Kedgeree with Smoked Tofu

A long time ago, I read somewhere with great fascination that the British Royal family were served Kedgeree for breakfast on New Year’s Day. I never knew what it was and thought it was some exotic, mysterious, complicated recipe. Until I discovered nothing could be further from the truth. Turned out it was not just […]

Cream of Mushroom Pasta with Broccoli & Soy Slices

Pasta must be an all time favourite in Zen Centres. It hardly matters what kind and it’s always a win-win situation. At the old Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City, pasta would often be the meal of choice for a festive celebration. I recall going a little overboard one time. It was at the end of Ango […]

Amaranth with Pisto Topping

Amaranth. What to do with it? Heaven knows. It’s sticky, it’s tacky, it’s downright deliciously nutty and gives a wonderful feel-good after glow. It’s one of the super grains of the ancient Aztecs… Because of its unusual consistency I thought amaranth might cook like baked polenta when topped with some simple vegetables and heated in […]

Mango Curry

When visiting my lovely family in Bilsborrow I wanted to make tea simple by using what was in the fridge. There were some random vegetables, and a mango! After picking up a can of coconut milk from the local village store, we got cracking in the kitchen. The result was quite satisfying and without too […]

Black Olive & Walnut Pesto Pasta

Uh oh. Ran out of time for the work period on Sunday. Almost everything was ready except the ingredients for the pasta. Thinking of a quick work around; why not make pesto with essentially the same things? So into the blender went a couple of cans of drained olives along with a jar of sun […]

Vietnamese-Style Stir-fried Cabbage & Scrambled Egg

Shorin, a Zen River member, volunteers at a food garden in Uithuizen that grows organic vegetables. Occasionally they can bring home a few surplus veggies that didn’t find a new home. This might explain the two huge sweetheart cabbages propped on the kitchen counter that together weighed well over 2½ kilos . I’d never seen […]

Shakshouka with Scrambled Tofu

Shakshouka. What a lovely sounding name. This dish, originating from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, is often prepared with poached eggs on top. But for our purposes scrambled silken tofu works great. The superb blandness of it sprinkled with a little black salt mimics the neutral taste of egg whites set against the pungent spices […]

Vegetable Biryani with Chick Peas

Biryani is what my hubby might to refer to as rice-with-bits. Whenever I ask him “what shall we make for lunch?” he invariably says “rice with bits!” He loves rice-with-bits. The best Biryani I’ve tasted was at Benares  restaurant in Madrid. It’s delicate flavours inspired me to come up with a vegan version for the Zen […]

Carrot & Burdock Ginger Stir-fry

This is another favorite recipe from Japan. It conjures up fond memories of Fujidera, Hojosans countryside temple nestled at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The monthly zazenkai is followed by a lovely potluck with little dishes carefully prepared by each member, and this was one of them. Eighteen years on I finally I decided it […]

Chinese-style Black Bean Sauce with Veggies

While making a Chinese-style veggie dish at my brother and sister-in-laws, I suddenly realized I’d forgotten to buy tofu. By chance Stef and Jen had a can of black turtle beans in the cupboard. Seeing them jogged my memory; black bean sauce (made with fermented soy beans though!) is regularly used as a flavoring in […]