Summer Cleanse + Smoothies

Summer Cleanse + SmoothiesSummer Smoothies :: Download the PDF for your Kitchen

This is one of many beautiful, colorful, vibrant, nature loves you recipe sheets you receive as part of our upcoming Ayurvedic Summer Cleanse. From August 9-15, this 5 day Cleanse with 1 day Prep at the front and 1 day Transition at the end gives you recipes for all 7 days, plus Yoga practices, a meditation, group calls and daily motivation, plus a facebook forum to share, connect, inspire.

If you can’t wait, head on over to Kate’s 3 day Cleanse going on now. Then come back and join us in August.  Invite your friends, too. We have room for plenty and it’s always more fun with your loved ones.

I love this Summer Cleanse so much I want everyone to have it. In fact, I love it so much and love you so much that I am going to give it to three of you for free. Just leave a comment below letting us know what you love about summer, and we will pick a winner in a random, double-blind drawing.

Are you ready for mind-blasting freedom, clarity and vibrance? Let’s join together and heal the world!

Loving life, loving summer, loving you ~ Namaste! 

~

Congratulations to Kate, Nicole and Nathalie who will receive the Summer Cleanse as a gift!

Toasted Turmeric Tofu Salad

Coronado_Beach

Summer is beautiful here: the beach, the clear but not too hot weather, the charm of a small town that, to some degree, resembles America as Betty Crocker might have lived it. It has an unspeakable draw.

Coronado Beach at Sunset

This week, that draw is stronger than ever. We watch as people pour in, like waves flowing to meet the ocean. They come from every place on the globe, coming this week for one thing above all: the 4th of July.

coronado fourth parade

coronado parade

Coronado 4th Parade

Yesterday, I was invited to be one of the Parade’s announcers/dj’s. It’s a surprise. But it’s also something more. I’ve lived here “under the radar,” so to speak, for 11 years. So it feels like a kind of coming out party.

No more feeling like the outsider. I belong. You belong. We all belong. We belong to our communities, to our world, to nature, to life. We belong to this breath, this moment, this 4th of July and this dream of unity.

coronado parade

coronado parade

In that spirit, I’ve been going through my days, my work and all the beautiful things one gets to love and do each day, filled with inspiration for a playlist: music across the generations, music that celebrates American ingenuity, music that makes us want to get up and dance.

A few high schoolers with exceptional musical talent quickly promised to stop by and perform. Favorite locals like Root 75, Cafe 1134, Seaside Papery, and Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge have loaded me up with prizes so we can run trivia contests. Of course, there are floats and bands, military brass and everyday heroes to announce, but there are often gaps… long gaps… between floats, so I am abuzz with ideas – and eager for more. If you have input for music, historical trivia, or engaging ways to entertain kids in a crowd (without losing the plot), I’d love to hear! 4thparade

coro parade

Meanwhile, in this time of such fullness, I am grateful for very simple, easy foods that provide energy and substance. This one in particular, is my go-to lately. I’ve been tossing it into salads, but you could put it with anything ~ from soup to saag, tacos and burritos to pasta. Put it in a bowl with a light dust of truffle salt or nutritional yeast, and it is a great snack all by itself.

roasted turmeric tofu salad

summer salad with roasted turmeric tofu

Roasted Turmeric Tofu is inspired by Lindsay who helped me make this Creamy Mollee last winter, and who, left to her own devices, did something I’d never have done – and made something unexpected, and uncommonly divine! Tossed with this sweet/bitter salad, you get the six tastes you need in a pitta-reducing, summer-balancing, savory symphony. Perfect for parties and picnics, and for everyone looking for something hearty and healthy.

You can thank Lindsay.

tofu turmeric

turmeric tofu

Summer Salad + Roasted Turmeric Tofu

Turmeric Tofu
Tofu, firm, but not extra firm
1 /2 t Turmeric
1/4 t Himalayan Salt
1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil

Salad
1 head Butter Lettuce, medium
1 head Radicchio, small
1 stalk Fennel
1 large or 2-3 small Beets, roasted or boiled
1/2 an Avocado
1/2 c Pumpkin seeds, raw

Dressing
1 t Tahini
1/2 t Lime juice
2-3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
pinch dried Mint
optional: Salt, Pepper to taste

To make the Turmeric Tofu ~

Roasted
Set your oven to broil. Transfer tofu to a baking pan and pour 1 teaspoon of its liquid over it. Discard the rest. Cut the tofu into bite-size cubes. Shower the tofu with turmeric, then sprinkle with salt. Marinate the tofu for 10 minutes.

Drizzle with melted ghee or olive oil, or a bit of both, and put in the oven. Roast for ten minutes until it browns. Remove from oven, turn cubes over and roast until this side browns. You don’t need to cook the tofu. You are only trying to roast the outer layers.

Pan-fried Alternatively, put the ghee/olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the marinated tofu on a medium high flame a few minutes each side, until both sides are browned. You might need a bit more ghee/oil, but it is tastier this way, and quicker if you can get the heat right up, without burning the tofu or the oil.

Once it is browned, transfer tofu to a paper towel covered plate to absorb the excess oil. Allow to cool. At this point you have a delicious snack or “meaty” addition to vegetables and mains.

