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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

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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 Epicurious.com. 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!

SMOKY COLLARD GREENS
WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS

 

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

Serves 4

 

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

 

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 minutes or until the collards are completely tender but not cooked to death! Check the water level often, as the collard will absorb most of the water. Add more, 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.

 

Avoid vinegar and cayenne.

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