by MELISSA GORDON
If I didn’t already work at the co-op, I’d be there all the time anyway to take advantage of the great free classes offered. Below is an interview with Mollee Sheehan, who will be hosting an upcoming workshop on Tuesday, September 25, at 6 p.m.
GG: The workshop is called “Eating for the Season: An Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Balance through Nutrition.” What exactly is Ayurveda?
MS: Ayurveda is an ancient system of health and wellness that comes from India. It’s based on the principle that health arises from being balanced. Being balanced comes about in a variety of ways and depends on each individual’s needs.
GG: How did you get into it?
MS: I first got introduced to it through yoga, but I liked that Ayurveda works with both our minds and bodies, so I began learning more. In addition to the mindfulness component, I also appreciate that Ayurveda is responsive to individual needs. According to Ayurveda, everyone has their own constitution, so what makes a good diet, for example, really depends on who you are, as well as what phase of life you’re in, even what season it is.
GG: Even though it’s very individualized, are there general guidelines for eating an Ayurvedic diet?
MS: Sure. One of the aspects I really like about Ayurvedic eating is it uses the terms “favor” and “limit,” rather than “you must eat this” and “don’t eat that.” There’s a lot of freedom there.
In my workshop, we’ll go over some of the qualities of the season of fall and how to balance them. We’ll also cook a traditional recipe that is appropriate for all three of the constitutions that people may have.
Who should attend?
MS: The class is designed for anyone interested in practicing self-care. It’s an empowering class, so it’s good for those who want to take action and create balance. It’s also for people who like to cook because it will help participants breathe new life into their recipe repertoire and add variety to their diet with flavors that are different from what midwesterners are used to.
Fall Kitchari (Ayurvedic healing dish for autumn)
From Mollee Sheehan
• 1/2 cup split yellow mung beans, split peas or red lentils
• 1/2 cup basmati rice
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
• 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 3 bay leaves
• 1/2 teaspoon orange peel
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• 1/2 teaspoon (adjust amount to taste) Himalayan pink salt or salt of choice
• 1/2 cup chopped carrots or sweet potatoes
• 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
• 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/2 cup torn and tightly packed kale, chard or spinach
• 3-5 cups vegetable stock (adjust stock amount to desired thickness)
• 1/4 cup coconut cream
• 1 teaspoon li me juice
(freshly squeezed preferred)
• 1 teaspoon honey
Garnish ingredients (optional but recommended)
• Sesame seeds
• Fresh cilantro or basil leaves
• Shredded, unsweetened coconut
1. Ideally, soak the mung beans/split green peas/ red lentils and rice (separately) overnight prior to cooking — or at least soak while chopping veggies and preparing spices.
2. Chop veggies.
3. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in sauté pan or large skillet. Add cumin, coriander, fennel and mustard seeds and cook for a one to three minutes until fragrant.
4. Add remaining spices; stir to combine.
5. Rinse and drain each (beans and rice) until water runs clear.
6. Add one cup of vegetable broth, followed by mung beans, rice, vegetables (except kale/chard/spinach), and coconut cream to the spice mixture. Then add two more cups of broth, stirring to combine.
7. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat. Simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. (Throughout cooking time, adjust thickness by adding broth for a soupier consistency or simmering longer for a thicker stew-like consistency.)
8. In the last few minutes of cooking, stir in lime juice and greens (kale, chard or spinach).
9. Remove from heat and stir in honey.
10. Garnish with optional ingredients.
11. Serve, and take a moment of gratitude prior to eating.