The fourth of July is this upcoming weekend, and it is likely that you may be preparing to host or attend some outdoor BBQs, potlucks and gatherings. If you are searching for that perfect, delicious yet healthy summertime recipe to prepare and share with your loved ones over this long holiday weekend, we’ve got you covered! Today, we are sharing 3 Ayurveda-inspired dishes that bring fresh seasonal vegetables to the center stage and can help to balance each dosha. As you may know, Ayurveda encourages eating foods that are fresh, prana rich and in accordance with the season in order to maintain optimal balance in both the body and the mind. Thus, now that we are in the peak of summer, Ayurvedically known as pitta season, fresh vegetables like corn, basil, summer squashes, zucchini, asparagus and greens are readily available and will make the perfect seasonal addition to any Independence Day BBQ or party. As you will see, these summer ingredients inspired the Ayurvedic dishes below. If you are strictly vegetarian or vegan, these 3 recipes can become your main meal or, if you are a meat-eater, they can be your nutrient-rich sides to savor and enjoy.
Grilled Summer Squash, Zucchini & Red Onion Skewers (Vata Balancing)
The moist and soft qualities of summer squash and zucchini make these vegetables a perfect companion for balancing the light and dry aspects of vata dosha. Although summer squashes and zucchini are more cooling in nature, the addition of the Vata Spice Blend, which contains herbs like cinnamon and ginger, alongside the red onion, helps keep these skewers warming and supportive to the inherently cold nature of vata.
- 2 medium summer squashes, quartered and cut into 1.5 in. pieces
- 2 medium zucchinis, quartered and cut into 1.5 in. pieces
- 1 medium red onion, quartered and layers of onions separated
- ½ cup Ahara Traditional Ghee
- 2 teaspoons Vata Spice Blend
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 6 long bbq skewers (15 to 20 inches long)*
- 2 lemons, halved horizontally through the middle
*Please note that if you are using wooden skewers, it is best to soak them overnight, or at least for 30 minutes prior to assembling the vegetables onto them. This will prevent your wooden skewers from burning up on the grill!
Onto each of the 6 long bbq skewers, alternately stack 2-3 pieces of red onion, 1 piece of summer squash and 1 piece of zucchini. Repeat until the skewer is full.
Season the skewers with a dash of salt and pepper.
Brush the skewers all over with the vata balancing sauce.
Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes to marinate.
Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Grill the skewers over moderate heat, turning until the vegetables are lightly browned and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill the lemons, flesh side down for 2-3 minutes, until the flesh is slightly charred.
Serve the skewers with the grilled lemons.
Asparagus & Spring Greens Salad with a Fennel Lemon Vinaigrette (Pitta Balancing)
Asparagus and fresh leafy greens are considered astringent, bitter and cooling in Ayurveda, making these veggies ideal for soothing the hot and spicy nature of pitta dosha. We love pairing this salad with a Fennel and Lemon Vinaigrette because this dressing also supports pitta thanks to the cooling sweetness of the fennel, alkalinity of the lemon and of course the heat-reducing herbs like cumin and coriander found in both our Pitta and Tridoshic Spice Blends. Since our Pitta Spice Blend contains turmeric, we suggest opting for it if you want this salad to have hints of curry or kitchari spice. Alternatively, you can go with the Tridoshic Spice Blend which is simply cumin, coriander and fennel.
Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes or until crisp and tender. Drain and rinse asparagus under cold water and set aside.
Combine asparagus and salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to gently coat, salt & pepper to taste
Kapha Balancing Fresh Corn & Basil Salad (Kapha Balancing)
Ayurveda considers corn to be light, dry and astringent therefore making this summertime staple wonderful to counterbalance the heavy, moist and oily qualities of kapha dosha. The heat of the vinegar, garlic, green onions and fresh basil will also support kapha by kindling agni (digestive fire) which can commonly be low and slow with kapha dosha. Lastly, when you season this fresh salad to taste with the Kapha Spice Blend, you get a pungent punch of ginger, pippali and black pepper that is sure to kickstart healthy digestion!
In a large bowl, shuck corn and slice kernels away from the cobs. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine basil and oil until well blended. Season with a dash of salt and sprinkling of Kapha Spice Blend. Set aside.
In a medium pan, heat ghee and saute diced radishes with garlic until it begins to brown and crisp.
Remove from the pan and add to the large bowl with corn, also adding your sliced green onions.
Drizzle basil oil over the corn and squash mixture.
Add the red wine vinegar and toss to combine.
Season to taste with your Kapha Spice Blend.
This recipe is inspired by one of our favorite local cookbooks, Placer County Real Food by Joanne Neft.
Over this long holiday weekend, we hope that you get the opportunity to soak up the sun with your loved ones while simultaneously sharing the gifts of Ayurveda with these dosha-specific seasonal recipes. May these Ayurveda-inspired dishes bring out your inner chef and help you to connect with the flavors of the season.