To make the Salad ~ 

Wash, pat dry and tear the butter lettuce into bite-size pieces. Do the same with the radicchio.  Slice the fennel bulb thin, and tear its fronds into bits.  Slice the beet/s and avocado into cubes.  Layer the vegetables in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the raw pumpkin seeds.

Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a small jar. Cap the lid and shake well. Pour over salad, toss. Add Turmeric Tofu and enjoy!

summer salad with turmeric tofu5

Happy 4th!
May your holiday be safe.
May we all celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of true and enduring happiness
with the nourishing knowing that in our heart of hearts, we are one.

coronado4thofjuly

Namaste! 

Comfort Food : Curried Spinach Nibbles

spinach-souffle It has been one of the great, quiet privileges of my life to be at the bedside of friends and family as they pass. This week, going back and forth from teaching a mastery intensive on breath to a dark hospice room where our beloved was taking her last breaths, gave a profound opportunity to consider her life and all that she has meant to us, while considering the breath itself: What is it to breathe? What causes the breath? What is it that departs as the breath gently winds down? spinachsouffle In these moments, time slows completely, opening space to simply watch. It becomes a contemplation, watching her breathing in, breathing out, so ephemeral, so eternal… Even as that breath lengthens, softens, stalls, sputters, there is a sacred power. An intelligence. A knowing. Something unthreading. Something setting free. Continue reading “Comfort Food : Curried Spinach Nibbles”

Roses + Chocolate for Ma

#anti-aging browniesMother
Lola Ridge

Your love was like moonlight
turning harsh things to beauty,
so that little wry souls
reflecting each other obliquely
as in cracked mirrors . . .
beheld in your luminous spirit
their own reflection,
transfigured as in a shining stream,
and loved you for what they are not.

You are less an image in my mind
than a luster
I see you in gleams
pale as star-light on a gray wall . . .
evanescent as the reflection of a white swan
shimmering in broken water.

#paleobrownies

#paleobrownie

Getting Close
Victoria Redel

Because my mother loved pocketbooks
I come alive at the opening click or close of a metal clasp.

And sometimes, unexpectedly, a faux crocodile handle makes me weep.

Breathy clearing of throat, a smooth arm, heels on pavement, she lingers, sound tattoos.

I go to the thrift store to feel for bobby pins caught in the pocket seam
of a camel hair coat.

I hinge a satin handbag in the crease of my arm. I buy a little change purse with its
curled and fitted snap.

My mother bought this for me. This was my mother’s.

I buy and then I buy and then, another day, I buy something else.

In Paris she had a dog, Bijou, and when they fled Paris in 1942 they left the dog behind.

When my mother died on February 9, 1983, she left me.

Now, thirty years later and I am exactly her age.

I tell my husband I will probably die by the end of today and all day he says, Are you
getting close, Sweetheart? And late in the afternoon, he asks if he should buy enough filet of sole for two.

From a blue velvet clutch I take out a mirror and behold my lips in the small rectangle.

Put on something nice.
Let him splurge and take you out for dinner, my mother whispers

on the glass.

wow

instagram #brownies

What I Learned From My Mother
by Julia Kasdorf

I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

no bake brownies

Rosy Raw Brownies
Recipe Ayurvedically adapted from Julie Morris, who has a video demonstrating it here

Makes
1 dozen

Ingredients
1 cup walnuts
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 8)
1/2 cup raw cacao
1 teaspoon rose water
pinch pink salt
dash cinnamon
dash cardamom
Optional: 1 T cacao nibs, rose petals (dried or fresh), cinnamon

*
Method

Using an electric blender, grind your walnuts to a powder. Add the dates one at a time, blending well before adding the next. Mix in the cacao, then the rose water, finally the spices.

The mixture should be moist. If you pick it up between two fingers and it easily falls apart, add another bit of rose water. Be careful of two things: you don’t want to over-water, and you don’t want to over-blend or the oils are released and it becomes more like fudge than brownie.

Spread the mixture into a small baking pan. Press down with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Press evenly and firmly so the brownie will set. Optionally, you can press cacao nibs gently into the top, dust with cinnamon, or sprinkle with rose petals. The nibs give it a burst of bitter crunch, and the rose petals make it as beautiful as your Mom.

anti-aging brownies

Mother’s Day
David Young

        —for my children

I see her doing something simple, paying bills,
or leafing through a magazine or book,
and wish that I could say, and she could hear,

that now I start to understand her love
for all of us, the fullness of it.

It burns there in the past, beyond my reach,
a modest lamp.

roses

To mothers everywhere, thank you for the gripping power and delicate tending of your unflinching devotion.
Your love makes the world go round.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Jai Ma!

Super Seed Crackers

#homemade crackers

After meeting Mimi Kirk last summer, I was inspired to try making flaxseed crackers. I don’t have a dehydrator though, so after hours and hours of trying to jerry-rig an alternative, I gave up and turned on the oven. What turned out was a surprise.

great

#flaxseed crackers

When I’ve shared these, friends have raved. Family asks for more. My husband, who has more self-restraint than anyone I know, gobbles them up. The recipe is now part of our Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse, but so many others have asked for it, I felt I needed to share it here. Something about the roasting of the seeds makes these oily, crispy, salty in the most magical way. They are great with everything ~ dipshummus, soups, salads, and can be scored into large pieces for a flatbread, or a crunchy pizza with your favorite toppings. But they are so good on their own that, in our house at least, they’re usually gone before anything can be added.

