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Heaven's Banquet: Vegetarian Cooking for Lifelong Health the Ayurveda Way [Paperback]

Miriam Kasin Hospodar
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 4 2001
Written with the support of the Maharishi Ayur-Veda Institute, this comprehensive cookbook shows how to incorporate the timeless principles of Ayurveda into the twenty-first-century kitchen.

A result of Miriam Kasin Hospodar's twenty-year culinary journey, Heaven's Banquet draws from a rich palette of international cuisines and shows how to match your diet to your mind-body type for maximum health and well-being. The more than 700 recipes included here range from Thai Corn Fritters and Asian-Cajun Eggplant Gumbo to West African Avocado Mousse and Mocha-Spice Cake with Coffee Cream Frosting. Readers will discover the most effective methods of preparing food, the benefits of eating seasonally for individual types, and how to create a diet for the entire family. There are special sections on how to lose weight and control sugar sensitivity, a questionnaire to help determine mind-body type, and essential ingredients for a well-stocked Ayurvedic kitchen.

Fully illustrated, and written for everyone from the beginner cook to the experienced chef, Heaven's Banquet shows how to use food to tap into your body's intelligence and create lifelong health.

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Heaven's Banquet: Vegetarian Cooking for Lifelong Health the Ayurveda Way + The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"The Ayurvedic meal," writes Hospodar, "is designed to promote optimum digestion and maximum pleasure." Indeed, the Indian "life science" of Ayurveda has been ensuring the health of mind, body and spirit for many centuries. Applying ancient philosophical and dietary concepts to contemporary, holistic food preparation, Hospodar has spent over two decades researching and adapting recipes from three continents; the result is a wide-ranging compendium of 750 vegetarian dishes and a storehouse of practical information and advice. Twenty-six chapters, arranged by main ingredient (Grains, Tofu, etc.) and course (Appetizers through Puddings), present flavorful, healthy selections, such as Artichoke-Filo Pie, and Lentil Burgers with Herbed Ch?vre Sauce. The recipes are designed to suit each of three body typesAVata, Pitta, Kapha (readers complete a questionnaire to identify their type). Introductory chapters explain the tenets of Ayurveda and offer cookware, seasoning and menu-planning suggestions. Recipes are geared to the fairly proficient cook and, though not specifically low calorie, are often wheat-, milk- and oil-free. Illustrations and an amusingly eclectic assortment of quotations enliven the text, which, although devoted to serious principles, manages to be unfailingly upbeat and enthusiastic.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Ayurveda, which means "science of life," is an ancient Indian system of medicine that Hospodar calls "an art and science of nourishment." Hospodar, who has worked as a chef and baker at Ayurvedic spas around the world, has been working on this book for 23 years. Upbeat and sprinkled with inspirational quotes, it includes a detailed explanation of the Ayurvedic diet and a questionnaire that allows the reader to determine his or her dosha, or body type. The recipes, though clearly written, emphasize Ayurvedic principles over flavor, omitting, for instance, eggs, garlic, and onions. Many of the recipes call for the spice hing, which is hard to come by for many cooks. Those looking for a vegetarian cookbook with broad appeal may prefer Deborah Madison's excellent Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (LJ 9/15/97). Recommended only where there is an interest in holistic health.?Jane la Plante, Minot State Univ., ND
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works like a charm Oct. 30 2001
My partner and I have tried over a dozen recipes in this book and everytime they work like a charm. I feel like a gourmet cook when I use it. It is true the Ayurvedic classifications are not as clear as Morningstar's Ayurvedic cookbook, but I find myself reaching for Miriam's whenever I want to try a new recipe. My partner scoffed at me when I told her this is all the cookbook we'll need. Now she is a believer.
Thank you Miriam.
Update: After communicating with Miriam, I now understand why she avoids classifying meals by dosha. Single food items are easy to classify by dosha, but when they are combined the net result is not easy to classify by dosha. ** She recommends using the eight-pointed guideline on page five to determine what works best for the individual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps me on the Ayurvedic wagon! Feb. 19 2001
Before this book, I'd be a devoted Ayurvedic cook for about one week and then fall off the wagon when I got bored "eating Indian" at every meal. Hospodar's recipies are varied (providing Ayurvedic versions of well-loved dishes from around the world) and their flavours and seasonings diverse (even finding favour with my non-vegetarian husband who claims the Moussaka on p. 96 is the "best dish" I make). Other family faves--scones, paella, squash with wild rice succotash, dal II, chili (be prepared for a taste surprise--it's not your traditional chili, but if I don't call it "chili" I always get compliments on the unique seasonings in this dish). Not only are the recipes simple to make, they're also easy to adapt, allowing even the non-experimental cook like me the joy of substituting ingredients and still having it turn out okay!
Hospodar's introduction to Ayurveda is an adequate first overview, but those interested will learn more about this ancient practice by reading Robert Svoboda or Nancy Lonsdorf's books. I also found a better background on Ayurveda in the first Morningstar cookbook (although her recipes, while delicious, are pretty much all "Indian" in taste).
