Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter  
Number 140 February / March 2010 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, February 22
Julia and Carl Ferré speak on Working with Energy for Healing.
Monday, March 22
Chefs Gary Alinder and James Holloway host Ask the Chefs.
News and Announcements
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.

Thank you to Miklane Janner, who returns the Dinner Manager position to former manager Ilona Pollak. Miklane and her right hand man Bob Griffin added their own touches, including tablecloths, cloth napkins, candles, name tags, and occasional art shows, to greatly enhance the Monday dinners. We look forward to seeing her at future dinners.

Thank you to the many who contributed to our Fundraising Drive. If you would like to support the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community (PMC), tax-deductible donations are accepted in any amount; $10/year is suggested to support the newsletter. See From The Editor for details on contributing by mail.

Chef Gary Alinder has started a blog at Tune into Gary's views on a variety of subjects including food and health, and leave your comments! He has also posted a recipe archive which includes soups; main dishes; sauces, gravies, and dressings; and desserts and snacks.

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 George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation has a new website! Visit for information on macrobiotics, books, the latest issue of Macrobiotics Today magazine, and the French Meadows Summer Camp!

For an interesting view of current health topics, check out the online articles written by Suzanne Olson for the San Francisco Examiner. Suzanne is a regular at the Monday Dinners.

The North Bay Macrobiotic Potluck Group usually meets the first Sunday of each month in Santa Rosa, contact Stephen Starkweather ( ), 707 542-9739,
Spring Equinox Celebration!
March 22, 2010
Barley - Navy Bean - Spring Veggie Soup

Onion - Roasted Cauliflower - Sun Dried Tomato Frittata

Quinoa - Pine Nut - Veggie Pilaf

Steamed Asparagus with Carrots

Mixed Green Salad with Herb Dressing

Orange Spice Cake


More Dinner Menus...

Cooking and Classes
Barbara Johnston-Brown and Susanne Jensen teach macrobiotic cooking classes on Saturdays: Back to Basics on February 6, and Soups, Soups, Glorious Soups on March 6; 11 AM - 2 PM, Willard Middle School, 2425 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA 94705. $75/class includes lunch, discounts for multiple classes. To register, contact Barbara at 925 286-1395 or Susanne at 415 661-4764

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.

Late-breaking news, after publication of the printed newsletter! Meredith McCarty has scheduled a Saturday cooking class in Menlo Park:
  • March 13: Greens Glorious Greens!
  • Location: Menlo Park near Stanford Shopping Center
To register for the March 13 class in Menlo Park, call Patty Evans at 650-988-9342 $60 per class or $55 with registration for two or more classes--more classes in Menlo Park are planned.

Marin-based cookbook author, lecturer, and macrobiotic food coach Meredith McCarty teaches Tuesday cooking classes in Larkspur:
  • February 23: Healing Recipes from the Longest Living People on the Planet
  • March 16: Greens Glorious Greens!
  • Details: 6:30-8:30 PM, Redwood High School, Room 120, 395 Doherty Dr., Larkspur, $50/class
Also, she will do Thursday lectures in Mill Valley:
  • February 25: Food Cravings & Weight Management
  • March 18: Managing Menopause
  • Details: 6:30-8 PM, Tamalpais High School, Wood Hall 148, 700 Miller Ave. at Camino Alto, Mill Valley, $25/lecture
To register for Meredith's cooking classes in Larkspur or lectures in Mill Valley, call 415 945-3730 or visit More info: or 415 272-5525.

For information on macrobiotic activities in the East Bay, contact Macrobiotic Health Counselor Michelle Nemer in El Cerrito, or 510 527-4367.

Macrobiotic Counselor Julie Ong teaches macrobiotic cooking classes and does macrobiotic consultations in San Francisco; visit or call 415 312-0241.