#crackers

#seed crackers with dill

Ayurvedic doctor, chef, educator and molecular biologist Dr. Jay Apte once told us, “For good skin, eat the edible skin of your fruits and vegetables. For energy, eat seeds.” Seeds pack the energy, and the intelligence, of the plant to come.

“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in ’em,” said Captain Jim. “When I ponder on them seeds I don’t find it nowise hard to believe that we’ve got souls that’ll live in other worlds. You couldn’t hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn’t seen the miracle, could you?”
~
 L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

#fenugreek

I love seeds. I love that you can soak and snack, or soak and sprout, or soak and grow. In fact, we almost always have something soaking, especially in Spring time. Last week I forgot about the fenugreek seeds I was soaking to eat as sprouts, so I tossed them, waterlogged and mushy, in the garden where their green shoots have already pushed up through the earth.

I love seeds so much I want to share them with you, so please let us know how you like these crackers, and be sure to comment if you want me to send you some seeds. I’ll pick three winners and mail you a packet of the seeds you need to make this recipe.

Super Seed Crackers

Makes
about 40 crackers

Ingredients

1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/4 c pumpkin seeds
1/4 c flax seeds
1/2 c chia seeds
1 1/2 c water
1/4 c dulse
2-3 T sun-dried tomatoes, pureed or very finely chopped, optional
1 T tamari
1 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
olive oil
himalayan pink salt
handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
optional: red pepper flakes

Instructions
Begin by soaking: Let the sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds soak together in a bowl with 1 cup of water for 6-8 hours. The flax and chia can soak together in 1/2 cup of water and only need 20 minutes.

Once soaked, set your oven to 275F. Rinse your seeds and pat dry. Add them to a medium size mixing bowl together with the dulse, sun-dried tomatoes, tamari, lemon juice, garlic, onion powder, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a standard baking tray. Pour the seed mixture onto the tray. Take off your rings, oil your hands with olive oil and, using your hands, spread the mixture out to the edges of the baking tray. It should be uniformly thin, about an 1/8 of an inch, without any tears or holes. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil. Score the crackers, tracing squares or rectangles with a sharp knife.

Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake one hour, or until it is golden around the edges. Pull it out of the oven, carefully turn it over, peeling off the parchment paper (which you can re-place on the baking sheet or discard at this point) and place it back on the baking tray bottom side up. Drizzle this side very lightly with olive oil and dust with salt. Put it back in the oven for another hour. Once this side is golden, turn the oven off. Leave it in the oven until the oven cools, an hour or two, or even overnight. Be sure it is dappled with a golden hue or it will need to cook a bit longer. Sometimes, after the hour of baking each side, I’ll turn the oven up to 350 F, turning the oven off as soon as it reaches that temperature. It gives it that final bit of roasting that really brings the flavors out.

Once it is done and you pull it out of the oven, let it rest and cool before breaking into crackers. Optionally, chop a handful of fresh dill and toss over the crackers while still warm.

#superseed #crackers

I wish you delight in all things this Spring – especially in the love of Mother Nature who gives so much: beauty, bounty, delicious nourishing food. Namaste! 

 ~

Post Script: Congratulations to Kathleen, Stephanie and Linda who will be receiving packs of super seeds! Thank you all for your comments and your commitment to life!

Cannellini Hummus: A Spring Detox Staple

#hummus
We are just finishing up our 21 Day Spring Clean Challenge, and I thought you, along with some of my fellow “Cleansers,” might like a simple way to stay the course. This hummus is so easy and quick to prepare, yet makes a nourishing, hearty meal, even while detoxifying. In fact, it was my family’s lunch today served up with arugula, radicchio, zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes for dipping, along with gluten-free “superseed” crackers and olives. They loved it, never knowing they  were eating “Cleanse” foods. I hope you like it, too.

cannelini hummus poster 2

Cannellini Hummus

1.5 cups organic cannellini beans, cooked
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T vegan mayonnaise (make your own)
1 t dijon mustard
1 t tahini
3 hearty shakes of aleppo pepper
pink salt to taste
1 t lemon juice, optional 

Put everything in your electric blender and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add a spoonful of fresh lemon juice if you think it needs more salt. Serve with fresh vegetables.

#cannelini hummus
Why change it up and make Hummus with Cannellini? What’s wrong with good old-fashioned Garbanzo?

It’s true, garbanzo beans do make delicious hummus. But, they can be difficult to digest. In many cases (think Vata)  they cause gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, even constipation. Any Cleanse, to be successful, should strengthen, and not confuse digestion. Mung beans, cooked in Kichari, are the ideal bean for that. In our 21 Day Cleanse, Kichari is a central component. Now that we are almost complete, though, this hummus is a nice variation on the theme.

If you want a simple cleanse you can do anytime, try making up some kichari with lightly steamed vegetables and feast on that for a day, or two, or three… You’ll find many recipes for kichari around my blog ~ here, and at the bottom of the “Basics” page here, for example.

