Yogi in the Kitchen ~ by Siri Ved
May 09, 2016
Since I was very small, I have loved being creative in the kitchen and have taken delight in manifesting dishes that not only taste great, but make folks feel great too! Thank goodness my mom gave me free rein to explore and create as I pleased. I have always been at home in the kitchen and feel a sort of magical energy filling the room as fresh foods come together and meet their destiny. Yogi Bhajan took notice of this gift and invited me to serve as his personal cook in 1971. This was such a pivotal time in my food journey, as that’s when I “woke up” to the healing nature of foods and the importance of the consciousness with which ingredients are grown, prepared, and consumed. Through all the trials, tribulations, and the winding road of my life, where I’ve learned and grown, this food awareness has evolved and deepened as well.
My new cookbook (a complete rewrite and expansion of the 1989 edition) represents a culmination of my journey thus far. The rewrite started as a “quick” endeavor to simply update the long out-of-print first edition. I found though, as I started the task, that the book had a mind and destiny of its own. Its pages began to increase in number, and to contain so much more than recipes… stories and vignettes from my days serving Yogiji, tidbits about the healing qualities of foods, discussion of the yogic approach to food and diet, and helpful kitchen tips too. I truly believe that the consciousness with which we prepare meals is more important than any other ingredient. Bring in the Divine! Sometimes you have to cook even when in a crappy mood; kids need to eat, after all. It happens to the best of us. When I’m not in the best of humor I put out a simple prayer, “OK God, Guru, Whatever You Are… Please keep my emotions and mental garbage out of this meal and fill it with your love, light, and healing energy.” At times that’s the best I can do. And the energy shift happens. Try it sometime!