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Barry’s Gleanings: Each Monday?


Ducks on Jalan Bisma, Ubud, Bali.

“A decade ago, the trailblazers at Meatless Monday asked Americans to go flesh-free 1 day a week. Now that people in 29 different countries have embraced the switch, it’s a movement with serious impact.

‘Eliminating a day of meat can cut your weekly saturated fat by about 15%,’ says Peggy Neu, president of the Monday Campaigns. It also saves fossil fuels: If all Americans avoided meat and cheese 1 day a week for a year, we’d save the same amount as taking 7.6 million cars off the road. That’s a lot of bang for your veggie burger buck.”


“Is It Monday Yet? Try Crispy Black Bean Corn Cakes with Avocado Salsa — or one of the nine other delicious meatless recipes from Mario Batali and other premier chiefs–from <>”

From: “New Food Rules” by Mark Bittman in Prevention, March 2014, p. 91.

Aloha, Renée


Let’s Get Cooking: Balinese Gado Gado, cold vegetable salad

Gado gado, a  Balinese salad (served with peanut sauce) is a traditional vegetable dish.  What makes this healthy salad particularly delicious is, of course, the peanut sauce.

gadogadoKizmetwAt Dewa and Ayu’s family compound – a wonderful Balinese meal.

Gado gado is simple and healthy.

This recipe from Payuk Bali: Balinese Cooking Class serves four.

CSIngredwSpices ready for use at Payuk Bali –

Ingredients for the salad:

–       100 gr (3.53 oz) long beans, cut and blanched

–       1 cup (240 mL) bean sprouts, blanched

–       100 gram (3.53 oz) spinach, blanched

–       1 young carrot, thinly sliced

–       1/4 head of cabbage, chopped and blanched

–       1 piece tempe, deep fried, thinly sliced

–       1 hard boiled egg, cut in wedges (optional for vegetarians)

–       2 tsp. (10 gram)  shallots, sliced, fried

–       1/2 cup (120 mL) Balinese peanut sauce (see previous post).

The presentation varies.

gadogadoBollerow-1Gado gado at Bolleros on Jalan Dewasita in Ubud.

gadogadosomaw-1Gado gado at the new Soma’s on Jalan Gootama in Ubud.

Mix the ingredients together as you wish – and serve.

gadogadodewawGado gado at Dewa Warung on Jalan Gootama in Ubud.

See the previous post for the Balinese peanut sauce recipe.

I think you will love gado gado too.

“Selamat makan”  (enjoy your meal),


Let’s Get Cooking: Balinese Peanut Sauce

Balinese meals include wonderful sauces. Many are spicy; my favorite is the peanut sauce, often used for satays and for a tasty Indonesian salad, gado-gado.

csspicesw-1Ingredients ready for chopping –

gadogadoayuwBarry eating a gado-gado with Ayu’s spicy peanut sauce at Vera Accommodation in Ubud.

This peanut sauce recipe from Payuk Bali: Balinese Cooking Class in Ubud, Bali, serves four.


–       300 gram (10.58 oz.) peanuts

–       1 clove garlic

–       4 shallots

–       aromatic ginger – to taste

–       12.5 gram (.44 oz) brown sugar (or palm sugar in Bali)

–       fresh (or dried) chili pepper – to taste

–       fresh lime juice

–       1 Tbsp sweet soy sauce

–      coconut milk (or water)

Cooking –

Fry the peanuts until golden brown, remove from the pan and leave to cool.

Drain off all but a little of the excess oil.

Grind the peanuts to make a paste.

Add fresh chili pepper, garlic, salt, brown sugar, and aromatic ginger to the peanut paste, grind to mix.  Sample to adjust flavor.

Put peanut pate in a pan, add a little water to thin—use coconut milk for richer taste.

Add sweet soy sauce into the peanut sauce to taste and bring to a boil.

Simmer peanut sauce until thick and season with lemon or lime juice.

gadogadopswBalinese peanut sauce.
“Selamat makan” (enjoy your meal),  Renée

Let’s Get Cooking: Chocolate-Zucchini Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberries–from Bloomington, Indiana

Vanessa is a great cook!  This is what she did with zucchini--chocolate/zucchini cupcakes with raspberry topping!

Vanessa is a great cook! This is what she did with zucchini–chocolate/zucchini cupcakes with raspberry topping!

My cousin Vanessa loves cooking and follows her mother’s tradition of always having something special to eat ready for visitors.  So when Barry and I arrived at her home in Bloomington, Indiana, Vanessa had these just-from-the-oven cupcakes ready for us.  You would never guess something as healthy as zucchini is in this recipe. When your garden or local market has those two-pound zucchini, you can now use one to make this excellent treat :).

To make her cupcakes, Vanessa adapted the following cake recipe from Bon Appetit:

yield: Serves 12

The zucchini helps keep the cake moist.


