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Mayumi's Kitchen: Macrobiotic Cooking for Body and Soul Hardcover – June 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product Description
Macrobiotics--the healthy, nature-friendly way of life based on a diet of whole grains, vegetables, and beans--is now a global phenomenon. In recent years a number of Hollywood stars have taken up the macrobiotic diet because of its many benefits, which include higher energy levels, beautiful skin, a tranquil mind, and a greater sense of connection with the universe. In Mayumi's Kitchen, the woman who worked for seven years as Madonna's private macrobiotic chef shares with the world her dazzling recipes.

Mayumi Nishimura's unique style of cooking is healthful, intuitive, and easy to stick with. She draws her inspiration not only from Japanese food, which she grew up eating, but also from Chinese, French, Italian, and any number of other world cuisines, as well as from macrobiotic traditions. She believes that enjoyment, above all, is the key to sustainable healthy eating, and that means adapting her cooking to cosmopolitan tastes. The reader will thus discover in her book a number of familiar-looking dishes prepared with macrobiotic as well as more conventional ingredients, in both Western and non-Western styles.

The centerpiece of Mayumi's Kitchen is her ten-day detox diet. Here readers can enjoy a macrobiotic menu that will transform them from the inside out. Following this are meal-planning tips and recipes for more than fifty dishes, including such favorites as Salmon Soup, Avocado Rolls, Vegetable Lasagna, and Seitan Pot Stickers. There is even a party-food section with recipes for spring rolls, tempura, pizza, and more.

In all, Mayumi introduces more than 130 mouthwatering recipes, all lavishly illustrated with color photographs. Many are explained in terms of their nutritional value or energy quality, and unfamiliar techniques are made clear with step-by-step pictures. For beginners and lifelong macrobiotic practitioners alike, these dishes will wow and delight.

From Mayumi’s Kitchen: Brownies

These brownies proved incredibly popular with Madonna’s back-up dancers, whom I sometimes made snacks for while on tour. Brownies have since become a favorite birthday treat. Makes one 8 × 8-inch (20 × 20-cm) pan.

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110 g) unbleached white flour or barley flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) maple sugar
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) sugarless chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened soymilk
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) rapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sea salt, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Oil a Pyrex or other square ovenproof pan. Or, for easier cleanup, line the pan with baking paper.

3. Place all DRY INGREDIENTS in one bowl and all WET INGREDIENTS in another. Mix well separately, then add the WET INGREDIENTS to the DRY INGREDIENTS and mix just enough to blend, using a spatula to prevent lumps.

4. Transfer to the pan, place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 20 minutes (time may vary depending on the oven; test for doneness with a toothpick). When a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean, remove from oven.

5. Allow to cool before cutting into squares and removing from the pan.

From Mayumi’s Kitchen: Strawberry Tempeh Smoothie

I invented this recipe for a Japanese TV show. They wanted me to demonstrate how to use tempeh in several different ways. It tastes wonderful and feels healthier than store-bought protein drinks. For a sweeter flavor, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or any natural sweetener of your choice. Serves 2.


  • 1 oz (30 g) tempeh, steamed
  • 8 to 10 strawberries
  • 2 cups (480 ml) rice milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp maca powder (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


1. Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes.

2. Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

From Publishers Weekly

The concept of following a macrobiotic diet might sound daunting, but Nishimura—who worked as Madonna's private chef for seven years (and had her former boss write a foreword for this book)—breaks it down into simple, can-do steps and recipes. She suggests kicking things off with a 10-day detox diet, which includes such macrobiotic staples as soft-cooked brown rice, miso soup with shiitake mushrooms and herbs, and udon salad. She demystifies exotic ingredients like mochi and hijiki, and saves work for followers of the detox plan by precisely explaining how to use leftovers. After the detox diet, there are straightforward meal-planning tips and dozens more recipes, including wild arugula and artichoke heart salad; creamy potato and leek soup; sea bass with green lentils; pan-fried fish cakes with tofu tartar sauce; and almond jewel cookies. And Nishimura's menus for specific goals—beautiful skin, weight loss, and muscle building—guide readers to the foods that work best for their needs. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770031106
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770031105
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not an expert on macrobiotics, so let me place that disclaimer up front and center. I pre-ordered this book, and just got it yesterday. For the size of this book, there is much to love. The recipes are straightforward, and for the most part do not require ingredients too awfully obscure. There is a particular grain that I would probably have to mail order for (although she does offer substitutes), but the rest of the lists include things I usually have on hand as someone who has already started delving into this way of eating. (Ume plum vinegar, daikon, greens, sesame oils, etc.) I'm excited to try so many of the recipes - the spring rolls, "ja-ja" tofu, salmon soup, the noodle dishes, pressed salads, nori rolls ... I wish I had the book here with me; I could be more specific! You won't find in-depth macrobiotic theory here, for which I'm grateful. If you want to really learn the theory of macrobiotics, I'd recommend Macrobiotics for Dummies, or one of Simon Brown's books on the subject.

