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No one understands clean, satvic food better than Jivamukti’s own Sharon Gannon. A devout and gentle vegan, Sharon believes in life-sustaining food prepared in a non-harming, non-violent fashion. As Sharon states, “I feel that being a vegan—eating food that doesn’t cause harm to others and doesn’t harshly impact upon the planet contributes to helping make me a more compassionate, happy and calm person. That is the energy that I would like to contribute to the planet.”
Sharon took her passion for veganism and cooking to a new level when she launched the JivamukTEA Café NYC back in 2005. All the menu items at the café were of her divine creation and today she is taking that inspiration and compiling all of it into her new vegan cookbook, “The Jivamukti Vegan Cookbook” to be released in 2012.
As a self-professed Jivamukti girl myself, and a holistic health coach, I tend to spend most of my time at the JivamukTEA Café here in New York City with my clients. Since I am an avid fan of Sharon’s cuisine, I asked her if she could give us a sneak peak into her cookbook even before her publisher sees it! Much to my surprise, she agreed. ;)
Anxious (with pen and paper in hand), I was hoping she would also agree to turn over all her secret recipes in draft form but I might have been a bit optimistic with that one! Having said that, Sharon has kindly agreed to give us an advanced preview of her most decadent chocolate mousse recipe. Trust me, it does not disappoint.
Here’s a bit of my interview with Sharon. And straight from the mouth of the guru, here’s what she had to say.
Donnalynn: “How did you come to do the work you are doing now, Sharon?”
Sharon: “I guess, I was just trying to do my best and then good things started happening and it kept getting better and better. I have the best job in the world—my work makes people happy—I am so grateful.”
D: “How does veganism and eating a clean diet manifest in your work?”
S: “Everything that we do impacts upon ourselves and others. We create reality by how we live. How we treat others will impact upon us. Whatever we do will eventually but inevitably come back to us. So why not do all we can to uplift the lives of others—it will result in a win-win for everyone. I want to be happy and free so it doesn’t fit into my plan to cause others to be unhappy and be kept as slaves. Animals raised for food are slaves and they are all unhappy. Yoga teaches us that whatever we want for ourselves we can have—if we provide it for others first.”
D: “How did your new cookbook come about?”
S: “Well, as you know, I love to cook and my inspiration for cooking is that I want to help free all animals from cruel exploitation. I am an abolitionist who abhors slavery and since veganism and animal rights are my passion, I want to prepare the most amazing vegan food for people so that they will never even consider eating dead animal flesh or drinking the milk intended for baby animals.”
D: “I understand that your cookbook is not yet released but can you give us some idea of what we can expect? (Translation: I am hoping that I can walk away with the very coveted recipe for spicy tempeh! You can always dream big, right?!)
S: “I can say that the cookbook has been 10 years in the making and features recipes inspired from vegetables grown locally on our own large organic garden as well as wild foods picked from our “forest sanctuary” on a 121-acre wild forest preserve in Woodstock. I would also have to say that communing with nature has been the best part of producing this cookbook. For example, over the past few days, as we have been shooting the photos for the book, it is amazing that bears, deer and turkey are all interested in our project—there was actually a black bear standing 10-feet from us for most of the afternoon while we were shooting the Sprilina Millet dish outside!”
D: “hhhmm… that all sounds wonderful, Sharon. Any other specifics you would like to share with us (hint-hint… spicy tempeh recipe—I am determined!)
S: “Oh yes, of course, Kris Carr (author of the best selling book, Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Cancer) has written the foreword—she finished it on Monday. The book has much more than just the recipes, and Kris's inspiring foreword, it has a Q&A section about vegan nutrition—like stuff about how to get enough protein and calcium, etc… Also moral issues are covered—for example, if all of life is sacred and plants also feel pain then what is the difference between eating a carrot or a chicken wing? I also included some biographical info on my own journey. And lastly, I would say that I prefer my own cooking best. The cookbook is filled with my original recipes—some are quite unique in that you won't find them in other cookbooks or in other restaurants besides the JivamukTea Café, for example the famed Spirulina Millet.
… And spicy tempeh… Where’s the love?! At any rate, The Jivamukti Vegan Cookbook is due to be released 2012 and will most likely be available online and in most bookstores as well as featured at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City.
Try Shannon's raw chocolate mousse recipe.
For more information on The Jivamukti Vegan Cookbook, Sharon Gannon or Jivamukti Yoga - firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this article on plant based diet on yogitimes.com