Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter  
Number 144 October / November 2010 Peninsula Macrobiotic Community

to the
of the
Peninsula Macrobiotic Community
in Palo Alto,

For information on our organization, click on About Us.

Macro Chef's Blog

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
Saturday, October 2 - Sunday, October 3
The 11th Annual World Vegetarian Festival Weekend, San Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park. Information:
Monday, October 18
Dr. Ken Howayeck speaks on Osteoporosis Awareness: What a Vegetarian Needs to Know About Bone Health (free), and provides Ultrasound Bone Density Screenings ($15).
Monday, November 15
Bob Ligon speaks on Improving Digestion.
Monday, November 22
Thanksgiving Theme Dinner. Early reservations advised!
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.

Every Monday night, a collaborative miracle takes place in Palo Alto! Besides healthful and delicious food, each Gourmet Vegetarian Dinner provides networking in a vibrant community, support for those seeking a healthier lifestyle or dealing with a serious condition, education in macrobiotic and other health areas, and a firsthand taste of The Great Life. We have found a formula which has produced magic for 23-1/2 years now!

Your help is needed to support our organization. Donations to the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community (PMC) are accepted in any amount. $10/year is suggested to support the newsletter; larger amounts are applied to both the newsletter and other expenses, primarily insurance. To contribute by mail, write checks to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community" and mail to
Peninsula Macrobiotic Community Fundraising
c/o Gerard T. Lum
101 E. Middlefield Road #9
Mountain View, CA 94043-3864
Donations, including $10 amounts to support the newsletter, are tax-deductible, as the PMC is a nonprofit. (Have a fundraising idea? Share it with any Board member.)

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 Harold Stephenson at 650 856-1125.

The North Bay Macrobiotic Potluck Group usually meets the first Sunday of each month in Santa Rosa, contact Stephen Starkweather ( ), 707 542-9739, 
Thanksgiving Celebration
November 22, 2010
Sparkling Holiday Punch

Mixed Baby Greens Salad with Glazed Walnuts, Kumquats and Smoked Tofu

Corn Bread

Butternut Squash
Savory Bread Pudding

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Pearl Onion Gravy

Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Orange Cranberry Chutney

Pecan-Date Pie with
Tofu Whipped Cream

Assorted Herbal Teas

$22 Sitdown, $20 Takeout

More Dinner Menus...

Cooking and Classes
Chef Gary Alinder teaches his only cooking class of the year, Lighter and More Satisfying Holiday Fare, on Saturday, November 13, 10 AM - 1 PM, at a home in Menlo Park. Gary will cover a range of dishes you'll want to cook from Thanksgiving through New Year's:  1) Gingered Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Corn & Sage;  2) Wild Rice Croquettes with Mushrooms, Seitan and Mushroom Gravy (or use basic recipe as stuffing);  3) Heavenly Vegan Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes;  4) Cranberry Compote;  5) Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Zest, Golden Raisins, Toasted Hazelnuts and Hazelnut Dressing;  6) Mixed Baby Greens with a Special Holiday Vinaigrette; and  7) Pecan Tart (Sweetened with Dates and Maple Syrup) with Rich Vanilla Tofu Creme (new recipe!).   $45, includes recipes and a full lunch. To register, contact Gary by

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.

By popular demand, Marin-based cookbook author, lecturer, and macrobiotic food coach Meredith McCarty teaches Saturday cooking classes, 2-4:30 PM, in nearby Menlo Park (October) or Palo Alto (November and December):
  • October 16, Italian Cuisine for Cancer Prevention & Recovery
  • November 13, Super Soups
  • December 11, Staying Healthy through the Holidays
  • Healing Cuisine flier (pdf) describing Meredith's monthly cooking classes on the peninsula, September-December 2010.
$55/class or $50/each for two or more. New registration procedure: please send a check made out to Healing Cuisine to Judy Serebrin, 420 Arch St., Redwood City, CA 94062. For more information, call Judy at 415 215-2066 (cell) or 650 364-1659 or For other activities by Meredith including events in Marin, visit or call 415 272-5525.

Learn to balance your meals with a good proportion of healthful vegetables, grains and legumes! Susanne Jensen, co-Head Chef at French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp and cooking teacher in the Berkeley public school system, teaches two cooking classes on Saturdays:
  • October 16, Vegetarian & Vegan: Black Bean Vegetable Chili; Jalapeno Cornbread With and Without Eggs; Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa with Cherry Tomatoes & Avocado; Mixed Roasted Winter Squash with Smoked Spanish Paprika; Vegan Chocolate Muffins with Chocolate Icing & Raspberry Sauce
  • November 13, Vegetarian/Vegan Thanksgiving Feast: Tempeh (Indonesian high protein food) in mushroom herb gravy over basmati rice pilaf; Tempeh salad (mock tuna salad) on rye bread; Garlic roasted root vegetables and Brussels sprouts; Green salad with persimmon, pomegranate, Asian pear and maple glazed pecans; Apple pie with ginger and almond crust and vegan ice cream
Classes held from 1-3 pm at Purcell Murray, 185 Park Lane, Brisbane, CA 94005. To register, call 415.330.5557, $45.

