The Center for Nia & Yoga

(518) 463-5145 | 4 Central Ave Albany, New York 12210

Bowls of Zen

The Joy of Nia, the love of a good stretch and deep relaxation combined with my love to cook with reckless abandonment in my kitchen with music playing and red wine flowing and an empty nest, combined forces to create the Bowl of Zen experience.

The actual experience has 2 formats:

  1. Mindfulness Bowls of Zen– lunch time (1 – ¼ – ½ hrs)
    • Silent (no talking) mindfulness eating in a circle
    • A few restorative yoga postures to simulate digestion
    • 20 minutes of deep relaxation
    • Tea and cookies with gentle conversation
  2. The Chakra Experience - 3 hrs
    • Nia Chakra Dancer ( movement of Chakra energy)
    • Yoga- accu-yoga press points to stimulate the chakras (stretch, deep relaxation, toning and meditation)
    • Candlelight Bowls of Zen dinner party with conversation

Bowls of Zen Recipes

2nd Chakra Soup

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 6 large carrots
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 med size butternut squashPeeled, boiled to soft in salted water
  • Leaks sliced thin
  • 3-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger chopped thin
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped fine
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chopped fresh spinach
  • Sautéed in olive oil salt/pepper

Food process ¾ of boiled vegetables. Add sautéed mix – light blending. Add all to pot, let refrigerate about 24 hrs.

Brown rice side dish – Cooked brown rice

Sauté in olive oil:

  • Leaks or onions/sliced thin
  • Garlic cloves
  • Pine nuts
  • Fresh herbs of choice: parsley/cilantro/basal
  • Chopped spinach
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Add sauté to rice or add rice to sauté. Add additional olive oil/water/salt/pepper as needed.

Casey’s Hearty Winter Soup

A bag of any kind of split peas (orange, yellow or green) soaked until expanded (over night). Next day boil split peas in fresh salted water. Seasonal root and available vegetables In large sauté pan, sauté in olive oil and add water:

  • Onions (other options add; leaks, and or scallions)
  • Garlic 4 – 6 cloves (smashed/wait and chopped)
  • Bell peppers; all varieties; green, red, yellow & orange
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet potato
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Any 1 -2 available fresh greens chopped
  • Options: spinach, dandelion greens, swiss chard, kale
  • Fresh herbs: Basal, parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano
  • Salt /pepper to taste
  • Optional favorite hot sauce (ie sarachi) for those that like heat (could be added to separate bowls)

When split peas have started to cook down, add this huge

mount of sauté veggies. There is not need to have them all cooked down. All to soup pot, bring to boil, lower flame and cook 3 – 5 hrs stirring on occasion. I like to have it sit in refrigerator over night to let the flavors come together, next day bring boil, and lower heat. Remain separate servings and leave the rest in the refrigerate to increase longevity of the soup.

Summer Minestrone Soup

Saute in olive oil:

  • Onions chopped ( 1 big one)
  • Garlic 4-6 big cloves smashed, wait, chop and add
  • Bell peppers all colors; red, orange, yellow, green
  • Zucchini 1 -2
  • Yellow squash 1 – 2
  • Tomatoes, all various chopped
  • Greens colored swiss chard (other options dandelions green/spinach
  • Fresh Basal, lots of it, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, cilantro organeo
  • Add 2 cans of dark cooked red kidney beans ( may add to other canned cooked beans)
  • Salt pepper to taste,

Boil, lower flame, cook 2 -3 hrs. may serve then or next day.

Sweet Potato Salad

3 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled – chucked and steamed

In a bowl chop:

  • bunch of Scallions
  • 1 red pepper
  • parsley


  • 1/2c oil ( I use olive oil)
  • 1/4c wine vinegar
  • 2 T honey ( agave- vegan)
  • 1T dijon mustard
  • salt/pepper

Let sweet potato cool & mix above ingredients together

Add…anything you want:

  • dried cranberries
  • pine nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • can of black beans
  • pistachio nuts… walnuts.

To mix.. I transfer all these ingredients back and forth between 2 bowls. The sweet potatoes may mesh.. so transferring works better to mix. Play with ingredients amounts.. to taste.. You know!!

Molasses – Oatmeal cookies                   

G-m Mary's Oatmeal Molasses cookied

G-m Mary’s Oatmeal Molasses cookies

from my Mother Mary Klysa Hammond 8/88

Sift together:

  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • ground clove

Beat together:

  • 1/2 c shortening (canola -played with coconut and even butter)
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 2 eggs

Mix above together.

Add to mixture:

  • 1 – 1/2 c oatmeal
  • 1 c raisin/craisins/any currant
  • 1 c chopped nuts

I also add 1/2 bag of dark chocolate chips ( full bag for double recipe).

Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees 14 – 15 mins.

THE cookie served with tea at Bowls of Zen following deep


I usually double this recipe! I never measured the spices.. was always heavy handed