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Food: Living in Grace.

December 1, 2011

Dear Yogis

Silly Season is upon us. And sure, the whole festive season has become commercialized but it remains a time of giving and reconnecting with friends, family and oneself. I was recently reminded by my teacher that the only thing that is real is that which is eternal, and that is awareness. That awareness resides in all of us. It is our true nature, the oneness and sameness that connects us with every single thing in the universe. It is the peace that passes all understanding, that which is unborn and cannot die, that which remains forever unchanging, that which is limitless and unaffected by what appears to be chaos all around. It is that same awareness that looks through your eyes and allows you to behold beauty that also shines through the eyes of your friend and foe alike. If we remember who we truly are in this season, we will find ourselves compassionate, full of wonder, able to forgive, open and trusting, knowing that all is as it should be. Nothing in this universe is incidental. Everything has been designed for the sole purpose that we may wake up to our own nature and enjoy the beauty that is the self. Isn’t that something?

May the end of 2011 be a time of awakening, a time of rest, a time of gratitude for all that has been. If you were blessed, it was a gift. If you suffered hardship, that too was a gift. Everything has been designed exactly right so that we may move closer to knowing and understanding that we are already whole and complete.

Namaste`

Chantelle.

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A Christmas Feast!

Christmas Mocktail

Try this drink as a non-alcoholic alternative at your Christmas lunch – it is filled with festive taste and colour. As usual, it is nutritious to boot, but don’t worry, nobody will notice.

Ingredients

500ml organic coconut milk

400g fresh strawberries

400g watermelon

400g pineapple

Handful dried buchu leaves

Method

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill the mocktail for about half an hour before serving in cocktail glasses.

More-ish Mushroom Alfredo

This dish is a hit wherever it goes; rich in flavour, yet light on the palate and stomach. It’s raw so it won’t leave you feeling tamasic but at the same time it’s surprisingly filling.

Ingredients

  • Marinated Mushrooms
  • 2 punnets shiitake mushrooms, shredded unevenly by hand
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1cm fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ chili, minced (optional)

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 2 large lemons, or 3 or 4 smaller ones
  • 150ml water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salad

  • 2 packets of spinach, chopped into thin strips
  • 1 packet zucchini, julienne cut

Method

Mix the mushrooms into the marinade and allow it to stand for at least half an hour.

To make the Alfredo sauce, start by chopping up the nuts in a food processor. Now transfer the nuts to a blender, adding the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. In a bowl, mix half the sauce with the zucchini and allow marinading for 10-15 minutes.

Now place the chopped spinach in bowls and pour the rest of the Alfredo sauce on top. Divide the mushrooms into half and use one half as a layer on top of the spinach. Next, scoop some zucchini on top of the mushrooms and then add a last layer of mushrooms on top of the zucchini. Garnish with parsley and dry pan roasted pine nuts. You can serve this meal with crisped ciabatta if you like.

The Most Amazing Unbaked Christmas Cake EVER!

Truly, this cake will make you want to celebrate Christmas every day! I made it for friends to try a  few weeks ago, (I was experimenting for the newsletter), and they all begged me for the recipe. Try it, love it, and spread the word. You won’t believe how good this is and it’s raw, (well, except for the maraschino cherries, but you can use fresh cherries if you prefer), which means it’s all good for you! Yippee! This Christmas lunch could be your first healthy guilt-free one too. Go on, have another slice.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups pecan nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 12 fresh medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 8 maraschino cherries, quartered

Icing

  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½   cup cashews
  • ½ cup Lucuma powder (available from health shops – this is the ingredient that makes the dish so be sure to add it)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • ¼  tsp vanilla powder

Method

Place all the cake ingredients, except the maraschino cherries, in a food processor and blend until it becomes the consistency of a baked cake, (the ‘batter’ will start caking together). Now place the batter in a bowl and fold the cherries in by hand. Mold the cake in a bowl, (first oil the bowl lightly with warm coconut oil so that the batter releases), and place on a plate. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

Clean the food processor and chop up the nuts. Now transfer the nuts into a blender and mix in the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes so that it thickens. Cover the cake and use the leftover mixture to make white chocolates. Simply pour the mixture into moulds and place in the freezer, also placing the cake in the fridge. Use the white chocolates and leftover maraschino cherries to decorate the cake and place a Santa Claus, Christmas tree or any other Christmas decoration on top of the cake. Serve with warm tea.

______________________________________________

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 veganism.chants_za@yahoo.com

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