Mindful Eating: Pause & Nourish

Mindful Eating: Pause & Nourish

Imagine having a peaceful, playful relationship with your food.

A connection so deep, you know intuitively what food to reach for – because you know it’ll nourish you.

I want this for you.

Imagine honoring the wisdom planted in your body over the years.

Recognizing your ancestral traditions; tuning into your hunger pangs and cravings; and respecting your body’s fiercely graceful evolution.

I want this for you.

Imagine savoring every whiff, crumb, flavor and texture you consume.

Salivating at unexpected aromas and astonishing yourself with the full-bodied sensations that come from food.

I want this for you.


…slowing down to enjoy your food.

…listening to and TRUSTING your body’s internal signals.

…throwing out your weighing scale.

…ditching calorie-counting and macro-tracking.

…eating exactly what you want, when you want – without feeling like shit. 

I want this, and more – for you.

That’s why I created “Mindful Eating: Pause & Nourish.”

A 5-week beginner’s course to slowing down, savoring your food and trusting your body. 

Runs October 27 – December 1, 2022.

Mindful eating is the practice of becoming fully present while eating…with curiosity, loving kindness, and zero judgement. 

The benefits are infinite: improved digestion/gut-health, lower stress levels, decreased overeating, a deeper connection with your food and body and more!

It’s the gift that keeps on giving; the more you practice.

But don’t take my word for it, sign up – and practice with me!


During this course, you’ll practice:

  • slowing down and using all your senses to connect with your food;
  • becoming present and eating with curiosity and no judgement;
  • tapping into your internal hunger and fullness cues; and
  • offering your body gratitude, compassion and loving kindness.

We’ll practice virtually, as a group – once a week.

For 5 weeks, we’ll meet for 1 hour on Zoom (see dates below).

I’ll guide you through a brief eating meditation, introduce a new concept (for example, “rest-and-digest,” types of hunger, tapping into your internal hunger and fullness cues, gratitude & self-compassion) – and we’ll reflect on new learnings.

And every week, you’ll receive prompts and exercises to support and reinforce your personal mindful eating practice.

The classes will be offered at 6pm Pacific Time on the following Thursdays: 

  • Thurs, October 27, 2022  | 6-7pm PT
  • Thurs, November 3, 2022  | 6-7pm PT
  • Thurs, November 10, 2022  | 6-7pm PT
  • Thurs, November 17, 2022  | 6-7pm PT
  • Thurs, December 1, 2022  | 6-7pm PT (We’ll skip the week of Thanksgiving)

The sessions will be recorded and available for replay.

Cost: $197

Early bird: $150 if you register by October 23, 2022

I can’t wait to support you with this practice. If you have questions, email me at mukta@muxcooks.com.

xo – Mux

Hi, I’m Mukta Gadkari.

A board-certified holistic nutrition consultant and coach; I support my clients with mindful eating, digestive/gut health and blood sugar balance. I teach you how to nourish yourself.

Want to learn more about working with me? Email me at mukta@muxcooks.com.


Mushroom Tempeh “Chorizo”

Mushroom Tempeh “Chorizo”

(Recipe adapted from the “Oyster Mushroom Taco” recipe in the 2021 Flavor cookbook by Ottolengi, Belfrage & Wigley).

This recipe is tasty AF.

My husband’s words, not mine. He’s not wrong though.

This Mushroom Tempeh “Chorizo” recipe came into our lives in 2020 – the year we began our steamy love-affair with homemade corn tortillas.

[Side note: if you’ve never made corn tortillas at home, do it.

It’ll change your life.

Or, at the very least – it will take your taco obsession to the next level. That’s what happened to us.]

And amidst our renewed taco obsession, I discovered an “Oyster Mushroom Taco” recipe in Ottolenghi’s Flavor cookbook that I knew I had to recreate with tempeh for added protein.

Turns out, the texture of crumbled mushrooms and tempeh come pretty close to the look and feel of chorizo.  And after a few tiny tweaks, this recipe was born.

But does it taste like chorizo?

If you’re looking for a veganized Mexican chorizo, this isn’t it (TBH there are delicious vegan Mexican chorizo recipes out there already).

The flavor of this particular dish is so unique – spicy, smoky, salty and slightly sweet – that it’s almost a different dish altogether.

Infused with allspice, dried chipotle chilies, tamari and garlic – and sweetened with maple syrup – this “chorizo” is intoxicating, satisfying and so addicting, you’ll wish you’d made more.

