Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Food for Body and Soul

It's finally happened. I thought it might someday but not this soon. My head is empty. I have no new ideas, nothing to write about that hasn't already been said, either by me or someone else. Alarming as this sounds, it may actually signal a positive development, at least according to one Buddhist tale I heard recently from spiritual teacher Jonathan Foust at a weekend retreat last month. He repeated a famous story of a monk from Asia visiting the United States who spoke only two words of English.  Everywhere he went he would bow, then smile and say, “Empty Empty, Happy Happy.” That's it. Nothing more. Somehow those two words were enough to convey the fact that an empty mind is a happy mind, or something like that. If that's true, then I am ecstatic today.

But just so you have something for your troubles, and since Buddhism and vegetarianism often go hand in hand, here is a recipe for a dynamite dish from the old WHFS-FM Cookbook. This dates back to the 1970s when I first moved to Washington, D.C. The reigning hippie-dippy radio station is now defunct but this delicious casserole lives on. And I promise that when your plate is empty, empty you will be happy, happy.

The layers:
2 medium or 1 large white potato
1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash
3 medium tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms
1 large onion
1 green pepper

Mixture for between each layer:
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup any other kind of cheese
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
12/cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and cut all vegetables into fairly thin slices.
Layer in large greased casserole, beginning with potatoes and ending with green pepper, spreading mixture between each layer and on the top.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water on top.
Cook at 350 degrees for one hour or until vegetables are soft. If green peppers start to dry out, cover with foil.
Serves five ravenous vegetarians.

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