Keeping It Real
I'm going to be 100% up front with you and confess that I only lasted two weeks on the cleanse due to my crazy schedule and Tatjana arriving. Having said that, I have curbed the amount of animal proteins to just 1-2 servings per week, and I am vigilant about line-caught fish, organic free range poultry, or organic grass fed beef when I do veer off the plant-based diet. I'm also still avoiding dairy, soy, and sticking with whole grains in an effort to follow a more sugar-free, anti-inflammatory diet longterm.
I definitely feel much better, and the knee does seem to be on the mend. The key is being cautious not to overdo it now that the swelling is down and it's feeling better. I'm continuing with the physical therapy, and if it does swell again I will hop right back on the cleanse. To be honest, I'm quite content being vegan the majority of the time. Here are a couple more of favorite my go to recipes for you to try.
ROASTED BEET & WHITE BEAN HUMMUS
This is my adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe that switches up the traditional hummus recipe with white beans in place of the chickpeas, and roasted beets for added color, flavor, fiber, and nutrients. Mixing up the same old, same old is important to sticking with an anti-inflammatory diet.
3 beets, roasted, 1 chopped and reserved for garnish
1 cup cooked white beans
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 chopped clove garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1). Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast beet and rub off skin.
2). Chop 2 of the beets, then puree with white beans, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Hummus can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Serve with Crudites and Brown Rice Cakes.
MUSHROOM & CARROT OSSO BUCCO
The ground dried porcini mushrooms, red wine, and mushroom broth help boost the layers of flavor, while the shiitake mushrooms give the dish a meaty texture. Serving the dish over chickpea or lentil pasta provides tons of protein. This is hands down one of my all-time favorite vegan recipes!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks on the diagonal
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut in half
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon dried porcini
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 2/3 cup mushroom broth
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Vegan Parmesan, to taste
1). Preheat oven to 350° F.
2). In a Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium high heat until ridges from, about 1 minute. Add garlic, thyme, and Rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add carrots and mushrooms, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until until just starting to brown on all sides.
3). Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add ground dried porcini, curry powder, and mushroom broth. Stir well and bring to boil. Transfer to preheated oven and braise for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven.
4). Stir in parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest, and adjust seasonings.
5). Serve over chickpea pasta cooked al dente, and top with vegan Parmesan.
Serve over Chickpea or Lentil Pasta garnished with Vegan Parmesan.
I like to use rainbow carrots for this dish, and I like to serve it with spicy garlic roasted broccoli on the side.
FRESH FIVE SPICE MANGO - BANANA PUDDING
I love that you do not have to skip dessert while on either the cleanse or just following an anti-inflammatory diet. My fellow personal chef and nutritionist, Carolyn Akens, posted a recipe for Pure Mango - Banana Pudding in the Vitamix. Tatjana and I had a friend coming for dinner that evening and planned on serving a Pan-Asian menu, so I kicked it up a notch by adding a teaspoon of five spice powder and garnished with delicious toasted coconut flakes.
3 ripe bananas
2 ripe mangos
1 teaspoon five spice powder
3 Tablespoons Coconut flakes, toasted
1). Puree the bananas, mango, and five spice powder in a Vitaix until smooth. Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450° F. Spread the coconut flakes in an even layer on a sheet pan, and toast in the preheated oven until just beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the coconut since it can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.
Serve the chilled pudding with a sprinkle of toasted coconut on top.