Eating out frequently, together with desserts and glasses of wine and not enough healthy home cooked food often leads to weight gain, lethargy and the need to bring balance back into your life. At times like this, I try to take back control of my diet and weight with a mini detox. By mini detox, I mean giving my body a rest for a few days from fats, sugar and alcohol. This takes stress off the liver and pancreas and helps to shed the recently gained extra kilos.
The problem with detoxing is that you really need to make all meals yourself to ensure you eat a low fat, low sugar and highly nutritious diet. We don’t all have time to make breakfast, lunch and dinner and so at these feeling out of kilter periods, I make chicken soup. Lots of it.
The great thing about this soup is that it has lots of veggies, lots of protein and is low in fat and sugar. The stock also contains silica which improves the structure and function of connective tissue such as skin, hair and nails. It’s easy to make and can be used for lunch or dinner for up to a week.
For variation at each meal, it can be served over different cooked grains/legumes such as lentils, cannellini beans, quinoa, brown rice or pearl barley. Green leafy veggies are great for detoxing the liver but feel free to vary. Instead of adding extra salt to taste, top your soup bowl with a teaspoon of Umeboshi paste. Umeboshi helps to stimulate the liver and kidneys and detoxify the body of toxins.
Try to use organic meat and veg whenever possible.
· 1 whole organic chicken
· Onion (halved)
· Bay leaf
· 6 peppercorns
· Tbsp of olive oil
· 2 or 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
· 2 carrots (finely chopped)
· 2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
· 2 onions (finely chopped)
· 2 leeks (roughly chopped)
· Mixture of other green veg/cruciferous veg such as broccoli, kale, spinach, silverbeet, cavalo nero
· 2 x bay leaves
· Macrobiotic salt/unrefined sea salt
· Optional: drizzle of unrefined brown flaxseed oil to serve
In large saucepan, submerge chicken in water (enough water to cover chicken) and add onion, carrot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Pour chicken stock into separate saucepan and skim fat off the top. Separate chicken meat from the bone removing the fat, chop roughly and set aside.
Heat the oil and throw in the chopped carrot, celery, onion and garlic and sweat on a low heat for 25 minutes. Then throw in rest of vegetables and oregano and stir for few minutes. Add the chicken meat, stock and bay leaves, bring to the boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or less if you can’t wait. Season to taste and add chopped parsley. Serve over choice grains or legumes.