paneer

Time to Detox?

The term 'detox' is being bandied around rather a lot these days. We are told that we need to detox physically, mentally and emotionally. This colloquialism refers to healthy eating, healthy living and healthy thinking. We are lured into a world of smoothies bursting with greens, spiralized vegetables hoodwinking us into thinking we are eating pasta, super finely grated vegetables impersonating rice; and salads loaded with micro leaves, sprouted beans, seeds and nuts. Does all this healthy eating cleanse our chocolate binging, our overt weekend wine quaffing or our post-drinking craving for greasy foods?

Admittedly, I've been quite cynical about all the detox hype, despite the fact I'm all for nutritious, healthy eating. Freshly pressed vegetable juices are a great boost to our immune systems and fresh leafy green cruciferous salads are full of antioxidants. The star of the show at the moment is kale, it's the trending superfood vegetable of the season. From Beyonce's kale t-shirt to Gwyneth Paltrow advocating kale chips, kale it seems is here to stay. It has made an appearance in every supermarket and curly kale is King. With its anti-cancerous properties and with enormous amount of iron and calcium, it's definitely the super model on the catwalk of vegetables and it's strutting its stuff!

So in honour of the mighty kale, I've decided to follow the herd and I've created my very own detox kale salad. 

Detox kale salad

Serves 4-6

  • 200g Kale, very finely shredded or grated with the stalks removed
  • 300g Red Cabbage, shredded or finely grated
  • 2 Carrots, shredded or finely grated
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped into small dice
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped into small dice
  • 2 Ripe Avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 110g Paneer, chopped into small cubes (Optional)
  • 1 400g Can Kala Channa (Dark Brown Chickpeas), drained and rinsed 
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 50g Coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Handful of Pine Nuts

Method

  • Place the very finely chopped kale into a large bowl.
  • Add the red cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, red pepper, avocados, paneer, chickpeas, pine nuts and the coriander. 
  • Mix everything together and add the juice of the lemon and the lime.
  • Add the salt and the green chilli and mix well into the salad.
  • Allow the salad to rest in the fridge for at least thirty minutes, allowing the flavours to develop and the citrus to work its magic on the kale before serving.

Tips

  • You can toast the pine nuts in a dry frypan on a low to medium heat for a couple of minutes. Just keep an eye on them as they burn very quickly.
  • I sometimes chop up leftover homemade polenta into cubes and shallow fry until crispy. Sprinkle over the salad just before serving.
  • Cans of kala channa (dark brown chickpeas) are available from some supermarkets, however if you can't get these, just use a can of the regular chickpeas. The kala channa has a much nuttier flavour than regular chickpeas.
  • This salad is also the perfect accompaniment to my brunch dish, Indian Eggs with Tomatoes and Paneer.

Breakfast for Dinner

I'm a breakfast kinda gal, so breakfast, brunch or brinner, it all works for me. Sunday Brunch is a firm favourite in our household, whether it be Cecconi's in LA, Balthazar in New York, The Delaunay in London, or our local vintage tea shop, which does a mean eggs benedict. Sundays are for Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Espressos, Macchiatos and some hearty food followed by sport; whether it be football, cricket, tennis, F1 or golf. You've certainly hit the jackpot if you can watch all of the above on the same day. 

Brunch is really a feast of any-which-way eggs, pancakes, French toast and an array of fruit-inspired treats. An Indian brunch however, conjures up images of paranthas, dosas, idllis, or poha. All carb-laden, but extremely delish, yummy and definitely moreish. Enjoy my Indian eggs with my refreshing Strawberry Lassi, a slightly sweet, fruity, yoghurt-based drink.

Indian Eggs with Tomatoes and Paneer

Serves 2

  • 4 Eggs, free range
  • 100g Paneer, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato, finely chopped 
  • 1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper, freshly ground

Method

  • In a medium frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped onions and chopped chilli. Fry on a moderate heat, until the onions are golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the paneer and fry for a further minute. The paneer will start to brown a little.
  • Crack the four eggs into the pan being careful not to break the yolks. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the egg whites are set. Place in a pre-heated moderate oven for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Grind some rock salt and some freshly ground pepper over the eggs.
  • Sprinkle the eggs with the chopped coriander.
  • Place the eggs onto a plate. The yolks should still be slightly runny.
Photo 05-06-2015 14 10 49.jpg

Tips

  • You can beat the eggs, rather than leaving them whole to make scrambled eggs. Add the beaten egg to the onion, tomato, paneer mixture and stir on a low to medium heat and then serve.
  • Enjoy the eggs with my detox kale salad.

 

Strawberry Lassi

Serves 4

  • 250g Greek fat free Yoghurt
  • 250g Strawberries, hulled
  • 500ml Water
  • 2 tbsp sugar to taste or Stevia equivalent 
  • 6 ice cubes

Method

  • Use a blender to blend all the ingredients together. Make sure that your blender has the capacity to crush ice, otherwise leave this out and add ice cubes into each glass after blending.

Tips

  • Use any variation of fruit that you enjoy, or leave it au naturel.
  • Mango, strawberry and banana are favourites in our house.