In fact, today it’s more important than ever before to keep our immune systems in balance! This is where my Six Taste Bowl comes in, from my book Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook.
When you consume a meal that contains the Ayurvedic six tastes, you are nourished from a cellular level. Each taste corresponds with different qualities, as well as macro and micronutrients, making you feel whole and balanced.
The reason fad diets don’t work is because they often skip out on the most essential taste—sweet—which leads you to crave unhealthy sources of sweet after meals (aka that tempting brownie at the coffee shop). By having a healthy source of sweet, like quinoa, root vegetables, or healthy fats, you won’t crave desserts afterward. Lunch is the time where your digestive fire, agni, is the highest, making it the best time to indulge in a Six Taste Bowl.
Customize your Six Taste Bowl for your primary dosha by including larger portions of the tastes that pacify it and smaller portions of the tastes that increase it. All six tastes should still be present, however. If you feel balanced, just consume the bowls as is.
- Vatas: Include more sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Decrease bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes.
- Pittas: Include more sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Decrease sour, salty, and pungent tastes.
- Kaphas: Include more bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes. Decrease sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
(Discover your dosha with the free quiz here.)
The Basic Components
Here are the basic ingredients for the Six Taste Bowl:
- Hearty Base: Cooked grains; roasted starchy vegetable
- Colorful Veggies: Variety of colors; steamed, roasted, or raw
- Plant Protein: Legumes, nuts, seeds
- Healthy Fats: Avocado, coconut, nuts/nut cheeses, dressings made with nut butters and plant-based oils
- Pungent Spices: Turmeric, cumin, and classical Ayurvedic spices; optional onion/garlic
- Tasteful Garnishes: Fresh herbs and microgreens; sprinkle of sea salt; squeeze of lime
Hearty Base: Sweet
- Starchy vegetables: sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrot, corn
- Brown rice, barley, or other grain
Colorful Veggies: Bitter
- Leafy greens: spinach, arugula, collard, kale (which are also cruciferous)
- Cruciferous vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts
- Other vegetables: zucchini, snow peas, bell pepper, cucumber
Plant Protein: Astringent
- Legumes: lentils, black beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans, edamame
- Nuts and seeds: sesame, sunflower, chia, flax seeds, walnuts, tahini
Healthy Fats: Sweet
- Avocado, coconut
- Nut cheeses, almonds, cashews
- Plant-based oils: sesame, coconut, olive, avocado, grapeseed
- Allium vegetables: garlic, onion, leek, scallion, shallot
- Spices: cumin, turmeric, ginger, asafetida, black pepper
Garnishes: Salty and Sour
- Salty: sea salt, coconut aminos, sea vegetables, celery
- Sour: lemon, lime, apple cider or coconut vinegar
Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl
For the Gado-Gado:
- 1/2 cup red quinoa, well rinsed and drained
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup any vegetables (e.g., zucchini, carrots, green beans, corn, sprouts, and cabbage)
For the Sauce:
- 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (can sub almond butter or peanut butter)
- 1 tablespoon tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or 2 droplets monkfruit (optional)
- 3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water, to thin
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add quinoa. Toast quinoa for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with a fork, remove lid, and remove from heat.
Make the sunbutter sauce by adding the sunflower seed butter, tamari, maple syrup, lime juice,and optional chili garlic sauce to a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until a semi-thick but pourable sauce is formed.
To serve, divide the quinoa into two bowls, and then top with zucchini, corn, carrot, mung bean sprouts, and red cabbage. Top with sauce, cilantro, and lemon.
Find more like this in Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook by Sahara Rose Ketabi. Available in bookstores nationwide October 2, 2020.
Want to learn how to stay energetic and balanced all year long? Learn Deepak Chopra’s simple practices to tune into the healing wisdom of nature and thrive, with our self-paced online course, Secrets to Vibrant Health. Learn More.