- Energy Times Magazine – US – featuring book review in October 2015 issue + online
One thing renewed interest in non-conventional medicine has done is introduced Americans to healing systems from other parts of the world. And while Traditional Chinese Medicine—especially the once-novel, now-common practice of acupuncture—has drawn the most attention, India’s traditional medicine, Ayurveda, has attracted increasing interest. That awareness is reflected in two recently published books dedicated to this ancient system of well-being.
Physical health, specifically, a healthy diet, may not be the only spoke in the Ayurvedic wheel, but it’s certainly one that vexes many people. If that sounds familiar, you may want to examine The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook: 200 Recipes for Health, Wellness & Balance.
Author Lois Leonhardi, another Ayurvedic practitioner, dedicates the book’s beginning to Ayurveda’s basic principles, which include the balancing of opposites (think of TCM’s concept of yin/yang), the idea that every person has a constitution that consists of three basic types—vata, pitta and kapha—and the need to weigh six tastes—sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. The idea is to eat in such a way that your unique VPK constitution stays in balance. For example, a person in whom vata—light, cold, dry—predominates should use foods such as avocado, lemons and nuts as garnishes, while someone with a predominantly kapha—heavy, slow, cool—constitution should use chili peppers, horseradish and sprouts.
The recipes in The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook “are created to be tridoshic (balancing to all doshas) unless otherwise indicated,” writes Leonhardi. This leads to some food combinations most people wouldn’t think of, such as a breakfast of Amaranth Porridge with Pear Juice, Currants and Almonds or Cinnamon Lotus Edamame Sauté as a side dish. But the recipes are about more than just the food itself; the idea, says Leonhardi, is that “by integrating a philosophy of wellness into your life, you can seamlessly transition to a healthy and happy body, mind and soul.”
That’s a notion that both The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook and The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda heartily support. —Lisa James
o Magazine may also feature recipe for Kitchari in article on Kate Hudson + Ayurvedic practices – file sent March 8, 2016
- Sweeps4Bloggers – US – featuring book review with giveaway September 23, 2015
Are you familiar with Ayurveda? Ayurvedic medicine has been around for thousands of years. These days, many are incorporating it’s principles into their regular routines for health, well-being and weight loss.
The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook can help you create delicious meals that just may have added benefits for health and wellness.
The cookbook has a large (nearly 100 pages) portion of it devoted to helping you understand Ayurveda, the principles behind it and how to incorporate these principles practically into a modern kitchen.
Then there are 200 recipes for modern dishes that adhere to Ayurvedic traditions. Here is a small sampling of what you’ll find in the book:
Lime Ginger Tofu
Minted Apricot Couscous
Asian Style Vegetables
Black Bean Avocado Salad
Maple Orange Scones
If you just want recipes, you’ll find some great ones. If you also want to understand and utilize these dietary principles that have stood the test of time, you’ll get even more out of this information packed cookbook.
o Posted to Contest Chest
- Gothic Epicures – CAN – featuring book review in September 2015 issue
37.THE ESSENTIAL AYURVEDIC COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0513-7, $27.95 CAN soft covers) is by Lois A. Leonhardi, a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and educator who creates individual diet/exercise programs. Portions of the book were previously published as East Well, Be Well in 2013. Here are 200 basic recipes for health/wellness/balance. It addresses dietary needs for omnivores, vegetarians, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free individuals. Her approach is breezy in style, and it is written for the modern day life of millennials (dare I say it?) with busy lifestyles who need to save time, make food ahead, get organized, and find essential ingredients rapidly at grocers. Knowledge of ayurvedic principles is not required. The first 100 pages concern the ayurvedic life (five elements, twenty qualities, three doshas, six tastes), followed by pantry/larder material. The preps are arranged mainly by meal time, breakfast through to end-of-day snacks. Typical are amaranth crepes with pomegranate syrup, endive with honeyed goat cheese, lavender essence tea bread, and ginger salmon hand rolls. Each prep has tips and variations, with their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.
- CakeSpy.com – US – featuring book review with recipe excerpt for Pomogranate Orange Chip Bars – sent files Sept 29, 2015
- Family, Food and Travel – US – featuring book in 2015 Gift Guide in ‘Gifts for Foodies’ section with link to purchase from Amazon
- Dharma Kitchen – US – featuring book with recipe excerpts for Amaranth Crepes + Caribbean Adzuki Bean Stew – November 20, 2015 – writer said this book “re-inspired her”)
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga, and it’s long been a fascination of mine. I’ve learned a bit on my own and from various yoga teachers. The idea of Ayurveda is that we all have a unique constitution, prone to our own individual imbalances. And those imbalances are what can, if left unchecked, throw our health into a bit of a tailspin, whether it’s minor things like viruses and colds, or much larger, systemic challenges. Broadly speaking, humans fall into three categories: vata, pitta and kapha, each with their own optimal list of foods, along with ones they should steer clear of. You can be a vata with a vata imbalance, or a pitta with a kapha tendencies; there are sub-doshas, too. (If you want to find out where you might fall in those three categories, check out this dosha quiz from the Chopra Center.) The first time I had someone assess my constitution, so many things started to make sense to me. For example, I’m mostly pitta, and it’s the more fiery dosha, which means I should steer clear of spicy foods (I don’t like them, so there’s that) and move toward cooling foods (like cucumbers, which I love love love.) With knowledge, you gain awareness and bringing that mindfulness to what you eat integrates almost effortlessly (at least for me) with the asana part of yoga practice.
