Health and Vitality

Valentine Ideas for Vegetarian/Vegan

It is coming soon!





This Valentine’s Day, Love is in the Fare!





20 Mouthwatering Vegetarian Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes

and just one more

A Simple Valentine’s Day Menu (Vegan + Gluten-free)

Dessert or breakfast, or anything (gluten free, vegetarian)

One of my all-time favorites is cottage cheese, but I don’t buy it. When you make it the taste is very different and there are not preservatives added.

All you need is: cooking time 15-20 mins

pot or non-stick pan (my preference)




Ingredients :

4 cups  milk

2-3 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

While milk is warming line the strainer with cheese-cloth – should have at least 2 layers

Heat milk in the pan almost to the boil on the medium fire, then lower it to min.

Pour lemon juice into milk one spoon at the time and then stir. The milk will start curdling immediately, of not all the mild curdled add another spoon of lemon juice and stir again.

When all the milk has divided into curdle and clear (yellowish) whey – turn off the fire.

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Then pour or ladle the whole thing into a lined strainer and rinse it with water (to get rid of lemony taste). Take out the cheese-clothe with all there is in it and squeeze it gently or leave it to drain.

If you leave it for long time or put under  press it will become very solid (paneer)- so you can cut it!

Send gratitude to the Absolute and fill your dish with love!


What can you do with it?

  • Mix with sugar, honey or jam. You can even whip it – that is dessert
  • Add milk and/or frozen/fresh berries or fruits , and may be granola – here is your breakfast!
  • This cottage cheese /paneer you can add to salads or other salty dishes. You can even add it with whatever you fry – it will not melt!
  • Great source of protein and Calcium (the last one is very important for your bone health)

Vegetarianism for women, women in pregnancy, and children from early ages (Kurma Das -Q&A)

“Could you please suggest me a good book about vegetarianism for women, women in pregnancy, and children from early ages?”
Thank you.

Jasmina, Zagreb, Croatia

Hello Jasmina,
Thank you very much for your letter!

I asked a friend of mine, L. D. from Tampa, Florida, who is an active healthy mother, a vegetarian and a big reader, and she gave me this information to pass on. I think you will find it substantial. Thanks for visiting my website. Feel free to keep in touch.

“As a matter of fact, I have a great book to recommend called The Vegetarian Baby by Sharon Yntema. It’s my all-time favorite! It includes chapters on pregnancy and lactation (if she plans to breastfeed) and contains sample menus for kids from birth through age 2.

A new edition is called, New Vegetarian Baby: An Entirely New, Updated Edition of the Classic Guide to Raising Your Baby on the Healthiest Possible Diet by Sharon K. Yntema, Christine H. Beard and only cost $11 in the US.

Oh, and this one too: Vegetarian Children: A Supportive Guide for Parents by
Sharon Yntema

I always give these books as a gift to my friends who have new babies and want to be feel more confident about raising them on a vegetarian diet. It’s a very vulnerable time because many grandparents suddenly voice concerns about a veg diet when babies come into the picture. Well-meaning friends and family members often pressure veg parents and try to convince them that vegetarianism is not healthy during pregnancy nor is it safe for newborns. Of course, this is simply an uneducated fear.

I believe there is a series of these books by the same author though I’ve never read any others. You may want to check at

I’d also recommend books from the “What to expect…” series. “What to
Expect When You’re Expecting 
and What to Eat When You’re Expecting” by Arlene Eisenberg & Heidi Murkoff were very helpful during my first pregnancy and
though not exclusively geared for vegetarian families, I found a lot of other good info there.

The newest (Third Edition) of What to Eat When You’re expecting is by Heidi Murkoff and is currently available at

It includes great recipes and lots of info on microwave exposure, pollution, etc etc. Amazon also sells another book called Eating for Pregnancy: An Essential Guide to Nutrition with Recipes for the Whole Family by Catherine Jones, Rose Ann Hudson. It’s not all veg as it does contain recipes for chicken and tuna dishes, but it has many other worthwhile recipes and important nutritional info. I haven’t read it myself, but looked through the table of contents.

The best thing I did was to copy the pregnancy nutrition charts listed in the Veg Baby book. I printed out multiple little sheets to take to work with me every day. I made columns showing each food group at the top. This way I could stay aware of the servings I needed to eat in each of the food groups on daily basis and check them off in each column as I ate so I knew I wasn’t missing anything.

I was working at a design studio then AND going to college at the same time. I was very busy and needed an easy way to keep track so I’d always be sure to get enough protein, Vit A, Iron-rich foods, Calcium, etc. It appeased my concerned family members, kept me confident and made my midwife happy too. It’s not hard and doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to be conscious of eating a well-balanced veg diet when pregnant. Moms who eat a vegetarian diet are often more healthy than non-veg Moms and have fewer complications going to term and giving birth too.

