WIAW — Cleanse Continued

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been following a modified version of the Food Lover’s Cleanse from Bon Appetit. I’m now on Day 11 out of 14, and have gotten more flexible with my interpretation of the meal plan as time has gone by. Even so, I’ve been making better decisions, I’ve successfully cut back on my coffee intake, and I’ve felt generally more healthy.

Here are some of the highlights of the past week of my “cleanse”.

Day 4

Yogurt Chicken, Carrots, and Bulgur

Yogurt Chicken, Carrots, and Bulgur

For dinner last Wednesday, I made yogurt chicken with ginger-cilantro chutney and carrots with mint (both recipes on Day 3 on cleanse plan), and served them up with the last of my bulgur with parsley and lemon. The chicken was moist and full of flavor. I’ll definitely make it again!

Day 5

Thursday was a series of leftovers and repeat dishes, most of which were enjoyed whilst sitting at work.

Day 6

Applesauce with Walnuts

Applesauce with Walnuts

Friday, my afternoon snack of applesauce with walnuts was surprisingly enjoyable! I want to make my own applesauce, and make this a more frequent treat!

Chili and Salad

Chili and Salad

For dinner, I made white bean chili with winter vegetables (recipe from Day 5 on cleanse) and a spinach salad with clementines. I loved the avocado on top of the chili. It was a fresh and creamy addition to the complex flavors of the chili.

Day 7

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I had a long shift on Saturday, so I packed up a fruit salad and almond milk for breakfast and a big salad with kale, smoked salmon, tangerines, and radishes for lunch. I took a break from the plan that evening, and went out for a drink and dinner with one of my girlfriends.

Day 8

Blackberry Oatmeal

Blackberry Oatmeal

Sunday’s breakfast was a new twist on my usual bowl of oats. I cooked the oats in almond milk (nothing unusual), mixed in some berries while the oats were still cooking, and topped it off with fresh berries and a bit of chopped sage. The sage added an extra oomph to an otherwise basic bowl.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

Afternoon smoothies are definitely going to become a more regular thing for me! Sunday I made a mango lassi with one mango, some Greek yogurt, a pinch of chile powder, and a dash of salt.

Radicchio Salad

Radicchio Salad

I used up all of my leftover produce from the week in a giant dinner salad! Radicchio, pear, avocado, and dried cranberries were mixed in with sherry shallot vinaigrette and white beans. Yum!

Day 9

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Monday was another crazy workday, so I packed up smoked salmon and avocado on rye crackers, an apple, and a big salad with chickpeas, arugula, clementine slices, tahini dressing, and a leftover dollop of ginger-cilantro chutney.

Day 10

Oatmeal with Berries

Oatmeal with Berries

I’ve enjoyed mixing up my breakfast routine, but I still always enjoy a nice bowl of oats in the morning! I kept the berry theme going with a smoothie later in the day, made with apple cider, half a banana, and frozen raspberries and blackberries.

Berry Smoothie

Berry Smoothie

For lunch on the run, I had another “clean the icebox” type of salad, using pineapple, smoked salmon, arugula, tahini dressing, and the last bit of ginger-cilantro chutney.

Salmon and Pineapple Salad

Salmon and Pineapple Salad

Dinner, vegetable pot-au-feu and soft thyme-scented polenta, was listed on Day 11 of the cleanse. I am realizing how much I LOVE parsnips and carrots. I could eat them every day! I’m looking forward to the leftovers.

Vegetable Pot-Au-Feu

Vegetable Pot-Au-Feu

I love how many fruits and vegetables I’ve been eating! I intend to keep this trend going once my 14 days are up. Even though I haven’t followed the full cleanse, I feel as though I’ve cleaned up my act.

Thanks, Jenn for hosting this “What I Ate Wednesday” party!

WIAW GOES GREEN

Happy eating!

-C

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Holiday Memories and Recipes

Christmas is coming!

Christmas is coming!

As you probably noticed from our Thanksgiving post, our family goes all out for the holidays.  This year, Christmas is going to be a little different than normal, since I am performing until Christmas Eve, and both sisters will be spending the big day with their in-laws.  Mom and Dad didn’t want to be home alone, so I will be meeting them at my Aunt’s house in Southern California.

The table will be set for less guests than usual, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be having excellent meals!  My aunt already sent out the proposed menu for Mom and me to weigh in on.

Proposed Menu, Christmas 2012

Proposed Menu, Christmas 2012

Looking at these incredible suggestions, I started thinking about some of my favorite recipes from past Christmases.

One of the best desserts was a Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart with Buttermilk Whipped Cream.  Lindsey and I made this delicious recipe from Southern Living back in 2009.

Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart

Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart

In 2010, we started our Christmas dinner with a delicious Arugula-Orange Salad with Pomegranate-White Wine Vinaigrette.  This salad had a wonderful, fresh taste, and beautiful, festive colors.  It looked great on the dining table!

Beautiful salad for Christmas Dinner!

Beautiful salad for Christmas Dinner!

A tradition that we’ll be continuing this year is our family Holiday Party!  After Christmas, the whole family is convening in Texas for our 12th (I think) annual holiday party.  Over the years, we’ve provided food at the party through cooking, catering, and/or Costco.

Party 2009

Party 2009

For the past 5 or so years, we’ve always had a big platter of Caprese Sticks.  This simple appetizer is always a huge crowd-pleaser.

Caprese Sticks

Caprese Sticks

We also always do a special cocktail.  A few years ago, we made Champagne Mojitos, but my poor brother-in-law got so worn out muddling enough mint leaves for 80+ cocktails, that we decided to do something more simple in later years.  One of my favorites is “Special Cider”, apple cider with bourbon.

Big Sis with Champagne Mojitos

Big Sis with Champagne Mojitos

I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with this year!  Do you have any holiday traditions or favorite holiday recipes?  We’d love to hear about them!

Happy Eating!

-C

P.S. If you have not yet entered our Awesome Bar Taster Pack Giveaway, it’s not too late! We will choose and announce the winner tomorrow morning.