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Days 3 and 4: A Food Lover’s New Year’s Plan

No, I have not given up. I did decide that coffee-deprivation was unnecessary and probably not the best foot to start my new year on. The new blender is lovely; I’ve used it twice already. And a kale and kiwi smoothie won even skeptics (the wife) over to the green side.

We have done, in my humble opinion, a very good job sticking to the plan. I did forget to make the edamame hummus on day three, so I added it to day four. It was especially nice the following day, when we snacked on it with carrots while making dinner. Here are a few highlights:

Ultimate winter couscous: We swapped couscous with bulghur, which has more whole grain-y goodness. Having had another recent kitchen disaster with preserved lemon, we omitted that entirely, and in place of harissa, I tried a bit of sriracha to add some heat. Even without those Moroccan extras, we decided this hearty blend of roasted squash, carrots, parsnips and chickpeas was delicious, both for dinner and lunch the next day.

Warm and nutty cinnamon quinoa: Quinoa for breakfast was new for us. It’s definitely a lot of grain in the morning, but the cinnamon, toasted pecans and blackberries were delicious. I could imagine making this while camping, as it would provide great energy for a day of hiking, or in the spring or fall when you are craving something warm and filling. Try it sometime, and let me know what you think.

Beet and fennel soup: This was a clear winner, cooked straight from the pages of Bon Appetit. I had never made beet soup before, but the color is stunning. I was glad to add the kefir, my one dairy allowance, as it added some protein and creaminess to the meal. Having the edamame hummus with it was also a good idea on the protein side, but the flavors seemed less suited to each other once I had tasted them side-by-side. My raw kale salad was a bit light, as I was out of dried cranberries, and so I opted for a raisin and pine nut version instead. It was ok, but I will definitely post my standby kale salad recipe soon.

I plan to wrap up the foodie cleanse posts tomorrow with our favorite dinner so far: stuffed sweet potatoes and roasted endive, apples and grapes. Stay tuned!

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