Matthew Teague and his sister Rebecca are the co-authors of baba’s Bites, a gorgeously photographed and illustrated book of plant-based recipes. We get an exclusive preview.
That glow they have about them comes from within. The brother-and-sister duo Matthew Teague and Rebecca Teague are well-known around the island – the habitués of MANA!, where Matthew used to work, know his shock of untamed blond hair all too well.
Matthew is an Ayurvedic cook and Rebecca an artist. During the pandemic, the two have been working on baba’s Bites, a rich, informative, well-researched and beautifully photographed and illustrated book filled with plant-based recipes, as well as anecdotes that help make it even more nourishing. Matthew takes the time to talk us through it.
How did the book come about?
It stemmed from the passion of two siblings for living happily, sustainably and in harmony with nature and community. We brought together these approaches to provide a holistic and restorative approach to planetary and human health. Rebecca has been involved with healing the “internal landscape” – our bodies and psyche, and me more so with the “external landscape” – the soils and the Earth. Having recently completed the Ayurvedic Healing course at the American Institute of Vedic studies, I’m now an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant, certified breathwork practitioner and permaculture design certified. My sister has a BSc in occupational therapy, and is an Ayurveda wellness consultant – and she’s an illustrator. The book is an amalgam of so much of our experience and skillset.
A hand-made book seems a novel idea for 2021. Why not a web site?
There’s a site: babas.life/bites. We wanted to make Ayurveda accessible to anyone and everyone who wanted to add a little more consciousness to their food choices. The book baba’s Bites brings together ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, modern plant-based cuisine and hand-drawn illustration into a beautifully presented cookbook. It’s consciously crafted to offer an accessible introduction to the basics of Ayurveda, and clarifies the roles of the doshas (the three bodies) in relation to different foods and body types. Each seasonal recipe is designed to bring balance to these body types. For example, manjistha is known as one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for glowing skin. A natural eye tonic is drinking a concoction of almonds, fennel, and mishri (crystallised sugar).
How easy are the recipes to follow?
The majority of the recipes in the book are “one-potters” and use readily available ingredients that can be found in most places around the world. The book is intended to provide simple and easy-to- make meals, and most recipes can be made in under an hour. All ingredients used in the recipes are 100 percent natural, and contain no additives, chemicals, preservatives or any other nasties. Each recipe page has “bites” of wisdom that educate the reader on the Ayurvedic benefits of ingredients in everyday language that’s easy to understand.
So when we eat what’s recommended in the book, will we find our inner glow?
True transformation begins when we discover that the elements in our body are at one with the elements of the Earth. It’s created with true health in mind, body and soul, and goes a step further in creating a wholistic vision for good eating and living that goes beyond fad-diets and quick-fixes.
Do you have some quick tips for our readers?
Eat naturally and rediscover your nature, go back to your roots with the right food and re-wild yourself with natural food. Allow yourself to feel connected and nourished by the soil beneath us. Worldwide, people are searching for a way to become more connected and balanced in their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. We invite you to join us in making sure our roots are nourished and the conditions of our everyday are life-affirming and sustaining for your unique being.
This story first appeared on Prestige Hong Kong.