QUESTION FROM YOU!
Monica B, I don't know how to make an Ayurvedic meal for my entire family when we all have different doshas. I'm so confused!
Many of you have confusion around this and I think you will be happily surprised with the answer.
Here's the secret that will ease your mind. You don't. You don't make meals considering everyone's unique doshas. You make one meal that includes all six tastes so that each person can build their plate differently according to their doshas.
The six tastes and a few examples of each are:
Sweet - carbs/grains, root vegetables, meats, milk, butter, oils, sweet fruits
Sour - pickles, fermented foods, sour cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, citrus fruits
Salty - salts like himalayan, sea, black
Pungent - black pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, sriracha, wasabi, chili flakes, hing, cumin
Bitter - coffee, black tea, green leafy veggies, bitter chocolate
Astringent - chickpeas, pomegranate, berries, turmeric, spinach, kale and other leafy greens. Note: Greens are astringent and bitter.
But, don't over-complicated this by worrying about which family members the tastes will benefit the most. You'll go nuts. Instead, just include all the tastes in the meal the best you can. A good rule of thumb is to bring in various colors and textures from vegetables and grains into each meal. The more colorful the meal is, the more likely it is well-rounded in tastes. If the meal is all brown or gray, you're missing some tastes (and probably prana too).
Top of my mind when I make dinner is, "How many veggies sneak I get into this meal somehow?" and "Could I sprinkle this with parsley (bitter) or cilantro (astringent) or grind a little lemon pepper (pungent) on it?"
In my book, In Your Elements, I walk through each taste in detail, how to build our plates and the spices in your ayurvedic pantry. I highly recommend the book if you want to know more about Ayurvedic nutrition in-depth!
If you just want some good, quick advice then maybe the most important thing to remember is, don't stress about food being "Ayurvedic"! Food is food. Don't mix fruit & dairy, don't eat yogurt. That's about all the rules I have for beginners.
Below are 3 examples of meals I make (they are not Ayurvedically perfect, I just do my best):
Meal 1 - Pesto pasta & vegetables: Pesto pasta (the pesto has 5 tastes in it). Serve with a side of baby colorful heirloom tomatoes cut in 1/2, sprinkle with a little black pepper. Optional to add another steamed-but-still-crunchy veggie like green beans, snap peas or red bell pepper.
Meal 2 - Veggie tacos: Sauteéd zucchini spears (bonus points for sauteéing in ghee), red & yellow peppers served on warm corn tortillas. Add a sprinkle of cumin, himalayan salt and black pepper. Top with your favorite taco toppings including hot sauce, avocado, cilantro leaves, grated cheese or sour cream (dosha depending). Enjoy black beans and rice as a side.
Meal 3 - Lemon pepper chicken & rice & steamed veg. Sautee chicken in olive oil or butter grind a generous amount of lemon pepper on it. Serve with fresh basmati or jasmine rice and your favorite steamed veggie. Easy!
Get the download for more details including how to build your plates according to your dosha.
Keep bringing Ayurveda to life!