I wish you extraordinary health and wellness so that you are able, in the most vibrant way possible, to taste all the joy, intelligence and love Mother Nature has to offer you.

Thank you for visiting this site, and for being so dedicated to life, light and love! Jai Ma!

What about you? Are you welcoming Spring with a bit of a clean-up, clean-out? What is your favorite way to invite in Spring, and enjoy the season’s energy of renewal?

 

Namaste!

 

 

 

Smooth Move Tonic

Not too long ago, my Ayurvedic mentor/doctor had me add a little something to my evening routine, and it has made all the difference.

#cleanyourcolon

It was all about, well, a delicate subject… proper elimination. The formula he gave me came in tablets from India, which would be hard for anyone to replicate at home. Fortunately, in her Ayurvedic Fat Fighters series on Doctor Oz, another western doctor with Ayurvedic expertise, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, touts something she calls a “Triphala Treat,” which offers similar benefits.

#triphalatreat

Dr. Kulreet’s Triphala Treat is just 1 t ground flax seed, 1 t psyllium husks, 1/2 t triphala powder.  If you stir this into almond milk warmed with cardamom, and a little honey if needed, you will have a sweet natural laxative tonic that is also rejuvenative, detoxifying, dosha-balancing, and sleep-inducing. In fact, the Charaka Samhita, one of the great treatises on Ayurveda, states, “One who fully knows how to use Triphala can rectify any imbalance.”

You can purchase Triphala powder from many healthy food stores where it is usually  sold in tablet form, which can be ground into powder. I prefer Banyan Botanicals, because their products pass the highest standards for integrity, safety, sustainability. Plus, Banyan sells Ayurvedic herbs in powder form, according to tradition.

Smooth Move Tonic

This tonic is to be enjoyed in the evening as a “bedtime treat.” In fact, if you are already making this Deep Sleep Tonic in the evening, just add the Triphala Treat directly to your blender and keep it running for a minute or two to will gently warm your tonic, without having to heat it on the stove. It saves a lot on cleanup.

The tonic is generally tri-doshic, but Pitta seems to find it most helpful. Pitta is heat with water. Hot water rises and evaporates. The earth element pulls that heat down, and in the case of this recipe, down and out. Addressing the third stage of digestion ~ elimination, it’s a tonic that helps you wake up feeling lighter, balanced, regular, free.

#coloncleanse
I’d love to do an informal survey to find out how beneficial this is on a broad scale, so if you try it and like the results, let us know with a simple “yes” in the comment section below. If you know your dosha, add that too. Knowledge is power. Together we can make our lives, and in that the world, a healthier place for all.

Thank you!

Chocolate Pasta

#chocolate pastaIn a recent class we taught on Ayurveda for families, we made a “chocolate butter” (as in peanut or almond butter) demonstrating one of many examples of healthy snacks for children. With some of that chocolate butter remaining, Valentine’s Day approaching, and the inspiration of children still in my heart, I thought I’d get playful and try out the chocolate butter as a sauce for pasta.

#Valentine's Day Pasta

Thus emerged this Chocolate Pasta, a delight both easy and quick to make. I think it took all of ten minutes.

The sauce is made with cacao, so has all the health benefits of dark chocolate. If you are making this for adults, use cacao nibs. It gives an accent of bitter that really works. But if you are making this for children, cacao powder will better integrate the flavors.

#chocolate pasta

You could serve this as a side, or add your choice of protein and make it a one dish meal. I added fresh green peas as my protein, mixing them in at the very end so they would hold their fresh aliveness.

chocolate #pasta

#chocolatepasta

Once served, you can dress it up however you like. I added chives, but chopped spring onion would be great for that burst of pungency. I also like toasted or roasted sunflower seeds, but you could garnish with toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or pepitas. It needs that nutty bite. Best of all, I sprinkled cacao nibs over each serving. It ‘s more than a theme note, its gives the pasta a rich contrast in color, texture and taste.

VDay Chocolate Pasta

I think it worked, but would love to know what you think.

Chocolate Pasta
Serves 3-4

2 quarts water
1 cube veg broth
1 T sesame oil
1 fistful soba noodles
1-2 cups seasonal greens, shredded
1/2 t ginger powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t red pepper (the slightly milder aleppo is my preference)
gf tamari
toasted or roasted sunflower seeds
sesame seeds
chives or spring onions, chopped
red pepper flakes, optional

Chocolate Sauce
2 T Almond Butter
3 T raw cacao (powder or nibs)
1 small pear, cored and chopped
1 T Raw Honey (or 2 Medjool Dates)
pinch pink salt
pinch cinnamon
pinch cardamom

Start with the chocolate sauce. Put all the ingredients together in an electric blender and mix until well integrated and smooth. If you are using cacao nibs rather than powder be sure to mix until the nibs break down, but don’t worry if some remain solid. It will give a nice texture to the sauce when added to the pasta.

Meanwhile, boil 2 quarts of water in a saucepan. Chop up your greens and set aside. When the water comes to a boil, add the cube of vegetable broth. Stir until it dissolves, then spoon in the sesame oil. Stir in the ginger and garlic powders and red pepper. Add the soba noodles and your greens. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Gently spoon in the chocolate sauce, stirring lightly so you don’t break the pasta. Season with tamari. Taste, and a pinch of pink salt, if needed.

