Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 8

YES! I am on Week 2 of the Cleanse. Whew. I didn’t know if I would make it this far, but I have, and that makes me happy. I am already planning all the culinary delights I can partake in once I’m off this. Does that make me a bad cleanser? I think it just shows that my love of baking and food in general cannot be stifled by a measly two-week restrictive diet. I’m so glad I’m not a) diabetic, b) only allowed to eat raw foods, and c) un-adventurous, so that when this is all done, I can go back to exploring the exciting world of food. 
I went to lunch with my couchsurfer at Blossoming Lotus. This was my first time at the new location. I enjoyed a raw pizza with a lovely dressing.
My friend told me she was feeling badly so I went to Sweetpea Bakery and got some GF chocolate chip cookies and ate them in sympathy. I didn’t feel badly bingeing on the “forbidden” food, but I did get a horrible headache afterwards from all the sugar. Blech. It was a good lesson that my body doesn’t really want me to ingest sugar right now, if at all, and especially in the form of starchy, chalky cookies that weren’t really worth it. 
I went by Sur La Table in the middle of the day, while I was trolling around the Pearl, and  let me tell you, that store is dangerous for me. I found so many things I wanted, and actually could have used, but I had to keep telling myself that I’m just about to move and the last thing I need is more stuff to pack. So, I contented myself with a tea diffuser and a really awesome nut grinder. I don’t know how I’ve survived without one this far. It came in handy when I made my amazing dinner (see below). 


The most exciting part of my day, however, was the AMAZING dinner I made. It was one of the most gourmet meals I’ve ever made, besides the New Year’s dishes I prepared, and it turned out fantastically. My roommate agreed. Below are pictures and the recipes. Wow. I actually felt like a chef tonight and it was fantastic.
The recipes for the soup and the creme came from Real Food Daily, a great cookbook my sister gave me about a year and a half ago for my birthday. It’s from a restaurant in LA, and I meant to go down and see it when I visited last fall, but I just didn’t have time. I make consistently delicious meals out of it, though, so the next time I go south, I will make it a priority.


Creamy Broccoli Soup with Red Pepper Creme
2 T. canola oil
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 pounds broccoli, stems trimmed and coarsely chopped and florets cut into bite-size pieces
6 c. vegetable broth or water
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
3 c. packed fresh spinach leaves
1/2 c. Red Pepper Creme
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery, and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the broccoli stems and all but 4 cups of the florets. Saute for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the stock, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Stir in the spinach.
  3. In batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth.
  4. Add the reserved broccoli florets and return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 8 minutes, or just until the broccoli florets are crisp-tender. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. 
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle the Red Pepper Creme decoratively over the soup (and I added chopped raw cashews) and serve.

Red Pepper Creme
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
1/4 c. raw cashews
2 T. “milk”
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt
Blend the roasted pepper, cashews, “milk”, lemon juice, and salt in a blender until smooth and creamy. Good as a dip as well!!

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