Start Your Year Off Right with Revival Recipes for the Gut
January 2023 Issue
By Leslie Rohland
Photography by Lucy Rosen
After all the festive foods and decadent indulgences of the holidays, January is a natural time to embark on a plan for healthy eating. If your New Year’s resolutions include eating healthier, there are more ways than you think to enjoy some of your favorite foods and some really delicious and easy recipes that are not only good for gut health, but can also improve your overall health, too.
If you’re ready to detox from the holidays, one of the best places to start is by incorporating foods and recipes to improve your gut health. Since diet and gut health are very closely linked, there are several things experts point out that can help improve both gut and overall health, including avoiding processed foods, high fat foods and foods high in refined sugars. (These can contribute to promoting the growth of bacteria.) In addition, ex-perts point to foods that actively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. These include high fiber foods, such as legumes, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and fruits, fermented foods (including kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir) and collagen-boosting foods, such as bone broth and salmon skin. You can also boost your body’s collagen production by eating citrus fruits, broccoli, meat, eggs and nuts.
As we start the new year, here are some of my favorite recipes that can make clean eating and reviving your gut easier and more delicious than you thought. From the simplicity of bringing together the perfect mix of gut-friendly vegetables, legumes and spices in my “Veggie Detox Soup”, to a “Soothing Salad” that is as healthy and “gut-soothing” as it is delicious, to a warm and comforting Vegetarian Chili bursting with flavor and gut-friendly health benefits. These recipes can be the perfect addition to your January menus, as well as enjoyed all year long. And, of course, dessert can still be part of clean eating meal, and my homemade ice cream, which brings together the fresh tastes of fiber-rich fruit (in this case, peaches) and maple syrup, is the perfect way to top off a gut-friendly meal!
Here's to a happy and healthy 2023—and a year ahead filled with clean and delicious eating!
Veggie Detox Soup
Serves 4 | Pictured above
1 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 tsps Dried Thyme or Rosemary
1 Yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Dry green or brown lentils
3 Carrots, chopped
2 tsps Fine Himalayan salt, divided
3 Celery stalks, chopped
1 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
5 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsps Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 inches fresh Ginger, minced
6 cups Water
11/2 tsps ground Turmeric
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, carrots and celery, and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric and thyme, and stir until fra-grant, about 1 minute more. Immediately add in the water, so the garlic won't start to burn. Add in the lentils, 1 tsp of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and let the soup cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Once the lentils are tender, add in the remaining tsp of salt, along with the cilantro and lemon juice. The cilantro will wilt quickly in the hot soup. Adjust any seasoning to taste and serve warm.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
2-inches Fresh Ginger
3/4 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 Garlic clove
2 Tbsps raw Honey
Fresh Turmeric (½ inch knob)
For the salad:
1 large Carrot, shredded
4 cups Cabbage, green and red, shredded
2 Tbsps Raisins
1 cup Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 Avocado, sliced
Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender and blending until smooth. Add more ginger to taste, if desired, and set aside. Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl, except the avocado, and slowly add the dressing until satisfied. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Top the salad with the sliced avocado. Leftover dressing will last about a week in the refrigerator.
1 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Yellow onion, chopped
2 Celery ribs, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Chili powder
2 tsps ground Cumin
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Smoked paprika
2 tsps Fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1 Bay leaf
3 cans (15 oz) Dark red kidney beans
1 cup Water
1 can (28 oz) Diced tomatoes, with juice
1/4 C. fresh Cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1 fresh Lime
2 Tbsps Maple syrup
Sour Cream (optional)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper. Stir until softened. Add in the garlic and spices; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sweet potato to the pot, along with 2 teaspoons of salt, beans, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 cup of water. Stir well. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. When the liquid is boiling, lower the heat and cover the pot. Let the chili cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and let the chili continue to cook uncovered for 10 minutes until the chili is thick. Stir often. When the chili is done cooking, remove the whole bay leaf, then add more salt to taste. Add the cilantro, fresh lime juice and maple syrup. Serve with garnish of sour cream, if desired.
Peach Ice Cream
16 oz frozen Peaches
1/2 cup Coconut milk
1/4 cup Maple syrup
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon juice
In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, add the frozen peaches, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the lemon juice, pulse a few more times, scrape the sides, and enjoy!
Leslie Rohland, owner of the Cottage Cafe, Bakery and Tea Room in Old Town Bluffton, is an award-winning recipe creator who is known for her delicious and ever-changing menu at her extraordinary restaurant. She is also the owner of the popular healthy eatery The Juice Hive and the micro-roastery May River Coffee Roasters. For more information about The Cottage Cafe, visit www.thecottagebluffton.com or call 843-757-0508.