Summer Pasta with Cream Sauce

This is a recipe to help keep the summer heat from getting to you. It's fast and delicious. And it's lighter than you might think. Remember to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Also remember that Pitta season runs from July to October. As soon as the first heat waves of summer roll around, most of us feel the effects of the increased Pitta in the atmosphere — perhaps a shorter fuse than usual, maybe more irritability and frustration, occasionally outbursts of anger. Whether you are predominantly Pitta by constitution or not, take measures to keep the fire element in balance during the heat of the summer.

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Ginger Cannellini Bruschetta

Summertime means lots of gatherings with family and friends sharing good food and drinks. Whether it's a pool party, block party or just because party, a weekend free is always an opportunity to play hostess.  Chips and charred salsa is always a good fall-back plan but having a a few new ideas in your back pocket can create a new experience. 

This is a great quick recipe for an appetizer to a larger meal. It is substantial and piquant. Serve at a group gathering along with crudités and your other favorite hors d'oeuvres.

Makes approximately 16

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. garlic ghee
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Approx. 2 cups (16 oz.) small white beans (cannellini), soaked and cooked until tender
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. ginger preserve
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 very fresh baguette, cut lengthwise and in 3-inch slices (approximately 16 slices)
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Zucchini Bread (Ayurveda Recipe)

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie."  - Jim Davis

Summer squash typically called "zucchini" were developed in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century. Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in a backyard garden and can produce a copious amount. Zucchini has a delicate flavor and requires little more than quick cooking with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs.

zucchini BreadThis recipe uses grated zucchini to make a moist and delicious sweet bread. Enjoy!

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Ayurvedic Walnut Veggie BrainBurgers

The English walnut has a rich, expansive history and the respect of modern science. Here's a veggie burger featuring the walnut from Chef Domnick Mason at the Raj Ayurvedic resort and spa in Fairfield Iowa. The Raj, for the last 25 years has provided a full range of authentic panchakarma treatments to clientele worldwide as well as meals for guests and the community that feature organic foods - much of it local.

This is the recipe for the famous Raj veggie-burger featuring the brain-nourishing, health-supporting walnut. Nuts are considered an important part of the vegetarian diet as they supply fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They contain beneficial phytochemicals. Some contain many different forms of plant sterols, which are believed to help moderate blood cholesterol. Some of the volatile oils in nuts contain antioxidants that help counter free radical damage. Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans contain no cholesterol. Most of the calories in nuts come from fat, but mainly unsaturated fat, and fat performs some essential functions in the body. A growing body of scientific research spotlights the health benefits of this delicious nut.

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Seasonal Veggie Quinoa Salad with Pitta Churna Dressing

Fresh foods contain "prana," or life-giving energy, and are as close to nature as possible.

Prana is the vital energy present in fresh vegetables and fruits and pure air that we breathe. One of the reasons for eating is to imbibe prana, so you want to choose foods that are high in prana. The more you eat of life-giving foods, the more health and longevity you are likely to enjoy. Ayurveda considers food very powerful medicine. Make the best use of the foods you prepare and eat by choosing fresh, organic, filled-with-prana foods! 

Incorporating more fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet will give you an immediate energy boost. It's also important to cut the vegetables and cook them fresh at every meal. Buying pre-cut vegetables means that you have already lost some of the prana. For that reason, buy vegetables and fruits whole for maximum vitality.

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Ayurvedic Fried Plantains (Bananas)

Plantains are a delicious fruit belonging to the genus Musa, which includes the banana. There is no formal botanical distinction between plantains and bananas. Plantains are often eaten cooked. The plantain (banana) is indigenous to tropical Southeast Asia — including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines — and Northern Australia.

In ayurvedic terms, plantains have an astringent taste. People who need to balance Pitta and Kapha generally need to eat more bitter and astringent foods. Raw plantains and bananas can be harder to digest and, when eaten uncooked, are cold in nature, so cooking is an ideal way to prepare this fruit. In ayurveda, the banana is thought of as nature’s personal fountain of youth. It is known for stimulating healthy digestion and helps the body retain essential elements such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Enjoy!

