Lotus KitchenToday’s Vegan recipe, Raw Fresh Okra Gazpacho is a great fusion of Spanish and Africa and is from my upcoming book, The Lotus Kitchen with Gwen Kenneally.

Okra brings a lovely sheen to dishes where it’s front and center and it also is known for its role in healthy digestion. High in fiber and vitamin C, okra is also a fine source of calcium and potassium. Plus, the addition of Thai chilies brings a nice heat to the chilled gazpacho, a lovely juxtaposition that awakens the senses.

Raw Fresh Okra Gazpacho
2 cups fresh okra
2 cups fresh tomatoes
1 cup onions
1 cup cucumber
1 large garlic clove
1/3 olive oil
Juice of two lemons
½ teaspoon Thai chilies, minced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
4 cups tomato juice

Place first five ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Turn to chop and dice setting and begin to puree. While processing, pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Then add the cilantro and parsley. Lastly add tomato juice and puree briefly to leave a chunky consistency. Refrigerate and serve chilled. Serves 4

The Practice:
Like the tomato, said to heal all of our sufferings and maladies, yoga is a healing practice. We must think of our practice as healing for the mind, body, and spirit. As you eat the tomatoes in the gazpacho, feel the vibration of healing.  Upward Facing Dog Pose is the posture that opens the heart chakra, allowing the heart to heal.  The ability to love and receive love is magnified.

Upward Facing Dog Pose Upward Facing Dog Pose-urdhva-mukha-svanasana
(Urdvha Mukha Svanasana) Instruction:  Lay flat on the mat, stomach down in prone position. Place hands flat on the floor under the arms.  Press the hand into the floor and straighten the arms.  Drop the shoulders from the ears, and lift the hip off the floor, keeping the legs straight, keeping the feet flat connected to the mat.