Friday, November 18, 2011

Detox: Day 3 {Roasted Root Vegetables + Squash}

While the first day of the detox flew by nearly unnoticed, and the second dragged on while I mentally bemoaned the absence of coffee, the third day was the winner. Seriously, I felt gooood.

A three-day detox seems suited best for most working schedules from a Friday to Sunday. Mine, however, didn't get shaking until Saturday, so it meant Monday was the final stretch. No coffee Monday morning, no problem. Really, a double-espresso per morning kind of a girl managed to get up early enough to drink a very large pot of green tea with ginkgo. That set me up. Green tea with ginkgo, you are my new best friend.

I had woken up so early in fact that I decided to do up a pan or two of roast veg to take with me to work. I had planned on taking the broccoli ratatouille left-overs for lunch and doing the fennel/grapefruit again for brekkie, but it was a cold morning, and there was a Hokkaido squash staring at me from the counter, saying, "look, if you cut me up and roast me, you can have a hot, filling, sweet brekkie without breaking any of the detox rules." Okay, Hokkaido squash, it's a deal.

So at six a.m., lights on, tea steeping, Ella Fitzerald scat-singing her heart away, I was chopping that squash up into wedges. Since I had ample time, I decided every other root veg in my kitchen was going in the oven as well.

It turned out perfect. This is the detox recipe champion extraordinaire. Everything is roasted on wax paper parchment paper, so no oil. And there are so many different flavours from the many veg commingling that salt is completely unnecessary. The flavours bring out the best in each other, and the fennel fronds strewn over top before eating absolutely lift it to another level.

And you know what? The morning rhythm of tea sipping, veg slicing, and oven roasting was enough sensory stimulation to start that Monday off just right. Not to mention trying to out-scat Ella, at which I have yet to win, but I do keep on trying...much to my neighbours dismay, I am sure.

Detox or no detox, this will be getting a repeat.

Detox Series:
Detox: The Rules

Continue to Recipe...

Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables + Squash
Adapted from Gourmet, Nov 2007
Time 1 hour prep + 1 hour roast

1 small-med (8/9 lb.) Hokkaido (or other winter) squash
1 large fennel bulb - fronds removed and reserved for garnish
3 carrots
1/2 head medium celer root, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled
2 leeks (video on slicing tips for leek newbies)
6 whole shallots
2 red bell peppers
1 heaping Tb ground flax seed
1 Tb thyme
300g chanterelle mushrooms (or cremini)
1 Tb chopped fresh sage / 1/2 Tb dried

parsley / fennel fronds

1) Heat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Line one roasting pan and one tray with parchment paper (without any overhang...can theoretically catch fire. Never happened to me.)

2) Chop the squash in half, scoop out seeds, and chop into half-moon wedges. Lay in a single layer on one tray and put in the oven. Will roast for 1+ hour.

3) Remove and reserve the fennel fronds for garnish. Slice the fennel bulb into thin strips. Scrub (so the peels can be left on) and chop the carrots into wedges. Peel the celer root and chop into 1cm cubes. Peel and chop the parsnips. Toss all into the roasting pan and stick in the oven. Will roast for 1 hour.

4) Slice up the 2 leeks, peel the shallots and slice in half, or quarter if they are large. Cut the red peppers into bite-sized pieced. Grab the roasting pan out of the oven and toss these into it. Add the flax seed and thyme and stir well. Back in the oven it goes.

5) Slice the mushrooms and get the sage out. Add these onto the roasting tray with the squash slices. The mushroom pieces should fit nicely into the spaces between the squash slices, and sprinkle sage over all. Back in the oven. to finish roasting.

6) When all toasty and soft, remove and let cool for a bit. Garnish with fennel fronds and parsley, and eat up.

Dobrou Chut' / Enjoy.
-- Jo

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