Spring clean your body
In order to enjoy the benefits of detoxification, making a few changes in your diet is all you need to do. To help you get started, Shonali Sabherwal, macrobiotic expert and author of The Beauty Diet, shares detoxifying recipes that need to be eaten once every day for five days of the week.
Ingredients: n 3/4 leaves of spinach (washed) n 1 and 1/2 inch bottle gourd (peeled) n 1 and 1/2 inch carrot n 1/2 apple n fistful of coriander leaves n 1/2 tomato (chopped)
juice of 1/2 a lemon n 1/2 tsp cumin powder
Method: Place all the ingredients in a blender and add some water to it. Blend it thoroughly until smooth. Transfer it into a wide-mouthed jug and flavour it with lemon juice and cumin powder. Serve the smoothie at room temperature without straining.
Chef speak: Have half a glass of this smoothie on an empty stomach. However, ensure that you swap the greens every day to avoid building up alkaloids in your body. Pok choy, amaranth leaves, lettuce and watercress can be your substitutes. This smoothie has two main benefits, firstly, the leafy greens clean up the digestive system, and secondly, the chlorophyll and carotenes in them purifies the blood, renews tissue and improves intestinal condition.
Ingredients: n 1/2 cup cucumber (sliced) n 1/2 cup cabbage (sliced)
1/2 cup red radish (chopped) n 1/2 cup celery (chopped) n 1/2 cup onion
1 tsp salt n 1 tsp sea salt
Method: Mix all vegetables with sea salt in a large bowl. Massage the vegetables as if you are kneading dough for bread. Continue until the vegetables begin to wilt. Place them on a plate and cover with another one. Press the plates further by placing a heavy mortar or paper weight on top. Allow the salad to be under this pressure for 45 minutes so all the water from the vegetables releases. Discard the water and rinse the wilted vegetables under fresh water. Serve about two tablespoons of this salad with your main course meal. You can also add a sliced green apple to this salad or sprinkle some chilli powder to make it spicy.
Chef speak: The pressed salad helps in assimilating the meal by giving your stomach good bacteria that is required for easy digestion. Releasing pressure is a core cooking principal of this salad. A pressed salad helps in detoxification and brings in lighter energies into the body.
Ingredients: n 1 carrot (chopped into chunks)
1/4 cabbage (chopped into wedges) n 1 onion (chopped into wedges)
1/4 cup squash (cubed), n 2 drops of soy sauce
2 drops of ginger juice
a pinch of any seasoning of your choice
Method: In a cooking pot, empty all the vegetables in a layer-like formation. Add water until it rises half-an-inch above all the vegetables. Cover the top with a heavy lid and simmer the vegetables on low flame until the water begins to boil and steam begins to accumulate in the vessel. Lower the flame and cook the mixture further for 20 minutes. When the vegetables tenderise, add soy sauce, ginger juice and seasoning. Mix well and cook it further for five minutes. Remove the pot from fire, serve after five minutes.
Chef speak: Nishime literally means waterless cooking. You can have a small portion of this dish every day as part of your detox diet. Here, the vegetables cook in their own juice, therefore, eating them helps in internal generation for energy. Having nishime ensures that you get steady energy through the day.
Brown rice with gomashio
Ingredients: n 1 cup brown rice (soaked overnight)
n 8 level tbsp of sesame seedsn 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Method: Drain the brown rice and add a pinch of sea salt to it along with two and a half cups of water. Pressure-cook it on a medium flame. After the first whistle, reduce the flame to low and let it cook for 40 minutes. To make gomashio, hand pound sea salt in a mortar and pestle and leave aside. Wash the sesame seeds in a strainer and allow the water to drain. Dry roast the seeds on a medium flame until they begin to emit a nutty aroma. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and pound it along with the sea salt. Continue to grind it until the mixture resembles a course powder. Store the gomashio in a glass jar and sprinkle about half to one teaspoon of it on brown rice before eating.
Chef speak: When you chew whole grains such as brown rice, it breaks down the complex carbohydrates in the body. This creates a peaceful rise in blood sugars and the production of neurotransmitters, chemicals that facilitate communication among brain cells, in the body.
Remedial round vegetable soup
Ingredients: n 1/2 cup yam (cubed) n 2 turnips (cubed) n 3-4 colocassia (finely chopped) n 2 carrots (diced) n 1 white radish (finely chopped) n 1 onion (sliced) n 3-4 cinnamon sticks n 3-4 cloves n 1 tbsp curry powder n 4 tsp dark or light miso sauce n 1 tbsp olive oil n 3 cups vegetable stock n salt to taste
Method: In a pot, tip-in onions, cinnamon and cloves before the vessel heats up and sauté until the onions soften. Add turnips, yam, colocassia, white radish and carrots to this and sauté for another 10 minutes. Stir well to avoid charring them. Add curry powder and vegetable stock to this and bring the liquid to a boil. Once the soup begins to simmer, lower the flame and continue to cook until all the vegetables tenderise. Blend the soup with a hand-blender and season it with salt. Remove a few tablespoons of the soup in a cup and add miso to it. Dilute the sauce well and add it to the main pot. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Chef speak: The soup has a highly fluid texture which gently stimulates the intestines and aids digestion.