The Bay Area Vegetarians sponsor two Secrets of Vegan Baking Classes taught by Christine Dickson on the following Saturdays:
  • March 27:  The Chocolate Trio
  • April 24:  Berry Sweets
1:00 - 2:30PM, Whole Foods Market, San Mateo, $25/class. Before registering, you may want to review for details of the classes, as these classes may differ from macrobiotics in their approach and choice of ingredients. Register at
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
Marianne Williamson
Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.
After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

On February 22, join Julia and Carl Ferré for an evening of Working with Energy for Healing. Julia's presentation will include creating micro and macro chi energy fields, a healing circle similar to the one she does at the French Meadows Summer Camp, a talk about Reiki, and, time permitting, a 2 to 3 minute personal energy boost for each person in the group.

Julia is a level 3 Reiki practitioner and a macrobiotic chef and cooking instructor who trained with Cornellia Aihara beginning in 1980. Julia will have copies of her new cookbook, French Meadows Cookbook, along with her classic, Basic Macrobiotic Cooking. She works at the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation on Macrobiotics Today magazine and the French Meadows summer camp (July 17-25, 2010). Carl began macrobiotic practice in 1975 and has been studying, practicing, and teaching macrobiotic thinking and lifestyle ever since. He is the author of Acid Alkaline Companion and Pocket Guide to Macrobiotics, president of the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, editor of Macrobiotics Today magazine, and director of the French Meadows camp. He enjoys playing music and hiking in his "spare" time. Julia and Carl encourage everyone to view their newly redesigned website:

Chefs of the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners
Chefs James Holloway and Gary Alinder host Ask the Chefs on March 22.
Do you ever have questions about the Monday Dinners? For example: how do Chefs Gary Alinder and James Holloway come up with their menu ideas, producing a seemingly unique dinner each week? Where do they shop? Is the food organic? What about nightshades? What types of oil are used? Salt? Are dinner recipes available? Do they ever teach cooking classes? What makes a meal "macrobiotic"? How is it that the Monday Dinners have endured for 22-1/2 years? Who are those guys who cook the meals, really? (You can get acquainted with Gary through his blog,!)

Satisfy your curiosity on March 22 when Gary and James host a special Ask the Chefs event. Gary Alinder has been Chef for the Monday night dinners since their beginning in 1987. He apprenticed as a cook at Fukuen, a vegetarian macrobiotic restaurant in Osaka, Japan in 1978-79 and later worked at French and natural foods restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Since 1986 he has been a cook and caterer in the Bay Area. He cooks frequently for community groups on retreat and, infrequently, gives cooking classes.

James Holloway has been a frequent chef and sous chef at the Monday Dinners for more than ten years. He began cooking in restaurants during his college days, working for spending money. His college career ended, but not his cooking. He owned and managed a natural food store in Hood River, Oregon for ten years, and later cooked at two four-star hotels. "Since my real interest in food is health," he says, "the restaurant scenes gave way to personal home cooking, with a health slant. I like to view food as a medicine, and I like my medicines to taste good, so I'll continue to cook great tasting medicine, I mean food...for you." He is father to three children. His eldest, Melissa, is vice president for publicity at Fox Searchlight in Los Angeles and his younger two, Alexis and Chris, are middle school students. 
Beet and Cabbage Borscht
A hearty, warming soup for winter. Roasting beets creates the deepest, sweetest flavor and allows the skins to slip off easily. Yield: 6 servings.

  • 6 medium beets, washed
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 cup chopped tomato, canned or fresh
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup warm water until soft, stems cut off, then thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin or to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon juice
  • soy sauce
  • 1 small bunch fresh dill (leafy parts only) coarsely chopped
  • garnish: sour cream, yogurt or tofu sour cream (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ F. Wash beets, trim ends and put in a baking pan with 1/2 inch of water. Cover with foil and place pan on lower shelf of the oven and bake about an hour or until beets are tender (knife inserted goes through easily). Remove from oven, peel and cut into large dice.

2. While beets are roasting, bring the water or stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, bay leaves, a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, nutritional yeast, mirin and the shiitake mushrooms and soaking liquid. Simmer 10 minutes.

3. Add the cabbage, the beets, umeboshi vinegar and simmer 5-10 minutes more or until cabbage is tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding soy sauce, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in a small handful of chopped, fresh dill.

4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream, yogurt or tofu sour cream and a sprinkling of additional chopped fresh dill.

by Chef Gary Alinder
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.

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