Crunch. Crunch. Munch. Munch. There was an interesting segment a while back on NPR (National Public Radio) about why humans crave crunchy foods. The theory dates back to millions of years ago when primates ate crunchy insects. If they were crunchy it meant they were fresh. In more recent years humans started to eat plant and vegetable foods that were also crunchy and again, crunchy meant fresh.
Nowadays, crunchy stills means fresh unless, of course, it’s Cookie Crunch cereal or most of the highly processed snack foods available to us. But we’re wising up to that and becoming creative in our kitchens using whole food cooking to bring us a fresher version of a tasty crunch (without all of the hit list foods).
Sweet potatoes are a great source of crunch. Cut thinly they turn out to be the tastiest chip. Packed with crunch that won’t leave your primordial brain craving for the allusive crispiness. Ayurvedically-speaking these chips are great for everyone, except Kapha only in moderation. I’ve included some small variations at the bottom of the post so you can tweak it to best fit your constitution (what’s my...
As a tri-doshic system, Ayurveda is based on knowing your mind-body type, or dosha. The three doshas are Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. Once you know your type you can steer yourself towards consuming the foods and living the lifestyle that not only keep your body, mind, and sexy spiritual self in balance, but also ward off brewing illness and disease. Pretty incredible, right?
You can discover your mind-body type by taking my dosha quiz or contact me to schedule your free 15-minute consultation. Even if you haven’t figured out your dosha yet, you can get started today by building your very own Ayurvedic Pantry.
The Scoop on Ayurveda:
Often called the mother of all healing, Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old health system that has survived this long because it works. In fact, as more and more people search for sustainable solutions to long-lasting health concerns, Ayurveda is seeing a massive resurgence of interest. Similar to the popularization of Yoga in the Western world, Ayurveda appears to be following this path as many are already seeing the powerful difference this wise medicine can provide.
Recently, Ayurveda has been...
This is a quick and easy green bean salad that features some crunchy fun toppings and a decadent creamy coconut sauce. I’ve enjoyed making different renditions of it through the holidays including swapping the green beans for asparagus.
Pomegranates are super rich in antioxidants, which protects cells from oxidation, and keeps us from disease and illness. Here’s a little trick to remove the pomegranate seeds; hit the pomegranate with the back of a spoon and the seeds will fly out (caution, it’s a little messy).
Above is one variation to the Festive Green Bean Salad that includes asparagus as well and is chopped and simplified using just a squeeze of lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.
The recipe is jazzed up a bit with the toasted almond slices and creamy coconut sauce made from coconut milk, lemon juice, grated ginger, and a bit of maple syrup. It’s sweet yet a bit tart, very refreshing.
While I’ve written this recipe as a side dish you could easily dress it up to make it a main. Saute marinated tofu or tempeh until nicely browned or golden ahead of time and...
Smooth and tasty, this creamy delicious soup is both hardy and sweet. Made with fennel, carrots, and leek plus warming spices and satisfying coconut milk it is half soup/half dessert by the time you top it with a drizzle of agave nectar and a few toasted pecans.
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, the temperature drops and the wind picks up it’s natural to start craving more warming, comforting foods to nourish ourselves. Especially for those with a Vata Constitution, it is important to honor that craving and prefer foods that add heat and are naturally sweet.
If Vata is your primary dosha, movement and change are basic to your nature; you will tend to be active, quick, and always on the go. As long as Vata is kept in balance, you will be lean, light, and creative with an enthusiastic disposition. Try my dosha quiz to discover your constitution.
After you preheat the oven, start to prepare the vegetables by removing the fronds and stems from the fennel bulb, scrubbing the carrots well, and rinsing through the layers of the leeks (rest assured you will find dirt lurking in there). ...
Here’s a last minute brussels sprouts recipe that may be just the perfect new side dish to add in to your traditional Thanksgiving spread. I tried it out last week and it’s the kind of veggie dish that is melt-in-your mouth delicious.
So, without further ado, here’s how it goes (and why it’s so good for you).
After prepared and tossed with olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, the brussels sprouts are roasted at a high heat. This brings out their natural sugars and caramelizes the outermost leafs. To finish it off toss with toasted sunflower seeds and pepitas and the sweet touch of maple syrup.
Brussels sprouts are an important dietary source of many vitamin antioxidants, including vitamins C, E, and A (in the form of beta-carotene). These healthy sprouts are also a good source of anti-inflammatory providing omega-3 fatty acids. 100 calories of brussels sprouts provides 30% of the recommended daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids. That’s a powerful medicine in one tiny veggy!
Best laid plans and all this post was due a few weeks ago. Alas, here it is…finally. Following a 24-hour flight home from Australia, a hurricane, an election, and now a Nor’ Easter I’ve arrived to the United States of America bearing Ginger Tofu and Veggies en Pappilote. Phew, I hope you enjoy.
Before I left for the US I threw a little dinner party and decided to try out the “en papillote” style which is basically a classic French technique of cooking food inside of parchment paper and then baking it. As it cooks the steam builds and puffs up the paper. This method allows for a nice presentation as guests can cut into the paper and enjoy the aroma of the freshly cooked food. Simple, yet fun.
This recipe comes (with slight adaptation) from the marvelous book, “Eat Taste Heal” by Chef Johnny Brannigan and co. The brilliant marinade uses ginger and coconut milk with a splash of Bragg’s amino acids and the smart addition of finely ground blanched almonds.
You will first blanch your veggies of choice (the veggies I’ve chosen are balancing for all...
For me, roasted cauliflower is a feel good, comfort food.
In this dish, the light taste of the cauliflower is perfectly complemented by bold Indian spices (cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and mustard seeds).
Depending on how much cayenne you use, it’s not made to be super hot and spicy, but definitely has the zing that you’d imagine from an Indian dish.
But this dish is more than just the taste. Three florets of cauliflower is enough to provide you with 67% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.
Cauliflower is also a good source of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. *Click here for a Cooking Up Prana Tweetable*
Regular consumption of cauliflower may also reduce the chance of certain cancers. According to an animal study done at John Hopkins University, sulforaphane, one of the main ingredients in cauliflower, lowered the occurrence of breast tumors by about 40%.
A Canadian study found that including cauliflower or broccoli as part of a regular diet reduced men’s risk of prostate cancer by 52%.
And, the best part about this dish is it’s really...
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