The Single Girl Dinner Detox Menu

I recently took a week to myself in L.A. to press the reset button on my diet. When I'm alone, I find that: (a) I don't feel as hungry, (b) I usually crave simple foods, and (c) my portion sizes are a lot smaller. 

It was time to get clean.

For inspiration, here's my detox menu:

 

STARTER: DAIKON & LEEK SOUP 

Daikon radish has many health benefits, including enzymes that aid in digesting fats and starches. This soup is soothing and light. I'd recommend adding an immersion blender to your arsenal of kitchen tools. It's absolutely indispensable! 


To make: Chop 1 leek and 1 large daikon radish. Heat a saucepan and add a slick of olive oil. Sauté the chopped leek and daikon radish until softened. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the saucepan from heat and use the immersion blender directly in the pot to blend the soup until smooth. Ladle into serving bowl. Sprinkle with freshly snipped chives. (I added black truffle zest for a touch of luxury!)

 

MAIN: SEARED SALMON IN COCONUT OIL 

As you probably already know, salmon is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers inflammation and helps the cells in your arteries function. Searing it in coconut oil adds a lovely coconutty flavor. In addition to converting "bad" LDL cholesterol into "good" HDL cholesterol, coconut oil is a powerful weapon at killing harmful stomach bacteria. 


To make: Season your salmon filet with salt and pepper. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a hot skillet over high heat. Place the salmon in the skillet and, depending on its size, sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a plate and let it rest for a minute or two before serving. 

 

DESSERT: PAPAYA WITH BERRIES + SENCHA GREEN TEA

I love ending a meal with a small serving of fresh fruit and berries. Papaya contains enzymes that helps break down protein and reduces the amount of free radicals in your body that contribute to the development of cancer; blackberries and blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Add a mug of hot sencha green tea on the side as a metabolism booster. 

Tofu & Haricots Verts Stir-Fry with Moroheiya Noodles

Sometimes I just want to eat something vegetarian, gentle, and clean. Tofu and haricots verts is always a good place to start. I also found these fabulous moroheiya noodles at Whole Foods. (Moroheiya is a leafy green vegetable that's considered a superfood because of its rich levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber.) Unlike ramen noodles, they contain no fat, sugar, or cholesterol. These noodles take no time to cook and have an addictive chewiness to them. Definitely a pantry staple. The other brilliant ingredient I discovered is The Ginger People's Organic Ginger Juice, which is a time-saver if you want the essence of ginger without peeling and grating it. (Also great in tea!)


Serves 1

1/2 block of tofu, sliced then cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
A handful of haricots verts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks of scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of organic ginger juice or freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
1 block of moroheiya noodles
A small bundle of fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

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1. Fill a small saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and blanch the haricots verts for 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.

2. Fill the same saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and cook the moroheiya noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. 

3. In a small bowl, combine the the tamari/soy sauce, ginger juice/grated ginger, and sesame oil. Set aside.

4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a slick of olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and stir with a wooden spatula until fragrant. Then, add the tofu. Let it get golden for a minute or two before stirring. Repeat until the tofu has an overall golden hue. Next, add the haricot verts and scallions. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour the tamari-ginger mixture evenly over the contents of the pan and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste, 

5. Turn off the heat. Using tongs, drop in the moroheiya noodles and toss to combine. Place in your bowl and garnish with fresh chives. 

Drink Me

#singlegirllunch

Green juice is like an eraser. It makes you forget that, just the night before, you partook in an elaborate multi-course dinner. Now, I do realize that the photo above displays green juice next to a glass of wine, but, in my own demented world, they both cancel each other out; therefore, it's a neutralized situation.

Green Beans in Lemon Butter with Fresh Mint

I bought a package of cleaned green beans at the market the other night and wondered what to do with them. Usually, I'll snack on them raw or just steam them, but then I remembered reading about the combination of green beans with mint and decided to test it out. It really brightens up the flavor in a California kind of way. This would make a a great side dish. I bet it would also taste great dotted with creamy blobs of mozzarella as a salad course.


1 package of green beans, cleaned

Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1/4 of a fresh lemon
Very good butter
A handful of fresh mint leaves

1. In a small pot, cook the green beans in salted boiling water, with a bit of olive oil, for about 5 minutes or until tender but still bright green. Drain.

2. Add a knob of butter to the pan and turn the heat on medium. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan. Swirl it around and stir with a spoon until melted. 

3. Throw the green beans back in and saute for about 8 minutes or so. Turn off the heat, coarsely tear the fresh mint leaves into the pan, season with salt and pepper. Shake everything around in the pan so that the residual heat infuses all of the flavors.