It’s January, cue the new year’s resolution clichés!

Butter bean salad with red pepper relish and roasted veggies

Butter bean salad with red pepper relish and roasted veggies

Eating healthy is the most common new year’s resolution in the country*. It’s probably also the first one to fall by the wayside (I blame you leftover Christmas cookies!). That doesn’t prevent me from making a little extra effort to watch my eating habits after the holidays though. All of that gluttony (pork belly, cookies, and marshmallows, oh my!) has a way of making me look forward to salads and vegetables.

Though I indulge in my fair share of beer and foie gras, I actually tend to eat fairly healthy year-round — my meals include a lot of farro, raw veggies and chicken. But the thought of doing something like the Whole 30 is just not really my speed — too much pressure.

However, a few weeks ago I read about the Food Lover’s Cleanse, a 14-day eating plan that Bon Appetit publishes every January. And since you all know how much I love BA, it seemed like the perfect thing for me to try, especially since I only have to stick to it for two weeks!

The basics are no refined sugars or flours, very little dairy (wah!), plenty of lean proteins, veggies and whole grains. Honestly the dairy is the hardest part for me — I love yogurt, cheese and milk. But considering how much cheese I packed away in the month of December, two weeks without it is probably not a bad thing.

I started by preparing a big batch of sprouted lentils, a favorite of mine, and quinoa just so I would have them on hand. Then I blanched or roasted a variety of vegetables: sunchokes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli rabe and delicata squash.

my sprouted lentils -- nutty, fresh and delicious

my sprouted lentils — nutty, fresh and delicious

And so far so good! Though I did dream about eating Goldfish crackers last night. Hm.

I have made slight changes to the BA recipes, basically just mixing up the way that I incorporate ingredients depending on my mood and what I have on hand. Here’s what I made for dinner last night: Butter beans mixed with BA’s red pepper and walnut relish, roasted veggies and arugula topped with pork tenderloin.

This is not too far from the butter bean salad that I love to make and with the roasted pork it was enough to fill me up.

Butter beans with red pepper and walnut relish

This would have made a nice light lunch…

Hearty enough for dinner...

Hearty enough for dinner…

I’ve found the relish is good on many things — scrambled eggs, roasted chicken or simply mixed into farro or quinoa. It’s tangy from the lemon and balsamic vinegar and the silky peppers are boosted tremendously by the crunch of the toasted walnuts. The mint brings it everything together with extra freshness.

red pepper and walnut relish

Red pepper and walnut relish

Butter Bean Salad with Pork Tenderloin (serves 2)

  • 1 can butter beans — well rinsed
  • Large clove garlic — minced
  • Small shallot — minced
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower
  • 1 cup roasted sunchokes — optional
  • 1/2 recipe of Red Pepper and Walnut Relish — follow link for recipe
  • 12-16 oz piece of pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup arugula, spinach or baby kale

Mix the first 6 ingredients together and let sit at room temperature.

Season the pork tenderloin well with salt and pepper, seared on medium-high heat and then roast in the oven (at 375-400 degrees) until done. Let rest and then slice.

Start with a bed of greens, top generously with butter bean salad and then add pork.

* totally made up statistic but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true

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9 thoughts on “It’s January, cue the new year’s resolution clichés!

  1. very cool that you’re doing the BA cleanse! Wasn’t tempted myself (can’t do anything with rules as then I have to break them. which come to think about it means a diet requiring only junk food would work really well for me 😀 ), but was extremely curious how it would play out. Thought of you when I read this last issue as it was packed with recipes I wanted to make. Already put the Sage Brown Derby together. Was my pre-New Year’s party cocktail and will just say yum. Your meals look great and hope there are more reports. Kudos to you for giving it a go.

    • I’m not too good with the pressure of a cleanse or diet but I figured I could handle two weeks. Plus there are enough yummy things to distract me from sweets — the fact that I’m having steak tonight makes me very happy. As soon as Jan. 15 rolls around I’ll have to ponder that Sage Derby. Looks awesome! Oh, and trust me, plenty of FLC posts are coming. I’ve been a busy bee. =)

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