Chocolate Pasta VDay

Since there are at least six good reasons to celebrate with chocolate, for dessert we have many choices ~ there is this amazing Chocolate Pâté, this extraordinary Flourless Chocolate Cake, or this Chocolate Pudding, all to remind us to celebrate love not just today, but every day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Holiday Home Made

#footscrub

I am not much of a holiday shopper. I hope that doesn’t sound humbug. I just don’t think the shopping mall has much to do with the spirit of the season, and I’d rather walk on the beach with friends, or travel to the mountains with my family, or share a meal with loved ones. I prefer the gift of time… the gift of togetherness… the gift of nature…. gifts of love.

foot scrub

Home-made presents give the gift of all of the above – your time, your caring heart, nature’s beauty and love. Here are six last-minute ideas you can make in quick time, with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard – all in the comfort and peace of your own home. After all, this is still the season when we should be doing less, turning in, and staying warm!

#peppermint #footscrub

1. Soothing Foot Scrub: With magnesium to calm, cinnamon to warm, and peppermint for that holiday tingle.
2. Radiant Skin Facial Moisturizer: With rose at the heart of these delicious ingredients, Ayurvedic skin care is Edible Beauty.
3. Cookies: Delicious Cardamom or darling Gingerbread.
4. Dessert Bread: Liscia’s Cardamom Banana or Drisana’s Primal Coconut.
5. Chocolate Pâté: Wrap in a red, silk ribbon for extra richness. Keep refrigerated until gifting.
6. Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Bark: A colorful, healthful recipe demonstrated in this charming, short video from Melissa Clark of the NYT.

chocolate-pate

Thank you for joining me on this culinary journey of Nature’s love. I wish you days of light, seasons of joy, generous gifts of peace ~

Namaste!

Related Posts

Primal Pumpkin Coconut Bread

give thanks #thanksgiving bread
Last week we returned from a Holistic Health Cruise where a variety of presenters discussed a diversity of topics. But when asked, all seemed to agree on one thing: With all the popular diets these days, Paleo, Vegan, Atkins, South Beach, Raw, one’s head could really spin. So what do they all have in common? Avoid processed, refined, packaged, and focus on organic, seasonal, whole, “you could have gathered it yourself” foods. Once again, we return to Ayurveda, where individual differences are appreciated and the only absolute is to source from nature.

#pumpkin bread

So, along comes the divine Drisana Carey with this Primal Pumpkin Bread that had us all begging for the recipe. Before I could even ask,  she was generous enough to drop the book containing the recipe at my doorstep.

It is called “primal” because the recipe aligns with the principles of Mark Sisson’s  Primal Diet, a mature approach to eating like our ancestors, yet thoughtfully considering the stresses and environmental toxins of our modern lifestyles. On his website, where he touts the immense health benefits of pumpkin, Sisson offers an alternative recipe for Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie which actually looks like a great improvement on the usual in terms of both health and taste. 

#thanksgiving pumpkin bread

Speaking of Thanksgiving, this Primal Pumpkin Bread, with all its protein and clean energy, would be a great meal to begin the holiday. After all, it is so real, so whole, so natural, so delicious, you could say it’s the very taste of thanks-giving!

It would also make a great holiday dessert ~ with all the potassium, magnesium, healthy fats and antioxidants to help balance the season’s excesses.

best1

The creamy frosting makes it especially moist, creamy and teasingly wonderful. You could make it Vegan like the one topping these Lemon Cupcakes, or replace it with something like this Vegan Cinnamon Frosting. And while I love baking up pumpkins, you can also make it quick and easy with a box of pumpkin puree. 

#pumpkin puree

Primal Pumpkin Coconut Cake

1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil, melted
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup maple syrup (Drisana substitutes half the maple syrup for molasses “to add iron and potassium”)
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup dark chocoloate chips

Melt the ghee/coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside. Grease a bread pan, or muffin tins. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Crack the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer or into a large mixing bowl. Beat with your mixer or wire whisk. Add in vanilla, maple syrup, pumpkin, and mix until thoroughly combined. Sift coconut flour, ghee or oil, spices, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat, or whisk, until there are no lumps. Stir in the coconut flakes, chopped apple, pecans and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into your baking dish or muffin tins. Bake for about 30 minutes for bread, or 15 minutes for muffins – in any case it is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove it form the oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool, then generously cover with the Cream Cheese Frosting.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup organic whipped cream cheese (Tofutti for Vegans, or make it yourself)
2 tablespoons cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese, honey and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Spread on cooled cake.

also best

Drisana brought this delicious cake over to join in celebrating Haunani, who is having a baby in December. Remember Haunani from this post? She is a divine, light-filled, love-drenched soul. We are grateful for her presence in our lives and wish her, husband Tad and their soon-to-emerge baby, perfect health, every happiness, infinite love. We are also grateful to Drisana and Mark Sisson for this gluten-free, nutrient-rich, potent pumpkin pleasure.

What are you grateful for this holiday harvest season?

Namaste!

