Get fresh: Reverse the effects of festive indulgence with Mark Hix's healthy detox dishes

Yes, it's that time of year when we all want to eat a little more healthily after all the excesses of the festive period. In fact, I had to undergo an enforced pre-Christmas detox myself this year, when a bloody van reversed into my scooter and mangled up my foot. The result was a few days in hospital without a drop of alcohol – and now that I'm on crutches I can't drink too much or I might break my neck!

Drink or no drink, here are some recipes for light nutritional dishes that will reverse some of the effects of the gluttony this Christmas.

Chicken liver and pomegranate salad

Serves 4

Pomegranates are one of those fruits that are often ignored, as most people just don't know what to do with them. In fact, the less you do with them the better. Scooped out and scattered over cured meats or over another exotic fruit, or simply juiced, pomegranate provides a real boost at any time of the day. And used like this in a dressing, it gives a salad a beautiful colour, crunchy texture and an interesting zingy flavour.

A couple of handfuls of small tasty salad leaves and/or wild herbs like chickweed, rocket, pennywort etc
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded into matchstick-like pieces
The seeds and juice from 1 pomegranate
250g fresh chicken livers, trimmed and cut into even-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little rapeseed oil for frying

For the dressing

The juice from the pomegranate
tbsp cider vinegar
3tbsp rapeseed oil

Place the pomegranate juice in a pan and simmer until you have about a tablespoon left (unless that's all the juice you have, in which case leave it as it is). Whisk the pomegranate juice, vinegar and rapeseed oil together and season to taste.

Season the chicken livers, heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken livers on a high heat for a few minutes, turning them as they are cooking, keeping them nice and pink; then transfer on to a plate.

To serve, toss the salad leaves, carrot, pomegranate seeds and livers with the dressing and season; then arrange on plates and serve immediately.

Rose veal tartare

Serves 4

Farmers are starting to wake up to the fact that there is actually a demand for veal in this country – and the flavour of naturally (and ethically) reared British veal is so much better than that of the imported Dutch veal. As most veal is fairly tender, you can use more cuts for a raw tartare than you could with beef, so leg, sirloin, fillet and flank can be used.

500g very fresh lean veal meat
2-3 medium shallots, peeled, halved and very finely chopped
50g capers, drained, rinsed, finely chopped
50g gherkins, finely chopped
2tsp brandy brandy
tbsp tomato ketchup
2tsp Worcestershire sauce
A few dashes of Tabasco
1tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

With a very sharp chopping knife, chop your veal as finely as possible. Mix all of the ingredients together and season to taste. You may wish to add a little more Tabasco, ketchup or Worcestershire sauce. Spoon the veal tartare on to a plate or, if you prefer, push it into a ring mould.

Serve with a leaf salad and chips, or toast – or even a raw egg yolk, for the full "raw food" effect.

Orange and onion salad

Serves 2

This recipe is from Simon Hopkinson's new book The Vegetarian Option (Quadrille, £20). The choice of onions here is crucial as Hoppy suggests; use the freshest possible sweet white onions. You could also use blood oranges.

4 oranges (or blood oranges)
1 or 2 small sweet white onions, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges and, using a small, very sharp knife, further slice off the skins of the oranges, cutting close to the flesh and removing all traces of pith. Slice thinly, removing any pips, and arrange neatly, slightly overlapping, on a beautiful plate.

Thinly slice the onions and lay them on top of the oranges – with a sprinkling of salad garnish if you like. Spoon enough olive oil on to the assembly to suit you, and grind over some pepper. Eat all on its own, and with someone you like very much.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
    Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

    Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

    A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
    Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

    Election 2015

    Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
    Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

    Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

    The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
    The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

    The US is getting frayed at the edges

    Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
    Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

    New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

    A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
    Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

    British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

    Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
    Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

    Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

    Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
    Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

    Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

    He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
    How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

    Celebrating 100 years of Leica

    A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world