A few days ago I wrote about the yogic diet, which promotes a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains – what are called sattvic foods in the yogic philosophy. In yoga philosophy food is categorised in three ways, called the three gunas, which are sattvic, rajasic – foods that are too spicy will over stimulate the mind – and tamasic – foods and substances that one should avoid foods such as meat, mushrooms, alcohol and tobacco which can depress one’s body and mind.
One of the most lovely additions to my kitchen this year has been a book called The Kind Diet, which I just had to share! It is such a realistic book about incorporating veganism into your life, whether it is a meal a week or whether you want to become a fully fledged vegan. The book promotes eating natural and pure foods that will nourish our bodies; eating foods that are in season so that we are at one with nature; and eating foods that are vegan so that we do not hurt our animal friends. In every way it really is about having a kind diet – kind to you and kind to the world around you. The book is written by an all-american lady called Alicia Silverstone, who is an actress and who converted to veganism when her energy was low. She hasn’t looked back, and has found a way to make all her favourite foods using vegan ingredients.
The book is bursting with information about why veganism is important for ourselves and the planet, with plenty of statistics, information and medical evidence at the forefront of the book. My favourite part of the book however is when you get onto the delicious recipes that Alicia writes about, such as Moroccan Cous Cous with Saffron, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and Candied Ginger Pears. She even includes some recipes for home brew teas, such as the Cure-All Tea, Phlegm Fixer Tea, and Weight Loss Tea. The practical and easy-to read lay out of the book includes features such as an easy shopping list for you to take with you to the supermarket, and a weekly meal plan to show you how much variety you can have in a vegan diet – and pictures of handsome and beautiful vegan people and adorable animals to add further motivation!
I had a girlfriend for dinner recently and made the Ginger-Baked Tofu for dinner, which I served with a lemon rice and salad, and it was just delicious – even my omniverous friend agreed and certainly didn’t feel short changed for not having had meat or fish! Whilst it isn’t a sattvic recipe (as it includes ingredients such as vinegar) it is a good healthy wholesome meal that would be a good step for anyone who wanted to start incorporating vegan food into their life. Here is the recipe:
1 pound of firm tofu
1/3 cup shoyu
1 tablespoon toasted or untoasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes(optional)
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup (optional)
Finely chopped scallions for garnish (optional)
Cut the tofu in half width-wise, and place each half on its side then slice in half again. You will be left with 4 tofu “steaks”. Pour 3/4 cup of water into a bowl. Whisk in the shoyu, oil, ginger, garlic, vinegars, red-pepper flakes (if desired) and rice syrup, and pour over the tofu. An 8″ by 6″ Pyrex dish works perfectly. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375degrees. Either drain the baking dish of the majority of the marinade, or place the tofu on a baking sheet and baste with the marinade. Reserve the remaining marinade.
Bake the tofu for 15 – 20 minutes. Turn the tofu pieces with a spatula, baste again with the marinade, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes longer. Garnish with scallions if desired, and serve warm.
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I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it has brought me so much cooking inspiration and made me much more creative in the kitchen! If you would like to find out more or have a look at more recipes and articles related to the Kind Diet, then visit the associated website: www.thekindlife.com