The Cleanse Companion Cookbook: The Definitive Guide to the Naturopathic Detoxification Diet
by Dr. Bonnie Nedrow, ND, and Chef Jeff Hauptman
Confluence Books 2012, 130 pages, $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-935952-66-4
Reviewed by Hélène Meurer

Let’s not mince words. This is an unassuming little book, and as such, it won’t appeal to everyone. There are no glossy photographs, it bears no star power, and no flashy marketing. The most colourful thing about The Cleanse Companion Cookbook is its cover. So why bother?

Because The Cleanse Companion Cookbook gets the job done without fanfare. It is a straightforward, down-to-earth guidebook for detoxification with organic, vegan, whole foods. It’s a warm, comforting oasis in a cold maze of websites vying for our attention. It creates a quiet space for considering, choosing, and preparing healthier ingredients. It’s a place to feel good about slowing down, taking a deep breath, and reading old-school black print on a buff page. The unassuming root vegetables, pulses, and fresh herbal ingredients will inspire you to grow your own. Mindful readers will find it restful and restorative to cook from this book.

We have two authors to thank for this: one, a practitioner of natural medicine, and the other, a former industry chef, reformed by a diagnosis of diabetes. There are no egos in this book, no wasted words—just basic nutritional tips for recipes that rely on low-cost, high quality ingredients. Choose Waterless Glazed Gingered Carrots (no sugar!) to help detoxify and improve circulation. Consider the health effects of Balsamic Roasted Beets or Lemongrass Lentils. Use basic bean recipes to stabilize blood sugar levels. (The book is a reminder that when eaten for breakfast, beans will anchor blood sugar early in the day.)

The Cleanse Companion Cookbook is so unlike most pervasive gourmand foodie fare that it is ultimately refreshing and highly useful. Simple combinations of fresh organic foods can be as beneficial as they are tasty: Green Apple and Pomegranate Salad with Cinnamon Tahini Sauce comes to mind. Coconut and Ginger Roasted Pears with spiced flax seed sprinkle is another dessert recipe that could double as breakfast. The delightful Sunflower Quinoa is infused with turmeric and really needs no photograph to tease its way onto the menu.

There are bite-sized nutritional insights on every page and a succinct shopping list is offered, but you’ll want to pick up this book for its easy, healthy recipes.

Cleanse Companion Cook Book

About the Author

Hélène Meurer reads, writes, grows food, and tries to keep moving in Victoria, BC.