COCONUT AND CARDAMOM RICE

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of basmati rice 

1 tbs. of cardamom pods

1 lime squeezed

1 tsp. of sea salt

1.5 cup of water

1 tsp. of cumin seeds

1 can (or 1 cup) of whole coconut milk

1/4 cup of whole almonds

1 tbs. of ghee

PREPARATION:

In a medium sauce pot, add the ghee, cumin seeds, and cardamom pods. Let the pods pop and infuse into the oil for about a minute on low heat. Next, add the almonds and rice. Stir thoroughly. Then add the water and bring to a good simmer. The flame should be medium. Next, add the salt and lime juice. Cover on low flame and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice seems ready. Turn off the flame and let the pot sit for about 5-10 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Note: You can use quinoa instead of rice.

Optional: This dish is a side dish. You can garnish with parsley or cilantro.

ASPARAGUS, DATES, AND ALMONDS!

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of asparagus

1/4 cup of pitted dates

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of slivered or crushed almonds

1 tsp. of salt (1/2 for the asparagus, 1/2 for the date sauce)

pinch of cumin

1/2 lime squeezed

1/8 tsp. of ginger powder

1/2 tsp. of cardamom

1 1/2 cups of water

PREPARATION:

In a large sauce pan or skillet, add one cup of water and asparagus. Make sure the bottoms of the asparagus have been removed. One way to ensure knowing how much of the stem to remove it by simply grabbing the asparagus by both ends and bending it to snap off. The right amount will naturally come off. Place the asparagus into the pan/pot and cover on a low simmer for 7-10 minutes. You can also steam the asparagus. 

Separately, in a blender or a food processor, add the dates, olive oil, lime juice, spices, and then puree. While being processed, add the 1/2 cup of water to make it more saucy. Depending on preference, you can add more water to make it more liquid or less water to make it more like jam.

Once the sauce has been made, set it aside and wait for the asparagus. Check the asparagus to see if it has become tender. Make sure it's not over cooked. 

Take the asparagus and add to a dish. Sprinkle on the almond slivers and dress the asparagus with the date sauce.

This is a lovely summer recipe that combines nicely with many dishes as a side. 

Buon Appetite!

Note: For a thicker sauce, add more dates. For a thinner sauce, add more oil. Optional to use coconut oil but what happens is that it solidifies. Olive oil keeps it more to a sauce/chutney consistency.

TASTY SUMMER VEGGIE BURGER

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup of black beans (soaked and rinsed)

1/2 cup of peas and/or corn

1/2 cup of parsley or cilantro finely chopped

1/2 cup of spinach

2 cups of chickpea flour/rice flour

1 medium onion  finely chopped

1 cup of shredded carrots

1/2 - 1 tsp. of salt (salt as needed)

1 tsp. of cumin powder

1 tsp. of turmeric powder

1 tsp. of coriander powder

1 tsp. of garlic powder

1/2 tsp. of black pepper

1 cup of water

PREPARATION:

Step 1: Cook the beans half way. Then add the carrots, peas and onions. Steam until done but make sure the veggies don't get mushy.

Step 2: In a bowl, mix the chickpea/rice flour with water and spices. This becomes the batter. Taste the batter to test the salt and flavor content. Add more if needed.

Step 3: Mix the veggies with the batter thoroughly. This should form into the substance required to create the burger. If the batter is too watery, add more chickpea flour. If the batter is too dry or if it doesn't seem like there's enough to make into paddies, then add more water and chickpea starting with 1/2 cup each. More than likely it will be watery because of the veggies so just add chickpea flour to thicken. The 2 cups (maybe another half) should be enough chickpea flour to make the overall mixture into paddies.

Step 4: Grill the burgers evenly on both sides in a lightly oiled (coconut/ghee/olive) skillet or pan on medium heat. Cook evenly on both sides.

Step 5: Garnish with tomatoes and anything else you would normally garnish a burger with such as lettuce or sauerkraut.  Ketchup or mustard is fine. Mayonnaise is fine too. Bread can be tricky as bread is not necessarily compatible. Potato bun is a little more compatible depending on the quality/ingredients. Otherwise, let's not stress over so many little details and enjoy this pleasant veggie burger.

