Trying to figure out how the heck you’re going to incorporate all of these detoxifying foods into your diet? Below are some recipe resources for you to get started! All are focused on cruciferous vegetables and other liver supporting nutrients. Cruciferous vegetables may play an important role in cancer prevention. They contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which changes the way estrogen is metabolized, possibly preventing estrogen driven cancers. In addition, they contain a phytochemical known as isothiocyanates, which stimulate our bodies to break down potential cancer causing agents. Cruciferous vegetables are also known for their important antioxidants, called sulforaphanes, and are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The following veggies are included in the cruciferous family:
Arugula, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage (napa), collard greens, daikon, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, turnips, and watercress.
*NOTE – it is preferable to choose organic veggies, fruits, canned beans, when possible. All oils should be “cold pressed.” For olive oil, please choose “extra virgin, cold pressed” (may also be called “first cold pressing”). Coconut oil should be labeled “virgin” and “organic.”
The recipes below use low glycemic ingredients. Dairy is usually optional, except in a few recipes. Dairy alternatives are suggested when appropriate. Most recipes are not too involved, although a few may take a little longer. These are worth the extra work! You can often used leftover veggies in many recipes., or use your imagination and embellish your own. An attempt has been made to introduce you to some cruciferous veggies that you may have not yet tasted. Get ready for an adventure!
Scrambled Greens - yields 1 serving
Increase the amounts as needed for more servings.
2 large eggs
1 tsp. olive or grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste
1⁄4 tsp. dried basil or oregano or 1 Tbsp. if using fresh herbs 1⁄2- 3⁄4 cup finely chopped kale or baby bok choy
Watercress for garnish, optional
Beat eggs, salt and pepper, and basil or oregano in a small bowl. Heat a frying pan, over medium heat and add 1⁄2 tsp.. oil and greens, cooking until greens have wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Turn onto a plate. Add remaining 1⁄2 tsp.. oil to frying pan and return to heat. Add eggs and let set for a moment; then stir while cooking for about 1 minute. Return greens to pan; mix and stir eggs and greens until cooked to your liking. Serve immediately, garnished with optional watercress.
Veggie Parmesan Eggs – yields 2 servings
You may omit the parmesan and mozzarella cheese if you are avoiding dairy. This recipe is great for using up small bits of leftover veggies. If you have no leftovers, then sauté your choice of veggies in a tsp. of olive oil before cooking the eggs.
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp.. grated parmesan cheese, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 tsp.. dried tarragon or basil, ( use more if herbs are fresh)
1 tsp. olive oil
4 scallions, minced, using some of the green part
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
3⁄4 cup cooked leftover diced veggies (preferably greens or broccoli, but any veggies are fine) 6-8 cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp.. grated mozzarella, optional
1⁄2 avocado, sliced (for garnish)
Beat eggs with parmesan, salt, pepper and tarragon or basil. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté scallions just until softened, 1-2 minutes; then add garlic, stirring for 1 more minute. Add cooked veggies and stir-fry over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add eggs and let sit for a minute before stirring to desired consistency. Stir in mozzarella and cherry tomatoes for only 1 minute and remove to a serving plate. Garnish with sliced avocado and serve immediately.
Popcorn Kale - yields approximately 6 appetizer servings
1 bunch kale, any variety 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil Sprinkle of sea salt
Fold the kale leaves in half along the stem and use a sharp knife to trim off the stem part. Then cut into 2-3 inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss kale with olive oil (the amount depends on the size of your bunch of kale), mixing well to coat all the leaf pieces. Spread on a cookie sheet and roast at 375 degrees for 5-7min. Gently turn the pieces over and bake for another 5-10 min., being careful not to burn, but being sure they crisp up. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and enjoy. The pieces should come out crunchy; leave them in the oven a little longer if needed.
Cauliflower Popcorn - yields approximately 8 appetizer servings
Here is another surprisingly delicious appetizer. It can be served fresh out of the oven or at room temperature.
