Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter

The Politics of Meat and Dairy!!
November 5

Number 90          October / November 2001             Peninsula Macrobiotic Community

News and Announcements

At a meeting on Sep 11, the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community reviewed recent financial data and voted to do the following: 1) increase the price of the Dinners (both sitdown and takeout) to $13 effective Oct 1;  2) hold a fundraising drive during November-December 2001.  The price increase is needed immediately to meet rising costs.  (The last increase, to $12, was effec­tive Jan 4, 1999.)  The Fundraising Drive is intended to give the PMC more operating flexibility by bolstering our bank account.  Members of the Board are Ken Becker, Gerard Lum, Colleen Corey, Ilona Pollak, Janet Nystrom, Lillie Barrows, and Robin Silberling.

     During October, the First Baptist Church, as one of a group of churches participating in the Urban Ministry Program in Palo Alto, will take its turn to host the homeless.  Our Monday Dinner group must be completely cleaned up and out of Fellowship Hall by 9:00 PM.  Dinner will start earlier than usual at 6:15 PM, and no After-Dinner events will take place.  We will revert to our normal schedule and operation in November.

     Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet For A Small Planet, speaks on Hope's Edge:With Food As Our Teacher, We Can Learn To See With New Eyes on Wed, Oct 17, 7:30-9 PM, at the Foundation for Global Community, 222 High St, Palo Alto, $10 suggested (sliding scale), reservations advised, call 650 328-7756.  The sponsor is The Valley of Heart's Delight, an organization dedicated to opening up new opportunities for local production of organically grown food.

     Monthly Vegan Potlucks!  Sunday, Oct 21, 6:30 PM at the home of Suzanne Olson in San Carlos, call 650 592-2139 to let her know you're coming and for directions.  Also on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 22, 2:00 PM, at the home of Chuck Olson in Santa Clara, call 408 296-6944.  If you’d like to host a potluck, call Harold Stephenson, 650 856-1125.

     Join in the fun at the Eleventh Annual Fall Health Classic, Nov 5-8 at the Steve Breuer Conference Center in scenic Malibu, CA.  Teachers include Dr. Lee Lipsenthal, John Robbins, Cornellia Aihara, Dr. Gordon Saxe, Mina Dobic, Verne Varona, Lynda Mathé, Kaare Bursell, and Andre and Joyce Patenaude.  Price, including over forty classes, three organic, gourmet vegetarian meals daily, and lodging at the center starts at $459.  Call 805 898-0089.

PMC Fundraising Drive

     Many individuals channel their particular skills--and some extraordinary talent--into the Monday Dinners.  We operate on a shoe­string, with volunteers doing much of the work.  Each Dinner, collectively produced, encompasses not just Gourmet Vegetarian Dining, but also 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 14-1/2 years now.

     We need your support for these activi­ties, so we are holding a Fundraising Drive in Nov-Dec of 2001.  At every Dinner, contribu­tion envelopes and boxes will be prominently displayed, and an announcement will be madeabout the Drive.  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.  See From The Editor for details on contributing by mail.

     Donations, including $10 amounts to support the newsletter, are tax-deductible, as the PMC is a nonprofit organization.  The PMC acknowledges contributions with a letter explaining their tax deductibility, sent automatically with contributions of $20 or more.  (The letter is not normally sent for $10 contributions, but will be sent upon request--call Gerard Lum, 650 903-0447.) 

14 Years of Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners

Chef Gary Alinder
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, $13.
Call 650 599-3320 by Monday 9:30 AM. Reservations Required.

Coming Events

Note: Dinners in October will begin at 6:15 PM. 
Price increases to $13 on October 1.

Mon Nov 5: Michele Simon speaks on The Politics Of Meat And Dairy.

Mon Nov 5 – Thu Nov 8: Eleventh Annual Fall Health Classic in scenic Malibu, CA.  Call 805 898-0089.

Mon Nov 19: Thanksgiving Theme Dinner.  Early Reservations Advised!


In this difficult day,
in this difficult time
for the United States,
it is perhaps well to ask
what kind of a nation we are
and what direction we want to move in.
Robert F. Kennedy,
April 4, 1968,
after the assassination of
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.


