I’m kind of excited. It’s Monday, and thus begins my seven day detox. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all of my indulgent food choices as of late (ahem, pizza/crispy shrimp/potato chips/the office candy bowl/sangria… hey, it’s summer!), but it’s time to get back on track. I’m not a huge fan of super strict or extreme detoxes, but I AM a proponent of a “detox” that emphasizes fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and legumes while pretty much eliminating refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, meats and dairy for the week. Along with water and green tea as my primary liquids, I emerge from the week with brighter and clearer skin, increased energy and overall general well being. I just end up feeling lighter, yet not cranky and deprived, like I would on a true detox, a la the Master Cleanse (<–I did this once and made it 9 days before I practically keeled over and stuffed anything greasy and fried into my mouth. Do not attempt the master cleanse. Please. Never again.). This gentle “detox” is just a great way to get back on track and kick the junk food cravings while giving my body a break from the most common culprits of inflammation (the aforementioned gluten/dairy/alcohol/refined sugar).
The recipe I am featuring today is perfect for lunch or dinner on day one of my detox! It’s simple, filling, and full of flavorful and healthy things that will make your body oh so happy. Sweet potatoes are chock full of vitamin A (great for your skin!), kale and swiss chard are rich with vitamin K, calcium, manganese (among many others!), and quinoa is an excellent source of protein, which is vital when doing an eating regime such as this. No dairy or meat products means that I’m going to need to be vigilant about getting all the nutrients my body needs. Add a vinegar based dressing, and you have a delicious lunch and/or dinner that will keep you full and satiated. I love to pair vinegar with any kind of dark green – they just perk right up with the acidic punch.
This is delicious hot or at room temperature, so it’s great for late summer with it’s unpredictable weather! Enjoy with an iced green tea and feel so good about your meal! Food can be so healing.
sweet potato quinoa bowl with sauteed greens.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package instructions.
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (less if desired)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 oz. greens (mix of swiss chard and kale), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. grape seed or avocado oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
red wine dressing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
dash of salt and pepper
dash of dried thyme
Notes: I like my dressing on the acidic side, so scale back to 2 tablespoons if you’re not a vinegar freak like me.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff with fork and add to large mixing or serving bowl.
While quinoa is cooking, peel sweet potato and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of grape seed or avocado oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 12-18 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. While potatoes and quinoa are cooking, mix together the dressing a small bowl.
Heat a large skillet with remaining oil over medium high heat. Once heated, add crushed red pepper, minced garlic and greens and cook for 2-3 minutes until just slightly wilted (should still be slightly crunchy).
Removed sweet potatoes from oven, let cool for one minute and add to bowl with quinoa. Add sauteed greens mixture, and drizzle dressing on top (I used about half of the dressing; 1/4 cup). Serve immediately or let cool and serve at room temperature.
Serves 4 as a side, two as a main dish. Keeps for 3-4 days in refrigerator. Dressing will keep for one week.
**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible**