I think we can all agree that a little detox here and there feels nice.
The problem with most cleanses, especially in the winter in North America, is that they are largely raw. And though I do believe in the power of raw vegetables as a supplement to a more balanced diet, eating only raw vegetables (and juices) can leave you feeling drained, bloated, tired, and calorie deficient. So, though these cleanses might make you feel better in the short term, in the long term it’s just not sustainable, or healthy.
Think of all of the times you have craved hot stew or soup on a hot summer day. Zero, right? Your body just doesn’t need that to find balance in the summer. It already has all the yang it can handle with the summer heat. Inversely, in the winter, our bodies are trying to balance the cooler weather and slower energies (yin) by craving warmer, thicker, more substantial and longer cooked foods (yang). It doesn’t need more raw, cold, sweet foods, which will only contribute to a cold, slow, tired feeling in the body in the winter.
This dish is so warming and so comforting that you’ll almost forget how good it is for you. The folate in bok choy has been shown to reduce the risks of certain cancers, and the selenium helps your body to detoxify by decreasing inflammation and increasing our body’s immune responses. The vitamin A in the kabocha squash makes it great skin food and a great way to combat heart disease. Also, they are just plain delicious. The recipe is simple and the process of cooking it is almost as nurturing as eating it.
Balancing Brown Rice Bowl
(Makes 1 Serving)
1/2 cup cooked short grain brown rice
1 head baby bok choy, chopped (or 1 cup of any dark leafy green you have in the fridge)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 kabocha squash (roasted)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp liquid aminos
Preheat the oven to 425. Chop the kabocha squash into 2 inch chunks and roast with olive oil for about 45 minutes, turning over half way through. In a large wok or a deep skillet, heat the sesame oil until it becomes shiny. Add the bok choy and carrots. Stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes until the greens start to cook down. Add in the cooked rice, roasted squash, rice vinegar and liquid aminos. Stir-fry until heated through.
Serve with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.