Let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!

ROSE WATER ELIXIR and SUMMER "FOOD FOR THOUGHT"

I figured I would squeeze a "Health Tidbit" here to speak briefly of summer. Summer, is the season of Pitta in Ayurveda, where the qualities of either hot/dry or hot/moist (humidity) express themselves (based on geographic location.) These are the qualities that can increase heat naturally in the body and cause aggravation, especially if there is already a tendency towards having a lot of heat this time of year. Ayurveda says that when it is hot and dry, then sweet and watery foods are better. When it is hot and moist (humidity), then sweet and water foods, with some astringent tastes and mild diaphoretic/diuretic (depending on constitution) actions, are great to bring balance. 

The digestive system becomes centrifugal, which means that the blood flow isn't focused so much centrally as it is during the other months since the body works to maintain the core body heat. What happens as per this centrifugal force is that the blood circulates with the intention towards the extremities. When the blood is focused towards the digestive system this is more about the centripetal force. The circulation of the body moves the heat outwardly so that the body doesn't keep the core so heated in an attempt to cool itself. The sweating mechanism helps the body to not only rid the body of toxins but to also thermoregulate itself. 

This is one of the main and fundamental reasons why the intake of cold/frozen or anything icy is considered contraindicated, as the intake of cold causes the heat to trap within the core of the body, then causing the body to feel hotter. You would think the opposite happens by satisfying the desire to drink something cold to cool down, when in fact it is doing something completely opposite. This is why in some cultures that they drink hot soups and teas because this induces not only sweating to cool down but also causes the body to release heat. Amazing! (view HERE for more on the perils of ice/cold)

During this time of year, weight loss (especially for the Kapha types) becomes easier as the heat of the sun causes the lymphatic to drain, the sweating to remove impurities and support digestion. It is also important to note how the digestive system is generally based on heating and that fasting between meals supports optimization and utilization of nutrition. You see, fasting between meals is a sure way to burn up unnecessary fat. The body knows when to stop so don't worry if weight starts to drop. (unless you're more of the Vata or Pitta type and already on the lower side of weight) Allowing the blood sugar to drop between meals forces the body to convert fat to usable glucose which stabilizes the blood sugar again. Next time you have that "craving", don't take the lazy route and put something in your mouth. Resist the urge and drink some tea (room temp or on the warmer side.) The blood sugar should stabilize and your craving should subside. If the craving persists, you must ask yourself: 1) what was the quality of your sleep? 2) were my meals of breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner adequately chewed and complete with protein, carbs, fats (oils such as ghee, coconut, olive and flaxseed) and vegetables? 3) are you hydrated enough?

Any one of these three can potentially cause the body to have cravings for sweets and coffee/caffeine for boosts of energy. When these are in check, it becomes easier to gauge what the craving is really about and what you end up usually left with is that the body is just craving because of the emotional component and stress relationship. This is especially the time to encourage the utmost possible discipline and drink some tea so that the body can do its thing and burn fat for fuel. 

As for the tastes that help to support balancing our digestive systems during the summer, bitters, astringents, and sweet are the tastes that Ayurveda favors this time of year. Nature encourages this as well. Just look around at what the produce consists of. Greens, veggies, fruits. They are sweet, water, bitter and some astringent. Nature knows that as it gets hot out we don't really want to spend time cooking over a hot stove but be outside. Grilling is a good option and eating the fresh vegetation is a sure way of taking in vast vitamins/minerals naturally this time of year. As we do this, some of this nutritional information gets stored in the body for later use. Amazing isn't it?!

That being said, below is a simple recipe for this month. You can also view last month's recipe QUINOA WITH A PESTO TWIST for another example. Additionally, you can go to my general RECIPES page and scroll down to past recipes for the summer.

There is also an upcoming cooking class pertaining to summer recipes. Check out the link HERE and register ASAP.

