoes to the with the stock and sugar. Mash potatoes, banana, stock and sugar together until well combined. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest, to your taste. Mash again to combine spices and serve. 


Garlicky Kale Salad 




  • 1/2 bunch raw kale, washed, de-stemmed and dried
  • 1 T tahini
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar (or water)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T Bragg’s liquid aminos (tamari or soy sauce would work too)
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (1 – 2 cloves of garlic)
  • sesame seeds, to taste as garish (optional)
  1. Break or cut kale into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Puree all ingredients except kale and sesame seeds in a blender or food processor to blend the dressing.
  3. Pour dressing over kale and massage into the kale with your hands until all pieces of kale are coated.
  4. Let the salad sit in the fridge for an hour or so to marinate. You can skip this step if you need to eat right away, but allowing some time to marinate will wilt the kale a bit and make it a little more palatable – particularly for those who are skeptical of eating raw kale.
  5. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds before serving if so desired.
Recipe can also be found at:  http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2011/02/garlicky-kale/




    Vietnamese Baby Bok Choy and Ground Pork Stir-Fry



1 lb (approx. - it's very loose) ground pork
3 - 4 cups bok choy, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup collards or kale (or other greens if you have), sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, crushed
5 heaping tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)


1. Heat Wok or cast iron skillet over med/high heat, turn the heat down to medium, add in some oil (about 2 - 3 tbsp) and throw in onion, green of choice and bok choy.
2. Stir frequently for 3-5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and the ginger.  Continue to stir frequently for about 2 minutes.  Add in the ground pork and cook together with the veggies for about 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat.
3.  Add the soy sauce and Sriracha and adjust seasonings to suite your taste. Serve over brown rice.


     Creamy Green Lentil, Red Quinoa and Organic Kale Soup


Note: Please do spring for the organic ingredients for this recipe...it makes a world of difference in terms of the flavor and nutritional value of the soup.  My children especially enjoyed this soup which delighted me.  I hope you also enjoy this nutritious and filling potage.




1/2 cup organic green lentils
1/2 cup organic red quinoa (I like to use half-and-half)
1/2-1 whole organic medium onion, finely chopped
4 tbs Olive Oil
1 medium bunch organic lacanto kale
6 cups of water

Spices
1 tsp cumin, heaping
1 tsp curry Powder
2 tbsp chicken or veggie powder or 1 cube chicken or veggie bouillon
3 tbs tahini
2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
5 x 3 inch strip of organic sea kelp, minced(optional)  

1. Wash kale and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add quinoa and lentils. Sautee for 2 minutes, add spices, minced kelp and kale. Mix well. Add water and bouillon powder or cube and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Carefully blend soup in the pot with a hand blender. Add soy sauce or tamari to taste.  For a garnish, mix 1-2 tbs of tahini with a small amount of water until it becomes smooth. Drizzle on top of the soup and serve.