Tuesday, November 17, 2015

For the Love of Food and Yoga

It's not often that I'll review a cookbook that isn't 100-percent vegan. Well, tonight's review features a vegetarian cookbook, so some of the recipes contain dairy products. But I wanted to review For the Love of Food and Yoga: A Celebration of Mindful Eating and Being because it's not just a cookbook. It's a yoga book. And I'm really into yoga these days.

This hard-cover, full-cover book was written by yoga teacher by Liz-Price Kellogg and her student Kristin Taylor. It's both cookbook — filled with a mix of vegan, vegetarian, and raw recipes — and yoga book — peppered with gorgeous photos of the authors in various asanas. The yoga posture pages include a description of each pose and what it does for the mind and body. For example, the photo of Liz and Kristin in Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand) mentions that it is "liberating, stimulates the nervous system, brings clarity, king of all poses."

I love the yoga portion of the book because, even though I've been doing yoga for years, I'm still trying to learn all the Sanskrit names for postures. But the recipes are pretty awesome too. As I mentioned, not all are vegan. But for the most part, the only non-vegan ingredients are cheese, honey, milk chocolate, and Greek yogurt. All of those things are easily subbed out with vegan versions.

Even though so many of the recipes are unique and inventive, for some reason, I was stuck on trying the Liberating Lentil Soup. It was simple and pretty basic but so satisfying as the days grow cooler.

Brown lentils and greens (I used turnip greens) provide an earthy flavor, but the tart apple in the dish adds just a touch of sweetness. I'd never used apple in lentil soup before, but it makes so much sense. This was delicious with a side of crusty garlic bread.

I wanted to try one of the drinks from the Fountains of Youth chapter, too. Mostly because I love the name of the chapter. It's filled with smoothies, healthy shakes, and other health drinks. I picked the Bloody Merry (yes, they spell it that way), an alcohol-free veggie smoothie. 

The base of this is tomatoes and celery, and there's added ginger, horseradish, flax oil, lemon, garlic, and spices. Rather than using a juicer, you put everything in a blender. The flavor is great, just like some of my favorite veggie juices. But the texture was thick like a smoothie. That was kind of weird, I'll admit. I'd have preferred this same combo in my juicer rather than in my Vitamix. But nonetheless, I felt super-healthy for drinking this before my yoga session one morning.

There are so many great vegan and veganizable recipes in this book! I'd also love to try the Sweet Potato Boats (sweet p's with black bean salsa and a yogurt dressing that could easily be veganized) and the Happy Pig Banh Mi (made with tempeh, slaw, and pickled veggies). Other recipes that caught my eye: Raw Deal Cashew Corn Chowder (made with cashew cream), the Karma Kale Caesar (with dried cherries!), and the Chakra Fruit Salad (because it's pretty!)

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