Health Reset Recipe Guide

February 6, 2012

Hey Everyone! Remember me!

HealthResetRecipeGuide

Well I can’t apologize enough for dropping the ball on this one, but finally I’ve put together a snap shot of recipes to get you going for your Health Reset! I’ve added some of my favorites that are not only perfect for Reset approved meals, but taste damn good as well. For additional menu ideas, I find that Simply Recipes is one of the greatest resources. While you will have to weed out some of the “vegetarian dishes” containing dairy and wheat here, it’s a wonderful way to trigger some of your own culinary creations. Regardless of how you do it, I can say for certain, you’ll be glad you did. The Health Reset opens your eyes to how you can feel and maybe more importantly how you should feel.

Since my most recent 10 day Reset, I’ve gone back to a few of the major ingredients I had given up. And while I’m still not ready to give up those Italian Hoagies, the Reset ways of meat, wheat, and dairy free become more and more appealing. I may not ever go 100% but who knows. Just remember one thing: No matter what you choose about food, never forget to think about how it makes you feel.

“We feel what we eat”


Damn you Reset, you stole my Crunch!

January 20, 2012

Kale Chips

Sorry to leave you mid-guide the last few days! We’ve got one more meal to go and then that recipe post I’ve been promising. So here we go…it’s time for Dinner…

No matter how much I’ve preached in the past about cooking with “balance”, in terms of taste, appearance, and texture, the latter of that bunch is always the hardest to remember to plan for. But without a contrast in texture, even the most delicious meal can fall flat. And during the Reset, it will become increasingly clear how much you are missing a good “crunch”!

In general, finding ways to enjoy your dinner without meat, wheat, and dairy can be pretty easy actually. There are amazing pasta substitutes that you can buy if you get desperate, but even thinly shredded raw zucchini can sub for spaghetti if you have a craving. Otherwise dining on stir frys, soups, and stews are easy and comforting and plates full of side dishes can be just as filling as your standard “meat, starch, and veg” meal we all grew up on. Ironically enough, you may also find you have more time to enjoy your meal as most of these recipes involve quick cooking ingredients. The point I guess I’m making is, dinners on the Reset can be really frickin delicious and exciting. But you’ve got to get a little creative for your crunch.

Without the wonder of breadcrumbs, crispy bread, flour tortillas, etc. these are the best crunchifier suggestions I’ve got so far…what about you guys? Any good crunch substitutes to suggest?

Kale chips: These have become all the rage, particularly in NYC. My guess is they were the result of a culinary accident but if you haven’t tried these, you have to get on board the train. I like to use dinosaur kale or lacinto kale because the leaves seem to hold up a bit better than your standard supermarket kale. Either way, baking the leaves at 350 with a little olive oil and salt for just a few minutes renders you with some fantastic crispy chips. These aren’t so sturdy to use for dipping but when you need a fix, these are your go to!

Pan roasted chickpeas: A while back, I saw Em’s Mom making a batch of these; a can of strained chickpeas in a cast iron pan over low heat with a little rosemary and salt. While we chatted (and probably drank some red wine) I waited to see what would become of these otherwise boring chickpeas and after about 45 minutes I was addicted. These guys get nice and crispy and their flavor intensifies like crazy. You can mess around with any seasonings you like on this. I love to add curry powder to mine. But I can’t imagine you can go wrong here. Perfect to top a salad or soup!

– Nuts: This may seem like an obvious one, but I’m not talking about simply throwing some walnuts in a beet salad. What I mean is that just like breadcrumbs topping your favorite dish, crushed nuts (particularly hazelnuts and almonds) make for an amazing compliment to a meal. So you might not be able to nut-crust a piece of chicken on the Reset, but roasted over some asparagus or cauliflower, you’ve got yourself a delicious Reset friendly topping.

Baked spring rolls: I made these during my last reset and am actually bummed I didn’t think about them again until writing this post. These remedied my need for crunch then, and they will do the same for you. Using rice paper wrappers ensures you are Reset approved and essentially you could stuff these things with anything. I went a more traditional Asian style last time with cabbage, mushrooms, and tamari but these would work perfectly for other flavor profiles as well. They are little tricky to work with the first time but don’t worry. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cranking these out like crazy. Just soften the rice wrapper in warm water and then add your filling and wrap. Bake these guys off at 375 until nice and crunchy!

