Clean Your Plate! Get a fresh start in January

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STORY AND PHOTOS BY SYLVIA FOUNTAINE

At the beginning of the New Year, many of us pause and think about the year behind and create plans for the year to come. After all the holiday indulging, many of these plans revolve around health and wellness, and we begin to move towards the idea of treating our bodies with a little more care.

We start exercising again and incorporating healthy foods back into our daily routine. Meals become lighter and produce-filled. We gravitate towards foods that energize the body rather than weigh us down. Some take a break from sweets and alcohol. Many go so far as to jumpstart their diets with juices, cleanses, and detoxes, making radical shifts. But like a pendulum, radical swings in one direction often produce radical opposites, eventually landing us right back where we were before.

Consider a gentler path.  Simply eat cleanly for a time, allowing your body’s natural built-in detoxing system to do its job a little easier. Our bodies are truly magnificent in that when cared for, they heal themselves.

Clean eating doesn’t have to be fussy, expensive, or time consuming. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Centered on fresh produce rather than heavy meats and expensive proteins, clean eating is actually economical. Simple clean meals require simple preparation, meaning less time in the kitchen.  Clean eating doesn’t mean suffering through boring or flavorless meals, but instead motivates us to rethink flavor, utilizing fresh herbs, roots, and spices.

One of nature’s most loving gifts to help us with this is fresh turmeric.  Not only does it impart a lovely exotic flavor, it’s incredibly soothing and healing. Used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine, turmeric contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help give our body the boost it needs to heal, soothe, and restore itself in a gentler, kinder way.

 

All recipes serve 2 | vegan and gluten-free 

 

Fresh Golden Root Juice

A fresh juice, designed to soothe the body — earthy and sweet in flavor with a touch of the exotic, using mostly roots.

Recipe

2 tablespoons sliced ginger
1 tablespoon fresh turmeric root – sliced
4 medium organic carrots
2 small golden beets (2–3 inches in diameter), trimmed, quartered
1 apple, cored, quartered

Steps

In a juicer, juice ingredients in the order listed.

Divide between two glasses and serve immediately.

 

Watercress Salad with Orange, Avocado, and Turmeric Lime Dressing 

A vibrant, peppery salad that is both energizing and gently cleansing, utilizing fresh turmeric in the dressing.

Recipe

2 ounces baby watercress
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 orange, peeled and sliced
few very thin slices of red onion (optional)

Dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon grated turmeric root (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric)
1/8 teaspoon salt
cracked pepper to taste

Steps

Arrange watercress, avocado, oranges, and onion on two plates.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Spoon dressing over salad when ready to serve.

 

Turmeric Coconut Curry with Tofu and Shiitakes

A fragrant coconut curry infused with turmeric root, lemongrass, and ginger enveloping tofu and shiitake mushrooms.

Recipe

2 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
2 teaspoons fresh turmeric root, grated
2 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 can (14ounce) coconut milk
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar or alternative
1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, more to taste
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced
4 ounces tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Steps

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot or skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until golden and tender, about 5–6 minutes. Add lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and turmeric and saute 2 more minutes.

Add stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

Add fish sauce, sugar, salt, ground turmeric, and cayenne, stirring to combine.

Add shittakes and simmer gently, 2–3 minutes.

Add tofu, and continue simmering until tofu is warmed through, about 3–4 minutes.

Add the lime juice, taste, and adjust salt and cayenne.

Add the cilantro.

Serve immediately, dividing among bowls.

 

 

Maple-Roasted Pineapple with Turmeric & Coconut Ice Cream

Oven-roasted pineapple infused with fresh, grated turmeric root and maple syrup, served warm over coconut ice cream.

Recipe

8 ounces ripe pineapple chunks
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh, grated turmeric root (optional)
1/2 pint store-bought vegan coconut ice cream
maple syrup for drizzling

Steps

Preheat oven to 400°F

Toss pineapple with maple syrup and fresh turmeric.

Spread out on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes.

Using a spatula, flip pineapple over and roast the other side for 10–15 minutes or until it begins to caramelize and turn deep golden brown on the edges.

Serve the warm pineapple over a couple of small scoops of vegan coconut ice cream.

Drizzle with more maple syrup and serve immediately.

 

Sylvia Fountaine is a chef, caterer and author/photographer of Feasting at Home, a seasonal, plant-inspired cooking blog at www.feastingathome.com.

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