Eating for balance is a cornerstone in Ayurveda. A meal made of good quality augmenting and extractive vegetables, grains and legumes gives your body the life force it needs to function at your optimal levels. The combinations for meals made with this formula are endless and can be easily shifted for what’s in season.
For instance, in the heat of summer you may be looking for ways to lighten up your meals. Rather than reaching for a salad of raw foods, which may not be a great choice for your digestion, look instead to a lighter legume – snap peas.
Snap peas, which grow wonderfully in a garden, are a great replacement for dried legumes in your meals. And since it is summer, it’s a blessing to have this cooling food that requires less cooking time than a dried legume.
We’ve made a simple meal featuring snap peas and kale mixed with cashews and spices. Like all legumes, snap peas are extractive in nature, so must be balanced with augmenting foods, such as the sweet potatoes and rice we have added to the dish below. But get creative – switch out the grain and augmenting vegetables for those that speak to you. And if you can’t find snap peas, use green beans instead. They will do just as well in this recipe as the snap peas we’ve used. Regardless of what lighter legume you use, be sure to cook with digestive spices, just like you would add to any dried legume to support proper digestion.
Snap peas and kale with volcano rice and rosy sweet potatoes
Snap peas and kale
2 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
½ tsp. turmeric (fresh or powdered)
½ tsp. fenugreek powder
4 cups chopped kale and snap peas
¼ tsp. mineral salt
2 tsp. chopped sea vegetables (hiziki, wakame, etc.)
¼ cup chopped cashews
Heat the sunflower oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add ginger, mineral salt and sea vegetables and cook gently for a few minutes (if you are using fresh turmeric, add it with ginger). Add the cashews, coriander, turmeric (if powdered) and fenugreek and cook gently until the aroma comes up. Add the chopped kale and snap peas and stir for a few minutes. Add water to ¼ of the level of the peas and kale and simmer gently until the kale is bright green. Time will vary from about 3 - 10 minutes depending on your pan and cooktop. If the kale is larger and less tender it may need to go in before the snap peas to cook a little longer.
1 cup volcano rice (if you can’t find volcano rice, substitute any other rice)
1 ½ cups water
¼ tsp. mineral salt
1 tsp. ghee
Add all ingredients to a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on very low heat for 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed into the rice. Or, use a rice cooker. Let sit for five minutes before serving.
Rosy sweet potatoes
Note: if you can’t find organic rose petals, just omit them. This dish is delicious without them.
2 tsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. cardamom powder
1½ cups chopped sweet potatoes
½ tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. organic rose petals
Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add ginger, cardamom powder and rose petals and cook until the aroma comes up. Add sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Add water to ¼ the level of the sweet potatoes and cover. Simmer gently until sweet potatoes are tender (about 7 - 10 minutes). Stir in cilantro just before serving.