*

Gluten Free Cookies

glutenfree-chocolate-chip-cookies

After reading David Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain, we are going gluten-free. For me, that is not difficult. Wheat has been off the menu for a while now. But there are those in the house who feel that life is just not complete without a chocolate chip cookie after school.

In an effort to prove that life can be effortless, delicious and complete without wheat, I am on a search for the world’s best GF Chocolate Chip Cookie. Along the way, I’ve found these delicious looking treats ~

  1. Easy Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies from Life Made Sweet
    2. Almond Joy Cookies from Salmonberry
    3. Gluten Free Classic Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie from Recipe Renovator
    4. GF Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks from LivLife

But we are looking to be sugar free, too, so I’ve been busy in the kitchen adapting recipes. The photo above is my favorite recipe so far. I’ll post that for you next week.

Meanwhile, what are your favorite Gluten-free recipes?

I look forward to experimenting with your suggestions.

Namaste! 

Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie

#Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie

So here’s how spacey I can be: I put a sweet potato in the oven on Monday, thinking I’d have it later in the day with ghee and a sprinkle of Autumn spices. After an hour, its sweet aroma called me from my office. “Done!” it was signaling. I went and turned the oven off.

On Tuesday night,  3 hours away on a road trip with my mother, just before falling asleep, I remembered that little packet of Ojas, still sitting all by its lonesome in that now cold oven. Uh!

#sweetpotato

What happened? Too embarrassed to tell my husband, I let it remain there until I got home late the following night, whereupon I gently drew it from those dark cavernous racks, slid it into a safe, cozy place in the fridge, and then in the morning, knowing I had to use it or lose it, popped it in the blender and made a breakfast smoothie.

Sweet Potato #Smoothie

Being morning, following a full week of teaching and traveling, I knew it would offer the grounding I needed, but also wanted warming spices to rev up the morning fires. So I added a bit of fresh ginger, splashes of cinnamon, dashes of cardamom, and a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg. That, along with fresh Almond Milk, made for the gentlest, Autumn-welcoming, home-coming breakfast I can remember. Ever.

Sweet Potato #Smoothie

But then, as I mentioned, my memory is not that reliable… especially in Autumn. You see, in Ayurveda, Autumn is what we call the “Vata” season. Vata relates to the air element, which is windy and can make us restless, scattered, spacey. To balance the light, mobile, dry, cool qualities of Vata, we want to favor foods that are substantial, nourishing, wet and warm (either by lightly cooking and/or spicing). It’s almost like we are looking for foods we can sink into, foods we know will love and take care of us, foods we can trust.

I was having what we call in our house “a Vata moment,” and that sweet potato was just what I needed to restore balance. Amazingly, given how long it had sat, it was as good as if it had just been baked. That’s a food you can trust.

#vata-reducing

So here’s the recipe. If you omit the water, you’ll have something like a Sweet Potato Pudding, a great healthy dessert or snack. But I made it into a Smoothie because I needed something drinkable. That’s just the way mornings are for me.

Sweet Potato Chai Smoothie (or, Sweet Potato Pudding)
Makes enough for 2

1 small Sweet Potato (or half a large one)
1 cup Almond Milk
2 Dates
1/2″ inch coin Ginger, peeled
1 generous shake of cinnamon
A more reserved shake each of Nutmeg, Clove, Cardamom
1 t Raw Honey

1/4 cup Purified Water
Option: 1/8 t orange zest

Pierce your sweet potato and bake at 400° F for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool. Put it in your blender with everything, except the water, and mix on high until it is smooth. At this point, you’ll have something like a pudding. You could spoon this into dessert bowls and enjoy it like  a sweet snack, or for a Smoothie, add water until you get the consistency you desire. Pour and serve, with a spoon!

#SweetPotato #Chai Smoothie

This is so good you won’t believe it is good for you: tonifying, balancing, grounding, it is both Vata and Pitta pacifying. For Kapha, add more water, more ginger and clove, and maybe even a good shake of cayenne.

Given how healing and hormone-balancing sweet potatoes are, this is another truly delicious example of Mother Nature loving you. To Mother’s nature in you, Namaste!

Soothing Pitta with a Summer Treat: Pistachio Truffles

Pistachio Truffle Creativity is a fascinating process, isn’t it? While it’s not an epic but a trifle, this sweet little truffle, like so many creative delights, evolved from waves of inspiration, flowing from many different people, places, cultures. Upon reflection, it’s a wonder it evolved at all.

First, I found something entirely new at our local corner grocer: pistachio cream It is delicious, but too sugary, so I thought, “I can make this, but better and healthier,” and I went and bought Pistachios.

Then we had visitors from India who brought these Pistachio Rolls, called Kaju Pista, which are like a Pistachio/Cashew Marzipan: photo They were delightful, but also too sugary. So I thought, “I can make this, but better and healthier,” and I went and stocked Rose Water.

Then I met this woman, a Raw Foodie I will tell you about in my next post: Mimi Kirk And she inspired me to go (mostly) raw for one month as a Pitta-reducing Summer Cleanse, which I will share with you also in my next post.

