Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter  
Number 136 June / July 2009 Peninsula Macrobiotic Community

to the
of the
Peninsula Macrobiotic Community
in Palo Alto,

For information on our organization, click on About Us.

green onions
     Join the fun at the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners in Palo Alto!

How do I attend the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners?
Chef Gary Alinder, since 1987
Every Monday, 6:30 PM
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto
305 North California Avenue
at Bryant
1/4 mile East of Alma
Sit Down or Take-out, $15
Reservations Requested:
Call 650 599-3320 by
Monday 9:30 AM.
Open to everyone. Communal seating--new people easily integrate into our friendly group, which includes many singles. Make new friends on Mondays!

Coming Events
Monday, June 29
Amy Joy Lanou, PhD, speaks on Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis.
Monday, July 6
Independence Day Weekend, No Dinner.
Monday, July 10 - Sunday, July 19
French Meadows Summer Camp in the majestic Tahoe National Forest. Call Carl Ferré at 800 232-2372 for camp information and registration.
Monday, July 27
Meredith McCarty speaks on Designing Plant-Based Menus for Color, Flavor, Variety, Balance, Health, and Happiness!
News and Announcements
On Monday, July 27 at 8 PM, Holistic Nutritionist and Cookbook Author Meredith McCarty will speak on Designing Plant-Based Menus for Color, Flavor, Variety, Balance, Health, and Happiness! For information on the presentation, click here, $5-10 donation suggested. Reservations not needed for the lecture.

Before the presentation, join us at 6:30 pm for a Gourmet Vegetarian Dinner, see details in the box at left. Please reserve by calling 650 599-3320 by 9:30 AM.

Make a date with a friend to meet at a Monday Dinner, or come by yourself and make new friends! Either way, you'll get a great meal and a lot more--everyone wins!

Help publicize the Monday Dinners! An easy way to spread the word about our weekly community gathering is to click on the Tell-A-Friend link in the upper left of this page. Just fill out the form with the email addresses of up to two friends, along with any personal comments you'd like to add, and click Submit--this emails your comments along with pre-written details of the Dinners and a link to this website!

Another way to help is to post a copy of our Dinner Menus in public locations. For a pdf file suitable for printing, click here.

The 40th Annual French Meadows Summer Camp, sponsored by the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, takes place July 10-19 in the majestic Tahoe National Forest. This will actually be the 50th annual camp, as ten camps were held before moving to French Meadows. Special activities are planned!

Teachers include Ronald Koetzsch, PhD, David and Cynthia Briscoe, Bob Carr, Melanie Waxman, Bob Ligon, Meredith McCarty, Carl and Julia Ferré, Mike and Maria Chen, Laura Stec, Barb Jurecki-Humphrey, Mary Lore Simmons, Kerry Loeb, and Bob Ruggles. Delicious macrobiotic meals are prepared by Packy Conway, Susanne Jensen, and staff over wood fires. Also included are children's activities, campfires, cooking demos/classes, hikes, volleyball, variety show, and more-for a truly unforgettable experience!

Fees are $890/adult, $450/youth aged 3 to 16; 5% discount for full payment by June 1. Partial stays and work exchange are possible. For info, call Carl Ferré at 800 232-2372, pick up a camp brochure at Dinner, or visit any of the following:
Photo Galleries for the 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005 summer camps

Monthly Vegan Potlucks! The Peninsula Veggie Potluck People, a spinoff of the Monday Dinners, sponsor monthly vegan potlucks; for details, visit To host a potluck, call Diane Wohler at 650 704-0669, or Harold Stephenson at 650 856-1125.

The Loving Hut, an all-vegan restaurant, is now open in Palo Alto at 165 University Avenue, the latest in a chain of restaurants with branches in Milpitas, San Francisco, and six locations in Asia-all with the motto "be veg...go the planet." While the menu in this small branch is not as extensive as their other restaurants, it features outstanding choices including Pesto Divine, Avocado BLT (with tempeh), and 7 Seas Rice, all served by a friendly staff in a bright, clean location. Open Mon-Sat, 11 am - 9 pm, 650 321-5588.

The North Bay Macrobiotic Potluck Group usually meets the first Sunday of each month in Santa Rosa, contact Stephen Starkweather (), 707 542-9739,
Mexican Delights
June 29, 2009
Corn and Potato Posole

Tostadas with Saucy Black Beans, Marinated Veggies, Avocado and Tofu Sour Cream

Golden Rice Salad

Cinnamon-Cumin Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Chopped Veggie and Green Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Cool Coconut Custard with Mango Sauce

Lemon Grass Tea

More Dinner Menus...

