Ancient Ayurvedic wisdom recognizes digestion as the seat of health, and prioritizes balancing one's constitution with nourishing foods. Ayurveda recommends slowing down when eating, taking the time to sit, breathe deeply, chew food thoroughly, and relish the tastes of freshly created meals. It certainly helps to be excited about delicious recipes made with healthy wholesome ingredients!
Below, I’ll share a few of my favorite simple winter lunch and dinner recipes. Ayurveda suggests that our biggest meal be at lunch time; when the sun in the sky is strongest, so too is our digestive fire. However, it’s not always easy to make a big meal at lunch time. So, I count on making extra at dinnertime for the following day’s lunch, or make slightly quicker easy lunches when I’m working from home. This ensures that I have three nourishing meals every day, but not spend my whole day cooking. Following my last post and Dr. Aviva Romm’s recommendations, I make sure to have lots of veggies, some healthy fat, and some protein at each meal.
Roasted Root Veggie Salad: Salads are generally cooling and dry, full of raw crunchy light veggies, and are best eaten in the hot summer months. However, using Ayurvedic balancing qualities helps some salads be more winter friendly; to aid your digestion, add some grounding warming moistening foods including roasted root veggies, protein, fresh grated ginger, olive oil, pepper, and/or spicy kimchi or eat with a warm hearty soup. Here’s a good basic root veggie salad recipe.
For an easy lunch, plan to make extra roasted veggies at dinner the night before. Then just warm them up and add fresh or lightly steamed greens. If home for lunch and starting from scratch, I just chop a few root veggies (beets, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips-in that order, smallest to bigger chucks), toss in a bit of avocado oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 for an hour while I continue my work. For extra protein toppers, some options include: goat cheese, roasted nuts or seeds, or a sliced boiled egg.
Goddess/Buddha bowls consist of layered whole foods served cold (best in the summer) or hot (best in the winter) including a base (usually a grain or noodle), veggies and protein, and topped with a sauce, seeds, and something raw like sprouts or kimchi. Using leftovers for these layers makes for an easy lunch or dinner. One of my favorite combinations includes wild rice as the base (which is packed with protein and is actually not a rice or grain but rather a seed of a native North American marsh grass. Ratio is 3 to 1, water to seed, simmered for an hour). I top this with roasted kale, cubed roasted butternut squash, Lemon Tahini Garlic sauce (blend ¼ c Lemon juice, ½ c tahini, 1-3 cloves garlic, salt and cayenne if desired), roasted pumpkin seeds, and Gracie’s Garden daichi.
Sweet Potato w/ Pesto, Kale, Protein: This is a great easy lunch-Roasted Sweet potato slathered with pesto, steamed kale or other dark greens, and a side of your choice of protein. Some quick options could be wild alaskan sardines/salmon or caramelized onions and garlic on top of a serving of rinsed organic canned beans
Crockpot Bean Soup: I love crockpot meals! Chop all the goods in the morning, turn on, and voila: a beautiful delicious flavorful dinner and lunch the next day. Soak a cup of dry beans overnight and rinse them in the morning, add to the crock. Throw in a diced large onion, 3-4 minced garlic cloves, an inch of minced fresh ginger, a handful of sliced mushrooms, and a couple chopped carrots. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth, a bay leaf, 1 t cumin, 1 t oregano, and a can of organic diced tomatoes. If you have access to an organic ham hock, this can add a nice flavor too! Turn crockpot on low for 8 hours. Serve with salad and gluten free Masa Harina Cornbread
Coconut Curry Stir Fry: Cook: Red Quinoa (2:1 ratio water to rinsed seed, simmered 20 minutes) Sauce: Blend ¾ c canned Coconut milk, ¼ c tahini, 1 -2 T red curry paste, 1 t turmeric, salt (add more or less of each to your desired taste/consistency). Stir fry: Saute onion, garlic, ginger, your choice of veggies & protein. Pour Sauce over veggies to heat, and scoop over cooked quinoa
Butternut Squash Tahini Soup: I leave out the honey and enjoy
this creamy soup with a salad and a small slice of seed bread topped with avocado mash. To make this a creamy Broccoli soup instead, just sub the Squash for two cups cooked Broccoli and one cubed cooked Potato. Keep the spices the same or use curry powder, cumin, and a little cayenne for a different flavor
Mom’s Meatloaf: Soak a clay cooker (romertopf) for 15 minutes. On the bottom, layer sliced: potato, carrots, mushroom, garlic, and onions. Mix: 1 lb grass fed bison or ground turkey/chicken, mixed with 1 cup millet bread crumbs, 1 cup hazelnut milk, 1 egg, 2 T minced onions, 2 T tomato paste, 1 T red curry paste, 1 T mustard, 1 t salt, 1 t pepper,
1 t minced ginger, 3 cloves minced garlic, and pat into a loaf atop layered veggies. Put in a cold oven and bake 450 for 75 min
Enjoy with hearty salad and asparagus
I add spinach to this soup at the end and serve with salad