According to Ayurveda, during the colder season we should not eat raw foods. Raw foods are very cooling and are excellent for those who have a Pitta excess, or to balance us during hot weather, but in fall and winter they are too cold, and therefore hard to digest. Cooked foods are easier to digest as they are already broken down (in some ways pre-digested). So with the summer over, we should put away our picnic coleslaws and trade them in for heated veggies. But that doesn’t mean we need to swear off salad, here are a few ways to still enjoy crisp lettuce and make our salads a lil bit hotter.
Roast it: The other day I roasted some radicchio. The wonderful thing about roasting is that you can even use veggies which are slightly tired. I just drizzled it in olive oil and put in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Then I flipped it over then put it back in for a few minutes more. We can eat this on its own, put it in a sandwich or add it to a steamed salad or pasta dish. Now, radicchio, is quite bitter (which I like), so for those who don’t enjoy this, we can use any other lettuce. I’d like to try endive, and adding some roasted fennel slices.
Steam it: My grandmother used to steam iceberg lettuce, and strangely enough it was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid. She would steam it in water that had toasted sesame seed oil added to it. Then when it is done (you can tell because its softened and slightly translucent), she would drain it, then drizzled some more sesame oil and add some soy sauce on top. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but its actually delicious. I don’t usually buy iceberg lettuce, but use this recipe for boston and romaine.
Soup it: I make a lot of soups in the wintertime. I especially love using my slow cooker because it makes meal preparation so easy. Because I have soup cooking for hours this may, it means that any vegetables I add have to be really starchy and dense or else they become over-cooked (basically mush). So, a great solution is to slow cook a hearty soup then add some lettuce leaves right before serving. Within minutes they will cook down right in the serving bowl while still being slightly crisp. I usually use boston aka. butter lettuce (my personal fav).