So, lets get right to it.

Here are my tips before you dive in:

  • This recipe is somewhat involved: It consists of multiple steps and can feel intimidating and time-consuming the first 2-3 times you make it. So, save this dish for a weekend taco night.
  • Texture is key: Chopped mushrooms + crumbled/chopped temeph are a match made in texture heaven. For this dish, I took it a step further and shredded the mushroom stems with my fingers. This is optional. You can use a food processor for both, mushrooms and tempeh, to speed things along – but don’t go overboard! You want texture, not mush.
  • Use any mushrooms: I most often use cremini (baby Bella) mushrooms they’re easily available and affordable. Oyster mushrooms, which tend to be pricey, will give you the most texture in this recipe (especially if you shred them – they look like chicken!).
  • Don’t forget the spicy drizzle: At the very beginning, you’ll make a dry spice-blend with cumin, allspice and dried chipotle chilies (found online or your local Mexican grocery store). You’ll mix 2 teaspoons of that dry spice-blend with olive oil for a spicy drizzle at the end. Don’t forget the drizzle (I always do)!
  • Add a vegan “crema”: This “chorizo” is quite intense. While I love it as-is with plain mashed avocado, you may prefer something creamier to soften it. Consider adding a dollop of vegan “crema” using this recipe by Brown Sugar & Vanilla or these Cashew Crema instructions by Todo Verde. If not vegan, you can use sour cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

That’s all for now. I hope you try this recipe – and love it too.

Let me know how it goes! xo

Mushroom Tempeh "Chorizo"

An Ottolenghi-inspired mushroom tempeh "chorizo" packed with flavor: spicy, smoky, sweet, salty - it's got it all. Perfect in tacos, breakfast burritos, or salads!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chorizo, mushroom, plant-based, tacos, tempeh, vegan
Servings: 2


  • Spice-grinder or mortar & pestle
  • Rectangular baking dish (9X13")


  • 1 lb mushrooms oyster or cremini
  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp tamari (I used low-sodium) or soy sauce or shoyu
  • 4.5 tsp maple syrup
  • 7 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds approx. 3/4 tsp ground
  • 4 dried ancho or chipotle chilies stem removed, roughly broken
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice approx. 6 whole allspice berries

Serve with:

  • Corn or flour tortillas, avocado, radish, cilantro & squeeze of lime.


  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • First make a dry spice-blend by grinding the cumin seeds, dried chilies and allspice berries (if using whole) together using a spice-grinder (ideal) or mortar & pestle.
  • Make your spicy drizzle: In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of the dry spice-blend with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside. You will use this as a final drizzle once the "chorizo" is cooked.
  • In a larger bowl, make the sauce by mixing the remaining dry spice blend with the remaining 5 tablespoons of olive oil, maple syrup, tamari, minced garlic and sea salt.
  • Crumble the tempeh: First, remove the tempeh from its plastic wrapping. There are multiple ways to crumble tempeh (see notes). My preferred way is to chop it into small uneven pieces (crumbles) as follows:
    On a chopping board, cut the tempeh block into half widthwise. Then chop each half roughly into thin strips - then rotate it and chop into smaller pieces. You want the crumbles to have texture, so don't worry about making them evenly shaped or sized. You can break up anything that's too big with your fingers.
  • Spread the tempeh out into a large baking dish.
  • Prep your mushrooms: It isn't necessary to wash mushrooms, but you can if they're dirty. Otherwise, brush them off gently with a cloth or your hands. Do not throw away the stems! You can slice off the very bottom of the stem if it's dirty.
    Shredded or torn mushrooms give maximum texture to this dish. Use your fingers to tear the stems lengthwise. You can finely mince the mushroom caps, or tear them up too into small pieces.
  • Combine tempeh, mushrooms and spices: Add the shredded mushrooms to the tempeh in the baking dish, pour in the sauce (oil-maple-tamari-garlic-spices) and mix well using a spoon. Spread the mixture out evenly in the dish.
  • Bake! Place the baking dish into the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Then, carefully take the dish out of the oven, give the mixture a stir, spread it out again and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  • Assemble tacos! Spoon the "chorizo" onto tortillas with mashed avocado, sliced radish, chopped cilantro, a drizzle of the reserved spice-blend oil, and a big squeeze of lime. Enjoy!


