Archive for the ‘gluten-free vegetarian recipes’ Category

Mahasri Yoga (www.mahasriyoga.com) is delighted to add three new, diverse recipes  including contributions from Kalyani Bapat (chole/chickpeas UP style) and Mary La Croce (cauliflower leek soup leaning toward the French-style). So many readers, from 80 countries, come to the blog and website looking for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and low-carb recipes.

Artichoke Garlic Cream is an elegant, inexpensive, versatile recipe. Use it as a dip, spread on crostini, or as a pesto with pasta. The recipe has just three ingredients and takes five minutes. It is vegan, gluten-free, and low-carb.

Kalyani’s Chole (chickpeas) takes a little time and effort (40 minutes) and the list of ingredients is filled with aromatic spices. Do not be put off by it because it really is easier that it looks and the results are well worth it. Indian kitchens will be well stocked with these spices. This is not the ubiquitous tomato-based chickpeas dish found everywhere. The recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and low-carb.

Mary’s Cauliflower Leek Soup is a substantial, flavorful, comforting soup. It is easy to make with a short list of ingredients and is gluten-free and vegan.

We have a new book review: Meditations from the Tantras by Swami Satyananda. The book will reveal the depth and diversity of yoga meditations that remain hidden from most yoga practitioners. Swami Satyananda generously shares transcripts from classes he taught.

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Loss of connection with family recipes within Indians in the Western world seems to be a frequent refrain now. Finding time to cook is a challenge and writing down recipes is challenging for the senior generation. Home cooking is rarely found in restaurants and the food is different. There is so much that goes along with family food–emotions, memories, cultural traditions, and most importantly, being connected with past generations in one continuous thread that spans time and continents.

Recipes were passed down through word-of-mouth and cooking was taught by mothers and mothers-in-law. Except for large-scale meals, pickles, and sweets/desserts, no one seemed to measure anything–a pinch of this, a dash of that, a fist of the other. In fact, when asked, the older generation finds measuring ingredients somewhat amusing. It slows down their cooking and inhibits creativity. Measuring messes up the dish and they cannot stand it. They would rather cook intuitively, feeling and smelling the food. It can be a form of meditation. I feel the same way for everyday cooking!

My mother was asked by the family to write down her wonderful recipes and she has done that with some foods as best she could. I am now slowly going through them and writing them as formal recipes so that my children and the younger generation can access the recipes and connect deeply with their roots. As this is an issue with many other families in the West, we hope others can connect with their grandparents through Hira’s  recipes as well. As Hira lived in different countries, her recipes often adapted and evolved to fit those environments, time, and a changing dietary outlook. In fact, the recipes section is becoming a miniscule catalog of traditional and contemporary cooking, rooted deeply in its rich past of Gujarati cooking.

We have added more of our family recipes to Mahasri Yoga– vegetarian, vegan, gluten free/slow carb–as they are so popular. Most are quick, simple, and require little fussing over a hot stove.

Asparagus Fried Rice is  light, bright and summery. With the addition of edamame, it makes a complete summer meal, perfect for lunch boxes. This recipe is vegan and gluten free.

Hira’s Cilantro Chutney has been very popular with our yoga group because of its clean, lemony flavor. It is exactly like making pesto and is so easy to make. Unlike many chutney recipes, my mother does not use sugar or onions. The recipe is vegan, gluten free, and slow carb.

Hira’s Saffron Yogurt (shrikhand) is a perfect, quick dessert or snack. Shrikhand is popular in India’s searing summer heat. It is thick, creamy, chilled yogurt infused with saffron and cardamom. It takes 5 minutes and there is no cooking involved. This recipe is gluten free.

Hira’s Spiced Cream of Wheat (upma) is different from other upma recipes as it has the consistency of mashed potatoes or soft polenta. It is delicately laced with mustard, ginger, chillies and is wonderful for brunch, or on the side instead of mashed potatoes.

Roasted Spiced Eggplant (baingan bharta/ringla no ollo) is infused with fennel, garlic, and cumin. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and slow carb.

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Spiced, roasted eggplant makes a fragrant and flavorful bhartha (mashed). In this recipe, Roasted Spiced Eggplant, all the vegetables are first oven roasted (can use the grill as well) for more flavor. This also reduces the amount of oil in the dish.

It carries well in a lunch box and can be eaten at room temperature. As more people come looking for slow carb vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free recipes, this may be a good addition.

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Two new pranayama (breathing) audio tracks have been added to www.mahasriyoga.com: Samavritti Pranayama (equal inhalation and exhalation) and Deepening Body Awareness in Gujarati. Both breathing practices are calming and clear mental space. In 10-15 minutes of meditative breathing, they make the mind stop racing with thoughts and give a much-needed break from the constant mental treadmill. They are suggested for stress and anxiety as well as insomnia or difficulty in sleeping.

New recipes added are: Apricot Peach Crumble and Hira’s Kadhi ( a yogurt-based traditional Gujarati recipe) eaten with rice or khitchdi (rice and mung porridge).

