In need of a little umph and energy?
These Spicy Lamb Koftas from my Ayurvedic bible Eat Right For Your Shape are the perfect energy building food.
Lamb's gamey taste will remind you of the strong blood building qualities of red meat which also helps you build internal heat; a serious requirement of the flighty vata, who tends to feel the cold and become destabilised physically and emotionally. Vatas out of balance caused by a lack of warmth, grounding and digestive fire will be prone to dry skin, poor circulation, muscular aches and pains and arthritis.
Koftas are such a comfort food; even their name is filled with an ultra-cosy vibe. Their hearty nature will warm up your metabolism, so you feel warm from the inside out but can be eaten any time of the year. Rosemary & cumin highlights add to the warmth and spiciness of this rustic and sturdy dish.
Where possible, it’s important to purchase organic and 100% grass fed and finished lamb, which will contain higher amounts of healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids, bringing another level of wholesome nourishment to build energy and stamina.
Pastured meat’s EPA fatty acid components are also incredibly important for mental health, as EPA is directly linked to brain function and emotional stability.
The fat content in these lamb kofta’s will bring an increase in digestive fire, as will the inclusion of fiery spices like warming ginger and the grounding zing of fresh parsley.
Lamb's natural oily and warming qualities will make you feel capable and maybe even a little competitive. It’ll bring the bounce back to your step, and make you feel more focused and driven.
Enjoy these delightful ayurvedic kofta’s as a midweek meal that’ll be enjoyed by the whole family.
Kids will especially find them fun to eat on their little skewers, and they’re a great way to ground littlies as a trusty witching hour meal to bring them back down to earth!
For busy families, double the recipe for lunch the next day. You can even serve them minus the skewer as a great protein addition to a salad made with seasonal vegetables.
I hope you enjoy them 🙂 Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Spicy Lamb Koftas
Serves 4 makes 8 koftas
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
- 1 small brown onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 teaspoon mild paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Celtic sea salt, to taste
Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue hotplate to medium. To make the koftas, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Divide the mixture into eight portions and form each into a short sausage shape. Thread each onto a bamboo skewer and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Place the skewers on the prepared pan or hotplate and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
Serve with a garden salad in warmer months or roasted vegetables in winter.
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When investing into quality food; organic and free of chemicals, it can unfortunately be quite a hit on the family food budget without some wallet friendly recipes up your sleeve.
If frugality is just as important to you as nourishment, then I have the perfect recipe for you. This tasty Mince and Pea dish, also known as Keema Matar is one of my favourite budget friendly Ayurvedic recipes from my book Eat Right For Your Shape, and is ultra wholesome and balancing for finance fearing Vatas who require affordable and grounding comfort food at the end of their day.
Keema is a traditional Indian meat dish, and it’s believed that the word may have been borrowed from Greece and originally meant ‘minced meat’. Traditionally, this dish uses minced mutton (lamb or goat) with peas or potatoes. Keema can be made from almost any meat, can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kababs. Keema is also sometimes used as a filling for samosas or naan.
If you’re a Vata, it’s no wonder you have money worries. Vata’s are governed by the flighty element of air- naturally cold, light, dry, dynamic and ever changing. Complexities and changes in financial situations will stress you out, so when it comes to your food budget, you need a stable set of money saving recipes that you can rely on week in and week out. Your thoughts and your physical body are completely interlocked, so if money is a stress for you, it will manifest also in physical ailments like poor circulation, brittle nails, frizzy hair, dark eye circles, insomnia and muscular aches and pains.
As a Vata, you’ll definitely want to choose foods that are warming, oily, heavy, sweet and salty to help ground your anxious thoughts and bring a sense of stability to your body and mind. This scrumptious Keema Matar will tick all of these boxes:
WARMING- through the use of fiery grounding spices like chilli powder and ginger, which will rev up your sluggish digestion; a link to anxiousness.
OILY- through the use of gorgeous ghee. This nourishing golden oil is slightly sweet and lubricating for your dry and cold constitution.
HEAVY- through the keema (mince); lamb or beef will provide a heavy and earthing quality, igniting a sense of groundedness and pacifying the effects of worry and stress in your life.
SWEET- through the use of gorgeous green peas. These really are the lollies of the vegetable kingdom; reducing Vata which is typically sharp and cold.
All the ingredients in this dish are also super affordable. A pack of frozen peas, even in organic form will cost around two or three dollars, and mince is one of the most affordable animal proteins you can purchase.
