Detoxin' All Cool

Posted by Cariset on

Wooden table with spices and lemon

I just got back from a two-week trip to India and Israel, and let me tell you, I ate ALL of the food, and especially all of the bread (so much naan with... everything... so much pita with hummus... how could I not?!). I'm a huge fan of indulging when I travel - I love experiencing local cultures through food. But once I'm back in the U.S., I like to get back on track. This week, I made two detox recipes - both of which are PERFECT to bring to work in the bottom compartment of your Cariset backpack. I love making meals that I can reheat easily for lunch later in the week, and both of these recipes fit the bill. I'm also a believer in bringing soup to work - just throw it in a snap-lock container and put the bag's waterproof lining to the test!

Detox Soup

YIELD: 4 servings
TIME: 1 hour 30 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and pounded*
  • 1 4-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 carrot, cut into large pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into large pieces
  • 1 shallot, peeled and halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 dried Thai chili pepper (I used red chili flakes instead; you could also use cayenne pepper)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 5-ounce package of baby spinach

* Lemongrass is weird. Peel off the rough outer leaves until you uncover a light, softer stalk near the root. I like to chop it up and then pound the stalk with the side of my knife to release the oils.

Step 1: Throw everything except for the spinach into a large soup pot. Add 6 cups of water and place over medium heat. Once the soup is simmering, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for ~45 minutes, or until the chicken cooks through. 

Step 2: Let the soup cool for 20-30 minutes. Pull the chicken out and shred it. I like to use two forks to shred the meat. Set shredded chicken aside. 

Step 3: Strain the broth and then return the strained broth to the pot. Add the shredded chicken and package of baby spinach and bring the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Serve immediately or portion into tupperware to bring for lunch during the week. Each serving of soup is only 119 calories, but the chicken and spinach are so filling you'd never know!

Chickpea and Eggplant with Couscous

YIELD:
 2-4 servings
TIME: 40 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggplants, peeled and chopped* 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (olive oil or whatever you like to use)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

INGREDIENTS - TAHINI SAUCE (OPTIONAL) 

  • 1/4 cup of tahini (find this at Trader Joe's!)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to taste)

* Don't like eggplant? Leave it out!

Step 1: Cook the couscous according to package instructions. While the couscous is cooking, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. 

Step 2: While oil is heating, combine tahini sauce ingredients in food processor. Once oil is hot (to test this, throw a piece of onion in and see if it sizzles!), add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. The add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  

Step 3: Add the eggplant, tomatoes, and chickpeas and cook over low heat for about 5 more minutes. Add cooked couscous to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Top with tahini and parsley and voila! 

Thanks to Giada and Dishing Up the Dirt.

 

 

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