Meals are vegetarian (no meat, fish, poultry) with adaptions for vegan (no dairy, honey, eggs, or sugar), and food intolerances (wheat, nuts) as required. The meals should include both cooked and raw foods cooked with a minimum of spices and other stimulants, designed to provide adequate nutrition, while enabling one to remain mentally alert and to fit the unique serving requirements of three or four bowls used in the classic oryoki system of ancient China and Japan. It should include the six tastes of simple or bland, hot or spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter; and the five colors of red, green, white, yellow or orange, and black, blue, or purple. Each meal should be easily eaten with chop sticks. Knives are not used and the spoon can only be used in the Buddha Bowl. You may not drink from the Buddha Bowl, but you may drink from the other bowls. The Buddha Bowl (and thus the spoon) is not used at the evening snack.

If monastics are present, do not cook with garlic, onions, chives, or leeks.

Leftover should not be served in the Buddha Bowl, but may be served in the other bowls. If appropriate, make extra servings for the evening snack. Freeze leftovers at the end of day if there is enough for a full serving or more and the leftover can not be included in the next meal. Do not serve leftovers more than once, but do try and incorporate leftovers in other dishes or serve as the evening snack so as to not waste any food. Do cook enough to offer “seconds.”

With less than ten people serve informal style around kitchen table. The Cook usually serves the first bowl and puts other bowls on lazy Susan and everyone serves themselves, starting with the abbot. The first bowl may be put back on stove and kept warm (or in fridge and kept cold) and reserved for seconds. Try and plan meal so that is not necessary for other dishes. Remember three bowls for breakfast and evening snack and four for lunch. Everything served is edible. No rinds, seeds, pits, shells, etc. Condiments are ok if serving in kitchen, but usually too complicated for larger groups in Buddha Hall.

Sample Menus–Breakfast

Buddha Bowl (eat with spoon)

Second bowl

Fourth bowl

Apples & Oats Unsweetened yogurt Walnuts or pecans
Waffles Applesauce Cashews
Rice porridge (congee) with greens Sliced grapes, watermelon chunks, & diced peaches Pistachios
Granola or dry cereal Fruit smoothie with greens Almonds
Brown rice porridge (congee) Japanese pickles, kimchi, bamboo shoots with chili, umeboshi plums, steamed kale or spinach,pickled ginger Gomasio (ground toasted sesame seeds and salt)
Quinoa and Taro congee Lettuce Black fungus
Brown rice & sweet potato porridge (congee) Tomaotes & eggs Chopped parsley and/or green onions
Polenta Smoothie Mixed nuts
Toasted bread or bagels-buttered Scrambled eggs Grated cheese

Sample Menus–Lunch

Buddha Bowl (eat with spoon)

Second bowl Third bowl

Fourth bowl

Quinoa Peruvian soup Vegetables Fruit salad
Spaghetti or noodles Salad Vegetables/tomato sauce with meatless balls Chopped cilantro
Sour dough bread toast with butter Vegetable-bean soup with okra Watercress Chickpea salad Avocado chocolate pudding
Quinoa, pistachio, grape salad Lightly steamed cauliflower, squash, carrots; toss with cilantro Steamed kale with lime juice Cherry tomatoes or tomato slices
Polenta Asian Green Salad Sri Lankan Okra Curry Peanuts
Basmatic rice pilaf Curry Salad Chutney
Quinoa Salad Carrot-squash soup Sliced cucumbers
Brown rice Spinach salad Grilled tofu with ginger salsa
Quinoa-zucchini pilaf Winter squash with cherries and pecans Brussels sprouts Watermelon-peach salsa

 

Sample Menus–Evening Snack

Second bowl

Third bowl

Fourth bowl

Leftover soup Sliced or cherry tomatoes Black fungus
Cold cantaloupe soup Green salad Almonds
Carrot-sweet potato with ginger soup Leftovers or cold Japanese tofu salad (tofu/soy sauce/black sesame seeds) Leftovers or avocado chunks
Cold cucumber-avocado soup Leftovers or watermelon & feta salad Leftovers Thai coleslaw
Leftovers, soup, vegetables, curry Zucchini noodle salad Walnuts
Greek salad with feta Toast or crackers Fruit
Watermelon soup with feta Quinoa salad Avocado chunks
Potato soup Coleslaw Peanuts
Leftover soup Waldorf Salad (apples) Pecans