Sunday, February 15, 2015

Okra Curry (Bhendi Sabji)

We just joined a foodie group in our local area in which a company called Veritable Vegetable and Mountain View Market Coop  work together to bring us fresh, organically grown produce and fruit. This week they brought us Okra. So, I made Okra Curry (Bhendi Sabji) on page 110. I've never cooked okra before because I was concerned about the slimy texture. A professional chef advised me to cut the okra the night before and let it dry on a cookie sheet overnight. I did this and it worked great. Delicious, and slime free. DH loved it and he has refused to eat okra all his life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Peas and Panir (Mattar Paneer)

After considerable thought I decided to change something in the Peas and Panir recipe. Since I don't eat tomatoes, and the recipe calls for 2 cups of chopped tomatoes; I decide to substitute the Carrot-Pepper Sauce (page 255) recipe for the tomatoes.

I love the Carrot-pepper sauce because finally I found a great alternative for tomato sauce! Miriam explains that tomatoes aggravate all doshas because they have a high acid content. My own experience is acid reflux diminishes greatly when I do not have tomatoes in my diet. "The flavor mimics a sweeter version of a tomato sauce…" All said and done, I had a lovely Peas and Panir dish which was more pitta friendly.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Last night I made Panir (page 538) a type of homemade cheese so that I could make the Peas and Panir recipe (page 114) today.  I tried yogurt instead of lemon juice and the boiled milk did not separate into curds and whey, so I added a little lemon juice which did the trick. Miriam's directions to allow the curds to remain on low heat for 10 minutes was also very helpful. The lines are cause by the plastic wrap I put around the panir while pressing out the moisture.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Summer Squash Boats

The Summer Squash Boats (page 130) looked beautiful when they came out of the oven. This is a recipe I'd proudly serve to company.  I made the recipe vegan by leaving out the cheese and I used about a quarter of the bread crumbs called for in the recipe to make a moister texture.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Greek-Style Green Beans

Last night for dinner I cooked the Greek-Style Green Beans and my husband said "these green beans are better than Aunt Pearl's." Well, I've been trying to cook green beans better than Aunt Pearls' my entire married life! There are 2 dishes John has always talked about... his mother's fried chicken and his aunt Pearl's green beans. I'm never going to be able to cook fried chicken like his mom but I'm incredibly happy to have a recipe that rivals (dare I say, better than) Aunt Pearls. So for this reason I've decided to make Greek-Style Green Beans one of my favorite recipes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Beans and Coconut

Green Beans and Coconut on page 101 is just plain wonderful! This recipe makes the plain green bean a special treat and  toasted coconut makes it especially good for Pitta.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vegetable Soup & Lemon Pistou

After a trip to the farmers market, I made the Vegetable Soup and Lemon Pistou recipes both on page 221. Vegetable soup doesn't sound very exciting but this recipe is delightful. Miriam's guidelines for making flavorful soups is extensive.  I made the Lemon Pistou without the grated Parmesan and it's totally delicious!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Green Bean Curry

For lunch we had Green Bean Curry (page 102). The curry came out nicely. I served it with dal, basmati rice and apple chutney. What a very simple and yummy lunch.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

I made the Blueberry Muffins (page 370) because I thought they might be nice for a breakfast treat but they are so sweet and yummy it's more like dessert. Again super easy, 10 minutes to put the ingredients together and 20 to bake... I ate mine with ghee while it was still warm

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spaghetti w/ Carrott-Pepper Sauce & Wheat Balls and Grated Summer Squash

Today's menu was:
Spaghetti with Carrot-Pepper Sauce and Wheat Balls from page 255.
Only I made it with Salsa Di Noci (Ligurian Walnut Sauce) on page 514, because I've already made the carrot-pepper sauce several times and wanted to try something different.
The Wheat Balls recipe can be found on page 256 and Grated Summer Squash on page 130. I used whole wheat spaghetti; added ricotta cheese to the walnut sauce; and added a bit of carrot and ginger to the summer squash for color. We both enjoyed this rich and satisfying noon time meal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vegetables Stroganoff

I felt like taking it easy, so I made the Vegetables Stroganoff (page 60). It's kind of the one pot wonder thing filled with beautiful, colorful, fresh veggies and the house smells soooo good. Anyway, the only thing to be mindful of is you need to start early because the recipe calls for 2 to 8 hours of simmering. I served it on whole wheat spaghetti and topped it with my favorite; parsley-cashew chutney... it was delicious!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pistachio Gratin of Asparagus

