K-Rock and I got home last night from a short trip to Minneapolis where it was relatively easy to find detox-friendly food while out with friends. Saturday night, we went to a restaurant, Cafe Maude, in south Minneapolis, where the “vegetarian inspiration of the moment” was a gluten-free, vegan black lentil cassoulet. Delicious. Nourishing. Satisfying. It’s great to get out of Fargo and be in a city where healthy, clean eating is not only embraced, but is the norm as well.
I have to admit, however, Saturday night’s celebration, which included both a birthday dinner earlier in the evening and a house party later that night, tested every inch of my self-control. The wine poured freely into the glasses of everyone around me while I sipped on tepid chamomile. Engaging in conversation was even a bit of a struggle for me because I couldn’t comment on the calamari and mussels our table ate for the first course. Later, at the house party, people were getting a little loose and I progressively got more annoyed, as often happens when I’m the only stone-cold sober person in the room. So I asked my gracious guest to show me to my room where I laid down on an air mattress and fell asleep to the sounds of late-night laughter.
Since we got home later in the day, I didn’t have much energy to cook for today’s lunch at the office. Fortunately, I had a lot of great root vegetables stocked up in the fridge that were just screaming to be added to a soup, along with some rice and beans. I’m calling it Lonna’s Everything Vegan Detox Soup because it has everything in it that I didn’t feel like saving for just the right moment, because that’s how I end up wasting perfectly good produce. I was able to use a few leftovers, too, including some chick peas I had left over from Friday night’s Wild Rice Stuffed Portabella Shepherd’s Pie with Whipped Rosemary Squash.
One of my top ten favorite food brands, Bob’s Red Mill, has a fantastic soup starter called Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix. It includes a variety of protein-abundant beans and gut-cleansing grains. I like to use it when I cook chili, or in this case, an everything in the refrigerator kind of soup that’s both filling and nutrient-rich. Add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce and reap the cleansing benefits of capsaicin!
I’m also calling it Lonna’s Everything Vegan Detox Soup because you can pretty much add any vegetable to it and it’s going to taste pretty darn good. This time, I added a lot of cabbage for its liver detoxifying powers. If cabbage makes you gassy, try adding cauliflower or green beans. If those make you gassy too, you’re likely not eating enough vegetables.
The more you eat your veggies and beans (the magical fruit), the less you’ll toot!
Lonna’s Everything Vegan Detox Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp crushed dried rosemary
1/2 head of chopped cabbage
1 red onion
2 C stewed tomatoes, with juice
2 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 C Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, saute the red onion in the olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the stewed tomatoes and their juice and simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime, wash, prep and chop all the veggies. Here’s the magic of this soup: From here on out, you get to add everything all at once, making it literally the easiest meal you’ll make all week.
After the onion, garlic and tomatoes have simmered for 10 minutes, add the remaining ingredients, including the herbs and a cup or two of water. Season with Bragg Liquid Aminos and more cayenne if you desire more of a kick. Simmer on medium to low heat for one hour or until the beans are tender. Top with chopped avocado if you want a creamy texture.