"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Curried Greens with Golden Onions and Cashews, or Melissa Gets Eastern

Hey, it's spring, folks. And if you're lucky, the weather has been getting warmer and warmer, and you're taking off a few layers, and possibly you're looking in the mirror at your body when you step out of the shower and saying GAH!!!!

Melissa can help.

And I'm going to float something here that so far I've left out of the conversation, which is an Ayurvedic approach to eating.

Now, stick with me, this isn't going to hurt.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian approach to considering the body and how you treat it. And here's the basic idea, as it applies to diet.



We like to say there are three body types, more or less--right? Ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph.

Well, in Ayurveda,

Endomorph=Kapha
Mesomorph=Pitta
Ectomorph=Vata

But in Ayurveda, it's not just your muscles and bones that gets considered. It's your skin, your digestion, your emotional state. Do you hold grudges forever? That's Kapha. Does your head pop off with road rage? That's Pitta. Are you a scatterbrain? That's Vata.

An Ayurvedic practitioner looks at your whole mental, physical and emotional state and figures out what your type is. If you're curious, take an online quiz and assess yourself!

What's Your Dosha, Baby?
Deepak Chopra's Dosha Questionnaire
Holistic Online

It's not all or nothing. Most likely you'll get an answer that says your primary type (or dosha) is Pitta, secondary Kapha--or something like that.

So what does all of this have to do with Curried Greens with Golden Onions and Cashews? Hang on, I'm getting to it!

Ayurveda also teaches us that certain seasons can aggravate certain doshas. For example, say you're primarily a Pitta. You're Donald Trump, baby, and you want that multi-billion dollar bonus because you deserve it, taxpayers be damned. You're Type A, you think that everybody needs what you're selling (a swift kick in the butt), you'd love to drive if everybody would just get OUT OF YOUR FREAKING WAY.

Summer is not a good time for you, Pitta. Heat inflames irritation, turning it to rage. Stick that hot head in a lake or something.

Likewise, windy fall is a vulnerable time for Vatas (oh, those cold hands and feet!), and winter is a vulnerable time for Kaphas (just leave me alone and let me eat this gigantic fresh-baked loaf of bread with butter while I watch a Star Wars movie marathon, ok?)

But spring...spring is the time when ALL types want to, need to shed the toxins that are stored in the fat, the fat you've been storing up all winter. So when you look at your body and say GAH!, according to ayurveda, certain types of food can help.

Kapha-reducing foods (that's what we want) fire up the metabolism. Spicy food is GREAT. Bitter greens are too. Low-fat dairy, low-glycemic fruits. Vegetable broths, yum.

So FINALLY I'm getting to Curried Greens with Golden Onions and Cashews. It's got loads of spices AND bitter greens--it's really the perfect spring dish. If your primary type is Kapha you might want to skip or reduce the cashews (and cut down on the oil a little bit), but leave them in if you're a Vata. Otherwise, have at it and enjoy the spring!

5 comments:

Ryan said...

That last picture is just awesome! Fantastic composition.

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Ryan, thanks but I'm afraid I can't take the credit--I copied it from a website somewhere. The photo is lovely though, isn't it?

Ryan said...

Well, that just speaks for your good taste! :)

Georgia (Milo & Nutella) said...

I have a bag of veggie odds and ends in the freezer that have been meaning to make into a broth. Ready, set, go, spring cleaning!

Jessica said...

That was really interesting! I'm a vata, it turns out, and it sure seems accurate.