Last night I had the great pleasure of meeting Talya Lutzker during a cooking demo and book signing for her new cookbook “The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen”. I found out about this event from an article in the Santa Cruz Weekly, and was really excited to see how Ayurveda and veganism would be presented. I wasn’t familiar with her work, but it didn’t take long to realize that she is quite loved by many. After only a few minutes into her cooking demo, I could see why. Not only is she knowledgeable, funny, and humble, you can tell she truly loves what she does. Her passion for food that is both good tasting and good for you radiates off of her as she speaks. In the end I was so glad I attended as I learned about a few new foods (mesquite powder) and new uses for foods (tahini in desserts).
I spent some time today with the cookbook and all I can say is, “WOW!” I haven’t enjoyed and been so excited about a cookbook like this before. This book gives a clear summary of what Ayurveda is, revisits some practical advise, and is full of information regarding the properties of specific foods. Even if you aren’t into Ayurveda, you will certainly benefit from knowing more about the foods you choose to put in your body and how they interact with your body. The recipes are so amazingly beautiful. Each ingredient seems to have been chosen with great care and attention, so as to bring out the very best in, not only the individual ingredients, but the end result as a whole. What I really enjoy is that some recipes can be made in batches, and she indicates how long the finished product will keep. This is VERY helpful for someone like me who has a busy work/school schedule. I encourage you to read a few preview pages of the book at Amazon.com to see for yourself.
So needless to say I am really looking forward to trying more than a few of these recipes. This is saying a lot since I am quite the lazy cook. Knowing the health properties of the foods I use really adds a whole new perspective to the cooking/eating experience. Instead of just eating to live or for enjoyment, it expands into a conscious choosing to nourish myself and listening to what my body needs. I suppose this cookbook is helping me to shift from understanding eating as a something I do, to understanding eating as a relationship with myself and the foods I choose.
To learn more about Talya Lutzer, stop by her website and YouTube channel. Her blog and videos will give you a good idea of why she is such a pleasure to be around. There are also a few recipes to be found there as well (not all are vegan, but many are). I hope you are just as excited as I am to get cooking Vegan and Ayurvedic style!