Pumpkin Okayu

Several years ago, Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi  (son of the late author Shunryu Suzuki Roshi) had been invited to Zen River as Jokeshi (official witness) to a Shusohossen ceremony. It would be a perfect occasion to serve a Japanese-style breakfast with okayu and miso soup and all the pre-requisite condiments; pickled ume plums, toasted nori seaweed, […]

Cocoa & Coconut Oats with Fruit

Liz, a close friend of mine, recently sent a link about the foodie craze that hit the US ages ago; Overnight Oats. Of course, I missed it. It’s even in the snack-to-go section in the supermarkets these days. But never mind, as one of my other friends likes to say when something goes amiss. Better late than never. […]

Quinoa Okayu

Technically this is not really Okayu  (お粥 Japanese for rice-gruel) but it is a nice name for a porridge. Quinoa Okayu easy to make, doesn’t take too long to cook, and has a lovely texture. Some may recall similar recipes in the ZRC made with rice or a little amaranth, but I thought it was […]

Barley Porridge with Walnuts

When we were young my mother used to make something she liked to call barley soup. It was actually just barley and milk cooked together for what seemed like an eternity. By the time it was done, the milk had condensed to pudding consistency. As kids we loved it, but the down side was it […]

Nirvana Pudding

One of the things about zazen that never fails to amaze me is how interesting thoughts – and solutions – can arise when the mind stays open. A natural disposition ready for that ureka! moment. So this morning at Zen River, rather than making rice gruel for breakfast a colourful thought popped up saying how nice it […]

Kasha Porridge

Buckwheat is what, healthy? Yes, it is. At least according to Wikipedia. It’s rich in B vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc and selenium. So if you tire of porridge oats (which did happen to me during Zen retreats when oats were the mainstay breakfast for many a sesshin) this is a lovely rich and earthy substitute with the […]

Creamy Brown Rice & Amaranth Cereal

The weather has been really wet, windy and miserable these last few days. Not cold, which is odd for this time of year, but filled with the kind of dampness that gets under your skin and into your bones. The air clings to the scent of falling leaves and traces of wood smoke. For days […]