Cooking and Classes
James Holloway, frequent Guest Chef at the Monday Dinners, does personal home cooking in Palo Alto, in macrobiotic and classical styles, call 650 852-9182.

Marin-based cookbook author, lecturer, and macrobiotic food coach Meredith McCarty offers cooking classes, consultations, and more. Call 415 272-5525 or visit for information.

For information on macrobiotic activities hosted by Macrobiotic Health Counselor Michelle Nemer, based in El Cerrito, email or call 510 527-4367.

Macrobiotic Counselors Julie Ong and Hana Kilibarda teach monthly macrobiotic cooking classes; on Saturday, June 6 the class will be Health From the Bottom of the Sea at Manzanita Restaurant, 4001 Linden St (at 40th), Emeryville, 3-5:30 pm, $50 prepaid includes dinner, call 415 312-0241 or visit for info. And on Saturday, September 12, 10:30 am - 1 pm at the First Baptist Church in Palo Alto: a class on Scentsational Sauces!
This clear, scientific, convincing explanation of osteoporosis will change the way the world thinks about bone health. Lanou and Castleman prove beyond any doubt that milk and dairy are the problem, not the solution. Building Bone Vitality will make you look fabulous while demystifying dairy-and strengthening your bones. Every woman should read this book-right now. Every doctor should, too.
Rory Freedman, coauthor of the New York Times best-seller Skinny Bitch
See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve greatness in little things.
After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

On June 29, Amy Joy Lanou, PhD, will introduce her new book Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis (with co-author Michael Castleman, McGraw-Hill 2009, paperback.) For years, doctors and scientists have been telling us to drink milk, eat dairy products, and take calcium pills to improve our bone vitality. The problem is, they're wrong. This groundbreaking guide uses the latest clinical studies and the most up-to-date medical information to help you strengthen your bones, reduce the risk of fractures, and prevent osteoporosis. You'll learn why there's no proof of dairy's usefulness, despite what doctors say, and why low-acid eating and daily walking are the most effective ways to prevent bone loss.

Dr. Lanou is assistant professor of health and wellness for the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA). She currently teaches nutrition, women's health, food politics and nutrition policy, and understanding chronic disease at UNCA. Her current research interests include nutrition for the prevention of chronic disease, how self-efficacy impacts health behaviors, and nutrition and bone health.

She is also senior nutrition scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting preventive medicine, especially better nutrition, and higher standards in research. In this capacity, Dr. Lanou focuses her research and projects on efforts to help laypersons and health care professionals shift to low-fat vegetarian diets for promotion of long-term wellness.
On July 27, Holistic Nutritionist (Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator) and Cookbook Author Meredith McCarty will speak on Designing Plant-Based Menus for Color, Flavor, Variety, Balance, Health, and Happiness! Did you know?
  • The longest living people on the planet eat between 90% and 99% plant foods.
  • The United Nations climate chief says having a meat-free day every week is the biggest single contribution people can make to curbing climate change in their personal lives, because it cuts the emissions from rearing cattle, sheep and poultry, while improving health.
  • The German federal environment agency went further, advising people to eat meat only on special occasions.
Learn the Menu Mantra for creating balanced macrobiotic meals ahead of time, in your mind, the best path to creating real meals that heal, and are a visual delight as well! After this practical presentation, take home a week's worth of menus for quick and easy breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and feel inspired to make them!

Meredith became involved in macrobiotics in the 1970s, and worked as an Associate Editor for Natural Health magazine and a co-Director of the East-West Center for Macrobiotics in Eureka. She has written three very popular cookbooks: American Macrobiotic Cuisine, Fresh From a Vegetarian Kitchen, and the award-winning dessert cookbook Sweet and Natural. Meredith started Healing Cuisine in 1995 to offer teaching, consulting, lectures and related services; visit  
Verne Varona's New Book
Health Counselor Verne Varona is one of the most informative and entertaining speakers you will ever encounter, on any topic. He has a talent for communicating valuable health information to general audiences, often with side-splitting humor. He is a very popular and sought after speaker who has presented to our group on several memorable occasions.

