Ayurveda tells us that fall is a time to rid the body of excess heat and toxins accumulated from summer. Even though fall is a the precursor to winter and we want to stay warm in winter, we still need to clear out excess heat from summer because it is drying. Being dry going into winter will set us up for a bevy of imbalances.

It’s apropos to find bitter foods in season in early fall because their qualities serve to detoxify, cool, and reduce inflammation.

Belgian endive, from the chicory family, fits the bill for the fall menu as it satisfies the prerequisite bitter taste and is in season for fall. It is a cholagogue—it stimulates the flow of bile from the gallbladder. It is hypolipidemic, which means that it performs like a house cleaner to scrape and cleanse fat. Endive is also excellent in helping to release congested heat that gets trapped in the liver. And, as with other bitter substances, endive is anti-inflammatory and blood cleansing.

Parsley is a top performer as it has an affinity for flushing the kidneys, detoxifying, and aiding in digestion. As a toner for the uterus, parsley acts an ambassador to ojas (think of ojas as good quality life sap) for the female reproductive system and is a rejuvenate.

Pears pack a high fiber punch and are considered sattvic (peaceful) by helping to ameliorate anger.

Put a little “PEP” in your step with this recipe for Parsley Endive Pear boats.

Recipe: Parsley Endive Pear Boats

Serves 4 as a meal, or can be served as an appetizer to many!

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (try red quinoa for a firmer texture and nuttier taste), soaked overnight and rinsed
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp ghee
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground fennel
2 tsp mineral salt
2 stalks celery, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 large pear, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 bunch parsley (curly or flat leaf), minced
3 heads (chicons) of Belgian endive, leaves separated

Directions

In a medium-sized pot, melt ghee, stir in cumin, coriander, fennel and salt. Stir in quinoa, celery, and carrot. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, and then turn down to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes until quinoa, carrot, and celery are tender. Turn off heat, stir in pear, and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in sunflower seeds. Drop spoonfuls of the quinoa mixture onto the endive “boats”, and garnish generously with parsley.

Give thanks and enjoy!

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