Coconut Shortbread

In the 1930s, our Scottish great-grandmother collected and wrote down recipes throughout the war years in a thick, hardbound notebook. Rations made basic ingredients hard to get hold of. Inside the front cover, written in long hand and black ink it reads; “Where butter is mentioned, margarine is meant.” Today we made shortbread using coconut oil, rather […]

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 […]

Peanut Lime Spicy Dressing

The inspiration for this recipe came from tasting a salad that was served drizzled with a tangy, sweet, peanut dressing and was divine. So when the kitchen served this on the condiment trays during a sesshin about eight years ago, Ryusho was so enthused that I thought better write it down fast before I forgot! […]

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 […]

Spiced Banana Cake

If you’re looking out for dairy and egg-free, this cake might be up your street. It’s easy to make and bake, comes out moist, and has enough lift for a yummy texture. Gyosei mentioned she was particularly fond of it and had happily munched away too many slices by the time morning coffee break was […]

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 […]

Apple Snow

In a storybook I read as a child, there was a chapter where the children ate Apple Snow. I was fascinated! It was said to be made with pureed apples and whisked egg whites. Considering the enlightened risk that using raw eggs poses these days, here is a less lethal take on the same theme; […]

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 […]