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Healthy Living Recipes

Deb Morgan: Spring, glorious spring—fresh air, bubbling new energy—is the perfect time to do some cleaning and cleansing. The recipes this month are packed with all things green. John loves green! So gather up everything green you see in the grocery store and make yourself and your family a big pot of Spring Greens Gumbo. Then enjoy a daily salad of arame and greens topped with delicious detox dressing. You’ll have so much energy that the spring housecleaning will feel like a summer breeze.

Read John Bagnulo’s commentary: Detox Nutrients.

These spring recipes contain a number of nutrients powerful in assisting detoxification. Both greens and sea vegetables are great sources of magnesium, which is important for the normal formation of numerous liver enzymes, the backbone of detoxification. Spinach, arugula, purslane, and dandelion greens are the best sources to use raw. Collards, kale, mustard greens, and bok choy are good sources that function better when steamed or braised. Additionally, these greens are very alkalinizing, contributing a significant amount of minerals and trace minerals overall. This is important as we emerge from a long winter of dietary hibernation that often is centered on animal protein and grains, both of which are acid-loading foods.

Also check out what John has to say about the Detox Dressing below.

Spring Greens Gumbo

Serves four.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 stalks celery
½ red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups chopped greens (kale, chard, collards, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, etc.)
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water or stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon gumbo file
1½ teaspoons ume vinegar

Wash and chop the vegetables. Sauté onions, celery, and peppers in extra virgin olive oil with garlic. Then add chopped greens and a cup of water or stock, and sauté for one minute. Add salt. Add rest of water or stock as well as the bay leaf and thyme. Simmer until greens are very tender. Add file and ume vinegar; blend if desired.

Arame, Kale, and Almonds

Serves four.

½ cup dry arame
1 red onion, sliced
4 cups chopped kale
½ cup toasted chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds

Soak arame in water. Meanwhile, begin sautéing onion in water until soft. Drain arame and add to onions; sauté one minute. Combine and add chopped kale. Sauté until kale is tender. Add toasted almonds, top with detox dressing, and serve. This dish is great served warm and equally great cooled and served as a cold or room-temperature salad.

Detox Dressing

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Garlic (as much as you’d like)
Fresh chopped rosemary (dill is also nice)

Combine all ingredients and enjoy on top of everything.

Read John’s take on Detox Dressing: Liver Tonic.

This dressing of extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, rosemary, and fresh squeezed lemon juice is a liver tonic used in Greek medicine for thousands of years to treat a variety of liver ailments and to assist with overall detoxification. The allicin in the garlic, the gallic acid in the olive oil, the limonene in the lemon juice, and the variety of terpenes in the rosemary all support the detoxification process.

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.