How to crumble tempeh:
  1. Chop small: My preferred way is to chop the tempeh up into small pieces and break it up with my fingers (described above).
  2. Food processor: You can crumble your tempeh in a food processor or hand-chopper by pulsing a few times. Do not over-process it - you want to maintain the texture of the tempeh. If using a food processor for this recipe, you can crumble the tempeh & mushrooms together to save time!
  3. Use your fingers: Of course, you can just use your fingers to crumble the tempeh! 
If the "chorizo" flavors are too intense:
  • Add something creamy: vegan crema, sour-cream, a dollop of Greek yogurt or mashed avocado are my go-tos.
  • Combine with plain steamed/roasted potatoes: I especially love using my "chorizo" leftovers in breakfast burritos along with steamed potatoes and salsa. 

Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu

Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu

Tofu’s got a reputation for being “hit-or-miss” at the best of times.

And for good reason.

It’s bland by itself, requires extra time, effort and TLC to inject flavor into it – and EVEN THEN it often falls flat.

In fact, I’ve found only a few recipes that make tofu taste good.

And this is one of them.

Simply dusted with sea salt and black pepper; drizzled with tamari (or soy sauce) and vinegar – then baked in an oven for 30-40 minutes; this is the perfect recipe for when you want a head-start on dinner. It’s also one of the most straightforward ways to make yummy tofu.

This recipe is:

  • Simple: No techniques or faff required – just press, slice, season and bake.
  • Minimal: Uses 6 ingredients including the tofu!
  • Versatile: You can change up the seasoning as you please. Soy sauce or shoyu instead of tamari? Sure. Rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? Definitely. Spice it up with garlic powder or hot sauce? Yes! 
  • Hands-off: My favorite part! This recipe requires minimal supervision which makes for a relatively stress-free protein option for dinner.

Top this tofu on salads or bowls; tuck it into sandwiches or wraps; throw it into noodles – or just enjoy it plain and hot, right out of the oven.

This recipe’s a favorite in my home and I hope it becomes one in yours too.

Try it, let me know if you love it, and share! xo

Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu

A simple, hands-off recipe to make tasty tofu. Use in grain-bowls, salads, wraps and sandwiches!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: baked, dinner, plant-based, tofu, vegan
Servings: 2


  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper


  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1-2 tbsp tamari (I used low-sodium) or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon or lime, squeezed


  • First, drain and press the tofu. If your tofu is vacuum-sealed, you can skip this step.
    Press the tofu for 10 minutes using a "tofu-press" or simply place it on a plate or tray and "press" it using something heavy. I use a wooden chopping block and 1-2 cans to add extra weight, as shown in the photo.
    Discard any remaining liquid that runs off the tofu.
    How to press tofu
  • Preheat your oven to 380F (190C) and prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Now, on a chopping block, using a sharp knife, cut the tofu into 12 thin slabs as shown in the image. I did this by first slicing the block into half widthwise, then into thin slabs lengthwise 6 times. It doesn't matter how they look as long as you have 12 pieces of the same thickness.
  • Lay the tofu slabs out on the prepared baking tray.
  • Lightly sprinkle the slabs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then flip them over and do the same.
  • Drizzle the tamari and vinegar on one side of the slabs (no need to flip over).
    Note: soy sauce and shoyu tend to be saltier than tamari. If you're not using low-sodium tamari, start with 1 tablespoon instead of 2.
    If easier, mix the tamari and vinegar in a small bowl and brush it onto the tofu slabs.
  • Now place the baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and carefully flip each piece over with tongs. Then put it back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
    Note: the tofu will not crisp up in this recipe, but will become golden brown.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and squeeze lemon or lime juice all over the tofu pieces.
    Optional: If you want to slice the tofu into strips, let it cool for 2 minutes once out of the oven, then slice each piece into strips lengthwise. Then squeeze the lemon/lime juice all over.


  • Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce. I use a low-sodium variety here. If you are using soy-sauce, shoyu or regular tamari, use 1 tablespoon in the recipe (it's easier to add more salt/soy later!)
  • Squeezing lemon/lime juice at the end is optional, but recommended to cut through and balance out the saltiness. It also brightens up the entire dish. 
  • This recipe does not make tofu crispy. To get crispiness, you'd need to use cornstarch or arrowroot powder. There are loads of recipes out there if you do a quick search.

When is stress a problem?

