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Menu of Flava!

Dear Friends of Govinda's,

Here it is, a second week, and we have a near 50-50 split between those who like this format and those who like the white on black. The good news that I take away from that is that I have two templates that work for connecting with all of you. Maybe we will pull the old one back out now and then to spice things up.

This was/is yet another power-packed weekend over here in my world. As this is high festival season in the Krishna community, much of yesterday was absorbed in devotional celebration and activity (lucky me!). Then last night, on the way home from

a sweet street kirtan (harinam) in Durham, we stopped by the Grand Opening of Vegan Flava Cafe. Boy, was it a happening party! And they hadn't started the official afterparty section of the evening yet. There were clothing vendors, crowds, shea butter & jewelry vendors, and crowds. I guess it was not so very many people in attendance, but in the small space of the restaurant and given everyone's very friendly (think small personal bubble) way of conversing, it felt like quite a crowd.

I have been acquainted with one of the owners, Goddess Deborah Webb, for years. She welcomed me in with a big Mama hug, played my cd over the sound system, and then publicly introduced me to the whole gang. Well, geez, with a welcome like that I went straight into the loyal fan zone - do not pass Go, do not stop to examine the menu. With heart like that, whatever you are cooking must be good. And it was good. Now the menu is limited right now, and you better like seaweed in order to avail yourself of all of it. Seaweed and I really, REALLY don't like each other, so that eliminated a couple of things for me. Nonetheless, they do have some very tasty and interesting dishes on their menu, and the smoothies were seriously delish! It was getting late, so I didn't get to stay and try all the beautiful little desserts that were covering the counter. I guess that means I just have to go back again. :-)

Actually the Cafe promises to be much more than just an eatery. They plan on hosting workshops, drum circles, poetry readings, and who knows what else. Maybe one day you will see Samadhi Kirtan Band playing there... just maybe. Watch out for the power of intention!

**All Entrees - $7/serving (2 cups)**

Entree #1 - Moroccan Inspired Carrot, Sweet Potato, & Lentil Soup

I don't even remember when we made this soup last. I came across it again on Food52, and couldn't resist that gorgeous orange, creamy, sweetish color and consistency. The ingredients are plentiful at this Indian summer time of the year. Enhanced with Harissa Paste and Ras el Hanout, a blend of 12 different spices like cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, etc., the subtle flavors of the veggies, begin to sing in your mouth! GF, soy-free


Entree #2 - Cream of Mushroom Soup

This soup seemed like a wonderful addition to a getting-to-be-autumn menu. It is creamy yet light, mild yet full of subtle flavors. There are two recipes linked here - one for the photo and one in the title. They are about equal in terms of spicing and preparation, and interestingly, both are an Indian woman's take on a Campbell's soup classic. I plan to keep the spice profile (bay, nutmeg, black pepper, parsley) the same, while substituting a GF thickener (yum!) for the milk and cream. A true new comfort food. GF, soy-free


Entree #3 - Sprouted Bean Usal

Usal is a popular Maharastrian (the state in which Mumbai is located) dish that is typical served with pav (wheat buns) for breakfast. Dal beans are first sprouted and then made into a curry by cooking them with a little tomato and fresh coriander, augmented by the typical fantastic array of Indian spices. This particular recipe calls for a sumptuous masala paste that is made from coconut, fennel & coriander seeds. Mmm! Yes, I see what all the online raves over this dish are about. GF, soy-free


Side Dishes:

Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup)

Curry Leaf Pulao - $3/serving (1 cup) I have been starting to plan ahead by collecting interesting rice recipes. (gasp! The near sanity of it all!) In one of these fits of preparation, I scheduled this week for testing out this new pulao recipe. Well, wouldn't you know that the other day I went to see a friend, who has a 6-foot curry tree? She urged me to pick a bunch of leaves, since the tree was overflowing with them. I did, not knowing what I would use them for. Just see the power of intention! I set an intention, entered it in my menu spreadsheet, forgot about it (at least consciously), and then walked right into the perfect set of circumstances to meet my intention, without even realizing that I was doing it. Metaphysics aside, this rice will taste fantastic, I am sure. We will be using basmati rice, rather than brown this time. GF, soy-free


Funtastic Greens Salad - $6/lb. This salad kept coming up in my mind, insisting to be paired with the lovely orange of the carrot, sweet potato soup. I thanked it for volunteering to be on the menu, and then tried to pick something else because y'all are not big salad eaters. (That's ok, no guilt trips...) The salad just wouldn't give up, reminding me of how special and unique she is, with a variety of greens, avocado, walnut, and raisin and the most kickin' dressing ever. "I know. I know. You rock. But people just don't order salad from the menu." Well, she just wouldn't take no for an answer and suggested changing her name to see if that would change people's perception. I gave in. What else could I do? You can only fight with your food for so long... GF, soy-free


Raw Lemon Bars - $3 or 2 for $5. This recipe came to me from a band mate of mine who also happens to regularly make amazing sweets. (Yep. When possible, we try to combine dinner with band practice to maintain morale.) Although I personally have an aversion to raw diets, I don't mind using raw recipes now and then. I especially don't mind when the recipes have sufficiently wonderful ingredients like dates (legal candy), almonds, lemon, and coconut. These little treats are as tasty as they are simple. GF, soy-free


We look forward to serving you!

Tastefully yours,


#lemonbars #rawlemon #greens #salad #curry #pulao #sproutedbeanusal #sidedishes #creamofmushroom #soup #Moroccan #Lentil #RaselHanout #HarissaPaste #SweetPotato #vegan

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