Pistachio Gratin of Asparagus on page 52 is very tasty. This is a simple and good recipe especially if you like pistachios. Miriam does give a variation with coconut milk added to the asparagus before the bread crumbs. Sounds good for summer.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Miriam's Sofrito

Miriam's Sofrito (page 218) is an all purpose starting point for creating all kinds of soups, stews and savory dishes. This Ayurvedic version of sofrito (a combination of aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and slowly sauteed in oil) takes any recipe to the next flavor level. Today I used it as the starting point for my split pea soup. It's simply a wonderful way to add flavor.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Baked Rice

 I made a simple meal today. I started with Mung dal, and some Baked Rice (page 169). The baked rice had a little of the delicacy of the Chelo-Persian rice recipe but much easier to make. I added cumin seeds and garnished with parsley.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dried Tomato Paste

Although the photograph of the Dried Tomato Paste from page 506 isn't much to look at, I felt it was important to include in my blog. The dark color of the paste is because the tomatoes are dried and therefore they are very flavorful. Tomatoes aggravate all 3 doshas because of their high acid content but dried tomatoes are much less acidic than fresh ones. So with this recipe I'm able to make tomato paste to replace canned tomato paste and be kinder to my tummy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mango-Date Lassi

Mango-Date Lassi on page 491 is another fabulous way to drink your lassi. Cardamom and mango taste great together.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Khichari (Savory Dal and Rice)

Since we were in desperate need of a easy to digest meal that would pacify vata (which has been disturbed by 4 days of travel) I made Khichari today. I made it using mung beans and rice. I also added some celery in the mixture. I have to say that not only did it taste phenomenal but my entire physiology felt calmed and soothed. This is a recipe that I can use as a starting point for many delicious calming meals. Miriam says in her book that Khichari is an important Ayurvedic dish to balance all doshas and is served during Panchakarma.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cakik (Cucumbers with Yogurt, Dill and Mint)

The recipe I made today is Cakik (page 305) and the ingredients are cucumber, yogurt, dill and mint. It is very simple and delicious. I'm not really sure what makes it different from a Raita (yogurt salad) other than maybe the spices. Miriam says this is a traditional Armenian dish, anyway it's very good.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Apricot Couscous

I tried the Apricot Couscous on page 59 with Israeli couscous which is larger than regular couscous. This is a new favorite go-to recipe for couscous. I used cashews since I didn't have blanched almonds but I'm sure I'll get tons of use from this recipe using different dried fruits and nuts. The recipe makes your ordinary couscous extraordinary.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Masala Chai

The Masala Chai recipe I found on page 496. It was a lovely morning cup of tea, very easy and delicious. I love chai and have tried lots of different recipes searching for that perfect cup. This recipe has only 3 or 4 spices. Saffron was an optional spice that I decided to put in and it tastes sublime.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dense Chewy Tofu & Cutlets with Cranberry Sauce

In the recipe Dense, Chewy Tofu (page 207) the technique is the recipe. It is a method for preparing tofu that makes a big difference in the texture. Tofu has a texture that is often a problem for people who are trying it for the first time. This makes tofu chewy and easier to cook because you drain it and press all the water out. I now do this to any tofu I make.

Cutlets with Cranberry Sauce (page 209 and 210) is a terrific vegan dinner option. It's very simple and the bread crumbs add a nice crunch to the tofu cutlets. I served it with braised kale and parsnips.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sambar & Sambar Powder & Tamarind Water

Sambar Powder (page 250) is the special spice mixture that goes into Sambar dal (page 249). You'll also need to make Tamarind Water on page 571.  You grind the powder mixture from whole spices for the most flavor impact. It takes all of five minutes and it is so worth it. Since I like less heat, I backed off the amount of pepper and it was still delicious in the Sambar dal. The dal was just fabulous. The amount of tamarind water was just right not to sour. Excellent!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tofu & Vegetables in Coconut Milk and Coconut Milk

For lunch today, I made the Tofu and Vegetables in Coconut Milk on page 214 of Heaven's Banquet. It is a delicious Vietnamese dish and easy to make. First of all, make the Coconut Milk from the recipe on page 494. The milk has to stand for 30 minutes, so then you can brown the tofu. The vegetables are simmered in the coconut milk and I served everything over lemon rice. I think this is one of my favorite recipes.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sesame-Pistachio Cauliflower Quesadillas

What a delectable combination of flavors... For all of us that thought Ayurvedic cooking was only rice and dal, we now have proof positive that Ayurvedic principles can be applied to many of our favorite dishes. This is a wonderful easy and quick dish that I'm thinking might even travel well for those of us who don't like "road food." You'll find the  Sesame-Pistachio Cauliflower Quesadillas on page 81 of Heaven's Banquet.

