Spring Recipes to Reduce Vata

Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth, and the shedding of the cold and heavy winter. During this time, many participate in spring cleaning to clear out the old and unnecessary, creating space. Space, or ether, is an element of the vata dosha. This dosha dominates spring and should be allowed to roam, but we must be careful to not allow undesirable amounts of vata qualities to increase. Negative aspects of Vata can trouble digestion and may create bloating, excess gas, or changed stool patterns. It is important to eat for the season, reducing excess vata in our bodies so that the needed vata qualities can shine. Here are some recipes that will reduce and balance vata while celebrating the foods in season.

Brown rice and Quinoa with Carrots

This side dish can accompany several dishes. It is easy to digest, provides digestive spices, and provides antioxidants to help remove accumulations of winter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati long grain brown rice
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon CoCurcumin
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup diced raw carrots
  • 1 teaspoon of Wright Salt or to taste
  • 3 cups of water

Preparation:

  1. Rinse brown rice in lukewarm water in a strainer until the water runs clear. Add the quinoa to wet rice and set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend garlic and ginger with the water to make a thick paste.
  3. Heat a 4-quart sauce pan on medium-high. Add the ghee or avocado oil. Stir in the CoCurcumin and cumin seed, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add in the garlic/ginger paste and cook for another minute. Add in the carrots, coating them with the spice mixture. Add in Wright Salt.
  4. Add the rice and quinoa and water. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Let the pot sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Then stir the rice and serve.

Coconut Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 dates (for sweetness)
  • 1 cup dried coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon ground hemp
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • ¼ cup of crushed almonds or walnuts (or almond meal)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Coarsely pulse dates in a food processer until it makes a thick paste.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add the date paste.
  4. Fold the coconut cream into the mixture. If the mixture doesn’t appear dough like and seem dry, add more creamer until it looks like a cookie dough.
  5. Place teaspoon-sized balls on the baking tray. Then flatten them to make disks.
  6. Bake 6 minutes then flip the cookies over. Bake another 6 minutes.

Palak Tofu

This dish uses spinach for its medicinal properties while adding tofu, an easy to digest and complete protein source.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoons Wright Salt, divided
  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 2 bunches of spinach (~2 lb. spinach), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Coconut Cream

Preparation:

  1. Cut the firm tofu into ½ inch cubes and let it drain for 2 hours to overnight. Remove the tofu and place the pieces in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 250F.Coat the tofu with 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tsp of salt. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and allow to bake for 20 minutes (or until you notice the tofu turning golden brown).
  2. While the tofu is baking, chop the spinach into strips.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and ginger with the water and pulse until there is a thick paste. Or chose to finely chop the garlic and ginger.
  4. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add the remainder of the avocado oil. Sautee the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger paste, cumin, coriander and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add spinach and water, then simmer until spinach is wilted and a deep green color, about 10 minutes. Add coconut creamer and cook for another 5minutes.
  6. Add the tofu and let everything cook together for another 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with ghee drizzled on top and the rice recipe below.

Alternate preparation:

If you would like, use whole spinach. Follow the recipe until step 4. Place the cooked the cooked spinach into a blender or use an immersion blender to grind the spinach. Remove the blender and replace it into the pot. Add tofu.

Spring Recipes

As spring starts to shine down on us, we must be aware that vata and pitta are on the rise. This can mean our agni, the digestive fire, will struggle to digest and provide the nutrients we need. Here are some spring friendly recipes to bolster our digestive power and get us ready for beautiful summer. They are easy to digest, warm, and delicious.

Cooked Apple with Cinnamon and Cardamom

A delicious and simple dessert, this quick treat will nurture digestive power.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet apples (gala or fuji are suggested)
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Raisins (optional)
  • ¼ tablespoon honey (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Wash and cut apples so that there are 8 slices per apple.
  2. In a shallow pan, melt ghee at medium heat.
  3. Add apples, cinnamon, cardamom, and raisins (if desired) and lower heat.Cook until apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with more cinnamon or drizzle with some honey.

