Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook
The following is an excerpt from Kate O'Donnell's new cookbook "Everyday Ayurveda Cooking for a Calm, Clear Mind: 100 Simple Sattvic Recipes"
Content by Kate O'Donnell
Photos by Cara Brostrom
The Origins of Ayurveda
Ayurveda (pronounced “EYE-yer-VAY-da”) may be the oldest continually practiced health system in the world, dating from two thousand to five thousand years ago. The earliest information on Ayurveda is contained in the Rig Veda, one of four bodies of ancient scripture that were orally transmitted in lyrical phrases called sutras (threads). The Vedas are believed to originate from the rishis, sages in deep states of meditation. Ayurveda can be loosely translated as the “science of life.” The classical text the Charaka Samhita describes Ayur, or “life,” as being made up of four parts: the physical body, the mind, the soul, and the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste). Contrary to Western models, which have traditionally focused mostly on the physical body, Ayurveda has always given attention to the health of all four of the fundamental aspects of life. The system looks at the whole person—using diet, biorhythms, herbal medicine, psychology, wholesome lifestyle, surgery, and therapeutic bodywork to address the root cause of disease. Ayurvedic hospitals and clinics abound in India, where Western medicine is often used in conjunction with the traditional methods. Whereas Western medicine excels at resolving acute situations, Ayurveda stands out as a preventive medicine—seeking to halt the progression from imbalance to disease by addressing the underlying causes early on.
Farmers’ Market Rice Noodle Bowl
SERVES 2 AS A MEAL OR 4 AS A SIDE
This miso soup is chock-full of colorful late summer vegetables and the golden goodness of ghee. You’ll be surprised how quick it is to create an authentic tasting noodle bowl at home, without being tempted by sugary, spicy condiments like oyster sauce and hot sauce—both of which contain cornstarch, white sugar, and artificial flavorings. Enjoy with a large spoon and chopsticks, and watch your shirt!
- 2 Tbsp ghee
- ½ cup julienned carrots
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced and cut into half-moons
- 1 bunch baby bok choy, sliced into ribbons
- ½ cup sliced radishes
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbsp tamari, plus more to taste
- 4 cups water, plus ¼ cup hot water for miso paste
- One 8-oz package thin rice noodles
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- ½ lime, cut into wedges for serving
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the ghee over medium high heat. Add the carrots, zucchini, bok choy, and radishes, and sauté for 5–8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables have softened, add the ginger and tamari, and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the water, scraping the spices and seasoning from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. After simmering, remove the pan from the heat, add the rice noodles, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the miso paste in ¼ cup of hot water. Add the miso to the saucepan and stir. Using tongs, distribute the veggies and noodles into individual serving bowls, then ladle the broth on top. Garnish with cilantro, fresh lime wedges, and additional tamari if desired. Note: Make it a meal by adding one block of firm tofu, chopped into ½-inch cubes, when you add the water.