This weekend I put together a feature for the Weekend Irish Independent magazine geared at giving your body a boost with these New Year detox recipes.

Here are a couple of recipes and tips that will help you show your body a little bit of New Year love. Green juices are a great way to start the day or to give yourself an afternoon boost. It is recommended that we eat up to eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day, which is often really hard to do. Juicing is a really easy way of pumping up your daily fruit and vegetable target. The simple act of juicing your fruit and vegetables makes the nutrients more easy to absorb into the body. Make sure you choose pesticide-free fruit and vegetables and that you drink the juice straight after making it, as the nutrition value declines with time.

Mixing roast vegetables and fresh salad greens is a great way to keep meals interesting. This combination leaves you feeling satisfied and refreshed at the same time. Soft, sweet roast vegetables are a wonderful textural contrast to crisp, dark leafy greens. Superfood watercress is a great source of vitamin C and A and also contains some calcium and iron. It is widely seen as a great detoxifier, as it helps boost cleansing enzymes in the liver. Some recent studies also show that watercress contains compounds that help inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.

While cutting down on your meat and processed-food consumption, you might like to try tofu. Tofu is most commonly enjoyed with Asian flavours, which can often be high in salt and sugar. I like this simple method of preparing tofu because of its lovely crunchy crust. Tofu is a great alternative to meat as it is high in protein and calcium. Be careful to choose organic, non-GMO tofu as you should really try to limit your consumption of chemicals while detoxing.

The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to try something new. Try a few detox meals or simply try to include some more super greens in your diet.

Happy New Year!

Veggies Salad

2 cups watercress
2 large sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 fennel bulb
2 tablespoons flaked almonds

Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon argave syrup
½ clove crushed garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to season
1 teaspoon chopped fennel tops

Wash the watercress thoroughly in a wire colander and set aside to drain.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into wedges.
Lay the wedges out on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil before baking in a pre-heated 160 deg C oven for 30 minutes.
Slice the bulb of the fennel into thin slices with a very sharp knife.
Remove the sweet potato wedges from the oven and lay the fennel slices out on the same tray.
Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Allow the vegetables to cool completely.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well.
Assemble the salad on a large dish or serving plate layering the vegetables and the watercress.
Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with flaked almonds just before serving.

Green Juice

Quantities per person
2 green apples
4 sticks of celery
½ thumb sized piece of ginger with the skin removed
1 lemon with the skin removed

Refrigerate the fruit and vegetables before juicing.
Wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly.
Enjoy immediately.

Polenta Crusted Tofu

1 packet of Organic, Non-GMO firm tofu
½ cup polenta
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cut the tofu into 2cm slices.
Pour the polenta out onto a dinner plate.
Roll the damp tofu slices in the polenta.
Shallow try the polenta- covered tofu in a pan of hot olive oil for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Serve with your favourite home made vegan pesto.