Spring Quinoa Kitcheri

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup split mung dahl (yellow dahl)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • One inch of fresh ginger, chopped.
  • 1 cup carrots, cubed
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup kale
  • Cilantro, extra ghee or olive oil for garnish, black pepper for taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Coarsely pulse dates in a food processer until it makes a thick paste.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add the date paste.
  4. Fold the coconut cream into the mixture. If the mixture doesn’t appear dough like and seem dry, add more creamer until it looks like a cookie dough.
  5. Place teaspoon-sized balls on the baking tray. Then flatten them to make disks.
  6. Bake 6 minutes then flip the cookies over. Bake another 6 minutes.

Prepare for the Summer (May Recipes)

Raita

This yogurt condiment can be used as a dip or an accompaniment to entrees. Yogurt is inherently cooling, providing the calm to warming season. In general, yogurt should not be consumed at night because of its heavy, dense, cloudy, and cooling nature. However, counteracting these qualities will make digesting yogurt at night a breeze. If you choose to make this raita for dinner, add some green chili or red chili powder to balance the energetics.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yogurt (best if it is homemade)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Wright Salt
  • ½ a cucumber, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

Preparation:

  1. Mix yogurt, cumin, and Wright Salt together and set aside.
  2. Place the grated cucumbers in a strainer and using a flat spoon, squeeze the excess water out.
  3. Place the cucumber in the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Add the coriander.
  4. Serve with entrees.

White Rice Pulao

White rice is a cooling food, unlike like its heating counterpart brown rice. White rice can carry with it fantastic vegetables and spices that assist in making the whole family meal digestible. Many people will say that rice must be soaked overnight to make it easily digestible, however, soaking can be short to achieve the same effect. If you have forgotten to soak your rice overnight, or you just bought the rice in the store before cooking, soak your rice while you prep for cooking. When things are chopped, measured, and ready for cooking, remove the rice from the soaking water. That’s enough to enjoy rice at its finest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white basmati rice (soaked)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ½ cup cauliflower, chopped finely
  • ½ cup peas, frozen
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Wright Salt
  • 2 cups of water

Preparation:

  1. Wash the rice under lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
  2. Heat the ghee in a 4 -quart sauce pan on medium high heat. Add in cumin seeds. Stir for one minute. Add chopped onion, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add peas and cauliflower, sauté for an addition 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the rice, coating it with the cumin seeds.
  5. Add the salt and water. Reduce to medium low heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until there is no water left.
  6. Serve with Raita or plain yogurt.

Zucchini and Carrots

Summer time is the time for delicious zucchinis! This recipe uses the cooling property of this variety of squash and balances it with warming (not hot) spices. Furthermore, zucchini has some healing properties to balance immune functions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of zucchini
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon CoCurcumin
  • 2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Wright Salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Cilantro, if desired

Preparation:

  1. Chop zucchini and carrots into small cubes. Set aside.
  2. Heat up the ghee in a skillet. Add the CoCurcumin, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the zucchini and carrots and coat them with the spices. Add in the water and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
  4. Top with cilantro and serve with rice.

June

Cooked Yogurt

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon CoCurcumin
  • ½ a medium yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon Wright Salt
  • 1 green chili sliced into coins (optional)
  • 1 cup plain, full fat yogurt

Preparation:

  1. Heat ghee or avocado oil in a skillet at medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.Add chili if using.
  2. Whip the yogurt with a whisk for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the yogurt over the top of the onions, garlic, and chili. Let cook for 10 seconds and immediately remove from heat. If left on the heat too long, yogurt will separate.
  4. Serve warm.

Kheer

During this hot season, sweet foods can be our friend-in moderation. Kheer provides and easy to digest dessert that is not too sweet but can ameliorate the symptoms of pitta. Be advised that honey is a great sweetener but it is not to be cooked. There are several options to make this dessert listed below.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups coconut milk (from can)
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup basmati white rice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon rose water (optional)
  • Chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
  • Sliced almonds for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Bring the coconut milk, water, and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add Basmati rice, cinnamon, and cardamom. Simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens and the rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Add raisins and rose water, and simmer for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Portion pudding in serving dishes. Garnish with nuts. Can be enjoyed warm or cooled. For a dash more sweetness, stir in honey after cooking.

