the taste space

Ayurvedic Winter Vegetable Stew with Adzuki Beans

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by janet @ the taste space on February 19, 2013

Ayurvedic Winter Vegetable Stew with Adzuki Beans

Oops, I pulled a Joanne.

I stockpiled my winter squashes, only to discover one going moldy. Booo…. so much for hoarding my squashes until the snow prevents me going grocery shopping. One buttercup squash down but a golden nugget squash that was still fine.

This looks like a kitchen sink soup, but I was actually following a recipe! (mostly)

I have become fascinated with Ayurvedic cuisine as of late. Mainly because the recipes tend to have an Indian slant that I quite enjoy. Not hard-core, authentic, spicy curries, but milder flavourful Indian-infused dishes. Ayurvedic cuisine balances the six tastes (six rasas), sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent. By determining your dosha, or your main energy as per Ayurvedic tradition, you can tailor your foods to match your constitution.

I will not pretend to know much about Ayurvedic cuisine, although I did figure out my doshas: bidoshic with a bit more pitta (fire/water) than vata (air/space). I connect better with pitta-reducing recipes, which shies from heat and spice (among other things). Recipes can be modified to better balance your dosha, and these are modifications that I do instinctively: reduce chiles, omit curry paste, etc. Although my love of quinoa must be from vata because pitta precludes it!

This is an Ayurvedic winter vegetable stew that balances vata and pitta and decreases kapha. I made it more pitta-friendly by omitting the green curry paste (miso-curry soup isn’t so scary) and ground pepper and made it more Janet-style by adding adzuki beans (good for both vata and pitta).  Ignoring all the dosha-stuff, I can assure you that this is a delicious stew. The main flavours are miso, ginger and dill dancing around winter vegetables like winter squash, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Adding in the suggested green curry paste would probably make this an entirely different soup altogether, and would be more up Rob’s alley. I have yet to figure out his dosha but he definitely has less pitta!

Have you ever tried Ayurvedic cuisine? What is your dosha?

Ayurvedic Winter Vegetable Stew with Adzuki Beans

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

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The Best Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Adzuki Bean and Quinoa Kale Salad

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads, Sides by janet @ the taste space on October 3, 2012

While tackling my list of bookmarked recipes, I knew not everything would be a winner.

My criteria for my eats? First of all, it must be whole foods oriented (nothing white- flour, rice, etc) with limited oil and salt. A lover of most international cuisines, I try not to discriminate but it must be filled with ingredients I love. Beans! Quinoa! Greens! Squash! Lemon!  I also like to see a few reviews of the recipe. N=30 is better than n=1 for liking a dish.

I may try to incorporate a new-to-me food or one I haven’t previously enjoyed. I won’t even try to like celery, though. I have given up on green pepper. And now I have sworn off parsley, too.

I have a few parsley recipes here, although usually it is just a flavour accent. I should have known better, and even thoguh I reduced the parsley in this salad, it was still too prominent for me. My parsley came from a friend, so perhaps this local, organic homebrew was more potent?

In any case, this recipe is a knock-off of Fresh‘s All-Star Tabbouleh Salad with adzuki beans and quinoa. It made its rounds earlier this summer, first posted by Angela and subsequently Kass. Sadly, I give very few stars to the salad.

But, all is not lost because extra stars go to the absolute best roasted sweet potatoes ever. I know, a very ballsy statement. I have a witness. Rob agreed with me. So, you have n=2 from us. Lots of positive reviews from Kath’s post, which I bookmarked many moons ago.

Suffice it to say, it may take a while, but the roasted sweet potatoes have a nice skin on the outside while being pillowy soft on the inside. After a little rub of olive oil, salt and pepper, you roast them at 350F for 30 minutes, then 400F for 20 minutes. A simple flick of the knob makes for the most glorious sweet potatoes.

Please try it out and let me know whether you like it, too! Perfect for an upcoming Thanksgiving feast. :)

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper SundaysRicki’s Wellness Weekend and to this month’s Herbs on Saturday.

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Salad in a Jar (and Topaz Dragon Lemon Ginger Dressing)

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on August 16, 2012

It might not seem like it, but sometimes I can be lazy.

In the morning, while rushing out to the gym, I might have 30-45 minutes where I munch on some fruit, drink some tea (if I am lucky) and gather my breakfast and lunch (and sometimes my dinner, too) for the road.

I have all the right intentions for eating salads, but come a rushed morning, the last thing I want to do is rinse and spin my greens and chop some veggies.

I now have the ultimate solution: pre-chopped salads ready to go in a Mason jar!

Join me today at And Love It, Too! where I share my newest favourite way to tote a salad to work and a fabulous lemon-ginger salad dressing!

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

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Shiitake, Walnut, and Cranberry Salad with Adzuki Beans

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on October 13, 2011


Look to the right column and you will see what I cook with the most. One of my favourite combinations is almond-lemon-cranberry. I love them singly and all together.

Here is a variation on the ALC. We have WOC: walnut, orange and cranberry! Simply delicious! Thank you, Tess.

Adapted from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, I made this a main course salad by adding adzuki beans to a shiitake, walnut and cranberry salad with an orange-balsamic dressing.  First, the mushrooms are pan-fried until warm and soft. They are combined with an orange vinaigrette that is drizzled overtop a bed of spinach. Then, sprinkled the entire salad with walnuts and dried cranberries. Lovely!


This is my submission to this month’s Simple and in Season, to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend and to both Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring cranberries.

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Hearty Adzuki Bean Soup

Posted in Soups by janet @ the taste space on March 15, 2011


The worst part of vacationing is returning back to the real world. Especially when you go from 30°C in Texas to -10°C in Toronto: it hurts that much more; that slap in the face that I am still living in winter. No, I can’t take out my bike just yet… maybe in another couple of months, once the salt has been washed away.

When I came back, I had a fridge nearly devoid of produce and was looking for an all-pantry meal. I picked up Urban Vegan while down south, so I perused it looking for something hearty and filling. Just as advertised (recipe also posted here), this was a hearty adzuki bean soup.  It was also quick to make since adzuki beans do not need any pre-soaking.

This hit the spot! This is a thick, filling soup with sea-like flavours from the kombu. I usually remove kombu after cooking beans, but this time I actually pureed it right into the soup. It was really thick as written with 6 cups of broth (it could be a nice bean dip at that stage), so thin it out afterward to your desired consistency. Do not skip the toasted almonds, as I really think it made the dish.

This is my submission to both Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge and this month’s No Croutons Required featuring adzuki beans.

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