Last night I sat here, staring at this computer screen, typed up a large post and recipe about this great Ayurvedic pot pie that I was really stoked about making, and just as I pushed the “publish post” button, there screen gave me an error message and I lost half of what I wrote. I was fuming for about five minutes, and then I let it go. Usually I stew and curse at technology, shocked in disbelief that I just “wasted” two hours of my life and nothing came of it. But I shortly came to the conclusion that it must’ve not been meant to be. So whatever, Blogger. I’ll show you! I have an even bigger and better recipe to show now. (Note to self: copy and paste, copy and paste, copy and pasteee before you hit that button from here on out!)
Moving on! So tonight I cooked up a great feast for my family, basing it all around this Ayurvedic entree, Cilantro Quiche, a recipe from Ayurvedic Cooking For Westerners. My new bible, seriously. I’ve been doing a fairly good amount of Ayurvedic cooking these past few weeks, being especially inspired by the program I’m participating in. Although we haven’t delved into the nutrition and food subject too much yet, it’s all relative. The more I learn, the more I want to experiment with foods, tastes, and balancing doshas based on the elements and properties of foods. I am my own guinea pig. And it’s working out pretty darn well.
I have been doing so much better, it’s almost like I don’t even want to talk about it as though it may jinx something (knock on wood). I’m flabbergasted. I’ve been searching for years now. Literally, going on at least four years, for a cure, a solution, a remedy for my anxiety, self-created stress, and insomnia. After trying virtually everything under the sun, it gets discouraging, let me tell you. But I didn’t give up. I knew the answer wouldn’t come from a prescription of Ambien or advice from a “nutritionalist” or any other Western medical doctor telling me to stop doing this or that. It wasn’t getting to the root cause of this manifestation and there was a major lack of tools available for my self-healing. And I am so so grateful, FOREVER grateful, that I magically stumbled upon the science of self-healing: Ayurveda. It’s been baby steps. Reading book after book, slowly gathering advice, tips, and suggestions. But it hasn’t been until just recently, ever since I’ve started the program, that I am able to see a complete turnaround in my health and well-being. Mainly from this past weekend, as the subject was “Lifestyle Management”, and the focus was on daily routine and remedies to do every day to prevent and cure disease, and maintain/preserve the health of a healthy person. I’ve been eating (and making) tons of ghee, taking a tablespoon of Chyawanprash every morning (a pasty/herbal Ayurvedic multivitamin that is sweet and delicious!), taking herbs that actually work, Abhyanga, sole massage, sesame oil everywhere–in my ears and up my nose, cooking at home and eating Ayurvedically as much as possible, and started drinking organic raw whole milk. Quite an indulgence coming in at a little over 5 bucks for a one quart glass bottle, but hey, it’s an investment for life! I’d rather spend it on that than purchase a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine. I could give myself a whole months’ supply of raw milk for the price that some people spend on a nice bottle of wine. Anyway, that’s my justification, as if anyone was wondering. And it tastes unbelievable. A little goes a long way. In Ayurveda, milk should always be heated on the stove, never straight out of the refrigerator, as it changes the molecular composition so it is easier for human consumption and digestion. Herbs and spices are usually added to reduce the heaviness of the milk and reduce any mucous causing side-effects, such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, etc. And it’s a great pre-bedtime sleep aid. I have actually slept the past five nights in a row! Like, solid eight to nine hours of solid sleep. FINALLY! It’s been wonderful. I feel like a completely different person. I want to scream with joy and cry with happiness. It has happened so unexpectedly, although there has been effort. It’s been trail-and-error for so goddamn long now, constantly falling off the bike, and boom–something has worked. I knew the answer had to be out there. It always is. A true lesson in keeping faith, if I’ve ever experience one. So I definitely have no regrets whatsoever in giving myself this gift of knowledge, this education, this wisdom; a true gift of self-love and self-healing. And I so badly want to expand that out into the world, pass on this knowledge, so that others may be able to heal themselves as well.
If I had the time, I would consider (and am possibly considering) starting a blog strictly devoted to Ayurveda and Ayurvedic recipes, since I don’t even keep up on this “baking” blog as much as I’d like to. To be honest, I haven’t done much baking at all the past few months. I still love it, of course, but haven’t really been inclined or have craved making many sweets. And white sugar and flour is pretty un-Ayurvedic so I’m either on one band-wagon or the other, so it seems.
