Roasted wild salmon over lentils. Photograph by Liza Schoenfein.
I’m always aware that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a high-calorie danger zone, so I tend to be fairly mindful. I just realized that I’m usually less conscious — and therefore less careful — between Purim and Passover. But here we are, sandwiched between the bookends of boozy parties and heavy holiday dinners. This year, I intend to lighten it up so that I don’t head into the warmer months feeling like I need to wear a muumuu.
This recipe takes little more than half an hour start to finish. It can easily be doubled (or reduced) depending on the number of people you’re serving. For a fancier dinner I like to roast individual pieces of salmon so everyone gets a neat presentation. For a more casual meal, I serve family style, mounding the lentils on a platter and placing one big fillet on top.
I did the most stereotypical thing one can do after the New Year. I went on a juice cleanse. Three full days existing on nothing but sludgy, vitamin and mineral-laden juice. I’ve experienced a variety of feelings: cleansed (yes, seriously), hungry, exhausted, slightly delusional, energetic, sated and, did I mention hungry? My one constant was my ever-present desire to cook. You can pump me up with all the kale juice in the world but you can’t take away my inherent need to cook.
Why did I deliberately submit myself to 72 hours of pure juice torture?
The most obvious reason: the holidays. It’s safe to say I put back enough Nutella, red meat, wine, cookies, and other unmentionables to sustain me through the entirety of 2013. I needed a detox.
Reason two: I wanted to test my self discipline.
Reason three: call me crazy, but I thought juicing might lend itself to a sort of spiritual experience.