Meat and meat products are always the last food introduced to babies anyway as they are difficult to digest (and of course we know they are ultimately entirely unecessary). Meat – eating is a learned behavior and is not required for completely good health for anyone. I’d recommend these too: Your Vegetarian Pregnancy : A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition by Holly Roberts and Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony by Joanne Stepaniak, Vesanto Melina. You can read more about them and see the reviews too online at

Best of luck Jasmina !


We are what we TAKE IN – 2

WE ARE.jpg

Yes, usually it is said “We are what we eat” and people read labels and ingredients all the time (way to go!), but … research has it – whatever our skin touches, all the ingredients, get into the blood flow in three minutes. Think of soaps and creams.

Lets get more subtle and influential. What we breath in – nose is the only organ that connected directly to the brain. That is why the aromatherapy is so powerful. Smells are very much related to the emotions and the later ones are often influence our decisions.  And again the air is the most essential element for living.

Level up. What we see – affects our mind set. It can be uplifting or degrading. It becomes object of our mind’s attention – and that is already an involuntary meditation  – that’s how advertising banners work. If we do not control what we look at, it will control what we think.

To the top. What we hear – this is food for our mind. Here again – we are what we eat. So what we hear – that is what we TAKE IN. We think it – we digest it! And then it is in our system – we behave based on that, it takes part in our paradigm. The most influential thing – sound! All the negative emotions, destructive, egoistic and exploiting ideas  are the poisonous and dirty food items for our consciousness. What are you listening to/about?

Like and share your thoughts in comments!

We are what we TAKE IN



Photo post by @KarmaFreeCookin.

Source: We are what we eat…

Mexican Bean Stew — Vegan Food For Peace


I’ve been crazy busy lately, and I’ve been needing serious sustenance… so what better than just another bowl of beans 😉 💚 There’s a recipe for a bowl of beans from just about every country in the world… along with endless regional variations and generational differences. This is a Mexican recipe that uses gorgeous Ancho […]

via Mexican Bean Stew — Vegan Food For Peace

Vegetarian Lasagna

Read the recipe, gather ingredients during week days and cook this dish on a weekend.
Invite your friends over and share your love and happiness!

1 12″x8″ tray

Prep Time:

90 min.


Kurma Das “This recipe calls for good quality imported Italian lasagna noodles. I like to use “Verde Ondine” instant lasagna. Otherwise, if you choose to use the non-instant variety, precook it according to the directions on the packet.”

Preparation and Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Baking Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 tray of lasagna, 30 cm x 20 cm x 8 cm (12 inches x 8 inches x 3 inches)

This lasagna has five distinct ingredients: pasta, tomato sauce, béchamel sauce, spinach and cheese.

about fifteen 17 cm x 17 cm (7-inch x 7-inch) sheets of instant lasagna (400 g, or about 14 ounces)

Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2ml) yellow asafetida powder
1 cup (250 ml) chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano
1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried marjoram
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1 medium eggplant, diced into 0.5 (1/4-inch) cubes
3 medium peppers diced into 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) squares
24 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and chopped or six 250 g (9 ounce) tins Italian tomatoes cut into 2.5 cm (1-inch) cubes (keep the juice)
1/2 cup (125 ml) black olives, chopped
2 tablespoons (40 ml) tomato paste
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5ml) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (40 ml) chopped parsley

Béchamel Sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) melted butter
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) sifted plain flour
4 cups (1 litre) warm milk

1 large bunch of spinach leaves, separated, stalks removed, washed, blanched in boiling water, and drained

375 g (13 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
250 g (9 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
60 g (2 ounces) grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon (20 ml) grated parmesan cheese, reserved for garnish

To cook the tomato sauce

1. Heat the olive oil over moderate heat in a large, heavy-based saucepan. When hot, add the asafetida. Sauté momentarily: then add the fresh basil, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, and black pepper and sauté for another few seconds.
2. Add the eggplant cubes and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and stirring occasionally, cook them along with the eggplant pieces until both are softened (about 3 or 4 minutes).
3. Add the tomatoes and olives and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly, and cook uncovered, stirring often, for about 1/2 hour or until it reduces and thickens. Add tomato paste, salt, sugar and parsley, mix well and remove from the heat.

To cook the Béchamel Sauce

1. Place the melted butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat and stir in the nutmeg, black pepper and flour and sauté until the mixture darkens slightly (about 1/2 minute). Remove from the heat.
2. Gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring with a whisk until the sauce is smooth. Return to moderate heat and stir until it boils. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens to a thick-custard consistency (about 5 minutes).

To assemble the lasagna

1. Combine all 3 cheeses (except the reserved parmesan) in a bowl. Divide the tomato sauce and béchamel sauce into 3. Divide the cheese and spinach into 2. Divide the pasta into 5.
2. Spread one-third of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking tray. Place one-fifth of the pasta sheets on top. Spread on one-third of the béchamel sauce then another one-fifth of the pasta. Spread one-half of the spinach leaves; then sprinkle half the grated cheese on top.
3. Repeat this process twice more and you should end up with the béchamel sauce on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place the lasagna in the top of a pre-heated 200 C/390 F oven and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden and the pasta “gives” when you stick a knife in it. It’s best to let the lasagna set for at least another hour before serving, as this “plumps” the pasta. Cut into squares and serve.