I recommend this over any other Ayurvedic cookbook--and I've used several over the past 8 years. These recipes allow practitioners of Ayurveda to eat standard fare ("what's available elsewhere") without straying from a path to good health and balance. No need to be suspect of this review: I was introduced to this book at a panchakarma retreat so can't be counted as a friend or relative--just a grateful reader!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, but .... April 9 2001
By A Customer
I seem to be somewhat less enthusiastic about this book than the other readers. It's terrific, of course. But I don't think it's as useful for a beginner as Morningstar's or some of the other ayurvedic cookbooks. It can be challenging to determine what recipes are appropriate for your body type. And, in frankness, Maharishi ayurved can be somewhat stricter in its definitions of balancing and aggravating foods than other forms of ayurveda. That may be a positive, but it places greater burdens on the beginner. Still, this is an inspiring and very beautiful book that I look forward to using for many years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Any cookbook that has a winning recipe for cookies is, at the very least, worth the paper it's printed on...so don't miss the almond crescents on page 433. This, then, is thy commandment: honor thy cookbook and buy not from Nabisco.
The recipe for kitcheri on page 189 is very easy and tasty.
I haven't the time to try the rest of the items in the book and deeply desire that someone comes to cook for me soon. When she does, I'll throw this book at her, all in good fun, of course.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes and great reading! Dec 15 2000
As you can guess from my name, I'm related to the author - I'm her brother. Though this review has an admittedly built-in bias, I thought I'd let you know something about the years of work and dedication that went into this book, and why I think Heaven's Banquet would bring cooking and eating pleasure to people with diverse food preferences. Ever since she was a child, the author has been cooking family meals. She was always an adventurous cook, trying out different recipes on our family when it was her night to cook. Cooking and seeing people enjoy a good meal seems to be in her blood. At 17, she became a vegetarian and then in her early 20's, took a professional interest in cooking. This interest took her to several countries, working as a hotel chef. Everywhere she went, she picked up ideas and recipes, and in 1980 wrote her first cookbook. Heaven's Banquet was first conceived as a revision of that first book, but in time, took on a life of its own, incorporating the author's almost 20 years of cooking, travelling, and teaching experience since then. Several precepts have always been a part of her cooking. 1. The health of the person one cooks for is important. 2. Recipes should be easy to follow, and work. 3. Cooking is a creative act. More than merely printing recipes, her book gives you the knowledge and freedom to create your own recipes and cooking style. Heaven's Banquet is, then, the culmination of a lifetime of cooking, learning and experimenting, world travel, and a burning passion for delicious, healthful eating. Heaven's Banquet contains recipes from all over the world. Whether or not you're a vegetarian (I'm not), this book's recipes are just downright delicious! Lastly, her non-preachy personality and great humor are evident in her writing. Heaven's Banquet is a pleasure to read!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great international cookbook
This cookbook has a wide international diversity and I love it and it is great to have it adopted to ayurvedic cooking. Read more
Published on April 20 2009 by N. Lafleur
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have vegetarian cookbook!
This ayurvedic cookbook covers every old and new foods from around the world yet easily available in your city's grocery store or ethnic store. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars High Praise
An absolutely inspiring and clear, concise book of recipes for abilities ranging from novice to expert that might just change your whole outlook on food preparation. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the only cook book that I ever use.
I love this book. I use it every day. It's so complete, and I always find what I'm looking for. I've never had to use another cookbook ever since I bought this one.
Published on Nov. 27 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Make your own ice cream & other desserts!!!!!
Everybody's written how good this book is. I'm gonna rave about the ice cream. That recipe is so good & lends itself to any fruit or ingredient you could possibly put in ice cream. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2002 by Nilsa Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb and comprehensive vegetarian cookbook
I love this cookbook. The recipes are delicious, well-tested and easy to follow. Miriam's style is highly entertaining as well. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this cookbook
This cookbook is a wonderful addition to anyone's library, regardless of whether you are interested in Ayurveda or not. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2001 by Carey Pickus
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm.....
Fairly typical fare for this type of cooking. I'm not sure about the dreck of the other reviews as from my trained perspective there is little here that is that outstanding or not... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2001
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