The Hippo


Jul 23, 2019








Fresh greens in Bethel Farm’s organic garden. Photo by Audrey Bethel.

Sharon Gannon at Bethel Farm

Where: Bethel Farm, 34 Bethel Road, Hillsborough
When: Saturday, Nov. 15
Extended yoga class from 1 to 3:30 p.m. ($80 includes yoga and book)
Book party and signing reception from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (free and open to public)
Simple Recipes for Joy dinner at 6 p.m. ($30)
Contact: Call 464-5985 or visit to register

Don’t be an angry vegan
Farm-to-table dinner highlights new cookbook

By Allie Ginwala

Although she is very serious about animal  rights, activism and practicing yoga, Sharon Gannon is not an angry vegan. 

“It’s not a diet of restriction. … Veganism should be about happiness and joy,” said Gannon, co-founder of the Jivamukti yoga method and author of Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes (Penguin Avery, 2014).
Gannon will be at Bethel Farm Yoga and Living Arts Center in Hillsborough on Saturday, Nov. 15,  for a book signing, extended yoga class and farm-to-table vegan dinner featuring her recipes and Bethel Farm’s organic produce.
Stephen Bethel, manager and owner of Bethel Farm, learned the Jivamukti method from Gannon and is excited to be the host of her first visit to northern New England. 
“She’s my beloved teacher, so I’ve been after her for years to come here to do a retreat or workshop,” he said in a phone interview. 
Bethel Farm’s kitchen prepares only vegetarian meals for its farm-to-table dinners. 
“Our joy is to bring non-vegetarians to dinner and serve them a rich, vegetarian meal,” Bethel said.
The day kicks off with a Jivamukti yoga class for all levels led by Gannon, who said in a phone interview that most people know her as a yoga teacher and expect her to teach a class even though the event is focused on her cookbook. 
“Veganism is very much a part of our yoga method,” she said. “To pair [them] together is very natural.”
After the yoga class is a book signing and Q&A session before Bethel Farm presents the farm-to-table dinner with a menu drawn from Gannon’s cookbook. Chef Christine Fletcher will prepare the multi-course, buffet-style meal using spinach, kale, squash, pumpkin and other produce grown in their hoop house, Bethel said. He hopes to see some of his favorites from the book, like pumpkin soup and hippie carrot cake. 
“It’s wonderful to go to these places and see how these hosts handle the serving of food,” said Gannon.
When putting together her cookbook, Gannon wanted to emphasize simplicity. 
“I’m a busy person, so these recipes are very, very simple and clear to prepare,” she said. 
Her go-to ingredients found in many of the dishes are vegetable bouillon, powdered broth and coconut milk, which are versatile, quick and easy to incorporate, she said.
Gannon takes pride in the fact that the over 200 recipes in her cookbook went through numerous tastings before making the final cut. 
“I’ve been cooking for friends and family for many years as a way to get people interested in vegan food,” she said. 
She had the chance to play with and improve upon her recipes since opening Jivamuktea Cafe in New York City in 2006. 
The recipe she’s perhaps most excited about is the chocolate mousse. After trying enough subpar vegan chocolate mousse, she decided to come up with her own.
“I worked really hard to develop [it] over many years, and I really think it’s a great crowd-pleaser,” she said. 
The secret, she said,  is coconut oil, tofu and coconut milk, plus a lot of whisking to make it fluffy. 
Both Gannon and Bethel think the event and the cookbook will attract long-time vegans and those new to the lifestyle. The cookbook cover is “whimsical and zany,” Gannon said,  reminiscent of a mad hatter tea party, which she said summarizes her view about veganism.
“It shouldn’t be about sadness or judgment to others who aren’t vegan or vegan enough,” she said. “It [should] contribute to more happiness and joy.” 
As seen in the November 13, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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