I am delighted to share with you this fabulous cookbook, Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes by Sharon Gannon, founder of Jivamukti yoga and owner of Jivamuktea Cafe in New York City’s Union Square. You might be asking, What on earth is Jivamukti yoga?! Well, in 1984, along with David Life, Gannon created this type of yoga that combines hatha yoga and vinyasa-based-physical style yoga with adherence to five central tenets: shastra (scripture), bhakti (devotion), ahimsa (non-harming), nada (musis) and dhyana (meditation). Social activism, animal rights, veganism and environmentalism is also a major component to the practice.
“Jivamukti Yoga is a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings. Jiva mutki is a Sanskrit word that means to live liberated in joyful, musical harmony with the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us—we belong to the Earth. Let us celebrate our connection to life by not enslaving animals and exploiting the Earth, and attain freedom and happiness for ourselves in the process. For surely, the way to uplift our own lives is to do all we can to uplift the lives of others. Go vegan!”
Don’t be too fooled by the whimsical cover; Gannon takes veganism, her yoga and her recipes very serious. The forward, by the crazy, sexy vegan herself, Kris Carr, is an informative, poignant and compelling opening that highlights the importance of adopting a vegan diet for the health of humans, animals and Mother Earth. Gannon’s passion and heart comes through in the pages of her introduction, where she discusses her path to veganism and why it is so imperative for us to go vegan to not just better our health, but to save the animals and the planet. If you’re a longtime vegan, you may find it gets a little redundant, but for a new vegan, it’s such an awesome resource, especially when you might need a hand in explaining to others the importance of a vegan diet. Packed full of facts and figures, Gannon’s introduction should be read by every meat-eater on Earth. In addition to a plethora of recipes, Gannon also includes an informative FAQ section, Cooking Tips, what makes a well-stocked kitchen, 30 Sample Menus and how to do a 21-Day Cleanse.
As the title says, many of these recipes are very simple. The seasoned vegan might scoff at some of the simplicity of a few recipes like the Vegan BLT on page 238, or the “Toasts” chapter, but the beauty of these recipes, is that it shows new, or thinking-of-becoming, vegans who might have the misconception that veganism is difficult. There are plenty of unique recipes, however, that will challenge your taste buds and maybe even introduce you to flavors and ingredients you’ve never tried before. I’m anxious to try the Maharini Dal on page 61, the Spaghetti and “Meat Balls” on page 104 and the Hippy Carrot Cake on page 282. There’s something for everyone from tons of soup recipes, pastas, grains, sandwiches, desserts and lots more. With beautiful pictures throughout, this is a joyful and delicious cookbook to have.
So far, I have made . . .
Lemon-Lentil Soup, page 65
Oh, lentils! Love them! This soup, ladled over basmati rice is a flavorful, lemony dish that is easy to prepare.
Caesar Salad with Tempeh Croutons, page 128
Fabulous! The dressing is tangy and delicious and I love using sauteed tempeh as croutons.
Cornbread, page 256
Made with coconut milk, this cornbread is moist, delicious and ever-so fluffy! And talk about simple—it was ready in no time at all.
So, I’ll bet you want to win a copy for yourself, or for a friend, right? Well, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me why Simple Recipes for Joy would be the perfect addition to your cookbook library. (It also wouldn’t hurt to like my Facebook page, while you’re at it.) The cookbook will be released September 16th and I will giveaway a copy Friday, September 19th, so get your comments in by midnight, MST on Thursday, the 18th. Good luck!