Ayurveda originated in India and is one of the oldest forms of holistic medicine. Developed alongside yoga, it’s goal is to prevent illness and restore balance to the mind, body and spirit. Those who practice believe that every individual contains a mix of three energies, or Doshas, called Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water and earth).
An Ayurvedic diet is designed to each specific person based on their body type and imbalances, and thus which dosha they identify with most. Once you identify your dosha (take this quiz), you can determine which foods and practices are best suited for your personal Ayurvedic diet. Then, try one of these three recipes on your own!
FOR THE VATA DOSHA
TOFU STIR-FRY by Minimalist Baker
A tofu-veggie stir fry made tasty with a simple technique that gives the tofu perfect texture and flavor. Serve over rice or on its own for a healthy and delicious weeknight meal.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
1 14-ounce package firm or extra-firm tofu
2 cups roughly chopped green beans
1 cup diced carrots or red pepper
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil for sautéing (or sub peanut or coconut)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (make sure it’s gluten-free if gluten-free)
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp organic brown sugar
1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and begin drying your tofu. Drain, remove it from the package and place between two thick towels folded into the shape of the tofu. Then place a plate or bowl on top and top it with something heavy like a book or skillet.
- Let it dry for about 15 minutes, changing your towels if they get too wet. Once dry, chop into roughly 1-inch cubes or rectangles (see photo).
- Arrange tofu on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking and bake for a total of 25-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through to ensure even cooking. This will dry out the tofu and help give it a more meat-like texture. If you want a tougher texture, cook it for 30-35. For a slightly more tender texture, pull it out at 20-25 minutes to check.
- Once it’s golden brown and a bit tough and firm, remove from the oven set it out to dry a bit more while you prep your vegetables. Ideally, it would set out another 45 minutes or even longer. I haven’t tried letting it set out for much longer, but I don’t think it would hurt either way.
- If serving over rice, start the rice at this point.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients – set aside.
- To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sesame oil and swirl to coat. Then add veggies and toss to coat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. When the vegetables have some color and have softened a bit, add the sauce and stir. It should bubble and thicken. Then add the tofu and stir to coat.
- Cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. When veggies are cooked to your preferred doneness, remove from heat. Serve as is or over rice for a more filling meal. Best when eaten fresh, though will keep in the refrigerator for a couple days.
FOR THE KAPHA DOSHA
BAKED SUNCHOKE CHIPS by Ayurveda Yoga Institute
Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are delicious tubers that are often cooked in the same way as potatoes. Sunchokes are a great source of iron, potassium, phosphorus and inulin, a dietary fiber that is medicinal for diabetics.
There is a word precaution! These early-spring beauties have strong air qualities. To reduce the “airiness” of sunchokes, always cook them, preferably with some heating spices.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 – 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 – 35 minutes
1 pound Sunchokes
2 tablespoons Avocado Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 pinch or to taste Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wash, scrub, and thinly slice sunchokes.
- Toss sunchokes with the avocado oil, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lay the sunchoke slices on the parchment paper in a single layer.
- Bake until golden tan, about 15-20 minutes.
FOR THE PITTA DOSHA
SWEET POTATO WITH KALE & GINGER by Joyful Belly
Orange like the rising sun, wrapped in bitter green crispness, sweet potatoes with kale make you feel brightly alive. Sweet potatoes give this meal substance, while kale's lightness bring this dish into a perfect balance. Ginger adds its pungent sweetness to spark your digestion and strengthen your fire! Altogether Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Ginger creates perfect balance for you year round.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
¾ inch ginger (freesh)
½ lbs Kale
2 pinch salt (mineral salt)
1tbsp sunflower oil
2 c sweet potato
- Boil the kale until leaves turn a vibrant shade of green green and strain.
- In a separate pot, add the diced sweet potatoes with just enough water to cover them. Add the salt and boil until soft. Remove from heat and save sweet water for another meal.
- Grate and sautee ginger in sunflower oil for thirty seconds. Then add cooked sweet potatoes and kale. Mix gently to avoid breaking up the soft sweet potatoes.
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