I must say I feel I’ve let you down a bit and have lost a bit of momentum in my creativity, in terms of the food that I’ve been preparing for this blog. I was hoping that I could come out with recipes that made you go “WOW!” every day, but some days, all I feel like eating are a simple salad or a piece of fruit.
Having said that, I did try a couple of new recipes over the past few days. I’ve also been out to eat for two meals, and was happy to take a break from cooking! I was scared that I might be limited by the choices on the menu, but the two restaurants I chose are really wonderful for anyone on a detox or health mission.
For me: scrambled eggs with chives, grilled asparagus and tomato
I like my eggs hotel-style, soft and a little runny. I beat 2 eggs with a bit of water (milk or cream when I’m not on detox!), salt and pepper. Cook them in a saucepan over low heat, watching constantly and stirring frequently. When the eggs are still a bit wet, add the chives and turn off the stove – the eggs will continue to cook a little in the pan.
For him: Soft boiled eggs and ‘soldiers’ with grilled asparagus
Our friend ER is in town so we had a big dinner gathering. Because of the detox, my friends were forced to eat somewhere more healthy and less atmospheric, but they are all troopers and went along with it. I booked a table at Pure Restaurant in Soho, although it was rather unnecessary since the restaurant was pretty much empty at the back section when we arrived. They have a great selection of menus (brunch, set lunch, afternoon tea), and their all-day menu has many healthy choices, vegetarian options as well as some with nutritional values. Portions are on the large side, and the staff were happy to answer my questions and also helpful when I requested that cooking was limited to only using olive oil. They also have a great selection of yummy juices, smoothies, and protein shakes if that is what you’re into.
I woke up early in the morning and excitedly took out the ingredients to make my Baba Ghanoush!
|The finished product!|
|Awww, kissing straws…|
|The apple juice stands alone…|
|Sweet potato fries with ‘tofunaise’ – made with tofu, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. The mustard made it a no-go for me, but the fries were tasty, salty, and crisp – all the things you miss in a potato fry!|
|Italian Omelette: Artichoke, peppers, rocket, pesto, vegetarian sausage, mozzarella cheese and rocket.|
I was so excited by everyone else’s meals that I forgot to take a picture of my own! I ordered the Life deli salad selection, a huge plate covered with 3 salads, broccoli (hold the feta), quinoa and tofu, and a deal at $88! I can never get my quinoa to taste as good as theirs no matter how I try, it’s quite frustrating!
I did find a clump of hair (not a strand, a substantial clump) in my broccoli towards the end of my meal. They did give me a new (smaller) plate however, and took it off the bill without my mentioning, which was a nice (even if expected) gesture. It certainly wouldn’t stop me from ordering it again – it’s the first incident, and sometimes these things happen…
We had a late dinner that day, so had a little snack beforehand to carry us through…
|A duo of guacamole and baba ghanoush on rice cakes, with boiled egg.|
|For dinner, a pan fried black-cod steak, with a crispy garlic, shallot and chili garnish|
I ‘borrowed’ the black cod steak from my mother’s freezer, she buys a whole frozen fish from Woo Hing Hong Frozen Meats in Causeway Bay, and has them cut them into thick steaks for her. It’s a delicious tasty fish, and is lovely to eat just pan fried with salt and pepper, 3-4 minutes each side depending on thickness.
For the garnish, heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan until just hot. Add sliced garlic, shallot and fresh chopped chili (or chili flakes), and cook over very low heat to infuse the oil. The turn up a bit to crisp the garlic and pour over the fish.
Day 8 (Tuesday), PB made another amazing meal, a recipe that he found and adapted for my detox, and it was so tasty! I’d highly recommend for you to try it – it takes a bit more time, but it’s worth it.
Axoa, pronounced “achoa”, is a veal stew from Pays Basque. It’s hearty and at the same time the veal is light and flavorful.
AXOA – VEAL STEW
You’ll need (to serve 4):
1kg shoulder of veal (he used veal shank)
1 red pepper
8 green chilies (mild)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/4 litre of water (or veal/beef stock post detox)
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
Cut the veal, onions, and peppers roughly into 1-2cm cubes. Cook the veal in a frying pan with the olive oil until the water from the meat has evaporated. This recipe called for shoulder, but the veal shank was very flavorful – he removed the meat from the bones, then saved the bones.
In a pan deep enough to cook the stew, heat some oil then add the onions, peppers, chilies, garlic and bay leaf and cook until soft.
Add the dried chili flakes (to taste) and the water, then cover. If using veal shank, add the bones to the pan here, and they will make a stock while stewing. Cook over low heat for 40 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. We ate it together with plain quinoa. Even without the stock, this was a very effective dish.
I am determined to see this detox through, and feel like I’ve done myself an injustice by eating that Chinese New Year Dinner. There’s no use crying over spilt soy milk, and it would have been a miserable CNY if I had stuck to just steamed fish while everyone else’s chopsticks danced around the table, clearing the serving dishes at will.
Therefore I’ve decided to continue the detox past the required 12 days, for a further 5 days until the 2nd of February, to make up for the days preceding CNY.
For the moment, 9 more days and counting!
Exercise: Friday – none. Saturday – Hatha Yoga. Sunday – A walk around The Peak. Monday – Hike from Braemar Hill to KornHill. Tuesday – 5km on the treadmill.
Feel-good activities: Friday – 1 hour body massage. Saturday – 50 min. foot massage. Monday – ride around town on the motorcycle, vroom vroom! Tuesday – steam room at the gym
Weight: Didn’t check!
How I feel in 3 works or phrases: Guilty, recharged with a renewed goal, like a lucky rooster.