Vegetable-Rice Casserole

veggie_casserole

4 cups cooked brown or white basmati rice

1 ½ cups broccoli flowerets

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 medium parsnip, sliced

1/3  cup cashews

1 bunch spinach or kale, chopped

2-3 medium tomatoes, cut in eighths

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese **

½ cup parmesan cheese **

1 tsp. salt

¼-½  tsp. hing (asaoefetida) *

2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped fine

¼ tsp black pepper

*Hing is an Indian spice that is used in place of garlic in Vedic cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnips and spices, cook another few minutes. Combine all ingredients (except ½ cups grated cheese) in a large bowl and stir gently. Transfer to a 2 quart (minimum) casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 10 minutes. Best  when served immediately.

 ** What Many of Us Don’t Know About Cheese **

Rennet is a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach, and is often used in the production of cheese. Calf rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber of slaughtered young, un-weaned calves.

There are non-animal sources for rennet that are suitable for consumption by vegetarians. There are many sources of enzymes, ranging from plants, fungi, and microbial sources, that can substitute for animal rennet. Cheeses produced from any of these varieties of rennet are suitable for lacto-vegetarians to consume. Since more and more people have become aware of this fact, many cheeses are labeled whether the enzymes are from animal, vegetable, or microbial sources.

Sesame – Ginger Salad Dressing

salad dressingSummertime, with the weather hot, and full with Nature’s bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs lends itself well to eating more salads. There are so many different combinations of greens and other locally grown vegetables, the possibilities are almost endless, depending on where you live. The following recipe is delicious on a wide variety of summer salads and will keep well in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Sesame – Ginger Salad Dressing

By: Susan Bowes

1/2 cup pure sesame oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Juice from one lemon

2- 3 Tbsp fresh ginger root, chopped very fine

4-5 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Pinch of hing (aseofetida)

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in airtight jar and shake.

Cilantro Chutney – Refreshing and Great for Digestion

1 bunch cilantro, washed and the hard stems cut off

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup grated coconut, unsweetened

1 inch piece of ginger root, finely chopped

½ tsp hing (asaoefetida)

1 tbs. toasted sesame seeds or a handful of roasted peanuts for Vata constitutions.

Can use toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds for Pitta and Kapha types.

1 tsp. raw sugar or barley malt

½ tsp. saltwater if needed

 

Put all the ingredients in a food processer and mince together. Add a little water if the chutney is too dry. Serve a small amount with a meal for flavor and to awaken the digestion.

Summertime Recipe Tips

According to Ayurveda, as the days lengthen, we enter into a cycle dominated by the energy of the fiery pitta dosha.  Pitta translates as ‘that which cooks’ and is associated with the body’s metabolic system and the energy of transformation.

Ayurveda provides us with simple & effective practices for keeping the fire stoked, without letting it blaze out of control.

General guidelines for keeping cool & balancing Pitta:

During the summer months the body has a tendency to get overheated. Drink plenty of water and other liquids to keep the body hydrated and cool.

Eat simply, & emphasize foods that are cool and dry

Eat cooling herbs & spices like fennel, mint, coriander, cilantro, turmeric and dill

Avoid heating spices like cayenne, garlic, horseradish, chilies, basil and black pepper

Emphasize sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.

Limit salty, pungent and sour foods

Spend time in cool, shady, peaceful environments. Take time to enjoy time in nature, moonlit walks, go for a swim

Massage body with cooling oils, like coconut, safflower, or Tattva’s Herbs’ Supercritical Cooling oil, which is made with herbs that can help regulate the body’s temperature during the long, hot summer months.

Here is a great summer recipe:

Simple Sautéed Greens

Approx 4-6 cups (or equivalent to 2 bunches) of Young Fresh Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Dandelion Greens, &/or Beet greens stemmed, ribbed and cut into thin strips

1 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds

2 tsp Mustard Seeds

1 tsp Ground Turmeric

¼ cup fresh cilantro, stems removed & chopped

½ -1 tsp Hing (asaeofetida)

1 tsp salt

1 -2 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) or Coconut Oil

1/3 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews or peanuts)

Steam greens for approximately 5 minutes. Heat ghee or coconut oil on medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, stir and cook until the mustard seeds pop. Add turmeric, cilantro, hing and salt. Stir briefly to release aroma.

