Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse Days 11 and 12

We are almost done with the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse, and I have to say I’m glad, but not for the reasons you might think. I haven’t felt at all deprived, only rarely hungry, and have thoroughly enjoyed nearly every dish. But the second week has not been as interesting as the first, because breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and desserts have all been repeating, and some of the dinners have been less imaginative than those in the first week. Last night’s dinner is an example of that.

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Granted, it was supposed to be Broiled Mackerel with Scallions and Lemon, but mine ended up being broiled salmon, because there was no mackerel to be found. We love salmon, but broiled salmon with lemon is not exactly new around the Real Food House. However, the Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic and Chili are a side dish I am happy to repeat, because they are so tasty.

Dinner the night before was exactly what I was hoping it would be.

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Tunisian-Style Poached Eggs in Red Pepper Sauce was my first experience with harissa, a North African spicy red pepper paste, which makes it sound similar to gochujang, but it couldn’t be more different. Harissa is spicier, and has a distinct floral, almost citrusy quality, rather than the smoky notes gochujang has. It reminded me of the flavor of preserved lemon; salty, tart, fruity, piquant.

The dish was just what I needed after an irritating day; it was comforting and warming, and felt wonderfully rich with the poached egg yolk running through it. It was close to another favorite of mine, shakshuka, only not as brothy. The Cleanse menu called for Millet Tabbouleh as a side dish. There was still some left over from the first time I made it, but not enough for two of us, so I left it for The Husband, and ate mine over leftover barley, which was quite hearty and filling.

Yesterday’s snack was to be Quick Miso Soup. This may be the one recipe that has annoyed me the most. Maybe I am not the target audience, but I don’t need a miso soup recipe that makes a single serving in a travel mug. I also had a fair amount of silken tofu to finish off in the refrigerator, so I just made a saucepan full of soup, and served it up properly. I’ll be snacking on it today as well.

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Now that is a bowl of miso soup.

Three more dinners to go, and the Cleanse will be a wrap. While I’ve enjoyed all the new flavors and textures, I am already looking forward to my next kitchen adventure.

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