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Healthy cookbook 'Bon Appetit: The Food Lover's Cleanse' promises delicious eating

Make quinoa salad with broccoli and pistachios and

Make quinoa salad with broccoli and pistachios and be proud of yourself. Photo Credit: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

It's that time of year again -- when the Christmas-celebrating world realizes it's been eating with little thought of the consequences since before Thanksgiving. 

Some of us like working out, while others shudder at the thought of the gym. So what to do? 

That's where the "Bon Appetit: Food Lover's Cleanse" cookbook comes in. It's not a diet that the magazine and book are preaching -- and it's certainly not a cleanse in the traditional sense -- it's a delicious way to reset for a new year.

As Bon Appetit Editor-in-chief Adam Rapaport wrote in the foreword, "Here was a 'cleanse' that didn't feel like a cleanse."

The 140 recipes in the book were developed by food writer Sara Dickerman, nutritionist Marissa Lippert and the staff of Bon Appetit. While the feature has been published by the magazine for the past five years, this is the first time it's in a book.

The emphasis of the cleanse, according to a press release, is on home cooking and whole foods. And unlike in the magazine, the cleanse is extended beyond winter, with a different, two-week cleanse plan for each season. 

"Cooking at home is just the best way to know what you're consuming," Dickerman said in the release. "And fundamentally, I think the process of cooking puts you in a better mindset for more considered eating."

Consider this recipe:

Quinoa salad with broccoli and pistachios

4 servings and 1 next day lunch


• Fine sea salt

• 1 shallot, finely minced

• 6 tablespoons buttermilk dressing (see below)

• 2 small broccoli heads, trimmed, cut into bite-size florets

• 1 cup white, red, or black quinoa (if using cooked quinoa, about 2 1/2 cups)

• 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves

• 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh tarragon leaves

• 1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water and a slotted spoon near the pot of water.

2. In a small bowl, toss the shallot with 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk dressing.

3. Move broccoli from the pot to the ice water. When cool, remove the broccoli from the cold water and drain it on a clean kitchen towel laid on a baking sheet.

4. Bring the water back to a boil and pour in the quinoa. Cook for 12 minutes, or until slightly al dente. Drain.

5. In a large bowl, toss the warm quinoa with 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk dressing and sea salt to taste. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

6. Toss the quinoa with the broccoli, macerated shallots, parsley, tarragon, pistachios and the remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste.


Buttermilk dressing

Makes 1/2 cup


• 3/4 cup buttermilk

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 tablespoons canola oil

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

• 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

• 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

• 1 tablespoon lemon zest


Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to incorporate. Taste and season with more salt if necessary.

Do ahead: The dressing will keep 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. If it loses some zing during storage, add a bit more lemon juice to brighten it up.


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