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Food – In Gratitude

July 3, 2011

Dear Yogis

How wonderful is it that we have discovered a way to yoke ourselves to the greater consciousness! Life throws so many things our way and somehow we have to juggle these things between family needs, friends, work and a whole array of other responsibilities. But luckily we have our practises! Except that these often fall by the wayside because they need that extra hour that we just don’t have to give. Right?

Well, this is true for all of us at one point or another, but that’s only because we have forgotten a secret: yoga is not about asanas and meditation is not about sitting still in the lotus position. Yoga means ‘to yoke’; to remember that you are not your body or your thoughts or your work or any other construct. You are something far greater and that something is a part of everything else. What a wonderful thing!

Of course attending a yoga class may be a way to help you focus but you can really practise being conscious anywhere, at any time. All you have to do is remember who you are.

Easier said than done? Well, here are a few ideas for you. Why not practise awareness in the car? We all drive sometimes. Or maybe when going to the toilet? We also all have to do that. (I know this sounds outrageous but I know of someone who did this and it worked miracles!) Alternatively, try practising awareness in the preparation and consumption of your food. This is a lovely practise and can be done with the whole family – and it doesn’t mean sitting austerely at the table, chewing softly so as not to disturb the silence. Actually, practising awareness together can be a whole lot of fun! Try to really taste your food. Talk about the sensations you are all aware of, how it feels in your mouth, what it reminds you of. You can also practise awareness by preparing the food together, finding ways in which to express your love for one another. And when you find the joy of sharing, remember to be grateful. I have it on good authority that even the universe sometimes needs to hear it!

Enjoy your recipes in awareness this month and please feel free to write to me and share your thoughts at




Pasta with Napolitano sauce and grilled butternut.

Ingredients (pasta and butternut)

1 packet of pasta (whichever you prefer)

200g butternut, cubed

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds

Ingredients (Napolitano sauce)

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

20ml dried oregano

10ml dried thyme

Olive oil

5 large carrots, finely chopped

500ml tomato puree

2 cans of sliced tomato (or fresh tomatoes)

Salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the butternut, onion and garlic with a little bit of olive oil in a baking tray and put in the oven to grill. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In the meantime, place the onion, garlic, oregano, thyme and olive oil in a large cooking pot and sauté. When the onion starts to brown, add the carrots and a little more oil if needed. Once the carrots are al dente, add the tomato puree and sliced tomato. Add salt and pepper and allow the sauce to cook for a while. Once it starts to boil, turn down the heat and simmer.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta and turn the butternut chunks over in the oven. Now blend the ingredients of the Napolitano sauce. Dish up the pasta first, cover in Napolitano sauce and then place the grilled butternut on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds and serve while hot. This is a mouth-watering spin on the old pasta routine.


Vegan Halva.


½ cup shelled pistachios (or any nut you like)

5ml vanilla extract

125ml agave nectar

500ml tahini


Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Now place the ingredients in a tray that has been lined with wax paper. The tray should be a size that allows the mixture to be at least 2cm thick. Now place the tray in the refrigerator and chill for three hours. And lastly, don’t forget all consciousness when you taste this lip-smacking treat!


ChantelleChantelle Roelofse teaches yoga in Muizenberg and co-owns a vegan restaurant, CLOSER, in the area as well. When she isn’t in an asana or thinking about food, she runs, plays piano and writes. She is interested in the philosophy of yoga and how we can incorporate it in modern living. Chantelle supports ethical living and

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