Menu Planning {+ Recipe}: A Nourishing and Tasty Lunch Idea

diet design
diet design

As most of you probably know already, I have practiced the art of cooking and eating through Macrobiotics, and Ayurveda, to heal myself with food.

Ayurveda literally translates to mean, "the study of life", and is derived from the Indian / Yogic culture, while Macrobiotics translates to mean, "The Big Picture of Life", which is derived from Chinese Medicine, and actually initially derived from Ayurveda.

Ayurveda came first, as did Yoga, when the first inhabitants of the world were learning how to take care of themselves, but once the sages expanded outward towards Asia, new methods of preventing disease were discovered.

Thus, we have two different, yet similar approaches to preventative health care, that is proven effective over thousands of years! While I think Western Medicine does have a place in our health care system, it's more of a reactive approach, rather than a proactive approach, as the old sages would have done.

I fully believe in the power of practicing both of these modalities to support wellness and prevent disease, because I have experienced it first hand. Even now that I eat all different types of food, I can still come back to the basics of cooking certain dishes in such a way, to bring healing through these self care practices.

I prepared a super simple, nourishing lunch today that incorporated both elements, that I'd like to share with you!

We had leftover squash from Thanksgiving, so I decided to round out the meal with pan fried tempeh, and blanched kale to make it a Vata Pacifying Meal, according to Ayurveda, while using the energetics of Macrobiotics.

Vata is associated with the fall/winter season, so eating heavier foods will keep you in balance during this time of year - squash and tempeh fit into these winter foods, especially when cooked with healthy oils/fats. More protein and fats are essential for Winter.

Macrobiotics not only focuses on eating mild foods that balances out harsh extremes of yin and yang, but also in the way that the food is prepared, with the energetics of cooking.

During the fall/winter, longer cooked dishes are more nourishing, so the stewed squash fit that category, as did the warming, grounding effect of pan frying tempeh.

Blanching the kale rounded out the meal with an uplifting energetic, because even though we want longer cooked dishes in winter, we still want to incorporate one quick cooked veg a day, whether it's raw, blanched, sauteed, or steamed.

-- To prepare this meal, I warmed up the already cooked squash, which was slowly steamed with ghee, maple syrup and cinnamon. Then, I started heating up a frying pan with about 1/4in of safflower oil, then filled up a small pot with a few inches of purified water and brought it to a boil.

pan fried tempeh
pan fried tempeh

-- Once the oil in the frying pan was hot and bubbling, I placed thin sliced tempeh in a single layer, and let them brown on one side for about 2/3 minutes. Then I flipped them over, one by one with a fork, and did the same thing on the other side.

Once cooked, I placed tempeh on a paper towel to absorb leftover oil, and sprinkled a little tamari (yang) on each piece to balance out the yin (oil) effect.

pan fried tempeh
pan fried tempeh

--When the pot of water started to boil, I placed chopped kale into it for no more than 30 seconds and removed it with a slotted spoon, spreading it out on a plate to cool.

I drained the water from the plate and squeezed a little lemon on it. This is a super energizing dish and great to eat at least once a day as a side.

Alternatively, if you didn't happen to have cooked squash already on hand, you would have to plan a little farther in advance, and allow for more prep time - steaming diced sweet potato or squash in a saucepan with a little water in it, for about 10 minutes or so.

There you have it, a super easy, well rounded meal that is balancing and nourishing for winter months, and leaves you satiated and healthy!

For more menu planning ideas, click here.

I can help you learn how to style your eating habits to support wellness and prevent disease. Feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation.