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 […]

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 […]

Ponzu Bean Salad

Ponzu is a versatile citrus sauce that I first encountered as a marinade in a bottle in Japan. It’s a brightly flavoured sauce made with yuzu citrus fruit blended with soy sauce, rice vinegar, dashi, and mirin. It is often used to flavour all kinds of dishes in the Japanese kitchen. Nabe was one in […]