This is a recipe I love to batch cook and freeze in single portions for those days when you’re really not in the mood for cooking but need a quick lunch to take to work, or a speedy dinner instead of spending on takeaway.
It's a true saviour!
KEEMA MATAR (MINCE WITH PEAS)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 11⁄2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh turmeric or ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb or beef
- 200 g (7 oz/3⁄4 cup) sheep’s milk yoghurt
- 215 g (71⁄2 oz/11⁄2 cups) frozen baby peas
- 2 teaspoons garam masala (optional)
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- filtered water (optional), for moistening
- Rice of choice large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, almonds, roughly chopped, to serve
Heat the ghee in a wok or heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the turmeric, chilli, cumin and salt, and stir for a few seconds.
Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until it breaks up and colours. Stir through the yoghurt and peas, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir through the garam masala (if using) and pepper to taste. If you prefer a moist dish, add some filtered water.
Serve with pilau, sprinkled with coriander and almonds.
Happy Cooking 🙂
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Whoever said that veggies are boring and time consuming deserves a rap across the pork knuckles!
I’m in total awe of the power of veg and constantly surprised by the depths to which I can go in exploring different ways to express the beauty of these gorgeous ground dwellers.
In India, and particularly the Ayurvedic realm; veggies are prized and highly emphasised, not to mention a handy frugal option with high levels of nourishment.
I’m especially proud of Ayurvedic cuisine for its wholesome and innovative approach to preparing quite elaborate meals out of simplistic veg. This glorious green bean subji is a prime example.
Subji is an Indian term that literally means ‘vegetable dish’- and can be in connection with any vegetable in a variety of different cooking methods. Subji’s can be dry, wet, or in curry form.
This spectacular subji is based on the humble green bean, but is impressively dressed up with a list of medicinal and flavourful Ayurvedic ingredients like cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, shredded coconut for texture and the freshness of coriander leaves. In minutes your regular bean is transformed into an exotic, aromatic vegetarian dish that’ll really blow your hair back and widen your eyes.
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A sweet little video about a breakfast you can make the night before.
I’m using rolled oats, the standard bircher base plus grated apple but you can swap out for pear if you prefer.
There are other crafty switches you can make too, the apple juice gives it a light sweet flavor, but it can be swapped for coconut milk or almond milk for a much creamier and deeper complexity and consistency.
Crunchiness is a must, so topple on seeds and flaxseed meal or depending upon your personal preference just about any kind of nuts such as chopped hazelnuts or walnuts will give you a bit of texture and crispiness.
Gently stir in some yoghurt of choice during the process remembering to leave some to dollop on top in the morning.
I hope you’ll embrace this bircher and make it a regular part of your breakfast routine.
From my recipe book Eat Right for Your Shape.
And just in case you need it, here's the recipe.
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 95 g (31⁄4 oz/1 cup) gluten-free rolled oats
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) apple juice
- 130 g (41⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sheep’s milk yoghurt, plus extra to serve (optional) 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal
- fresh blueberries, to serve
Combine the apple, oats, apple juice, yoghurt and cinnamon in a bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or if making the same morning, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour).
When ready to serve, stir through the seeds and flaxseed meal, and top with the blueberries. Serve with extra yoghurt if using.
Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments section below.
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For many of us breakfast is the most looked forward to meal of the day, but it’s especially significant in the Ayurvedic philosophy because a properly prepared breakfast that works with your unique dosha has the potential to set you up for a day of ease- physically, mentally and emotionally.
What we eat definitely impacts our moods, the way our body will function throughout the day, and therefore it will directly have an influence on our capacity to outwork our purposes for the day, whether that is wrangling children, studying, taking care of your home, or working.
If you fit into the Kapha dosha, you'll be the most robust of all the other Ayurvedic types, with thick skin, a well built frame, and strong immune system. However because you are governed by the element of earth, you are cold, heavy and static- so if you're living a lifestyle that is cold, heavy and static such as a sit down desk job during the cooler months, you will find that your will become unbalanced- which can bring on sluggishness, weight gain and even depression.
These imbalances can sabotage your personality linked giftings of peace-making, nurturing, your ability to help others, your level of tolerance and your strong relationships.
Other than living a lifestyle of plenty of exercise and movement, a varied routine, and avoiding too much sleep and lying around the house; Kaphas can choose light meals and foods that help “bring you out of the ground” so to speak.
Using pungent spices in your cooking will help to achieve this, as well as avoiding dairy and heavy foods in the morning.
These cumin scrambled eggs with greens are from my book Eat Right For your Shape, and are the ultimate Kapha start to the day.
