When the world seems like it’s coming apart, friendship and food can be inspiring comfort ~ and our Summer Ayurveda Class on Sunday was just that.

We sipped Watermelon Smoothies while talking about Ayurveda, Nutrition, Doshas, Summer needs and Summer foods, moved to Cucumber Soup as an Interlude, then whipped up a round-the-world fiesta, with salads and dishes from Asia, Lebanon, Mexico and India, for our Sunday lunch.

What united these foods from so many regions?

It was all made by such beautiful, loving women…

And you could taste the ancient wisdom embedded in all of these dishes with flavors as old as nature herself.

There is a thread of oneness that runs through it all…

Lemons, limes, cilantro and seeds, vibrant color and texture, and the tastes of sweet, bitter, astringent are shared in summer dishes from around the world ~ just as liberté, égalité, fraternité are human ideals recurrent in all sustainable world cultures. It is reassuring to remember and something to celebrate when we gather.

One of the beauties helping us celebrate was the Lebanese Salad which, on most summer days when you are not circumnavigating the globe in the comfort of your own kitchen, would be a meal, a world, unto itself.

We used the softest, creamiest goat’s cheese, and a raw, sprouted chickpea hummus that made it feel as if you were tasting sunlight streaking through Lebanon’s ancient Cedar Forests.

Serves: 2, generously

1 carton organic mesclun greens
1 cube of Feta Cheese
1 ear raw corn, kernels removed
1/2 cup hummus
1 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Mint
Sumac, thyme, oregano, pine nuts

Combine mesclun leaves, corn, snap peas, cherry tomatoes and feta into a large salad bowl. Toss well. Add the herbs, juice from one large lemon and the olive oil. Toss again. Divide the salad between two bowls and scoop 1/4 cup of hummus on top of each salad.

The next day I tossed the salad over warm Thai noodles. Lebanon & Thailand? What do they have in common? Warm, wise, beautiful people!

Besides, the flavors of the salad had grown into each other and, because the weather had turned cold, it was perfect with the sweet comfort of warm noodles.

Thank you all who attended Sunday’s class. You are all so wise, intelligent, healthy, knowledgable and lovely to be with. Even you “troublemakers” ~

Urban Food & Gourmet, at the corner of Fern and 30th, opens this week. They will be carrying my Ayurvedic line of specialty foods: Maha Shakti Detox (Vegan) Protein Powder, Rejuvenating Jam (my twist on Chyavanprash), Organic Split Mung Beans, Seasonal Masalas,  Brahmi Bark (a Brain Tonic Chocolate Bar) and eventually Moksha Pies – Moksha means free and these pies are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, bake-free, and utterly liberating in every way.

I will have these products online soon! Will let you know.

With love ~


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