Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchari

Kitchari ( pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a staple of Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic medicine. It is considered a cleansing and detoxifying food. It’s traditionally prepared with yellow mung dal, basmati rice, seasonal vegetables, ghee or oil and spices. 

According to Ayurveda, we are all composed of three doshas: vata (air and ether), pitta( fire and water) and kapha ( earth and water). Kitchari balances the three doshas.

It really is the perfect one-pot meal. It’s easy-to-digest and provides a complete protein ( the 10 essential amino acids our bodies cannot make and we must get from our food). 

To learn more about your dosha type, you can take a test at The Chopra Center 

To make the perfect kitchari consider the following guidelines published by Kripalu School of Ayurveda:

For Vata:

  • Use twice the amount of  oil.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper while cooking.
  • Add about ½ inch of chopped, fresh ginger to the oil when cooking the spices.
  • Use quinoa instead of rice to increase the protein content.
  • Use double the amount of rice.
  • Best veggies for a vata variation are carrots, zucchini, peas, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

For Pitta:

  • Use half the amount of mustard seeds and black pepper, or omit mustard seeds altogether.
  • Best veggies for a pitta variation are leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots.


  • Use leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots.
  • Add about ½ inch of chopped, fresh ginger to the oil when cooking the spices.

This is my favorite recipe for balancing vata-pitta during the winter time. I hope you enjoy it!

Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchari
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  1. 1 cup yellow mung dal beans
  2. 1/2 cup basmati rice
  3. 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  6. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  7. 4-6 curry leaves (optional)
  8. 1 tsp ground cumin
  9. 1 tsp ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  11. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  13. 4 cups of seasonal vegetables: 2 cups of green veggies ( spinach, kale, celery) + 2 cups of orange veggies ( carrots, sweet potato, squash)
  14. 2 cloves
  15. 2 cardamon pods
  16. salt and pepper to taste
  17. Handful of fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. Soak the mung dal beans in water for 4-8 hours (this helps with digestion). Rinse and strain until the water runs clear, about five times.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large pot over medium to high heat.
  3. Add all the seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop.
  4. Add the grounded spices and a asafoetida.
  5. Stir in the mung dal and rice.
  6. Add 6 cups of water, cloves, cardamon pods and vegetables
  7. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  8. Cook at least for one hour, until the beans and rice are soft and the kitchari has a porridge-like consistency.
  9. Serve warm with fresh cilantro on top, if desired.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/

Zucchini Noodles with Cashew Truffle Cream Sauce

These zucchini “noodles” are rich, creamy, decadent and dangerously divine. It’s a healthy alternative to traditional pasta and Alfredo sauce.

For this recipe, I used a mixture of gourmet mushrooms including Alba and Brown Clamshell, Trumpet Royale, Forest Nameko and Velvet Pioppini but you could easily prepare it with a blend of cremini, shiitake and white mushrooms.

Zoodle with Cashew Mise

I used Sabatino Tartufi White Truffle Oil, which is basically an Italian olive oil infused with white truffles. It has a luscious and earthy taste. It’s also very well priced for the quality. If you have never cooked with white truffle oil, I recommend you start with one teaspoon and gradually add the rest to suit your taste.


I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Zucchini Noodles with Cashew Truffle Mushroom Cream Sauce
Serves 2
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  1. 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight, rinsed & drained
  2. 1 cup of water
  3. 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast
  4. 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  5. 1 teaspoon of horseradish
  6. 1 tablespoon of white truffle oil
  7. 8 oz. of mixed mushrooms ~ approx. 3 cups **
  8. 3 medium-size zucchinis, spiralized
  9. 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  10. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the cashews, 1 cup of water, nutritional yeast, dried thyme, horseradish and white truffle oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set the sauce aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes or until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms have released their liquid.
  4. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for few minutes until they are tender.
  5. Pour the cashew truffle sauce on top of the zucchini noodles and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of white truffle oil (optional)
  1. ** I like mixing cremini, shiitake and white mushrooms.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/

Buon appetito!

