Kali, the Goddess of Time and Transformation

"The whole Maya is in the Kitchen. 
A kitchen is the best training ground or school for developing
tolerance, endurance,forbearance, mercy, sympathy,
love, adaptability, and the spirit of real Service
for purifying one's heart
and for realizing the Oneness of Life. 
Every aspirant should know how to cook well."

~Swami Sivananda~

The ideal diet for a Yogi is sattvic.  Fresh vegetarian foods full of prana promote a healthy body and mind and make the internal and external practices of Yoga SO much easier!

Swami Vishnudevananda condensed the vast wisdom of yoga into five basic principles
  • Proper Exercise
  • Proper Breathing
  • Proper Relaxation
  • Positive Thinking and Meditation
  • and Proper Diet
You can find lots of yummy recipes from the worldwide Sivananda Yoga community here

If you'd like to serve more vegetarian meals to your family and friends (especially those who think a vegetarian diet is "boring") check out the great nutritional information and tips in this Vegetarian Starter Kit and the extensive collection of recipes at Vegetarian Times Magazine.

In addition to the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, one vegetarian meal a day or one meat-less day a week can help reduce our environmental "food-print"!

Check out this article from the David Suzuki Foundation on how 96% of Canadians could help the environment by making just a few small changes in their eating habits. 

A vegetarian meal plan can even save you money!  Check out this great post, also from the David Suzuki Foundation called How to Start a Soup Club

We are what we eat. 

When we eat with ahimsa (non-violence to ourselves and others) and gratitude for what we receive; when we offer our food and our thanks before eating, the food becomes Prasad

In short, Prasad is the remnants of offerings which are distributed to the members of the Sangha (spiritual community) at the end of a Puja, Homa, or Satsang

It may instead be flowers or other offerings blessed by the company of the wise, or by a deity, saint or Guru.  They are eaten or worn by the student or devotee to absorb the divine energy, or grace of the blessings. 

Prasad is also a mental condition of clarity and equanimity, as in Yoga Sutra 1.33:

"Maitrikarunamuditupekshanam sukhadukha
 punyapunya vishayanam chitta prasadanam"

"The mind becomes like prasad: sweet, clear and empowered,
when the four infinite thoughts are perfected."

I like to offer fruit, flowers or some sweet prasad at the end of my classes whenever I can, offering my thanks to the students for the sweetness of their company, and the opportunity to share the teachings. 

Here are a few of my original recipes from Kali's Kitchen to enjoy! 

I'll keep adding to the list, so come back and check again soon!


Chai is almost a universal word for tea, generally served sweet and spiced and milky...

Teabag or loose tea
Chai spices (whole spices or packaged, ground "Chai Masala" mix from your favorite Indian Grocer)
Milk or cream, or your favorite dairy substitute
Sugar, jaggery, agave, honey, or your own favorite sweetener

Traditionally, black tea is boiled with whole spices like cinnamon, clove, anise, and black pepper for a long time to make a deliciously potent blend.  Mostly, I tend to just steep the teabag (you can get good "chai" teas all over the place) and add milk and sweetener to taste.  Delicious warm or iced.

The Coconut Palm - The Tree of Life

Coconut Smoothies:

More and more, and for lots of reasons, I'm ditchin' the dairy!  My favorite alternative these days is coconut milk - light, sweet, low in fat and calories - altogether better for you than 2%! 

In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as the "Tree of Life" for it's remarkable nourishment in every form from the young juice and jelly to the brown mature shell containing firm white "meat" and sweet, sweet "milk". 

Coconut milk (I love So Delicious Vanilla!)
Frozen fruit
Optional - sweetener

Put frozen fruit in a blender with enough coconut milk to generously cover.  Add a little sweetener if you like, or substitute 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 your favorite juice.  Any combination is delicious!

Feasting at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas
Middle Eastern Feast: 

For a simple supper, snack or a celebration feast, these recipes can be easily adapted and embellished. 

I have chosen not to use onion or garlic here as a tribute to my Middle Eastern yogi-friends at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas who inspire me with their recipes, hard work, dedication, and sweet loving spirits.  They have turned me onto many lovely things, including mint in savory dishes, and lively uplifting songs which must surely aid digestion!

Israeli Salad

Lemon juice
Mint leaves

Finely chop equal amounts of the tomato and cucumber and dress simply with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Roughly chop or tear a small handful of mint leaves and combine.  Many Israeli Salad recipes use parsley which of course is delicious, but for me the mint is what makes it taste like "hOMe"!

You can serve this salad as is, or with Tahina Sauce as a dressing.

Tahina Sauce

Tahini (Sesame Paste)
Lemon juice

Put a blob of tahini in a bowl with a little lemon juice and salt.  Add a little warm water and stir with a fork.  The tahini will change consistency considerably from peanut-butter-sticky to creamy smooth.  You can continue to add warm water until you get the consistency you like.  It should still be kind of thickish but runny enough to pour off a spoon.

And since you're on a roll, you might as well round out the meal with some protein...


1 can of chickpeas (or cook them from dried)
Lemon juice

Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  Put them in a tall vessel (I use my old grad mug haha!) with a little lemon juice and some water to cover.  Add tahini and salt and blend with a handblender until smooth.  Amounts for each ingredient vary to taste.

Serve this feast with the freshest pitas you can find. 

For me, no pita can compare to the fluffy soft ones Brahmachari Shankar bakes fresh in the kitchen of the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas.  But around here I get mine from Al Salam Pita where they bake them in-store (great restaraunt there too with amaaaaazing falafel...).

I like to serve something sour or salty with this, some nice olives maybe...

Or Persian pickles from Mini-SuperPars, the only Iranian grocer in Edmonton.  For dessert, Omeed at Mini-SuperPars also carries the best dates and rosewater in the city and a divine icecream (I call it Princess Icecream) with rosewater and saffron that would finish this meal off perfectly... 

Roasted Carrots and Beets
Roasted Carrots and Beets: 

Cut carrots and beets into pieces. 
Season with salt and pepper.
Add your favorite herbs, fresh or dried.
Mix in some melted coconut oil (about 3Tbsp for a big pan of veggies).

Roast in the oven at 450F for about 45 minutes. 

 And for dessert:

Cranberry Pistachio Kheer
Cranberry Pistachio Kheer:

This is an authentic, creamy Indian rice pudding with a twist!  Try it warm on a cold day, or allow it to thicken in the fridge for an even creamier treat!

  •  6 cups milk (2% or higher)
  • 1/3 cup rice (any white rice works but short grain kheer rice is the creamiest)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • sweet spices like cinnamon sticks, cardamom and saffron
  • optional: one handful each dried cranberries and/or pistachios

  • Boil the milk with the rice. 
  • Stir frequently to prevent sticking and boiling over.
  • Add the cinnamon sticks.
  • Boil until the rice starts to "melt" into the milk.  (approx. 40 minutes)
  • Add the cranberries, pistachios and other spices (boil approx. 10 more minutes)
  • Add the sugar and boil until kheer is thick. (approx. 10 more minutes)
  • Serve warm or chilled
Total time: Approximately one hour.

Now that our delicious food is prepared, let's give thanks and transform it into an offering; into prasad:

Food Prayer, Yagna Mantra
Bhagavad Gita, chapter 4

Om Brahmarpanam Brahma havir
Brahmagnau Brahmana Hutam
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Om Peace Peace Peace

Brahman is the giving, Brahman is the food offering;
by Brahman it is offered into the transformational fire of Brahman,
Brahman is that which is to be Attained
by complete Absorption (samadhi) in Brahman.

Jai to the Cooks!