Mole Verde with Butter Beans

This is fast becoming a green favourite. But I have to confess, it took a while to make it yummy enough without the chicken and the tomatillos, a small green tomato-like fruit that doesn’t seem to grow in shops around here. When we’ve been served this is Mexican restaurants, there was lots of sauce and […]

Cool Potato Salad

Tenkei first introduced me to this festive cold potato salad not long after I met him. He told me his mum often made it for summer parties. I imagine it was one of those post-war creations made on a budget? All you needed were potatoes plus whatever was at hand to mix through it. Sardines, […]

Shitake “Bitterballen”

A favourite bar snack in The Netherlands is Bitterballen. Small, round, deep-fried croquettes formed from bechamel sauce and meat, served with mustard, and usually accompanied by a drink. These days it is not unusual to find vegetarian versions, but the ones I’ve tried so far have been no match for the real deal. So I decided […]

Single Pancake Recipe

I always imagined pancakes served stacked like a leaning tower of Piza surrounded by a noisy crowd of happy kids. (However, I’ve learned that stacking hot pancakes is not such a good idea!) Even though all those kids have long since grown up, the Zen River crew still love it when pancakes show up for […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]