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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Japanese-Style Noodles with Hot Broth

The last Friday of the month at Kirigayaji in Tokyo, Hojosan holds a zazen-kai evening (meditation gathering). After sitting zazen and chanting the Sandokai all the members come together to slurp down soba noodles with great abandon. It’s a very simple dish to make if you can get hold of the ingredients (check your Asian market for good deals!). […]

Buckwheat Stir-Fry

It was one of those rare days when all the ingredients I expected to find were not there. It was after sesshin, and the shopping hadn’t arrived. Looking to the right of the empty spot in the pantry where the short-grain brown rice usually sat, I saw a few bags of buckwheat groats; and in the […]