Raita with cucumber

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain whole fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Wright salt
  • 1 teaspoon CoCurcumin &tm;
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cucumber, shredded and strained of excess fluid
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Mix yogurt, Wright Salt, CoCurcumin, and black pepper together in a bowl.
  2. Fold the cucumber into the seasoned yogurt.
  3. Serve chilled. Top with cilantro.

Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 13.5oz can of coconut milk (not shaken)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon CoCurcumin Powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander, ground
  • ½ teaspoon fennel, ground
  • cup summer squash
  • 2/3 cup diced sweet potato
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup okra, cut into coins
  • 6 oz tofu

Preparation:

  1. Place onion, ginger, garlic and the tomato (cut into pieces) in a food processor or blender. Blend on high speed until the ingredients make a paste, about 1 minute.
  2. Open the can of coconut milk and remove about 6 tablespoons of coconut cream from the top of the can and place the cream in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour the rest of the coconut milk into a bowl and mix with a whisk to combine the liquids and solids. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large 4-quart sauce pan on medium-high heat. Place the ghee or avocado oil and let heat for 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds, cooking them until the pop, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic, onion, ginger, and tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute.
  5. Mix in the CoCurcumin, coriander, and fennel and mix into the mixture. Add Wright Salt.
  6. Add the summer squash, sweet potato, and carrots. Stir vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Add in the coconut milk liquids that are in the medium bowl. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Once the sweet potatoes are fork tender, add in the okra and cook for another 5 minutes. Incorporate more Wright Salt to taste.
  8. Serve over rice with cilantro on top

July

Coconut Mango Ice Cream

Ice cream is necessary this summer. This vegan ice cream is easy to make and is accidentally a healthy serving fruit. Enjoy as a snack or an icredible ending to a large meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1-13.5 oz can of coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 ripe mangos, peeled and pit removed
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Preparation:

  1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Remove the seeds from a vanilla pod using a sharp knife.
  3. Chop the mangos into pieces.
  4. Place the coconut milk, vanilla beans seeds, mangos and maple syrup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.
  5. Place the liquid in an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions.

Cucumber Salad

During these hot days of summer, a cooling but nutritious salad can make a world of difference. This salad balances the coolness of cucumbers and the heat of vinegar dressings. Enjoy as a meal or as a side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumbers, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ½ a medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon black salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chaat masala (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place cucumbers, tomato, and onion in a bowl. Add apple cider vinegar and lemon juice and coat the vegetables completely.
  2. Add in cumin powder, black salt, and chaat masala if using.
  3. Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve!

Guacamole

Summer time allows us to sit outside with loved ones. This guacamole reduces the body summer heat and is delicious was a snack. With spice options and variations, this guacamole is sure to please.

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • ¼ of a medium size onion, cubed
  • ¼ of a red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon CoCurcumin Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Wright Salt (or to taste)

Preparation:

Mash the avocados with a fork. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Enjoy with your favorite chips or pita.

Quinoa Kitchree

This protein and fiber packed kitchree is a delicious and simple dish that can be shared with family. Kitchree can be a meal in itself and may be served room temperature on hot days. However, the best part of this kitcheree is that everyone can add spices and garnishes on top, making this a family friendly but easily individualized dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split mung beans (green), soaked overnight
  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked with the mung beans
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, cubed
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 7 cups of water

Preparation:

  1. Strain the beans and quinoa from the soaking water and rinse them with cold running water. Set aside.
  2. Heat the ghee in a 4-quart Dutch oven. When the fat is hot, add the cumin seeds and stir for about one minute. Add onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, until onion is translucent.
  3. Add in carrots and spinach. Cook until spinach shrinks down.
  4. Incorporate the clove and coriander, coating all the vegetables.
  5. Incorporate the beans and quinoa, mixing the contents of pot thoroughly.
  6. Add the water and cook for 30-45 minutes. The beans will be soft and the meal should have a soup like consistency.
  7. Enjoy with additional ghee on top and some sprigs of cilantro. For those who want more heat, some chili flakes can be placed on top.

