So remember the other week when I was patting myself on the back for resisting the urges of drowning my anxiety in comfort food? Turns out that resistance was short-lived. Stress, Easter candy, and some hormones (who always seem to stop by when it’s not a good time) made for the perfect storm.
While I wasn’t eating fast food or going through containers of ice cream in a night, there definitely were more “treats” than I typically have, and in general, I was just eating too much. I could feel it taking a toll on my mood and my energy, not to mention my midsection. After I had a dream where I was freaking out on my sister’s wedding day because I had forgotten to buy Spanx to go under my dress, I knew something needed to change. Fortunately, as I was considering doing a shorter version of The Cleanse, my sister mentioned a three-day detox in the May issue of Whole Living.
This was exactly what I was looking for. Just three days of veggie- and fruit-heavy meals to get myself back on track. And after (almost) three weeks of avoiding grains, dairy, and meat in January, three days seems like no big deal. What I also love about this detox is that the menu is the same every day, and the recipes each yield three servings, so there is a lot of prep on the first day, but then not too much for the rest of the time.
So far I only have one complaint but I can’t really blame the writers at Whole Living since I am guessing they were not anticipating that their readers would be dealing with 90-degree days in mid-April. That being said, cooking a giant pot of soup in hot weather is rough. Especially when the hot weather is unexpected and the air conditioning units are still packed away in the basement. It’s a good thing this soup was really yummy and worth the sweat (literally). I followed the recipe pretty closely, except that I doubled it (Nick is doing this detox too!). Since I was a little short on carrots (I had about 10 or 11 instead of 14), I also added a zucchini to increase the veggie volume a bit.
I love the idea of letting a serving’s worth of spinach wilt in the hot soup just before serving, instead of mixing it all in with the whole batch of soup. It prevents the spinach from shriveling up beyond recognition. And the lemon and dill add bright, fresh flavors that feel perfect for spring, even on an unseasonably hot spring day!
Carrot-Spinach Soup with Dill (adapted from Whole Living, May 2012; makes six servings)
The Base (yields six 3-cup servings)
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, diced
10-11 carrots, diced (this yielded aout 5 or 6 cups)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp coarse salt
1 pound of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large zucchini, diced
In a pot over medium heat, cook onion in oil until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in carrots, turmeric, and salt.
Add 20 cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer, 30 minutes.
Add beans and zucchini, cook until just tender, about 4 minutes (Whole Living said this should take two minutes, but even at four minutes the beans were pretty crunchy. Since I knew this soup would be reheated, I left them a little crunchy.)
For Each Serving
1 packed cup baby spinach
3 tbsp freshly chopped dill
2 tbsp lemon juice
To serve, fill bowl (you’ll need a big one!) with spinach and dill. Ladle 3 cups of hot soup over greens, cover with a plate, and let steep for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.