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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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Warm Salads to Support Digestion

This Warm Lentil Salad is an ideal dish to help you adjust to the roller-coaster temperatures that tend to rise and fall multiple times during the autumn season. It’s early November here in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, where we are experiencing a stretch of gloriously sunny days in the 70s — although a few days earlier the temperature plummeted below freezing before bouncing back to 80 degrees today!

Transition seasons, both fall and spring, can be challenging to your digestive power (agni), particularly if you have weak digestion to start with. As the body ping-pongs from chilly mornings to hot afternoons and back again to cold nights, Ayurveda suggests that it’s ideal to switch from raw salads and cooling foods to warming foods and beverages throughout the day and into the evening. These warming foods are easier to digest.

Once again, I’m sharing ways to adapt a recipe not only to your taste but to the season, which is what Ayurveda is all about—personalizing a dish to suit the season as well as to your personal needs. This Warm Lentil Salad can be served warm or even hot on a cool or cold evening. If you’re making it for a particularly warm day, you can serve it at room temperature.

I first made this salad in October when it felt like summertime, so I served it with cooling mint and cucumbers. But as the air becomes crisp and cold again, I will omit cooling ingredients and add some more fresh garlic or ginger for extra heat. The more you learn to think about foods in terms of their ability to cool or heat your metabolism, the easier it becomes for you to apply these principles to your cooking and choice of foods—as they are needed, one day at a time.

Enjoy this Warm Lentil Salad during these beautiful autumn days and nights.




Preparation Time: About 45 minutes
Serves 4 to 8

 You can serve this salad as a vegan main course or as a side dish. If you use the cucumber, you can add it to the sauté pan for easier digestion or, on a warm day, serve it raw.

2 cups dry brown lentils
1 large leek bulb plus an inch of the light-green shank
2 large carrots
1 fennel bulb and stalks
1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil
(depending on size of sauté pan)
1 cucumber (optional)
3 to 4 mint leaves (optional)
1½ to 2 teaspoons salt
16 pitted kalamata olives

For the dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed,
or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

1. Rinse and strain the lentils. Add them to a 2-quart or larger pot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Simmer on medium-low heat for 35 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are soft but not mushy. Strain the lentils and set aside in the pot or a mixing bowl.

2. While the lentils are cooking, rinse all the vegetables and prep them for the salad. Slice the leeks, carrots, and fennel stalks. Finely chop the fennel bulb after removing the hard inner core.

3. Heat the avocado oil in a sauté pan on medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the carrots and fennel. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and cover for about 10 minutes, steaming the vegetables until they are tender. Set aside.

4. While the vegetables are cooking, de-seed and chop the cucumbers, and chop the mint (if using). Whisk the dressing in a small bowl.

5. Once the lentils and cooked vegetables are tender, gently toss all the ingredients with the dressing. Add salt to taste. If you wish, serve over arugula, cooked greens, or rice.


Avoid raw vegetables.

Use only ½ teaspoon vinegar or replace with fresh lime juice.

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