Tuesday, September 14, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Vata...

‘Tis the Season to Be Vata!

            As the summer comes to an end the air is pierced with a brisk autumn freshness.  Along with the seasonal changes of leaves turning vibrant reds and yellows and the need to layer and (dare I say it?) bust out a light jacket the fiery Pitta energy of hot summer gives way to the cool windy Vata disposition of fall.   So how do we deal with this doshic change? It’s time to put away our fruit salads and raw leafy greens and embrace a more Vata-pacifying diet. 
            As someone who is entirely Vata all year round I find this change of seasons invigorating and, also, demanding.  But have no fear! It’s the time of year when a pocketful of easy-to-prepare warming recipes can bring our constitutions into balance and even inspire the sociable Vata energy to host a delicious dinner party or romantic meal for two.
            I’m including here a few simple recipes to cut the chill and warm the belly in a macrobiotic vegan fashion that will have even the most dedicated of omnivores drooling.  Simply follow the instructions and enjoy!

The Menu: (serves 4)
Spicy Pureed Yam and Acorn Squash Soup
Brown Rice and Sprouted Bean Pilaf
Roasted Root Vegetable Medley
Baked Tofu
Sundried Tomato Tahini Sauce
Baked Sweet Balsamic Apple Dessert

Spicy Pureed Yam and Acorn Squash Soup
-4 yams (peeled & diced)
-1 acorn squash (halved & save seeds)
-3 cloves garlic
-1 chili pepper
-4 tlbs canola oil
-2 tlbs unrefined sesame oil
-Himalayan Salt
-Fresh Ground Pepper
-One whole yellow onion (diced)
-4 cups water

Set the oven to 400. Place the yams, halved acorn squash, chili pepper and peeled whole garlic in a metal baking dish after lightly covering them in canola oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper into the squash.  Cover in tinfoil and bake until soft.
Rinse the acorn squash seeds and create a pocket with tinfoil.  Drizzle sesame oil on the seeds and sprinkle with cayenne, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Place in oven and bake until brown.
Toss the diced onion with remaining canola oil and set to simmer in a covered pan.  Cook on low until the onion has caramelized.
While the yams etc. are still baking combine the water and caramelized onion in a food processor and blend.
Remove the yams, squash, garlic and chili pepper from the oven.  Remove the skin from the squash and dice the pepper.  In small increments add the vegetables to the onion broth in the food processor until blended to desired soup consistency.
To serve ladle the soup into a bowl, drizzle with sesame oil, top with toasted seeds and enjoy! (You’ll probably have extra but just store it in a zip lock in the freezer!)

Brown Rice and Mung Bean Pilaf
-1/2 cup brown rice
-1/2 cup mung beans
-1/2 cup lentils
-2 hearts of celery  (diced)
-1/4 cup goji berries
-2 tlbs sesame oil
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste

Combine brown rice with one cup of water in a pot cover and boil until water has absorbed.  Remove from head and toss the diced celery and goji berries in with the brown rice.  Cover and let the heat soften the celery and the gojis.
I like to use the “truRoots” sprouted green lentils and sprouted mung beans although any will do.  If you must go the canned route go for it but soaking the beans is my preferred method. Whichever method you choose boil until soft and drain.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with salt, pepper and sesame oil.

Roasted Root Vegetable Medley
-I large turnip (diced)
-I bunch carrots (diced)
-3 nicely sized golden beets (peeled and diced)
-2 cups brussel sprouts (halved)
-2 tlbs sesame oil
-2 tlbs balsamic vinegar

Combine the ingredients in mixing bowl and toss until lightly covered in oil.  Transfer to a backing dish.  Cover with tinfoil.   Cook at 400 until desired softness/golden brown edges.

Baked Tofu
I brick firm tofu
-2tlbs Soy sauce
-2tlbs Canola oil

Remove tofu from packaging and press water out using two large paper bags.  Drain as much as possible.  Cut the tofu into four triangles by halving its width and cutting diagonally across the resulting rectangles.  Marinate in soy sauce.  Place in baking pan after covering lightly in oil . Cover with tinfoil and cook until brown on the bottom. Flip and replace until equally browned on both sides.

The Sauce:
-1/2 cup raw tahini
-1/4 cup water
-juice from ½ a large lemon
-splash of soy sauce to taste

Combine the ingredients in your food processor until consistency is creamy adding the water slowly and stopping when necessary.  Flavor to taste with the soy sauce.

To Serve:
Scoop pilaf into the bottom of a bowl.  Top with 1 piece tofu and a scoop of vegetables.  Pour the sauce on top.  Serve with a side of the squash soup.

Dessert: (cook while you’re eating dinner)
-2 apples (cored/halved)
-sesame oil
-2 tlbs  raw honey
-balsamic to drizzle

Toss the apples with oil and cinnamon. Place in baking dish and drizzle with balsamic.  Cover with tinfoil and back in oven at 400 until soft and golden brown.
Remove from oven, scoop a bit of honey in the halved apples and replace cover. Let cool slightly.  Serve and enjoy.


                                                                                                -Lily Kardon

No comments:

Post a Comment