By Colleen Leonardi
Every once in a while a cookbook comes along that reflects the moment in a sincere and stylish way, blending old and new, personal and universal in a way that feels innovative yet everlasting.
The Yoga Kitchen is such a cookbook.
Written by naturopath, chef and yogini, Kimberly Parsons, and photographed by Lisa Cohen, The Yoga Kitchen features over 100 vegetarian, gluten-free and refined-sugar free recipes for your home kitchen. What makes this book’s approach to yogic eating so thoughtful and inviting is how it’s designed—each chapter corresponds to a chakra system, starting with the root chakra and ending with the final crown chakra.
It may sound a bit esoteric for the beginner yogi or cook yet Kimberly makes it fun and accessible. In yoga, chakras are defined as energy centers, or wheels, aligned along the central channel of the body. Each center radiates a specific color and connects to specific emotional, physical and spiritual qualities in the body and soul. From the root chakra all the way to the crown chakra, yoga works to enhance and vitalize your chakra system to keep your energy channels grounded and fluid, making for a more harmonized you.
Kimberly takes your chakra system to the next level with a well-curated collection of recipes for each center—think eating for your chakras. “The central belief to The Yoga Kitchen is that by concentrating on what we need and reacting accordingly with the food we eat, we can all correct and align our balance, energy and happiness,” she writes.
It’s a cookbook that feels good in the hands and wears well in the kitchen (a lot of the recipes offer vegan modifications, too). For the root chakra, Kimberly dishes up treats like Sweet Potato Scones, Carrot Gnocchi with Cashew Cream & Gremolata and Masala Chai Carrot Cake. For the heart chakra, she shares a Green Detox Omelet, Lemon Verbena Bliss Balls, Green Quinoa Burgers and much more.
What also makes this cookbook super special in my book is Kimberly’s story. She tells us how she grew up in a “Sicilian/British household in Australia,” watching her Sicilian grandmother cook “simple healthy food that tasted great.” It was from these familial roots that Kimberly inherited her cooking finesse and love for the art of making food. This knowledge and authenticity comes through, and, because of it, Kimberly’s passion for good eating, health and wellness rubs off on you. It inspired me to get back into my kitchen with a fresh approach to cooking with the season and for my chakras.
The photography by Lisa Cohen is also stunning and meditative in its presentation, inviting you to appreciate the sheer aesthetic beauty of food as a way into increased well-being for your body, mind and soul.
Kimberly is based in England and “creates delicious, nutrient-dense gourmet meals for retreat guests fully integrating her naturopathic knowledge within her menu’s to offer guests carefully considered, nutritionally balanced and energy boosting meals.” Visit her website for more information: kimberly-parsons.com.
And join me on Saturday, July 22 from 1 – 3pm at Kasa Yoga & Wellness in Worthington for my OM Eats workshop where we’ll create our own ways of eating local while using yoga-inspired approaches to cooking. We’ll have a summer-centric yoga class followed by a discussion of Kimberly’s book + samples of her Lemon Verbena Bliss Balls and fresh, organic herbal teas. I hope to see you there!