This recipe is from Kurma Dasa’s book “Great Vegetarian Dishes“.


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Food, energy and karma

saladEvery action in this world has a reaction or consequence, some call it a boomerang law, some call it karma.

Everything  and every thing in this world made of some kind of energy.

Every living being in this world has to eat to stay alive. For the most the food options are restricted by nature. We (people) are just very small and very lucky portion that can choose    what we eat, based on our knowledge, attitude and intelligence.

There are only three main types/modes of energy and their innumerous combinations. And all that exists is made and carries qualities of one or more of these types.

The modes/gunas are called Sattva or Goodness, Rajas or Passion and Tamas or Ignorance/Darkness. There also is Nirguna – energy that does belong neither to any of the above types, nor to this material world. Food also can be in the three modes.

Food in the mode of ignorance is”prepared more than three hours before being eaten, tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things”. Untouchable things contain alcohol (it blinds the intelligence) or obtained by killing of innocent creatures.

Foods in the mode of passion “are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning.. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.”

Food “in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.” Those are milk products, grains, fruits and vegetables. Fatty food mentioned here has no relation to violence.

Now it is your informed decision – what to eat. And since everything is connected, with the food you choose specific energy and accept the results of your choice.

You may ask me – what about nirguna? Well, if you take items from mode of Goodness, prepare them with love and offer it to Absolute/God/ Supreme Intelligence with gratitude  – the food (if you do it with pure heart) should become transcendental.

All the quotes are from Bhagavad Gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

If you found this interesting or helpful – please like it and share.                                                Or may be you disagree – comment it here or discuss it wit your friends

Yamuna Devi’s Butternut Squash Puree with Coconut (Kaddu Bharta)


Yamuna Devi’s Butternut Squash Puree with Coconut (Kaddu Bharta)

Yamuna Devi writes: “Pumpkin is the most popular winter squash in India. It is sold in cut pieces. This bright orange squash is more often boiled than baked. In the West, we can ash-or oven-bake whole smaller varieties, such as butternut, acorn, Hubbard or buttercup. Flavour and nutrition are locked within the tough, thick skin. A delicate blend of cardamom, fennel and lime juice beautifully offsets the sweet puree. Garnish with toasted coconut and/or hazelnuts.”

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): a few minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes,
Serves: 4

1 large butternut squash (about 1 pound/455 g), freshly baked or steamed,
4 tablespoons unsalted butter,
2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed,
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed,
1-2 teaspoons hot green chilies, seeded and chopped,
2-3 tablespoons Jaggery, maple sugar or syrup,
3 tablespoons cream (optional),
1 teaspoon salt,
¼ cup shredded coconut and/or chopped hazelnuts, toasted in a 300 F (150 C) oven until golden,
2 tablespoons lime juice.

Cut open and peel the squash. If it has been baked whole, scoop out the seeds and fibres. Place the pulp in a bowl and puree with a potato masher or in a food processor.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch (30 cm) nonstick frying pan over moderate heat. When it is hot and frothing, add the fennel seeds, cardamom seeds and green chilies. Within seconds add the squash puree, sweetener, cream, if desired, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Before serving, garnish with coconut or hazelnuts, the remaining butter and sprinkle with lime juice.

From “Vegetarian World Food” by Kurma Dasa, Chakra Press

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Yamuna Devi’s Apple Salad (Seb Kachamber)


It’s the apple season! I will try to find nice seasonal recipes as often as possible. Being creative and learning something new everyday is important for me. I think this recipe is easy and unusual. So, have fun.

Yamuna Devi writes: “Outside of Kashmir, where most of India’s apples are grown, the texture of Indian apples tends to be mealy – a sure sign of over ripening due to long storage at warm temperatures. On the whole, I do not find them as good as most western varieties. Use any crisp salad or all-purpose apple: for example, Newton, pippin or McIntosh, which are crisp, sweet and juicy, with a tangy overtone; anything from sweet red or Golden Delicious to tart granny Smith will do as well. With the grapes and mint-almond dressing, this is an elegant mid-winter fruit kachambers.”

Preparation and chilling time (after assembling ingredients): 30 minutes,
Serves: 6

¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream,
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint,
3 tablespoons ground blanched almonds,
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed,
2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice,
3 medium-sized apples, cored and diced,
½ cup seedless grapes, halved. 

Blend the yogurt or sour cream, mint, almonds, cardamom seeds and orange or lemon juice in a mixing bowl.

Fold in the apples and grapes, cover, and chill for at least ½ hour before serving.