FOOD | HEALTH | SPIRITUALITY

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Welcome to Sacred & Delicious! I’d like to reward your interest with two valuable gifts:

The Sacred & Delicious Food List
and
A Complimentary Webinar with Vaidya Smita Naram

The Sacred & Delicious Food List is an addendum to the cookbook, Sacred & Delicious. Author Lisa Mitchell decided to distribute this comprehensive list of the foods through her website so that she would be able to update it more easily. These are foods found in most modern kitchens. The list organizes the foods into categories to reflect how they fit in your diet from an Ayurvedic perspective.

The free webinar with Vaidya Smita Naram that Lisa Mitchell is hosting will be held in the spring of 2019. Dr. Naram is one of India’s leading Ayurvedic pulse masters, herbal pharmacologists, and clinicians, and she has helped thousands of patients overcome serious health problems with the time-tested tools of Ayurveda. Lisa will conduct an interview with Dr. Naram about how to embrace an Ayurvedic diet and other health care approaches that have the potential to transform your health or to sustain optimal wellness. Here are some topics that will be covered:

  • Stories of people who have overcome serious health problems through modern Ayurveda— without taking pharmaceuticals
  • An in-depth discussion about how diseases take take root and evolve in the body from the perspective of Ayurveda.
  • A safe weight-loss plan that never leaves you hungry
  • Dietary recommendations to support chronic health conditions, including acid reflux, acne, headaches, back pain, perimenopause/menopause and more

While you wait for the book, enjoy reading the monthly updates on our blog,
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Post-Halloween Detox!

If you or your kids plan to eat a lot of Halloween candy, then I highly recommend that you plan a pot of Mung Soup with Vegetables for the day after! According to Ayurveda, mung beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and the greatest source of vegetarian protein, because they’re so easy to digest. This soup is made from whole mung beans, which have a scraping action. Translation: eating cooked mung beans will detoxify the body, specifically the colon, liver, kidneys, and the lymph system.

You can make a simple mung soup with a few spices and serve it with vegetable sides or, as I do, you can cook the soup with vegetables to make it a heartier dish. My preferences are Swiss chard and winter squash or a combination ofchard, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.

I like to use a slow cooker, which can be invaluable for vegetarians and omnivores alike. There are, however, a few tricks that make a Crockpot® meal worth savoring. Instead of loading all the ingredients at the beginning of the cooking time—whether that’s before you go to bed or before you leave for work—save a few specific steps for the last hour of cooking:

  1. Warm powdered spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric in ghee or oil on your stove top and add them to the slow cooker about 15 minutes before serving. (If you leave spices in the cooker for 6 to 8 hours, they can actually burn … says the voice of experience.)
  2. Also add any fresh herbs in the last 15 minutes.
  3. Steam any vegetables 10 to 15 minutes before finishing the soup—and, to add to the flavor, you can do this with salt, ginger, and (optional) garlic. If you prefer, you can add greens such as kale or chard, in the beginning. Other vegetables, particularly squash or sweet potatoes, tend to get too mushy if cooked all day.
  4. If you’re adding chopped onion, about 30 minutes before serving slowly brown the onion in ghee or oil until it caramelizes. (If you use shallots instead, they will brown in 10 minutes.) This additional step will infuse your final dish with a layer of flavor that you just won’t get by cooking onion in water or stock all day.

You can apply these tips when you cook this hearty mung soup recipe. If you prefer, and if you have the extra time at home needed to cook the beans in a regular soup pot, you can make this as a one-pot dish. I make this hearty soup once a week on an ongoing basis because it helps to keep the digestive system clear. When mung soup is served during panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) programs, it’s very simple: cooked mung beans, salt, bay leaf and a few spices. When I’m cooking at home, I sometimes add onions for extra flavor and I often add vegetables for a more substantial dish. It’s a thick soup so it may suffice for your meal, or you can serve it over quinoa or rice.

Finally, thanks for your patience awaiting new recipes! I’ve been busy launching
Sacred & Delicious: A Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook. You can find it at most independent book stores, or they will order it for you if you like supporting your local merchants. You can also find it at Amazon.

Enjoy this Mung Soup recipe every time you need an easy meal…or an easy detox!

WHOLE MUNG SOUP

Preparation time: 5 to 8 hours, depending on the pot ( 45 minutes active)
Serves 6 to 8

 

Thanks to Vaidya Smita Naram for her recipe, which inspired mine.

 

2 cups whole green mung beans
7 to 9 cups water
1 large fresh bay leaf or 3 curry leaves
2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil
1 small onion, preferably sweet (optional)
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 pinch asafetida powder (optional)
1 bunch chard, spinach or kale
1 small to medium sweet potato
1 large zucchini or yellow squash
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 to 2½ teaspoons Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt
1 medium garlic clove, pressed (optional)
½ cup freshly chopped cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges

 

 Cook’s Tip: Asafetida purchased at most Indian grocers is cut with wheat. Gluten-free asafetida is available at Savory Spice Shops and online.

 

1. Soak the beans for 6 to 8 hours. Strain and rinse the beans, and put them into a slow cooker with water and the bay leaf. Turn the cooker to the high setting. Start with 8 cups of water. If you are going to be at home, you can reduce the heat to low once you see the beans start to split, which will take 4 to 5 hours on high. If you are going to be away from the cooker for 6 hours or longer, start the soup on high for as long as possible — at least an hour, two hours even better —  before turning it to low. When cooked on high, the soup can be ready in 4 to 6 hours (depending on altitude and climate). When cooked on low, it will take 8 hours or longer.

 

2. About 45 minutes before serving the soup, prepare the onion.  (If you are omitting the onion, skip to #3 and 4). Chop the onion. In a medium sauté pan, heat oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and cover until the seeds pop like popcorn. Reduce heat to low or remove the pot from the heat source. Add asafetida (if using) and the chopped onion. Once the onion has turned uniformly golden (about 10 minutes), reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking another 20 minutes or so. When the onion is brown and caramelized, add the ground spices and stir for a few seconds. Then add the onion mixture into the pot of beans. Ideally, let the spices flavor the soup for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

3. Chop some of your favorite greens and a zucchini. In the fall, add some cubed winter squash. If you’re eating the dish as part of your regular diet, you can swap out the winter squash for a sweet potato. (Sweet potatoes are considered too heavy for a detox diet.) Steam the chopped vegetables in batches, one batch for each vegetable, and then add them by batches to the pot. Steam the potatoes for 10 minutes. Steam the greens and zucchini for 6 to 8 minutes until tender (longer for kale).

 

4. If you are not using an onion, heat the ghee or oil in a small spouted pot, if possible. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and cover until the seeds pop like popcorn. Reduce heat to low or remove the pot from the heat source. Add the asafetida and the ground spices to the ghee, and stir for a few seconds. Then pour the mixture into the pot of beans. Ideally, let the spices flavor the soup for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

5. Finish the soup by adding ginger, garlic and salt to taste. Stir well. Serve each bowl with a small handful of cilantro, if you wish, and a splash of lime.

 

Omit garlic and double the amount of ginger.

Enjoy a dash of cayenne pepper.

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