When is stress a problem?

First, a quick story. 

During my 20s and early 30s, I thought stress was in my head.

“Stress is for wimps,” I thought. “I’ll deal with it.”

So, I did. I threw on my blinders and charged for the finish line. I plowed through all-nighters, relationship drama, job uncertainty, immigration issues, unexpected cross-country (and trans-Atlantic) moves and corporate overwhelm. ‘Cause there was nothing a yoga class, a glass of wine or a good night’s rest couldn’t fix.

Meanwhile, during phone-calls, my mom would offer out-of-the-blue, “I think your problem is stress.”

“Mom. I’m not stressed!”  Of course, I was. Moms just know.

The truth is, while I looked calm on the outside, I was building up like a pressure-cooker inside. In reality, because my body was in stress overload for years, my adrenals had taken a beating. And this led to issues like weight gain, PCOS, low blood pressure, low thyroid and major “hanger” outbursts.

Turns out, by ignoring my stress, I had created a monster. I was on the fast-track to burnout, but just didn’t know it yet.

Acute versus Chronic Stress

Let’s be clear: stress is a crucial survival instinct – your body’s way of protecting you. And after your initial fight-or-flight response, your body is wired to bounce back and restore balance. This is called acute stress.

Chronic stress, on the other hand, is sneaky – lingering long after the original stressor passes, and sometimes involving multiple stressors. For example, receiving a health scare right after you’ve spent months planning for your big wedding. Or, navigating a marital challenge, loss or grief during a global pandemic.

This persistent and prolonged stress is destructive and can mess with everything from your digestion to blood sugar to mood to immunity. Chronic stress throws off your body’s balance and can show up in the form of belly fat, high cholesterol, hormone imbalance, acid reflux, infections, joint pain and more.

So, when Is stress A problem?

When does stress become chronic? When should you pay attention to your stress levels and learn strategies to buffer it? When should you ask for help?

Only you can answer this. Reflect on these prompts, and be honest with yourself. Awareness is the first step to understanding and buffering your stress response.

1. When it’s prolonged.

Chronic stress is described as stress that occurs for “several weeks or longer.” Consider how long you’ve felt stress or overwhelm. Maybe a big event triggered your stress response, and your body didn’t have a chance to fully recover from it. Meanwhile other daily stressors took over, keeping your body in a constant state of fight-or-flight.

2. When it makes you sick.

When your stress response is consistently activated, your body will send you notifications, much like your trusted smartphone.

“Your phone battery is low.”

“Your phone is overheating.”

“Restart phone now for updates.”

Your body sends you similar signals to unplug, recharge, take a break, stretch, eat and hydrate. And if you keep ignoring them (no judgement here; I do it too), the signs get bigger and louder until you pay attention.

I created the picture below to illustrate the many ways chronic stress can show up in your body (not an exhaustive list).

As you can see, stress is linked to several health conditions. In some cases, it’s the root cause; in others, a catalyst.

Don’t ignore these signs. Your body is throwing you red flags and wants you to pay attention!  It’s time to slow down, take stock of your stress levels and adopt daily habits that nurture and support you.

Which brings me to #3.

3. When you have insufficient resources to navigate it.

Stress and coping researchers, Lazarus and Folkman describe stress as when, “the demands of a situation exceed our resources to cope.”

Resources can include external ones like a reliable support system; or internal ones, like nutritional mineral reserves (more on that in a later post).

During my toughest months of chronic stress, I thought I had ample support. A loving family and friends, a regular yoga practice and healthy diet…all checked out. Turns out, I still had major gaps in my resource tool-kit.

For one, I didn’t know how to say ‘no,’ or create boundaries where it mattered. Next, I didn’t know how to support my nervous system when my stress-response kicked in. Finally, I didn’t know how to ask for help, or who to turn to.

If this sounds like you, please know that a) you’re not alone, and b) you’re in the right place.

Start here:

  1. Download The Chronic Stress Survival Cheat-Sheet for 15 tips to nourish, recharge and support you when you’re stressed. Print it out, keep it handy and refer to it often.
  2. Talk to me. I offer a free 30-minute “Break-the-Cycle” consult (no strings attached) and am here to support you in creating a calmer, more joyful and nourished life with food and lifestyle tweaks.

Stress doesn’t go away. But learning tools to navigate stress and support your nervous system can change how you respond to it, and ease your body back into balance over time.