So with that being said, in the meantime the majority of the posts and recipes will probably be coming from an Ayurvedic standpoint. Most of you probably will think I’m talking in a different language (or not if you are somewhat familiar) and that’s why I have a goal of starting my own Ayurvedic blog at some point, starting from point blank. Most likely I will plan to start it once I finish the program and have a confident understanding of the material and feel ready and able to regurgitate all of the wonderful information I have learned. But for now, this will suffice.
On to the recipe! This is frickin’ fabulous. I’ve never made a quiche before, and it is such a simple and hearty entree, I’ll definitely be making this more often. The crust is so easy to prepare: flour, oil, cold water, and salt. No refrigeration necessary. Once you bake that for a few minutes, you just saute a little onion and garlic in some ghee, and blend together the main ingredients: eggs, milk, tofu (yes, tofu), lemon juice, and a whole truckload of cilantro. And there’s a surprise folded into there somewhere, too. Read on.
From Ayurvedic Cooking For Westerners by Amadea Morningstar
Makes 1 9″ quiche
Best for Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons
Prep time: approximately 1 1/2 hours, most of it unattended
1. Make and bake the crust:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix together with a fork:
-3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-1 1/2 Tbsps. sesame oil
-1/4 cup cold water
-1/4 tsp. salt
Lightly oil and dust a 9″ pie pan with more whole wheat flour, and dust your fingers as well. Pat the dough into place. It will be thin. Bake for 15 minutes.
(FYI: this is also Sattvic, -Vata, -Pitta, mildly + Kapha)
2. Lower oven heat to 350 degrees F, once the crust is baked. In a small saucepan, warm:
-2 Tbsps. olive oil or ghee (ghee is best!)
3. Saute until tender but not brown:
-3 Tbsps. onion, finely chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
4. With a fork, stir into the oil:
-1 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
5. Slowly add:
-1/2 cup rice/soy/fresh raw cow’s milk
6. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes). Stir in:
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/8 tsp. cayenne
7. In a blender, combine:
-2 non-fertile eggs, preferred
-1/2 cup more of the milk
-1/2 lb. firm tofu
-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
-1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped and lightly packed (takes about 2 bunches)
8. Fold the blended ingredients in to the cream sauce, folding in at the same time:
-1 ripe avocado, diced (optional but insanely delicious you’d be insane not to add it)
Pour into the crust and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a knife comes out cleanly. Can be served hot or cold. It is especially good after it has cooled for a while.
FYI: this is moderately Rajastic. It is -Vata, 0 Pitta, 0 Kapha (when using soy or rice milk, no avocado) and is -Vata, mildly + Pitta, + Kapha (when using cow’s milk and avocado).
I served this with a plethora of other goodies as well:
Romaine salad with red and yellow bell peppers, diced avocado, diced jicama, sliced radishes, and toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Diced mango, banana, and plantain fruit salad with lime juice.
A tomato and corn salad, with a touch of lime juice, salt, and more cilantro.
And some roasted zucchini fries.
Made all of it up. Yeah, I’m pretty stoked on it myself.
Here are some lovely quotes (aka. food for thought) that fit nicely into Ayurvedic philosophy to leave you with:
“As is a man’s will, so is his action.
As is his action, so he becomes.”
-Brihadaranyaka U 4.5
“As long as we are not living in harmony
with nature and our constitution, we
cannot expect ourselves to be really healed.
Ayurveda gives us the means.”
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
“According to Ayurvedic principles, by understanding oneself, by identifying one’s own constitution, and by recognizing sources of doshic aggravation, one can not only follow the proper guidelines to cleanse, purify, and prevent disease, but also uplift oneself into a realm of awareness previously unknown.”
-Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc., Ayurvedic physician and Director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Disease is the result of a disruption of the spontaneous flow of nature’s intelligence within our physiology. When we violate nature’s law and cannot adequately rid ourselves of the results of this disruption, then we have disease.
-Virender Sodhi, M.D.
P.S. New layout and colors! Change is good!