It's a light and satisfying bowl of scrambled eggs with loads of stimulating spices and nourishing greens that will help to see heavy kaphas brought into balance through lightness in their emotional life and also a physical lightness through weight normalisation.
By using just the egg whites in this recipe and bulking it up with a boost of healthy greens, you’ll be adding a good punch of vitamins and minerals to boost kapha.
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 small green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄3 capsicum (pepper), diced
- 4 egg whites
- Celtic sea salt, to taste
- 60 g (21⁄4 oz/2 cups) baby spinach, lightly steamed
- small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, to serve
Heat the ghee in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to pop. Reduce the heat to low.
Add the turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Add the chilli, onion and capsicum, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites, season to taste, then pour into the pan. Stir with a fork until cooked to your liking. Serve on a bed of wilted spinach, sprinkled with coriander.
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Calm your vata with this delicious recipe from Eat Right for Your Shape.
If vata is your dominant dosha, this Ayurvedic brown rice nori is a deliciously filling and nutrient dense vegetarian meal. Vata is governed by the element of air, which means you'll likely be the kind of person who's always on the go, with a tendency to skip meals or eat irregularly due to your flighty, quirky and impulsive personality.
Whipping up these nori rolls and packing them for lunch will bring you grounding and nourishment when you're on the go, or busy flitting from task to task.
Conventional sushi that's made on sweet white rice can cause blood sugar chaos for many, so this version favours the wholesome goodness of brown rice, combined with fermented soy in the form of tempeh and tamari and a seed component with the addition of tahini.
A cute combination of different plant based ingredients creates a more complete protein that'll keep you fuller for longer and ensure a slower, steadier uptake of the carbohydrates in brown rice.
Containing the sweet (madhura) tastes of ghee, carrots and rice, this dish will provide energy while also grounding vata's nervous and stressed energy.
The salty (lavana) nature of the tamari and seaweed will also stimulate digestion in vata; bringing some much needed warmth to the body and will help the organs and tissues achieve optimum hydration.
The addition of cucumber is also a beautifully hydrating ingredient that will add some water to vata's airy and dry emphasis.
Vata's aren't the only ones who can enjoy this meal, and with a few little switches it can be made tailored to your dosha. If you're kapha dominant; you are governed by the elements of water and earth, with a tendency towards weight gain, sluggishness and oily skin.
For this reason you should omit the avocado and carrot which will aggravate you due to an excess of oil and sweetness.
If you're a pitta- fiery and hot with robust digestion and an athletic strong build; you should switch the brown rice for quinoa to avoid a fast spike in energy and to achieve more mellowing.
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) wheat-free tamari, plus extra to serve
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ghee, melted
- 65 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) tahini
- 100 g (3½ oz) tempeh
- 370 g (13 oz/2 cups) cooked brown rice
- 4 nori sheets
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, sliced lengthways into eighths
- ½ carrot, sliced lengthways into thin sticks
- 2 spring onions (scallions), halved lengthways
- Combine the tamari, lime juice, ghee and 1 tablespoon of the tahini in a bowl. Add the tempeh and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Remove the tempeh from the marinade. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry the tempeh until golden
on both sides. Cut into thin strips and set aside.
- Combine the rice with the remaining tahini. Lay a nori sheet shiny side down on the bench. With wet hands, take a quarter of the rice and press it evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 3 cm (1¼ inch) border along the top side. Lay a quarter of the tempeh, avocado, cucumber, carrot and spring onion on top. Moisten the top edge of the nori with water and roll up securely. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Cut each roll into four pieces and serve with extra tamari.
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Looking for homemade Easter treats? Yes? I was hopping you'd say that.
Well you've come to the right place. This one's from my Ayurvedic cook book Eat Right for Your Shape.
If you're a lover of sweet treats, it'll be a keeper in your recipe collection for several reasons. Primarily, it's a cinch to make, but it looks like you’ve gone to a whole bunch of trouble.
Your chocolate connoisseurs will never know the simplicity of the preparation. Just throw the ingredients into a food processor and pour into a tray, wait for an hour while it sets, and voila- like a rabbit out of a hat, an impressive dessert or sweet snack that'll knock the socks of your friends and family.
My secret ingredient is almond butter, a brilliant way to add in a shot of protein and bulk into a chocolatey treat that will help your body release the sugars more slowly. If you're into that kind of thing.