Without further a due, here is this month's simple recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. of rose water (preferably from Heritage Stores)

12 oz. of filtered water

4 oz. a mango juice (preferably fresh) 

1/4 lime squeezed in

pinch of cardamom powder

PREPARATION:

Take a 16-ounce glass and add all ingredients. Stir. Enjoy! It is quite refreshing and tasty. Cooling too without stressing the digestive system.

Optional: it may be too cooling for Kapha types, therefore, adding a pinch of cinnamon can be a nice touch. Also, you can substitute mango juice and water, and simply replace these liquids with coconut water. This is another nice variation. The key ingredient is the rose water. It's subtle, delicate and yet...right there.

 

 

 

QUINOA WITH A PESTO TWIST

This is a good late spring and early summer recipe. Light, nourishing, and balancing. Flavorful too! Green is good for the blood and liver as it is alkalizing and nourishing for the body. Having easy dishes to cook means less time needed to be standing over a hot stove as the atmosphere gets warmer. 

INGREDIENTS (for quinoa)

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water

1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 lemon or lime

1/2 tsp. of sea salt or kosher salt

3-4 basil leaves

INGREDIENTS (for pesto)

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves.

2 cloves garlic.

1/4 cup almond nuts.

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (cold pressed).

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. (optional if you're lactose sensitive)

PREPARATION:

STEP 1: In a medium saucepan, bring the cups of water and salt to a boil, then add the quinoa. Next, add in the pumpkin seeds. Cover and low simmer for 10-15 minutes. When the quinoa is cooked, turn off the flame. While this dish is cooking, proceed to step 2.

STEP 2: To make the pesto, place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Puree until you get a nice and even sauce consistency.

STEP 3:

Combine 2-3 tbs. of the pesto with the quinoa dish. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve and add a squeeze of the lemon or lime, then garnish with basil. Enjoy!


You could make this dish even more complete and delightful with an arugala and shredded beets salad. Here's a quick recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of arugala

2 tbs. of shredded beets (you can use a cheese grater)

2 tbs. of dried cherries 

INGREDIENTS (for dressing):

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 tsp. of sea salt

1/2 lemon squeezed

1 tsp. of oregano

pinch of black  pepper

1/2 tsp. of garlic powder

1/2 tsp. of ginger powder

PREPARATION:

STEP 1:

Place arugala and beets on a dish or in a bowl. Mix in the dried cherries. 

STEP 2: 

Combine the olive oil and other ingredients for the dressing. Use a fork to mix it well. Then, pour the dressing over the veggies.

Buon appetite!

GREENS AND BEETS JUICING

This recipe is timely for this time of year as we consider juicing, and a variation of the CLEANSING BEETS RECIPE

Ayurveda is very specific about how juicing should be conducted in order to ensure its integration as part of healthy practices. A little bit of juice goes a long way, versus a large mug or glass of it. Typically, 4-6 oz. of juice is ideal. Anything more than that becomes too much for the body to digest as the sugars can be more concentrated, the sweeter it is. Preferably, the ratio is 3 veggies (greens for example) : 2 fruits. There should be a little more bitterness than sweet. Too much sweet requires more energy of the body, especially the liver, in order to convert the sugars into a usable form.

Check out this recipe:

Ingredients:

1 beet

1 kale leaf

1" ginger piece

1/4 cup of cilantro juice

4 carrots

2-4 celery stalks

1/2  of wheatgrass (processed with the cilantro)

pinch of cardamom powder

pinch of cumin powder

Pinch of cinnamon

Preparation:

Separately take one handful of fresh cilantro, and the wheatgrass and add it to blender with 1/2 cup of water. Blender this for a couple minutes. Strain the liquid and save the juice. You can use the pulp in other dishes not to waste it or you can compost it.

In a juicer add the remaining ingredients, saving the spices for last. Juice those ingredients and then combine the cilantro juice. Then you can add the spices and stir well.

Enjoy this drink as a breakfast replacement, depending on your digestive fire (agni) and your constitution (Kaphas can benefit from less or increase the bitter and pungent tastes).

