Pitta season marches on, and with it, we hope you have found time to enjoy these sweet summer days with family and friends. With the spirit of celebration in the air, you may have already been invited to a BBQ, pool party or potluck. With these outdoor gatherings comes an opportunity to get innovative in the kitchen and try out some new prana-rich recipes to nourish the bellies of your loved ones. Here we would like to share our Ayurvedic take on a classic summertime favorite- potato salad.
A Pitta Balancing Take on Potato Salad
If you grew up in America, you are probably all too familiar with potato salad and its savory blend of potatoes, mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs. Although this staple side dish usually makes its way onto the summertime spread, from an Ayurvedic standpoint, potato salad is heavy, hard to digest and can lower one’s agni or digestive fire, making it unideal to enjoy during the summer months. That is why we have come up with a lighter, more nourishing side dish, our Chickpea Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing, which offers a vegan version of the same creamy texture of the classic dish we all know and love.
As you might have guessed, we have substituted chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, with the potatoes in this recipe. We love chickpeas because they offer a consistency that is reminiscent of potatoes, are high in fiber and, since they contain all nine essential amino acids, these beans are considered a complete protein. We have also swapped mayonnaise out with fresh avocados to ensure a soft and creamy texture that is nutrient dense. After all, avocados are brimming with healthy fats, fiber and vitamins C, E, K and B6, making them a far superior ingredient to mayonnaise, a high-sodium, processed food. Plus, we have added additional nutrient-dense seasonal vegetables to this mock dish.
The Ayurvedic Perspective
According to Ayurvedic medicine, during the hot summer months, it is generally recommended to eat foods that carry a cooling, soothing energy, as this will help to balance the heat that is abundant in the natural world. With this in mind, today’s recipe incorporates pitta balancing vegetables and legumes like chickpeas, zucchini, asparagus and avocados to help keep pitta dosha in harmony. Additionally, cooling herbs like fresh dill and mint support the body and mind from experiencing excess heat associated with aggravated pitta dosha. Finally, this pitta balancing recipe is spiced with our Pitta Spice Blend, which contains cooling digestive spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, fennel and cardamom to assist in the optimal absorption of vital nutrients.
The next time you receive an invite to commune with loved ones, we hope you consider sharing this healthy, pitta-balancing side dish.
- 2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed & drained (or soak ½ pound dried chickpeas overnight)
- 1 lb. asparagus, with ends trimmed, spears cut into 1 in. pieces
- 2 medium zucchinis, coarsely chopped
- 2½ tsps. Pitta Spice Blend
- 3 tsps. ghee or coconut oil
- ½ c. avocado
- 2 tbsps. fresh dill
- 1 tbsp. fresh mint
- 4 tsps. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ c. water
- 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with oil.
Spread the seasoned asparagus and zucchini evenly onto the baking sheet.
Roast the vegetables for 10-12 minutes, or until they are soft and remove them from the oven.
Add the chickpeas onto the baking sheet and mix to combine with the asparagus and zucchini, oil and spices.
Place the baking sheet back into the oven and roast the chickpeas and vegetables for 5 minutes.
Once done roasting, transfer the vegetables into a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
In a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, dill, mint, lemon juice, remaining ½ tsp. Pitta Spice Blend and water. Process or blend it until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Add the Creamy Avocado Dressing into the bowl with the vegetables and stir until combined.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy chilled or at room temperature.
Enjoy this chickpea salad alone or over a bed of sauteed pitta balancing greens like chopped spinach or kale. For a heartier meal, serve this chickpea salad with cooked quinoa and sauteed pitta balancing greens.