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Profile: Lifestyle Coach Sasha Stone

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    Sasha Stone
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    Brown Rice-Green Lentil Kitchari with Broccoli and Kale
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    Broccoli and kale
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    Lentils and brown rice
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    From top: coriander, turmeric, fennel seeds, mustard seed powder, cumin
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    Add the brown rice and the lentils to the pot, mix with the spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Apr 27, 2015

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Sasha Stone is a very good cook. “I grew up eating incredible food,” she said on a recent afternoon, drinking tea in a light-filled, comfortable living room in the mid-century Laurel Canyon house she shares with her boyfriend.

A women’s wellness entrepreneur, Sasha was born in Canada to parents who’d emigrated from Trinidad. She spent chunks of her childhood in Egypt—elementary school in Alexandria, high school in Cairo—following her dad, who worked for an oil drilling company.

“My mom is a phenomenal cook,” she continued, “and Trinidad has a huge, food-based culture, influenced by India, China and Britain.” Sasha learned by watching her mom work her magic in the kitchen—roti, curries, Yorkshire pudding—as well as exploring out on her own. Her favorite was a “hole-in-the-wall place in Cairo, where they made the best shawarma”—shavings of different kinds of meat, such as beef, chicken or lamb, that are grilled for hours.

“Making my own food today is a priority,” said Sasha. She also places importance on cooking and living, as a woman, in harmony with her menstrual cycle. “I read [the book] Woman Code, and it had a big impact on how I shop for ingredients, cook and eat. Each phase of the cycle corresponds with different hormonal changes in the body, and I find eating the right food helps me with energy and how I feel in general.”

Age 35 — Hometown I don’t have one! I was born in Calgary, moved to Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) when I was 1, moved to Alexandria, Egypt when I was 3, moved back to Victoria when I was 5, back to Alexandria at age 6, back to Victoria age 7, then to Cairo, Egypt age 11-almost 17. Victoria and Cairo played the most significant roles in my childhood. — Where do you live? I live in Los Angeles, which has been my home for almost 12 years. This is the longest, by far, I've ever lived in one city. — Occupation Goddess Lifestyle Coach — Signature dish Anything you can eat in a bowl, usually vegan, but sometimes with fish. I love rice bowls, quinoa bowls, noodle soups, and gigantic elaborate salads. — Who taught you how to cook? I taught myself, but watching my mom cook every day during my childhood of course played a massive role in my abilities in the kitchen. — Favorite kitchen tool Salad spinner, and my Blendtec if I'm allowed to have two. — Always in your pantry Brown rice, chick peas, quinoa, lentils, and vegetable stock. — Go-to snack Apples and homemade almond butter. — Favorite cuisine Quite honestly, my favorite cuisine is my own cooking, which is a blend of many influences including Trinidadian, Indian, Japanese, Thai, and California hippy. — Do you diet? Sometimes I do cleanses, but very gently, never starving. They consist of leaving out sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, and all animal products. This is inspired by Kathy Freston's Quantum Wellness Cleanse, which was one of the first books on diet/nutrition/veganism I first read. — Food addictions Bread and tortilla chips. I seem to have an emerging sweet tooth as I get older too! — Food allergies I discovered many years ago that I'm highly sensitive to garlic (it depletes my immune system, which is the opposite effect it's supposed to have). I was devastated at first, but now I substitute with shallots which I find to be a much more subtle option, therefore the other flavors of the food arent' masked by that harsh garlicy taste. — Food fad pet peeve No carb diets. I love carbs! And they are necessary for brain function. As someone with a very high metabolism, limiting carbs results in chronic hunger for me. — Who’s your sous chef? I'd like to say my boyfriend, but that's not true. He's only allowed in the kitchen after we've eaten, to do the cleaning up. — Drinking while cooking? If you're talking about water then absolutely! (I drink alcohol so rarely) — What’s for dinner tonight? Roasted brussel sprouts, steamed swiss chard, quinoa, and hummus. — Do you ever cry over spilled milk? Yes, spilled almond milk. — Best meal you ever had My favorite restaurant in the world is Tasty's, a gourmet Caribbean restaurant in Anguilla. The fish at this restaurant is to die for! — Contact sashamariestone.com

Brown Rice-Green Lentil Kitchari with Broccoli and Kale

Kitchari is an Indian rice-lentil porridge. Sasha adapted this version from an Ayurvedic recipe a friend gave her. She swapped ghee for coconut oil to make it vegan, and added broccoli and kale for extra texture and flavor.

“It is easy, delicious, filled with nutrients, and excellent for digestion,” she says of this dish, which is perfumed with five different spices. “For women, it is an ideal dish for the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle, which occurs after their period and before they ovulate. This part of the menstrual phase is great for getting focused, organized, making plans, and checking off your to-do list.”

Sasha loves avocados—“those are also great for the follicular phase”—so she scoops some on top of the finished kitchari.

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  1. Serves 4–6
  2. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  3. 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  4. 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon mustard seed powder
  6. 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  7. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  8. 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
  9. 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  10. 2 cups vegetable stock
  11. 3 cups water
  12. 2 cups kale, chopped
  13. 1 cup broccoli florets
  14. Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  15. Salt and ground black pepper
  16. Avocado (optional)
  17. Cilantro for garnish (optional)

1

Combine the cumin, turmeric, fennel seeds, mustard seed powder, and ground coriander in a small bowl. Melt the coconut oil in a medium-size stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the spices and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2

Add the brown rice and the lentils to the pot, mix with the spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour the stock and water into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the rice and lentils become tender, about 35–40 minutes (there will still be some liquid left).

3

Stir in the kale and broccoli, cover, turn off the heat, and let steam for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add the Liquid Aminos or soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl with avocado and cilantro.

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