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Healing Greens 101: An Ayurvedic Perspective

No longer just a frilly garnish, kale is taking the culinary world by storm. Along with it, leafy greens like spinach, chard, and even collards and turnip greens are gracing plates everywhere from fine dining hotspots to fast food restaurants across the country.

These nutrient-packed veggies have long played a starring role in Ayurvedic cooking, and with good reason. They’re hydrating, nutrient-rich, and when prepared while fresh, they contain prana, or life-supporting energy. Below, we’ll share both Ayurvedic and nutritional insights on leafy greens, along with tasty ways to incorporate them into your daily diet.

Greens Are Good for You

From a nutritional perspective, leafy greens are excellent sources of antioxidant vitamins A and C, and they also provide vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. They’re low in calories, and many varieties—especially the cruciferous (cabbage) family—contain unique enzymes that have been associated with supporting the immune system.

Ayurvedic vaidyas (experts) regularly prescribe a daily dose of leafy greens, because they’re good for your skin, hair, and for removing amavisha (toxic wastes) from the body. The human body is about 60 percent water, and leafy greens help purify your shrotas (the subtle channels of the body) and replenish your inner hydration stores.

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Apple Crisp (Video)

Apple Crisp is simple to prepare, easy to digest, and when served warm in the cold winter season is Vata-pacifying. Stewed fruit is always a favorite of ayurveda! 

Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind.

Since Pitta and Kapha cannot move without it, Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic Principles in the body. It's very important to keep Vata in good balance.

Recipe and video from from Heaven's Banquet, Vegetarian Cooking for Lifelong Health the Ayurveda Way

by Miriam Kasin Hospodar

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Host an Ayurvedic Brunch with Friends

Nothing beats a lazy Sunday brunch—a welcome antidote to the hectic work week. Any brunch worth its salt tends to feature the following ingredients: hearty fare, a mix of sweet and savory tastes, and good conversation with loved ones. But if you find you often feel heavy after those waffles with a side of Eggs-Benny, you might want to consider hosting your own Ayurvedic brunch next week.

Here are some delicious, dosha-balancing brunch options to fill you and your guests up without weighing you down. Word to the wise: agni, your digestive fire, is strongest around noon, so try to rally your friends to show up around 11.


The Menu

  • Apple Pancakes: Made with a crepe batter, these pancakes are softer and more moist than regular ones. They’re also sweeter because of the apples, so they don’t require any topping.
  • Scrambled Tofu or Panir: This Heaven’s Banquet recipe from Miriam Kasin Hospodar is Vata-balancing, quick to make, and a great substitute for scrambled eggs.
  • Cranberry Muffins: Packed with vitamin C, these muffins taste great with nut butter.
  • Raja’s Cup Latte: A delicious, grounding, antioxidant-rich alternative to coffee.

And, if brunch turns into an afternoon visit...
  • Golden Milk: A warm, frothy drink that’s rich in turmeric, which helps purify the blood and promotes healthy circulation, lung function, and immunity. Note: it’s best to drink Golden Milk at least an hour away from meals to avoid slowing the digestion.