August

Summer is ending and the body is getting release some heat. Digestion should be strong yet being gentle to the body with our diet will ease the vata of fall. Enjoy horsegram and okra with white rice and remember to treat yourself with probiotic filled yogurt.

Coconut Yogurt with Berries

Fermented foods are the best way to nurture the gut flora. This non-dairy yogurt with antioxidant fruits will hit the dessert spot this Labor Day.

Ingredients:

  • 1-14oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 capsules of Probiotic 100B
  • Jar with tight lid
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubberband
  • 3 teaspoons Maple syrup

Preparation:

  1. Place the contents of the can in a sterilized jar. Cover with the airtight cap and shake the coconut milk to make it homologous. Uncover the jar and add the two capsules of Probiotic100B.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to mix the two ingredients. Do not use a metal spoon.
  3. Cover the mixture with the cheesecloth. Secure with a rubberband. Set the yogurt mixture in a warm spot for 24-48 hours.
  4. Once the yogurt is set, place in refrigerator overnight.
  5. To serve, add maple syrup to ½ cup of the yogurt. Top with berries and enjoy!

Mango-mint chutney

This chutney helps reduced the creeping vata during the last month of summer. Mangos assist in urinary elimination, getting rid of the excess water of pitta. It can be eaten with pita chips or with entrees.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarter inch cubes
  • 1 small red onion, diced into ¼ inch cubes.
  • 2 large ripe yet firm mangoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup finally chopped fresh mint leaves

Preparation:

  1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion. Stir often until the pepper and onion are softened, about 3-5 minutes
  2. Stir in mangos, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper. Reduce to medium heat. Partially cover and cook, stirring often. Cook until mangoes have completely softened, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Let cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve. When ready to enjoy, add in mint. Place ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you get an easy, spreadable consistency.

Okra Masala

Okra is a cooling and detoxifying vegetable. Okra is prime for gut health, decreasing vata in the digestive tract. Made with CoCurcumin, this okra will dish will taste delicious and bring health to any meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili, finally chopped (optional)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, finally chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 5 cup chipped okra
  • 1 teaspoon CoCurcumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mango powder (optional) and cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Wash the whole okra fingers. Dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel. Then cut fingers into coins, discarding the top stem.
  2. Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the okra coins until a little brown on the sides (about 5-10 minutes). Then remove from the pan.
  3. Add mustard and cumin seeds to the same pan and allow them to heat until they pop.
  4. Add the onion and sauteé until translucent. Then add chili, ginger to the skillet.
  5. Mix in CoCurcumin, coriander powder, and chili powder if using, salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle mango powder and mix into the okra.
  7. Makes 4 servings. Can be served with tortillas.

Summer squash with horsegram

Horsegram is like a lentil bean that is packed with protein. Easily digestible after soaking, these beans are great for the urinary health.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup horsegram beans
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 fresh chilis (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 ½ cup water
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 cup chopped summer squash (green and yellow are most popular)
  • 1.5 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Go through the horsegram and remove any debris.
  2. Soak the horsegram beans in lukewarm water overnight.
  3. Discard the soaking water and rinse the beans with cool clean water.
  4. Place the horsegram in a pressure cooker. Add garlic, onion, chilies, turmeric, and water. Pressure cook for 40-60 minutes on medium heat or until beans are tender.Add the salt and then set aside.
  5. Heat the ghee in a small think-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and stir until they pop. Add crushed tomatoes and squash. Cook for 10 minutes, until squash is tender
  6. Add the pot’s contents into the pot full of horsegram. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with avocado or lime. Optional to serve with rice. Makes 4 servings.