SPINACH AND FRESH CHEESE

Otherwise known as Saag Paneer in Indian Cuisines, this recipe is yummy, light, easy to digest and tasty. It was a fun recipe to whip up for friends and can be tri-doshic, balancing to Vata, Pitta and Kapha, even this time of year if it's done right. The spices help with reducing the kaphagenic qualities of the cheese and yogurt. The whey and spices boost digestive enzymes. The ghee, yogurt and cheese support healthy pre/pro-biotics. The rice provides adequate fiber, along with the spinach. Plenty of protein in this dish. Balanced carbs and fats. A whole complete meal. Light, filling and satisfying.

Remember, green is good, especially this time of year as spring enters into the atmosphere and green is good for the blood.

This recipe is a bit involving though. There are several steps but the end result is amazing and it can be fun to make this an opportunity to be intimate with cooking and being in the natural pharmacy known as the kitchen.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups of fresh spinach

2 cup of water

1 cup of fresh/whole fat yogurt

2 limes

1/2 gallon of whole organic or raw milk

2 tsp. of cumin seeds

1 tsp. of mustard seeds

1 onion completely diced

1 tbs. of diced fresh ginger

1 tsp. of turmeric

1 tbs. of ghee/coconut oil

2 tsp. of sea salt or himalayan pink salt

2 cups of whey liquid

1 cup of soaked rice

1/4 cup of cilantro

1 tbs. of cardamom pods

1/8 tsp. of cayenne

 

PREPARATION:

STEP 1:

In a large saucepot, pour in the milk. Bring it to a medium simmer for 10 minutes. Then squeeze 1 1/2 lime juice into this. It will curdle. The milk solids will separate from the whey protein. When it appears as though all the milk has separated. Take a large bowl and strain this mixture. The cheese part will remain in the strainer. The liquid is the whey. Keep this as you'll use it for your rice. Empty the contents of what is in the strainer onto a dish. Then, place another dish on top with a weight of sorts in order to squeeze out any remaining liquid. You can do this for about 1.5-2 hours. You'll see the water on the sides. Occasionally, drain this mix and put the weight back on. For the weight, I usually get a few heavy bowls and place it on top to ensure the cheese is being squeezed. After the time has passed, remove the weight and slice the cheese into cubes. It becomes a soft and light cheese.

STEP 2:

Take 1 cup of water and add it to a medium saucepot. When it starts to simmer, add the spinach and cover for a minute or two until it has softened. 

STEP 3:

Take the spinach and add it to a food processor. Add the yogurt and blend really well, into a puree.

STEP 4:

In a large skillet, add the ghee and spices. Saute and allow the spices to infuse into the oil. This can be for a minute or two on a low heat. Then, take the cubes of cheese and add it to the oil/spice mix and saute until most of the edges of the cheese have browned. Next, add the onions and ginger. Saute for a minute or two. Then add the spinach/yogurt mixture. Cover this, with a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.

STEP 5:

In a medium saucepot, add 1 tbs. of ghee and 1 tsp. cumin seeds. Let the seeds pop into the oil on a low heat. Next, add the rice and saute slightly. Next, add 2 cups of the whey and bring to a boil. Add salt. Cover and let simmer on a low-medium heat until the rice has cooked. Towards the last five minutes add the cilantro and mix it into the rice. Cover the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for five minutes. 

STEP 6:

On a plate, scoop out the rice and then add the saag paneer to the rice on the side. You can cook other vegetables to complete the dish. See previous recipes for ideas. Personally, I have eaten this wish a small glass of Takra (Ayurvedic Buttermilk) and home made dosa (Indian pancake/flat bread). Amazing!

Note: the remaining whey liquid can be stored up until 5 days and you can use it again for other rice dishes or as a base for something else. 

ALMOND TULSI DELIGHT

This was another tasty and nurturing recipe that was a hit at the last workshop. I'm excited to share it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 heaping tbs. of Tulsi (pure herb)

2 tsp. of Cardamom powder ( 1 tbs. of pods crushed)

Maple syrup (add as much as you'd like to taste)

1 cup of almond milk

2 cups of water

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, add the water and herbs.

