Just Enough: Vegan Recipes and Stories from Japan’s Buddhist Temples
Gesshin Claire Greenwood spent several years living as a Buddhist nun in Japan before ultimately determining that it wasn’t the right life for her. Since then, she’s gone in and out of educational programs and different jobs while trying to find work that would leave her feeling fulfilled on every level. Along the way, she found love and got married, and then struggled to figure out how to fit that new part of her identity into her already complicated self-image. In Just Enough, Greenwood explores these themes and more in the context of Japanese Buddhism, both inside the monastery and out.
Scattered throughout these explorations of ideas are various recipes. Most are from Greenwood’s time in Japan, but some are from other parts of her life. All are vegan, although the author makes it clear that Buddhist nuns are not strictly vegan or even vegetarian. This book is fascinating because Greenwood does her best to keep recipes authentic, which means most will be full of ingredients that the average Western reader will not recognize, and possibly not be able to find. It might not be the most practical book to actually cook from, but it’s a fascinating read and just might send readers to the nearest Asian grocery store!
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