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Soyrizo and Tempeh Bacon

Fabada is a rich bean dish originally from Asturias in Northern Spain. It is traditionally made with large white beans also known as “judiones”, Spanish chorizo and morcilla or blood sausage. My version of fabada is 100% plant-based. It contains soyrizo and tempeh bacon.

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Kale - Mise en Place

In Spain, we love to cook with extra virgin olive oil, using plenty of vegetables and legumes in our dishes. For my recipe, I used butter beans, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and kale.

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Kale

Vegan Fabada Asturiana with Soyrizo and Tempeh Bacon
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  1. 3 cups ( 2 - 15.5 OZ cans) of cooked butter beans ( I like Goya brand)
  2. 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  3. 1 medium onion, small diced
  4. 1 small carrot, small diced
  5. 1/2 stalk celery, small diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 12 oz Soyrizo ( I like Trader Joe's brand)
  8. 3 cups of vegetable stock
  9. 1/2 cup of white wine
  10. 2 tablespoons of Pimenton de La Vera ( Smoked Sweet Spanish Paprika)
  11. 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  13. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  14. 2 teaspoons of dried mushroom powder - optional
  15. 1 cup of tempeh bacon, small diced - optional **
  16. 3 bay leaves
  17. 1 pinch of salt
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat-high. Add the onion, carrots and celery, Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. Then, add the minced garlic, the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and dried mushroom powder.
  2. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the soyrizo, butter beans, kale, vegetable stock, wine, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring everything to a gentle simmer to prevent the beans from breaking apart . Cook for approximately 30-35 minutes until the liquid reached a thicker and almost creamy consistency.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary. The traditional version doesn’t usually need salt due to the high content of sodium in the meats.
  4. Transfer the fabada to a “cazuela de barro” or traditional clay pot and topped it with the tempeh bacon before serving.
  1. ** Recipe for tempeh bacon can be found here: http://rouxbe.com/recipes/5197-tempeh-bacon/text
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
¡Buen provecho!

{Raw Vegan} Lasagne with Walnut Bolognese, Basil Pesto, Marinara and Macadamia Cheese sauce.

This raw vegan lasagne is a feast for the senses! It’s so rich and decadent, it will make you scream for more!

Raw Lasagne

With Victoria

This is me (on the left) with my friend & yogi sis Victoria, celebrating New Year’s Eve with some delicious food: A Raw Vegan Lasagne with 5 layers and 4 sauces ( Walnut Bolognese, Basil Pesto, Marinara and Macadamia Cheese sauce),  Cuban food ( black beans with garlic rice and vegan “ropa vieja” made with jackfruit) and Raw Date Energy Truflles.

 This recipe was slightly adapted from Russel James, aka The Raw Chef

Raw Vegan Lasagne with Walnut Bolognese, Basil Pesto, Marinara and Raw Macadamia Cheese sauce.
Yields 12
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Layer 1 - Walnut Bolognese Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup of walnuts, soaked 1 hour or more
  2. 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  3. 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  4. 2 teaspoons of dried sage
  5. 1 tablespoon of tamari
  6. 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 2 - Basil Pesto Sauce
  1. 2 cups of basil leaves
  2. 3/4 cups of pine nuts
  3. 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1 tablespoon of lemon
  6. a pinch of salt.
  7. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 3 - Marinara Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  2. 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  3. 2 pitted dates
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  6. 2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  8. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 4 - Macadamia Cheese Sauce
  1. 1 cup of macadamia nuts, soaked for 4 hours
  2. 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  3. 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  5. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
  6. 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  7. 1/2 cup water, as needed
  8. a pinch of salt
  9. Combine all the ingredients of in the food processor and set aside.
Layer 5 - Marinated Spinach layer
  1. 6 cups torn spinach
  2. 5 tablespoons of dried oregano
  3. 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  4. a pinch of salt
  5. Place all ingredients in a bowl to marinate and wilt for 1 hour or longer.
  1. Cut the zucchini lengthways into 2 mm strips, using a mandolin or a sharp knife.
  2. In a deep-dish baking pan, assemble the lasagne by alternating layers of zucchini with walnut bolognese sauce, basil pesto, marinara and macadamia cheese.
  3. Finish with a layer of marinated spinach
  4. Place the dish in the fridge for several hours until it firms up.
  5. Serve with cherry tomatoes, basil and pine nuts. Buon Appetito!
  1. This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  2. Hint: It tastes better the second day, if you can resist not eating it all the first day!
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
 Happy 2016, everyone! Enjoy it!