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.
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
Vincent van Gogh
All art is but imitation of nature.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

On October 18, Dr. Ken Howayeck speaks on Osteoporosis Awareness: What a Vegetarian Needs to Know About Bone Health (no donation required for this short presentation), and provides Ultrasound Bone Density Screenings ($15). From Google Health, "Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. There are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms occurring late in the disease include bone pain or tenderness; fractures with little or no trauma, loss of height (as much as 6 inches) over time, low back pain due to fractures of the spinal bones, neck pain due to fractures of the spinal bones, and stooped posture or kyphosis, also called a 'dowager's hump.' " Osteoporosis can occur in both women and men.

The ultrasound screenings are done on the heel of the foot, are completely safe (no x-rays), take just three minutes, and include an on-the-spot written report, for a special price of $15. The screenings will help people become aware of any fracture risks, hopefully in time to do something about them.

Dr. Howayeck is a certified speaker for the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education (; the founder and director of Five Star On-Site Testing, which provides bone density screening services; and a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) who practiced for many years in Hawaii, where he also instructed surgeons and medical students in Foot and Ankle Surgery as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, and was past president of the Hawaii Podiatric Medical Association.

On November 15, Bob Ligon, a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, will speak on Improving Digestion. Everyone would like to enjoy vibrant health and vitality—to have boundless energy, clear mind, and a strong and resilient body. The essential challenge that we all face in achieving health and vitality is transforming the external environment into our own internal environment. This involves the digestion and transformation of food and fluids into blood, tissues and organs. The strength of digestion determines the degree of vitality that we enjoy. With strong digestion, food and fluids can be transformed into strong blood. Strong blood nourishes and vitalizes the cells and internal organs and in turn strengthens and vitalizes the mind and spirit.

How can digestion be improved to achieve that degree of health and vitality? Digestion encompasses many different facets: internal organs must be functioning efficiently, foods and beverages must be selected and prepared for maximum bioavailability, plus the technique and conditions of eating and drinking have a significant impact on digestion. These issues will be discussed with practical suggestions as to how digestion can be improved. Also, the presentation will include a discussion of home remedies and other aids that can improve digestion.

Bob Ligon worked at the Vega Study Center and George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation from 1989-1993, was the editor of Macrobiotics Today magazine from 1992-2000, and is a lecturer and counselor at the annual French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp. He studied acupuncture and herbology from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, graduating in 1998. He integrates his knowledge of macrobiotics and Chinese Medicine in his diet, lifestyle counseling, and life coaching. Currently, Bob practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in Akron, Ohio and does counseling and life coaching by phone; call 330-696-3385. 
Gingered Squash Soup
Make this soup from fall through winter when hard yellow squashes are in season. The Japanese varieties Blue Hokkaido or Kabocha will yield a sweet, flavorful soup. Butternut or Buttercup varieties also work well.

Yield: 5-6 servings
  • 1 3-4 pound squash (see above), washed, seeded and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 2-1/2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or to taste
  • 1/4 cup white miso or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, for the garnish
1. Place the squash pieces in a large baking dish, sprinkle with salt, add water until the bottom of the pan is covered about 3/4" deep, then cover tightly with foil, put in a 400º F oven and bake about one hour or until the squash is very tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot with a heavy bottom, sauté the onions in a little oil until they begin to wilt, turn down the heat and add the ginger, cook five minutes more. Add 3 cups of the water, the nutritional yeast, soy sauce and a pinch of salt and return to simmer another 10 minutes.

3. When the squash is tender, allow to cool a little, then scoop the squash meat away from the skin and add the meat to the soup pot. Measure the water from the squash baking pan and add that to the pot. Then add enough additional water so that you have added 6 cups total. Simmer, stirring, five minutes or so to meld the flavors.

4. In a blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy, adding the miso and optional umeboshi vinegar. (This is a time when an immersion blender comes in handy-no need to take the soup out of the pot.) Pour the soup back into the pot to reheat it. Check seasoning. (If you want a stronger ginger flavor, grate another 1-1/2" piece of ginger and use your hand to squeeze out the juice from it into the soup.) Garnish with green onions.

by Chef Gary Alinder (more recipes by Chef Gary are available on his blog,
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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