BLOG — Simple foods to retrain the palate
- Published: April 14, 2011
It’s Day 11 on the cleanse regimen of vegetables and fruit, and I’m putting myself to sleep each night dreaming of chocolate cake layered with silky ganache. Given the choice, I generally choose salt over sugar. But this purification party has me searching for the quickest path to a glycemic rush, and in my mind that means diving headlong into dessert. But instead, the best I can do is pineapple, nature’s candy.
It turns out that after a week of eating very simply, fruit does begin to taste like candy, with very deep flavor. Oranges taste like a soda pop factory, and pears are like French custard. I find that vegetables such as celery have their own salt, and that parsley has a peppery taste that feels like it scrubs as it goes down. But after several days of renewed gratitude for the simple and singular taste of asparagus, or butternut squash, I relapse into seeing each food as an ingredient rather than an end unto itself. Instead of cabbage for dinner, I want Russian cabbage stirfry with caraway and mustard. Instead of a tomato I want gazpacho with garlic and cilantro.
You can retrain your palate, but it takes more than the 21 days I’m giving this cleanse to make your mind forget the alluring complexities foods can create when they marry. These are some that worked within the parameters of the cleanse. I think they strike a good balance between appreciating the integral taste of each ingredient and lifting the spirit with a combination that’s more exciting than one thing can create on its own.
Russian cabbage steamfry —
2 T olive oil
1 small head green cabbage, rough-chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced (half cooked, half smashed with salt and kept raw)
one bunch kale, beet greens, or other greens, stems finely chopped and leaves rough chopped
one bunch parsley, minced
½ t fennel seeds
1 t caraway seeds
2 t mustard or 1 t mustard powder
1 T lemon juice
1T olive oil
Saute the cabbage and 1/2 the garlic until just beginning to wilt (5 mins.). Add kale, seeds, mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook uncovered until softened (10 mins.) Remove from heat and add parsley, salty garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
4 large tomatoes
1 large green pepper
3 large garlic cloves, smashed with salt
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 T lime juice
2 T olive oil
Mince 1/3 of all the vegetables and put in a bowl. Put the rest in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add to bowl and mix with garlic, cilantro, lime and olive oil. Serve with chopped avocado sprinkled on top.
Brussels sprouts with ginger
3 C Brussels sprouts
2 T olive oil
1 T fresh minced ginger
Trim sprouts and cut each in half. Steam fry in olive oil with ginger.