By Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. David Simon, and Chef Leanne Backer
Recipes and text
The Chopra Center Cookbook
Thousands of people have come to The Chopra Center to heal themselves, to learn more about themselves, to improve their relationships, and to accelerate their spiritual evolution.
The food served there is designed to delight the senses, enliven vitality, and create joy just for being alive and having the opportunity to eat.
Following are tips on eating well, along with recipes for some of the most popular dishes served.
The Wisdom of Food
The principles of The Chopra Center Cookbook have their roots in modern nutritional science and Ayurveda, the world’s most ancient health system. It offers a holistic approach to living that is based on the fundamental principle that your choices are metabolized into your body.
Consider these seven precepts to create greater mental and physical well-being:
- Eat a variety of food during the day.
- Listen to you body’s signals of hunger and satiety. A good gauge is to think of your fullness on a scale of 0 (completely empty) to 10 (stuffed). Eat at level 2 (very hungry) and stop at level 7 (satisfied).
- Use food to fill the emptiness in your stomach, not your heart.
- If the meal isn’t delicious, it isn’t nourishing you.
- Favor foods that are natural and vital.
- Use herbs and spices liberally as both flavor and health enhancers.
- Eat with awareness.
Nutritional Plan for Renewal
In addition to offering healthful recipes, The Chopra Center Cookbook provides a 30-day nutritional plan to attain your desired weight, and reduce your risks for heart disease and cancer.
Each day’s plan provides these nutritional components: total fat of less than 22 percent of total calories; saturated fat of less than 7 percent of total calories; and protein between 15 percent and 20 percent of total calories.
Consider the following meal plans.
- Breakfast: Morning Bliss Shake and Breakfast Bar
- Main Meal: Tomato Florentine Soup, Rainbow Risotto, Nutty Spinach Greens, and Almond Tart
- Light Meal: Vegetable Hummus Wrap and Ginger Cookies
- Breakfast: Chai Bliss Shake, Chopra Granola with fresh blueberries and sliced bananas
- Main Meal: Vegetable Hot and Sour Soup, Buddha’s Delight Vegetable Stir-Fry with steamed rice, Kim Chi Chutney, and Unbelievable Double-Chocolate Cake
- Light Meal: Roasted Tofu and Yams, Garden Salad with Cilantro Pecan Sauce and sauteed apricots
- Breakfast: Masala Potatoes, Apple Leek Chutney, Mango Yogurt
- Main Meal: Tomato Florentine Soup, Mediterranean Pasta, Savory Swiss Chard with Steamed Asparagus, and Ginger Cookie
- Light Meal: Tofu, Eggplant, and Yukon Golden Stew, Greek Goddess Salad, and Blueberry Orange Cake
- Breakfast: Couscous Hot Cereal with sauteed apples and blackberries
- Main Meal: Cuban Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup, French Vegetable Stew, Oat Groat Pilaf with Spinach, Dilled Asparagus, and Chocolate Tofu Mousse with walnut coconut praline
- Light Meal: Spinach and Lentil Soup, Cashew Tempeh, and Coconut Cookie
Below you’ll find three of these recipes. For more information, and to buy The Chopra Center Cookbook, click here. Enjoy!
Chai Bliss Shake
1 cup chai
1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
1 pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon
2 tsp. organic raw honey or maple syrup
1 scoop soy protein powder, plain or vanilla
2 T. low-fat vanilla soymilk
Here’s how: Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
From page 82 of The Chopra Center Cookbook
Serving size: 12 oz.
Total fat: 1.2 grams
Saturated fat: .7 grams
Carbs: 43.6 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Greek Goddess Salad
1 cup couscous
2 T. toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half
For the dressing:
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. dried basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 to 2 cups cubed grilled chicken or fish (optional)
1. Bring 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add couscous. Combine with fork, cover pan, let stand for 7 minutes.
2. Fluff cuscous and place in large bowl. Add pine nuts, carrots, bell pepper, celery, parsley, and olives. Toss with hands or large spoon.
3. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, aminos, oregano, pepper, salt, and basil. Slowly add olive oil. Pour over salad and toss.
4. If desired, garnish with cubed chicken or sliced fish.
5. Serve on a bed of lettuce, or in a wrap.
From page 210 of The Chopra Center Cookbook
Serving size: 1-cup serving
Total fat: 6.1 grams
Saturated fat: .9 grams
Carbs: 42.8 grams
Protein: 9.5 grams
French Vegetable Stew with toasted millet and steamed carrots and green beans
1 tsp. ghee or olive oil
1 cup leeks or onions, chopped
1 T. Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. dried basil
1 cup vegetable stock
1 T. whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, or rice flour
2 cups carrots, halved lengthwise, then sliced
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup French green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 cups broccoli hearts
Sliced basil leaves or chopped parsley
1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, aminos, pepper, coriander, vinegar, tarragon, marjoram, and basil; saute for 2 minutes.
2. Stirring with a whisk, work the flour into the mixture. As it becomes brown, add the remaining vegetable stock, then the carrots, and cook until they are tender. Add peas, remove from heat, cover. Add more stock, as needed.
3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and blanch for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove cauliflower and add it to main pot of stew. Repeat with beans and broccoli. Then add in the rest of the vegetables.
4. Stir the stew frequently, coating the vegetables well after each addition. Completely heat, being careful not to overcook the broccoli.
5. Serve over toasted millet or rice pilaf. Top with fresh basil or parsley.
From page 182 of The Chopra Center Cookbook
Serving size: 1-3/4 cups
Total fat: 2.1 grams
Saturated fat: .2 grams
Carbs: 24.1 grams
Protein: 7.7 grams
Unbelievable Double-Chocolate Cake
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. low-fat tofu, firm or extra-firm
1/4 cup ghee or canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup nondairy chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and oil a 9×13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. Using a whisk, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a food processor or blender, place tofu, oil, applesauce, syrup, and vanilla, and puree until smooth.
4. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with dry mixture, and fold in the chocolate chips. Don’t over-mix.
5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and make for 30-40 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
From page 285 of The Chopra Center Cookbook
Serving size: 2-inch square
Total fat: 10.6 grams
Saturated fat: 3.7 grams
Carbs: 42.1 grams
Protein: 5.5 grams