The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen: Finding Harmony Through Food (Cookbook Review with Sample Recipe!)

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen Cookbook

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen offers a new and tasty interpretation of idea that wellness depends on balance. Whether you’re drawn to the Indian philosophy of mind-body harmony, or just looking for some nutritious and delicious vegan recipes for No-Meat March, Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen delivers!

Author Talya Lutzker begins with a good introduction to Ayurvedic philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection in terms of health and wellness.

Then the book gets down to kitchen business, with chapters divided as follows:

  • Drinks, Teas, and Tonics
  • Breakfast
  • Salads and Salad Dressings
  • Sauces, Spreads, and Condiments
  • Main Meal Dishes
  • Side Dishes
  • Snacks
  • Desserts

Directions are clear, and the recipes I sampled were consistently excellent. Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen offers a great variety of flavors, delicious spice combinations and many kitchen projects I’d never thought to try — like raw sauerkraut, creamy coconut kefir, and banana curry.

Most of the recipes utilize simple whole-food ingredients familiar to Western cooks, or at least to most vegan cooks; others challenge you to explore ingredients (woohoo!) like kombu, licorice root powder, or fresh turmeric root. I love the emphasis on simple, whole ingredients embraced by the author; and I was excited to try some new ingredients I’d never cooked with before, like sunflower sprouts and toasted sea palm.

Some of my favorite Ayurvedic Kitchen Recipes (so far!) include:

  • Vegan Mango Lassi — coconut milk, mango chunks, lemon juice, and cinnamon make for a luscious breakfast drink!
  • Quinoa Pancakes — why had I never thought to try this?!
  • Creamy Cucumber-Tahini Dressing — cucumber, tahini, olive oil, lemon, minced red onion, coriander… delicious on pretty much any raw vegetable concoction.
  • Gado Gado Sauce — ginger, agave nectar, green curry paste, almond butter, cumin, corriander, and cinnamon flavor this delicious dipping sauce; great for dumplings, wraps, spring rolls, carrots, broccoli, celery sticks, raw cauliflower, etc. etc. etc.!
  • Steamed Collard Wraps — seriously: make these, or cheat yourself! Sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, macadamia nuts, ginger, sunflower sprouts and other nom, wrapped in steamed collard greens… dip ’em in Gado Gado sauce, and die of happiness!
  • Creamy Miso Lentils — red or yellow lentils, miso, fennel seeds, nutmeg, cumin, and raw wild nori magically transform into hearty creamy comfort food.
  • Vegan Black Bean Brownies (see recipe, next page) — yes: my family ate these all in one day… We apologize for nothing!

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen does contain many fast and/ or simple recipes; but it isn’t designed strictly as a ‘quick-and-easy’ cookbook. Some of the recipes take a bit of preparation time — but the results make it time well spent.

I’ve enjoyed cooking with Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen, and recommend it. It’s not really geared towards just-starting-out veggie cooks; but for vegan chefs looking for healthy whole-food recipes to expand horizons or broaden kitchen repertoires, it’s a great addition to ye olde cookbook shelf!

Find Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen here, or more from author Talya Lutzker here.

Happy (healthy harmonic vegan) eating!

Next page>>> Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen Recipe: Vegan Black Bean Brownies!

vegan brownies

Quote from Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen author Talya Lutzker: “Do as the Dalai Lama says: approach love and cooking (and these brownies) with reckless abandon.”

(Yep!)

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup instant herbal coffee substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or mace (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons egg replacer
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 ounces dark chocolate (70% or more cacao)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 11 x 9-inch glass baking pan with parchment paper. Oil the parchment paper with 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil.

Combine 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the coffee, optional cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the egg replacer with the water in a small bowl until smooth. Add the brown rice syrup to the egg replacer mixture. Mix well. Set aside.

Put the black beans, the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts, and the vanilla extract in a food processor.

Break the chocolate into pieces and put them in the top of a double boiler with the remaining 1/2 cup of the coconut oil. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Pour the chocolate mixture into the food processor with the black bean mixture. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl. Pour the black bean mixture into the walnut mixture.M ix well. Stir in the egg replacer mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the brownies are almost set. Because this recipe lacks eggs and flour, the batter may still seem a little soupy after baking. Let the brownies cool. Refrigerate them for 20 minutes before cutting them into squares. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, Vegan Black Bean Brownies will keep for three weeks.

(Editorial note: mine surely didn’t! -Tanya Sitton) 😉

Image credits: page 1, image courtesy of Book Publishing Company (all rights reserved). Page 2, Creative Commons photo by Vegan Feast Catering.

Written by tanyas

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