Who knew “detox” could taste so good?
Photos by Leah Lizarondo
The mother of all Mondays is the first day back at work in January. That day has two sides. The glass-half-empty side is like, “Ugh, I can’t believe the food bender that started at Thanksgiving has to end.” (Suuuure, you can soften the blow with a cake on MLK Day.) The glass-half-full side is like, “Yes! A new year! The first day of the rest of my life!” And you go at it like a tank.
I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but it’s a positivity that should be embraced. The problem is that we all need the right support to see it through. It takes a village. And that’s what I’m here for!
Listen up, January joiners. Contrary to popular belief, putting your gym ID in your key ring and keeping your books next to you in bed won’t change anything. You have to DO IT. Taking care of your body is your lifelong DIY project. Start with what you eat. It’s something you do three times a day.
Herald that kickstart moment with this very simple but powerful salad. While spring is the best time to truly do a “cleanse,” it’s always good to periodically detoxify. And no, you don’t have to drink only lemon juice for days. You just need meals that pack a punch. And no, they don’t have to taste like cardboard. That’s the whole point of The Brazen Kitchen.
There are a number of vegetables that are extremely potent when it comes to detoxifying. All the ingredients in this salad have that AND (as always) this recipe puts them all together so that it tastes amazing (remember, I’m not a fan of regular old salads!)
Let’s take a look:
Beets – Aside from being packed with vitamins and minerals such as B3, B6, C, iron, calcium and magnesium, beets have phytochemicals that support liver detoxification and blood purification. Like all the vegetables in this salad, beets also help support the body’s acid-alkaline balance, which is essential for detoxification.
Broccoli Sprouts – We’ve all heard about broccoli and how great it is for you. Broccoli sprouts contain up to 20 times more of the substance sulforaphane that has specific detoxifying properties.
Lemons – I try to start everyday with a whole glass of water with a freshly squeezed lemon. Lemons contain a host of anti-cancer compounds and as with the beets and other vegetables in this salad, lemons support the body’s alkalinity. Lemons also contain a high amount of vitamin C, which aside from being a strong anti-oxidant that helps prevent disease, also helps the body make glutathione. Glutathione supports the liver detoxification process.
Garlic – I love thee. Garlic contains sulphuric compounds that are one of nature’s best detoxifiers. That’s why it’s one of the best natural antibiotics. Raw garlic abounds in our house at the first sign of winter maladies. We reek, but who cares. Everyone else has a clogged sinus and won’t notice! Garlic also has allicin, which promotes white blood cell production that fights toxins. The best way to eat garlic is raw (chop it or press it and leave it for a few minutes to release the compounds) or very lightly cooked.
Turmeric – I think I’ve written before that I always add about a teaspoon of turmeric to my pot of rice. For me, it doesn’t change the taste and adds a nice mustardy color. I eat brown rice often so I get a regular dose of curcumin, one of the substances in turmeric that boosts the immune system and has been shown in many studies to fight cancer. Turmeric also supports the production of bile, which the liver uses to eliminate toxins.
Cabbage – I featured cabbage in one of my end of the year recipes precisely because I wanted to prepare you for the beginning of the year. Because it’s in the same cruciferous family as broccoli, it also contains sulforaphane. Cabbage supplies the body with glutathione as well.
Yield: Serves 1
- 2 heaping cups shredded savoy cabbage
- 1 cup sliced cooked beets (I prefer roasted beets but steaming works as well)
- 1 cup broccoli sprouts
- ¼ heaping cup chopped parsley
- Handful of chopped almonds
- Add these other powerful detoxifiers
- Artichoke hearts
- Flaxseed oil
- 1-2 T lemon juice, preferably fresh
- 1 T Earth Balance Mindful Mayo made with Olive Oil
- 1-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely or pressed
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. raw honey, optional
- Water to thin dressing, if needed
1. Prepare the dressing. Let sit while you are prepping the vegetables.
2. Prepare the vegetables.
3. Toss the dressing with the cabbage and sprouts. Top with the beets and almonds.