2 Tbsp. olive oil, approximately
3⁄4 - 1 pound (approximately) cauliflower Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush 1 or 2 baking sheets with some olive oil. Cut cauliflower into 1 inch florets. Toss with olive oil and spread evenly on the baking sheet(s). Roast in pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. Shake around or toss with a spoon so that they brown evenly. Roast for another 5 minutes. Taste at this point to see if they are done to your liking. Allow to cool for a few minutes before sprinkling with salt and serving. This may also be served at room temperature.
Marinated Crucifers and Friends
This is a wonderful appetizer to take to a pot luck. The longer it marinates the better it tastes!
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar (any vinegar is fine)
1 tsp.. each dried oregano and basil (or 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh) 2 cloves garlic, slivered
1⁄2 tsp.. salt
1 head of broccoli, blanched for 2 minutes
1 head of cauliflower, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (15-oz.) can hearts of palm, drained and cut into 1⁄4-inch slices 1 (15-oz.) can pitted black olives, drained
1⁄2 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
Mix marinade ingredients in a jar. Steam or blanche broccoli and cauliflower until just tender but not soft. Mix with remaining veggies in a large bowl and pour marinade over. Mix well and marinate at least 8 hours (toss frequently). Serve with toothpicks.
Leftover marinade may be used as salad dressing
Kale and Sweet Potato Soup - yields approximately 8 servings
1 medium onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3⁄4 lb dinosaur kale (or any type of kale), stems removed and chopped fine 3 medium sweet potatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1 can (12 oz.) lite coconut milk
2 cups cooked brown rice
Combine onion, garlic, pepper, sweet potato, broth and salt in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered about 20 -25 min. when potatoes are fork-tender add coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Add kale and cook for about 5 minutes, until kale is softened.
While soup is cooking, cook brown rice separately, using 1 1⁄2 cup rice and 3 1⁄4 cups water. When ready to serve, put 1⁄2 cup rice in each bowl and top with a generous serving of soup.
Cabbage and Radicchio Slaw - yields 10-12 servings
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1⁄4 cup pomegranate juice (you may freeze the rest of the bottle for later use) 11⁄2 tsp. rice vinegar (unsweetened)
1 tsp. agave nectar
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup healthy mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
11⁄2 Tbsp. diced shallots
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk juice, vinegar, and agave in a bowl; then whisk in oil, then mayo and shallots. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least 2 hours. (You may make this 1 day ahead)
1 head Savoy cabbage, about 1lb, halved and sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
1 head radicchio, about 1⁄2 lb., halved and sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
1 large red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries (no sugar-added and sweetened only with apple juice) for garnish
Mix prepared veggies in a large bowl. Shake dressing well and pour over veggies. Toss and garnish with cranberries. Serve immediately. Leftovers will store well in refrigerator.
Rosemary Roasted Cauliflower & Pine Nuts - yields approximately 5 servings
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1⁄2 cup raw pine nuts Sea salt Fresh-ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Place cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic and stir throughout. Pour in olive oil and ensure that all cauliflower pieces are drizzled with oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture evenly onto baking sheet and set, uncovered, in oven at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until the top and edges of cauliflower are lightly brown. You may stir about half way through if they are becoming too brown. Serve immediately.
Adapted with permission from Chakra Foods for Optimum Health: A Guide to the Foods That Can Improve Your Energy, Inspire Creative Changes, Open Your Heart and Heal Body, Mind and Spirit by Deanna Minich, PHD, CN, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2009.
Turmeric Ginger Elixer:
1/2 inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt
* place ginger in small pot and cover with 2 inches or so filtered water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn burner off to let cool for 5 minutes. Put the rest of the ingredients in a mug, and then slowly pour the ginger water in. Serve hot or put in fridge to enjoy cold.
60 drops licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra) tincture in filtered water.
CAUTION: if you have high blood pressure, skip this one as licorice can further increase your blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, this one will be good for you!
Milk Thistle Tea:
1 tablespoon milk thistle to 3 cups water, 1-3 times daily
Dandy Blend Tea:
A wonderful coffee alternative that is very detoxifying and supportive of liver health (and thus, brain and body health). It has extracts of dandelion root, beetroot, rye, chicory root, and barley and is gluten free! Visit dandyblend.com to learn more.