Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Detox: Stat!

So Dave and I went to Providence, Rhode Island this weekend. I'm sure Providence has a lot to offer: museums, great architecture, shopping, etc. but we went for the food. I'll be recapping the whole weekend shortly, but let's leave it here for now: we ate a lot. A. LOT.

When we got home Sunday, we felt a little, well ... bilious. I decided to go 100% vegetarian for dinner and make a vegetarian stew for us. This was a much better detox than a smoothie or juice-base dinner. We felt satisfied but not overly full. The gremolata made it taste really fresh.

Weekend Detox Winter Vegetable Stew
Modify this based on what vegetables you have on hand. I used chickpeas in this version, but you could use another bean, or lentil, or leave the beans out altogether.
Serves 3-4
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 baby turnips, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 large can drained and rinsed)
  • juice of 1 lemon (reserve the zest for the gremolata, below)
  • juice of 1 orange (reserve the zest for the gremolata, below)
  • salt and pepper
Saute the onion with some olive oil in a large skillet until softened. Add the sweet potato, turnips, parsnips and carrots. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir the vegetables in the skillet, over medium-high heat until starting to brown. Add the chicken broth and let the stew simmer until the vegetables are softened (but they should still have a little bite to them). Add a little water if the stew starts to stick. How much time this takes will depend on the size of your vegetables - the smaller the pieces, the shorter the cook time.

Stir in the chickpeas. Stir in the juices and check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with gremolata.

Blood Orange Gremolata
This was a nice fresh topper for the stew. It would be lovely over some broiled or grilled seafood too. Gremolata is traditionally made only with lemon zest, but the orange zest gave this a really interesting new dimension.

Yields about 3/4 cup of gremolata.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups parsley leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 blood orange (or an orange if no blood oranges are to be found)
  • olive oil
  • salt
Either by hand, or in a mini food processor, chop together the parsley, garlic and zests until they are finely minced together. Stir in a little olive oil to loosen up the puree and make it more saucy. Season to taste with salt.

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