Here it is. The recipe my kind friends have asked me to share for months: A complete protein (quinoa), lots of anti-inflammatory, pro-digestive veggies and spices, healthy meal.

I usually prepare two variations. The quinoa was inspired by a fall Ayurvedic digestive kitchari recipe in Yoga Journal this September, coupled with the principles within Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet of leaning alkaline, anti-inflammatory, and enzyme-preserving (very lightly cooking the vegetables). This dish is vegan, gluten-free, detoxifying, and somehow…delicious.

We begin with my favorite organic quinoa — pronounced KEEN-WA, as I only learned a few months ago. I use Ancient Harvest, which is available at my local health food store and regular market.

Lifeyum Quinoa

Note: This is a complete meal. I make enough to serve my family of eight, and like to have enough to share with friends. Feel free to reduce the ingredients by 50% to serve 4-5. With the spices, be sure to use more or less as you get a feel for it. Put on some good tunes, and be one with your inner chef as you prepare a dish of goodness!

  • 2 cups organic quinoa
  • organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp dried or chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp each: black mustard, fennel, cumin, ground turmeric, and coriander seed
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick kombu or wakame (tones down effect of lentils, which is nice. 🙂 Remove after cooking)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 5-6 leaves organic lacinato kale (tear into small pieces)
  • 2-3 small zucchini, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 2-3 beets (can buy pre-steamed and peeled now in veggie section of your market to cut prep time)
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh green beans
  • 3 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half

optional ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seed
  • 1/4 cup organic shelled hemp seed
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (this is where I cheat a little and use TastyBite’s Lentil Magic)
    1. In a large pot or dutch oven, warm 2 tbsp coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard, cumin, fennel, and coriander seed and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic.
    2. Add turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cardamom, black mustard seed, and mint. Saute another minute.
    3. Reduce heat to medium, add diced onion and minced garlic and another tbsp of coconut oil if needed, and sauté until onions are slightly translucent.
    4. Add 2 cups quinoa, 4 cups purified water or organic vegetable broth, bay leaves, and kombu (remove latter two when quinoa is cooked).
    5. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water/broth is absorbed. Remove from heat and cover.
    6. Separately, sauté on low/medium heat each of the vegetables. Be careful not to overcook; it is best if they retain their vibrant color and some crispness in the center (no more than 5 minutes on low/medium heat). Feel free to add coconut oil as needed, and sprinkle some cinnamon and/or cardamom in the pan while sautéing.
    7. Gently mix in the veggies and optional cooked lentils, nutritional yeast (good source of B12), chia seed (omega-3, protein, calcium), and hemp seed (easily digested protein, all 10 essential amino acids, anti-inflammatory).

For my young friends, i.e., the six lovelies — I tone things down a bit (no fennel, black mustard seed, cumin) and amp up the cinnamon and cardamom. The coconut oil has a slight sweetness that works well with the cinnamon and cardamom, and the beets also raise the natural yum factor.

Enjoy, and would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and favorite healthy – and yummy – recipes!