The goal in this is section of my blog is to share recipes. Many of these recipes can be found in my cookbook, Simple Cooking For Wellness, but I’ll also be sharing new ones. Feel free to share your own recipes in the comments section!
After having cancer for the third time, I felt perhaps I lost my ‘creditability’ as a person who follows a healthy, Ayurveda based lifestyle, but I believe our vulnerability to ‘getting’ cancer is impacted by stress as much as diet, and stress is something my life has had in truckfuls of in recent years. There is more to good health than what we put in our bodies, but everything we put in our bodies impacts our health for the good, or not, so why not eat healthy!
A caveat about my recipes – in day-to-day cooking I rarely measure anything, unless I am baking. Quantities, as well as ingredients, are variable depending on availability and personal preference. Listen to your own creative cooking muse! Be comfortable to ‘do your own thing’ once you’ve tried a recipe and got the ‘gist’ of it. I follow the principles of Ayurveda, which means I avoid, when possible, certain food combinations and I use certain spices with intention. Spices are like ‘medicine’ and can truly enhance not only flavors but the health and healing benefits of food. A general principle of Ayurvedic cooking is cook with Love and use only fresh foods!
Related posts with more recipes:
Cauliflower Hummus – posted summer 2016
1/2 large or whole small cauliflower, cooked, either steamed or roasted
juice from half a lemon
garlic clove to taste preference
one to two T. each of tahini and olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Adding a few handfuls of chickweed (seen in the picture above washed and read to use) when it is fresh adds a lovely green color as well as many nutrients. And a handful of lemon balm leaves adds both a touch of lemon flavor and more green nutrition.
This favorable bright green condiment is a great summer meal and digestive enhancer. Goes well with fish, as well as veggie and grain meals.
1 medium bunch cilantro, chopped fine, remove the coarser lower stems first
1/4 to 1/3 c. dried unsweetened grated coconut (you could use fresh)
1 T. grated ginger, or to taste
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, you might need more, experiment to what taste you like
1 t. to 1 T. honey
salt & pepper – optional (I actually don’t use either, except sometimes a pinch of salt)
Put chopped cilantro into a blender or small food processor with grated ginger, lemon juice and enough water to blend into a saucy paste. After the right consistency is attained and everything is blended (does not have to be smooth, just blended to a paste), add the grated coconut and blend just a little more to mix in. This is best served fresh, it will keep up to one day, but will lose it’s beautiful green color and some of it’s flavor. Past one day in frig, it is not the same at all.
The original receipe comes from Amadea Morningstar’s cook book, but I confess, we alter and play with the ingredient amounts to find the taste we like best. It is one of Mike’s favorites to make, he is patient to chop the cilantro fine!
Holiday Dinner Ideas – posted December 2014
Our family is not a ‘traditional’ holiday foods family, though there are some family traditions, such as the tasty nut & cheese balls with vegan gravy my sister-in-law and niece make for Thanksgiving or Christmas. For many years I baked a Ukrainian Honey cake for Christmas, often full of nuts and fruits. We are for the most part vegetarians, some eat turkey some years. In past years we’ve tried the tofurky thing, I made one from ‘scratch’ one year. No one ever asked for tofurky again, store-bought or homemade! We often have salmon as our protien.
This year’s Christmas dinner was a delicious blend of foods with a colorful palate.
The family festivities started with wassail and a slice pecan current quick bread with goat cheese.
Baked King Salmon
Baked yam and apple slices
Wild rice pilaf with green onions and currents
Steamed lucianto kale with leeks
Grated beet/carrot salad with fennel
Raw and cooked cranberries
These foods tasted and looked festive, a well-balanced menu, rich enough to feel like holiday fare, but not so rich as to give us holiday ‘bloat’.
Ginger Beet Soup – October 2014
I don’t add recipes here as often as I had hoped. Life is a great distraction! But when fall arrives and I start to make soups again, and one comes along that seems worthy of sharing I like to do so, just to tickle your own creative soup muse. Today, a beautiful fall day, feeling a bit ‘down’, I decided to make soup with those wonderful root veggies that are abundant this time of year. This GINGER BEET soup is a nice alternative to traditional borsch.
