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Springtime Risotto Bowl

Oh, what lovely spring days we are having! The world is coming alive again after a deep, restorative slumber. The sun is reenergizing the earth, and as you can probably tell as you are reading this, I am blissfully in love with this spring awakening. 

While we all wake up from our hibernation pods (called the couch), we are probably leaving a trail of chocolate wrappers, pizza boxes, and whatever other comfort foods got us through the drab winter months. I have eaten many pastries and chocolates during those dark times, which I do not regret. Although these treats are all delicious and should be enjoyed in moderation, eating copious amounts of sweets and processed foods won't give you sustained energy to experience all the fantastic adventures planned for this good weather.

So naturally, with all these plans to soak up the sun and make the most of this short window of good weather, cleansing is on the horizon! As someone who has worked in the natural health industry, I have seen many trends either come and go or transform and evolve. But one thing that seems to be consistent is a seasonal cleanse! When done correctly and with supervision on an as-needed basis, cleanses are a great way to boost the efficiency of all organ systems to improve digestion, metabolism, and elimination. All are necessary processes to support a long and vital life.

Since I have done a few cleanses, I've found that one of the most challenging parts of embarking on a 1-2 week program is the daunting meal plans. Depending on the purpose and protocol of the cleanse, the dietary restrictions involved could be hard to navigate. Fortunately, many cleanse plans have a thorough list of food items to include, restrict, or avoid to support the efficiency of the cleanse program. But with those food guides, if you aren't someone who is creative in the kitchen or doesn't have the time to make nutrient-dense meals, you could end up eating some bland meals, which can emotionally make a cleanse worse. Trust me, on my first cleanse, I ate rice, vegetables, and olive oil with minimum seasoning for a few days. Bleh!

But now that I have some experience with many different cleanses and have created meal plans for my clients embarking on cleanses, I feel a lot more confident in the kitchen, making nourishing meals to make those cleansing days a bit more endurable. And to start it off, here is a simple, healthy, and delicious meal to prep! I have reviewed all the ingredients in this recipe, and they are all suitable for a general cleanse (Prairie Naturals Recleanse and Flora Flor-essence 7-day detox). Planning on doing a more rigorous cleanse (such as Wild Rose D-tox or Renew Life Paragone)? You may need to adjust the recipe.

Springtime Risotto Bowl

Time: 45 minutes Makes: 4 servings Cost per serving: $3.16-$4.16*


1/2 cup of quinoa

1/2 cup of brown rice

2 cups of water

2 TB powdered bone broth (or 1 TB miso paste for vegan option)

1 shallot, finely diced

1 zucchini, quartered and sliced

4 carrots, grated

1 green bell pepper, finely diced

1 TB Olive oil

1 540ml can of chickpeas, rinsed

Crushed red pepper (to taste)

Ground black pepper (to taste)

8 cubes (or 250ml) of Cashew Alfredo sauce (recipe below)

Optional: 2 Avocados, sliced. 

Not cleansing optional: 8 slices of prosciutto

Cashew Alfredo Sauce Recipe:

Cost: $1.69 Time: 10-15 minutes

  1. In a medium-sized pot, whisk 1 cup Elmhurst cashew milk, 2 TB nutritional yeast**, 1 TB lemon juice, 1/8 TS ground black pepper, 1 TS crushed red pepper, and 4-5 chive leaves finely chopped.

  2. On medium heat, bring the contents to a boil and whisk consistently. Once boiling, reduce the heat to allow to simmer and the mixture to thicken.

  3. Allow it to cool off before bottling and placing it in the fridge or transferring it to ice cube trays to freeze for another time.

  4. In liquid form (fridge), use in 7-10 days. In cube form (freezer), use in 1-3 months.

**Nutritional yeast may not be suitable to your cleanse program.

Risotto Recipe Instructions:

  1. Add water and bone broth powder (or miso paste) to a medium-sized pot and place on the stove. Whisk together and turn on high-medium heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa and brown rice, reduce heat, and cover. Cook until all the water is absorbed.

  2. While you wait for the rice and quinoa to cook, grate the carrots and chop the vegetables. 

  3. Once the quinoa and rice have cooked, transfer it to a heat-safe container (Tupperware, Pyrex, or mixing bowl).

  4. Add half the grated carrot and the Alfredo cubes or liquid to the quinoa and rice mix and combine.

  5. Put the empty pot back on the element and bring it to medium heat. Put olive oil and coat the bottom of the pot. Season the pot with crushed red pepper and ground black pepper.

  6. Add in the shallots and zucchini and cook until clairvoyant. Turn off the heat, add the bell pepper, stir and cover for a few minutes.

  7. Divide the quinoa/rice and vegetable mixture into four containers. Top with the remaining grated carrot, chickpeas, and seasoning of choice. I topped mine with paprika and herbal salt.

  8. Optional: top with half of an avocado, sliced. Or, if you are not cleansing, two slices of prosciutto (pictured below).

And there you have it! A delicious meal packed with nutrients, plant-based protein, and fibre to fuel your body! It is a perfect meal to support the cleansing process without sacrificing flavour. Best part? You won't spend hours in the kitchen or washing numerous dishes afterwards. Reheat for work lunches to keep you on track!

Are you planning to do a cleanse this spring season? What are you hoping to accomplish with it? Do you have any favourite meals to help you feel nourished while cleansing?

Happy Spring!

Until next time, stay well.

Chloe Ganuelas


*Prices may vary where you shop. $3.16 price per serve reflects cost without added prosciutto or avocado.

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