Monday, March 05, 2012


Amritam on page 488 is a lovely drink that Miriam has included in her cookbook. I made amritam last night before bed. It is basically hot milk with some very satvic spices; saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and a bit of ghee. These spices transform hot milk into an elixir.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring Pasta for Kapha

It's not yet Kapha season but I needed a very quick lunch today. Miriam states that "pasta tossed with sautéed vegetables, besides being delicious, is about as fast as Ayurvedic fast food can be," and that was my motivation. So today I made the Spring Pasta for Kapha (page 258). The results were yummy. Actually, everything I've cooked so far from "Heaven's Banquet" has been fabulous.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Carrot Crumble

Carrot Crumble on page 79 is a delicious way to prepare your carrots. With a little butter, cardamom and sugar, I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this sweet vata balancing vegetable side dish.

I also made the Carrot Crumble recipe with Miriam's suggested substitution of winter squash. Winter squash is vata pacifying and I had a large butternut just begging to be cooked. So into the oven it went while I turned my attention to the crumble topping. Excellent just not as sweet as the carrot version.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Three-in-one Grain Medley

About a week ago I made the Three-in-One Grain Medley from Heaven's Banquet because I was tired of rice and pasta. I found it to be extremely easy, very good tasting and fast to make. I used vegetable stock instead of water and a lot less ghee. This recipe can take the place of a basmati rice dish when you want a lighter grain for the evening meal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Cream

The Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Cream recipe (page 74) was a big hit. Miriam gives us a lot of variations for many of her recipes, so I substituted coconut milk for cream.  It is a very easy recipe especially if you use a food processor to shred the sprouts. John said it was his favorite recipe for Brussels from my cooking repertoire.  I found the effects of eating this recipe very cooling. It clearly was good for reducing pitta.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies

I told John I'd bake him some cookies on the first day it got below 70 degrees. So last night it got down to 64 and today we are having Pumpkin Cookies. The recipe is on page 432. They have pecans, candied ginger and raisins in them. They are definitely a fall feast of flavors with ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The texture is different because of baking without eggs but they held together perfectly.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


 I used the cornbread (page 360) recipe with a round pan that I preheated. I like the crusty edges heating the pan gives to the bread. I made the alternate recipe with only 3 tablespoons of sugar and red bell peppers. The recipe is very easy and quick... I served it with collards and black eyed peas for New Year's Day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Garam Masala

Heaven's Banquet has a section in the back of the book entitled Herb and Spice blends. Here you'll find recipes for many classic combinations such as Garam Masala, Five-Spice Powder and flavored oils. Today I made the Garam Masala (page 566) recipe for the "Delicata Squash Sag" I was making. I liked it so much better than the commercial blends I've tried because it's fresh.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Fruit Crisp

The Fruit crisp is absolutely the best tasting crisp I've ever made. I used the apple filling and the oatmeal topping but Miriam gives us lots of choices and I'm sure I'll wear these pages out. Yummy and so good for vata and pitta.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sweet Red Pepper Puree

This wonderful puree of roasted red peppers, olive oil and a dab of lemon juice adds a delicious surprise to any dish. We have tried it on soups, sandwiches and pasta. A spoonful will not only add pizazz but introduce a vata balancing element to your dish as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baked Stuffed Pears

For dessert we had Baked stuffed pears page 469. Delightful and good for Pitta and Kapha. The stuffing is pine nuts, orange juice and diced dried apricots. Such a yummy mix of flavors. Today I wanted to try some of the non-Indian recipes in the book. Sometimes people think Ayurvedic meals are Indian food only but Heaven's Banquet has lots of international recipes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pumpkin or Winter Squash Curry

