We are moving towards brigther and lighter days, but sometimes on those really gray Berlin winter days, you can’t really notice it. I felt like I needed a little energy boost and thought that I’m probably not the only one after all the christmas food and New Years Eve drinks! Maybe some of us even made New Year’s resolutions incuding a more healthy and lighter lifestyle. This made me set the theme for my Pop Up Kitchen, a Detox/Retox dinner. I guess Detoxing is all the rage at the moment, with juices, cleanses and clean eating. I like to take some inspiration from this way of eating but I also like the occasional glass of wine to brighten up the day, hence the retox.
As a starter I served a green pea soup with mint, parsley and dill. I topped it with hemp- and sunflower seeds that I toasted in a pan with turmeric (the yellow super spice that is anti-inflammatory) and chili (to get the metabolism going). Green peas are sweet and delicious and work perfect in a thick soup, they are also anti-inflamatory and antioxidant, combined with the toppings this soup should be perfect in times when colds and flues circulating.
Hemp seeds are high in protein, they also contain essential fats (Omega 3 and 6), antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, and a lot of vitamins and minerals that makes our bodies happy. The sunflower seed is not only yummy but also contains minerals and vitamins, like vitamin E which for example makes your skin glow.
The main course is a detox taco. Instead of using a taco shell or bread I used romaine lettuce as a base. The filling was a puy lentil and walnut ”mince meat”, avocado, mango- and coriander salsa, and cashew sour cream. I topped it with a baked socca (chickpea) chip!
Lentils are a classic nutrionial source for vegetarians, and for a good reason: They are versatile and contain a lot of protein, fiber and minerals. Walnuts are a good source of Omega-3, and also contain a bunch of minerals and vitamines and it is said that they help you improve your memory concetration. The mince is spiced with cumin (anti-inflammatory and good for digestion), chipotle chili, ginger (anti-inflammatory and immune system booster), and turmerin for a full and warming spicyness.
Avocado is full of good fats and also good for the immune system, and taste great with mango, chili and coriander! The cashew sour cream is also a great vegan option to the dairy version, it tastes great and the texture is smooth and perfect on a taco. The little socca chip on top was there to add some crunch but since it’s baked I didn’t have to deep fry it and could avoid unneccesary fat.
As a dessert I served a frozen cream coconut pie with a chocolate crust, it was served on a smooth raspberry coulis, pineapple, and topped it with coconut toasted with turmeric, cardamon and cinnamon. I have to say it tasted nothing like you would expect from a sugarfree dessert – it was delicious!
Even though I’m not a full-on detoxer, it was a fun and interesting experience to figure out a menu that would be healthy, fun and yummy. Everything was also vegan and gluten free, no one had to feel excluded eating this! Well, except if someone is a hardcore carnivore of course. It was a fun evening and I hope everyone felt energized and ready to deal with the rest of the winter! And I also want to thank Jen for the photos, making the food and the people look appetizing.