Detox Diet

9 Jan

So for the past five days, I’ve been on a detox diet.

I’m on the diet for a story that I’m working on about the fad of detox and cleanse diets, and the story will be partly about my personal experience. Let me just say that Wednesday (a.k.a. “day seven,” the final day!) can’t get here soon enough.

Though I also know it could be worse: my friend Quentin sent me a clip from “This American Life” where a reporter went on a three-week fast without any solid food.

So yesterday, after a trip to the Asian market, which is always a fun adventure, I made miso soup. A lot of the recipes on the diet I’m following fall firmly into the “bland” category, and I’ve been having poor results with a lot of them — they just haven’t been turning out right, which is pretty frustrating.

This soup was an exception. It was really tasty, and actually pretty closely resembled the miso soup I’ve had at Japanese restaurants, though because my diet doesn’t include soy, mine didn’t have tofu.

Miso Soup (adapted from a cleanse designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger.)

6 cups water
a bit less than a half cup of dried bonito flakes (find them at the Asian Market, 321 N 76th St.)
3 dried Shitake mushrooms, plus a handful more that you reconstitute separately (find them at the Asian Market.)
1/2 cup (or to taste) dried wakame (it’s the green stuff you see floating in the bowl above. Also from the Asian Market.)
6 tbsp miso paste (I used light miso, but use what you like best. It’s in the refrigerated section of the Asian Market by the produce.)
matchstick sliced carrots and zucchini and sliced white mushrooms (you can add whatever type of vegetables you like.)

I suggest adding Tofu if you are not on a soy-free diet.

Heat the water in a medium pot and when bubbles begin to form around the edge, add the bonito flakes. Turn the heat down and simmer for two minutes, then turn off the heat and let the broth sit for five minutes. Strain the broth and discard the bonito flakes.

Return the broth to a clean pot and add the three dried shitakes and the wakame to the broth and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Pull out the mushrooms, discard the stems and slice the tops. Add the vegetables of your choice and raise the heat a bit, but be careful not to boil the soup.

In a small bowl, blend the miso paste with a bit of the broth and whisk together. Pour the miso mixture into the pot and stir, then let the soup simmer for about ten minutes.

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