Whenever I mention Ayurveda, people immediately think of ghee, kitchari and turmeric-laced curries. That’s because Ayurveda came from India, so naturally Indian culture is infused into Ayurveda.

But it is not necessary to mimic the Indian culture to receive the benefits of Ayurveda. Ayurveda has universal principles that can be applied to every cuisine. Once you understand food energetics, all food becomes medicine and can be a powerful force for promoting balance and healing.

Furthermore, an Ayurveda diet is much more than what foods you should eat or avoid. Of equal importance is consideration to the timing of your meals, the combinations of your foods, the quantity of foods and the state of mind while eating. But don’t stress out. Ayurveda is all about balance. It’s not about adhering to a rigid protocol. There should be room for fun in your life. Ayurveda practitioners can help you with finding an antidote for just about anything, so you can still have your guilty pleasures – in moderation!

In this recipe for Endive with Honeyed Goat Cheese from The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook, I have paired goat cheese (which is cool and heavy) with endive (light, warm) and honey (heating) and cayenne (heating). It’s a light, healthy and tasty alternative for the holiday season!

Pairing cold, heavy cheese with light endive and warming honey and cayenne makes for a compatible food combination. Made with goat cheese, this snack is best for vata and pitta; made with fresh paneer, it is tridoshic.

There are more great recipes and tips for staying in balance in my book. Enter to win your own free copy of The Essential Ayurveda Cookbook below. And the next time someone says Ayurveda, think ‘balance’.

Endive With Honeyed Goat Cheese

Endive With Honeyed Goat Cheese

This recipe is Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and Vegetarian.

Tips: Belgian endive is also called French endive, witloof or chicory. Its leaves are slightly bitter and are moist and crunchy. Heads with green tips are more bitter than those with yellow tips.

If you cannot find endive, radicchio is a good substitute, but tends to be more bitter (more cooling).


  • 1/4 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1 tsp raw liquid honey
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 8 Belgian endive or radicchio leaves
  • Toasted walnuts or almonds (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, using a fork, combine cheese, honey and cayenne, mixing thoroughly.
  2. Divide cheese mixture into 8 portions and place one portion in each endive leaf.
  3. Serve garnished with nuts, if desired.


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Courtesy of The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook by Lois Leonhardi © 2015 www.robertrose.ca
Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Image credit: iStock.com