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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cooking with Intention: Sattvic food

Sattvic Food: How to Cook with Intention

 What Works Well  for Terrible Cooks

Sattvic food is nutritious and pure.


Sattva in The Kitchen

Sattva in principle is the beginning, preserving and ending with the essence of purity.  To live with this principle assists a mind that is steady, peaceful and at ease. To work with this principle allows work without attachment, because everything has value and nothing has insignificance. At the same time, nothing has significance. It is an ideal state, which is assisted by preparing and consuming food that follows the sattva philosophy: sattvic food.

To cook with sattva is to begin with pure ingredients, cook with intention in a pure environment. Then, it does not matter how terrible a cook you are: the food will turn out fine.
Sattvic food in its entirety is first of all, pure. You might say that it is purely pure. It is pure in terms of ingredients that are unadulterated, unmodified and fresh. There are no harmful additives, flavors and colors. It is prepared in a clean kitchen, with clean utensils, using pure materials. The recipe does not include masking, correction or flavor enhancement. The ingredients are allowed to create their own natural chemistry. When these principles are followed,  it always works.  I have many recipes that have failed for no reason; the ingredients just don’t work together. Maybe I was rushed, maybe I was missing my favorite knife. I have recipes that work in spite of accidents. The joy of sattva is to leave the final result to faith. If you have sattva, you do not have to taste the food. You expect it to be good. Last summer, I made a drink out of goat’s milk, cantaloupe and lemon balm. It was a very strange concept, but it worked well together.

Yams boiled in jaggary: two ingredients, that's it!

 Sattvic foods are without question nutritious and good for the body.  It goes beyond the nutritional profile of the foods, but delves a little bit into the energy of the food. That is why Thanksgiving meals always turn out good. It is the energy of a good mood. The same dish fails when you are in a hurry or a foul mood.

My wife enjoys cooking with her favorite Earth Wind and Fire songs blaring out of the kitchen.  She can cook all day and dishes will all turn out perfect. Why not? It's powered by Earth Wind and Fire!
To drink Matcha Tea is an exercise in elegance, power and serenity.

One example of sattvic food is kale chips. It is simple to prepare, tastes fantastic and is so good for you. Another favorite from my youth is Yams and Jaggary. Organic yams are available most time of the year (I recently bought a bag at Extra Foods) and Jaggary may be ordered by mail or found in the Indian grocers in the city. Another example of sattvic food is Matcha tea. It is simple, exquisite and if prepared properly, just as enjoyable as coffee. It is one of the best known immunity boosters and is rich in cancer fighting polyphenols. Very, very sattvic.

Top Ten Sattvic Cooking Tips

1.       The kitchen starts clean and orderly. Pretend you are in a sanctuary and the floor and counters have to be cleaned before you cook.
2.       Sharpen your knives (Buy one really expensive knife and you will double your cooking skills)
3.       Play music that you like. Turn it up to the neighbors-will-complain setting.
4.       Choose fresh ingredients, organic if possible, from your garden is the best. Otherwise, always buy your ingredients the same day you are cooking.
5.       If ingredients are frozen, they are thawed in water, not in the you-know-what
6.       Pot has to be sparkling.
7.       Choose the best plate. Don't reserve your best china just for your guests. Use them for the really important people in your life. Never use chipped plates or glasses.
8.       Decorate the table with flowers and candles, as often as possible
9.       Try eating in the dark with candles only.
1.       Do not speak during the meal. Eat in silence.

     The Opposite of Sattvic Food 

yuup... it's bacon alright.

This brings me to the interesting part of the article: bacon roses. These are undoubtedly one of the strangest ideas that I have seen in a while. They look like roses and they were very popular for Valentine’s Day. They are made out of bacon! What a strange idea. OK, no big mystery here: this is not sattvic food.