I love you
when you bow in your mosque,
kneel in your temple,
pray in your church.
For you and I are sons of one religion,
and it is the spirit.
Kahlil Gibran, The Voice of the Poet

Thanksgiving Celebration

November 19, 2001

Sparkling Holiday Punch
Hearty Squash and Onion Soup
Corn Bread with Miso-Tahini Paté
Roasted Seitan with Wild Rice Stuffing
and Creamy Mushroom Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Field Greens Salad
with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tangy Cucumber Salad
Pecan Dream Bars
Herbal Teas, Grain Coffee

 Cooking Classes, Dinners

James Holloway, frequent Guest Chef at the Monday Dinners, does personal home cooking, experienced in macrobiotic and classical styles, call 650 941-7466.

    Susanne Jensen offers vegetarian take- outs  ($12) on Wednesdays in San Francisco, SF delivery available, reserve by 9 PM Tue, call 415 661-4764.

  Meekk's Kitchen prepares vegetarian and vegan dishes, available Sun-Thu 8AM - 7PM, Fri 8AM - 6:30 PM (closed Sat).  Also, their restaurant is open Tue and Thu, 5-9 PM.  655 Arastradero Road (JCC at Terman Community Center), Palo Alto, 650 424-3900.

     Laura Stec teaches a class for kids on Sat Oct 27 (Halloween Cooking Class: Scary Treats and Yummy Sweets) at Wild Oats Market in Sunnyvale, 11 AM - 12:30 PM, free, call 408 730-1310.  She also teaches adult cooking classes on Mon Oct 29 (Quick Cooking For Optimal Health) and Tue Nov 13 (Healthy Holiday Party) at the Center for Integrative Medicine, O'Connor Hospital, San Jose, 6:30-9:30 PM, $35, call 408 283-7626.

After-Dinner Events

Speakers receive a gratuity collected from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5 suggested).

     What is our government's role in diet and health?  Gain some valuable insights on Nov 5, when Michele Simon speaks on The Politics Of Meat And Dairy.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dual mandate to set nutrition guidelines while also promoting the meat and dairy industries poses an inherent conflict of interest.  Bowing to industry pressure, the USDA and other regulatory agencies have often downplayed or suppressed the clear and extensive scientific evidence showing that a shifting to a plant-based diet would have a profound and positive impact on public health.

     Michele will cover the following: the history of USDA's mission and development of current policies; the Dietary Guidelines and Food Pyramid, including the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) lawsuit; the National School Lunch Program and other food assistance programs; financial bailouts of the meat and dairy industries; and our government's connection to the Milk Mustache Campaign.

     Michele is Founder and Director of the Center For Informed Food Choices (CIFC,, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland.  CIFC’s mission is to provide people with educational tools and reliable resources to transition to a plant-based diet.  It also seeks to raise awareness about how government policies and corporations influence our food choices, and to advocate for positive policy changes.

     Michele has also worked as a policy analyst for PCRM, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that promotes a plant-based diet.  She has published numerous articles and appeared on several national radio programs, raising awareness about issues such as organic standards, veggie libel laws, genetically engineered foods, along with the issues she will cover in her talk.  She has a Master’s degree in Public Health from Yale, and a law degree from UC, Hastings College of the Law.

Tofu Turkey with Herbed Bread Stuffing and Wild Mushroom Gravy

by Meredith McCarty

 Makes 16 servings

 Tofu turkey is one of those dishes you look forward to all year long. The perfect surprise for holiday celebrations, leftovers taste just as fantastic as when the “bird” is fresh out of the oven.

 Thanks to Matthew Schmit, proprietor of The Tofu Shop in Arcata, California for the original version of this delightful recipe.

Note: Recipe may be cut in half. Use a 9-inch colander. Cut baking time to 1 1/2 hours (45 minutes each covered and uncovered).  These smaller tofu turkeys won¹t crack on the top as will the big ones. However, cracking isn¹t a problem as a slice is covered with the delicious gravy.

Tofu Turkey:

5 pounds tofu, fresh, medium to firm

 Homemade Stuffing Seasoning:

Makes 1/2 cup

The predominant flavor in traditional poultry seasoning is sage. The first ingredient in some commercial varieties is salt and the last is a free-flowing agent. Try this more healthful version that will last all season long.

1/4 cup sage

2 tablespoons each dry marjoram, thyme, and savory or rosemary; half the volume if herb is powdered

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 teaspoon black pepper

 Herbed Bread Stuffing:

Makes 5 cups

Some commercial stuffings contain bleached and bromated flour, MSG and preservatives.