Bring to a medium simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the almond milk and maple syrup. Low simmer for another 5 minutes.

Let it sit as you turn off the heat.

Serve and enjoy!

 

AYURVEDIC SCALLION PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of chickpea flour

1 cup of water

1 tsp. of cumin powder

1 tsp. of turmeric powder

1 tsp. of fenugreek powder

1 tsp. of sea salt or 1/2 tsp. of himalayan rock salt

1/2 tsp. of black pepper

1 cup of diced scallions

1 cup of shredded carrots

1 tsp. of melted ghee or coconut

1 tsp. of cilantro or parsley diced

PREPARATION:

In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour, water and spices together thoroughly. Then add the vegetables and mix it all well. This is the batter.

Next, take a pancake griddle or non-stick pan and drizzle 2 tsp. of ghee/coconut and when the pan is hot enough, take a scoop of the batter and add it to the pan. Use the scoop to spread out the mixture evenly and into a pancake shape. Use a plastic or wooden spatula to flip the pancake over when you can see that the side is browning. Cook evenly on both sides. Serve it on a plate and you can garnish it with some cilantro or parsley.

NOTE: For kapha predominant individuals a variety to this would consist of the 1 cup of scallions, 1/c cup of shredded carrots and 1/2 cup of saute' onions. Remember, Kapha benefits from pungent, bitter, astringent, warm, light and drying qualities. 

This recipe is filling and tasty. It makes a good addition to meals or can be good for breakfast with a cup of tea, or dinner in the same fashion.  

DIGEST TEA

This recipe is great for stoking the digestive fire and promoting lymphatic circulation. One of the key ingredients is Fenugreek and this herb is one of the best herbs for removing toxins. The Mahanarayan Oil serves as a lung decongestant. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp. of Fenugreek Seeds (or powder)

3 slices of fresh ginger

3 drops of Mahanarayan Oil

1/2 tsp. of raw honey

PREPARATION:

In a small saucepan, add water and spices. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes on a low to medium simmer until the water turns a golden/rusty color. Turn off the flame. Let it sit for two minutes. Strain the spices in a mug. Add the honey and Mahanarayan Oil. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE: You can purchase a bottle of Mahanarayan Oil through Banyan. The oil is also an excellent oil for muscles aches and pain. 

LENTIL WINTER SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup of basmati (short grain) or barley (soaked 4-8 hours)

1 cup of red lentils (soaked at least 4-8 hours)

1/2 - 3/4 tsp. of cayenne powder

1 tsp. of cumin powder

1 tbs. of garlic powder

1 tsp. (or salt to taste) of sea salt or Himalayan Rock Salt 

1 tbs. of turmeric powder

1/2 cup of diced up fresh parsley

1 1/2 cup of spinach

1 diced up onion

2-3 bay leaves

2-3 carrots diced

2 celery stalks sliced into small chunks

1 tbs. of ajwan seeds

2 tbs. of ghee

PREPARATION:

In a large sauce pot, place oil and spices together (except the parsley). Heat this mixture until you start to smell the spices infusing into the oil. Next, fill the pot with water up until approximately 1 inch below the rim. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Once this mixture begins to boil, lower the flame to a low-medium simmer and cover. If it seems to be dripping out the sides, lower the flame a bit more until it has stopped. Cook this for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Note: for Pitta predominant types, you can replace the red lentils with yellow or green. Additionally, you can avoid the cayenne and replace it with a tablespoon of Fenugreek seeds. If Pitta is too high, just use the basmati instead of barley and use Mung beans instead of lentils.

 

WINTER BREW TEA

Here's the last recipe that I pulled together, that was a hit, the night of the grand opening event. This recipe supports stimulating digestion and circulation as you are warmed up from the inside out, keeping you warm while it's cold outside.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. of turmeric powder

1 tbs. of cardamom pods (crushed)

6-7 cloves

1 tsp. of ghee

Raw honey (optional sweetner)

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, add water to an inch below the rim and then add all the above ingredients. Bring to a low simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes. Strain, serve and enjoy!

