By Dr. Anju Sodhi (Bams, ND)
Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth, and the shedding of the cold and heavy winter. During this time, many participate in spring cleaning to clear out the old and unnecessary, creating space. Space, or ether, is an element of the vata dosha. This dosha dominates spring and should be allowed to roam, but we must be careful to not allow undesirable amounts of vata qualities to increase. Negative aspects of Vata can trouble digestion and may create bloating, excess gas, or changed stool patterns. It is important to eat for the season, reducing excess vata in our bodies so that the needed vata qualities can shine. Here are some recipes that will reduce and balance vata while celebrating the foods in season.
This dish uses spinach for its medicinal properties while adding tofu, an easy to digest and complete protein source.
- 12 oz. firm tofu
- 1 tablespoons Wright SaltTM, divided
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 bunches of spinach (~2 lb. spinach), chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of ginger root
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup Coconut Cream
- Cut the firm tofu into ½ inch cubes and let it drain for 2 hours to overnight. Remove the tofu and place the pieces in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Coat the tofu with 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tsp of salt. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and allow to bake for 20 minutes (or until you notice the tofu turning golden brown).
- While the tofu is baking, chop the spinach into strips.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and ginger with the water and pulse until there is a thick paste. Or chose to finely chop the garlic and ginger.
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add the remainder of the avocado oil. Sautee the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger paste, cumin, coriander and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add spinach and water, then simmer until spinach is wilted and a deep green color, about 10 minutes. Add coconut creamer and cook for another 5minutes.
- Add the tofu and let everything cook together for another 5 minutes.
- Enjoy with ghee drizzled on top and the rice recipe below.
If you would like, use whole spinach. Follow the recipe until step 4. Place the cooked the cooked spinach into a blender or use an immersion blender to grind the spinach. Remove the blender and replace it into the pot. Add tofu.
BROWN RICE AND QUINOA WITH CARROTS
This side dish can accompany several dishes. It is easy to digest, provides digestive spices, and provides antioxidants to help remove accumulations of winter.
- 1 cup basmati long grain brown rice
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch of ginger root
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or ghee
- 1 tablespoon CoCurcuminTM
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup diced raw carrots
- 1 teaspoon of Wright SaltTM or to taste
- 3 cups of water
- Rinse brown rice in lukewarm water in a strainer until the water runs clear. Add the quinoa to wet rice and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, blend garlic and ginger with the water to make a thick paste.
- Heat a 4-quart saucepan on medium-high. Add the ghee or avocado oil. Stir in the CoCurcuminTM and cumin seed, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add in the garlic/ginger paste and cook for another minute. Add in the carrots, coating them with the spice mixture. Add in Wright SaltTM.
- Add the rice and quinoa and water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Let the pot sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Then stir the rice and serve.
- 4-6 dates (for sweetness)
- 1 cup dried coconut flakes
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon ground hemp
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- ¼ cup of crushed almonds or walnuts (or almond meal)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Coarsely pulse dates in a food processor until it makes a thick paste.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add the date paste.
- Fold the coconut cream into the mixture. If the mixture doesn’t appear dough like and seem dry, add more creamer until it looks like a cookie dough.
- Place teaspoon-sized balls on the baking tray. Then flatten them to make disks.
- Bake 6 minutes then flip the cookies over. Bake another 6 minutes.