Fall Reboot + Recipes

In Ayurveda it is common to eat a simple diet of kitcharie and vegetables each fall and spring for about a week. This helps to remove toxins from the body and give it a chance to find balance again. Even though I have done this many times in the past, this year I missed my spring time cleanse and have been very reluctant to do it.

I like to enjoy the pleasures of life, especially when it comes to food. Though I eat really healthy, I dislike limiting or restricting myself. Despite my resistance I began a reboot for my system a few weeks ago with the intention to do it for one week. I felt so good that I continued on a second week, and now I am on my third week of eating simply, though I am slowly adding variety back into my diet.

I am so thrilled I did this for myself. I feel more vibrant than I have in quite a long while. My energy has increased, and my body feels more fluid, especially my joints which are not popping and cracking as much as usual.

This type of cleansing works well for me because I never feel like I am going hungry. Perhaps the best parts for me are that I got in the habit of cooking for myself again and knowing that I have a healthy meal prepared in advance so I don’t have to figure out what to eat once I am already hungry.

So, if your digestion is off, or you are suffering from low energy and fatigue, aching joints, or skin conditions, I highly recommend taking a week to eat simple, warm, easy to digest food and reboot your life.

Here is what I did:

Sweet Potatoes
Scrub any variety of sweet potatoes and poke a few holes in them. Bake on 425 for about 45 minutes. Peel off the skin then mash with coconut oil and cinnamon.

Stewed Apples and Pears
Cut up apples and/or pears and put in a saucepan with a bit of water to barely cover. Add ginger, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom and golden raisins. Stew until fruit is soft.

Alternate these as separate dishes or mix them together, it’s delicious and filling and my new favorite breakfast choice for this time of the year.

Lunch and Dinner
Kitcharie with veggies (leafy greens, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower).
Top with avocado and kraut.

Raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, cucumbers, dates, banana, and apples.
Limit your snacking as much as possible.

• Fast for at least 12 hours at night.
• Begin the day by oil pulling and abhyanga.
• Start your digestive system and alkalize your body with a glass of warm water and the juice of one lemon.
• Drink herbal tea throughout the day.
• Practice asana, pranayama, and meditation daily.

Please note, I am not a nutritionist or an Ayurvedic Doctor, I am just sharing my experience with you. For more information on appropriate herbs for you and to do this safely for your body type, please see an Ayurvedic practitioner. There are tons of great resources, let me know if you need a referral.


Simple Vegetable Soup

This time of year I like to make a a meal that warms my home and nourishes my body.  Eating cooked soups and stews both helps me to stay grounded and balanced during this busy season but it also insures that I will have healthy food to eat rather than grabbing something on the go.

Here is a basic vegetable soup to start with.

1 chopped leek or onion
3-4 cloves of garlic – minced
4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups each:
peeled and diced potatoes
chopped carrots
fresh, cut green beans or celery

2 quarts broth (vegetable or chicken)

chopped tomatoes (optional)
1 can of your favorite bean – make sure the can does not have BPA
fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves (you can use thyme, dill, or another favorite herb)
salt and pepper to taste

In stock pot heat the oil. Add leaks and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Add carrots, potatoes, and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock and turn up the heat until it comes to a boil. Add tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and add parsley and lemon juice.


I make it a little bit different each time. Think of a good soup or stew like a balanced life and put the things you love in it!

Here are some things I like to add to this soup:

Post below and let me know how yours turn out! What did you add?

A Nourishing Meal

This meal is great on it’s own or makes an excellent base for your favorite protein.  It’s actually delicious anytime of the day!

Disclaimer:  I am not one who follows a recipe and I am not a chef or a writer of recipes.  When I cook I do a lot of improvising and “eye-balling”, I did my best here to communicate what I do!

Put  1 1/2 cups of Quinoa in the rice cooker with a box of vegetable broth and assorted seaweed. Turn on to cook.

Wash and chop your favorite cooking greens such as kale or chard.

Add 1 tablespoon of chick pea miso to 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of tamari, 1 teaspoon of Ume Plum Vinegar (you can use Rice Wine Vinegar instead). Stir well to dissolve the miso.

When the quinoa is finished stir in the greens and the miso mixture. The greens will steam in the hot quinoa. Top with sesame oil.

Now you have a delicious base to eat on it’s own or for any protein.
Two of my favorite ways to each this are:
1. Poached eggs and avocado
2.  Smoked salmon, avocado and pickled ginger.

Sometimes I add pumpkin seeds or shiitake mushrooms to the rice cooker, I invite you to be creative!  I also love to top it off with Gomasio.

A Good Meal


Building Community Through Food

Jordan Schachter has been building community through food in San Francisco since 2005.   Through his business, Jordan’s Kitchen, he offers the yoga of food!  In group cooking classes even the cooking challenged are empowered!   He always uses fresh, seasonal, and organic ingredients and supports local farmers and producers.  You can join one of Jordan’s scheduled cooking classes or book one for your next private event.  The only better way than yoga asana to bond with friends, new and old, is definitely over food!

