I’m officially back from Hawaii, with a few day stopover in uos Angeles before finally migrating HOME.
I’ve been immersed in total paradise for the last 10 days, and while most of my vacations usually involve more hedonism than health, the light, fresh Hawaiian cuisine has me feeling totally rejuvenated. It was the perfect stepping stone before taking on a very strict low FODMAP diet to combat my SIBO.
Though many of you have asked about my protocol, I’m going to wait until I’m further into it before giving the full breakdown. On the agenda though: a full vice detox for the next month. Luckily, the January session of the 4 Weeks to Wellness program kicks off TODAY, so I’ll have a tribe to support me through part one. Part two is going FODMAP-free, something I’ve written about before but have yet to try myself. Part three is supporting my digestion in any way possible so that there’s less partially digested food particles for my critters to feed off of.
In the spirit of the latter, I’m excited to be sharing this kitchari recipe, which is a flagpole of healing Ayurvedic cuisine, and said to be the best combination of nourishing foods that won’t tax your digestive system.
Kitchari is traditionally made from either yellow lentils or split peas, basmati rice, a mixture of digestive spices, and ghee.
With Paleo-ism on the rise, I know this might seem strange to some of you. Aren’t legumes and grains hard to digest?
The theory behind this dish’s efficacy has a lot to do with the concept of food combining.
A mono-nutrient fast gives our digestive systems a much-needed break from dealing with a mess of different foods every meal. The dal and rice is cooked until just short of mush, so it’s easier to absorb. The spice mix fires up our belly, and the ghee (or coconut oil) helps lube up your tubing and allows fat-soluable nutrients to assimilate.
This version, which is adapted from Leah Vanderveldt’s fabulous book The New Nourishing, is also packed with greens for added fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Even though one of the main ingredients is a legume, this dish is actually fairly easy to adapt to a low FODMAP diet, and I plan on making it on repeat this month. Simply double the rice and skip the split peas or lentils, omit the broccoli and either double the zucchini or add chopped green beans instead. The mixture doesn’t have onion or garlic, so for once, you’re covered in that department. And you can serve without the yogurt topping.
On a more sentimental note, thank you for all your kind words and support around my big health update. You’ve made me see so many silver linings and I’m feeling incredibly optimistic.
If you have any health woes that you’re planning on beasting this January, my program might be the perfect way to tackle them together. Contact me if you’re interested in joining—if not this go-around, I’m already taking waitlist sign-ups for the next and will do a second session in mid to late Jan if there’s enough interest.
With health and hedonism,
Ayurvedic Cleansing Green Kitchari Bowl
This Green Kitchari Bowl recipe is adapted from Leah Vanderveldt's fabulous cookbook The New Nourishing. The fennel seeds are the sleeper spice in here and so good for digestion. Kitchari is a staple of healing Ayurvedic cooking since the rice and lentils are cooked until easily digestible and the base is layered with supportive spices and ginger. I love that Leah adds lots of green veggies to aid in the cleanse.
- 1 cup dried yellow split peas or lentils
- 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
- 3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 small crown broccoli finely chopped into an almost rice-like texture (about 2 cups total)
- 1 medium zucchini coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup packed baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Plain full-fat Greek yogurt for serving
- Rinse the yellow split peas or lentils and rice in a fine mesh colander under cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a large lidded saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil or ghee. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, fenugreek, and turmeric. Cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the split peas or lentils and rice and stir to coat in the spices. Add the salt and pour in the water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peas/lentils are tender but not mushy and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (You may need to add more water if the mixture becomes to dry or begins to stick to the bottom of the pan).
- Stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and spinach, then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm scattered with the cilantro and plain yogurt, if desired.
To make low FODMAP-friendly: Double the rice and skip the split peas or lentils, omit the broccoli and either double the zucchini or add chopped green beans instead. The mixture doesn’t have onion or garlic, so for once, you’re covered in that department. And you can serve without the yogurt topping.