Art-inspired vegan recipes for health and healing

Maayan Ora, originally from Montreal, is a vegan who uses her love of art to create delicious and vibrant recipes.

She is in her second year of blogging online about healing foods and plans to open a restaurant in Jerusalem next year.

Her motto, she says, "has always been 'revealing the light within the truth." She believes there is more than an appealing exterior to food and works to highlight the beauty inside in her recipes.

Plant-based shakshuka with a chickpea-flour "omelet."Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

"My name is a big part of my healing journey," she says."My name in Hebrew means 'Wellspring of Light.' We are all given names which are a lot more powerful than we know. I believe our parents name us for what they saw in us, a garment of our soul, a power that we will shine through one day, it's very deep and very real to me.

Ora says that before diving into any food or therapy, "one should look at the name and the meaning of it and they will understand a lot more."

Avo Toast with sourdough bread, cashew spread and quinoa patties. Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

Vegan Indian Thali. Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

Truffle mushroom burger on sourdough bun. Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

After immigrating to Israel three years ago, she saw how the vegan movement boomed in Israel.

"What's special about Israel is that a lot of people are looking for something deeper. Maybe because they live in their soul country or because of the way the culture is. I think Israelis are talented and lucky to be in a space where they can spread the healing of the body."

Ora was not always vegan, but later in life she saw the way food affected her body. Veganism means "healing and preventative medicine" to her.

Loaded Veggie Bowl topped with vegan sour cream. Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

While she loves animals and the environment, health is her main reason for promoting veganism.

"I feel that before anything else we need to save our own body. Our body is our walking vehicle in this world. One must take very good care of it."

Loaded Veggie Bowls and tahini. Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

Q: What is the philosophy of the restaurant you are planning to open?

A: Healing. Our whole beings are solely created from a seed. And from there we grow. When I look at "real" food — plant based — I see seeds. Seeds waiting to be treated and cooked with love. The idea is that our bodies can't handle much. We grow up with different illnesses or later in life it hits us. The food we put into our mouths has a lot to do with chronic illnesses. All we have to do is get to know the nutrients and see what our bodies really need in order to not just survive, but live.

Barbecue Jackfruit Nachos with a side of artichoke guac and cashew cheese. Photo courtesy of Maayan Ora

Q: Why do you want to open a vegan restaurant?

A: Plant based has always been an eye catcher for me. The things you can create with simple foods, it's endless. I also wanted to use the experience to acquire more knowledge about food interactions in the body.

Maayan Ora's Healing Mushroom Coconut Curry Soup

"Go crazy on the spices because they are flavor and because they are medicine," Ora says.

Sauté in a little oil:

  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • hot peppers
  • mustard seeds
  • cumin
  • garlic
  • Add in:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped zucchinis
  • 20 chopped mushrooms
  • handful of basil
  • curry leaves (or curry powder)
  • Cook until soft.

    Add:

  • 1 cup coconut milk/cream
  • 1 cup water
  • Bring to a boil briefly. Add salt and pepper. Blend, eat and enjoy.

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