By Life Positive November 1999 According to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Center, founded by Swami Vishnu-devananda, the body gets the energy it needs through prana, air, water and food. A yogic diet, which takes into account the subtle effect food has on the mind and the prana, consists of pure and natural foods that promote good health and optimum vitality. Also, in yogic philosophy, the mind is formed from the subtlest portion or essence of food. If the food taken is pure, it provides the proper building material for the mind, brings inner peace and encourages spiritual progress. Here are some recipes from the Sivananda center's first intercontinental cookbook, The Yoga Cookbook. These recipes have been compiled by various branches of the center around the world, and are in accordance with the ancient philosophy of yoga and Vedanta. PAPAYA ZING A delicious and refreshing drink to serve as a start or finish to the meal. Papaya has a sweet and slightly bitter taste and provides a wonderful source of digestive enzymes. Its effect on both body and mind is calming. Ingredients Ripe papaya-1 pound (peeled, seeded and cut into chunks) Papaya seeds-1 tbs Fresh lime or lemon juice-2 tsp A pinch of ground allspice Fresh orange juice- cup Honey (optional)-2 tsp Buttermilk or soy milk-1 cup Lime or lemon slices, to decorate Method Put all the ingredients, except the decoration, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for some time. To serve, pour into individual glasses and decorate with slices of lime or lemon and a few of the delicious, peppery papaya seeds. ROASTED TOMATO SOUP A simple, wholesome and pure soup, it helps maintain physical health and mental equilibrium. Roasting the tomatoes first adds an exotic flavour to the soup. Ingredients Tomatoes-1 pound Oil-2 tbs Red bell pepper-1 (cored, seeded, chopped) Carrot-1 (grated) Celery-2 sticks (sliced) Oregano-1 tbs (fresh and chopped ) Basil-1 tbs (torn fresh) or 1 tsp (dried) Hot water-3 cups Salt-1 tsp Pepper- tsp Garnish-Basil and oregano leaves Method Heat the oven to 400 F and roast the tomatoes until the skins fall away. Peel and chop them. Heat oil and saut the bell pepper, carrot and celery. Add the oregano and basil. Cook for a few minutes. Add water and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Blend and serve with garnish. STOVETOP MILLET CAKES These cakes are like thick pancakes. They make a full meal when served with tomato sauce or salsa, steamed vegetables and a mixed salad. The cakes can be reheated in a toaster. Serves four to six. Ingredients Millet-2 cups Water-1 quart A pinch of salt Zucchini-1 1/3 cups (chopped) Lemon zest-1 tsp (grated) Whole wheat flour-3 tbs Oil-2 tbs Tofu-7 ounces (crumbled) Method Place the millet in a large pan with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the zucchini, bring back to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Leave to cool. When cold, mash the millet and zucchini. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to make a thick batter. Add a little extra water, if necessary. Heat a lightly oiled, large skillet. Cook two or three cakes at a time. For each one, place a handful of millet into the pan and press it down with a wet metal spatula. Cook over medium heat for three to four minutes on each side, till the cakes turn golden brown. Keep warm until they are all cooked. TOFU QUICHE A delightful recipe, the quiche can be made a little before supper time and served warm or cool. Serves four to six. IngredientsPastry Dough Whole wheat flour-1 2/3 cups Corn oil- cup Sesame seeds-1 tbs Mineral water-6 tbs (chilled) Filling Oil-2 tbs Vegetables-12 ounces (sliced) Zucchini-2/3 cup (thinly sliced) Firm tofu-9 ounces Water- cup plus two tbs Tamari-2 tbs Red bell pepper-1 (sliced into rings, cored and seeded) Parsley sprigs to garnish. Method Combine the flour and corn oil, then stir in the sesame seeds. make a soft dough with water. Keep it aside for 30 minutes. heat the oven to 400 F. heat the oil and saut the vegetables. Set aside. Roll out the dough and arrange in a nine-inch tart pan. Put the sliced zucchini on the dough and sauted vegetables on top. Put the tofu, water and tamari in a food processor or blender and blend. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and arrange the red pepper slices on top. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold, garnished with sprigs of parsley. BABA GANOUSH Ingredients Eggplant-1 large Tahini-2 tbs Olive oil-2 tbs Juice of one lemon Salt and pepper to taste Paprika Mint or parsley-2 to 3 sprigs Pita bread to serve (optional) Method Heat the oven to 375 F. Prick the eggplant with a fork to prevent the skin from bursting, then place it in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 45 - 60 minutes, or until the flesh inside is soft. Now leave the eggplant to cool, then peel it. Mash the flesh, leaving it in a strainer for a few minutes to drain off excess juice. When drained, transfer it to a bowl. Beat the tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice together and stir it into the eggplant puree, mixing thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little paprika over the top and garnish with chopped mint or parsley. If serving as a dip, serve with pita bread. BANANA-NUT TART Bananas are especially beneficial for yoga practitioners, as they are said to increase humility and calmness. Serves eight. Piecrust Rolled oats-2 cups Whole wheat flour-1 cups Honey or date syrup-1 tbs Oil-2/3 cup Sunflower seeds- 2 1/3 cups Filling Cashew nuts-1 cups Pitted dates-5 ounces Water-4 cups Arrowroot-2 tbs Orange zest-1 tsp (grated) Vanilla extract-1 tsp Bananas-2, plus slices Walnuts-1 cups (chopped) Method Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a tart pan. For the piecrust, mix all ingredients together, adding a little water. Spread the mixture evenly in the greased pan. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. To make the filling, put all ingredients, except the bananas and walnuts, in a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pan and cook over low heat until thick. Leave to cool. Put slices of two bananas in the pie shell. Pour the filling on top and decorate with banana slices and nuts. Chill until set.
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