Sign Up For Your BONUS GIFT!

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

The Sacred & Delicious Food List

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.

While you wait for the book, enjoy reading the monthly updates on our blog,
Don’t miss out on monthly updates from the Sacred & Delicious Blog: Food • Health • Spirituality

  • Please select the flag
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up now for our Sacred & Delicious Blog

Receive our bonus gift: Sacred & Delicious food list!

  • Please select the truck
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Spring Cleaning with Vegan Collards

When spring marches in, we naturally want to throw open the windows of our home and clean out all the dust and cobwebs. In the same way, Ayurveda recommends that we give our bodies an annual spring cleaning! Once the autumn chill descends, and all the way through the cold winter, we tend to eat heavier foods. This way we can put on a little fat to stay warm. Spring invites us to help the body transition to the new season by eating lighter foods.

I always recommend a mung soup fast along with light vegetables for a few days or a week at the beginning of spring. This helps to detoxify the colon, liver, kidneys. Cooked greens of any kind are a great side dish to support a spring detox, and today I’d like to generate some enthusiasm for collard greens. Collards belong to the dignified family of Southern “soul food,” brought to us by African cooks. Although theirs is a sad history indeed, their contributions to Southern cuisine were lasting and impressive.

Collard greens are hardly the sexiest dish to focus on in a blog, but like all greens, collards are extremely satisfying, healthy, and easy to make. They do take longer to cook than Swiss chard, kale, or beet greens, but they also have more fiber as well as richer flavor. (If you need a faster recipe on a work night, try this recipe using beet greens or chard.)

Please allow me to disabuse my omnivorous friends of the idea that collards are only tasty with bacon fat or ham. Pork is not required! Caramelized onions and an exquisite smoky salt are all it takes for this vegan or vegetarian version to rival any Southern comfort food. “The hottest thing in soul food right now is vegan soul food,” said Adrian E. Miller, author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, in an interview at With homage to this healthy trend, I add to this dish my favorite Ayurvedic spice combo—cumin and coriander, along with (if you like) a pinch of cayenne—to take this traditional dish of collards to new heights!

I’m pleased that this recipe contains all six tastes that Ayurveda recommends for inclusion in each meal. The collards are bitter and slightly astringent. The onions, once caramelized, are sweet, and I add a bit of maple syrup for a bit of sweet elegance. Cumin is pungent. Coriander is sweet and astringent. Ginger is pungent, and if you add some cayenne to the dish you get an extra dash of pungent. There is, of course, salt for salty. Finish these Smoky Collard Greens with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and sour completes the six tastes. Enjoy this Ayurvedic take on an old Southern dish!




Prep Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour active,
depending on one pot or two

Serves 4


1 extra-large, sweet onion
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
2 bunches of collard greens (about 30 leaves)
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked salt
2½ to 3 cups water
2 to 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 to 3 teaspoons freshly ground ginger

Time-Saver: Caramelize the onions with fat in a separate pan while you start steaming the chopped collards in a soup pot with the water. Combine the collards with the onions and spices once the onions have browned.



1. Heat a very large frying pan or soup pot (with a lid) on medium heat. Dice the onion. Melt the oil in the pan and add the diced onion. Cook uncovered, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until the onion turns golden. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook another 15 to 20 minutes or so until the onion browns and caramelizes.


2. While the onion is browning, wash and drain the collards. Stack several leaves at a time on a cutting board, and cut off the tips of the stems. Starting at the leafy end of the pile, slice 1-inch strips; then chop the strips into bite-sized squares.


3. When the onions are fully caramelized, add the cumin, coriander, and salt and stir. Add the collard greens and water, and stir to mix. Increase the heat to medium for about 5 minutes until the water is bubbling. Cover and cook another 30 to 40 minutes or until the collards are completely tender most of the water is absorbed. Add more water, if necessary, to keep the collards from sticking. Once the greens are tender, add the ground ginger, maple syrup, and more salt to taste.


If you wish, drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving and/or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Comments are closed.