Here, you find a book that tells a bit about Mayumi and her story, which is nice, but mostly, it's packed with recipes. There are helpful color photos everywhere - of the finished dishes, dishes being prepared, step-by-step instructions, and a lot more. I love the way the sauces/dressings are organized and laid out. First, a double page with a small overhead shot of each sauce, and a description of it and the many ways you can use it. Next page, you'll find the recipes. She's got a nice detox plan in here, as well. I really like how she makes use of leftovers in these menus. No waste, and the food gets used quickly, for optimum nutrition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found myself wanting to change over to a macrobiotic diet but felt intimidated by most macrobiotic cookbooks. A friend who is a macrobiotic chef recommended this book so I bought it. I fell in love with it immediately! The pictures are beautiful and the recipes are so well written. All the food, and I mean ALL the food, has been delicious. The 10-day detox is so great b/c I don't have to think about what to make next - it is laid out perfectly. What I love is that no matter what I make it comes out exactly as it looks in the book, which is very encouraging. Mayumi's seasonings and sauces are right on target. Her tofu mayonnaise is surprisingly better than regular mayo. This book inspires me to eat healthier.

The only complaint I have is that I wish there were twice as many recipes. Mayumi, please write another book soon!!!
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I love Mayumi! Her book is well written, the recipes are easy to follow and the pictures in the book are amazing!

I purchased this book for the 10 day detox. I was looking for something different in my life and macrobiotics was the solution. I am a mom of an 18 month old and lost weight though weight watchers. It took me about 8 months to loose the weight from my pregnancy but I was still not at my "goal weight". Weight watchers was great for me and the initial weight loss; however, I feel like I ate more sugar free foods and highly processed foods. I was so tired of the way I was feeling and wanted a more healthy approach to life. Food was the BEST way to achieve this goal of mine. I had no idea how many bad habits I had and how bad animal products made me feel. The 10 day detox was ultimately brilliant and challenging leaving me feeling balanced. I was never hungry and never full, just satisfied. I have adopted the macrobiotic diet in my life indefinitely. I have so much energy, I actually enjoy cooking, I feel good and spring out of bed in the morning, I sleep better, the whites of my eyes are glowing and my skin is clear and vibrant. I have had a life changing experience with Macrobiotics. Mayumi's book is a great introduction to macrobiotics! There are challenges to finding certain foods and making the time to prepare your own food, but the benefit is worth it!
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I love this book. Mayumi's petit macro approach includes recipes that traditional Americans will love (pot pie, brownies, pizza) as well as please those who are already familiar with Japanese or macro cuisine. If you are able to obtain macrobiotic and Japanese ingredients and feel comfortable with them, I think this is definitely a must-have book. I am fortunate to live near an excellent health food store and 2 large gourmet supermarkets--essential for cooking from this book. (I only mention this as a warning of sorts, not as a sign of superiority!) It is not terribly expensive to make this food, but it may be difficult to find what you need in more remote areas. As for the food, it makes me feel light yet nourished. And it could not be more gorgeous! I hope to see more from Mayumi--her book Happy Petit Macro is still available only in Japan. (Note: there are minor typos, maybe only 3 or 4, that are thankfully not in the recipes--not a big deal to me, but worth a mention.)
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Format: Hardcover
I have 4 other Macrobiotic Cookbooks on my kitchen shelf: 2 from Christina Pirello, 1 from Jessica Porter and 1 from Alicia Silverstone (co written by Jessica Porter). Mayumi's Kitchen is a wonderful addition to my cookbook shelf. The book itself is so bright and pleasing to the eye. There are lovely photographs of all of the recipes. The layout is really great - easy to read and understand. Mayumi Nishimura did a nice job of presenting her information in such a way that says , "The food looks fancy - but anyone can do this - it's easy" The only problem I had with this book is that it wasn't big enough! I wish it had more recipes. I hope she puts out another cookbook soon!!
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