Cooking Delights

Thursday, July 26, 2007

200th Post!!!! Simple Summer Supper

This was another simple supper this summer. Another recipe from The Tao of Harmony Dawn Cooking Pictured here are Sunflower Crackers. Aren't they cute in the heart shape? They were so yummy. I served them with hummus and a fresh green salad.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

This has quickly become a favourite at our house. I first had this salad when I led my retreat at Harmony Dawn Retreat Center in June. It comes from Nicola's cook book, The Tao of Harmony Dawn Cooking This is the kind of recipe that has so much flavour that you don't mind that it is vegan. The flavour comes from all the fresh herbs in the salad. I think we have been eating this about once a week since the retreat.

When I was at Harmony Dawn Retreat Center, I was spoiled with home made dessings at each meal. Since I have been home I have been unable to stomach commercial dressings. This salad dressing comes from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan cook book. I believe it is a tahini dressing. It is an absolute favourite. And now with my Magic Bullet, I can whip it up in no time.

I'm sorry I have been so negligent in posting! I have been cooking, just not posting. I find it really hard to find the time to get everything in that I want to do in a day.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Reasons to go Veggie

I'm preparing curriculum for a telecourse right now on "Overcoming Emotional Eating." One of the books that I am reading in preparing for the course is, Dr. Neal Barnard's Breaking the Food Seduction. While there are lots of interesting tips on overcoming food cravings in this book, I was quite surprised that meat fell into one of the categories of addictive foods!

Dr. Barnard states that more life-threadtening inllnesses have been linked to a meat-based diet than just about any other factor in our lifestyle or environment. Diseases such as cancer, heart-disease, diabetees, kidney problems, obesity and food-borne infections can all be linked to meat. What can you find in meat? Cholesterol, salmonella, e-coli, mad cow disease and foot and mouth deisease. Not only that but meat gets 20-70% of its calories from fat.

So, what makes meat addictive? When meat hits the tongue, opitates are released in the brain. Also, meat stimulates a surpisingly strong release of insuling, just like a cookie or piece of white bread. Insulin reseases dopamine between brain cells and dopamine powers the brain's pleasure center.

Need more reasons to switch to a vegetarian lifestyle? In 1990 Dr. Dean Ornish showed that a vegetarian diet alone could re-open blocked artieis in 82% of his research participants. A vegetarian diet can prevent and reverse heart disease. Vegetarian diets have been shown to prevent alzheimers by lowering cholesterol. Also the protein building block - homocystaine – that comes from the breakdown of animal proteins has been shown to increase the risk of alzheimers. Breaking the meat habit cuts your overall risk for cancer by 40%. Animal proteins are higher in sulfur containing amino acids which leach calcium from our bones leading to osteoporosis.

The addictive quality of meat might help to explain why 1 in 4 Americans in a research study wouldn't give up meat for a week even if they were paid $1, 000 to do so!!!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Lemon Bundt Cake

Pictured here is the Light Lemon Bundt Cake from Compassionate Cooks. I love this web stie. I think I am going to have to order her new book, The Joy of Vegan Baking. Should there be a limit to the number of cook books one can own? When I became a vegetarian four years ago, there were hardly any good cook books. Now there seems to be a plethora of them! Lucky us!

We ate the cake as is without even adding the icing. It was totally delicious. It was the first time I got to use my bundt pan and it was well worth the wait!


Curried Quinoa Salad

Pictured here is a curried quinoa salad. I got the inspiration from the Whole Foods Recipes web site. This particular salad is a variation on the curried couscous salad. I loved the coconut and coconut oil in this salad. It was really yummy!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cooking Meditation

1. Leave your preoccupations and worries at the kitchen door. As you wash your hands, imagine the day's concerns being rinsed away with the physical dirt and impurities. Wipe over work surfaces in the same frame of mind.

2. Bring together all your ingredients. Handle them carefully as the offerings of other life sources. State your intention to increase the happiness of those you are cooking for. Declare it out loud, if you like.

3. Let the activities of washing, chopping, and stirring suffuse your body and mind. Surrender yourself to each task, letting it be an outward sign of your inward state - calm, untroubled by distractions, and full of love.

4. As your mind gets drawn away by thoughts, constantly anchor yourself to the task at hand and to your intention = to satisfy with good food and love.

5. As you work, visualize the food you are preparing nourishing the diners with love, and see this love spreading out from the dining table as they take it with them out into their own lives and interactions.

6. Present the food beautifully - not carved vegetables and florid napkins, but by honestly and mindfully placing it on the plate. Now, even before it is eaten, the recipient will absorb feelings of caring and emotional sustenance.

Yoga Retreat Food

I'm embarrased that it has been a month since my last post. June was a busy month with my yoga and pilates classes, telecourses, and of course the yoga retreat.

The food at the yoga retreat was absolutely fantastic. Nicola is a first rate chef. She created the most nourishing and nutritious food imaginable for our reatreat. The first night there we enjoyed a delicious Moroccon Coconut Curry pictured below. I think it was my most favourite meal of the weekend. The curry was served over a bed of black rice and with a fresh green salad.

Of course, I picked up Nicola's cook book. I am looking forward to cooking some delicious meals from it this week. So, I will keep you posted.

One other quick victory for me. I believe I have been "cheese-free" for almost 20 days now!!

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