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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.

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Update a Favorite Recipe with Vegan Tapenade

After cooking my Elegant Green Beans recipe every week for more than a decade, I thought it might be fun to try something a little different this week. Imagine that! And so, my friends, I present you with Green Beans with Vegan Tapenade, a warm zesty side dish that can double as a salad come spring and summer.

My Elegant Green Bean recipe (page 186 in Sacred & Delicious) is an absolute favorite among my friends and co-workers, who repeatedly request it. When I make that dish, I usually buy a bag or two of organic green beans, rinse them and throw them into the pot uncut. However, this dish is improved by snapping or chopping the green beans into bite-sized pieces so that each mouthful gets covered with the olives and nuts.

I cook the beans until they are just tender without getting mushy, though I say “suit yourself” to my Southern friends! On the other hand, I know a lot of folks prefer their vegetables to be quite crispy, but in my estimation, the chopped almonds give the dish just enough crunch. From the standpoint of Ayurveda, vegetables are more easily digested when cooked until tender. For a room-temperature salad, you could steam the beans until barely cooked, and if you have strong digestion, that may be your kind of perfection.

Another Ayurvedic tip: I rinse olives in filtered water once and strain them before adding them to dishes because the vinegar or wine brine in their packaging can be excessively sour—not good for pitta types! Not to worry; they still have plenty of flavor. (Olives are brined because they would be terribly bitter if eaten raw.) Finally, you could add sundried tomatoes to the tapenade, but you won’t see them in my recipe or photo because (sadly) my hands ache when I eat tomatoes. The dish is still wonderfully Mediterranean without tomatoes, I promise.

You may find lots of ways to use this tapenade on some of your own favorite recipes. Making a quick lunch for one? Add it on top of pasta. Mix it with zucchini and summer squash. Try it on asparagus or broccoli.

Enjoy these flavorful Green Beans with Vegan Tapenade as winter melts into spring!

PS Don’t miss our spring 21-Day Delicious Detox Challenge!  REGISTER now or learn more about this life-changing program.





Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes (about 20 minutes active)
Serves 6 to 8

Please avoid canned olives, which have very little flavor! 

For the beans
2 pounds green beans
2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
1 large leek bulb plus an inch of the light-green shank
2 to 3 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 cup whole almonds
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (optional)

For the Tapenade
1½ cups whole pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 garlic cloves or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 handfuls of fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried

1. Prepare the beans by snapping off the ends, and then snap or chop into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch in length. Clean and slice the leeks.

2. Heat the cooking oil on medium in a large sauté pan or a soup pot. Once the oil is warm, add the sliced leek and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. While the leek cooks, rinse the green beans in water and strain, leaving a little water on them. When the leeks have turned golden, add the beans, keeping the beans on top so the leeks can cook a little longer. Add 2 tablespoons of Bragg’s to the pan and, without stirring, cover the pan and let the vegetables simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure they liquid hasn’t cooked off to avoid burning. If the beans are drying out, add a tablespoon or two of water.

3. While the beans cook, chop the almonds finely—either in a food processor, if you have one, or by hand. Set aside.

4. Make the tapenade (while checking on the beans occasionally): Rinse the olives once in filtered water, strain, and chop them coarsely with the garlic (or grated ginger) and the basil either by hand or with several pulses in the food processor. (The olives should be well chopped but not smooth.)

5. Finish the beans: Now, you can stir the beans, and, when you do, check them for tenderness. If needed, reduce the heat to medium-low, re-cover the pot, and let the beans cook another 5 to 10 minutes, until they’re tender. Once the beans are tender, stir in the chopped nuts. Now add the tapenade and stir to coat the vegetables. Add salt and more olive oil to taste. If you feel that the dish still needs a little zip, add some freshly squeezed lime juice, stir, and serve.

Ayurvedic Note: Even after rinsing the olives they will remain somewhat sour, so it’s best for people with pitta problems to reduce the olives by half and eat this dish in moderation. Olives and olive oil will also increase kapha.

Reduce garlic to 1 or 2 cloves.

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