Winter squashes are a delightful way to introduce vata calming proprieties into your diet. This curry is delicious and very easy to make.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sag (Spiced Greens)

In Heaven's Banquet there is a section called "Individual Bitter Greens". Here Miriam discusses the particulars of individual greens such as cooking time, availability and balancing properties for the doshas. After reading this section, I cooked the Sag recipe on page 105 with red chard. It was very light and flavorful tasting. Both my husband and I noticed a good affect from the meal. For us this means no heaviness after eating, no dullness of the mind and a sense of satisfaction and comfort. This is definitely a simple, good recipe for cooking greens and sometimes simple is the best.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Broccoli with Peppers and Cashews

I cooked the Broccoli with Peppers and Cashews on page 70. Yummy, easy and Pitta and Kapha balancing. Makes a great side dish.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Winter Pasta for Vata and Ginger Gremolata

Another delightful thing about Miriam's cookbook is that the recipes she gives you are cooking methods that you can apply to any in-season vegetables. Winter Pasta for Vata on page 260 is an excellent and filling meal by itself. I used pine nuts instead of pecans this time but both are good.

The Ginger Gremolata on page 261 is a very flavorful addition to the Winter Pasta for Vata recipe.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Peas and Lettuce

The Peas and Lettuce (page 114) recipe in Heaven's Banquet is a spin on a French recipe and has become one of my favorite ways to eat greens. The dish calls for shredded lettuce and peas. It also has fresh herbs like parsley and mint. It was delicious and very fast and easy to cook.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lemon Rice

I love this rice recipe. It is so easy and very good for vata. Just cook your rice in a little cumin and turmeric. Then add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice at the end of cooking.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

November means cool weather and Thanksgiving will soon be here again. Our organic grocery store had beautiful ripe cranberries, so I decided to make cranberry sauce and use it as a fresh fruit chutney.
I used 3/4 cups of date sugar and 3/4 cups of fruit juice to 1 pint of cranberries. The date sugar made the dish a little darker red than store bought, but the taste was outstanding.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Plum Chutney

 Recently we visited a local organic farm and we found some fresh prune plums. So I decide to make the Plum Chutney recipe on page 519. The prune plums are smaller than most plums and the pits are easy to remove. I cooked them for about an hour with date sugar, ginger and raisins. Miriam says her brother likes this chutney on burritos so we gave it a try with several bean dishes. Very good.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Scrambled Tofu or Panir for Brunch

The Scrambled Tofu or Panir for Brunch recipe (page 211) is one of my favorites. I made it with lots of chopped kale, carrots, and sweet red peppers. I added Maharishi Ayur-Veda Vata churna for a nice depth of flavor. Scrambled tofu served with toast, marmalade and the Oven-Roasted Potatoes (page 120) made a very scrumptious brunch.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Pan-Browned or Oven-Roasted Potatoes

The Pan-Browned or Oven-Roasted Potatoes (page 120) are super simple to make. I chose to oven-roasted them in olive oil then added some thyme and they were delectable. I served them along with Scrambled Tofu (page 211) and toast for our Saturday morning brunch.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Universal Muffins

I made a variation of the Universal Muffins (page 369) which I'll call Pumpkin, Spice, and Pecan. These muffins are made without eggs so you have to mix the batter quickly. I found the muffins to be less crumbly than muffins made with eggs but still very tasty. Miriam gives many variations for these muffins and they are fun and easy to make.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Happy New Year! The Moussaka recipe (page 96) is what I cooked for a New Year pot luck dinner that we attended. Miriam says this recipe is "one of the most popular recipes in the book." With that recommendation, I felt confident to serve it to our friends. I served it with Cranberry and Almond Couscous.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pistachio Pesto For Edith

The recipe called Pistachio Pesto For Edith (page 511) is shown here mixed with black beans, fresh tomatoes, and Orzo. This is the time of year for traveling to see loved ones so I made this recipe for our lunch on the road. The pesto was delicious and gave us a great simple meal we could feel good about.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tofu or Panir Quiche with Broccoli

The Tofu or Panir Quiche with Broccoli (page 211) was made with tofu and cream cheese. I also added Miriam's Sofrito (page 218) which adds a real depth of flavor to the quiche. I used broccoli but next time I'd like to try it with artichoke hearts. It was a hearty dish without being heavy and it tastes delicious.