While my chronic stress journey was one of the scariest times of my life; I’m thankful it gave me a newfound appreciation for my body’s nervous system as well as the skills to soothe and support it going forward. I hope it’ll do the same for you.

I’d love to hear if you learned something new in this post. Let me know in the comments below!

xo, Mukta

Spiced Walnut Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spiced Walnut Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie is a far cry from the usual gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan cookie of my dreams.  And it uses a lot more ingredients than I’d normally care to mess with…

But I’ve been obsessing over this combo ever since I found out it was a thing.

Tahini and dark chocolate? In cookie form? Sign me up! 

And in the spirit of searching for levity and delight this year, I decided it was time to make these cookies already. There are several variations on this recipe out there, but I used the Tahini, Rye & Chocolate cookies from Green Kitchen Stories (one of the OG food blogs) as inspiration.

Why I love this recipe…

It uses:

  • Whole-grain flours: Stone-ground rye gives it depth and nuttiness while the addition of gluten-free teff (you can use buckwheat instead) makes it lighter.
  • Healthy fats: Tahini (sesame seed paste), walnuts, sesame seeds and eggs provide satiety and blood sugar balancing properties.
  • Wholesome sweeteners: Dates lend extra fiber, iron and magnesium, and coconut sugar adds extra minerals.
  • Spices: Grated ginger and black pepper give it a subtle warmth and makes these cookies more interesting. You could add ground cinnamon, cardamom or even chili flakes for an added kick – but I didn’t this time around.
  • Dark chocolate: Need I say more?

Plus it’s so versatile! You can swap out most of the ingredients (check out the notes below) and make this your own special create-your-own-cookie adventure.

If you’re skeptical about baking with whole-grain flours and unrefined sweeteners, let this cookie be the one that converts you.

Try this recipe, and let me know if you love it! xo

Spiced Walnut Tahini Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

These spiced cookies bring warmth to a cold wintry day. Rye flour, tahini and walnuts add a nuttiness and ginger adds an extra layer of spice to this classic cookie. Plus they're subtly sweetened with mineral-rich dates and coconut sugar.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chilling time20 mins
Course: Cookies, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: chocolate, cookies, dessert, rye, snack, tahini, wholegrain
Servings: 20 cookies (30 smaller ones)


  • 1 Food processor or hand-chopper (helpful - an electric mixer would work too).


  • 1 cup rye flour I used stone-ground, medium rye
  • 3/4 cup teff or buckwheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml tahini sesame paste
  • 3.5 oz unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or more if you like!
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds or more, to coat.


  • Start by combining the rye flour, teff/buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a food processor or hand-chopper or separate bowl, mix butter, tahini, sugar and pitted dates for a few minutes on high speed until properly combined.
  • At this point, add your spices or other flavorings. I added the grated ginger and crushed black pepper, but see notes below for other options.
  • Add the eggs to the processor and mix until combined.
  • Now, add the flour mix to the food processor, one cup at a time and mix completely. You don't want to overmix this.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the chopped chocolate and walnuts and mix to combine.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours until firm or freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  • While the oven is pre-heating, use a tablespoon measure to make small-ish balls and coat them in sesame seeds. Then place them on the baking trays an inch apart.
  • Bake for about 7 minutes, then remove the trays and bang/smack them down on your kitchen counter a couple times to let them flatten and crack.
  • Put the trays back into the oven for another 6-8 minutes until they get slightly golden/browned.
  • Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking tray for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Seal in an airtight container for up to 5 days, and enjoy!


Potential swaps that could work (I have not tried these):
  • Flours: If you don't have rye, unbleached whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour could work. Buckwheat or any other gluten-free flour should work in place of teff.
  • Butter: If you want to make it vegan, replace the butter with coconut oil. It will have a different flavor, but will still taste good.
  • Eggs: If you want to skip the eggs, you could use "flax or chia eggs." For every 1 chicken egg, you'd use 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seed + 3 tbsp water. Allow it to thicken for 5 minutes, then use. 
  • Tahini: You can try almond butter or peanut butter in its place. This will change the flavor of the cookie, but should still work!
  • Coconut sugar: You can use raw cane sugar as a replacement, although the latter might make it sweeter. 
  • Spices: I've used ground black pepper and grated ginger, but you could use ground cinnamon, cardamom or even chili flakes! 
  • Walnuts: Use other nuts or skip!