Café Gratitude helped me launch my career. They had just opened their first restaurant in Los Angeles and they asked me to put together a five-day healthy eating cleanse together for them. This is where I got my cleansing background. It was so meant to be, because I’ve been able to build a career on cleansing and detoxing the right way. Fast forward a decade later and I’m thrilled to be a part of Cafe Gratitude again – contributing a seasonal menu item coined the “I AM CLEANSED” salad bowl.
This hearty salad bowl consists of chickpea tofu, watercress, spinach, dandelion greens, cherry tomatoes, roasted oyster mushrooms, caramelized onions, herbed hempseeds and a herbacious green goddess dressing.
I AM CLEANSED
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp herbs (your choice, I used basil, thyme, oregano)
3 cup water, divided
2. tsp olive oil
Lightly oil a square pan (I used 8 x 8 inch size) with olive oil.To a medium mixing bowl add chickpea flour in a bowl along with the salt, garlic, and ground seasonings. Whisk to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and whisk until smooth.
In a medium stock pot, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/high and vigorously stire in the chickpea flour and water mixture from above. Whisk this over the heat consistently until the mixture becomes thick, smooth, and “glossy” about 6-7 minutes.
Pour mixture into the greased pan. Leave out at room temperature to cool and set for minimum of two hours. When ready to prepare salad, cut tofu into cubes and saute lightly in olive oil for a minute on each side. There will be leftovers you can use for later.
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, toss tomatoes with the olive oil, balsamic, and sea salt. Transfer to a small baking dish (at home I use a bread pan) and place in oven to soften for approx. 12-15 minutes.
16 oz. fresh maitake or oyster mushrooms (you could also use button slices if you can’t find)
2 tsp. olive oil
fresh thyme sprigs
pinch sea salt
Heat oven to 400° F. Toss the mushrooms, oil, thyme, salt, and pepper on parchment lined baking sheet. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and crispy, 30 minutes.
1 large yellow onion
1 T. olive oil
Heat a medium/small saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and thinly sliced onions with a pinch of salt to draw moisture out. Stir throughout, as the onions cook, they’ll soften and become moist, then they will begin to brown and caramelize. This takes about 12 minutes.
1/4 cup hempseeds
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss hemp seeds, rosemary, parsley, lemon zest and sea salt in small bowl. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet, and roast for about 10 minutes, flipping herbs once halfway through.
Green Goddess Dressing:
1/4 cup water
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 avocado, halved and flesh scooped out
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, white and green parts chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. You may want to add a pinch of salt and more lemon
Toss your choice of greens, I prefer to use finey chopped dandelion, baby spinach, and water cress and use as the base layer.