After a period of hibernation, we start waking up for Spring! The milder weather has us yearning for lighter meals after the heavy comfort foods of winter. Summer is on its way and with it the pressure of being able to wear shorts and swimming costumes without wincing every time we look in the mirror…..
Spring is the time when a lot of us think about ‘detoxing’ both as a means of losing weight and also feeling ‘cleaner and lighter’. Most of us do not necessarily need (or want!) to do a ‘hardcore detox’ as our liver and kidneys naturally do a fantastic detox job for us. We can however give them a helping hand by ensuring that we eat the right vitamins and minerals to support the natural detoxification cycles of the liver. A potentially post winter sluggish and tired digestive tract will welcome nutritious and and easy to digest proteins such as chicken, fish and tofu. It’s also important that our meals contain sufficient amounts of fibre (in the form of vegetables, fruits and whole grains) to help us excrete toxins and waste products.
Also check out a great Weekend Detox PlanRELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
So, ‘Spring into Spring’ with these 5 wonderful original detox dinner recipe ideas
These recipes use seasonal ingredients and are naturally light, delicious and healthy.
All the recipes serve 1 unless stated otherwise:
Chinese Baked Fish a la Detox
A firm favourite and delicious enough to eat all year round:
1 fillet white fish (approximately 120-150g)
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1/4 small red fresh chili, finely chopped
1 small slice fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tsps soy sauce
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1 small handful chopped coriander
1 tsp sesame oil
Heat oven to 180 degrees. Place fish on an oiled sheet of foil (it needs to be big enough to make a parcel) Scatter all the other ingredients over the top. Season. Fold up the foil to make a parcel and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Serve with stir fried or steamed vegetables and brown basmati rice. Eat with a big smile!
For the ‘wich’
1 sheet of seaweed
1/2 ripe avocado
1 handful of bean sprouts
1 handful of baby spinach leaves
1 tsp mixed seeds (sunflower and sesame)
100g cooked prawns or tofu
Chopped fresh coriander and mint
For the ‘su’
1 dessert spoon rice vinegar
1 dessert spoon soya sauce
1 tsp chopped picked ginger
Make the sandwich:
Cut the sheet of seaweed into 2 along the diagonal so you have 2 large triangles. Moisten slightly by flicking water over them (otherwise the seaweed sticks to your mouth!). Spread each triangle with the mashed avocado and then scatter over the other ingredients. Roll up each triangle into a cone shape.
Make the sauce:
Mix all the sauce ingredients together and use as a dip for the cones.
‘Detox’ Cauliflower Pizza
Makes 1 medium pizza, enough for 2 servings.
Can you actually eat pizza during a detox? Oh yes! The cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale and broccoli contain a number of plant substances called phytochemicals which help to support the liver’s detoxification cycles.
For the base:
1/2 head of cauliflower
3 eggs, beaten
100g ground almonds
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
For the topping:
Mixed roasted vegetables (refer to the ‘Harissa Chicken by Nutrition in Paris’ recipe)
3 large tablespoons passata
75g feta cheese/Goat’s cheese or smoked tofu
To make the base:
Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a food processor, chop the cauliflower into ‘breadcrumbs’. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and mix in the almonds, eggs, herbs and seasoning. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough (you may need to add more cauliflower/eggs/almonds).
Prepare a baking tray with an oiled sheet of baking paper. Use your hands to pat out the cauliflower dough to form a 20cm circle. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the base is golden.
Move from the oven and spread with the passata. Scatter over the roasted vegetables and the cheese or tofu. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes and serve with a green salad.
Harissa Chicken by Nutrition in Paris
You can double up on the roasted vegetables so you have a some vegetables left over for our cauliflower pizza recipe below! There’s some studies which indicate that eating chillies might actually increase our metabolic rate slightly and therefore help to support weight control….Let’s get fat burning!
1 chicken breast
1 tsp harissa pasta
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 courgette, cut into batons
1/2 red pepper, cut into batons
1/2 small aubergine cut into batons
1/2 sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 2 cm cubes
1/2 red onion, sliced
8 asparagus spears, cut in half
1 dessert spoon olive oil
Chopped fresh mint and parsley to serve.
Heat oven to 200 degrees.
Make 3-4 deep cuts on the chicken breast, but don’t cut all the way through. Mix the harrisa paste and lime juice together and rub over the chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes.
Place all the vegetables except the asparagus on a baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Season. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the asparagus spears and then place the chicken breast on top of the vegetables and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are slightly browned. Scatter over the fresh herbs and enjoy with relish!
Super Strawberries with cashew cream
The cashew cream makes enough for 3-4 servings, so serve the left over cream with other seasonal fresh spring fruit.
1 small punnet strawberries, sliced
1tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp date syrup
1 dessert spoon of chopped fresh mint
1 tsp sesame seeds
75g raw cashew nuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
For the cashew cream:
Soak the cashew nuts overnight in water. Drain and then blend with the other ingredients and additional water to make a thick ‘cream’
Place the strawberries in a bowl and drizzle over the vinegar and syrup. Scatter over the mint and sesame seeds and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of cashew cream and enjoy this virtuous ‘detox’ dessert!
Want more detox ideas? Here they are: