Tanuki Soba

This recipe is a Japanese-style heartwarming dish. I asked Shuho-san our resident Japanese monk what he would call this at home? Tanuki, he said. What is that? I asked. It’s a small mythical creature (like a racoon), and when we serve it with Udon, it’s called Kitsune (a mythical fox).The name certainly adds a mysterious […]

Sunflower and Lime dressing

This is a lovely creamy dressing, with a vibrant green hue. Tozen was intrigued and asked if it was either in the book or on the blog? I said it was barely out of my head and into my notebook! So he took a quick snapshot of my handwritten scrawly note just as he left […]

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, […]

Fresh Thai-Style Veggies

Today The Netherlands became stricter on social distancing, as have many other countries in our world. The good side might be that, if we are still in good health, by being stuck at home there may be more time to cook? At least I hope so! Anyway, this might be a nice recipe to try. […]

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding. An old wartime favourite in a period when nothing would ever go to waste. In our bookcase, there is an old faded hardbound notebook compiled by my great-grandmother in 1936 called “Anna Lendrums Cookery Book”. She wrote the recipes in longhand using dark blue ink. They were collected from acquaintances near and far (mostly […]

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 […]

Curry Dressing

During an annual visit to Zen River Madrid sangha, I was invited to lunch with Emyo and Julio. We went to Benares, a beautiful Indian restaurant that served curried delicacies in the style of Nouvelle Cuisine. It was both elegant, beautiful, and fabulously tasty! A dainty salad arrived with a dressing that was so delicious, and Emyo […]

Lima-Lime Dressing

Lima-Lime dressing. A fusion of Peruvian, Japanese, and Arabian influences all coming together in one small bowl of dressing. Which got me thinking. Zen also feels like a fusion of so many influences. Take the robes that Zen monks wear for example. The first layer is often a western-style T-shirt or vest. The second is […]

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 […]