Buddha’s Belly – Recipes for the Enlightened Mind – Sally Primrose

Why is food for the human body not just matter of physical nourishment?

Done correctly, it is also about feeding your soul. That’s what this gorgeous vegetarian cookbook is all about – spiritual food. It also happens to look beautiful, both in dishes and design. Reading through one of the ingredient list is a mouth-watering proposition.

In the introduction of the book, there is a brief explanation of the thought process behind it and the relevant teachings of Buddha – spiritual food for thought. A simple statement from that intro brings the desire to follow a monk diet into focus: “a basic need such as eating can still be a noble and purposeful act.”

Throughout the ages, food and spirituality have been connected; in religions, traditions and philosophy, and now in our everyday life. Inside this engaging collection of recipes, you’ll find food to feed your soul, not simply quench a physical hunger.

The offerings are divided into countries of origin: China, Japan, India and Vietnam. From the very first of the 32 recipes – Lo Han Jai, otherwise known as Buddha’s Delight and traditionally served on Chinese New Year – you’ll be delighted by the presentations of colors, textures and tastes.

Many people envision monk food as very plain and perhaps flavorless, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is, in fact, proof that vegetarianism does not have to be boring. One look at the dishes displayed here and you’ll know that food to feed your soul, holistic food, isn’t dull or tasteless at all.

Some of the highlights here are: Crispy Tofu Rolls (with a texture that mimics roast duck), Zen Temple Dumplings from Japan, the Indian dish Easy Lentil Curry and Vegetarian Quang Noodle Soup straight from Vietnam. Each are very different from the others, which is true throughout the Buddha’s Belly cookbook.

With each recipe listing prep and cook times, as well as how many it will serve, and an ingredients list, you’ll easily know how to feed your soul with a different dish every day for a month, if you wish. You’ll find yourself returning again and again, revisiting the art and recipes to inspire yourself to new, soulful culinary heights. You don’t have to be a monk to eat like one anymore!