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The Last of the Summer Corn

If you enjoy sweet corn, I promise you’re going to love this new recipe for Vegan (or Vegetarian) Corn Chowder! Yes, I’m not quite done with corn yet, since local markets here in the Carolinas, and many parts of the country, are still featuring organic sweet corn on the cob.


This chowder is a perfect dish for these last hot days of summer because, like many summer soups, it’s lovely when served at room temperature, slightly chilled, or, if this is your preference, warmed just enough to take the chill off. However it’s served, this soup starts by being cooked, which honors the Ayurvedic preference of cooked foods over raw. You could make this dish with frozen corn, but why even think about that this time of year, when there is an abundance of fresh corn! And, following the tenets of Ayurveda, fresh food is always a preference because of its high prana—food’s innate life force—and the effect of that on your health and well-being.


Truth be told, my first inclination was to create this dish using cilantro as a cooling herb for these relentlessly hot and humid days of August. Instead, I decided to test this recipe using fresh dill as a gift to those readers who recoil when they even see the word “cilantro!” As it turned out, the dill combined with the corn, avocado, and lime is wonderfully refreshing. But if you are a cilantro lover, that, too, would be a perfect match for this dish.


This particular recipe calls for slightly crunchy corn juxtaposed with simmered sweet potatoes and velvety avocado. So many textures and tastes! May this Vegetarian or Vegan Corn Chowder inspire your palate during the last days of summer.



PS Looking for other vegan summer soups? Try Cucumber and Coconut Milk Soup,  Zucchini Soup in 20 Minutes or Less, and Roasted Beet and Fennel Soup.



Preparation Time: About 40 minutes active, plus time to cool or chill
Serves 4


We’re gluten- and dairy-free at our houseexcept for the use of ghee (clarified butter). Ayurveda considers ghee to be medicine, and ghee is cherished in Ayurvedic cooking because of its many health benefits. But this recipe is easily transformed into a vegan dish with choice of oil.


1 large leek (1 cup sliced)
2 to 3 stalks fennel or celery (about 1 cup, diced)
1 large sweet potato (about 1 cup, in chunks)
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 pinch asafetida (optional)
4 cups Easy Vegetable Soup Stock
1 fresh bay leaf
6 ears fresh corn
1 to 2 teaspoons Grey Celtic Sea Salt
1 to 2 cups fresh almond milk or coconut milk
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh dill
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 juicy lime


Cook’s Tip: Forgive me for repeating myself, but I promise this soup will not be nearly as delicious if you start with a boxed or canned stock. The subtle flavorings of my Easy Vegetable Soup Stock (with fresh fennel, basil, marjoram and turmeric) make all the difference.


1. Heat the ghee or oil in a 5- to 6-quart soup pot. Sauté the leek until it’s uniformly golden. Add the cumin and coriander, and stir.


2. Add the soup stock and bring it to a boil with the bay leaf, fennel or celery, and sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the vegetables for about 10 minutes.


3. While the vegetables are cooking, husk the corn and slice the corn off the cobs. Add the corn to the other vegetables in the pot and cook another 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if you have vata problems, so the corn is softer). Add salt, and remove the soup from the burner to cool.


4. Once the soup is room temperature (or has been chilled for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge), add 1 cup of the almond or coconut milk. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a second cup. Add 2 tablespoons of dill and stir. Taste and add more, if you like. Add avocado chunks to each serving. Squeeze a little lime juice onto each bowl when serving.


Ayurvedic Note: Corn is light, dry, and crunchy, so it’s good for pitta and kapha but can be difficult for vata types to digest. The heavy sweet potato and fatty avocado as well asafetida (if you have it) are added to help balance the soup for vata.

You can also add a large clove of garlic or 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger. Start cooking the corn in step two for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the other vegetables so the corn is no longer crunchy.

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