Happy New Year! It’s good to be back to the blog. I found a fun little project to get me going; I started Bon Appétit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse. Personally, I don’t put much stock in food fads, or cleansing, or whatnot. But when I read the two-week menu for the Cleanse, it sounded light, refreshing, and full of the kinds of foods I crave after the yearly holiday comfort food bacchanal. Plus, it features several ingredients that have been on my “I should try that” list for a while, in a straightforward, structured way, so I can get a sense of how they taste, how to properly use them, and whether or not I like their flavors.
Dinner last night was Salmon with Smashed White Beans and Sage, and Chard and Chard Stems with Sautéed Shiitakes. The recipe called for mahi-mahi, but I couldn’t find it on short notice (meaning I wasn’t willing to brave the post-holiday hoarde at the Whole Foods 30 minutes away, and my local grocery store had none).
Dessert was Pineapple with Toasted Coconut and Pink Peppercorns.
New ingredients encountered so far: pink peppercorns and coconut flakes, which is surprising, but there it is.
Fresh, lively citrus flavors from orange and lemon zests brightened the earthiness of the white beans, salmon, and mushrooms. Pink peppercorns added a floral note to the pineapple and coconut, and sea salt flakes enhanced all the flavors. Pink peppercorns taste nothing like black or white peppercorns. They are unique; they have the fragrance of black pepper at first, but then become flowery, and their flavor is sweet-spicy, but very delicate. You should try them.
Two more new ingredients: Turkish figs, and furikake. I know, I can’t believe I’ve never eaten Turkish figs before, either.
The figs were just sweet enough to be satisfying at breakfast, and furikake is amazing. It’s a Japanese seasoning condiment consisting primarily of seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar, but there are other flavors available at the Asian market I frequent. Furikake could become my new Sriracha, meaning I could put it on everything.
I will post photos of each day’s dishes, with links to the recipes. It’s not too late to get started, if you want to play along. Check out the link at the beginning of the post for everything you need to join in. So far, every dish has been fairly easy to prepare, and full of flavors. Some knife skills and basic kitchen knowledge will come in handy. I don’t know if the next two weeks will be “cleansing” my body in any way, but this is definitely “healthy eating” I can endorse.