Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Detox, Reeboks

I don't care if you're Mother Theresa, we all have those weekends when self-control virtually goes AWOL.

Famous last words: "I was being so good... until I went to Cookout on Saturday night... followed by Taco Bell."

Whether you're on a health-food kick or trying to log more hours at the gym, an indulgent weekend can throw a monkey wrench in whatever plan we thought we thought we made, erasing all progress on that Banquet Bikini Countdown.

Unfortunately for our asses, after barhopping Wednesday and Thursday, latenight dancing to Rebecca Black on Friday, and daydrinking on Saturday, all you want from Sunday is a big, fat brunch. If, of course, you can manage to be fully functioning before 2 p.m.

If not, there's always delivery.

When Sunday does roll around, it's like God's gift to the college student. If the week went straight from Saturday to Monday... I actually can't even finish that thought. And though I know you really wanted to make it to service this time, just so you could thank Him for giving us a solid 24 hours to become real again, the weekend toll proved (once again) to be too much.

As Monday inevitably arrives, like it somehow always does, our bodies have abandoned ship. And let's face it, so has all motivation to hit the gym.

Sound a little too familiar? Lucky for you, no one can see you nodding.

So, for anyone who has ever experienced the three-day dietary train wreck known as "the weekend," this post is for you. I can't help you finish your finance homework, but I can help you get back on track.

This recipe is for one of nature's superfoods: kale. It's literally one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you can find, and will definitely help recondition your body. This leafy green packs in all the fiber, vitamin A, calcium, antioxidants, potassium and beta-carotene that you didn't get from your Bud Light. If you've never cooked with it before, go to Harris Teeter now and buy some. It's easier to make than pasta.

Braised Kale and Couscous with Mango Relish
Serves 2

For the Kale:
[2] cups chopped kale, stems removed (about 4 leaves)
[1/4] vegetable stock;  use water if you don't have any on hand
[1/4] white wine*
[1] garlic clove, minced
[2] tbsp lemon juice

[2/3] cup dry couscous (for bonus points, use whole grain)

For the Mango Chutney:
[1] mango, chopped into half inch pieces
[1/2] cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
[1/4] cup diced red onion
[2] tbsp chopped parsley (or cilantro)
[2] tbsp chopped scallion
[1] lime, juiced
[1/2] tsp cayenne pepper
[1] tbsp roughly chopped almonds

Start by peeling and chopping the mango. It can be a little tricky because mangos have an awkwardly large pit, but don't worry too much about finesse. Place in a medium mixing bowl along with quartered tomatoes, red onion, chopped herbs, lime juice and cayenne pepper. Incorporate all the ingredients well and let them mingle in the refrigerator while you make the kale and couscous.

Rinse kale and remove the bottom part of the stem. Some people remove the whole stem, but I cut off just the tough end. Chop into 1 inch strips (cutting across the stem, widthwise).

Pour veggie stock and wine into a medium sauté pan with minced garlic and heat on medium/high until simmering. In the meantime, bring another pot of water to boil for the couscous (exact amount according to package directions). Once boiling, pour in the couscous. Many packages take just 5 minutes.

Place the kale in the hot pan and cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until the kale is bright green and tender. Drain, then squeeze on the fresh lemon juice to save color and add freshness.

Fluff the couscous with a fork once done and pile it on a plate. Cover it with the fresh mango relish and garnish with the crushed almonds. Serve alongside your kale, and you'll have a hearty, nutritious meal in no time. It may even inspire you to lace up your sneakers and hit the gym.

Now crack open a fresh beer and pat yourself on the back for bein' so freaking healthy.

*Optional: you could replace the wine with an equal amount of stock or water, but any excuse to use wine is a good one.

1 comment:

Molly Thomas said...

Taryn im obsessed with your little blog here! Im going to print off all of these yummy recipes and save them!! I miss you!! xoxo keep the recipes and hangover food coming! ill need some more ideas after this weekend.. xoxo