Jordan will be offering two different classes this January, Winter’s Bounty and Comfort Food.  He has been kind enough to share a few of his recipes with us this week.

As always, I’d love to hear from you on my Facebook Page.  Let us know if you find your inner chef!

Still need that last minute gift?  Consider a gift certificate for one of Jordan’s cooking classes.

Miso bowl with Udon Noodles and Wild Salmon (optional)

12 cups waterMiso bowl with Udon Noodles and Wild Salmon
½ ounce dried dulse
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
8 ounces Udon noodles, cooked
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1 two-inch long daikon radish, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1 cup shitake mushrooms, stems removed and julienned
½ cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 baby bok choy, sliced horizontally into quarter inch pieces
Heaping ½ cup miso paste of choice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon chili paste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
6 pieces wild salmon, 3-4 ounces each  (optional)

In a large pot, combine the water, dulse and ginger and bring to a simmer. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender, about ten minutes. Add the daikon radish and the bok choy and cook for an additional two minutes or so, until softened. Remove two cups of the broth to a bowl and whisk in the miso paste until it is fully emulsifed. Return the miso mixture to the pot with the vegetables and add the fish sauce, soy sauce and chili paste. Stir to combine.

Preheat the broiler and place the pieces of salmon on a sheet tray. Season lightly with salt and broil until just cooked through, about five minutes depending upon its thickness. Remove and set aside.

Divide the udon noodles into soup bowls and then ladle enough broth and vegetables into each bowl. Garnish each with green onions and toasted sesame seeds and top with a piece of salmon. Serves six.


Three Beet Salad with Oranges and Pistachio:

2-3 pounds beets, red, gold and Chiogga (rinsed)Three Beet Salad with Oranges and Pistachio
12-14 thyme sprigs
Peel of three oranges
3 oranges, segmented
¼ cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
3 cups orange juice, fresh squeezed
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely diced
½ to ¾ cup canola oil
8 handfuls wild arugula
Few sprigs mint, leaves only torn
Extra virgin olive oil


Preheat your oven to 450F. Place the beets on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with two thyme sprigs and a few slices of orange peel and wrap tightly with the foil. Roast in the oven until beets are tender, about one hour. Remove the beets and when cool enough to handle, peel. Discard the orange peel and the thyme. Slice the beets into pieces, keeping each color beet separate and set aside.

While the beets are cooking, pour the orange juice into a small saucepan and over medium heat reduce by half. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add the diced shallot and rice wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in canola oil to make your orange vinaigrette.

Pour a third of the vinaigrette over your three kinds of beets and allow them to marinate as time permits. The beets will taste best if you allow them to sit overnight.

To assemble the salad, place the arugula in a bowl with the mint and the orange segments and lightly coat with olive oil and salt. Plate and then add a few spoonfuls of marinated beets. Sprinkle the plate with a few chopped pistachios and serve. Serves eight


Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage

2 small butternut squashes, halved lengthwise and seeds removed      Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing squash
1½ cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
½  teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
Pinch ground cinnamon
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese, optional
8 fried sage leaves

Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly rub the flesh of one squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Bake, flesh side down until cooked through and nicely browned, about forty-five minutes. Let cool slightly, scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash.

Peel and dice the neck of the other squash into quarter inch pieces. You need one and a half cups. Steam the diced squash until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a saucepan bring your vegetable stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat another saucepan over medium heat. Add four tablespoons of olive oil and when hot add your onion, sage and thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and sweat the onions and herbs over medium heat for until softened, about five minutes. Add your rice and mix well to combine. Allow the rice to toast in the pan for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper. Begin to add your hot stock to the rice one cup at a time, maintaining a simmer. Do not add more liquid until the previous cup of stock has evaporated. Repeat this, stirring often until the rice is just finished cooking.

Remove risotto from the heat and add your diced squash and the mashed squash. Stir in the butter and once it has melted begin to fold in your Pecorino cheese if using Season to taste and finish with crumbled fried sage leaves. Serves six to eight.

Edible Grace

There is nothing like a home-cooked meal.  That said, some of us just don’t enjoy cooking or we think we are not very good at it.  I know that when I “eat in” my body feels better.  In addition, when I have made a good meal there is a sense of satisfaction that nourishes more than just my body.

For the last several years I have simply fallen out of the habit of cooking for myself.  My busy schedule and unusual mealtimes coupled with the fact that it’s just so easy to get really good food in San Francisco, why cook?  For the last few weeks I committed to cooking and it’s been wonderful.  I feel good, have leftovers for the next day, and most importantly I know where all my food is coming from.

Food should nourish us and be our medicine. Jana and Patrick of Shri Cuisine have generously offered three delicious recipes to feed your body, mind, and heart.  Let us know if you make any of them by connecting on my Facebook Page.  Also, check out my recipe for Kitcharie from last week.

Shri Cuisine offers catering and private cheffing.

