Food Rules

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– Michael Pollan

* Avoid products containing ingredients a third-grader can’t pronounce
* Don’t buy any food you’ve ever seen advertised on television.
* Just imagine your grandmother, or great- grandmother depending on your age, as you’re rolling down the aisle in the supermarket. If she would not recognize something as a food, it’s not a food.
* If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not really hungry
* Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. There are exceptions — honey —
* Don’t eat until you’re full. Eat until you’re satisfied. The Japanese have a rule calles hara hachi bu, which means, “eat until you’re 80% full”.
* Do all your eating at a table. And no, a desk is not a table.

great spirit carries on

© EunYoung Sebazco

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Fabulous bread from  BK17 Bakery. My friend Sarah Owens has an enthusiasm for sourdough and  has been creating great delicious breads. She has been very particular about local organic and seasonal ingredients. She was just featured on Edible Brooklyn. A lovely person that I have known many years and her great spirit carries on her bread making. Find more information and photos at Instagram (@rosaprimula).  Thank you for sharing your amazing bread with me!

Temple food: Shojin Ryori

© EunYoung Sebazco
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I went to a lecture “Shojin Ryori: Zen Cuisine for Body and Mind” at the Japan Society last night. I was able to learn about Japanese Buddhist cuisine. I am a vegetarian, but I also truly believe the same concepts of temple food in which they use. When I was young, my grandmother took me to the (Korean) Buddhist temple every weekend. It wasn’t a lot of fun sitting for the long chanting (that lasted hours) but, it was rewarding to watch the preparation of food and then have lunch with everyone. I still do remember the taste of rice and the fresh vegetable side dishes. It was excellent. In Korea, the temple food belief is that seasonal vegetables contain abundant natural nutrients and also matches the physical structure of humans. I was really glad that I was able to join in to taste Shojin Ryori. Chef Toshio Tanahashi said that you don’t make the flavor, you do draw out the flavor from ingredients and find their depth. Yes, exactly!!

Temple food : Korean dishes

When I was little, my grandmother took me to the temple every weekend. It was not fun (or exciting) to sit for the long chanting that lasted hours, but one of my joys was to watch the preparation of lunch and then have a meal with everyone. I still do remember the taste of rice and the fresh vegetable side dishes. It was really fresh. Korean Temple Food has been rooted at the Buddhist temples for about 1,700 years and is designed to support the meditation practice of monks and nuns. It is the simplest food and it is made from natural ingredients with minimum of preparation.

 I attended a lecture about the Korean Temple Food with Venerable Dae Ahn at Korean Society in NYC a few weeks ago. It was very short in time, but a lot of great information about what ingredients we should use, how to cook, or what to eat…

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Here, let me talk about rice. (I will save some other time about general Korean Temple food). The rice is the main dish in Korea like Japan or China. These days, many Korean people prefer to have brown rice or brown rice with mult-igrain as the healthy food. But I learned something very interesting from Venerable Dae Ahn. Actually, it does make sense. She said that it is not a good idea to have too much multi-grain because the body needs to work hard to digest. She also said the Korean temple food uses all seasons of vegetables are included with the rice meal. The temple food belief is that seasonal vegetables contain abundant natural nutrients and also matches the physical structure of human beings. We know that having rice and legume (bean) together complete the central amino acid cycle to create the protein; however according to her, beans or multi-grain has to be seasonal as well in temple food. She said that the temple kitchen cooks the rice with millet or green pea in spring, rice with barley in summer, fresh rice in fall and rice with multi-grain in winter (to help strengthen joints). Also, she recommended that when you have a rice meal, you should take the same amount of vegetables to better balance nutrients. So, what would you cook today?