Then Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks posted photographs and a recipe for this gorgeous “Tartine” which I made for the boys as a summer snack:

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 9.44.55 AM

But we didn’t have avocado so it was super messy, as the Macadamia mixture had nothing to bind it to the bread. So I thought, “How could this fresh burst of nutty, nourishing flavor be delivered in a hand-held edible that would support both the exotic tastes and our need for high-powered, healthy eating?”

Then I got out the Blender. #Raw #Paleo #Vegan Truffles You could think of these as energy bars. They are packed with protein, purifying greens, and cooling ingredients to calm late summer’s Pitta. There’s no sugar, no grains, no dairy, so they’re okay for Vegans, Raw foodies, Paleos and Veggies. You can make these raw as I did, or enhance the flavor by toasting your pistachios first.

Pistachio Truffles

1/2 c Pistachios
1 t Rose Water
1 t Coconut Oil
1 T Coconut Manna
2-3 Medjool Dates
1 t Chlorella (for color and energy), or any powdered greens
1 t Maple syrup, optional
a few granules Pink Salt

Blend the ingredients together in a high-powered blender until smooth and thick. At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture for up to 24 hours. It is a bit easier to shape when the mixture is cool. Put on plastic gloves or use saran wrap to separate the mixture into 1 inch pieces and roll into balls.

You can roll them in raw cacao or coconut flakes, or for something really delightful, fill them and/or roll them in Heidi Swanson’s Orange Macadamia Nut, to which I added basil leaves instead of squash blossom, lavender flowers and a pinch of Pink Salt.

#raw Green Pistachio Truffles
Before rolling in coating

Here is why they are really, really good for you as well as really, really delicious: Chlorella, is an energizing, purifying green food that keeps your body and mind clean and supple. Rose and coconut are cooling according to Ayurveda, which means they not only help you beat the heat in summer, but will help reduce inflammation in your tissues – which is important because that reduces pain and stiffness, and because inflammation is the underlying source of the major chronic killer diseases in western countries.

Besides, Pistachios are high in protein and fiber which tonifies and strengthens. Dates give you the sweet taste to soften Pitta emotions, which can get pretty intense and inflamed. Lavender, orange, basil, mint, and their flowers (pictured in the photos) draw in nature’s color, aroma and florals, which is also soothing for Pitta who benefits greatly by “stopping to smell the roses.” #Raw Pitta-reducing Pistachio Truffles

These Truffles are on our Menu for this weekend’s Summer Cooking Class where we will enjoy Summer Kitchari, and a host of no-cook, cooling foods for strength, vitality and comfort especially when things get hot.

Next, I’ll be posting on Raw Pasta, another great summer meal, with a Raw Cookbook giveaway (I have 5 books to give and will mail anywhere in the world). I will also be announcing a short Summer Cleanse, so stay tuned. We have lots of summer goodies coming along.

You are the reason Mother Nature evolved to nourish and delight. She loves you – and her food is her love offering. If you love summer’s bounty, please add a comment in the area below and let us know what you love best. We’d love to hear.

Wishing you sweet, soothing summer days. Namaste!

Watermelon Sparkle

wmelon sparkle

Have you been feeling the heat? On those days when hot, hot, hot becomes a threat, try this refreshing, quenching, hydrating, nourishing, cooling, delightful “cocktail.” With its pretty pink sparkle, it’s also perfect for picnics or summer celebrations!

melon

My Mum texted yesterday to tell me she’s just finished up the remains left over from a family gathering we had last weekend. “Still delicious!” she wrote. So whip it up ahead of time, and keep it in the fridge. That way you will have it when you need it most. Apparently it will keep for a couple of days.

melon smoothie

You could also skip the sparkling water and just drink it as a smoothie.
watermelon smoothie

Watermelon Sparkle

Watermelon, 2.5 cups cubed
Cucumber, 1 inch peeled
Water, 1/4 cup
1 Lime, juiced
Mint, 5-6 fresh leaves
Cardamom, 1 pinch
Pink Salt, the teeniest tiniest pinch (optional)
Sparkling Water

Put all ingredients, except the sparkling water, in a blender and puree until completely liquified. Fill a glass halfway with this watermelon smoothie. Top up with sparkling water, garnish with a mint leaf, and enjoy.

watermelon

What’s your favorite way to keep cool in summer?

~

8 Great Breakfast Recipes

Now that summer is here, some of you have been asking what to eat for breakfast. I am not sure things need to change as much as we like them to here in our everything-at-your-fingertips world. A bowl of porridge is, after all, a very good meal, and good enough for most of the world.

rice-pud

But for those of you feeling underwhelmed or overheated by your morning choices, here’s some inspiration from foodies around the blog world. All of these recipes are Pitta-balancing, meaning they reduce internal heat. They are listed in order of best to… well, least best – but too utterly gorgeous to pass up.

These last recipes are “least best” because they include either sugar, or cooked honey, or wheat, which we best avoid. But substitutes can be made: coconut sugar or maple syrup for the first two, a gluten-free, almond meal, or coconut flour for wheat. (NB: Traditional Ayurveda will say that wheat is a grain and grains are good for Pitta. But it is usually dear Pitta who has wheat intolerance, allergies, or sensitivity.)

