Day 11 on the Goop Cleanse Elimination Diet - No dairy, eggs, tomatoes, bananas, corn, red meat, pork, gluten, soy, sugar, coffee, or alcohol (among other foods).
I am officially more than halfway through the 21-Day Goop Cleanse process. I'm still feeling great eating this food and even noticed that my jeans feel a bit loose. It's not a big change, but after wearing the same pair of jeans for over 2 years, I can tell when there's a change.
I have gradually shifted to follow the Cleanse schedule of having a larger meal in the middle of the day and having a smoothie for breakfast and either a smoothie or soup for dinner. I've always been hungrier in the afternoon, and it feels good to eat the majority of my food in the middle of the day when I'm the most active.
As far as cooking goes, I've turned to my favorite vegetarian recipe writers for inspiration, Mollie Katzen and Heidi Swanson. Even though I can eat chicken, turkey, and some fish on the Cleanse, my focus has mainly been on the vegetables and gluten-free whole grains, and Mollie Katzen and Heidi Swanson have such creative ways to prepare vegetables and grains that I haven't found myself bored with the Elimination Diet yet.
Yesterday I decided to try Mollie Katzen's "Lentil Soup with a Hint of Fruit" recipe because the mixture of lentils, dried apricots, and balsamic vinegar intrigued me. I loved this soup - it's an unexpectedly exquisite combination of flavors. Since I'm always tinkering with things, I changed the cooking method a bit and added in some shredded carrots for texture. I also puréed a couple cups of the soup at the end to give the broth a thicker, creamier texture. To make the soup a heartier (vegan and gluten-free) lunch, add some cooked quinoa or millet to the soup.
Mollie's Vegan Red Lentil Soup with Dried Apricots (8 servings)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups minced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
3 medium carrots, shredded
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
8 cups water or homemade chicken or vegetable stock (I used a combination of water and stock)
1 cup dried apricots, minced (about 4.5 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (adjust according to your taste)
Black pepper and cayenne, to taste
1. Heat a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the cumin, mustard, and garlic and stir to coat the vegetables in the seasonings. Cook for another minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the lentils and water and/or stock to the pot and increase the heat to bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils for about 25-30 minutes, until soft.
3. Add the apricots and salt, cover the pot, and let the soup sit for about 15 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and add black and cayenne pepper to taste. Also, add any additional salt if necessary.
4. Optional: To give the soup a creamier consistency, add 2-3 cups of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the puréed soup.
The soup can be served at this point or stored for up to several days in the refrigerator (and even longer in the freezer I would guess).
Serve this soup hot, and add a bit of yogurt and some fresh parsley if you like. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you can make this dish a bit heartier for a work lunch by adding some cooked whole grains. Millet was great, and I imagine that quinoa or brown rice would work as well.
Nutrition facts for one serving of soup
Serving Size 354 g