Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ayurveda Approved Recipe for Vegan Sweet & Sour Stir Fry!

By Julia Clarke, RYT-500, CSOY Faculty & Maharishi Ayurvedic Consultant

This recipe was inspired by one of my mum's staples, and has everything I look for in a dish: it's delicious, versatile, gets me my veggie fix and is insanely quick and easy to prepare. I include it in my 30 Day Detox program here in Vail and it always comes out a winner. At this time of year, we are still feeling the effects of Vata Dosha, which is comprised of air and space elements, so light, dry and cold qualities in the climate affect our bodies and increase restlessness,anxiety, chapped skin and seasonal colds. 

According to Ayurvedic wisdom, food is medicine, and the best tastes to keep Vata in check are those that contain more earth, water and fire elements to keep us rooted, watered and warm.

Those tastes are sweet, sour and salty, and this recipe gets all three with honey, lemon and salt, plus you can magnify this by choosing sweet-tasting vegetables like snap peas, carrots and sweet potatoes. 

Because we are moving towards Kapha season (spring), which is characterized by more heaviness of the earth and water elements, I've taken the liberty of adding the red pepper flakes to keep things a little spicy and invigorating, so you can keep on enjoying this recipe with seasonal dark leafy greens once we get to spring! In fact, it's the versatility of this recipe that keeps me coming back to it all year long. Feel free to get creative with the vegetables you use (I emphasize brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes in the winter, but juicy squash in the summer), and for non-vegetarian options you can easily add chicken. Remember that food is best enjoyed fresh and prepared with love. Bon Appetit!

Vata Reducing Sweet & Sour Stir Fry

1-1 ½ cups of diced, seasonal vegetables
¼ cup white basmati rice
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 handful raw cashews
1 thumbnail sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. Raw honey
1 squeeze lemon
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Cook the rice in rice cooker or stove top. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetables and cashews, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and cook on medium-low, stirring steadily for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in ginger, lemon, honey and cooked rice, and enjoy!

Julia Clarke is a RYT 500 yoga teacher, Maharishi Ayurveda Wellness Consultant, avid hiker and writer whose winding path has brought her from growing up in Scotland to teaching yoga in Vail, CO via eight years as a radio DJ and music promoter on the east coast. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine and serves as the Yoga Director for the Vail Vitality Center, and leads workshops and teacher trainings across the country.