Cashew Cream Spread

“Wow” Konin exclaimed when she tasted this spread as she passed through the kitchen “it tastes like French cheese!” It was intended to substitute cream cheese for breakfast but ended up going on bread rolls during sesshin instead. Nutritional yeast gives this savoury spread a fermented taste similar to real cheese. I first heard of […]

Stuffed Dates with Apricots

One of the young adults on the Young Minds retreat recently asked if there were any party snacks in the cookbook? There are few recipes that would work nicely, but not a chapter devoted to them. Which got me thinking. why not include one in Volume Two? (Yes, Volume Two could happen. Emphasis on “could” […]

Chunky Orange Marmalade

Orange marmalade. Love it. If I didn’t like cooking so much I’d probably eat marmalade and buttered toast at least twice a day – followed by a mug of Britain’s finest black tea steeped for ages and drowned in (soy) milk. So if like me – and my Dutch hubby no less – you have […]

How to Press a Lemon

Duh, sounds obvious doesn’t it? Apparently not. Having studied the throngs of people passing through the Zen River kitchen who have squeezed lemons during kitchen prep I began to wonder why one lemon produces more juice than another in spite of them being the same size and from the same batch? After paying attention I […]

Fried Soya-Meat Substitute

I was in Amsterdam this week seeing friends, and couldn’t help noticing that the restaurant we were visiting had arranged their menu for the National Meat-Free Week campaign. It reminded me that it might be time to post this little recipe to echo the sentiment. So, this is for the vegetarian in you even if […]

Spiced Spinach

Tenkei loves cooked spinach so when we serve curried lentils as a main dish, I like to serve this instead of a green leafy salad. I vaguely remember that when we used to dine out at the local Indian restaurant in the 1980’s green leafy salad was not on the menu. If someone asked for […]

Walnut Honey Cream Cheese

The first bagel I ever ate didn’t leave much of an impression. A chewy bread doughnut with cream cheese?  I was more used to fluffy, toasted Wonder Bread dripping with margarine. The second bagel was memorable. I had to wait a day in Boston before taking the Greyhound bus to Bar Harbor, where we would join the winter training period at […]

Cucumber and Red Onion Pickle

Marinated cucumber is (probably) the most popular type of cucumber at our lunch table. Tenkeis mother always marinated them in white vinegar, sugar, and salt; in Japan I’ve eaten very small cucumbers marinated in rice vinegar and sugar, then laced with shiso pepper and seaweed. Inspired by a visit to a Thai restaurant, this version is […]

Oven-Baked Tofu

Someone once asked me how did you make the tofu so crispy? At first I was mystified, but then realised they must have meant the tofu that was baked in the oven instead of fried in a frying pan. I do it quite often these days as it’s more convenient to make in large batches […]

Scrambled Tofu

Once upon a time I went on a vegan diet. It was a sorry state of affairs, as I had no good substitute for scrambled eggs, even if just for the colour. I’d tried making the dish with firm tofu but without much success; it always came out too dry. However, I’d never thought to […]