The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook by Lois Leonhardi, a Certified Ayurveda Practitioner, came out earlier this month. I like it because it gives you extensive background, enough to get you acclimated and provide a basic understanding of Ayurveda. The recipes are geared toward specific constitutions, but then she also tells you how to adapt if you are, say, Vata or Pitta. There are some recipes that are tridoshic, or good for all three doshas. The doshas also correspond to seasons of the year (we’re in fall, which is vata, moving toward kapha, which is winter and spring), times of day and time of life. Among many other things, Ayurveda provides a way of thinking about food and health, with a bit of a learning curve—but that’s the fun part, right? I, for one, really enjoy the balance she’s struck here with these crepes.
Have fun making these. Smaller crêpes will be easier to flip, but will be more difficult to fold due to the inflexibility of the gluten-free batter. The first crêpe may be a disaster, but don’t fret; it doesn’t count. Use it to contemplate how to modify your technique so you can create future crêpes of higher quality. Note that it is difficult to have wafer-thin crêpes using gluten-free flour, so set your expectations accordingly. The coolness of the amaranth, milk and cardamom will balance the warmth of the eggs for pitta. Kapha can eat these in moderation. Gluten free, soy free and vegetarian.
- Titus 2 Homemaker – VA – featuring book review with recipe excerpts December 10, 2015
All right, now if you’re not already familiar with Ayurveda, hear me out before you wig out and jump to conclusions about some weird spiritual thing and run!
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the traditional healing system of India. Yes, that does mean it often “goes together with” Hinduism — because that’s the traditional religion of India — but the two are not one and the same, any more than allopathic medicine is secular humanism. So, with that said, we can keep the health insights without having to compromise our Christianity. I just wanted to get that out of the way for those who have just vague enough a notion to be nervous. Now onto the good stuff…
All traditional healing systems — include those in the western world before the rise of patent drugs — take into consideration differing constitutions. They all break it down a little differently, but the underlying concept is the same. Ayurveda is built on the idea of three constitutional types, called “doshas.” These are vata (which is dry), pitta (which is fiery), and kapha (which is moist). That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but that’s the gist.
Everyone is created as one of these “types,” or some combination of the types. What that means is that your greatest natural tendency is toward that dosha’s distinctives. You also are likely, much of the time, when you get out of balance, to get out of balance in that way. Kapha people, for instance, are more likely than others to struggle with respiratory problems, due to excessive moisture (in the form of mucus) gathering in the respiratory passageway. These are not absolutes! They are merely tendencies or “trends.”
Being mindful of these tendencies is beneficial, because it can give us great insight into how best to maintain balance. The second major distinctive of Ayurveda is the six tastes. Although I imagine these were/are largely intuitive to those who grew with them, they aren’t all (in my opinion) exactly intuitive to us in our culture. (Some are. Some aren’t.) The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Ayurvedic physicians understand each of these tastes to push the body toward a particular dosha or doshas — in other words, eating the “right” foods can help keep you in balance or restore balance, while eating the “wrong” foods can knock you further out of balance.
That is the philosophy on which The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook is based. The first section of the book goes into much greater detail than I just did about what Ayurveda is and how it works. The second section of the book is, of course, filled with recipes. These recipes are all designed to be balanced, so they aren’t unbalancing for any doshic type. Many include suggested modifications for specific doshas.
As is the case with all of the Robert Rose cookbooks, this does a great job of organizing a lot of information in minimal space. It isn’t fancy — the pages are all in black-and-white, with several sections of color plates spaced throughout the book. However, it’s well-formatted for actual use. Each recipe is on a single page, as a rule. (One or two are very long and spill over to a second.) They begin with a brief description. Then there’s a sort of “header” area that specifies special diets the recipe is appropriate for (gluten-free, soy-free, vegan…). Sidebars include the number of servings or yield (depending on what’s appropriate for the particular recipe), tips, variations, etc. The main portion of the page, of course, holds the ingredients and instructions.
I have a couple of especially tasty recipes to share from this one!
- Blessed Elements – US – featuring book review with recipe excerpts for Ginger Salmon Rolls, Caribbean Adzuki Bean Stew, Pomegranate Orange Ship Cookies – sent files Dec 10, 2015
- Aquaberry Bliss – US – featuring book in 2015 Holiday Gift Guide December 16, 2015 with link to purchase from Amazon
This holiday season, there are plenty of opportunities to gather with family or friends and cook up something amazing to share. With regular, traditional holiday food front and center, some of the lesser known dishes may get ignored. Many people who may not enjoy foods served on Thanksgiving or Christmas may like some of these alternative meals. Check out some of the best cookbooks this holiday season; they’re perfect for gifting to a friend, yourself or a loved one.
he ancient practice of Ayurveda is about finding the natural balance that’s right for you. It varies at each moment, based on internal and external influences. Leonhardi’s purpose for creating the book is to create an awareness of the constantly shifting state of balance and how to impact this through how you live and what you eat. Rather than dictating a list of dos and don’ts to follow, the book helps one recognize how each principal of Ayurveda applies to their particular circumstance.
Packed with more than 200 recipes designed to increase your health, wellness and spiritual balance, this new title has incredible recipes including:
Lavender Essence Tea Bread
Lemon Rosemary Turkey Sausages
Minted Fingerling Potato Frittata
Cool Coconut Chutney
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Cardamom Almond Balls
- Travel by ENTRÉE – US – featuring book in ‘Some Wonderful Last Minute Shopping Ideas from Entrée’ under ‘Hottest Books of the Season’ November 25, 2015
THE HOTTEST GIFT BOOKS OF THE SEASON:
Any book from RobertRose, in our opinion the finest publisher of cookbooks, self-help and fun books in the industry, especially: The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook: 200 Recipes for Wellness
Featured on our Press & Media Centre