Avocado Dressing

Green Goddess-y Goodness

Last week I promised you an Avocado Dressing that goes especially well with  refreshing salads loaded with purifying bitters like arugula, radicchio, spinach and radishes. This dressing provides prefect harmony thanks to what I call the Mary Poppins Principle, which holds that sweet balances bitter, as every good Nanny knows. “Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down… “

Avocado is not exactly the sugar Mary Poppins was referring to, but it is considered sweet according to Ayurveda. Its qualities are heavy, wet, cold and it is strengthening, tonifying, nourishing. In summer, when days heat up, Avocado has the cooling, hydrating affect your body seeks. Plus, it lovingly embraces those important bitters in your salad, tricking your body into wholeheartedly accepting these medicinal roots and shoots.

Summer’s Green Dressing

This dressing is inspired by the outrageously talented cooks at the Zen Mountain Center, near Idyllwild, where we lead a Yoga Retreat every September. Last year, their Avocado Dressing was a favorite. I’ve pared it down to make it simpler and offer both versions below.

Zen Dressing
2 Cups Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Cilantro
1/2 Cup Cashew
1/4 Pumpkin Seeds
1 Lemons squeezed
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Avocado
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My version:

Green Dressing
1 Avocado
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Clove Garlic
1 Handful Raw Sesame Seeds
1 T Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Put everything in the Cuisinart and blend until it is smooth, adding enough olive oil to bring it to the desired consistency. Mine are rough measurements. Please adjust to your own taste.

Avocado “Soufflé” dresses the Greens

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.
You find the fun and, Snap!, the job’s a game.
And every task you undertake, becomes a piece of cake,
a lark, a spree, it is very clear to see….”
~ Robert Sherman, Mary Poppins, 1964

Namaste!

Dressing Up with Cardamom

What do you feel like eating these days? After all the cake, cookies, bread, rich foods and sweet drinks? I don’t know about you, but in between the holiday celebrations I want plain and simple: simple to make, simple to eat and, frankly, simple to digest.

So the other day I made this ~

Cheese Melt with Garden Greens & Yogurt Cardamom Dressing

The next day I made this ~

Kichari with our own Garden Greens & Yogurt Cardamom Dressing

And the next day I was so in love with this dressing, I ate it straight from the jar…

Dipped with bread or rolled up greens, it makes a tasty snack

This dressing is divine ~ utterly perfect when you want to eat plain and simple, yet unique and magical enough to accompany any New Year’s Eve dinner.  So here is the most wonderful dressing you will ever make, just in time to celebrate the most wonderful person you are and the most wonderful year you are about to begin.

Freshly ground Cardamom

But first a little about Cardamom:

Cardamom has this special “Prabhav” which is a word that sort of means magic. It is a way of defining herbs and spices that have a special potency, or a very unique intelligence that our own terrific human intelligence can’t easily explain or categorize. In the case of Cardamom, it has this particular way of strengthening digestion, while helping to increase moisture throughout the body. If you think about it, that means that Cardamom simultaneously kindles your fire while watering your system. Since water usually extinguishes fire, that seems like magic to me.

Plus, it is so medicinal while tasting so incredibly other-worldy. Because it is warm and moist, cardamom is excellent for Vata, meaning any place, season, time or person in which the Air element is dominant, a condition which shows up as windy, cold, dry, erratic or scattered. Cardamom warms, grounds, hydrates, soothes and improves digestion ~ especially helpful after the holidays, no?

Ground Cardamom gives this Dressing its Prabhav

It’s best to purchase Cardamom in pods, not only because these tiny flowers of ginger are gorgeous but because once ground, flavor escapes quickly. When ready to use, peel open the pods, shake out the seeds and grind. Use a mortar and pestle ~ the seeds submit easily. A spice mill or coffee grinder will do just fine, as well.

Once you make this Dressing you can keep it in a tightly covered jar in the fridge or a week, although it is delicious on everything, so it is not likely to last. And remember that to be Ayurvedic, salad follows the main course, of course!  

Click on Recipe for a Print Version

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Finally, I want to thank you for journeying with me through the Ayurvedic kitchen this year. In 2012, I plan to travel the world, so to speak, exploring diverse culinary traditions and adapting recipes according to Ayurvedic wisdom to enhance wellness. The working title is Six Tasting the World. Let me know what you think.

I hope you will join me on this great adventure, starting in January by first establishing the basics. Meanwhile, I wish you a safe, happy, and fulfilling New Year celebration.

See you in the New Year.  Namaste!