 

COCONUT DATE BALLS

This is another recipe I whipped up for my recent gathering that everyone couldn't get enough of. It's simple and quick.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups of pitted dates

2.5 cups of shredded coconut

1/2 to 1 cup of almond meal (this depends on how wet the mixture seems)

1/2 cup of coconut oil and ghee melted together (equal proportions)

1 tbs. of cardamom powder

PREPARATION:

Except for the raw almonds, place all the ingredients in a food processor. You may need to cut the dates up really well, depending on your processor. I had used the option on my blender and it took some extra time to puree most of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until it looks as though it can be rolled into a substantial ball. They will harden somewhat but still feel soft. You'll see. Just note that the almond meal helps to bind it more if it seems too wet from the oil. If it's too dry, add more of the oil. 

AYURVEDIC NOG

Tis the season to be warm and fuzzy.

Here's a simple recipe I whipped up for my Grand Opening Event that was a major hit. So much so that the pot was empty before the night was done. I promised a few of you who attended that I would post the recipe. Here it is. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of whole organic cow's milk

1/2 cup of water

1/8 -1/2 tsp. of nutmeg

1/2 tsp. of cardamom powder

1/8 tsp. of cinnamon

1/2 - 1 tsp. of Molasses (sweeten to taste)

PREPARATION:

In a small saucepan, add all the ingredients except for the molasses, and simmer on a low flame for around 15-20 minutes. Add the molasses and turn off the heat. Enjoy!

Note: this recipe tastes best and has the creamy consistency because of the cow's milk. You can substitute the milk with almond milk, though it will not have the creamy effect but still taste yummy. Additionally, for Kapha predominant types, you can replace the molasses and use raw honey instead. This recipe makes one mug worth.

HAPPY CO-CO-COA!

Enjoy this decadent hot cocoa recipe and share it with loved ones. Hot Cocoa is one of my personal favorites this time of year and never go a year without it! There's something nurturing and cozy about it on a cold winter night, as the fire is going and I'm under a blanket. I'm all about it and my heart is feels gently supported.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of almond milk

1 full/heaping tsp. of cacao powder

1/2 - 1 tsp. of raw honey (or sweeten as per your taste)

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp. of coconut oil

1/8 tsp. of nutmeg

1/8 tsp. of cardamom powder

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, add the almond milk, nutmeg, coconut oil and cacao powder. Bring it to a low simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. In a mug, add the cinnamon stick. Pour the mixture into the mug and let it sit for a minute or two before sweetening it with honey.

NOTE:

Alternately, you can make this recipe with organic cow's milk/raw milk and instead of the coconut oil you can add ghee. This recipe isn't recommended for Kapha predominant types as mucus may increase because of the milk. Sometimes adding an equal amount of water to the milk can lighten it up and reduce the heavy qualities of milk. A pinch of ginger powder can be added as well. 

ENJOY! (and let me know how it goes)

 

BRINGING YOU BRUSSELS

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups of brussel sprouts cut in half and stem removed

1 tbs. of sesame seeds (white or black)

1-2tbs. of Braggs Amino Acids

3 tbs. of ghee or coconut oil

¼ cup of pecans or almonds crushed

1 tsp. of ginger powder

1 tsp. of garlic powder

1/8 - 1/2 tsp. of cayenne

¼ cup of cut up onion

½ cup of water

 

PREPARATION:

In a large sauce pan, add oil, spices and sesame seeds. Saute for a minute or two. Then add the brussel sprouts. Thoroughly mix everything, then add the water. Low simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the sprouts have softened. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

COZY AUTUMN CASHEW RICE

Here's a recipe to support the transition into fall by adding oils and warming spices to support digestion and immunity. This dish combined with a protein and vegetables can be yummy! 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup of cashews