The Recipes

Apple Pancakes

Apple Pancakes

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Split Moong Dhal

This is a basic mung bean dhal, meant to be a simple everyday Indian meal with rice and chapati, or a side dish as part of a larger meal. The wonderful buttery flavor is obtained from the technique called tarka, which means spices sizzled in ghee, added to the pot at the end of the cooking process.Ingredients½ cup split moong dhal2 cups water½ teaspoon salt¼ carrot, cut into thin slices½ teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated1 teaspoon MAPI Organic Vata Churna1 tablespoon ghee1 teaspoon fresh cilantro leaves½ teaspoon fresh lemon juiceDirectionsRinse dhal in cool water 3 times. Place water, carrots, and dhal in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.Skim off the foam that forms on the top of the boiling water with a tablespoon and discard.Lower heat and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, till the dhal is tender. If you want a thicker dhal, you can continue boiling for 5 minutes longer. Add the salt.In a separate saucepan melt the ghee. Add the fresh ginger root and sauté for several minutes.Add the Organic Vata Churna and sauté briefly, about 30 seconds, with the ginger root, making sure that the spices do not burn.Add spice mixture to dhal. The dhal may splash when you add the hot oil to it. Add the fresh cilantro and lemon juice.Stir and serve over rice or as a side soup with your main meal.Cooking an Ayurvedic Meal at Home

Prime Juice #1- reduce your anxiety

Use Prime Juice #1 when feelings of anxiety arise, or when you feel ungrounded, sluggish, or unmotivated. This juice is also good for fall, winter, and spring, or whenever the weather is cooler. Prime Juice contains pure and absorbable nutrition, and can help minimize detoxification symptoms.

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 apple, seeds removed
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • ¼ head purple cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 beet
  • 1 lemon (you can use the entire lemon, but cut it into quarters before juicing)
  • 1 inch peeled fresh ginger

Optional: ½ to 1 teaspoon spirulina powder, stirred into the juice after preparing. The taste is strong, so if you want to try it, start on the low side and work up to a full teaspoon.

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Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

This savory Greek pie traditionally comes in the shape of a small triangle, and it is a truly attractive, delicious, and welcome addition to any meal. Spanakopita is one of the best finger foods you can serve for just about any occasion. 


In What is Spanakopita?wiseGEEK provides an overview of spanakopita through the ages: “This tasty dish may have originated over 400 years ago, and may have been introduced during the Turkish occupation of Greece. A Turkish dish, ispanaki, is almost identical in presentation, though it sometimes has scallions added. Spanakopita is better known as a Greek food, however, and one will find it served in most Greek restaurants outside of Greece, as well as in virtually all restaurants in Greece. Chefs and food historians credit Epirus, Greece with the most delicious spanakopita.
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Healthy Holiday Treats

The mouthwatering aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg waft through homes everywhere as chefs lovingly recreate traditional holiday favorites such as pumpkin pie and gingerbread. Nothing conjures up the holiday spirit more than festive meals eaten in the company of family and friends.

Eating in the pleasant company of friends and family is wonderful for health. According to ayurveda, the spiritual components of cooking and eating are just as important for digestion and assimilation as are the physical components. That means, for example, cooking in a joyous rather than a stressed atmosphere, giving positive attention to the process of cooking and serving the meal, saying thanks before you begin, and enjoying companionable silence or quiet, pleasant conversation with friends and family as you eat. Such a meal converts quickly to ojas, the substance that sustains life and promotes good health, radiance and bliss.

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Cauliflower with Pistachios

Cauliflower is one of the most delectable, beneficial and versatile foods there is. From its sumptuous aroma and indescribably nuanced flavors (slightly nutty, a bit floral, but not at all overwhelming), to the luscious way it practically melts on the tongue when cooked to perfection, cauliflower is a powerhouse of deliciousness and nutrition, and there are countless ways to add it into daily dining.

For this recipe, we've joined cauliflower with pistachios for a truly unique and ambrosial taste experience. The dry, almost "earthy" flavor of pistachios intermingles beautifully with the nutty/floral overtones of the cauliflower for an enticing and extremely healthful dish. Enjoy!

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Vata-Pitta Balancing Soup

Moong dhal is rich in protein and a staple food in India. This healthy Indian comfort food is prepared from yellow split lentil (green split gram without skin) and a main source of protein for vegetarians.  


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Ayurvedic Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating

‘Tis the season to be snacking! From Thanksgiving (or even Halloween) through Valentine’s Day, the holidays present an extended string of festive gatherings that center around food and drinks. While living it up with friends, family, and colleagues can be fun, it can also be a bit stressful—especially if travel, hectic schedules, extra spending, and rich, sugary foods are on the menu.

