Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter  
Number 151 December 2011 / January 2012 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 (map)
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, December 12
An analytical biochemist with the Label GMOs CA Ballot Initiative speaks on Genetically Engineered Crops in Our Food Supply.
Monday, December 26
No Dinner, Happy Holidays!
Monday, January 2
No Dinner.
Monday, January 23
Bob Ligon speaks on Strengthening the
Immune System.
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.

Best Wishes for a Safe and Happy Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year! Dinner will not be served on Dec 26 and Jan 2.

Thank you to those who have contributed to our Fundraising Drive. If you have not yet contributed, your help is needed--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, and will also give us additional operating flexibility to handle rising costs. 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 organization.

Monthly Vegan Potlucks! The Peninsula Veggie Potluck People, a spinoff of the Monday Dinners, sponsor monthly vegan potlucks; for details, visit For information or to host a potluck, call John Cabrera at 650 799-7186.

Watch for the opening of Green Earth Café & Bakery at 2124 Center Street, Berkeley, CA, targeted for December 10 by Barbara Johnston-Brown and Ciren Zhuoga. The two accomplished chefs aim to provide macrobiotic food deliciously prepared at affordable prices. For updates,

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.

The North Bay Macrobiotic Potluck Group usually meets the first Sunday of each month in Santa Rosa, contact Stephen Starkweather ( ), 707 542-9739,  
Winter Solstice Celebration
December 19, 2011
Kabocha Squash Soup with Pepitas and Roasted Sage

Red Lentil Wild Rice Neat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy

Roast Beets and Carrots on Curly Kale

Caramelized Cauliflower

Vegan Caesar Salad

Holiday Cranberry
Orange Fruitcake

Mint Chai Tea

$18 Sitdown, $16 Takeout

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.

For cooking classes, lectures, and related activities by Marin-based cookbook author, lecturer, and macrobiotic food coach Meredith McCarty, visit or call 415 272-5525.

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

Macrobiotic Counselor Julie Ong teaches macrobiotic cooking classes and does macrobiotic consultations in San Francisco; visit or call 415 312-0241.
The path of sound credence is through the thick forest of skepticism.
George Jean Nathan
Dreams can often become challenging, but challenges are what we live for.
Travis White
There are only two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible.
Alexander Douglas-Home
Great doubts deep wisdom.
Small doubts little wisdom.
Chinese Proverb
After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

On December 12, an analytical biochemist with the Label GMOs CA ballot initiative will speak on Genetically Engineered Crops in Our Food Supply. What is a genetically engineered organism? How pervasive are they in our food? How can I avoid them if I so choose? Using available peer reviewed journal articles, the speaker will talk about the potential health risks and discuss why more than 30 countries require labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but the United States does not.

The speaker has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the Bay area since 2004, for small and large companies. Her work involves genetic engineering to produce various proteins as medicines, and is regulated by government safety mechanisms for drugs. But in the chemical agricultural industry, safety mechanisms for genetically engineerred crops are not considered necessary.

The speaker was alerted to these issues by the movie Food Inc., and became Palo Alto coordinator for the grassroots Label GMOs CA ballot initiative campaign. The initiative would simply require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients, so consumers can make an informed choice. For more information, visit or

On January 23, practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine Bob Ligon will speak on Strengthening the Immune System. It is cold and flu season and people will be sniffling, coughing, complaining of sore throats and body aches, and generally feeling lousy. Without effective tools to deal with these symptoms the condition can progress and one can end up bedridden, missing work, and just plain out-of-commission. The best way to minimize the experience of these symptoms is prevention. And the best way to do that is to strengthen your immune system.

Like many practices in alternative health care, there is no magic bullet to strengthen the immune system. An array of dietary, lifestyle, and spiritual practices working in concert is the way to get results. We will talk about strengthening the kidneys, moving the Qi, and staying grounded as ways to strengthen the immune system. Furthermore, I will describe a group of home remedies that, if used at the earliest signs of a cold or flu, can ward off or minimize the discomforts and inconveniences of these common ailments. In addition, bring your questions regarding this topic and we will devote some time at the end of the talk to discuss them.

Bob Ligon worked at the Vega Study Center and George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation from 1989-1993 and was the editor of Macrobiotics Today from 1992-2000 and is a lecturer and counselor at the annual French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp. He studied acupuncture and herbology graduating from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego 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. He can be reached at 330-696-3385 for telephone appointments.  
Emerald Sauté with Cranberries and Pecans
This delicious side dish infuses rich flavor and color to any holiday meal. Bitter winter kale nourishes heart function and expands the heart's capacity for joy. Rich in calcium and antioxidants, kale also protects against macular degeneration and osteoporosis. Serves 4.

  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons untoasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons spring water
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • shoyu soy sauce, to taste
  1. In a skillet, sauté greens in oil 2 minutes.
  2. Add water. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, 2 minutes.
  3. Season with lemon juice and shoyu. Garnish with chopped pecans and dried cranberries.
by Julie Ong (see Resources)

Sweet Potato Pudding
  • 2 large orange yams or sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rice syrup
  • dash cinnamon
  • unrefined white sea salt.
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh almond milk or good quality unsweetened or Eden brand soymilk
  1. Wash, peel, and cube and steam sweet potatoes on high for 25 minutes or until soft.
  2. Remove sweet potato pieces from steamer to a bowl and mash until smooth.
  3. Heat soymilk or almond milk in a saucepan with the sweetener, sea salt, spice until simmering.
  4. Add in mashed sweet potatoes/yams.
  5. Gently stir until well blended to a pudding-like consistency.
  6. Add orange zest; stir in.
  7. Serve hot with candied pecans.
For a lighter pudding, triple the milk portion of the recipe and double the sweetener, and add 3 heaping TB kanten flakes. Bring flakes to a boil and dissolve them fully in the milk/sweetener mixture until fully dissolved. Then stir in the yams until well blended. Pour into a pyrex pan and allow to cool until gelled. This is basically a kanten/aspic type dessert. Very popular in North Asia! It can also serve as the filling for an open pie. Try a pressed seed and nut crust for Thanksgiving.

by Michelle Nemer (see Resources)  
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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