Before I started the Cleanse, I decided that I wasn't going to worry about losing any weight. I knew that if I decided to follow the Elimination Diet with the intention of losing weight, I might lose sight of the real reason I'm doing the Cleanse - which is learning how to cook and eat foods that make me feel great. Therefore, I will wait until the end to check in with the weight issue, but for now, I'm just trying to cook up the new foods on my list.
I love the fact that the Cleanse focuses on maximizing your fresh fruit and vegetable intake. I am always looking for new ways to get more produce into my diet, and when I can't have coffee, dairy, and oats, I find myself reaching for even more fruits and vegetables during the day. I thought that it would be difficult to cut out my breakfast grains (oats, bulgur, multigrain toast) and eggs but I have been surprisingly satisfied with my smoothie creations on the Cleanse. I was used to drinking breakfast smoothies before, but they usually included bananas and/or instant coffee (neither of which are allowed on the Cleanse). The Vitamix helps a lot, and I've been switching up my homemade non-dairy milks with pumpkin seed milk for some extra protein and adding some sesame seeds to my favorite cashew milk. I love trying new creative ways to use foods on the list because it makes meals a bit more interesting.
Goop Cleanse Manual gave me the inspiration for the Millet Risotto, and I added a small fillet of broiled tilapia for additional protein and a big green salad.
Roasted Winter Squash and Sage Millet Risotto (4 servings as entrée, 5-6 as side dish)
Adapted from the Goop Cleanse Manual
4 cups low sodium organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced – divided in half
1 cup millet
2 ½ cups roasted winter squash*
Handful of fresh parsley, minced (optional, but really great to throw in at the end)
Kosher salt and pepper
*I roasted 1 small butternut squash and 1 small acorn squash the night before – tossed with olive oil and kosher salt, roasted at 425 degrees, 25 minutes, flip the squash halfway through. I stored the roasted squash in the refrigerator overnight and warmed it up in the oven as I made the risotto. You can easily roast the squash as you’re making the risotto – just get the squash in the oven before you start the risotto.
1. Add the broth to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. In a larger pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 Tablespoon of the fresh sage and stir for about a minute.
3. Add the millet, and sauté for about a minute, stirring to coat the millet in the oil and herbs. Add in about 1 cup of the vegetable broth and stir. Turn the heat up to about medium-high until the broth comes to a boil in the millet. Turn the heat to medium and wait for most of the broth to be absorbed before adding additional broth. Continue to add ½ cup of broth every few minutes until you have used up all the broth. Stir the risotto frequently to ensure that it does not stick to the pan.
4. Continue to cook the risotto until the broth has mostly been absorbed but the risotto is still moist – 20-25 minutes. Add in the warm roasted squash and stir to combine the mixture. (At this point, you can turn the heat down to low, or even off, and cover the risotto while you finish preparing the fish). Add the last tablespoon of sage and the fresh parsley to the risotto immediately before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition facts for 1 serving of risotto as anentrée, assuming you get 4 total servings:
Serving Size 442 g
Nutrition facts for one serving of risotto as a side dish (as pictured), assuming you get 6 servings:
Serving Size 295 g
Clean Green Salad (Makes 2 servings)
3 cups mixed organic greens – I used baby kale and baby spinach
1 small cucumber, or ½ large cucumber, chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 Tablespoons roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
Salt and black pepper
Combine the greens, cucumber, onions, avocado, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the top of the salad, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the salad and serve.