Today I hosted the Autumn inspired workshop and shared some ayurveda inspired dishes to aid in reducing Vata during the cold season. Vata is one of the three doshas, it's a blend of air and ether and its characteristics are : cold , dry , light , swift , mobile , irregular , rough.
In Autumn and Winter as well as bringing more heat and steadiness to your asana practice you may want to cook according to the season's dosha, opting for foods that are warm (both in temperature and slightly spiced ) , nourishing ( lots of vegetables such as squash, pumpkin, leeks etc...), oily (add coconut oil or ghee to stews and soups or choose oily nuts like walnuts , coconuts and oily fruits like avocado) and sweet ( dates and other rich fruits are great to counteract the effects of vata) . Print the full Vata season grocery shopping list here.
Here are 4 tried and tested recipes, adjust the spices according to your dosha ( take the test here) and make sure to cook as fresh as you can. Enjoy !
SPICED COCONUT AND SQUASH SOUP
This is one easy soup that will be making again and again as it's so sweet and satiating as well as being easy.
Ingredients ( serves 4 or more):
1 medium sized squash ( cleaned and chopped into large chunks)
half a small brown onion ( chopped)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 can of coconut milk ( no reduced fat just normal)
Fresh ginger ( adjust to taste , I used about 2 cm stick)
Pinch of salt
Optional : Fennel seeds and fresh coriander if you like them
Put the coconut oil in a large saucepan to melt then add the ginger and the onion to soften , add the chopped up squash and a pinch of salt ,keep the heat low as the squash begins to cook a little.
Add the coconut milk then add enough water to cover the squash. Simmer until the squash falls apart if you press it to the side of the pan then blend the content of the pan with a hand blender. Add the fennel seeds and the coriander once the soup is well blended and smooth.
Serve with soda bread or wholemeal pitta chips ( just chop pitta bread or some tortilla wraps and toast in the oven until brown) .
CHICKPEAS AND SPINACH CURRY
Another firm staple in my kitchen, great as a midweek break
from meat and still gives proteins and as much spice as you like. When cooking vegetarian dishes try and use organic wherever possible, not that much more expensive and with a lot less nasties.
Ingredients ( serves 4):
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 medium brown onion(organic if you can get them)
2 large carrots (organic if you can get them)
1 stick of celery
1 can of chickpeas (organic if you can get them)
1 can chopped tomatoes (organic if you can get them)
1 glass of almond milk ( no sugar added) or any other nut milk or coconut milk ( not a full can)
1 bag of washed spinach or frozen spinach ( organic if you can get them)
Shwarz medium curry blend ( from the herbs and spices rack) alternatively make your own curry blend mixing and matching the following spices: powdered, ginger, cumin, mustard seed, fenugreek ,turmeric, chilly, have fun with this but don't expect your curries to ever taste the same (LOL).
Get a large pan so that you can swirl things around in plenty of space. Melt the coconut oil and add the veg chopped in small chunks, cook the veg on a low heat for 2 minutes then add 2 table spoons of the curry blend or your own spices and keep cooking the veg until they are soft, add water if the mix is drying up. Add the chickpeas and mix everything up , then add the tomatoes and the milk you have chosen. Turn the heat down and cook for at least 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened then add the spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with white basmati.
Ayurveda prescribes that things are eaten freshly made , HOWEVER I find that my veggie curries always taste more delicious the day after as the vegetables soak up the spices overnight.
SPINACH AND HERB FRITTATA
Eggs are not much valued in Ayurveda however I find that
they are a great and versatile food that is very high in nutrients and can satisfy your appetite if combined with vegetables and perhaps a little cheese.
Ingredients ( serves 4)
5 to 6 eggs
a bag of spinach ( at least 300g) or 8 cubes of frozen LEAF spinach ( organic if you can get them)
herbs (I used an Italian dried herbs mix)
Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Crumbly goat's cheese ( optional )
A non-stick over proof pan.
In a bowl break the eggs and whisk them up until they are fluffy add salt and pepper to taste ( add the cheese now if your frying pan cannot go in the oven).
Heat a large non-stick frying pan with plenty of olive oil then add the spinach to cook ( or defrost) once wilted add the egg mixture gently starting from the middle and turn the heat down to moderate. Add the goats cheese on top then put the frittata in the oven ( if your pan is oven proof) to finish cooking. Keep checking until cooked through and browned at the top.
COCONUT AND SESAME SEEDS COOKIES
This is a recipe I discovered when trying a low-carb adjustment to my diet and they are so delicious! They are also very heavy in terms of calories though so be careful how many you eat unless you are following a low-carb regime.
Ingredients ( makes about 14 small cookies)
1 pack of 180g of ground almonds
1 tablespoon of grated coconut
3 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)
2 tablespoons of xylithol
1 egg beaten
1/2 sachet of baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
sesame seeds (optional)
Switch the oven on at 160c ( fan ) or 180c (conventional)
Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
Empty the almond flour in a bowl , add the baking powder and mix well. Add the coconut oil let it cool for a bit then add the egg and the vanilla extract. Mix everything well until a dough forms. The dough should be soft but should not stick to your fingers as you roll some small balls out and then squash them into little circles and put them on the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle some sesame seeds then back for about 10 minutes and check if browned, if not cook for a couple more minutes.
Do not overcook the cookies.
Have fun in experimenting with these recipes and adding your own spices and perhaps veg according to your taste and your dosha. Comment below and share if you liked it !
Love and light