Cleaning, Cleansing, and Plant-Based Recipe Ideas

Even though starting and maintaining a cleanse or detox is challenging, the rewards can be well worth it. Since finishing my 7-day cleanse, I’ve still been incorporating much of the same eating patterns. I’m loving the cleaner foods, lower sugar, no coffee, and no dairy. I’m feeling way lighter not eating tons of animal proteins (even though I do like eating Paleo).

It’s such a battle finding balance in your body, at least with mine. Finding that perfect way to eat or what to eat is difficult. There are tons of “diets” and trends out there, all going against one another. Each of them claim theirs will give you superior health if you follow their rules. But how do we really know which are the best?

The answer probably just comes down to trial and error and your own body.

For my trial and error right now, I’m finding more plants help me feel full of energy and keep things moving in an orderly fashion. And much of what I’m eating is delicious.

Here are some of the recipes from the dishes I mentioned last week.

Sundried Tomato & Squash Stir Fry

Serves 2 little appetites, 1 large

  • 1/2 cup (or 1/2 large) white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or diced
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 4 baby eggplant, cut into 1 inch thick rounds
  • 1 large yellow squash or zucchini, quartered and chopped into quarter rounds
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, without oil
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large pan on high, adding water or broth, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and add onion and garlic to the water, stirring frequently for 5 minutes, or until onion starts to soften.

Add in eggplant, squash, sundried tomatoes, vinegar, and seasonings, with the addition of more water if the pan becomes dry. Heat on medium-high for another 5 minutes, tossing to coat vegetables with vinegar and seasonings.

In a large bowl, place desired amount and kind of greens (I used spinach), fresh vegetables (such as cucumbers and tomatoes), and top with your sundried tomato and squash mixture.


Tomato, Basil, & Cucumber Salad with Blackberry Vinegar

Serves 2.

  • 3 large, homegrown or very ripe, tomatoes, roughly chopped, keeping any juices
  • 1 large Armenian cucumber, sliced in half and then into half rounds
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp high quality balsamic vinegar (I used a Blackberry Balsamic, but any flavor will work)
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl, including the tomato juice from chopping. Toss and adjust seasoning as needed.

Eat and enjoy!


Fat-Free Cumin Tomato & Veggie Soup

Makes a lot. Be prepared to have leftovers.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large squash, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes (no sugar added) or fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • cilantro for garnish

In a large pot, heat 1 cup water, onion, and celery on high, stirring frequently, softening the onion and celery. After 5 minutes, add in the garlic, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, just heating the garlic.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add in broth, canned tomato, jalapeno, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Cover partially, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.

Uncover pot and add cherry tomatoes and lime juice. Stir once again and serve, topping with finely shopped cilantro for garnish.

(more water may be added to soup to make it thinner. This soup turns out thick, as is)

Green Bean Saute over Kelp Noodles

Serves 2-3.

  • 1 bag of kelp noodles, drained and rinsed well in warm water
  • 3 tbsp wakame seaweed
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 large yellow squash, quartered and sliced into quarter rounds
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped or crushed
  • 4 tbsp Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cups baby swiss chard, roughly chopped

Drain and rinse kelp noodles in warm water and set aside in a bowl, adding wikame seaweed and tossing.

In a large saute pan, add water, squash, and green beans. Heat on high for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add the garlic, Tamari or soy sauce, tahini, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine and coat everything. Add more water to pan, if needed. Cover and heat for additional 5-10 minutes.

Making sure tahini is evenly distributed well (so no clumps are seen), toss in chard, just wilting the greens, 2 minutes.

Plate a handful of kelp noodles/seaweed mixture and top with green bean and squash saute. Eat and enjoy.

Do you feel cleansed yet? I do. 😉

Have you tried kelp noodles? They’re super crunchy, tasteless, and a great substitute for regular noodles, as they contain no fat, around 80 calories for the whole pack, and a touch of protein.

What type of foods would you create if cleansing?

What types of “trends” in eating have you been liking?

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