Fall Insalata for Vata Season

Being right in the thick of this seasonal shift, with Indian summer days followed by a crisp fall breeze, I've found that my nourishment needs and cravings have varied significantly. One moment I may crave cool, hydrating salads while other days I'm very into cozying up with a warm bowl of oatmeal, root vegetables or bone broth. This locally sourced salad satisfies all of that and then some. It's such a nice, satiating balance of cooling + grounding, just what we need to navigate from one season to the next. 

Intuitive eating has guided me lately in the way that I choose to nourish my body, in which case all ingredients chosen for this salad specifically were based on just that. It combines ingredients that I simply felt would pair well together based on various flavor profiles, texture (crisp + starch) and hunger pangs for deep nourishment. 

Sauerkraut has been a nice addition to easy-to-throw-together meals lately, providing a beneficial dose of gut-friendly probiotics from the natural fermentation process (similarly to kombucha, kimchi and pickled vegetables). 

Basil has detoxifying enzymes that assist liver function, digestion and alkalinity in the body. Not to mention that it's pure gold when tossed into an egg scramble, my two cents. And that recipe you can find here, by the way.  

Brussels, beets and sweet potatoes are non-negotiable for me during vata season. Warming, grounding, and full of flavor and nutrients. Satisfyingly crisp + starch. 

Wild mushrooms were recently in abundance at my local grocery, so I thought I'd give them a whirl. Mushrooms are known for their immune support and contain ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant that may be very effective in providing protection from free radicals.

Dulse contains a rich source of iodine, which is essential for optimal thyroid health. It has a bit of a salty flavor, therefore it can be used as a replacement for salt itself and sprinkled right into salads and the like. Its rich source of iron is also beneficial in improving circulation. 

I was really impressed with just how well so many different flavors paired together in this salad. As delicious as it was, it was even more simple to create and I found that a generous drizzle of olive oil did the trick to unify the flavors and richness. For a salad like this, there really is no need for exact ingredients or measurements, as that's the foundation of eating and cooking intuitively. This ingredient list is meant to serve as a guide to inspire creativity and promote optimal nourishment, however it's up to you as to how you wish to add or subtract based on your personal preferences!

Here's what went into mine:

Local kale
Fresh basil
Brussels sprouts
Sweet potatoes
Wild mushrooms
Olive oil

For further recipe inspiration that was consciously designed with your health an nourishment in mind, I recommend grabbing a copy of You Nourish You: Thyroid Yoga Recipe Book by Fern Olivia, Thyroid Yoga founder, plant-based chef and integrative nutrition expert. A few of my creations are featured there as well as several other golden meals. If you choose to do so, use code ALLISON at checkout for a sweet little discount from yours truly.

Keep creating, keep nourishing and then share your creative interpretations by tagging #andbewell on Instagram. Fall insalata, go!

xx be well,