i ate a lot of great food during my sugar cleanse and i wanted to share some recipes here that fit within the allowed foods.
for ease, especially in the ravenous moments, i found it helpful to have several portions of brown rice, lentils and/or quinoa cooked up to throw into different dishes. i limited myself to no more than a half cup of either over the course of the day.
similarly, i’ve developed a practice generally of preparing a number of vegetables early in the week for use in various meals, and definitely recommend that for this cleanse – roasting brussels sprouts in olive oil, chili pepper and sea salt in the oven at 375 for 40 minutes; sautéing broccoli and/or kale in nutritional yeast, lemon, olive oil, sea salt, cayenne pepper; slicing onions into long curved pieces and cooking in olive oil; etc.
you’ll notice this, but there are basic ingredients i continuously turned to – olive and/or coconut oil, lemons, sea salt, my favorite vegetables.
1. basic vegetable stir fry
(my sister autumn got me started on this one pre-cleanse with wild rice, sriracha and braggs amino acids/soy sauce. by shifting to brown rice (my preference) and adjusting, it’s become a staple food on or off the cleanse.)
basically: sauté pre-cooked brown rice (or lentils, or quinoa) and vegetables in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, some olive or coconut oil, and half a lemon (or more) until everything is sizzling and starting to get browner. add 1-2 eggs depending on appetite, and keep actively stirring until the egg is cooked. add chili paste, sea salt or lemon, and cayenne pepper to taste.
2. garlic lemon cauliflower
found the basics for this one on the internet and adjusted it to account for the oven being in use by someone else, and not being allowed to put parmesan on it.
take a whole head of cauliflower and cut it down to the smallest florets. cut the stems to be an equivalent size – diced, basically.
heat olive oil in a pan, crush garlic into the olive oil – i go hard on this, 2-4 cloves. stir in the cauliflower and then squeeze lemon over it. i found with ample lemon i didn’t yearn for salt, but that’s up to you.
cook on medium heat, stirring often, for about 12 minutes – you want to see brown on the surface of the cauliflower. consume hot or cold, it’s gorgeous.
3. beet zucchini salad
possibly my favorite food of the cleanse. we are allowed a half cup of beets a day – i took mine grated and raw over peeled and diced zucchini. i added in other ingredients based on availability, including diced fresh tomatoes, cubed avocado, triangulated cucumber, diced red onion, the leftover garlic lemon cauliflower, chopped romaine lettuce.
the dressing for this one is below: olive oil, lemon, sea salt, pepper. if you have access to zatar, or thyme, it’s also stunning on this salad. when not fasting i have also used white wine vinegar to much deliciousness.
4. sesame salmon
this is another brilliant recipe from autumn that is so simple and good it befuddles me.
one of the delicious foods allowed on the cleanse is wild atlantic salmon. so with either frozen salmon (defrost, still in wrapper, in a bowl of cool water for 20 minutes) or fresh, you lay the salmon on aluminum foil atop a baking pan or cast-iron fryer. drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and then cover the surface with sesame seeds.
turn the broiler on and put the salmon in the oven.
after about 3-4 minutes check on it, rearrange it if the sesame seeds are starting to brown (most salmon is taller in the center than on the edges, which can lead to uneven cooking). pull out after about 8 minutes, check the middle to ensure that it is flaky but evenly cooked – the middle is the same color as the top. if the edges are crisped it’s heavenly.
just let it melt in your mouth.
5. easiest salad dressing you can make in restaurant
literally. this was so helpful for my travels. every restaurant i went into had olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. you can either mix it up before putting it on salads, or you can just drizzle, squeeze, shake, shake and toss the salad.
6. smoked salmon omelette
at this point in my life i am mostly pescetarian, especially on the coasts. when i am in places with access to other local grass fed meat i’ll indulge. anyway, salmon is my favorite amongst the fish, and smoked salmon has become a joy to me.
on this cleanse it was not unusual for me to eat 3 oz as a snack, or chopped up into the beet salad. i also LOVED it in omelettes.
drizzle olive or coconut oil into a large saucepan and heat it up. (i like a high heat omelette, but know thyself, you might like it a little less crispy on the outside.) crack open 2-3 eggs (this detox can increase egg intake – i often used only one yolk, if that, when cooking multiple eggs) and whisk with pepper. set it aside.
start with green onions, chopped into little pieces and toss them in the oil. chop up some of your precooked vegetables as small as they will go and add them. crush fresh garlic in next. once everything starts really cooking, pour the egg over it.
lay the smoked salmon along one whole half of the omelette in strips. when the egg starts to bubble, fold it over with a large spatula. it should look and feel perfect at this point, but if there is still any runniness to the eggs (which you can get away with when there’s cheese but is pretty gross sans cheese imho), flip the whole thing over.
eat hot. revel.
when not sugar cleansing i put fresh goat cheese on top while it’s hot.
7. avocado caprese
this one is just lovely.
slice fresh tomatoes into rounds, sliver avocado with a sharp knife, and lay it on top of the tomatoes – for me it serves as a textural equivalent to a mozzarella. i slice my avocado very very thin but it’s up to you.
top with fresh basil, drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
my favorite snacks throughout the cleanse were salads, freshly ground peanut butter (which my cleanse mentor autumn taught me was available in most health food stores – i had been missing OUT), carrots (which i have had an allergy to for years, but was able to eat again in the third week of the cleanse) and fresh hummus, toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, olives, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, and seaweed snacks (read the labels, tho. some flavors – like wasabi – had sugar content).
i didn’t experiment much with lentils, goji berries or ghee. and i found sashimi less intriguing without soy sauce, although dipping it in a dish of sesame oil with wasabi was still satisfying.
would love to hear other recipes as i continue this lifestyle, primarily not eating sugar.