1/4 cup of cranberries or raisins

1 tbs. of cardamom pods

2 tbs. of ghee

1 cinnamon stick

3/4 tsp. of ginger powder

1 tsp. of cumin seeds

1 cup of basmati rice (make sure this has been soaked for at least 4 hours)

1 cup of almond milk

1 cup of water

1 tsp. of salt 

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, add ghee and spices. Lightly saute the spices in the ghee until you hear a sizzling sound from the cumin seeds. Next, add the cranberries (or raisins) and cashews and simply saute for a minute. Then, add the rice and mix this all together thoroughly, Finally, add the almond milk and water. Bring to a light boil. Cover, this and simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring only 2-3 times during this process. Turn off the flame and let it sit. Enjoy!

NOTE: this recipe isn't for those individuals with nut sensitivity. Instead, those with such a sensitivity can omit the nuts and replace the almond milk with coconut milk. 

 

CARROTS AND RAISINS..OH MY!

Here's a recipe from a cooking class I taught a few years ago but with some variation, learning it in India. It's a delicious recipe any time of year but particularly this time of year as we transition into the Fall months. The qualities in the atmosphere have been changing where we have some summer days and then on other days there's a cool dry air. This is the beginning of when Fall starts to sneak in. These qualities can wreak havoc on our health if we don't attend to keeping balanced. 

This recipe is tonifying and nutritive. Check it out. It makes a great breakfast or light filling dinner.

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 shredded carrots

1/4 cup of raisins

1 tbs. of ghee (or coconut oil)

1 tsp. of cardamom powder

1/2 tsp. of Fennel Seeds

1/2 tsp. of Turmeric

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1/4 cup of crushed up pecans or almonds

2-3 cups of milk (raw, whole preferably) Note: option is almond milk

Additionally, for more Kapha predominant conditions you can add a pinch of ginger powder.

PREPARATION:

Take a medium saucepan and add the ghee and spices. Saute the spices briefly and then add the nuts. Next add carrots. Stir this until the carrots are covered in ghee. Add the raisins and then milk. Stir for a minute or two and then simmer on a low flame and cover for 15-20 minutes. Turn the flame off and let it sit. If you'd like it to be more like a looser porridge you can add more milk. No sweetener needed. 

COCONUT CUCUMBER DELIGHT

It's hot and who wants to cook much? Here's another summer beverage that supports hydration and keeping cool.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium sized cucumber (peeling is optional but definitely cut the cucumber lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds

1 cup of coconut water

1 tbs. of fresh mint leaves

1 pinch of sea salt

1 pinch of cardamom powder

squeeze of lime

PREPARATION

Take all the ingredients and add them to a blender. Puree until fully converted into juice form.

Enjoy!

PESTO PLEASURE

INGREDIENTS:

5-6 lettuce leaves separated from core

1 pound of quinoa pasta of choice (optional semolina) Note: Brown Rice pasta is heavy and too heating for summer. You can use couscous as well.

1 cup of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes

3-4 large tbs. of pesto (you can buy it or make it (see below))

 

PESTO RECIPE:

2 cups of packed fresh basil

6 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of almonds (traditionally pine nuts are used but this can get expensive)

1/2 - 2/3 cup of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (optional but note that cheese and tomatoes tend to be incompatible and can add to pre-existing inflammation)

Add salt to taste

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, boil a pound of pasta. Cut the cherry/grape tomatoes int small piece and set them aside. Whatever the form of protein you have chosen, grill it and cut into cubes, then set aside. On a dish, place the lettuce leaves in such a way that when the pasta has been mixed you will be adding it to the center, creating a masterpiece of a meal. Once the pasta is cooked, al dente preferred, add the pesto and mix thoroughly. Then add the protein and tomatoes. Mix it all thoroughly and then add to the dish as previously mentioned. Serves 4. This dish is cooling and light for summer.

Optional: To add more bulk to this dish, you can add a protein source to this dish. I've used grilled chicken. You can substitute chicken for fish or tofu but note that if you use tofu, this can add to the heaviness of the dish and possibly increase gas since tofu is from soy and soy is a sort of legume that can produce gas, especially when overly processed.