Mary Taylor Freeman began studying yoga in 1971, soon after she came home from France with a grande diplôme from Julia Child’s cooking school, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes.
She found yoga at first a means of finding equanimity during the stress of University, and it was that thread of balance that got her hooked. It was not until 1988 and finding her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and the Ashtanga Vinyasa system that she experienced the profound and transformative impact that a dedicated and daily practice can have on all aspects of life.
Yoga & Buddhism
She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings with great enthusiasm and inquisitiveness. With an eye on how the residue that is produced on the mat (and cushion) through these teachings informs and supports all aspects of everyday life.
Mary travels and teaches with her husband Richard Freeman and also within the caregiver and hospital setting as part of the core faculty of the Being with Dying program (Upaya Zen Center) and the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Trainings.
In 1988 she co-founded with Richard the Yoga Workshop. Additionally, Mary is also the author of three cookbooks and the co-author of What Are You Hungry For? Women Food and Spirituality (St. Martins Press) and The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).
Her philosophy on food is based on the premise that women have many secrets. But a woman’s secret relationship with food and her body can overshadow other aspects of her life, filling her with obsession, shame, and fear. Additionally many women waste countless years focusing on food and appearance, rather than spending energy on what holds deepest meaning for them.
Below is Mary’s recipe for Lime Spiked Rice Noodles with Edamame. The combination of textures, colours and aromas in this dish make it very satisfying and intriguing. It’s easy to prepare, and even though there are numerous steps in preparation, most can be done in advance (mixing up the sauce, toasting and chopping the nuts, slicing vegetables, cooking the edamame) so the final cooking is super fast and easy. You may use flat brown rice noodles, thin vermicelli-type white rice noodles or bean thread noodles. Each results in a slightly different texture, but each works well.
Makes 4 servings | prep time: 25 minutes | cooking time: 10 minutes
- 4 ounces rice noodles
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil
- 3-4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste or mango powder
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons agave
- 2 cups cooked edamame (may use frozen)
- ½ cup sliced red or yellow bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 scallions, shredded
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup minced fresh mint
- ¼ cup minced cilantro
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
- Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes or until soft. Drain, cover and set aside.
- Toast the nuts and seeds: Place the cashews in a dry skillet and cook them over medium heat, tossing frequently, until browned. Pour the nuts onto a chopping surface and chop to a fine texture. Repeat the toasting process with the sesame seeds; browning and then turning onto the work surface to mix with the cashews.
- In a small mixing bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the lime juice, tamarind or mango powder, tamari and agave. Set aside.
- Prepare the edamame by steaming them over rapidly boiling water for about 4-5 minutes. They should be very crisp and a bright green. Immediately remove from the heat, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- Prepare all of the other vegetables, slicing the pepper, mincing ginger and garlic and shredding the scallions, setting them aside as well. Measure the pepper flakes, mint and cilantro.
- All of these steps, except soaking the noodles, may be carried out up to 24 hours in advance if ingredients are stored in airtight containers—the vegetables, spices and sauce should be chilled if prepared in advance.
- When ready to eat, prepare the final dish. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When hot, but not smoking add the bell pepper, ginger, and garlic. Toss to coat with oil, reduce heat slightly and cook for about 1 minute. Add the softened noodles, scallions, pepper flakes and edamame. Toss and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice mixture, mint and cilantro. Toss to combine. Turn into one large or several individual serving bowls, top with the cashew mixture and bean sprouts. Serve immediately.