Saturday, July 10, 2010


Last night’s potluck was great! Travelling up to Shala North via public transit was half the fun. ;-) I packed the dessert-y things into plastic tubs, which fit into my large knapsack, along with the plates and serving spoons. I heated the stew at home, then sealed the pot lid with plastic wrap and wrapped the whole thing up in a towel, which I then carried in a canvas bag (it was still warm when I arrived).

I lugged all of this onto the subway, during rush hour, with one transfer! I know Ganesha was looking out for me, because I got a good seat on the northbound train! Thank you, Ganesha!

The food at this shindig was amazing! I ate and ate and ate and ate, then ate some more. There wasn’t a single untasty thing on that table. I’m glad I brought the vegan stew! At the time, it seemed like such a dull thing to bring to a party, but when I arrived, it was one of the few entrees and everyone enjoyed it.

(Before I forget - Does anyone know who brought the Vegan Carrot Cake? Can I get the recipe? Or find out where it was purchased? It was *amazing*)

But as amazing as the food was, the people made the party! I had a great time talking with everyone. After the unbearable heat of the past week, the coolish air on the balcony was the best thing ever and I basked in the breeze and the great conversation. What did we talk about? All sort of things, but I specifically remember a long and involved conversation about various injuries and openings. ;-) Talking about this practice is endlessly fascinating to me. This was definitely an Astanga party! ;-)

DR and S were there with their beautiful baby boy and it was an honour to meet him. He’s such a chill little dude! He’s a calm and happy baby and didn’t fuss at all as he was passed around the party from person to person, like a baby-bucket-brigade. S looks fantastic - she’s a serene and confident mom. DR is SO in love with his baby son - it was incredibly cute watching him with that baby!

It was dark when I finally headed home and that was a bit disorienting for me! For the past few months, I’ve been going to bed before dark. I felt like a rollicking party animal walking home from the subway at 10:30! *rowr*

As promised, here are the recipes for the treats I brought to Shala North Potluck:

Vegan Stew


1 cup of tomato juice or vegetable juice

1 cup water

2 cans of Italian-style stewed tomatoes

1 can of chick peas

3 medium potatoes, unpeeled and cubed

1 large onion, chopped

1 each, green and red peppers, seeded and chopped

3 medium carrots, cut into julienne strips

2 tablespoons of chili powder

Additional Ingredients:

(Add during the last few minutes of cooking time)

1 package of frozen spinach (thawed)

2 tablespoons of chili powder

2 teaspoons of basil leaves

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

In a large pot or crock pot, combine all ingredients. A crock pot can be left overnight, or about 8 hours, on the ‘high’ heat setting. If cooking on the stovetop, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and cover, allowing it to simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the additional spices and spinach during the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffins


3/4 cup soy milk (unsweetened is best)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 medium ripe banana, mashed

2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or chopped almonds (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 deg. F (205 deg. C.). Grease 12 medium muffin cups.

2. Gradually stir the oil into the mashed banana, then add soy milk and mix thoroughly (it will be a bit lumpy)

3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl, then stir in the wet mixture until just combined (don’t overmix!)

4. Fold in apples and raisins.

5. Divide batter equally among the muffin cups.

6. Bake until the tops begin to brown slightly, about 17 - 20 minutes.

7. Immediately remove from the pan, allow to cool.

Gluten-free Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

These are so easy, it’s almost scandalous! They are moist and rich!


Bob ‘Red Mill’ Gluten Free Brownie Mix

Egg Replacer, equivalent to 1 egg

3/4 cup of vegan margarine

1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips

Follow the directions on the bag. :-D I bake them for the full 25 minutes because they’re too gooey otherwise.

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

I follow this recipe to the letter. It’s never let me down! Vegan chocolate chips make them 100 times better!

Scrum-diddly-umptious Vegan Brownies

Vegan Blueberry Crumbles

I found this recipe on the amazing Vegan Thyme Blog. I’ve been dying to try these and they didn’t disappoint!

The ingredient list looks kind of overwhelming, but they’re super-fast to bake up:

Blueberry Crumb Bars


Practice report, plus more food, more fun!:

This afternoon, I had the great privilege of attending Shala South’s 10th anniversary celebration. Though I’m not a regular part of the Shala South community, I’ve enjoyed the classes I’ve attended there and I have great respect for the skill of their teachers. It’s a great community! It was so much fun seeing familiar faces. Their warm welcome made me feel right at home.

The party started with a 2-hour long yoga class, led by various Shala South teachers. It was incredible moving to practice with 150 people as the different voices led us through the postures. I had a rich and satisfying practice. When DB took the microphone to lead us through the finishing poses, my whole body fell into ease. I just love her teaching! It was also fun to be led through some asana by my chanting/philosophy teacher. I can’t believe I’ve never been to one of her yoga classes! She’s really terrific!

The practice was followed by still more stunning vegan food (this has been an EPIC weekend for food!). I enjoyed hanging out with my blog-reader-turned-friend, S and meeting some new people too.

By far the best part of the evening was meeting M, a blog reader, who came over to introduce herself. She wasn’t sure she recognised me until...wait for it...I came into Urdhva Dhanurasana during the class and then she *knew* it was me! (all of those State-of-the-Backbend photos!!!) It was such a pleasure to just sit and chat, sharing thoughts about the practice and our experiences in various Mysore rooms around the city.

At one point it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be there, talking and sharing with these amazing women, if it wasn’t for this blog! I’m very grateful for technology and the Cybershala for helping me to build real-life community right here in my own city. My practice is enriched by these encounters.


Arturo said...

dear Kai
thanks for the vegan stew recipe. it sounds yummy. i think that high setting would burn my stew overnight. but it could be because we have 220v here. my crock pot nearly burns my daily porridge (rice/millet/barley)

Kristi said...

Wown, that sounds like a fabulous weekend and thank you for sharing those recipes! I am going to try the vegan stew. I wonder if it would be okay without potatoes -- what do you think? I am not eating potatoes or starches at the moment.

new blog URL below ;-)

Kaivalya said...

I'm sure you could replace the potatoes with another yummy vegetable. For some reason, cauliflower came to mind! Another option is to add extra beans. Kidney beans are great in this stew, as are lentils.

You can also just cook it on the stovetop.

Anonymous said...

Awww! Thank you! It was great to meet the woman behind the story, so to speak, and I will look forward to vinyasa clean up in the next few months. As always, I'll be reading and practicing alongside your cyberspace. (This is M.)