Dining

Share the Health

Bon Appétit's newest book offers 'cleanse' plans for every season
Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse Cookbook
Photos: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

We're going clean in 2016—and not only because it rhymes. Recharge and renew yourself with our favorite healthy recipes.

Every January, as the internet is flooded with more cleanses (juice! lemon water! fasting!), much of the food-writing community laughs while simultaneously shaking their heads in sadness. Somehow, deprivation or subsisting on glasses of grass clippings doesn't quite seem to be a path to health.

Six years ago, Bon Appétit provided an antidote, The Food Lover's Cleanse, a two-week plan for (relatively) healthy eating. Alcohol is fair game (in moderation), as is dark chocolate. Mostly, the guidelines encourage lots and lots of vegetables (lunch = salad), whole grains and meat in moderation. It's a cleanse I can still comfortably get behind, a gentle reminder to fill up half of my plate with vegetables and to be sparing with sugar.

And now Sara Dickerman, the creator of the cleanse, has combined the wisdom (and recipes) from the past six years in a new cookbook ($35) by the same name.

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While the magazine's cleanse has always focused on wintry cooking (it stretches from the New Year to mid-January), the book thankfully provides "cleanse" meal plans for each season with recipes for dishes like red quinoa with roasted figs and walnuts (fall), spiced pumpkin steel-cut oats with pecans (winter), mussels with harissa, chard and chickpeas (summer), and spring ragout of artichokes, asparagus and preserved lemons.

Nothing is too far out of the box, but the recipes are still intriguing enough to send me to my local seafood market to buy Manilla clams for a bowl of sake-steamed clams with soba. Maybe this whole New Year's resolution thing won't be so bad...

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