I’ve decided to go on a detox diet for a month to see if I can lose some weight. It means no meat (obviously), eggs, dairy, wheat, sugar or alcohol for a month. My friend has lent me a Carol Vorderman detox book that has some good recipes in it that I am using as a base to work from. They are all quite basic in the flavour department so I will be amping up the spices to make sure every dish is delicious and full of flavour as well as healthy. I don’t want it to feel like I am on a diet or that I am being deprived and I definitely don’t want the food to be boring in any way.
I started about a week ago and I am definitely noticing a difference. I feel less bloated, lighter and less hungry, which is surprising. This is my breakfast smoothie that I am having every day. It is one or two crushed ice cubes blended with 1 banana, 5 or 6 strawberries, a big slice of pineapple, the juice of half an orange and a handful of oats. It is a lovely way to start the day and keeps me full until lunchtime which is great because I walk/jog 4.5km every morning with the dog.
This was my first vegan gluten-free meal, as you can see there is a little bit of crumbled Feta on the top, but that was the last of it I promise… Well I’m not promising anything really. That’s too much pressure and there is an amazing vegetarian “Scotch Egg” & piccalilli recipe that I am desperate to try. The only thing I am promising is that there will never be a boring, tasteless, bland recipe on this blog so don’t worry. I have plenty of exciting South American, South East Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian recipes up my sleeve that you wouldn’t even know were detox, so here we go…
Green Bean Pilaf with Almonds, Pine Nuts & Raisins
serves 4, vegan & gluten-free without the Feta. Adapted from Carol Vorderman’s Detox Recipes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, sliced in half lengthways, rinsed & finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 300 gr wholegrain (brown) rice
- 1 litre veg stock
- 225 gr green beans, trimmed & halved
- 30 gr pine nuts
- 30 gr flaked almonds
- 50 gr raisins (I used moscatel they are bigger & juicier)
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped plus leaves for garnish
- a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- salt & black pepper
- greek feta (optional)
Toast the pine nuts and almonds in a dry frying pan, shaking occasionally until browned. Don’t take your eyes off of them or they will burn. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, leeks and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned then add in the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Add the coriander, cumin and rice and cook, stirring for a minute until the grains are glossy. Add the veg stock and the raisins and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid is almost absorbed and the rice is nearly cooked. Add the green beans, salt, pepper,stir, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes until the beans and rice are cooked. Stir through the chopped herbs, taste and serve sprinkled with the toasted almonds, pine nuts, a few parsley leaves and some crumbled feta (if using).
Wholegrain rice provides fibre, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and iron that white rice does not. Leeks and onions are rich in allyl sulphides which are protective against heart disease and cancer as well as providing folate and vitamin C. Pine nuts & almonds provide protein & calcium and are super-rich in heart healthy vitamin E and monounsaturated oils.
All that and it tastes great too, enjoy!!