Cooking with mindfulness simply means being in the moment, when you prepare food for you or those you love. You can create ‘mindful cooking’ any way you want. It can be a peaceful Zen-like kitchen where you focus on each process from peeling bananas to chopping vegetables. Or you can do what vegan chefs Laura Theodore and Bryant Terry do and create ‘kitchen playlists’, to enjoy music while you cook. The idea is to focus on the act of cooking.
Quick cookbooks are great (we have a few listed on this site). But sometimes taking time to cook for the sake of cooking, instead of believing it to be a chore, is what can help you fall back in love with good food. The same goes for washing up. It’s sometimes nicer to wash the dishes by hand, or at least don’t rush everything. Have a nice glass of wine after dinner, and then say thanks for the food you ate, before you wash and put the plates away.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate food. You don’t have to make it a formal prayer like some religions do. But being mindful about all the food you eat, helps to slow life down and makes food more enjoyable.
Nom-aste is a beautiful guide to plant-based mindful cooking. A play on ‘Namaste’ (a Sanskrit greeting that means ‘I bow to the Divine in you’. This word means a respectful prayer of thanks for plain yummy food. You’ll find 60 wholesome recipes to leave you filled with good food and gratitude in this book, which is beautifully illustrated and includes tips on ahimsa (non-violence) and Ayurveda (food as medicine) to the art of making your own bread (keep dough away from pets, as it can expand in their stomach). You’ll also learn how to nurture a healthy attitude towards food.
The Mindful Vegan is a book to help you get to the roots of any challenges around food – whether it’s snacking, compulsive or emotional eating, cravings or over-eating. Vegan mindfulness teacher and educator Lani Muelrath shows how to bring freedom and joy to your eating and living experience, through instructions, personal stories, and a handful of delicious recipes.
Mindful Vegan Meals is a lovely book of simple recipes (many with Greek heritage influence) by Maria Koutsogiannis. Maria struggled with eating disorders, before embracing her talent for vegan cuisine and love for food. This book has super-reviews all-round, and can help you live in the moment, while cooking plant-based cuisine.