Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dietary "Clean Up"

It's so wonderful to make simple, cleansing, nourishing meals when the seasons change.

A favorite breakfasts these days is a veggies -with -mung -bean blended soup from Ayurveda, the A-Z Guide to Healing Therapies from Ancient India (Nancy Bruning and Helen Thomas, D.C.) Many thanks to Barbora Morakrova at Ayurveda Living for passing it along to me (ayurvedaliving.com).

It's essential to use ALL the spices for the cleansing effect of this recipe to work. Look for them at 'health food' or quality grocery stores. [You can also find them at an Indian market; they will likely be sold in large quantities and may need sorting for rocks - you may also need to wash them before cooking and then lightly roast them to dry before the actual cooking.]

Unlike other ayurvedic recipes, whose ingredients I follow to the letter, this one I improvise within depending on what I have on hand: some days more zucchini (very sweet), other days brussels sprouts instead of broccoli (very bitter smell!), and most days no parsley because it rarely arrives in my CSA box and I forget to buy it. The soup always turns out yummy and very easy to absorb. My body thanks me, every time.

Makes 1-2 Servings
3 c water
1 handful yellow mung dal beans
1 medium broccoli spear, cut
3 medium celery stalks, cut
2 medium zucchinis, cut
2 medium carrots, cut
2 leaves each collard, kale and chard
a few sprigs of parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt

Wash mung dal, bring to a boil in the water, add veggies and salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for about half an hour or until dal is soft.

Slice and grate the ginger while the veggies cook. Grind the coriander seeds in a spice grinder (electric coffee grinder dedicated to spices only).

Saute over low heat:
1 t. ghee (clarified butter you've bought or cooked up already at home)
1 t. whole black mustard seeds
1 t. whole cumin seeds
1 t. fenugreek seeds

When the seeds begin to pop, add:
1 t. fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 t. freshly ground coriander seeds (powedred coriander will not work)
1/2 t. turmeric
1/4 t. ground black pepper

Place the ghee mixture in a blender, add 1 c. cooked soup. Carefully blend for a few seconds until well-mixed. Add the rest of the soup. Blend again. Serve immediately.

Store any leftover soup covered at room temperature for a later meal that day, but do not keep leftovers for the next day. Make small amounts fresh daily, instead.