For the last couple of weeks, I've been preparing Ayurvedic postpartum meals for a client of mine. Part of the idea behind Ayurvedic cooking for new moms is that we want to promote quick healing and support healthy digestion for mother and baby. Encouraged foods are warming soups and stews that focus on sweet, sour and salty tastes, with a healthy dose of fat. I put together a delicious green pea dal with ginger, garlic and spices and tied it to together with a sweet and soothing coconut rice. This is a hearty and comforting dish that is sure to warm you from the inside out. Enjoy...
Green Pea Dal:
1 C dried green split peas
3 C water
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 inch ginger, grated
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 C coconut milk
Rinse split peas thoroughly, picking out any discolored peas. In a large pot, combine water, peas, 1/2 of the diced onion and a generous pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn down heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, until peas have absorbed most of the water and are tender.
When peas are almost cooked, heat a skillet on medium and add a couple of tablespoons to sesame oil and add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, coating in oil. Heat seeds until they start to pop and become fragrant. Add onion, garam masala and cayenne (if using), coat with oil and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, being careful not to burn. Cook for another minute or two.
Add onion mixture to split peas and cook together for a couple of minutes to let flavors meld. Add coconut milk and warm through.
Adjust salt as necessary. Serve over coconut rice with a wedge of lemon.
1 C white jasmine rice
1 C coconut milk
3/4 C water
1 tsp. sesame oil or vegan butter
2Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
Generous pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Once rice is done, turn heat off, but leave pot covered to finish cooking for another 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and adjust salt if necessary.
Split Pea Dal with Coconut Rice
For all my pumpkin lovers out there, here is another recipe. These bite size muffins are perfect any time of day; in the morning, with your afternoon tea or a sweet treat after dinner. They're packed with fiber from the whole wheat flour, contain a ton of omega 3s from the flaxseed and walnuts of course I've already mentioned all of the benefits of pumpkin. Enjoy and share these little guiltless delights!
Mini Pumpkin Walnut Muffins-Makes 48 muffins
1 ¾ C White Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ tsp. salt
1 ¼ C Pure Cane Sugar
1 C Pureed Pumpkin
½ C Vegetable Oil
½ C Soymilk
2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Flaxseed meal
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
¾ C Chopped Walnuts
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, spices and salt. In a larger bowl mix together sugar, pumpkin, oil, milk, maple syrup and vanilla until most lumps are gone. Fold the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Add the walnuts and incorporate well. Use a teaspoon to fill muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
I love this time of year. Not only because the weather changes and I get to pull out my cozy sweaters and jackets, but because of all the delicious seasonal fruits; Honeycrisp Apples, Fresh Cranberries and of course, Pumpkins!
So to start us off this season, I will be sharing with you my Pumpkin Spiced Milkshake recipe. I know that in some parts of the country, a milkshake this time of year sounds far too forgein, but because I'm in Los Angeles trying to justify wearing a sweater in 70 degree weather, I'm putting it up. It really is so delicious and deceptively nutritious.
Pumpkin Spiced Autumn Milkshake
Makes a lot of milkshake-prepare to share!!!
1/2 C Organic pureed pumpkin
1/4-1/2 C Organic almond milk
1 C Organic Ricedream Vanilla ice cream (You can obviously use any ice cream you prefer, I just happen to like the texture and taste of this one)
1 Tbsp. Organic flaxseed meal
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away. If the shake is too thick, thin it out a bit with more almond milk. Make sure to use a straw-I find it always adds a certain panache to the experience!
*This is a great treat for kids. Not only are they getting the vitamins and minerals from the pumpkin, but they're also getting a healthy dose of Riboflavin and Vitamin D from the almond milk and a ton of Omega-3s and fiber from the flaxmeal. But shhhh, don't tell them!