Just Enough: Vegan Recipes and Stories from Japan’s Buddhist Temples
By Gesshin Claire Greenwood
New World Library 2019; 232 pp., $17.95 (paper)
Oryoki, which means “just enough,” is a meditative form of serving and eating meals that’s practiced in Zen Buddhism. Highly ritualized, it involves each diner using their own set of nested bowls, with just a small amount of tasty food in each. For most lay practitioners, it isn’t feasible to practice oryoki in daily life, but according to Gesshin Claire Greenwood, if we adopt the spirit of oryoki, we can be fulfilled by less, and she isn’t simply speaking about food. Instead of constantly craving more food—or more money, more recognition, more love—we can plate our life differently and find satisfaction in what we already have. Just Enough is Greenwood’s memoir of learning to cook while living as a nun in a Zen monastery in Japan. It’s also a cookbook with recipes for such delicacies as daikon “steak,” dumplings, and tofu and walnut-stuffed mushrooms.