You've heard me mention before that sustainable health is found at the crossroads of nourishment and satisfaction; seeking out the foods, cooking routines, mindsets, self-care activities, and movement that feel good and are good for us. With so much judgment, paranoia, and extremism around food in our society, it's this simple principle that's become my mantra and keeps me and my clients sane and grounded.
It's also a principle grounded in research. We know that good habits are sustained when they're motivated by personal enjoyment and an inherent value to feel good, rather than obligation, shame, or comparison.
If you've followed me for a while, you won't be surprised to hear I believe that finding satisfaction, specifically in food and cooking, hinges on three elements:
- Having a variety of plant-forward recipes that are realistic for everyday life. (Because the process of making quick and simple but nourishing meals will feel much more like an act of self-care than a dreaded chore.;-)
- Incorporating all 6 tastes to achieve balanced flavors in meals
- Slowing down and carving out space for meal time
Laura Plumb's soon-to-be-released cookbook, Ayurveda Cooking for Beginners, brings these exact points to life. That's why I'm thrilled and honored Laura is allowing me to share a sneak peek of her book with you today.
Ayurveda Cooking for Beginners is one of the friendliest, most comprehensive, and accessible cookbooks on holistic health I've come across. It's a valuable resource in my collection, which says a lot. As you know from my video, Shop Your Bookshelf, I'm picky about the cookbooks I purchase. So whether you're interested in Ayurveda or not, this book is relevant to all of us with busy modern lives who aspire to cook, eat, and live more mindfully and intentionally. As Laura states, "The ancient science of Ayurveda is really the art of living wisely….It harnesses the healing intelligence within nature….and cultivates your inner intelligence."
In her book, Laura shares guiding principles and wise insights on whole health to help us live in rhythm with the seasons, bring freedom and joy to our food life, rather than restrictive rules, and genuinely feel good in our body. As I read I came across principles such as opposites attract - and heal, you are what you digest, and balancing six tastes in a meal, that made me want to jump up out of my chair and scream "Yes!". Laura is truly a soul sister.
But this is a cookbook after all, and Laura's recipes deserve all the spotlight because they land precisely at that crossroads of nourishment and satisfaction I mentioned earlier. The Thai Noodle Salad I'm sharing today is a perfect example. There's something incredibly warming and satisfying about mixing up a new spice blend, warming it in ghee and tossing it with chewy brown rice noodles, snow peas (in my case frozen peas, adapted to the current winter season), crunchy toasted almonds, and plenty of bright cilantro. Make the spice blend in advance, and dinner will be on the table in 15 minutes, no joke.
I'm eyeing several other recipes in the book including the Baja Cauliflower Tacos, Deep Sleep Tonic, Buckwheat Pancakes, Persian Cucumber Quinoa Salad, and Coconut Squash Dal. And can't wait to dive in!
If you can't wait either, Laura's book is available for pre-order. Order your copy now and you'll receive it as soon as it's released mid-February! And if you do pick up a copy, I hope you get as much life-affirming satisfaction and nourishment from the pages as I have.
*A note on the Autumn Spice Blend: The book includes recipes for a summer, spring, autumn, and winter spice blend. Laura says the blends are an important feature because they offer flavor and medicinal benefits in a ready-to-use and seasonally-appropriate blend. She said this Autumn blend is also appropriate for winter, especially on those days when one feels extra light, cold, depleted or space-y. It's been snowing here (yes, in Madrid!), so I feel it's especially appropriate at the moment. If you want to test out the blend before committing to a larger batch, here's the measurements to yield 1 teaspoon called for in the Thai Noodle Salad: 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground fenugreek (or cumin), 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom, pinch of nutmeg.