“When there’s stress involved, our choices can become more reactive, rather than coming from a grounded place and connected to the self,” says Sankari Wegman, an Ayurvedic consultant at The Raj who also teaches Ayurvedic cooking classes. Moreover, Wegman tells us, it’s particularly easy to feel stressed during Vata season, which falls in autumn. “Vata by nature is light and airy, and it gets thrown out of balance when there’s any kind of irregularity.”

Below, Wegman offers ten easy Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet tips to help combat holiday stress—whether you’re the host, the chef, or dining solo this season.

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5 Time-Saving Hacks for Ayurvedic Meal-Planning

Life can get hectic, especially in autumn — a time of new school assignments, demanding projects at work, and the beginning of the holiday season. When your schedule is slammed, it can be hard to find time to prepare healthy, balanced Ayurvedic meals. Ironically, this is likely when you need them most! Delicious, well-spiced, cooked meals help to balance the doshas and create harmony in your mind and body.

While you can’t always prepare a full, Ayurvedic spread, there are some helpful, time-saving hacks that can help you — and your family — to eat well on the go. We’ve shared a few tips below, drawing inspiration from Ayurvedic chef, writer, and artist Miriam Kasin Hospodar, author of Heaven’s Banquet: The Maharishi Ayurveda Cookbook.

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Fine Fall (and winter) Meals: Ayurvedic Soups

Nothing warms and nourishes quite like a hot bowl of delicious soup on a cold fall day. Ayurveda loves soups. They are easy to make, they are nutritious and easy to digest, and they are perfect for the light evening meal recommended by ayurvedic experts (vaidyas). Because they are so easy to digest, soups are ideal for children. Made with fresh organic fall vegetables, grains, pasta, beans, dhals, herbs and traditional ayurvedic spices, soups make great ayurvedic dietary anchors. Enjoy your soup with freshly-made chapatis (flatbreads) on the side, and it will be a meal you’ll want to return to.

Soups are also fast. You can have a finished soup ready to serve in 30 minutes. Here are a couple of easy ayurvedic soup recipes. Remember, whenever possible, favor fresh, organic and non-GMO foods.

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Barley Sauté

Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis for both malt syrup sweetener. When fermented, barley is used as an ingredient in beer and other alcoholic beverages. As the weather begins to turn cold, a big pot of soup simmering on the stove warms the heart as well as the hearth. Adding some whole grain barley to the pot will improve your health along with the flavor of whatever soup or stew you're cooking. In addition to its robust flavor, barley's claim to nutritional fame is based on its being a very good source of molybdenum, manganese, dietary fiber, and selenium, and a good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and niacin.In this recipe, barley is sautéed similar to what you would do with rice. The added herbs and spices makes this a great dish on its own or serve with with a salad. Enjoy!Barley SautéIngredients1 cup barley2 cups water1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced2 tablespoons red bell pepper in small slices½ teaspoon turmeric½ teaspoon mustard seeds½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds½ teaspoon cumin seeds1 tablespoon olive oilDirectionsBring water to a boil. Add barley and reduce to low heat.Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until water is cooked out.In a separate frying pan, heat olive oil.Add mustard seeds; when they begin to pop add cumin and fenugreek and cook for about one minute.Then add fresh ginger, turmeric and red pepper.After 3 minutes add the cooked barley. Cook for several minutes and garnish with parsley and basil.Add salt to taste.

Grains — Vegetarian Powerhouses

 DisclaimerThe sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

Ayurvedic Garbanzo Bean Party Dip

The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume. The seeds of this ancient plant — the chickpea — are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes — 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.

Other common names for the species include garbanzo bean, ceci bean, sanagalu, chana, hummus and Bengal gram.

This slightly-tart, slightly-sweet dip is perfect for a party. It can also be used as a stuffing for quesadillas or as a pesto-type sauce.

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