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banana bunch

When the weather is hot, your agni or digestive fire is naturally low and you may find that you appetite is decreased.  Respect this change by not overeating. Favor cool food and drink, but not ice cold. Your body will want more liquids in hot weather, but it is important not to douse the digestive fire by drinking cold liquids after a meal.  To keep your Pitta dosha in balance, favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes and reduce sour, salty, and pungent ones. Read this week’s earlier post on balancing Pitta dosha to learn more.

This recipe for banana-cocoa mousse is a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth, nurture your body, and refresh your spirit during the hot days of summer.

Banana-Cocoa Frozen Mousse

Serves 8

4 whole bananas (very ripe), cut into 1-inch pieces and frozen
12 ounces low-fat silken tofu, firm or extra firm, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons organic chocolate syrup, sweetened with natural sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cloves
Toasted coconut flakes
Sliced almonds

Place the bananas in a food processor or blender and pulse until almost smooth. Add the tofu and chocolate syrup. Pulse until combined, then add the maple syrup, vanilla, and cloves. Continue to blend until the mousse is completely smooth. Pour the mousse into a freezer container and place in the freezer for one hour (until firm). Take the mousse out of the freezer 15 minutes before you plan on serving. Scoop out into small bowls and garnish with toasted coconut flakes and sliced almonds. You can store the mousse in a tightly covered container in the freezer.

Nutritional Facts per ½-cup serving
Calories 129, Total fat .9 g, Saturated fat .2 g, Carbohydrates 33.5 g, Protein 4.3 g

Interested in more ayurvedic recipes and mind-body healing tips?

Subscribe to the Chopra  Center’s free online newsletter, Agni, combining timeless wisdom with cutting-edge information that will help you get into the best mind-body shape of your life. Click here to sign up for Agni and visit our rich archive of past issues.

Bliss_Shake_SmallIn this month’s Agni newsletter we discussed the 7 steps to reaching your ideal weight, including eating for your individual mind-body type and becoming more aware of what and how you eat.

According to Ayurveda, breakfast should be a light meal, with lunch as the most substantial meal of the day. However, if you are looking to reach your ideal weight, breakfast can help you reduce the tendency to “snack” your way to the lunch hour. Studies also support the idea that our brains and our bodies need nutritional support in the morning for energy and clear thinking.

This delicious Morning Bliss Smoothie recipe can meet all your morning nutritional requirements while also being easy on the digestive tract. The aloe vera juice is also helpful for digestion, and soy powder gives a big protein boost. 

To receive more recipes and tips for getting into the best mind-body shape of your life, sign up for the Chopra Center’s free online newsletter by clicking here.

Recipe for Morning Bliss Smoothie

Serves 1
5 whole almonds, with skins, soaked overnight in ½ cup water
2 teaspoons organic raw honey or maple syrup
1 ounce soy protein powder, plain or vanilla flavored
1 pinch cinnamon
1 medium banana, peeled and sliced (for a creamier shake,
peel, slice, and freeze the banana in advance)
1 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk
1 tablespoon aloe vera juice

Drain the almonds and discard the water. Place almonds in a blender, add the other ingredients, and blend until smooth. Use as a morning protein supplement and digestive aid.

Tip: If you soak the almonds overnight, they will be softer and easier to digest.
Nutritional information per 1¼–cup serving:
Calories 424
Total fat 6.8 g
Saturated fat 2.8 g
Carbohydrates 61.3 g
Protein 29.8 g

A recipe from The Chopra Center Cookbook . . .

Enjoy the season’s bounty of ripe, delicious blueberries with this easy ayurvedic recipe made with organic ingredients. An ideal dessert for graduation celebrations and Father’s Day.

In terms of the six tastes recognized by Ayurveda, the prominent tastes in this blueberry cake recipe are sweet and astringent. Learn more about the six tastes here. Both of these tastes help pacify the Pitta dosha, which when out of balance can manifest as irritability, heartburn, skin rashes, inflammation and other conditions.

As we enter the hot months of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is particularly important to keep Pitta in balance by favoring cool drinks and food and the sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes, while reducing foods that are pungent, salty, and sour.  To learn more about Ayurveda and mind-body healing, subscribe to the Chopra Center’s free online newsletter, Agni. Click here to learn more and read past issues of Agni.


Cake Ingredients

2 pounds fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups organic unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup nonfat milk
¼ cup ghee    Find our ghee recipe here
4 eggs

Topping
2 eggs
¼ cup ghee
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Note: If possible, use organic eggs, milk, vanilla, and spices.

1.)  Preheat oven to 325 (F) and spray or oil a 9 X 12-inch cake pan.

2.)  In a large bowl, toss the blueberries with the cinnamon and nutmeg; place in the cake pan. Put all the remaining cake ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Carefully pour the batter over the blueberries. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

3.)  Cream together the topping ingredients. Remove the cake from the oven, spoon the topping over it, and return the cake to the over for about 20 minutes, until the topping is browned and bubbly.

