a cleanse of sorts

we just got back from NOLA. NOLA was fabulous. we were there for NYE, which wasn’t as crazy as i thought it was going to be. we ate amazing food, had too many beignets¬†and¬†sazeracs and walked so much…boy did we walk.

we did have a terrible meal, which was sad, it was our first real meal out in NOLA…we went to Emeril’s Delmanico. i know, i know why did we go to an Emeril restaurant? well, first of all because we thought it would be good and second of all, everyone makes bad decisions once in a while but hey, 2014 is over and that’s behind us now. ¬†the meal was just mediocre but the ambiance was THE WORST. we sat us in the back room, so lucky us, we got to walk through the kitchen. i love that kind of stuff because it makes you feel like you’re getting a little peep behind the scenes. this made me think we were going to some fancy fun back room – i was so wrong. the back room felt like a conference room at a hotel, a cheap one nonetheless. it was cold and the music was up WAY TOO loud. our starters we’re ok, nothing fancy, rory got their gumbo which was tasty. then we waited for what felt like forever to get our entrees. we even heard someone drop a plate full of food behind a door and then there was a pause and then our food was out next…either they dropped our food and re-plated it or they gave us someone else’s order. i had salmon, it was way too salty and rory had the pork which was eh. and they had a habit of refilling our water glasses the second you took one sip, which became quite annoying. it was sad but it happens. ¬†we had fabulous meals at restaurant r’evolution, bacchanal and cochon. all around it was a pretty great food experience, i’d gladly go back and do it all over again, exploring more of the city!

needless to say when we returned to LA we needed a little respite from the heavy fried foods, especially before our trip to hawaii (in a week!). and i know someone will hate me for it but we are sort of doing the goop annual detox. and when i say sort of, i mean, i picked a handful of the recipes that seemed great and we’re only doing 6 days of it. i bought SO MUCH produce. ¬†i wish that the website broke down a shopping list for you and made their recipes for 2 people doing the cleanse; beggars cannot be choosers, i get it. it was a lot of work and a few trips to the grocery store. ¬†we started today off with a juice, i doubled the recipe because the original said it made 1 12oz juice. i figured rory and i each wanted a juice. again, people make mistakes. ¬†the doubling of the juice made well over 48oz of juice and i didn’t even use all of the ingredients i was supposed to! ¬†now i fear having bought way too many greens for juices and smoothies…thanks, gwen.

for dinner we had soup…we all know how much i love soup, and this soup is so good. it’s a recipe for a roasted kabocha squash. i used butternut instead and added a sweet potato. dang, man. so tasty. you should seriously try this.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
adapted from goop
serves 3-4

1 med. butternut squash, seeds removed and cut in half (peeled and chopped if you so choose)
2T of olive oil (for roasting)
2T coconut oil
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 lg. onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4T chopped gingers (this was about 1.5 1″ pieces of fresh ginger)
1t cumin
1/2t ground coriander
1/2t garam masala (i fudged this with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg)
3C chicken stock

1. the squash (I did this midday because I had the time, which made making the soup go much faster): preheat oven to 400. season the squash halves generously with salt and pepper. i was a little heavy handed with this but it was the smart thing to do because there isn’t much salt in the rest of the dish. drizzle the squash halves with olive oil and place flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet. if you chopped, just toss it all in olive oil after seasoning in your roast pan. bake until brown and tender, about 35m…i’d say 40-45m.
2. while this is cooking, heat your coconut oil in a dutch over or similar pot over medium heat. add the onion and a pinch of salt, turn the heat down to medium low, cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes. stirring every so often until the onions are translucent and sweet.
3. add the garlic, ginger and ground spices (i like to have bowls of ingredients that are going in at the same time ready to go, so i chopped it all up while the onions were cooking and put it in a small bowl to dump when ready), turn the heat back up to high and cook for about 1 minute. add the sweet potato and cook for another minute. when the spices are fragrant and not burnt, add the stock and let simmer for about 15m (or until the squash is ready if you’re doing it all at once)
4. when the squash is cooked, let it cool a little then scrape out the flesh. The recipe says 1/2 but that’s bc you’re saving the rest for another recipe…i say do the whole thing! ¬†so you have extra soup, you won’t regret it! add to the saucepan, you should have about 2C’s cooked squash. bring the soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook slowly for 10 more minutes.
5. be so careful and use your immersion blender to make it smooth, season it if you must and dig it! mmmmmmm.

enjoy. xo