Three Festive Ayurvedic Recipes to Make your Belly and Heart Happy!
There is no doubt that the Holidays are all about spending time with our loved ones and indulging in things that make us happy. Playing games, sharing stories, and most of all enjoying delicious food! So, we are sharing our three favorite holiday recipes based on Ayurvedic wisdom. The best part of these recipes is that they are all vegan and gluten-free, so everyone around the table can enjoy them! Whether you practice Ayurveda or not, we are confident that you will love these recipes and be able to enjoy the festivities sans digestive issues.
Walnut – Soup with Curry butter and Crispy Parsley Leafs
This soup is a fantastic starter. It is rich and hearty, making it a great soup for winter. Walnuts are nourishing and great stimulants for Vata dosha. They are also beneficial for brain health, and while the fat may aggravate Kapha, the herbs in this preparation balance out this dish for all doshas.
- 2 cups of walnuts
- ½ onion
- ½ celery bulb
- 2 cups of potatoes
- 2 cups of carrots
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ leek stalk (you will only need the white part)
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 200 ml soy cream (we like to replace this with cashew cream to keep from disrupting hormones (¾ c cashews, ¼ c water)
- 200 ml white wine
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. Curry
- 1 hand full of fresh parsley
- Chop the walnuts and roast them under medium heat in a saucepan without any oil. Set a half-cup aside.
- Chop the onion, celery, potatoes, carrots in even pieces. Thinly slice the leek and mince the garlic.
- Heat sesame oil in a big pot and start to fry the onions and garlic until translucent. Add your veggies and roast on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add wine, vegetable broth, and walnuts, let all cook until soft.
- Add soy sauce (or cashew sauce) and simmer for two more minutes.
- Blend the soup evenly in a blender or food processor and add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
- Heat sesame oil and maple syrup in a small pan, then add the curry powder and parsley leaves. Add the other walnuts spreading over the walnut soup in a bowl.
Caramelized beetroot, red onion, and pecan tart with a quinoa-almond crust
This one is a show-stopper! The vibrant color of the beetroot is eye-catching and inviting. The richness of this tart makes it an excellent main dish. Beets are naturally sweet and stimulate Kapha. They are also high in flavonoids and cleanse the blood. This tart requires some work and dedication, so it is better to spare enough time if you decide to make it. We promise it is worth it!
- For the caramelized beetroot
- 700g beetroot cut into 1.5-inch chunks
- 1 large red onion, cut into wedges and in half again
- 4.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp ghee (or coconut oil for a vegan option)
- 3 tbsp jaggery (or a touch less maple syrup)
- 5 star anise
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 50g pecan halves, broken into quarters
- ⅛ tsp of salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- For the beetroot custard
- 3/4 cup of chickpea (gram) flour
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- several chunks of the cooked beetroot from above plus the leftover cooking juices
- Pinch of salt and pepper
For the quinoa-almond crust
- 1 cup quinoa (170g) - soaked overnight in double the amount of water, rinsed, and drained*
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tbs jaggery (or a touch less maple syrup)
- 4 tbsp ground almonds, plus extra if needed - can also use ground sunflower seeds
To make the caramelized beetroot:
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- In a large baking dish, place the chopped beetroot and onions. Add the red wine vinegar, ghee, jaggery, star anise, and cumin and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover tightly with a lid (or foil) and bake in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the ghee, then toss everything together.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 50 minutes. Remove the star anise and set it aside.
Meanwhile, make the crust:
- Roughly line a 9-inch tart dish with parchment/baking paper, allowing for excess to help you remove the tart after cooking.
- Rinse the soaked quinoa and drain well over a bowl for 10 minutes.
- Place the quinoa in a deep bowl or cup with the olive oil, baking powder, jaggery, black pepper, and crumble in the stock cube. Using an immersion/stick blender, slowly blend the mixture. At first, it will seem as if it is too dry, but gradually it will start to break down and emulsify. Keep some texture to the quinoa.
- Mix in the ground almonds by hand to make a thick mixture that a spoon can easily stand in. Use a spoon to test the consistency — smooth it up the sides of the bowl and see if it holds — otherwise, add another tablespoon of ground almonds.
- Place the quinoa mix into the center of the tart dish, using the back of a spoon or spatula to work the mixture out and up the sides, creating a crust. Make sure to keep the edges level with the dish so that they don't burn during baking. Use damp fingers to help mold and create a smoother finish.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, make the beetroot custard:
- Blend approximately four pieces of the baked beetroot with the chickpea flour, water, cumin, salt, and pepper until smooth.
To assemble the pie:
- Place half the beetroot into the crust, pour over the batter, and use the spatula to spread it out evenly. Arrange the rest of the beetroot on top and place it back in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the pecans, arrange the star anise on top and nestle them in slightly — bake for another 5 minutes until the pecans are just toasted.
- Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with freshly steamed greens or as the star dish to your Holiday feast.
- *Quick tip: If you don't have time to soak the beetroot overnight or 8 hours before, then pour over freshly boiled water and leave to soak for a few hours before continuing.
Sugar-free Date and Nut Laddus
Last but not least, we have these sugar-free dates and nut laddus to close our holiday dinner. They are super easy to make, compensating for the time invested in the beetroot tart. They also make a great snack to prepare any time of the year; they are packed with energy!
- 2 cups black soft dates, pitted
- 2 cups nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts)*
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 tbsp garden cress seeds, roasted (optional)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or ½ tsp cardamom powder
- Dry or desiccated coconut for rolling the laddus (optional)
- Remove the seeds from the dates. In a blender, put in the nuts of your choice and pulse until powdered.
- Add the dates and vanilla or cardamom and blend again.
- Form into balls. *Use an assortment of nuts or just a single type of nut to make these energy balls.
Note: Garden cress seeds can be used when there is weakness in the body. These seeds help tackle aches and pains when one is recuperating or simply wants to add more energy to life.
They are best had 2 to 3 times a week, as more than that can increase the heat or Pitta in the body. When the seeds are boiled in milk, the Pitta properties are balanced. Although these seeds are suitable for the postnatal period, they are best avoided during pregnancy. If you are expecting a baby, skip the seeds and make laddus with just dates and nuts for an instant energy boost. According to Ayurveda, these seeds are good for Vata and Kapha disorders.
Finally, after the holiday gatherings, you may wish to take extra care of your digestive system. Try incorporating one of our Ayurvedic yoga mats that focus on digestive health into your self-care regime. This collection is infused with potent digestive herbs like Harda, Turmeric, and our exclusive blend of 22 traditional Ayurvedic medicines. We invite you to go check them out and restore your digestive health now!