So there it is, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a few great snacks making for a great 10 day Reset. But what about dessert? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. More thoughts on the Reset and the recipe post coming soon!

 

 


My Toughest Meal to Reset and the Dreaded Catered Lunch

January 17, 2012

The Catered Lunch

Quick Note: As opposed to embedding recipes into these longer than usual posts, I will post a Reset recipe list at the end of this week. I promise, all of these delicious references will be available in recipe form!

If you work in an office like I do, you too are constantly surrounded by food. The unfortunate thing of course, is this same food that I very often devour, is rarely worth eating. Mediocre catered sandwiches, crappy Italian fare, or even worse, sub-par pizza are always around as “lunch meetings” are organized seemingly as an excuse to purchase enough food to feed an army. “My catered lunch was bigger than your catered lunch” may be the modern day pissing match. But before I get too far into the scary eating dynamics of my own office, I guess I should get back to the point.

During the Reset, there are plenty of delicious and filling ways to enjoy your lunch. And your choices will be dictated by how you view the mid-day meal. For me, lunch in the office is an excuse to step away. Therefore, lunch has to be worth it. It has to be delicious and give me the energy I need to make it through the second part of the day, preferably without feeling hungry. It’s why I knew then, and I have confirmed it during this 2nd 10 day stint, that if I want to succeed during the Reset, I can’t simply cook up a bunch of brown rice or quinoa and call it a lunch. Luckily for me (and you), it’s winter.

The cold and drab winter makes a perfect time to go for the Reset. Big batches of lentil soup and black bean chili not only provided me with some real deal sustenance during lunch, but gave me something delicious to look forward to. While winter comfort food certainly has a tendency to contain meat and wheat, it doesn’t have to. In fact, you will be shocked how delicious and comforting a big bowl of curried butternut squash soup can be. Looking for something a bit on the lighter side? How about a winter kale salad filled with citrus, chick peas, and hazelnuts. All of these and more make for a fantastic lunch. One, you’d be gladly willing to skip the catered crap for.

But what if you prefer a more “grazing-like” approach to lunching? Maybe it’s not about a break for you, and maybe the thought of eating a big bowl of vegetable stir fry and rice seems a bit heavy. Well then you are in luck; because with a little bit of preparation, you can have yourself a bunch of amazing snacks that keep you full and Reset committed. Dried fruit and nut mixes are great for snacking. But don’t go out and just buy a pre-made mix; you are better off making your own. Almost all good groceries store now have bulk food sections and making your own trail mix guarantees you will like what you are eating. Need something a little more savory? How about a little hummus with carrots and cucumbers? As a quick aside, is there anything that has grown so quickly as the love for hummus? Kind of crazy right? But back to the grazing…what’s that? It’s 2:30 and you need another shot of energy. Well don’t forget about that treat

One more piece to the puzzle: Like I mentioned before, lunch has always been the hardest part for me, particularly if colleagues are looking to head out for a meal. In slightly upstate suburbia where Applebee’s, sandwich shops, and crappy Italian restaurants (the same one’s making the crappy catered fare) are more common than I ever thought possible, finding a Reset friendly restaurant isn’t very easy. And while you may be thrilled to be a few days into your Reset, I understand if you are reluctant to explain the details to your colleagues. One of the only good suggestions here is to try suggesting more ethnic fare. Thai restaurants may be the easiest option. Vegetable dishes with a side of rice are more than likely okay and even Indian buffets will provide a decent array of vegetable based meals. The one watch out for Indian is that a few of the most popular dishes are loaded with dairy. I know, I said it was hard. Also, technically speaking, the soy sauce you will probably enjoy in some way or another when dining at these restaurants is not wheat-free and therefore some suggest replacing it with Tamari. My feeling is, unless you are drinking soy sauce by the cup full, it’s okay to let yourself slide here for the sake of sanity.

So that probably seemed like a whole lot to swallow but the reality is, it’s all about preparation. Do yourself the favor to do your shopping on the weekends and prepare a few batches of meals or snacks that you know you will enjoy. Because after only a few days, you’ll without a doubt be thanking yourself! And probably laughing at the hoarders surrounding the sandwich tray…

 

 

 


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