Add the greens and sauté for 2-3 minutes until flavors are blended.

Serve with chopped nuts on top

 

Ghee Recipe

Ghee

ghee

Ghee (clarified butter), essential in any Ayurvedic Kitchen

Ghee is one of the lightest oils, very flavorful and ideal for cooking, as it doesn’t burn easily. In Ayurveda ghee is recognized as a digestive, improving absorption and assimilation of the foods you are cooking. Ghee nourishes and lubricates, helping to keep the body flexible. It helps to clean channels, in order to carry the medicinal properties of herbs to the body’s tissues. Ghee is most beneficial to Pitta and Vata types – Kapha types should use it more conservatively, limiting their daily intake to a teaspoon or two.

To make ghee:

– Place one or two bars of unsalted butter in a saucepan until it boils; then lower the heat.

– When the white foam of milk solids, which will accumulate on the top begins to collapse and thicken, start skimming it off.

– Do not disturb the bottom of the pan, as some of these solids will also sink and can be left in the pot until after the ghee is poured off.

– As the butter continues to boil, keep skimming off the solids on top, and watch the oily portion to see when it becomes clear, also watching the sediment on the bottom to see when it turns a golden brown.

– Be careful this does not burn! When all the water is evaporated, the bubbling sound will stop. When only the clear oil and the golden sediment remain, the ghee is ready.

– Remove from heat, and pour through cheesecloth to strain.

– Store the ghee in an earthenware, glass or metal container.

Ghee doesn’t need to be refrigerated, although it will have a longer shelf life if kept cold. Make sure to keep it covered in order to keep out moisture.

Recipe For Traditional Raitas

Raita

RaitaRaita is a yogurt based condiment which helps aid in digestion. Most meals in India are served with a small serving of raita, along with some chutney to accompany and compliment many dishes. The basic raita is made with cucumbers as the main vegetable, but there are some variations that can be made using other vegetables. Yoghurt is cooling, so these are especially refreshing in the hot summer months.

 

Basic Cucumber Raita

Serves 4-6

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 3 Tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch or 2 of hing (asaeofetida)
  • 4 curry leaves (fresh or dried)
  • Approx. 1/8 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • ½ chopped small hot chili or a pinch of cayenne
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt

Peel and grate the cucumbers, pouring off the excess liquid. Heat the ghee in a saucepan on medium heat, adding the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing and curry leaves. Cook until the seeds pop and add the chili and cilantro, shaking the pan before turning the heat off. Stir the yoghurt, and cucumbers together When spices have cooled, add to mixture and mix well.

Some variances on the recipe above:

 

Spinach Raita

 Instead of the cucumbers, wash and chop finely a large bunch of spinach (about 4 cups) Add ¼ tsp salt and a pinch of turmeric to the spice mixture. Add ½ cup finely chopped roasted peanuts (not peanut butter) and mix all together.

Using the recipe above, but omitting the peanuts, some refreshing alternatives are to use raw carrots &/or beets.

Another addition that is sometimes used with carrot or beet raita is a Tbsp of sesame seeds.

Gujarati Tridoshic Beans

Gujarati tridoshic Beans

Serves 6 – 8

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups split green peas or whole green beans
  • 6 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, coconut oil or ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon barley malt or brown rice syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder, mild or medium
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup red & green pepper, chopped (optional, omit for Pitta)

Preparation Method Soak green whole beans for 1 hour and then drain. (If using split peas, soak for 1/2 hour)

Heat oil or ghee in a large saucepan.

Add mustard seeds andfenugreek, and when they pop add turmeric, asafoetida, green beans, water and the rest of the ingredients.

Mix them well.

Cover and cook until beans become somewhat soft and preparation thickens.