Makes 12 to 18 pieces.

To celebrate today’s holiday we are featuring our famous Ayurvedic Mexican Rice recipe!

This dish serves four and is a delicious side that’s ideal for this time of year. The spices will warm your body and stimulate digestion.

3 cups plus ¼ cup vegetable stock or water
1½ cups organic basmati rice, rinsed in a strainer
1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
½ cup chopped leeks or onions
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup black beans, cooked or canned, rinsed
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup diced tomatoes

In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of vegetable stock and rice to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Resist lifting the lid; the rice will cook better without interruption. Fluff with a fork, cover, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, liquid aminos, bell pepper, beans, and corn. Sauté for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, oregano, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and chili powder with a fork. Add the spice mixture to the pan and continue to sauté for another minute. Be prepared to add the remaining ¼ cup of vegetable stock if the mixture dries out. Using a rubber spatula, place the vegetable sauté in a bowl and add the rice. Combine well. Garnish with the cilantro and the tomatoes.

We love your feedback, let us know what you think!

Nutritional Facts (per 1-cup serving, using ghee):

Calories 485, Total fat 4.5 g, Saturated fat 1.3 g,
Carbohydrates 86.7 g, Protein 24.6 g

Our May issue of Agni celebrates our body’s innate capacity to heal, create, and balance an infinite number of activities, all at the same time. Our body is alive with unknown potential, and when we introduce a new intention, it finds a way to adapt to anything we want. We all can remember at least one experience of our body’s infinite power to heal and transform.

In this issue you will find:

  • A letter from Deepak
  • A letter from David Simon
  • Tips to better nurture yourself
  • A recipe for Creamy Asparagus soup
  • A chance to win an all expense paid trip for you and a friend to our famous meditation retreat, Seduction of Spirit
  • And much more!

Start reading May Agni here >>

Mexican Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro

Made with heating spices, fresh vegetables, crunchy tortilla strips, and a full-bodied broth, the Chopra Center’s rendition of this classic recipe will warm you from the inside out during the cool, rainy months of April.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 teaspoons ghee or olive oil
1 cup leeks or red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Amino Acid or tamari sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder (mild)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 cup carrot, cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (use organic if possible)
¼ cup roasted red pepper, fresh or from a jar, chopped
2 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup fresh avocado, cubed
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Several sprigs of cilantro with stems (for garnish)

In a soup pot, heat 1 teaspoon of the ghee and add the leeks. Add the Braggs, pepper, and other spices. Sauté for 1 minute. Next, add the carrots and bell pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add ½ cup vegetable stock. Continue to simmer 4-5 minutes. Add the corn, roasted pepper, and the rest of the stock. Allow the soup to simmer until the carrots are almost soft.

In a small sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of ghee and add the tortillas. Quickly stir-fry the tortillas until they become crisp. Remove from heat and stir the tortillas into the soup along with the chopped cilantro. Divide the avocado among individual bowls. Ladle the soup over the avocado and garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Serve right away.

Serve this dish alongside a main dish or as the star of the meal!

1 cup quinoa, cleaned and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth or water (plus ½ cup broth to add as needed)
1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
1 pinch red chili flakes
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped leeks or onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise then sliced
1 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise then sliced
2 handfuls mixed cooking greens (Swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens), washed and torn into pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika 
1 large tomato, diced

Toast quinoa in a dry skillet for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Stir frequently. Bring 2 cups of the broth to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Place quinoa into a bowl, fluffing with a fork. Set aside to cool.

In a sauté pan, heat the ghee or oil over medium heat; add the chili flakes, pepper, leeks, cumin, aminos, and garlic. Sauté until the leeks are browned. Add a little more broth if the mixture begins to dry. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the greens and continue to sauté until the greens are just wilted. Remove from the heat, drain any excess liquid, and set aside.

Add the cilantro, oregano, paprika, and tomato to the quinoa. Stir together, then add the vegetable mixture. Toss together until well combined.

You can serve this recipe as a hot pilaf side dish or as a wonderful cold salad on a bed of greens.

Nutritional Facts Per 1-Cup Serving
Calories 287, Total fat 5.8g, Saturated fat .9g, 
Carbohydrates 40.6g, Protein 18.1g

What a great ayurvedic dessert!

Filled with nuts, dried fruits, and spices, oatmeal power cookies make an ideal snack for travelers.  They are easy to pack, and the combination of protein and complex carbohydrates will give you a steady source of energy on your travels.

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit or fresh apples
  • 1 cup raisins or currants
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • ½ cup almonds or walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½  cup mango purée
  • ¼  cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a cookie sheet and set aside. In a mixing bowl, place the flour, oats, fruit, raisins, coconut, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice. Combine with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mango purée, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well using your bare hands or a spatula. Using a 1-ounce scoop (about ¼ cup), place the cookies on the oiled baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutritional Facts per Cookie:
Calories 145, Total fat 1.5 g, Saturated fat 1 g, Carbohydrates 30.9 g, Protein 2 g

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