He's written a new book, Macrobiotics for Dummies (Wiley 2009, paperback), that is packed with wide-ranging information on all things macrobiotic in its 366 pages. Verne is of the opinion that macrobiotic education is sorely in need of updating, so I was eager to see his presentation of the subject. If done well, a book in the "Dummies" series could go far to promote macrobiotics and health.

The good news (the front) is that the book is filled with many topics related to macrobiotics. When browsing the detailed table of contents, interesting topics jump off the page; to satisfy my curiosity, I often skipped to the appropriate section of the book, and was usually rewarded with a clear and enlightening explanation.

I found the presentation of some of the topics very informative:  The Fermented Food Advantage in Chapter 3;  Understanding the Acid and Alkaline Picture in Chapter 4;  Chapter 5: Macro Boot Camp: Nutrition in a Nutshell;  Chapter 9: Healing Common Diseases and Conditions Macrobiotically;  and Chapter 10: The Ultimate Recipe for Self-Healing (this chapter is excellent, outlining a vision for achieving a balanced, meaningful life through macrobiotics.) The book also covers cooking thoroughly, including many recipes, in chapters 12-16.

The less than good news (the back) is that the order of the many topics is not always logical, making the book difficult to read from beginning to end. And while the book explains scientific and medical concepts well, I found it less effective when covering macrobiotic principles and integrating them into the overall picture. Nevertheless, Verne's book is strong in so many ways that it is well worth getting.
Leek and Asparagus Tart
Makes 8 servings

Feature the flavors of the season in dairy-free tarts that are fancy but very simple to prepare. These custard-like pies have a light, eggy texture from tofu in place of eggs, cheese, butter, cream, or milk. Great served with a whole grain dish or bread and a fresh or blanched vegetable salad.

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive or sesame oil
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup each light white wine and water
  • 1 pound tofu, fresh, any texture except extra firm
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish powder, American or European white or Japanese green (wasabi); or fresh horseradish, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon each marjoram and basil; or 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or Fines Herbes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Single Crust Pastry:
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white pastry flour
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons light vegetable oil (I prefer Spectrum walnut oil)
  • Water or vegetable broth from filling, to texture, 3 to 6 tablespoons
1.  Preheat oven to 400°. Brush a 9-inch tart pan with oil.

2.  To prepare filling, heat oil in a wide pan. Add leek, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté briefly. Add asparagus, wine and water. Cook over medium-low heat until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and save broth.

3.  In a food processor or blender, purée the rest of the ingredients including remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Only if needed to create a creamy smooth consistency, add enough of the vegetable cooking broth, up to 3 tablespoons, and purée again. Transfer to a bowl and fold in leek and asparagus.

4.  To prepare pastry, mix flours and salt. Drizzle in oil and stir, then work in water or broth to form a smooth dough. Roll out thin between sheets of waxed paper; dust the bottom sheet and the dough with flour. Transfer to pan and trim edges to 1/2 inch over rim. Shape by folding pastry inward and pressing against edge of pan.

5.  Transfer filling to pastry and smooth surface. Bake until top is quite golden, 45 to 60 minutes. For a slightly richer look, brush surface and pastry rim with oil in last few minutes of baking. Allow filling to set at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.

Gluten-free Pastry:
Substitute chestnut flour, sifted, or other gluten-free flours such as buckwheat, brown rice, millet and quinoa. After rolling pastry out, you may need to press pastry into place with these gluten-free grains.

by Meredith McCarty
Holistic Nutritionist (Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator) and Cookbook Author
Community Connection
From The Editor
Email Notification of Newsletter: To receive an email notification each time the Newsletter and Dinner Menus are published on this site (every two months), .
Mailing List Policy: To get a printed copy of the Newsletter and Dinner Menus delivered by postal mail, or call the phone number below. To offset the expense of producing the Newsletter and Menus, we suggest a contribution of $10/year or more. The date and amount of your last newsletter contribution appears on your mailing label. Write checks to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community", and mail to Gerard Lum, 101 E. Middlefield Road #9, Mountain View, CA 94043, 650 903-0447.

We periodically review our mailing list. Those who have not made a recent contribution are subject to removal.

Tax-Deductible Contributions: We welcome and can use additional contributions to the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community, as income from the Dinners does not pay all of our expenses. We are a nonprofit organization, so additional contributions are fully tax-deductible. Send contributions to the address in Mailing List Policy above.

Back Issues of the Newsletter and Menus: Click here.

This website uses the Georgia and Verdana fonts, designed for legibility on the computer screen.  Download them free for the PC or Mac from Simply the Best.