Ayurvedic Tacos for Spring

An Ayurvedic diet takes into account the qualities of the season to optimize health benefits. A cool and damp spring is heavy, slows you down a bit, and can make you feel sad. Your digestion may be sluggish, your chest and sinus might be a bit sticky and the mind may be foggy, especially in the morning. Foods that are light, slightly dry, bright, and bitter will balance these spring tendencies. It’s a good time for a simple, cleansing diet.

Foods to Favor in a Heavy, Damp Season (Spring)

Light like sprouts, broths, berries and leafy greens

Dry like barley, rye and beans

Warm like steamed vegetables (instead of raw), spices and soups

And favor tastes that are:

Bitter like dandelion greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli

Astringent like cranberry, pomegranate, dark raisins, spinach

Pungent like mustard greens, turnips, dash of pepper, fresh ginger

Do your best to minimize foods that are heavy, sweet, and oily and tastes that are sweet, sour, and salty.

I created this tofu taco recipe for the spring section of The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook to showcase a complete meal, protein rich, using only ingredients that sit lightly, and bright spices which purify and tone digestion. These make a great breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Spring Recipe: Tofu Tacos with Greens


1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of black pepper or cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
half of a 14-oz block of extra firm tofu
2 tsp sunflower oil or ghee
1 cup roughly chopped baby spinach or Swiss chard
4 corn tortillas
lime, cut into wedges
Toppings, in any combination: fresh salsa, sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, shredded carrots, shredded lettuce

  1. Combine all the spices and the salt in a small mixing bowl. Rinse the tofu well and squeeze it between your palms to remove some of the water. This will make it cook faster.

  2. In a small bowl, mash the tofu with a fork, and then stir into the spice mixture.

  3. In a medium frying pan, warm the oil or ghee on medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, add the tofu and fry, using a spatula to stir well every few minutes. After 5 minutes, add the chopped greens and fold in with the spatula. Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes more. When the tofu begins to brown, remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

  4. Pat each tortilla with damp hands to soften. In another large frying pan, spread the tortillas in a single layer and warm over low heat for 2–3 minutes. If the edges begin to curl, take them off the heat immediately.

  5. To serve, place 2 tortillas side by side on 2 plates and spoon a strip of tofu mixture on each tortilla. Add toppings in any combination. Accompany with fresh lime wedges to squeeze on top. Fold in half to eat as soft tacos.

NOTE: If your body doesn’t digest tofu well, substitute 4–6 egg whites, lightly scrambled.

Read another wonderful Ayurvedic recipe from Kate O’Donnell.

Study with Kate online: YogaU is proud to feature Kate as part of our YogaU Practice Channel, go here to see a list of her practices.

Reprinted with permission from Kate O’Donnell and The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well

Kate O'DonnellKate O’Donnell began yoga by accident in South India at age 20.  After 17 years of daily practice and semi-annual trips to the Sri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, she holds Intermediate level Authorization as an Ashtanga Yoga teacher, holding a traditional morning program at Down Under Yoga in Boston. Her interest in offering home practice videos is to deepen awareness of the benefits of the Ashtanga system for those without access to a teacher, and to inspire daily practice for well-being and personal transformation. Her classes are fun and accessible, increasing in intensity as each subsequent practice is mastered. Kate is also a nationally Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and author of The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook.  Her international lifestyle and yoga workshops help others to realize their true nature.  www.kateodonnell.yoga

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