Coconut Braised Chickpeas w/ Spinach

Happy Diwali, everyone!

Diwali (or Deepavali, the “festival of lights”)  is one of the largest and brightest festivals in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil. The preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika.  

Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. ~ Wikipedia  


Photo Credit: http://food.ndtv.com

While I don’t have any Indian Sweets and mithai recipes for you at this moment ( I really should bug my Indian friends for some good recipes), I am going to share my all time favorite recipe, Coconut Braised Chickpeas w/ Spinach, an Indian inspired dish adapted from Rouxbe

Coconut Braised Chickpeas w/ Spinach
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  1. 1 small yellow onion, diced
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 tbsp fresh ginger ( 3-inch piece), grated
  4. 1 tbsp turmeric ( optional)
  5. 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  6. 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  7. 1 - 15 oz can of chickpeas
  8. 1/2 lb baby fresh spinach
  9. 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
  10. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  11. 1 - 14 oz can coconut milk
  12. 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  13. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  14. 1/2 bunch cilantro (to garnish)
  1. Heat a deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and onion. Let it cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat in onion mixture.
  4. Add the spinach, a handful at a time, waiting for one handful to wilt before adding the next. After all spinach has been added, pour the coconut milk and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the ground ginger and lemon juice. Taste for season.
  1. Serve it with basmati rice or chapati or poori bread.
  2. Enjoy it!
Adapted from Rouxbe Cooking School
Adapted from Rouxbe Cooking School
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
Happy Diwali Everyone!

Trip to India

Hyderadab, 2004

Organic Red Lentil Mini Fettuccine with Soyrizo Ragu

There is nothing sexier than a man who can cook! My husband is a creative cook that doesn’t follow recipe instructions but his own intuition. I take some credit for this, for all the years we spent together in the kitchen, cooking and sharing stories 😉 He always tells everyone “I might have learned how to cook from my wife but then I took her dishes to the next level”.

Being an intuitive creative cook has it’s advantages. My husband can whip up a delicious meal in no time. The disadvantage is that you don’t get to taste his most delicious creations twice. It always different (good but different) the second time around.

Yesterday, after devouring his Organic Red Lentil Mini Fettuccine with Soyrizo Ragu, I sat down with him and wrote down the recipe for posterity. I needed to be able to eat it again or I’ll die. Yes, it’s that good! Enjoy it!

Red Lentil Pasta

Organic Red Lentil Mini Fettuccine with Soyrizo Ragu
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1/2 package of Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Mini Fettucine Pasta ( 6 oz)
  2. 1/2 package (6 oz) of Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo
  3. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 medium-size white onion, diced
  5. 1 medium-size shallots, diced
  6. 5 garlic cloves
  7. 1/2 medium-size green pepper, diced
  8. 6 small multicolor carrots, sliced ( approximately 3 cups)
  9. 1 red roasted pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  11. 6 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes
  12. 3.5 oz Organic tomato paste
  13. 3/4 cup of red wine
  1. Cook the pasta following package instructions. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. We used the brand Tolerant. It's vegan and gluten free. It has also 22 grams of protein per serving. 
  2. In a medium heat pan, sauté the onions, shallots, garlic, green pepper and fresh cilantro with the extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder and smoked paprika.
  3. After the onions are beginning to caramelize, add red wine and a splash of the liquid from the roasted red pepper jar. Let it simmer for few minutes.
  4. Add the sliced carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste and the soyrizo. Sautée for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add pre-cook pasta and stir for a couple of minutes. You can use the reserved pasta liquid to achieve desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with dill.
  1. Enjoy this delicious and nutritious, gluten-free vegan red lentil pasta dish!
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/