On a sunny Saturday afternoon I found myself in Malibu, California surrounded by a group of woman on a journey to understand a bit more about Ayurveda (and pick up some cooking tips along the way). We met at a beautiful home on the mountain-side overlooking the water. I mean comeeeee onnnnn Malibu, pull those heart stings a little harder wouldya?!
After some quick hellos we were grounded into our bodies by our host, the lovely Julie Bernier. With our bare feet in the grass and our hands on our hearts we started the day with some "laughter yoga" before diving into our kitchen skills. Sometimes you just gotta shake that energy up and out before you can get to the good stuff.
Julie Bernier is a registered ayurvedic practitioner and hatha yoga teacher. She helps teach woman the art of self care and aligning their body with nature. Not to mention she's an adorable, grounding and wonderful energy. (You can check out her site HERE).
I've dabbled a bit in ayurveda cooking but haven't taken the time to really go for it. For me, eating this way just feels right. That's what we're after anyways, right? Feeling good in our bodies and thriving in our lives? Living a plant based lifestyle has had it's challenges. It can be a struggle to get enough protein, not only eating cold salads (blah), and find balance and fulfillment in my body throughout the day. I find that when I incorporate ayurvedic eating I don't have crazy blood sugar crashes, intense hunger pains, or constant bloating. Can you tell my path to wellness has been a rocky one?!
Below is one of the delicious recipes we made. Kitcharee (the base to a slew of delicious variations) is the staple in an ayurvedic diet. If you've heard of the Ayurveda Cleanse, it's pretty much just this for every meal. It is incredibly nutritious and easy to digest. While the below is one example of it, feel free to change it up by varying the beans, rice, veggies and toppings. It's really just an outline to get creative!
JULIE BERNIER'S VELVETY KITCHAREE:
INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4):
**while it looks like a lot it's really just a few staples (and leave it out if you don't have it - no biggie smalls)
- 1 cup white basmati rice (white is easier to digest)
- 1/2 cup hulled and split mung beans (also, easiest bean to digest)
- 2 tsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp nigella (black cumin) seeds
- 1/8 tsp tumeric
- 1 pinch hing (asafetida)
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- salt + pepper to taste
- Optional (but necessary in my opinion):
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (snap peas, carrots, turnips, parsnips, green beans, collards, kale, etc - really whatever you like)
- Handful of chopped cilantro or parsley
- Rinse the rice and mung beans well. Soak for 30 minutes and strain
- Combine spices in a bowl
- Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. When the ghee is hot (flick a few drops to see if it sizzles) add the mixed spices. Stir continuously for 30 seconds.
- Add int he rice and mung beans plus 5 cups of water
- Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low
- Cook gently for 20 minutes. Toss in your veggies.
- Make sure the bottom doesnt scorch, checking the kicharee around the 20 min mark and 5 minutes thereafter, giving a stir if needed.
- When it's a homogeneous, mushy, porridge-like mixture - remove it from the heat.
- Mix in cilantro or parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.
Add a dollop of ghee and some toppings and you're all set. I find that whenever I eat this way I feel genuinely satiated, comfortable, and my blood sugar levels seem to hold over perfectly until the next meal.
I'd love to hear your take on it and if you've got any favorite toppings or condiments (chutney anyone?) that you'd like to share!