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Recipe of the Month (June): Summer Rainbow "Pasta"

Taste the rainbow with this beautiful, fresh, light, summery, gluten-free, wheat-free, low-carb, keto "pasta"

Taste the rainbow

With growing research indicating that excess consumption of carbohydrates is contributing to the national increase in weight gain, diabetes and other metabolic conditions in the UK, we look to find alternatives to our carby favourites which are delicious, nutritious and satisfy our need for sweet without the high carbohydrate load.

Thus enter - the spiralized vegetable! You may be thinking "oh, I do't have room for/can't afford another machine in my kitchen!". Luckily, scientific advancements in kitchen wizardry are incredible these days and you can get, would you believe it... *drum roll* - a simple handheld spiralizer for as little at £8. It's cheap, easy to use and you can just sling it in the cupboard.

Best bit, you can pretty much spiralize any veg (we had too much fun just spiralizing anything we could get our hands on!) and it turns your seasonal favourites into a stringy delicious rainbow that can be enjoyed as a replacement to pasta. It's literally genius!

What Ayurveda says about carbs in June

As the daylight continues to stretch out before us, we heartily welcome the summer's sizzling heat, endless sunshine, love and laughter. As the heat takes hold however, our bodies naturally become hotter and dryer. Pitta dosha begins to increase and our agni can become excessively hot or weakened by peripheral blood flow to our extremities. This can cause heartburn, poor digestion, acid reflux, loose motions, hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia, frustration and excess hunger. But what to do to stay in balance? Fortunately, Ayurveda has the answer and part of it is as simple as eating the right food for your dosha (mind-body types) and season. When the outside changes, we must alter what we put inside to re-establish harmony. Makes sense right? So, with that in mind, with Summer being hot and dry our diet calls for the use of cooling, moist foods. In Ayurveda, this means eating foods which are not only cold in temperature, but also cold in quality (sita guna).

Cold quality foods are those which are bitter, sweet and astringent and typically include fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, the summer diet calls for reducing consumption of heavy grains and carbohydrates, which should really be eaten after the harvest in Autumn.

Now that's not to say sweet is off the menu, madhura rasa (sweet taste) is a key rasa flavour in our diet and supports good nourishment as well as providing the key function of balancing hot pitta. But it is to say that the type of sweet we enjoy must be adapted to lighter, fresher, easier to digest carbohydrates which are seasonal to summer. These include watermelon, cucumber, courgette, pepper, summer carrot, berries, beetroot etc. This is where the rainbow comes in!

Lets get creative

You may have already tried spiralized vegetables before, if so - well done! But what you may not have previously thought about was:

- the qualities of the vegetables you were eating and their effect on dosha

- how to make the meal taste complete by including all 6 tastes and satisfy appetite (and all dosha)

- how to strengthen agni without aggravating pitta

Here's the secret - have a 'blueprint' for your meal which includes a base of spiralized vegetables, a good protein source, a vegetable or dairy/dairy alternative based sauce and a herb/spice for agni. So, that considered, its now to do your own thang!

To help you put together your delicious meal and know it is right for you we have broken each section down and included which dosha it is best for so you can mix and match at your leisure!

Choose your seasonal vegetable

We have indicated which vegetable is good for which dosha by the letters V, P, K

- Beetroot (V, P)

- Carrot (V, P)

- Summer squash (V, P)

- Courgette (V, P, K)

- Celeriac (V, P, K)

- Kohlrabi (V, K)

- Cucumber (V, P)

Choose your sauce

- Marinara sauce (V) - only used very occasionally as nightshades are inflammatory

- Cheddar cheese sauce (V, P) - note that aged cheeses can aggravate pitta as they are more sour

- Raita (mint yoghurt) sauce (V, P, K)

- Mushroom sauce - (V, P)

- Lemon, garlic and olive oil (V, K)

- Bolognese (V, P) - only used very occasionally as nightshades are inflammatory

- Creamy cheese and herb (V, P )

Choose your spices and fresh herbs (these can be used inside, on top or both)

We have indicated which spice is good for which dosha by the letters V, P, K

- Coriander leaf (V, P, K) - goes great with the ginger, lime and coconut (and carrot pasta)

- Parsley (V, P, K) - tastes best with mushroom sauce (and courgette and kolrabi pasta)

- Basil (V, K) - so good (if you are not pitta) with marina or in a tangy basil pesto (and summer squash pasta)

- Thyme (V, K) - a delight with beetroot pasta and a cream cheese sauce

- Mint (V, P, K) - raita me and my rainbow pasta please

- Sage (V, K) - yummy also with mushroom sauce

- Dill (V, P, K) - pair with lemon and other herbs and beetroot or cucumber pasta

- Garlic/wild garlic (V, K) - livens up pesto with ANY flavour pasta, we've tried them all, its all good

- Fennel (V, P, K) - an absolute dream with creamy sauces and carrot and squash pasta

Awesome proteins for summer

We have indicated which side is good for which dosha by the letters V, P, K

- Salmon (V, P) - Enjoy with fennel and coriander

- Goats cheese (V, P ) - This one beats the rest when served with beets and parsley

- Chicken/turkey (V, P) - so versatile it goes with everything!

- Anchovy (V ) - we love this with a carrot top pesto and courgetti spaghetti

- Tuna (V, K) - hits the spot when eaten with parsley (like in the picture)

- Tofu (P, K) - our favourite is actually making this into a creamy sauce with herbs!

- Chickpeas (P, K) - particularly good with basil, garlic and beetroot pasta

- Seitan (P, K) - pairs well with marinara and carrot pasta

- Toasted nuts and seeds (P, K) - pairs well with pretty much everything

- Vegan cheese (P, K) - pairs better for agni than dairy with tomato!

- Boiled egg (V, P ) - really nice with mixed herbs and pesto

Healthy additions

We have indicated which side is good for which dosha by the letters V, P, K

- Olives or olive oil (V)

- Spinach, chard, watercress, rocket and other greens (P, K)

- Onion, better red or spring onion in summer (V, K)

- Peas, green beans and runner beans (V, P, K)

Our favourites

- Beet pasta, wild garlic or carrot top pesto, goats cheese and spinach

- Summer squash, carrot and courgette pasta, marinara sauce and vegan cheese

- Kolrabi, carrot and courgette pasta, mushroom sauce, parley and tofu/roasted nuts or chicken

- Mixed herb, lemon, courgette pasta with salmon

- Beet pasta with creamy tofu sauce, ghee fried green beans and red onion

With busy schedules, its often natural to want to make cooking easy, to follow an exact recipe and expect results. Sadly, cooking this way does not empower you to explore, to ignite your creativity or to eat that which is suited uniquely to you.

So instead we invite you to break the rules, go off the road map, experiment and discover something new, using your Ayurvedic eating blueprint to rainbow pasta.

Live life on the veg and taste the mother loving rainbow!

Also, if you find your not a fan after trying it, not to worry, your left over vegetables make great duelling sticks for the kids (see right!)

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