There’s no getting around it, evolation yoga teacher trainings are tough both mentally and physically. To help our trainees stay at peak performance we offer fresh local produce and nutritious snacks for the trainees to grab whenever they need a boost. But the two daily meals prepared by our chefs are what really keeps everyone going. For the Santa Barbara teacher training, our Italian chef, Andrea, has taken a few photos of his creativity for our food photoblog.
Andrea won us over before we even met him with a dreamy tempeh dish. This is a tempeh base coated with a non-sweet dark chocolate topping, filled with purred bananas and topped with a creamy wasabi sauce. In the background he has a Japanese rice lightly spiced and adorned with fresh herbs. With the ingenuity we saw here, we were excited to experience what else he brought to the table. No pun intended.
As this teacher training is situated in sunny California, he wanted to bring in some local flavors to the dishes he was preparing. Putting a twist on the Mexican cuisine located here, he topped a hearty bean soup with couscous, orange sweet potatoes, and a homemade artichoke blend.
Andrea, inspired by our growing desire to try all things new, threw down on another “Mexican” dish a few days later. I would say he made chalupas with rice, but that is almost more wrong that it is right. The chalupas were topped with fresh organic beets sautéed in coconut oil and the rice was simmered with a sweet pepper glaze.
All meals come with satisfying side dishes, giving Andrea a chance to show off some properties of food that most people miss out on. One day he decided to show us what a light spice could do to a palate. Dotted with fresh turmeric and habaneros, the spinach salad on the left was the perfect spicy touch for a sunny mid September day.
The dinner on the right brought in a nice international dose of hot and savory. Two types of rice, one pumpkin with onion flower; the other permeated with beans and red chilies, accompanied a béchamel sauce crepe. If you’re wondering, French, Cajun and whatever culture eats pumpkin rice go exceedingly well together.
Any vegan looking for an excuse to fire up the grill needs to look no further. Andrea’s “vebab” (vegan kebab) is so simple it almost isn’t allowed to taste as good as it does. Vegetables, kebab spices and a healthy dollop of homemade vegan mayonnaise sets the standard for what a healthy kabob should be.
And, of course, the mystery man who brought about all the delectable food for this Santa Barbara food photoblog, Andrea Campanella:
Andrea Campanella, a former professional chef, travels the world on his bicycle organizing and offering organic and local food feasts in every city and village he stays. Andrea accompanies his vegan and vegetarian offerings with Dynamic Meditation and creative gatherings in the countries he visits. The money he raises goes toward community projects. Andrea’s adventure started four years ago with no money and a goal to fund water wells in Kenya. 12,000 miles later he has financed five wells, and he still has no money.
Read more about his life and work here: www.pazzodaviaggiare.com