Friday, 18 December 2015

The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook

The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook
200 Recipes for Health, Wellness, and Balance
by Lois A. Leonhardi
Trade Paperback,  248 pages

Global. That is what we are as a society today. We are able to glean health and lifestyle secrets from anywhere in the world, pretty much from any time-period. And now, thanks to a global marketing system, we can find the ingredients in our own communities.

Ayurvedic cooking and lifestyle centres on food as medicine. Grandma may have told you that "you are what you eat". She was right.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic lifestyle from ancient India that promotes longevity. It views each individual as having a unique constitution and states that there are certain foods and activities that are balancing (and imbalancing). Focusing on food and activities that bring balance will maintain health (and vice versa). In the event that disease arises, ayurvedic doctors will determine the root cause (physical and/or emotional) and treat naturally with herbs, dietary modifications, meditation, etc.
This book gives the average home cook the tools to understand ayurveda, stock an ayurvedic kitchen, and cook a wide assortment of healthy meals for optimum balance, energy, and health.

From the Back Flap:

Enjoy optimal wellness with these delicious Ayurvedic-inspired recipes.
Would you like to be healthier? Better able to cope with the daily stresses of life? Happier? More balanced? The solution may be as simple as modifying your food choices to be in sync with your constitution.

Not just for vegetarians or yogis, The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbookis designed to meet the needs of mainstream western society. It moves beyond curries and includes recipes designed for a discriminating palate while addressing dietary needs for: non-vegetarian, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free individuals.

Written for individuals with busy lifestyles, the approach is flexible, fun and easy. With time-saving make-ahead suggestions, organized charts, and ingredient lists you can find at your local grocer, you’ll be whipping up delicious, healthy meals on a regular basis.

Recipes are designed to be for everyone, so knowledge of ayurveda (or your “dosha”) is not required. Using an intuitive approach, you are taught to understand the essential principles of Ayurveda, which makes implementing a healthy lifestyle effortless

Kelp Noodles with Almond Sauce

This dish is balancing for pitta and kapha; vata should use the almond sauce liberally to balance out the dryness of the kelp noodles. The suitability of the suggested toppings for the doshas is indicated by the abbreviations in parentheses.

Makes 3 servings
Gluten-Free F Vegan

1⁄2 tsp    minced seeded jalapeño pepper    2 mL
1⁄8 tsp    chili powder    0.5 mL
1⁄2 cup    water    125 mL
3 tbsp    almond butter    45 mL
1 tbsp    pure maple syrup or coconut sugar    15 mL
2 tsp    tamari    10 mL
1 tsp    apple cider vinegar    5 mL
12 oz    kelp noodles, rinsed    375 g

Suggested Toppings
    Chopped fresh cilantro (VPK)
    Finely chopped raw fennel (VPK)
    Steamed finely chopped cabbage (PK)
    Steamed julienned carrots (VPK)
    Finely chopped green onions (VK)
    Sesame seeds (V)
    Green pumpkin seeds (VPK)

1.    In a large skillet, combine jalapeño, chili powder, water, almond butter, maple syrup, tamari and vinegar. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. (Do not let boil.)
2.    Stir in kelp noodles and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until noodles are softened and infused with flavors.
3.    Serve with any of the suggested toppings, as desired.

Although soy sauce contains wheat, tamari is wheat-free; however, if you are allergic or sensitive to gluten, always read labels to make sure the manufacturer did not add wheat. Also check to make sure traditional brewing methods were used, as this ensures the highest quality.

Kelp Noodles
Kelp noodles are low in fat and are a good source of iron, calcium, iodine and other trace minerals. They are gluten-free, low in calories and low in carbohydrates, with a neutral taste. The drying process and removal of the outer skin make them suitable for kapha and pitta, even though they are salty. While they can be eaten raw (they are dry and crunchy), I recommend lightly sautéing them to moisten them and aid digestion. For vata, kelp noodles must be cooked and served with a moist, heavy, grounding sauce or in a soup, and should be eaten in moderation.

Courtesy of The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook by Lois Leonhardi © 2015 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Pomegranate Orange Chip Bars

The merger of chocolaty, chewy goodness with heart-healthy oats and pomegranate created this divine bar — a taste of bliss in every bite. All doshas should eat it in moderation.

Gluten-Free F Soy-Free F Vegetarian

* Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
* 8-inch (20 cm) square metal baking pan, lined with parchment paper

1⁄2 cup    coconut sugar    125 mL
1⁄2 tsp    ground cinnamon    2 mL
1 tsp    grated orange zest    5 mL
1⁄4 tsp    Himalayan salt    1 mL
3⁄4 cup    almond butter    175 mL
1⁄4 cup    unsalted butter    60 mL
1 tbsp    pomegranate syrup (see Tips)     15 mL
1    large egg, beaten    1
3⁄4 tsp    baking soda    3 mL
11⁄2 cups    quick-cooking rolled oats    375 mL
1⁄4 cup    gluten-free dark chocolate    60 mL
    chunks (70% to 85% cacao)

1.    In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, salt, almond butter, butter and pomegranate syrup. Stir in egg. The batter will be very thick and oily. Stir in baking soda. Stir in oats and chocolate chunks until well incorporated. Spoon into prepared baking pan.
2.    Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. (If the entire top is brown, the bars are overcooked and will be very dry. The dough should be soft coming out of the oven.) Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then cut into bars and transfer bars to the rack to cool completely.

Store the squares in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The batter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Pomegranate syrup (also known as pomegranate molasses) can be purchased at international grocery stores or in the international aisle of major grocery stores.

Courtesy of The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook by Lois Leonhardi © 2015 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Lois Leonhardi is a certified ayurveda wellness practitioner, educator and author.
She trained under Dr. Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico and in Pune, India. She has over 15 years of experience in holistic studies including ayurveda, yoga and Buddhism through which she has honed her intuitive grasp of the energetics of foods, individuals and the mind-body connection. By following the ancient practice of integrating yoga with ayurveda, she will help you achieve balance in your modern life.
Lois resides on Los Angeles, CA.
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