2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 1/2 medium)

1 6-ounce package (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

From: <>

Vanessa poured the cake batter into a cupcake pan.  After the cupcakes were cooked and cooled enough to take out of the pan, she topped them with a little chocolate frosting and fresh raspberries. Yummy!

This is what awaited us when we arrived--still warm from the oven

This is what awaited us when we arrived–still warm from the oven!  And yes, a bite is already missing.

Enjoy.  Aloha,  Renée

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Farmers’ markets have huge heads of wonderful cauliflower now.  Here’s a great cauliflower recipe for you to try from Mark Estee, chef and owner of Campo in Reno, Nevada.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

1) Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets

2) To make the dressing, whisk together the following ingredients:

– 3 garlic cloves, minced

– 3 anchovies, minced  [or if you are vegetarian as I am, to get the salty taste, substitute  nori strips, miso, Kalamata olives, or capers]

– 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

– 3 Calabrian chilies, minced [These are small, round, red chilies that are touted as the “best tasting hot chilies.”  However, they  are hard to find outside Italy or  big places such as N.Y. city. Most of us can substitute quality dried red chili flakes].

– 2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper

– 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

– 1 cup olive oil

3) Toss dressing with cauliflower florets and roast until tender, about 10 minutes.

4) Remove from oven and top with a few tablespoons of bread crumbs.

– from Spirit Southwest Airlines, July 2012, p. 46.

Not only is cauliflower tasty, but it is also healthy.  A 1/2 cup of cooked cauliflower has 14 calories, 1.1 g of protein, 2.6 g of carbohydrate, 0.3 g of fat and 1.4 g of fiber.  Cauliflower’s  low calorie and carbohydrate content helps control weight and blood sugar.  <>

Enjoy this wonderful summer vegetable.

Aloha, Renée

Longhua Buddhist Temple, Buddha’s Nirvana Day in Shanghai; and Perhaps a Message from Buddha

Many helping hands of Buddha

Devotees offer incense to Buddha on the anniversary of his death, "Nirvana Day"

Women preparing flower offerings for the temple

“Nirvana Day,” the anniversary date of Buddha’s passing fell on  March 7  this year.  We were included in a celebration, so we got to see the Longhua Buddhist Temple and Monastery, the oldest and largest active Buddhist temple in Shanghai.  It was first built in 242 AD in the style of the Song Dynasty.  Since then, it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.  The nearby Longhua Pagoda was built in the 10th century.

Protector of ???

This statue is a representation of the Eastern King of Protection for Buddhist territory in heaven and earth.  He is holding a pipa, a four-stringed Chinese lute, and protecting all living creatures.

Longhua Temple entrance and Pagoda, which holds the remains of important deceased monks

Barry and I had been invited  by Dean Mao, the very friendly and jovial head of the SHNU Financial College, to eat lunch there at the temple which we knew would have vegetarian meals.  We expected a bowl of humble, but tasty, noodles.

Barry and Dean Mao at the Jen Dow vegetarian buffet

Laura, our terrific Shanghai Normal University contact, came too.

Wonderful Laura

And two 20-year-old Italian visitors from Florence were part of our luncheon group.

Niccolo, whose father often teaches in the SHNU Economics Department, and Carra, on semester break from their university

Instead of humble noodles, which were available outside for a little more than a dollar, we got to have a spectacular vegetarian buffet with about 200 choices.

JenDow tasty vegetarian selections

Inside the JenDow Vegetarian Restaurant--not the humble Buddhist lunch we expected

Even the fake meats and seafood, which aren’t usually very good, were flavorful and beautifully presented.  For example the Japanese baked eel, in terms of look, texture, and taste seemed like genuine fine and fresh seafood.  We were surprised and impressed–and had fun trying many dishes.

JenDow desserts plus we had Häagen-Dazs ice cream

JenDow photos from:

Although Dean Mao had to leave for a meeting, the rest of us stayed to talk–and continue eating, of course.  We learned more about Laura and her family, and the Italian students told us about their concerns in getting future jobs.

As we were there chatting, a Chinese woman came and  sat down at the end of our table.  She said something, but I didn’t understand, and at first I thought that because the restaurant was crowded, she just needed a place to sit since the table with her group was too crowded.  That wasn’t it.

She must have been hungry.  She took Carra’s chopsticks that were on the table, wiped them off with a napkin,  and gathering all our mainly empty plates in front of her, began eating all our leftovers!   We continued talking to one another.

The woman  was middle-aged and dressed O.K.; she was a little round, so she wasn’t starving, and she definitely knew how to take care of herself.  When she was finished with our dishes, she got up without fanfare and left.  However, a few minutes later, she was back.  She had picked out her own dessert and sat to eat it too.

