08 March 2010

21-Day Purification: Half Way There!

Today was Day 10, and we're still going strong.  I have increased energy during the day, sleep much better at night, and have shed a few pounds along the way.  I also now find that when my alarm clock sounds at 6:00 AM for me to get up for my 7:00 AM conference call, it is much easier to get out of bed right away without hitting the snooze button countless times.  This purification thing is not all bad!

Tonight, we prepared one of our best dinners, yet, since embarking on this three-week adventure.  We had some odds and ends left in the refrigerator that needed to be cooked or composted.  These included:

a zucchini
some white onions
some mushrooms
baby spinach

I concocted a stuffed zucchini main course (remember, we ain't eatin' meat).  Tom sweated the spinach with some fantastic smoked garlic cloves he had gotten a few days ago at Whole Foods.  We needed a third item on the plate, so we cooked some frozen Lima beans; it had been years since I had Lima beans, and I had forgotten how buttery, starchy, and delicious they are.  We finished our three-veggie medley with a sliced avocado (from Mexico!) sprinkled with Spike Vegit seasoning - our new all-natural organic favorite.  (Thanks to the Richeys for that recommendation!)

The Process allows us to start having fish and lean meat tomorrow, but we will continue preparing and enjoying these hearty vegetable dishes for the remainder of the 21-day process and long after that!

Stuffed Zucchini for Two

1 zucchini
2 small white or yellow onions, chopped
6 medium mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice the zucchini in half length-wise.  Use a spoon to dredge out the seeds down the center of each half, about 1/2 inch deep.  Discard the seeds.  Sprinkle the flesh of the zucchini generously with sea salt.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Use a paper towel to wipe off excess salt and rendered water from the surface of the flesh.
Brush the flesh side of zucchini lightly with olive oil.  Place flesh-side-up on a baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the zucchini is slightly softened.
Meanwhile, saute the onions in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 4-5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and seasoning, and saute for 3-4 minutes longer.  The mixture should be dry.  Remove from heat.
Spoon the onion and mushroom mixture into the troughs of the zucchini slices, pressing down with the inverted spoon to pack it in.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes more until the stuffing is heated through and the edges of the zucchini start to brown.

NOTE:  This would be great with some Parmesan cheese mixed into the partially cooled onion and mushroom mixture before stuffing.  It would also be great topped with a dusting of Parmesan.  I omitted the Parmesan in ours because The Process doesn't allow dairy during the 21 days.

Another NOTE:  There are two reasons for generously salting the exposed zucchini flesh:  (1)  It seasons the "base" of this dish.  You can salt it heavier than you normally would because you're going to wipe most of it off.  (2)  Rendering some of the moisture from the zucchini prevents it from getting soggy as it bakes.

Some day I will remember to photograph this stuff before we devour it.  Until then, though, you'll just have to imagine how pretty the plated food was or, even better, prepare it for yourself!

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