We should begin the way we mean to go on, and that most definitely applies to breakfast. So, I hope these recipes inspire, delight, beautify, energize and set you off on a summer day exactly as summer should be lived – with grace, ease and joy.

coconut porridge
Coconut Porridge from The Wholesome Home

Being under Ayurveda’s influence, we begin, of course, with a porridge. But this is no ordinary porridge: this is no-grain Coconut Porridge from The Wholesome Home.

Whole Living's Cardamom_Quinoa Porridge
Whole Living’s Cardamom Quinoa Porridge

From Whole Living comes another nice twist on the classic: Cardamom Quinoa Porridge with Pear.

blueberry muffins
Blueberry Muffins from The Wholesome Home

For Pitta folks and summer lovers, breakfast can seem fussy. After all, who wants to be in the kitchen when you could be at the beach? These Grain-free Blueberry Muffins, also from The Wholesome Home, pack up tidy for a carefree breakfast picnic under the sun.

Banana & Almond Meal Pancakes from Roost
Banana & Almond Meal Pancakes from Roost

For those with an appetite, these Banana Almond Pancakes from Roost offer a fortifying fill of protein, fiber and fruit.

Veggie Tacos with Cauliflower Tortillas
Vegetables and Cauliflower Tortillas from Roost

For those with a savory palate, grain-free Vegetable Tortillas, also from Roost, would be divine, and seasonal if you replace Spring Asparagus with Summer’s fresh Kale, Zucchini, or colorful Squash.

What Katie Ate's Buckwheat Pancakes
What Katie Ate’s Buckwheat Pancakes

In these Buckwheat Pancakes with Spinach, Ricotta and Pine Nuts from What Katie Ate, I’d skip the Sour Cream: seems like the Ricotta would be enough for a creamy base.

Tartelette's GF Waffles
Tartelette’s GF Waffles

Anything from Helene Dujardin at Tartelette is good as well as gorgeous. These Gluten-free Blueberry Waffles could be made with almond meal or coconut flour instead of potato flour for an even healthier Sunday start.

La Tartine Gourmande
La Tartine Gourmande’s Tartes aux Mirabelles

And, this is what I mean by “least best,” but oh so tempting… Gluten-free Tartes aux Mirabelles, an Italian Plum Tart, from La Tartine Gourmande.

Karen Mordechai Sunday Suppers's Breakfast Picnic
Karen Mordechai Sunday Suppers’ Breakfast Picnic

Finally, some photographic inspiration from the innovative Karen Mordechai at Sunday Suppers.

Karen Mordechai Sunday Suppers's Breakfast Picnic
Karen Mordechai’s Breakfast Picnic Blackberry Jam

Wishing you a joyful, and delicious, summer.

Namaste!

Vegan Artichoke Dip

#Artichoke #healthydips

At our recent Ayurvedic Nutrition & Cooking Class (“The Amazing Basics”), we whipped up this Spinach Artichoke Dip to snack on while we prepared a fabulous whole food feast.

It started like this:

Photo: Katariina Fagering, Gypsy Soul Cafe
Photo: Katariina Fagering, Gypsy Love Cafe
Ayurvedic Cooking: Vedawise.com
Photo: Katariina Fagering, Gypsy Love Cafe

VedaWse Cooking Class

It was an intuitive, spontaneous creation, so there wasn’t a recipe for it in the Class Handouts. Turns out, though, it was one of the highlights of the day, and requests for the recipe having been coming in, so I wanted to share it with you here.

arti

It’s an easy recipe if you use artichokes from a jar, as we did that day. Of course, that is a real cheat, a high offense to Ayurvedic principles that insist on “fresh, fresh, fresh!” So the next time I made it with artichokes from a friend’s garden, which is amazing. To think you are eating a flower.

healthy healing artichoke dip

If you want to make this from a garden-fresh artichoke, Mark Bittman shows you how to prepare it. Once prepped, let your hearts sit for an hour in a marinade of equal parts lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar, 1 clove garlic minced, and a dash of pink salt.

IMG_8674

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Click here for print version

1 c. Cashews, soaked (4 hours)
1 c. Marinated Artichoke Hearts
2-3 T Marinade
1 handful blanched Spinach
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, juiced
1 t Gluten-free Tamari
1 t Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne Powder, to Taste
Optional: 1 t Nutritional Yeast for a cheesy flavor and a bit of Vitamin B12
Options: Fresh Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Himalayan Salt, fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Cook your spinach for 1 minute, then quickly put it into a bowl of ice water.

Fresh Spinach

IMG_8358

Drain the cashews, rinse well, and mix together with the garlic, artichokes and marinade in your blender.  Squeeze the spinach dry, and add it to the mixture with the lemon and tamari. Process until it is a creamy consistency. Drizzle in the EVOO. Optionally, sprinkle in the nutritional yeast. Pulse three times for 1-2 seconds each.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip

Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with red pepper. Serve with carrots, broccoli, spring onion, red, or orange pepper slices, and gluten-free crackers. Your heart, your liver, your kidneys, your friends, and your family will love you ~ because food, when it is natural, fresh, seasonal, and balanced with all six tastes, is always a love story!

#Artichoke #partydips

~
A big thank you to all our Chefs for creating a sumptuous meal that day. Your commitment to food’s loving nourishment is epic!

ayu class 2