We think Buddha would have approved of her actions.  And she is much smarter than the Chinese man we saw in McDonald’s on the Bund.  He was clearing tables and eating the leftover food there; he did not look healthy.

It’s easy for us to have a segued view of China.  Barry and I are surrounded by Chinese students who have families that can send them to university.  Zhejiang Province is forested and has good farm land and economically strong cities like Hangzhou and Shanghai.  Although we’ve seen humble dwellings and the no heat in public buildings south of the Yangtze River seems harsh to us, we haven’t really seen poverty.  In fact, we’ve seen people who work very hard and are excited about their growing opportunities.

We have so much that it is easy to forget that many  people in the world suffer; some suffer in ways we can not comprehend.   That also seems a message from Buddha that we got on the anniversary of his Nirvana Day.

Compassionate Buddha

Aloha and zaì jiàn, Renée

Tomato Egg Stir-Fry, Let’s Get Cooking, Zhèjiāng Province, China

Chinese Favorite: Simple Tomatoes and Eggs

Photo from –

Holiday foods surround us now, but if you want something simple, this tasty dish recommended by ZAFU students may be for you.

The tomato and egg recipe (蕃茄炒蛋/西红柿炒蛋) is one that many of my ZAFU students in Lin’an know how to cook and one that I often ordered in Chinese restaurants because it is tasty and vegetarian.

Usually the students who get into university have been studying intensely from the time they are very young.  Thus as they are growing up, most don’t do household chores or need to know how to cook.  But the tomato and egg dish is  simple to make and several of the students suggested it as a good meal to know.  I’ve combined the instructions of two of those students: Maggie and Catherine.

Ingredients:   (serves two)


2 eggs

1/4 t. salt

pinch of pepper

2 or 3 tomatoes, cut in wedges

1 cup water

2 t. ketchup

1 t. cornstarch (or substitute tapioca starch)

3 1/2 Tbs. cooking oil (grape seed oil is good for high temperature heat as is sesame oil, which adds a nice nutty flavor)

1 chopped spring onion


1. Beat the eggs lightly.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add eggs, salt, and pepper.  Keep stirring until the eggs form deep yellow lumps. Gently break the lumps into smaller pieces.

Eggs--I cooked four eggs and had enough to serve four people

Be careful of the eggs and do not let them become scorched. When almost done, remove the eggs from the wok.

Eggs almost done

3. Clean the wok.

4. Heat yet another tablespoon of oil; stir-fry the tomato chunks.

Tomatoes stir-fried in a clean wok

Cover with the lid and let it cook for about 30 seconds.  Then add the eggs, water, ketchup, cornstarch, and half of the chopped scallions.

All the ingredients cooking

Stir-fry quickly over high heat for 30 seconds or so.   Remove from heat.

To serve

Take the tomato omelet out of the pan and put it on the plate.  Pour the sauce which is left in the pan in the plate.   Sprinkle as garnish the remaining chopped spring onion.  Serve immediately.

Tomato & Egg - a favorite


Maggie and Catherine were among the students who recommended this dish. Maggie, now a ZAFU sophomore, likes to play games and plans to become a teacher.

Maggie from Wēnzhōu

Maggie is  from Wēnzhōu a city of over nine million people.  

Wēnzhōu is the third largest city in Zhèjiāng Province, China.

Photo from

Maggie’s city is not only vibrant and modern, but it is also near places of beauty.

Yandang Mountain near Wēnzhōu

Photo from

Wikipedia notes, “Wēnzhōu was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is situated in a mountainous region and, as a result, has been isolated for most of its history from the rest of the country, making the local culture and language very different from those of neighbouring areas. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being enterprising natives who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries. To be noted, for example, that the biggest Chinese community in Europe, in Milan, is mainly formed by families who emigrated from this district over the last 100 years.”

Maggie, however, seems happy in Zhèjiāng Province and is likely to make her future there — where she will continue to enjoy Chinese tomato eggs.

Another student, Catherine also shared her tomato egg recipe, which she called a tomato omelet.


Catherine is from Hangzhou.  She is always cheerful and likes eating delicious food.  She also notes, “In the future, I’d like to travel to minority regions and experience their customs.”

She recommends that everyone visit the beautiful “Qiao Dao Lake,”  west of Hangzhou.

Qiandao Lake, a national park of clean water and over 1,000 large islands as well as a few thousand small ones

Photo from:

Catherine described her tomato and egg recipe: “This is my favorite food because I tried it by myself when I first tried to cook. And this progress left me a deep impression. I hope that you can try to cook it by yourself. I believe that you will fall in love with your tomato omelet.”

The Chinese eat this tomato/egg dish with white rice, which soaks up the nice sauce.  I add a green salad and serve it for a quick dinner.

Chinese Tomato/Egg with black beans, quinoa, and a green salad--delicious!

Give it a try.

Zài Jiàn and Aloha, Renée

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