From Publishers Weekly
Vegetarians, vegans and even lovers of steak teriyaki will find much to savor in this introduction to the quiet wonders of Buddhist temple cuisine, or shojin ryori
. Fujii draws upon 20 years of experience as an author and teacher in her native Japan—as well as kitchen secrets learned from her husband, a Buddhist monk—to explore a tradition that depends solely on seasonal vegetables, prepared in a spiritual way. She introduces the temple repertoire, from simple salads to vegetable soups and stews. Tae Hamamura's color photographs are mouth-watering, whether depicting Kenchin Style Vegetable Soup or a simple bowl of Ginger Rice. However, although Fujii is eloquent when she explains each dish's philosophy, she falls short on introducing Westerners to the cooking principles that underlie the tradition. Preparation techniques for basics like rice and stock are relegated, along with a crucial glossary of ingredients, to the back of the book, where they are dealt with perfunctorily. If Fujii had taken more trouble to introduce Americans to the foundations of temple cuisine—methods, tastes, ingredients—she would have better empowered them to make it their own and feed the stomach as well as the soul. (Jan.)
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"The book is beautifully illustrated and the recipes are mostly simple, quick and easy to follow. Longtime vegetarians, especially those with a macrobiotic background (which in America has seriously deep Japanese roots), will be familiar with many of these ingredients. . . Fujii provides a helpful, illustrated glossary, as well as some basic how-to material for preparing staples." -Associated Press"Vegetarians, vegans and even lovers of steak teriyaki will find much to savor in this introduction to the quiet wonders of Buddhist temple cuisine, or shojin ryori. ...Tae Hamamura's color photographs are mouth-watering, whether depicting Kenchin Style Vegetable Soup or a simple bowl of Ginger Rice." -Publishers Weekly"Clean and crisp, this nourishing guide brings a healthy, natural culinary tradition from Japanese temples to the American table. . . . a true antidote to the overindulgent American diet, this is more than a recipe collection--it's a refreshing approach to food that is sure to make you look and feel renewed." -Kirkus Reviews"Emphasizing natural and healthy ingredients such as fresh seasonal vegetables, and the staples of grains, and tofu, these creations are simple and elegant delights, delicious without undue extravagance. . . . Highly recommended." -Midwest Book Review"Touting the benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets, The Enlightened Kitchen presents dishes that anyone would love, while the fantastic photographs will tempt even the most die-hard carnivore to at least try the recipes. Knowing that a healthy life-style and long life takes work, this new cookbook espouses good, sensible meals which can encourage weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity. The bonus? The food tastes good.... I'm hooked. I try to eat sensibly and plan to live to be 110! I expect The Enlightened Kitchen to help me meet my objective." -BookLoons.com