Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse Day 10

I have reached the limits of my patience with the “shopping list” I printed out from Bon Appetit’s website before the Cleanse began. More on that later.

Dinner last night was not as interesting as the last two, but one of the dishes is definitely a keeper.

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Oven-Roasted Chicken with Grapes was tasty, with moist, tender breast meat, sweet, caramelized shallots, and just-ready-to-burst grapes. But it was not all that adventurous a dish for me. Those eagle-eyed among you may notice a slight grayish tinge to the chicken dish’s components; I made a rookie mistake and cooked it in my cast-iron skillet. Acid foods can pick up a gray hue in cast iron.

The real star of the plate for me was the Gochujang-and Sesame-Roasted Winter Squash. Oh, gochujang, is there nothing you can’t do? Thinly sliced butternut squash was tossed in a sauce of gochujang, sesame seeds, oil, and soy sauce that roasted up in the oven with a heavenly aroma and deep smoky flavor. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt and thinly sliced scallions finished this dish, and it was really hard not to just gobble it all up standing at the stove.

Breakfast this morning was pretty interesting.

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This is Pomegranate-Chia Seed Yogurt Parfait. The recipe I printed out from the website’s .pdf file did not specify, so I assumed it was a single serving. It was actually meant for two servings, I discovered after I’d eaten it. But it’s a good thing I did eat the whole thing, because it was not as filling a breakfast as the others on the Cleanse menu. If I had only eaten half of it, I would have been ravenous by lunchtime. As to its flavor, I would drizzle a little agave nectar in the chia-pomegranate juice pudding the night before, as I would have liked a bit more sweetness. The seeds add a lovely pop to each bite, though.

Lunch was another improvised salad using some more leftovers. I am a big fan of not wasting food, and using everything up, so the leftovers accumulating in my refrigerator, as well as the as-of-yet unused produce and herbs, is starting to give me hives. With five more dinners to go, I am inclined to go rouge with some of the menu. (You knew it would happen; I can never leave well enough alone.) Also, the side dishes are mostly repeats this week, which would have been far more convenient if they were repeating on back-to-back nights. So I may not be making all the sides again this week; the leftovers must go.

That brings me to the “shopping list” I mentioned at the top of the post. The website has a link to a .pdf file of a complete shopping list for the two weeks, divided up into a shopping trip every few days. It was quite poorly edited, with ingredients popping up on the wrong day, either too early or worse, too late to make the dish they are used in, or just wrong altogether. I bought chicken thighs with skin and bone, from the list, only to read the recipe later and see they were to be boneless and skinless thighs. I did extensive editing to correct it for myself, and still managed to miss a few mistakes, which has become quite frustrating for me. If I do this again, I will be making my own shopping list.

I have more to say about some of the ingredient choices on the menu, but it can wait until the end of the Cleanse. I’m off to cook dinner, which I expect to be quite comforting and spicy, perfect for getting me out of this mood.

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