For split green peas it may take 1/2–1 hour and for whole green beans 40-50 minutes.

Quick Tip This taste good with chapatis, buttermilk curry, rice and vegetables. Good all-purpose dhal from Gujarat region in India. The beans can be soaked overnight if convenient. For Kapha, this recipe should be garnished with peppers and dry ginger.

  • Vata Decrease
  • Pitta Decrease
  • Kapha Decreases

Green Beans Side Dish

Green Beans Side Dish

* 2 cups chopped green beans
* 2 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
* 2 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
* 1/2 tsp hing (asafetida) (optional)
* A few red pepper flakes
* 2 tsp lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp turmeric
* 1 tsp minced ginger
* 1 tsp black pepper
* Rock or sea salt to taste
* 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
* 4 tbsp fresh grated coconut
* 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Steam the beans for 10 minute. In a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil.
Add the hing, if using, and the mustard seeds.
As the seeds start popping, add the beans, turmeric, minced ginger, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and sauté for a few minutes. Beans should be tender but not mushy. Reduce heat to low.
In another pan, toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes until they turn light brown.
Transfer beans to a serving dish. Top with the sesame seeds, grated coconut and cilantro and serve warm with whole grain bread and lentils.
(Serves 3–4)

Note: This is especially good for Kapha types

Ayurvedic Recipe of the Day – Mung Burgers

Mung Burgers

mung burgers

Preperation time: 1.5 hours with a pressure cooker, 2 hours without

-Vata, -Pitta, moderately -Kapha

Serves: 5-6

From The Ayurvedic Cookbook, written by Amadea Morningstar with Urmila Desai

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole mung beans
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons brown or wild rice
  • 1 stick kombu
  • 1/16 teaspoon hing
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 medium red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon – 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard (the lesser for Pitta, Vata and Kapha can use maximum)
  • 1 teaspoon sea or rock salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons barley or whole wheat flour

Combine the mung beans, water, rice, kombu and hing in a pressure cooker and bring to pressure and cook for 25 minutes. If you are not using a pressure cooker, bring the beans to a boil with the rest of the first ingredients and then cover and cook over medium heat for an hour, or until soft.

While the beans are cooking, wash the potatoes and cut them in quarters, than eights. Chop the onion. Warm the oil in a large skillet and add the cumin, oregano and onion. Saute until the onion is tender and the herbs are lightly browned. Set aside and wait for the beans to be done.

When the beans are done, cool the pot in cool water to bring it down from pressure, open it, and add the potatoes. Cook uncovered until the potatoes are soft, about 20-30 minutes. Add the beans and potatoes to the herbs in the skillet and mash. Stir in the egg white, mustard and salt and pepper. Add the flour if the burgers need thickening. Form into patties and cook on a non-stick pan until brown, flipping to brown the other side. Or cook them on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Makes 10-12 3″ to 4″ burgers.

Ayurvedic Recipe of the Day – 11/23/09

Tridoshic Vegetable Curry

vegetable-curry

Preperation time: 1 hour

-Vata, -Pitta, -Kapha

Serves: 9-10

From The Ayurvedic Cookbook, written by Amadea Morningstar with Urmila Desai

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh green peas (frozen if necessary)
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups string beans or asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 cup yogurt

Heat oil of ghee in large heavy skillet. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Then the mustard seeds pop, add turmeric. Then add all the vegetables and the water. (If using frozen peas, do not add until rest of vegetables are nearly done.) Cook covered until the vegetables become tender, about 15-20 minutes. Then add yogurt and the rest of the ingredients, stirring well. Simmer uncovered on low heat for another 15-20 minutes.

Comments: Good with Cucumber Raita and lime pickle for Vata. Serve over rice or other grain. This easy-to-prepare curry is likely to garner you rave reviews. The cooling qualities of the peas and potatoes are offset by the other vegetables and the curry spices. This small amount of yogurt, thinned with water, is usually tolerated well by all the doshas and aids digestion. Whenever you can, use tender fresh, rather than frozen peas, as they are more balancing for Kapha and Vata.