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Here are some recipes for gluten-free vegetarian soups that offer a diversity of vegetables and flavors.  Everyone can enjoy them!

Cauliflower Cheese Soup: If you like cheese fondue, you will enjoy this soup. It is good without the cheese as well. You can easily make it with broccoli also.

Celery Parsley Soup: We used to make this soup with just celery. Then one day, there was some parsley in the fridge that needed to be used. It ended up in the soup and we really enjoyed it.

Corn Tortilla Soup: This is the most popular soup with our Indian families and friends. The Mexican flavors are close to Indian flavors, yet different.

Curried Squash Soup: A quick easy soup, it is creamy and light with Thai flavors. Just make sure the curried powder is gluten-free.

Gazpacho: During the hot summer months, most of us enjoy a bowl of chilled gazpacho that requires no cooking.

Agashiye’s Winter Squash Soup: This light, subtly flavored soup from the outstanding restaurant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is soothing and comforting.

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As requested, here are some specific recipes for vegetarians and vegans. They also happen to be gluten-free. Slow-carb seems to be an easier diet to follow as it allows unlimited amounts of beans and vegetables. The two are a big part of an Indian/vegan diet and the dishes can be as spicy or bland as one chooses. All the recipes are not Indian. These dishes can be packed for lunch as well and are good in the fridge for 3-4 days. None of them are time-consuming to prepare and they have minimal clean-up afterwards.

Goolloo’s Edamame Stew is a one-pot Parsi dish with spinach and tomatoes–everything in one bowl for a slow-carb meal.

Fava Bean Salad is a quick Middle Eastern style dish, perfect in warm weather. Pinto, kidney, and cannelini beans can also be used.

Kidney Beans in Fennel Sauce gives the option of Italian or Indian flavors.

Vegetarian Chilli is a one-pot meal with Mexican flavors and lots of different textures and colors as it uses different beans and bell peppers. Make it as spicy, or not, as you wish.

Rice and Black Beans is a quick 15-minute dish and the recipe is for canned black beans. You can just cook the beans. The flavors are Mexican but could easily be Indian as well. The two are sometimes the same!

Black Bean, Corn, Tomato Salad may not qualify for slow-carb because of the corn. But on a weekend, it can still be a great summer dish sitting in the fridge for easy nibbling all weekend.

In these recipes many different beans are used so there is a lot of variety: edamame, fava, pinto, kidney, cannelini, and black beans. More recipes are added periodically.

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Tim Ferriss seems to have made the slow-carb diet popular with vegetarians. But many have been wondering about vegetarian recipes for a slow-carb diet thinking that perhaps they are limited. There are so many vegetarian and vegan options for everyone.

To start off, there are several recipes on mahasriyoga.com/recipes.  Most of the dal (split and often hulled beans which are easier to digest than whole beans), beans, and vegetable recipes are slow-carb. The new additions are  colorful Vegetarian Chilli and Moroccan Vegetables. Indian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisines can work really well for vegetarians. Indian crepes made with yellow gram dal or pureed beans  and dals are good slow-carb “breads.”  We made many variations when our home was gluten-free for a few years.

If you have a favorite recipe to share, please do share it. I know some of you are amazing but shy cooks! The New York Times often has creative recipes and I really enjoy looking at the ones on the BBC website as well as The Guardian at guardian.co.uk.

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Spring brings important holidays: Easter, Passover, Holi. For yogis, it is the Spring ritual of a thorough cleaning, or detoxification, of the body and mind. Detoxifying the digestive system is an important step. The next two posts will be on the detoxification of the respiratory system and the mind.

For digestive cleansing, there are a number of options in yoga:

Yoga for gentle cleansing and detox of the digestive system: Gentle cleansing can be done by eating a little more sparingly than normal and consuming mainly fruits, vegetables, and a little whole grain. Consume a comfortable amount of room-temperature water in between meals. To stimulate and invigorate the digestive system and peristalsis, gentle rowing and grinding pawanmuktasana exercises along with gentle spinal twists  (Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha) are helpful. Other  movements, such as modified surya namaskar or sun salutations  are also beneficial (see chair yoga). This can be done for several days.

Yoga for moderate cleansing and detox of the digestive system: Clean out the digestive tract with any suitable detoxification system with fiber and mild laxatives. Asanas recommended for laghoo shankhprakhshalan (see below) can be added as an independent practice to help invigorate the digestive system and stimulate peristalsis.

Yoga for intensive cleansing and detox of the digestive system: Laghoo shankhprakhshalana is for those who are comfortable with the practice. The details are in the book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.

Vigorous physical activity or asana practice during the digestive cleansing and detoxification phase is not recommended. During the cleansing process, it is better to avoid food that is spicy, salty, very sweet, fried, and non-vegetarian food. Lighter dals (split and hulled legumes) are easier on the system than beans and the most recommended dal is mung (click on the link to go directly to the recipe).

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