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 workaround; 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-dried tomatoes […]

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 […]

Shakshouka with Scrambled Tofu

Shakshouka. What a lovely sounding name. This dish, originating from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, is often prepared with poached eggs on top. But for our purposes scrambled silken tofu works great. The superb blandness of it sprinkled with a little black salt mimics the neutral taste of egg whites set against the pungent spices […]

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 […]

Carrot & Burdock Ginger Stir-fry

This is another favorite recipe from Japan. It conjures up fond memories of Fujidera, Hojosans countryside temple nestled at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The monthly zazenkai is followed by a lovely potluck with little dishes carefully prepared by each member, and this was one of them. Eighteen years on I finally I decided it […]

Chinese-style Black Bean Sauce with Veggies

While making a Chinese-style veggie dish at my brother and sister-in-laws, I suddenly realized I’d forgotten to buy tofu. By chance Stef and Jen had a can of black turtle beans in the cupboard. Seeing them jogged my memory; black bean sauce (made with fermented soy beans though!) is regularly used as a flavoring in […]

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 […]

Spiced Spinach

Tenkei loves cooked spinach so when we serve curried lentils as a main dish, I like to serve this instead of a green leafy salad. I vaguely remember that when we used to dine out at the local Indian restaurant in the 1980’s green leafy salad was not on the menu. If someone asked for […]

Rosemary Red Lentils

When visiting my mum recently I was happily making tea* for the seven of us (my brother and his wife were coming over with some of their kids). I’d prepared the rice and vegetables, but forgotten to buy tofu. Whoops! I needed a quick fix, and fast. Scanning the cupboards revealed a bag of red lentils. […]

Oven-Baked Tofu

Someone once asked me how did you make the tofu so crispy? At first I was mystified, but then realised they must have meant the tofu that was baked in the oven instead of fried in a frying pan. I do it quite often these days as it’s more convenient to make in large batches […]