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Food: Room for movement

August 4, 2011

Dear Yogis

Learning to accept everything life brings our way is not always easy. Well, of course it’s easy when things are good, exciting or interesting, or, as we all know, hard when we experience pain, loss or confusion.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the plateau – those times in life when things are simply ordinary. Nothing special really. Days simply move forward according to life’s well-established routines and nothing seems especially great or dreary about them.

It is these days that usually go by unnoticed that I am really starting to be deeply thankful for. They are God’s grace – the universe giving us a break, saying “Hey, enjoy the respite!” Where so much of our focus is directed towards things that are either grand or harrowing, (simply look at newspapers to know that this is what people are interested in), I think it’s time to appreciate the level ground. This, more than the ups and downs, is where the spirit consolidates and finds room for movement again. It is during this time that we expand our internal lives, have time to reflect and can enjoy simple pleasures like walking to the shops or next to the sea, feeling the cold of the winter or the warmth of the sun on the less chilly days.

Osho writes: “We so easily take this beautiful world for granted. Cleaning the house, tending the garden, cooking a meal – the most mundane tasks take on a sacred quality when they are performed with your total involvement, with love, and for their own sake, without thought of recognition or reward.”

Wherever you are in life is a gift; the easy times are for enjoyment, the hard times for growth, and the bits of in between to remind us that there is a bigger grace than ourselves out there. Accept them all, take what they offer in gratitude – all moments grow large this way.

Please feel free to write to me and share your thoughts at




Woman’s Day feast

Well gals, we celebrate our femininity, strength and depth on 9 August and the older I get the more I appreciate the girlfriends in my life – their understanding, compassion and deep wisdom. In remembrance of all the great women you know, why not invite a few of your girlfriends over for some oxytocin-releasing female fun in celebration of this day! This month’s recipes are geared towards easy entertainment, so take a break and enjoy nourishing yourself.

Pita wedges with walnut basil pesto and falafel

Buy any pita bread variety of your choice, heat them in the oven and cut them into wedges. I cut 6 wedges from one pita bread. You can add a whole variety of crudités and other dips of your choice. I know hummus is traditionally paired with falafel, but try the walnut basil pesto with it – it’s super yum!

Ingredients (walnut basil pesto)

100g walnuts

50g almonds

2 punnets of fresh basil leaves

30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

20ml apple cider vinegar

100ml olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 cloves of garlic

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper


Place all the ingredients in a mixing jug and blend together until smooth. You can add more olive oil or lemon juice if you like it a little runnier. If you don’t like walnuts, replace them with cashews.


Ingredients (falafel)

1 cup fresh chickpeas, soaked (not cooked) overnight and drained (canned chickpeas do not work for this recipe)

¼ cup chickpea flower

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¾ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Canola oil for frying


Mince the chickpeas in a food processor. Add the chickpea flower, baking powder, spices and herbs, and mix it all together with a wooden spoon. If you feel it is a little dry, add a tablespoon of hot water (but don’t do this until you’ve started rolling the balls to test). Allow the mixture to stand for 30-40 minutes and then roll lumps of it into falafel balls.

Heat the oil, (about 5cm deep); in a deep pan or wok over relatively high heat, turning them until they are golden brown and the flavour is released. Once ready drain the falafel balls on paper towels before serving.


Rosy dark chocolate cup cakes

Ingredients (cup cakes)

150g dark chocolate (Cadbury’s works just fine!)

250g vegan margarine (Cardin is fully vegan)

440g Agave Nectar sugar (it doesn’t spike sugar levels, but you can use castor sugar instead)

225g flour

35g self-raising flour

25g cocoa powder

2 heaped teaspoons Orgran egg replacer

5ml vanilla extract

250ml hot water

1 x tub Alpro Soy Chocolate pudding (available at most Pick ‘n Pays or Shoprite Checkers)


Preheat the oven to 180˚ Celsius and prepare the paper cupcake holders in a cupcake or muffin pan. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, margarine, sugar, water and vanilla extract and stir continuously while it melts over low heat. Once melted, remove from the stove and sift in the cocoa powder, flours and Orgran egg replacer. Mix together and add the tub of Alpro Soy Chocolate pudding. Pour mixture into each of the paper cupcake holders, (fill just over half), and bake for 40-50 minutes. Then allow to cool before icing.

Ingredients (icing)

400g dark chocolate

250g vegan margarine

80g icing sugar

50g cocoa powder


In a saucepan, melt the dark chocolate and margarine. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then beat with a wooden spoon. Your icing needs to be smooth and stiff or it won’t work in the cake icing unit.

Now fill a handheld cake icing unit with the icing, using a spiral-shaped nozzle to create the rose icing. Start from the outside, moving inwards. When you reach the middle, instead of spiralling inward and upward, move outward again to create the open rose effect.


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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