The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan
Nourish body and soul with simple, delicious food from Japan's temples.The Enlightened Kitchen introduces readers to shojin ryori, the traditional vegetarian cooking of Japan's Buddhist temples. Shojin food, with its emphasis on fresh, seasonal vegetables, staples such as seaweed, grains and tofu, and natural flavorings rather than chemical additives, is a highly nutritious and delicious alternative to the many unhealthy eating habits of Western society. In addition to its health benefits, the preparation and eating of shojin food in Buddhist temples has great spiritual significance. After spending their days in rigorous selfdiscipline, the monks welcome mealtimes as a soothing respite, both for those preparing the food with loving care and for those eating it with relaxed enjoyment.Stunning color photographs accompany more than sixty recipes for soups, salads, tofu and bean dishes, vegetables, rice and desserts. The author, Mari Fujii, married to a Buddhist monk and an expert in shojin food for more than twenty years, presents an array of recipes including: Carrot and Mushroom Soymilk Soup, Steamed Pumpkin and Tofu, Beans and Eggplant with Sesame Dressing, Ginger Rice and Banana Tempura. Her step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, and she has made an effort to use ingredients that are readily available in most good supermarkets. Fujii includes a guide to basic cooking techniques used in the preparation of shojin food, an extensive glossary of ingredients and equipment, and fascinating background information on the history and philosophy of shojin ryori. Perfect for vegans, vegetarians and anyone interested in healthful eating, the dishes from The Enlightened Kitchen will warm our hearts, sustain our souls, and fortify us inside and out.