1 large & 1 medium beet, or the equivalent, cut into cubes
3 medium carrots, sliced in thick slices
1 medium parsnip, sliced in thick slices
one leek, both white and green parts, sliced
1/4 c. brown basmati rice, or white
2 T red quinoa, or white
1 T chopped fresh ginger, more or less, depending on your ginger preference
1 large bay leaf
I used 2 t. of a spice blend I make called a churna (recipe below). I recommend you use whatever spices you like in soups. Cumin is a good one; a good quality salt; enhance the ginger flavor with dry ginger. Or, let the favorable veggies with the fresh ginger and bay stand alone.
put all the above ingredients in a pan with about 5 cups water, bring to boil, turn down and simmer
add one chopped apple
cook until rice is cooked.
remove bay leaf
Blend. Actually, I used a food chopper. I was feeling lazy and did not want to wash the blender, the food chopper is easier to wash. When I started to make home cooked food for Abby the dog when she became sick with chronic pancreatitis, I bought a Ninja Food Chopper. It is the most useful electric appliance I’ve owned! Maybe you use a good chopper regularly, but I had no need for one before. I like how it blends soups but leaves a thicker consistency. I still blend my Curry Carrot soup (see below) so it is smooth, but by using the food chopper this Ginger Beet Soup has a nice coarse, hearty texture that seems to match the rich flavor.
Enjoy on a crisp fall day….or a rainy winter day! The color alone will warm and cheer you!
Tahini Cauliflower Soup – March 2013
This simple soup is full of veggies, Cauliflower being the main one. Tahini adds protein, flavor and thickness.
Chop a small head, or half a large head, of cauliflower, add to a soup pot with 2-3 cups of water
add one lg. or 2 sm. carrots, chopped, a sliced leek, white & green parts (my carrots & leek are from Red Dog Farm), one medium parsnip, and any green veggie you would like, I used about 6 stalks of asparagus, green beans would work nice too.
for spices add 1 to 2 teaspoons of curry powder (see recipe below carrot soup recipe). I use 1 t. curry & 1 t. churna (recipe below)
Simmer until vegetables are soft.
Remove 2 cups vegetables with broth and place in a blender
add 1/4 to 1/3 cup Tahini and blend smooth.
add back to pot for a flavorful, smooth, thick soup.
‘Curry powder’ in western cooking is a blend of spices, called a churna, commonly used in Indian cooking. Making your own spice mix, or churna, is an easy way to enhance dishes and aid the body’s ability to digest food, pleasing to the mouth and making for a happy tummy! Churnas are spice and herb blends specifically used to enhance digestion and balance doshas. This recipe for a churna comes from Amadea Morningstar. Though a churna for Vata dosha balancing, it is a good general purpose spice blend for everyone. If you would like to learn more about Ayurveda you can read my article.
4 t. ground cumin
2 t. each dried ginger & salt, Celtic or black
1 t. each ground cardamom, cinnamon, and ground black mustard seed
1/2 t. ground cloves
pinch of black pepper
Store in tight glass container.
Carrot Curry Soup – February 2013
This recipe is my modified version of a recipe printed years ago in Vegetarian Times magazine.
1 T ghee
1 t fennel seed
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2 cups, or 1 lb., carrots, sliced
1 medium yam, cubed
2 T white or brown basmati rice
1 to 2 t curry powder
1 bay leaf
Melt ghee in soup pan and brown fennel seed slightly. Add carrots, yam, bay leaf and 5 cups water. Cook a few minutes, add rice and curry powder. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked. Add apple, cook five minutes longer. Remove bay leaf. In small batches, puree soup in a blender, be careful not to overfill blender or you will have beautiful orange hot soup everywhere!
Can be served with a dollop of yogurt or chopped cilantro for garnish.
This is a very rich, filling soup.
The ‘secret’ to this soup being rich and delicious is fresh curry powder. Below is the recipe. Curry powder, as it is called in the west, is a churna, a blend of spices used for both flavor and to help with digestion. There are many churna recipes, and you can vary any recipe to your own taste preferences, or, in Ayurveda, to your doshic needs. I will share later another churna recipe.
4 t. each coriander, cumin, black mustard, and cardamon seeds ground together in a spice grinder. Add 2 t. each cinnamon powder & turmeric, and a pinch (1/8 to 1/4 t.) cayenne (or not!).
Optional: pinch of fennel and/or ginger.
Keep unused in tight glass container.
I promise, there will be non-soup recipes coming some day!