Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mung Bean and Brown Rice Porridge (vegan, gluten free)

This dish is actually called, Kitchari which is a staple comfort food in India. The word "kitchari' means "mixture" or "mess" as in "mess of pottage" or "mess of stew" or porridge. Judging from the picture below you can tell why... but I am here to tell you why you should try this jumbled mess - it is medicine.

The main ingredients are rice and mung beans, to which a variety of spices- cumin, coriander and turmeric are added for flavor. 

It is an ancient Ayurvedic practice in India to fast with a "kitchari cleanse." In Ayurveda- an
ancient medical practice of India dating back 5,000 years, this mix of rice and mung beans is considered extremely easy to digest and is said to purify the digestion and cleanse the body of toxins. Kitchari fasting is actually a mono-diet, which means the body receives a limited diversity of foodstuffs and therefore needs to produce a limited number of digestive enzymes. The work of the digestive system is lessened, allowing for greater healing and cleansing to occur. 

Kitchari tastes like a cross between a creamy rice cereal and a light dal. If it is a cold, blustery day or you are feeling under the weather, a steaming bowl of this classic Indian comfort food can both warm up your bones and restore sagging energy.


1 cup whole mung beans
2 cups short grain brown rice
4 1/4 cups cold water
2 tablespoons vegan butter
3/4 teaspoon sea salt or rock salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin (freshly ground makes a huge difference)
1 tablespoon ground coriander (freshly ground makes a huge difference)
1 tablespoon turmeric

  1. In a large saucepot under medium high heat, pour the mung beans, brown rice and cold water together. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and cover for 45 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, in a skillet; heat oil and fry the salt, cumin, coriander and turmeric until fragrant. Pour into the mung bean mixture and combine well to fuse all ingredients together nicely.
  3. To the finished product you can top with some chopped up fresh ginger (good for circulation), a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt...and squeezes of lime. 

Mung Beans

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cherry Almond Cookies (vegan, gluten free)

Cherry and almond are one of those made-in-heaven combinations that you can truly never go wrong with. I made sure to source some really good quality organic dried cherries (Trader Joe's) for these cookies. I tend to think that,  the quality of your dried fruit and nuts can make or break your sweet delights.

Delicious, with a tender chewy crumb. These cookies are subtly flavored with multiple layers flavors of interest– the more you eat, the more your taste buds happily discover the s
weet, sassy, nutty, and rich with love hugs and kisses cookies.
This recipe has been inspired from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar….
Yields 24 cookies
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup All Purpose Gluten Free flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup dried cherries

  1. Preheat oven 350F  degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest.  Sift in flours, shredded coconut, baking soda, and salt and mix.  When ingredients are mostly combined, add almonds and cherries and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Drop cookies by generous tablespoons onto baking sheets–about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 10 –  12  minutes until edges begin to brown.
  5. Let the cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely…
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