Almost nothing smells worse than rotten chicken.
Rocking through day two of the Bon Appétit Food Lover’s Cleanse, which, let’s be clear is not really a cleanse, I hit a couple of bumps in the road. We’ll get to the rotten chicken in time.
I got up a bit earlier than usual so I could put together the Avocado and Smoked Salmon on Rye Crackers for both of us, and while assembling the little open-faced sandwiches I was hit with some lightheadedness and nearly passed out. I recovered ably after a few minutes and pressed on, managing to forget the lemon wedges (P.S. there’s a lot of lemon required of these recipes). I made my black tea and settled in for a pretty nice breakfast.
So, about that black tea. I’m a coffee drinker. I don’t drink a lot, but I definitely prefer it to tea. But I wasn’t really clear if tea was OK on the cleanse because I couldn’t find a summary of guidelines–like are snacks “allowed” even when they aren’t listed in the meal plan? What can I drink besides water? I decided to look for the cleanse info from previous years and found this link for the guidelines from 2013. Very helpful. So I ate a clementine and a scoche of the chocolate bark that’s for dessert for an afternoon snack.
After a bit of work and some appointments this morning I was ready for lunch. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it so much, since it featured the roasted vegetables from last night and mine weren’t especially roasty. It also featured the Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette which was much too oily for my taste. I tend to make my vinaigrette heavier on the acid than the traditional ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part acid, but this recipe was 4 parts oil (olive and walnut) to acid, with a healthy dose of mustard. Which still didn’t cut the mustard, I mean, the oil. I added a bit more vinegar, but it still didn’t quite work for me. Paul loved it, however!
The salad @TheRealLisaG made was delightful and got many compliments in the lunch room: greens, beets, carrots, quinoa, mustard dressing.
— Paul Benjamin (@thepaulbenjamin) January 2, 2014
I really liked the dinner tonight, despite the aforementioned rotten chicken. I made white beans from scratch in the crockpot and hacked away at the herbs and garlic for the chicken, the Red Pepper-Walnut Spread (which is more of a Red Pepper-Pecan Relish), and the White Bean Salad with Pomegranate and Parsley. I got my sides ready while the beets for later in the week roasted in the oven.
I’d decided to roast a whole chicken I bought over the weekend instead of making chicken breasts for the Pan-Roasted Chicken with Red Pepper-Walnut Spread, and I had my thyme-garlic mixture all ready to shove under the skin. I added a little olive oil and salt and pepper to make it sort of a paste.
And then I opened the chicken package. Not. Good. Also, it was like $13 or something, thank you Trader Joe’s Organic!
Fortunately I’d done the shopping for the full week and had some chicken thighs (which I much prefer to breasts anyway) on hand, so the icky chicken was just a minor speed bump. Chicken went into the oven while I broke into the largest pomegranate I’ve ever seen and fended off the stalking dog who wanted both the chicken and the pomegranate. Weirdo.
The dinner came out really well, though I did have to substitute lime for lemon in the bean salad and pecans for the walnuts in the red pepper dish. I’d definitely make the bean salad again, with lemon or lime.