Almonds are one of my favourite 'pantry staple' ingredients because they embody beautiful ayurvedic benefits for pitta and vata dosha's due to their grounding and balancing fats and oils. These monounsaturated oils are beautiful for your skin, hair and nails which can easily suffer if you're facing the imbalances that accompany these dosha's.
The cooling nature of extra virgin coconut oil is a wonderfully pacifying ingredient in the warmer weather where Pitta's can become aggravated with stress hormones. To top that off, the extra addition of cacao- whilst a mild stimulant, is also extremely grounding for stressed out and fiery pittas due to its high content of magnesium and 'feel good' chemical inducing compounds that will help to relax tension in your nervous system and muscles.
This fudge is actually a great way to unwind!
It's not just for Easter either. Eat it religiously and keep your fudge regularly stocked in your freezer as a lovely afternoon pick-me-up with an ayurvedic herbal tea, as a well-appreciated kids lunchbox addition, or plate up as an angelic light dessert.
Despite its simplicity it'll never disappoint, and your cells will relish in the sneaky stash of health benefits that its wholefood ingredients will deliver.
BTW, even though the fudge appears to be iced, that’s just the way it comes out!
Happy Easter 🙂
- 270 g (9½ oz/1 cup) almond butter
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) cacao powder
- 90 g (3¼ oz/¼ cup) rice malt syrup
- ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Process the nut butter and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin to 3 cm (1¼ inches) thick and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
- Freeze for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. If stored for longer in the freezer you may need to transfer to the fridge to soften a little.
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Curries are the ultimate treasure chest of medicinal spices. I tend to view them as a healing experience rather than simply a meal. There are just so many potent benefits to consuming curries regularly to view this versatile and scrumptious meal simply as fuel. This one is out of my latest book Eat Right for Your Shape.
For example, did you know that turmeric has more peer reviewed studies associated with it than almost any other ingredient? Being one of the most thoroughly researched plants ever; it’s been claimed to match the effectiveness of drugs including statins like liptor, corticosteroids, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, and drugs for chemotherapy and diabetes.
This exotic seafood curry also extends on the medicinal benefits with its emphasis on omega-3 fatty acids in tuna.
Tuna’s high levels of omega-3’s help to reduce the common excess of omega 6 fats in the standard western diet; minimising cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels and contributing to a healthy circulatory system.
Omega-3’s are also incredibly important for brain health and function; improving mental health and focus. Tuna is also a beautiful ingredient for anti-ageing and improving skin elasticity and integrity. Just be sure to source wild caught and sustainably sourced tuna wherever possible.
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Seafood is something that we all need to eat more of, but can be a terribly off putting experience if it isn’t cooked properly, isn’t selected as fresh as possible, or has been repeatedly presented with little creativity or complimentary flavours.
Fish is in fact an extremely versatile protein that can be such a pleasure to eat. You just need a few different recipes that will allow this superfood ingredient to shine in different ways. This fragrant fish stew is one of them and it's one of my favourite recipes from my new book Eat Right for Your Shape.
Fish is a wonderful source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids and iodine; two essential nutrients that Western populations are generally lacking. The DHA fats within seafood are very important for brain health and mood; and it’s believed that most adults in the West are lacking in DHA’s and don’t even know it! It’s frightening to imagine how vast an impact this deficiency could be having on our productivity, focus and general mental health.
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I can’t imagine a more comforting way to end the day than tucking into a gorgeously sweet crème brûlée. Sitting alongside my spiced poached pears with orange, it's a recipe taken from my new book Eat Right for Your Shape.
After that initial crack of the spoon hitting the caramelised roof of candied sugar, the dreamy smoothness of what lies beneath is a moment of pure indulgence.
If you’re having a big week of work, study, or managing a family, this ayurvedic treat would be the ultimate reward following a post-dinner Epsom salts bath with calming essential oils. And if I haven’t tempted you quite yet, there’s even more to celebrate in this delectable dessert. This isn’t your ordinary crème brulee laden with refined sugar and cream.
Some savvy switches have been made to make it allergy friendly and a balancing source of nutrition for pitta and vatta dosha’s.
Pitta’s who are governed by the elements of fire and water will benefit from the cooling qualities of coconut cream that will help to pacify a tendency towards heat imbalance driven problems including fever, inflammation and skin troubles like eczema. Although pitta’s should normally avoid oily foods, coconut products are the exception due to their cooling and soothing nature.
If you’re a vata- governed by air and ether elements; you’ll find that your creative, contagiously energetic energy can quickly become imbalanced; bringing a fast shift to worry, anxiety, dry skin and hair, and muscular aches and pains.