Vegan food recipes to share with the world.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Soup with Mac and Cheese. Yay Comfort Food!

Another yummy meal was made thanks to my never-ending roving of vegan and veggie blogs. This time I made a lovely tomatoey roasted garlic and white bean soup. Found in the Veganomican, the best thing about this soup is that there was just so much left over. It fed us both for a week! I loved the taste of two whole bulbs of roasted garlic. Even roasting them was a pleasure. I love the smell of it wafting around the house.

To accompany the soup I made vegan mac and cheese found on the Vive Le Vegan blog. Such a great source for easy vegan recipes. This pasta was really intriguing due to its "cheese" sauce made of brazil and cashew nuts. When following this recipe trust what is said about the pasta. It won't look like you have enough, but you will. The soupy consitancy of the sauce thickens and soaks up in the oven. But as you can see here I way overdid it on the bread crumbs. I think this would have been a fantastic Mac and Cheese, but unfortunately the bread crumb overload made it super dry. After brushing some off though I really was able to enjoy the nutty tast of the sauce. You will enjoy this! I'm so grateful to all the blogs written by vegan chefs out there. They provide an endless amount of nutritious and usually tasty meals. I can't wait to go online and find out what the next culinary experiment will be!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sanskrit 101

Well, it's been a while...A couple of weeks ago I spent an amazing weekend learning the Sanskrit alphabet. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages and today is mostly visible in Hindu and Buddhist texts. But was also used widely in scientific and medical texts as well. It is the language of yoga and yogic mantras. I shared a glorious 3 days with friends of mine from the Breathing Project, the school where we take certification classes, getting familiar with the sacred sounds.

Jo Brill, who was trained at the American Institute for Sanskrit, was our guide through the beautiful ancient language. I can't praise her enough as a teacher. She broke down our ego-ridden barriers and helped us open to the joyful experience of pure sound. With unfailing patience and grace, Jo taught us to recite the Sanskrit alphabet (a beautiful mantra in itself) and read a little out loud. I was transported to the excitement I felt as a child when presented with something new to learn. To facilitate this process Jo did not allow us to take notes. We had no choice but to focus entirely on the sounds/knowledge being transmitted to us. I have to admit to having some anxiety about note taking. I thought, "I don't know how else to learn."

Perhaps this is the one lesson I am most grateful to Jo for teaching us. I never realized how limited I thought my capacity for learning was. I also never saw how instead of bathing in the present moment of enlightenment when learning something new I sought to greedily capture the words that I thought represented that wisdom. Capture them in a book, as if that would keep them with me forever. As I look back on all the books and papers I've kept from College and try to remember everything in them I realize how false and unhelpful this method has been. Don't get me wrong. I will continue to take notes, but will also trust that I have the ability to learn and retain information on multiple, previously undiscovered levels. Thanks Jo!

It was a little bitter sweet also. I was reminded in this weekend how much I would love to go back to school and get my doctorate in Religious Studies. But as a wise friend pointed out, "Why waste so many years in school if you don't want to teach?" So true. I'm learning to keep my academic passions and turn them into personal hobbies. See? All better...well, maybe someday I'll go back to class. Regardless, it was a most lovely weekend I shall treasure forever!