The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook: A Book Review

Are you interested in understanding more about how your unique physical makeup, your environment, and the foods you eat all interact with each other to influence your level of health and well being? And would you like for this information to be presented in an easy-to-understand, beginner-level format — complete with a quiz and recipes that you can use to help you on your wellness journey? If so, The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook is a book you’ll want to know about.

Book Details:

The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook by Eileen Keavy Smith. Photo courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.
The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook by Eileen Keavy Smith. Photo courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.


Author: Eileen Keavy Smith


Publisher: Tuttle Publishing


ISBN 13: 978-0804839068


ISBN 10: 0804839069


Book Format:


This book is available in the following format:

  • Softcover With Perfect Binding


Number of Pages: 150


Skill Level: This book is appropriate for complete, total beginners to either cooking or Ayurvedic principles — or both. It’s also appropriate for super busy people who might already have more advanced knowledge of cooking and / or Ayurvedic principles, but not enough time to apply their expertise. If you’re in need of quick, convenient recipes because your time is often in short supply, this is a good book to consider adding to your library.

The Best Things About This Book

When I received my copy of this book, I had just about zero knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine, Ayurvedic foods or the Ayurvedic diet. I found the book engaging and easy to read. It held my attention. The author presented the material in a way that I found easy to understand. I appreciated it that she recommended the use of organic foods early on in the preface of the book. I wholeheartedly agree with that recommendation — obviously, as eating organic is the entire theme of our website.

The author of this book went out of her way to provide an easy introductory experience for readers who have zero knowledge of ayurvedic principles. She clearly describes the significance of each of Ayurvedic medicine’s three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. While each person has a unique makeup and personality, apparently, everyone tends to be dominated by one of the three doshas; so she gives you a quiz you can take that will help you understand which of the three is your dominant dosha.


Then she goes on to give you tips, hints and recipes for balancing the doshas whenever you’re feeling ill or out of sorts. She gives you a checklist you can look at for symptoms of imbalance in each dosha. So, for example, if you’re having hot flashes or feeling irritable for no apparent reason, it’s likely due to a Pitta imbalance. You could probably ease those symptoms by correcting the imbalance, and it’s the author’s goal to help you do so using the recipes included in this book.

My husband and I both took the quiz, and we both felt the results were accurate.

Armed with the knowledge gained from the quiz and the checklists presented in the book, I had some beneficial results from incorporating the principles in this book into my own diet. At the time of my initial reading, I came to realize that I had some of the symptoms of a Kapha imbalance — including a bit of sniffly sinus congestion that wasn’t exactly a full-blown cold, but it could easily have gone in that direction. When trying to balance Kapha, both dairy products and bananas are included on the list of foods to avoid– and I’d been eating yogurt with bananas or drinking kefir on an almost daily basis. When I stopped consuming the dairy products for a few days, the symptoms of my Kapha imbalance disappeared — without me having to do anything else. I was pleasantly surprised at these results.

There’s an interesting variety of recipes included in the book. Some of them are ultra-simple, one-ingredient recipes. Others are more complex, offering you the inspiration you need to try an intriguing mix of flavors that you might not have thought of on your own.

Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book

If you’re looking for a hardcore, completely authentic Ayurvedic medical text that incorporates strictly vegetarian recipes, this is not the best book for you. The recipes in this book are not all of Indian origin; for example, you’ll find instructions for making Aussie chicken, Irish soda bread and pasta primavera. While the recipes in this book do not include red meat, there are some recipes that include chicken, shrimp and fish. This is great news for those of you who want to balance your doshas without having to resort to a completely vegetarian, authentic Indian diet.


I think this aspect of the book will appeal to many people who are just starting their journey in the health food movement. There are many people who feel strongly about eating locally produced, locally available foods. One of my main takeaways from this book is that it is possible to achieve balance by combining many of the foods you might already have in your cupboard — although it may be necessary to eat them in different proportions or combinations than you’re used to if you want to achieve the best possible results.

In my experience, most people who are successful in making the switch from the “SAD” diet (standard American diet) to a healthy one, do so in baby steps. I think this book is a fantastic starting point for those who wish to begin the journey. I hope many of you will buy this book, incorporate the principles it has to teach you, and use it as a stepping stone to get to the next rung on the ladder of your personal health journey.


If you want to take that next baby step in the journey after having read this book, the author gives you an excellent reading list that could help you locate other, more in-depth resources. She’s apparently read all the material included on the list; but she felt the need to write this book because of what she found lacking in the other books — namely, an accessible, usable text without obscure, hard-to-find, unfamiliar ingredients.

One other important point that needs to be made before I conclude this cook book review: The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook doesn’t have any glossy color photographs (and the totally affordable asking price of the book reflects that). The text of the book really stands on its own without needing support from photos, which is a selling point for many chefs. With this cook book, there will not be any moments wherein you hear from a loved one, “But honey, yours doesn’t look like the picture! You must have gone wrong somewhere!”


Color photographs quickly go outdated, so it’s also a selling point that this book’s format and design are classic in appearance. The book most likely will still look fresh and new 10+ years from now.


On the other hand, if you’re the type of chef who buys cook books solely because you adore gazing at beautifully presented food photos, this is not the best choice of books for you. The book does include some nice line art illustrations, as well as a reproduction of the food pyramid — which you’ve probably seen before, but it’s interesting to have your own copy in case you’ve forgotten the details.

Conclusion

I’m delighted to recommend this book to omnivores who are beginning their journey with the principles of Ayurvedic food, Ayurvedic diet and Ayurvedic cooking. The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook is a particularly good buy for people who value convenient, easy-to-prepare Ayurvedic inspired recipes over those that are dogmatically accurate but perhaps more complex.


If you’re feeling ill or out of sorts and seeing a doctor hasn’t been any help, trying the strategies outlined in this book might prove helpful. Since these strategies are all based on preparing and eating ordinary, everyday foods you might already have in your kitchen cabinets, it’s not like there’s anything madly risky presented in the book. You don’t have anything to lose by trying this — so why not try it?


Also keep in mind, the Ayurvedic health care system predates the American Medical Association by thousands of years. For real!

I think this book is a worthwhile buy for its $8.99 cover price; however, I don’t think you’ll have to pay full price for it, because retailers like Amazon are discounting the book. If you’re able to buy it at a discount, it’s a fantastic value for the money you spend on it.

Where to Buy The Quick & Easy Ayurvedic Cookbook :

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