Vegetarian Favorites from The Expanding Light Yoga Retreat
Create healthy, flavorful meals with an international flair!
The delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes in Global Kitchen are inspired by many of the world's most enjoyed culinary cultures: Italian, Thai, Indian and Chinese among others. Tried and true favorites, they have been served for many years, to many thousands of guests, at The Expanding Light yoga and meditation retreat, known for its great-tasting, healthful, vegetarian cuisine.
These guests have repeatedly urged The Expanding Light to create a cookbook that will enable them to prepare this same wonderful food at home. Now you, too, can experience the pleasure of cooking and eating exceptional meals. The Global Kitchen offers:
- Guidelines for making tasty, low-fat, meals
- Delicious dishes that are naturally satisfying
- Easy-to-find ingredients for quick shopping
- Uncomplicated recipes that bring out the natural flavor of foods
Blanche Agassy (Diksha) McCord was the head chef at The Expanding Light retreat for seven years, where she now teaches vegetarian cooking classes. She learned Kosher and vegetarian cooking while growing up in Israel, studied Japanese cooking while living in Kyoto, Japan, and learned Ayurvedic and Indian cooking from premier California chefs.
Dimensions: 8" x 5.25"
Details: Paperback, 203 pages
Author: Blanche Agassy (Diksha) McCord
I felt like a winner when I was asked to review Global Kitchen. Not only could I sample new recipes, but the author, Blanche Agassy McCord, manages the kitchen at The Expanding Light Yoga Retreat, a mere 30 minutes from my home. So when I phoned her, I received a gracious lunch invitation for the next day. As I'd already prepared and feasted on several of the cookbook's dishes, I looked forward to more gourmet pampering. And I'd have no dishes to wash!
Blanche is as friendly, nourishing, and straightforward as her recipes. Using easily available ingredients and simple cooking procedures, her book is palatable to both novices and seasoned chefs. Her dishes blend Ayurvedic and macrobiotic traditions with substantial vegetarian cuisine. By using little dairy and no sugar, Blanche prepares food that helps energize yogis while leaving them calmly centered.
Spiritual practice is the heart of Blanche's cooking. "I cook to be of service to others, and feel that food should enhance the flow of spirit that adds light and healing to our lives," she tells me. Chapter headings promote this belief by offering nutritional or attitudinal affirmations for radiant health and well-being. Each is even suitable for mealtime graces.
Blanche believes that color diversity assures nutritional balance. The splendid lunch I enjoyed was an artistic example of her philosophy: green Sunflower Kale salad, Quinoa Salad speckled with red peppers and parsley, white Navy Bean Spread, orange Carrot Pillows, and the reds and greens of a raw salad. Not only were my senses delighted, but I was nourished with a perfect balance of grains, protein, and fresh veggies.
With Blanche's palette theory in mind, I prepared a dinner of Tomato Basil Salad enhanced with artichoke hearts and black olives, Hummus with Whole-Wheat Sesame Crackers, Summer Rice Salad aglow with zucchini, red peppers, and corn, and the best-ever marinated and baked Maple Sesame Tofu. Instead of nutritional charts, balancing colors may be the new way to go.
At first I was disappointed that there was no dessert section in the book. I didn't think the bread chapter would be a good substitute, but my first mouthful of Zucchini Dessert Bread left me sweetly surprised. The bread was light yet luscious, so elegant a pastry that Blanche served it at her wedding. By using maple syrup and honey instead of sugar, Blanche offers lipsmacking goodies without adding jitters. Yeast bakers will also rejoice: the staff of life rises to new heights with Sun-Dried Tomato Bread, Spinach-Stuffed Bread, and Yam Cornbread.
Blanche also brims with practical advice. I appreciate knowing each recipe's approximate preparation time, and her seasonal suggestions helped deplete my embarrassingly abundant tomato harvest. And next time you wonder about the shapes of crescent-cut veggies or knotted bread, check out the illustrations at the end of the book. At last I know how to shape pillows!
Although you might not have the good fortune to eat lunch with Blanche like I did, you'll enjoy her through the cookbook. In person and on paper, she's a gracious yogi who packs wisdom, beauty, and vitality into every bite.
—Yoga International, Reviewed by Ronnie Paul
Every recipe we've tasted or made from this cookbook has been exceptional."
—Eric Glazzard, Manager, EarthSong Cafe, Northern California's all vegetarian cafe
"Blanche's mastery of natural cooking and delicious recipes are sure to improve your health and well-being."
—Marc Halpern, Founder and Director, California College of Ayurveda
Global Kitchen: Vegetarian Favorites from The Expanding Light Yoga Retreat, by Blanche McCord. Crystal Clarity. Naturally delicious and healthy vegetarian recipes from the Expanding Light yoga and meditation retreat.
"Blanches' creativity as a gourmet cook and her knowledge of the vegetarian diet has produced a wonderful book full of uniquely delicious recipes."
—Sue Loper-Powers, R.N., M.N.. F.N.P
The cookbook focuses on vegetarian cooking, featuring blends of ingredients anyone would enjoy. There are refreshing salads and tangy dressings, sauces and breads. The sections on vegetables and grains provide ideas for great side dishes and hearty main dishes.
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