2 tablespoons olive or sesame oil

1 cup onion, diced

1 cup mushrooms, about 3 to 4 ounces, diced

1 cup celery, diced

2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Homemade Stuffing Seasoning

1/4 cup natural soy sauce (full strength for flavoring tofu stuffing; substitute 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water for stuffing squash or pumpkin)

4 cups whole-wheat bread, cut in 1/2- or 1-inch cubes, less with dense sourdough bread, more with light yeasted bread


1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Basting Liquid:

1/2 cup light vegetable oil

1/3 cup natural soy sauce

Wild Mushroom Gravy:

Makes 7 to 8 cups

The nicest mushrooms for this gravy are a combination of chanterelle, shiitake, hedgehog or crimini and regular mushrooms. Portabella mushrooms impart too dark a hue to be attractive.

2 tablespoons olive or sesame oil

2 onions, diced

6 cups assorted mushrooms, about 1 pound, sliced

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

5 to 5 1/2 cups water (start with less)

1/2 cup natural soy sauce (a little less than 2 tablespoons per cup water)


Large sprigs parsley and/or fresh sage

1. To prepare tofu, mash it well. Line an 11-inch colander with a single layer of moistened cheesecloth and transfer tofu to colander. Press down tofu to make flat and fold edges of cheesecloth over tofu to smooth them. If tofu is medium textured, place a cake tin or another flat object of a similar size over the surface of the tofu and weigh it down with a heavy object (about 5 pounds) to press liquid from tofu for 1 hour. Omit this step if using firm tofu.

2. To prepare Homemade Stuffing Seasoning, simply mix ingredients well.

3. To prepare stuffing, heat oil in a skillet and sauté vegetables. Sprinkle seasonings, including salt and soy sauce, over vegetables. Stir, cover, and continue to cook until vegetables are done, about 5 minutes. Add bread cubes and parsley, and mix well. If bread cubes are very dry, add 1/4 to 1 cup water (start with less). Stir and cover to steam a little longer.

4. Preheat oven to 400°. Hollow out tofu to within an inch of colander. (The space between the tip of your finger and the first joint usually serves as a built-in 1-inch measuring stick. Press finger into tofu to measure, then patch up the holes.) Pack in stuffing and cover it with the remaining tofu. Pat down surface so it is flat and firm.

5. Flip filled tofu onto lightly-oiled baking sheet so the flat surface faces down. Remove cheesecloth.

6. Mix basting liquid and brush tofu with half of it, then cover tofu with aluminum foil or with an ovenproof bowl which is a bit larger than the shaped tofu. Bake for an hour. Remove foil, baste again, and return tofu turkey to oven to bake uncovered until "skin" becomes golden brown, about an hour more, basting again halfway through.

7. To prepare gravy, in a large pot heat oil and sauté onions and mushrooms. In a small bowl, whisk flour with enough of the measured water to form a thin paste. Add remaining water and soy sauce to vegetables in pot. Bring to boil and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour mixture and stir well. Cook uncovered until desired consistency is reached, about 15 minutes stirring occasionally, adding a little more water toward the end of cooking only if gravy is too thick.

8. To serve, with 2 to 4 spatulas transfer tofu turkey to serving platter and garnish. Serve gravy on the side.


For Baked Stuffed Mini-Squashes, place whole squashes (ie. golden nugget, sweet dumplings or mini-pumpkins) on a baking sheet to bake at 450° until they are completely tender when pierced with a small sharp knife, about 45 minutes. Cut off lid and scoop out seeds. Stuff and return to oven to heat through.

Chestnut Rice

Makes 5 servings or 5 1/2 cups

This is a very special but simple rice dish with a sweet flavor from the chestnuts. Available in well-stocked natural food stores and in Chinese, Japanese or gourmet food shops imported from Italy or China, the shells and skins have been removed and the nut meats dried, making them quicker and easier to use than fresh chestnuts.

1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice                                  

2 1/2 to 3 cups water (depending on pressure cooker) 1/2 cup chestnuts, peeled and dried                              

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Rinse and drain rice and chestnuts. Transfer to pressure cooker.

2. Bring ingredients to pressure and cook for 1 hour over a flame spreader.

Note: Pressure-cooked dried chestnuts soften without presoaking. However, dried chestnuts which are over 1 year old (last year's batch) require precooking, 15 minutes by pressure-cooking (in 2 cups water) or 1/2 hour by boiling. Proceed as above, using chestnut cooking broth in the dish.

From the Editor

Our community depends on you! To support and receive the newsletter, send $10/year (checks made to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community") to Gerard Lum, 101 E. Middlefield Rd, Apt. 9, Mountain View, CA 94043,, 650 903-0447. Your mailing label shows the date and amount of your last contribution.

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