I have never had to apologize to so many people in so few days as I did the week I tried Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP detox diet.
I don’t even remember why I decided to do the cleanse anyway. I’m not an unhealthy eater, but working in fashion had probably made me a little neurotic about my indulgent habits and full-fat allowances.
And along the same lines as my decision to make junk food from scratch, I think I just wanted to see if it could be done.
Plus, unlike most juice cleanses, which don’t allow you to chew a single solid thing for a week, Gwyneth’s detox involved real chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables. There were actual lunches and dinners. I could totally handle it!
On Monday, the first night of the detox, I showed up at my friend Irene’s door grumbling both mentally and physically. The plan was to roast a whole fish, since olive oil, salt, pepper, lemons, and herbs were allowed on the GOOP diet.
Though I was already cheating by eating fish on my first night of the cleanse instead of waiting until the fourth night, and adding a serving of quinoa on the side—grains weren’t on the menu plan until day seven. (Day Seven? Really, GP?)
But after a morning of sipping coconut water in a futile attempt to kill my hunger, an afternoon of carefully rationed-out vegetables and pumpkin seeds was like throwing pennies down a well. I could almost hear the echo as the seeds fell into the empty cavern of my stomach.
Poor Irene made the fatal mistake of offering me the usual post-work, take-the-edge-off glass of Riesling.
“I CAN’T HAVE ANY WINE!” I exploded, like Chris Farley when you try to take his french fries away.
You can imagine how well the detox diet went from there. By Wednesday, the prospect of eating a hot breakfast of oatmeal with almond milk was enough to keep me going after two days of smoothies and lukewarm lemon water.
By Friday, my resolve—and patience for tiny portions of miso soup—was crumbling faster than a piece of forbidden cornbread. An unexpected half day of work left me free in the city with a paycheck burning a hole in my pocket and a desire for a big plate of real food burning a hole in my gut.
A bowl of mac and cheese ended the cleanse two days early.
I discovered two things from my week of deprivation. One: I really, truly, honestly like juicing. I can’t drink juice as my only sustenance, but I do love it.
Two: the GOOP diet’s carrot-ginger salad dressing really is, as Gwyneth called it, “the jam!”
Sharp and tangy, it reminded me of childhood trips to the hibachi bar (as exotic as we got in the hinterlands of Pittsburgh back in the day) and made the prospect of daily lunch salads almost bearable.
I’ve adapted the dressing to be even more pungent and punchy with the help of scallions and miso.
This carrot miso dressing also works as a dip for vegetables, or as a spread to punch up sandwiches like banh mi.
Never cooked with miso? It’s a fermented soybean paste typically used in Japanese cuisine that’s savory with hints of sweet and salt, adding just a little tickle and oomph to boost the flavors of sauces, marinades, dressings, or whatever condiment you’re working with.
Miso comes in a few different varieties, based on how long it’s been aged and whether it’s been blended with barley or rice.
Start with the sweet white version—the lightest in both color and taste—for this carrot miso dressing, then experiment with using it in other recipes.
Add a spoonful to your next batch of chicken soup or a dab to a steak marinade, and see how it deepens the flavor. Make a batch of miso nut butter to experience the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Miso also keeps forever in the fridge, so you’ve got time to play around.
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces; 227 grams) carrots, peeled
- 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1/2 ounce (14 grams) fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) sweet white miso
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Shred the carrots into ribbons using a food processor fitted with the shredding disc.
- Switch to the food processor blade and add the scallions, ginger, miso, vinegar, and oil.
- Blend the ingredients until a thick puree forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Serve as is for a thick dip or spread.
- Add 2 tablespoons water and blend if you prefer a looser salad dressing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.
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