Starting week two of my clean detox. I have to admit, that this has not been hard for me at all. Of course, I’ve done this before and have seen the results but it really matters what kind of a mind set you have when you start something like a detox or a diet. If you’re looking forward to learning new things and seeing your body change, you’re more likely to stick with it. If you’re doing it because you think you should or you have to do it, you’re less likely to see it through and have success with it.
I’m no weirdo (ok, I am but not in this particular area) who likes depriving themselves of food and drink. Nor am I someone that’s always on a diet. I look at this particular clean detox as a fun challenge. I like having to come up with recipes that will taste fantastic and make me think outside of my usual ingredient list. I have the added inspiration of a not so willing participant (named Craig) who wants to drop a few pounds but isn’t going to do the full blown detox. He is however going to be eating the same meal that I do (although he didn’t get any of the turkey meatloaf since he was still eating the annual sauerkraut and pork from New Year’s), because I’m not cooking him something special. He also is aware how miserable his evening will be if he comes home smelling like Taco Bell.
I’ve been on a huge carrot kick lately. I’ve been eating them raw and juicing so many of them that my fingernails have turned yellow/orange. I haven’t yet eaten enough to turn my skin orange. Since I have red hair that would look beyond awful. But while I was watching the Cooking Channel the other night, I ran across a fairly old Jamie Oliver show. Since I always liked his shows I thought it would be fun to watch one again. He did this brilliant (as he says) Moroccan carrot salad. Mind you, this was no ordinary cold carrot salad with some spices in it. No, this was Moroccan carrots with salad greens on it. Then I started calling the carrot salad brilliant.
I needed to make a few changes to his salad recipe, as my clean detox doesn’t allow for some of the ingredients that he used, but I am hooked! The first plate went to Craig (he almost always gets the pretty plate you see photographed on the site) and as soon as he took a bite he was declaring it fantastic. He ate his salad warm. By the time I got to eat mine, it was cold (room temperature) and that was delicious too.
This carrot salad recipe could easily be doubled or tripled for more servings and would make a perfect starter salad for a dinner party. The process of making the dish is super simple (I didn’t even peel the carrots, since I had baby carrots that were super fresh I just scrubbed them really well), you probably have all of the ingredients for this Moroccan dish right in your cupboard and it’s super healthy. So no more excuses….eating healthy can be easy and taste good.
Have you ever written a love letter? If you have, did you deliver it (or have it delivered)? And I don’t count AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile as your delivery agent. Sending a text letting your significant other know that you’re wet, horny, what you’re wearing or what you want to do to them when they get home does not a love letter make. If you wrote one in grades kindergarten through 12th grade…that counts. But have you thought about doing that now that you’re an adult, and have a steady man or woman in your life?
We spend our days scheduling meetings, phone calls and other appointments at work. We have to look at our calendars to figure out who’s taking which kid to which activity. Then we set up our own “play dates” with our friends so that we can catch up with what’s going on in their lives. But what about our significant other? Is your conversation limited to grunting as you pass each other outside the bathroom each morning or leaving each other voice mails about picking up dinner or that you have a late meeting? If that’s the case, you should consider writing him or her a love letter.
It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to of Shakespearean quality. Just a few sincere words from your heart is all it takes. Then you can leave it on their pillow or on top of their computer. A love letter just tells them that even though you’re busy with everything that you have going on, you still think about them and appreciate them.
Just to give you a bit of inspiration, and a laugh, below is a love note that Kevin Federline wrote to his first girlfriend. You probably want yours to be a bit more creative.
Moroccan Carrot Salad Recipe
Makes 4 servings
- 1 Pound Carrots
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- A Few Grinds of Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Fresh Lemon (preferably Meyer lemon)
- 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil (separated)
- 4 Tablespoon Pomegranate Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds
- 2 Teaspoons Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Bitter/Tangy Lettuce Mix
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
In a small bowl mix the nutmeg, cumin, coriander, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, salt, pepper 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Once mixed, set this aside.
In another small bowl mix the chia seeds, sesame seeds and pepitas. Set aside.
If you use fresh baby carrots (not the bagged baby carrots from the grocery store) cut the tops off of them and scrub them well – you don’t need to peel these.
Boil the carrots for 6 – 8 minutes (they should be slightly tender).
Remove the carrots from the water and put them into a baking dish.
Once the carrots are in the baking dish, re-mix the ingredients that are in the small bowl and pour it over the hot carrots. Make sure that the carrots are completely covered with the mixture.
Place the half lemon, cut side down, in the baking pan (not on top of the carrots).
Let the carrots sit for 10 minutes.
Slide the carrots into the oven and roast for 20 minutes. (Watch the carrots if they’re especially small, you may need to cook them a shorter amount of time.)
Using the same small bowl that you mixed the dry seasoning and oil and vinegar add in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, the juice of the roasted lemon half and the chopped parsley. This is the salad dressing.
Divide the carrots between 4 plates. Top with some of the salad greens. Drizzle with some of the dressing and sprinkle with some of the seed mixture.