About three years ago, as I was browsing the Internet, I came across a website. It was fresh and bright and inspiring, packed full of recipes, tips and information on how to achieve optimal health and wellness.
I went to the “about me” page and found out the author, Joy McCarthy, was a certified holistic nutritionist who had graduated from The Institute of Holistic Nutrition right here in Toronto. I didn’t even know what holistic nutrition meant back then.
It peaked my curiosity. I started doing some research, I looked into what holistic nutrition was, I read and re-read the course curriculum of that school she studied at. Something sparked in me. That was it. That was what I was waiting for – the thing that would make me escape the corporate job I disliked so much. I was going back to school. Without knowing it, this little bit of information would change my life forever. It’s partly thanks to Joy that I turned my life around, discovered my passion, and founded The Green Life.
So it was very special for me to be sent a copy of Joy’s latest book, Joyous Detox and to be invited to her book launch last week.
If you don’t know Joy already, I invite you to pop over her blog or watch some of the videos on her Youtube channel. It would be hard not to fall in love with Joy’s contagious energy and passion for healthy living. If someone walks the talk, it’s certainly Joy. She’s generous, authentic and she has a gift for sharing her passion with others. She’s been a great inspiration for me these past few years and I’m so happy I get to talk about her latest book today.
Joyous Detox is a collection of easy detox-friendly recipes to help you be vibrant and healthy every day. Joy’s recipes are totally approachable, made with simple ingredients. While this book is not 100% vegetarian, most of its recipes are. In addition to over 100 gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free recipes, this book contains a ton of practical information on holistic health and nutrition, including detoxifying foods, chemicals to avoid, healthy habits, and detox meal plans to help you achieve your goals. This book is a lot more than just a cookbook, it’s a very informative resource delivered in a fun and easy-to-understand way.
I chose to share her sweet potato coconut soup today as it seemed perfectly fit for this time of year. Plus anything with coconut speaks my language. The roasted sweet potatoes mixed together with sauteed shallots and garlic, creamy coconut milk and protein-heavy navy beans make for a beautiful, vibrant and comforting winter soup.
Recipe from Joyous Detox by Joy McCarthy. Copyright © 2016. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.
Notes: Joy’s recipe calls for one cup of roasted sweet potato. I roasted two small sweet potatoes and ended up with about 1 1/2 cup so I used a bit more than necessary. As for the coconut milk, you could probably use boxed coconut milk, but I always prefer the canned stuff. I used one low-fat can, which gave me a bit less than 2 cups and simply added a bit more water.
Sweet Potato Coconut Soup from "Joyous Detox" (Vegan)
- 1 tbsp 15 ml grapeseed oil
- 2 to 3 shallots finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 cup 250 ml cooked navy beans
- 1 cup 250 ml chopped roasted sweet potatoes
- 2 cups 500 ml coconut milk (I used low-fat coconut milk from a can)
- 1/2 cup 125 ml filtered water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Sea salt and pepper
Suggested toppings (optional)
- A drizzle of coconut milk toasted sesame seeds, chili pepper flakes, fresh cilantro.
In a medium saucepan, heat grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add navy beans, sweet potatoes, coconut milk and water. Blend for about 20 seconds so that the soup remains chunky in texture (or more if you prefer a smooth texture).
Transfer blended soup to a large pot. Season with lemon juice (start with about 1/2 lemon and add more as needed - I ended up using about 1/2 large lemon), salt and pepper. Reheat but do not let boil.
Top with your desired toppings - I topped mine with a drizzle of coconut milk, toasted sesame seeds, chili pepper flakes and fresh cilantro.
“We rise by lifting others.”