Roasted Roots with Romesco Sauce:

Ingredients:Roasted Roots
1 small kabocha squash, peeled, cut into 1/2″ thick wedges 3″ long
2 Sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ thick wedges 3″ long
2 purple potatoes, cut into 1/2″ thick wedges 3″ long
2 tbl rosemary, chopped
1 tbl cinnamon powder
salt & pepper
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients allowing all cut roots to be coated with oil. If your coconut oil is cold and firm, allow it to warm up and liquify either in the jar in a warm place or in a small pan on the stove. When roots are coated, spread everything out evenly on a sheet pan or two. the success of this dish is allowing every piece to be roasted and not just steamed, buried under other pieces. Roast for 15-20 minutes if using a convection oven, 20-30 for conventional. I enjoy finishing mine with the broiler just for a minute or two to get that perfect crispy edge on the roots.

Romesco Sauce:

4 dried New Mexico chiles
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled 1/3 cup almonds with skins (raw; about 2 oz)
1 red sweet bell pepper, topped and seeds removed
1/4 cup red-wine or Sherry vinegar 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil salt

Soak chiles in boiling water. once they are soft, place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Adjust salt as needed. Enjoy!

Black Barley Stew with Parsley Roots and Mushrooms

Ingredients:Black Barley Stew
2 oz dried mushrooms, wild
16 Cups water
2 Leeks, halved and cut into thin half-moons
1 Red Onion (2 cups), diced
2 Cups Carrots, diced
5 Stalks Celery, diced
6 Cloves Garlic, diced
5 Parsley roots, peeled and diced
2 Tbs. Salt
1 Tsp. Black pepper, ground
2 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
1 Cup Black barley or whole barley (not pearled)
1 Cup mushrooms, fresh wild, chopped
Fresh Goat Cheese (optional)

In a medium pot, add all water, dried mushrooms, leek greens, onion skins, and carrot and celery ends. Bring up to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes while you chop and saute all other ingredients.
While this mushroom stock is getting tastier, put your soup pot on medium-high heat. In a touch of grapeseed oil, saute onions, carrots, and celery until the onions become translucent. Add barley and toast for a minute or two. Strain your amazing mushroom stock and add it to the sauteed veggies and barley. After adding the stock, also add the fresh mushrooms, chopped leeks, and parsley root. Bring soup to a boil for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to a simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours or until barley has softened. Add salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar when finished cooking.
Adjust seasonings to taste. If you are so inclined, add a little dollop of fresh goat cheese to the top of your bowl right before you enjoy.  Don’t forget to compost your leftovers from the stock pot.  Enjoy!!

Cranberry Orange Spice Cookies (Gluten Free)

Ingredients:Cranberry Orange Spice Cookies
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 t vanilla extract
½ cup molasses
1 ½ cup raw sugar
2 t orange zest
Cream together these ingredients & set aside.

2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups sweet rice flour
1 tsp. xantham gum
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. each of powedered cinnamon, ginger, Ancho chili
½ tsp. sea salt
Mix together well breaking up any lumps.
Add 1 ½ cups Certified Organic Gluten Free Oats & 1 cup dried organic cranberries optional additions for extra yum: walnuts pieces or pumpkin seeds, ½ cup.

Mix together the wet & dry ingredients & refrigerate while the oven heats to 350. Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls & place on cookie sheets 1-2 in. apart.  Bake for 15-17 min.

Serve with orange zest sprinkled over top & hot tea for a sweet moment of heaven.

Thank you Shri Cuisine!

Food For Your Soul

Kitchari is a one pot Indian stew.  It is often used in Ayurveda for cleansing and bringing the body back into balance. It is warm, grounding and good for digestion. There are numerous recipes for Kitchari, you can add or delete ingredients as you prefer.  Enjoy!

3/4 cup basmati rice, washed
3/4 cup split mung beans or red lentils or yellow mung dal –  washed
8 cups water or vegetable broth or a combination
1 Tbsp ghee*
1 tsp cumin seeds

2 Tbsp ghee*
1 tsp each – ground turmeric, cumin, coriander,  mustard seeds, and sea salt
1/2 tsp each hing (asafoetida), cayenne pepper, (cardamom, cinnamon, pepper and cloves can all be added too!)
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh chopped vegetables (carrots, zucchini, celery, green beans, tomatoes …)
2 cups fresh chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard…)

Optional garnishes – chopped fresh cilantro, yogurt, fruit chutney…

In a soup pot, heat 1 Tbsp ghee and add cumin seeds. Brown lightly, then add the rice and mung beans, stirring to coat. Add water or veg broth and  bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp ghee and add all dry spices. Saute a few minutes, then stir in onion, garlic and ginger.

Add the spice mixture, veggies and greens to the rice and mung.

Cover and cook 20 minutes longer.. watch that there is enough liquid, add as needed. This should not be brothy, it will be hearty like a stew.

Serve with garnished of your choice.

*For vegan diets, replace ghee with olive , coconut or sunflower oil.

There are so many recipes for Kitchari out there, uou can add or delete vegetables and spices as you desire. It’s delicious with just the lentils and rice.
Sometimes I even add a can of coconut milk, yum!

Spring Kitcharee Chutney

Photo by Ayurvedic Cooking