Breakaway Cook

The Breakaway Facelift! + Matcha Store Goes Live

Well we did it — the Breakaway Matcha webstore is now live! For those of you reading this in a web browser, you’ll see MATCHA on the navigation bar. For those reading this via some other method, please check it out at

The response to the matcha has kind of blown me away. I’ve put a little of the correpsondence I’ve had with people in the testimonials section of the site; it makes me very happy to know that people are digging it as much as I am… :^)  if you haven’t tried it yet, please do! It also makes a pretty cool gift.

I’m still working on the section I’m calling “master class in matcha” — it’s going to feature just about eveything you’ve ever wanted to know about matcha. I’ll be rolling that out in phases, and adding to it over time, but wanted to make the webstore section live as quickly as possible. So here we are!

You’ll notice — I hope! — that we’ve completely redesigned the website. It was about time, and I want to thank the fabulous Stephanie Sawchenko for all the design work she did.

Feedback is EXTREMELY welcomed — if you find anything that’s broken, unclear, or just not to your liking, let me know. Gratitude in droves to all.

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More Zen Cooking, March 20

If you’re free on Sunday, March 20, please consider joining me at the San Francisco Zen Center for an afternoon of umami-driven vegetarian cooking. It’s a wonderful opportunity to check out the Julia Morgan-designed Zen Center and its alluring (and immense) kitchen. I’ll be co-teaching the class with zen maestra Dana Velden, who also writes a lovely and soulful blog at The Kitchn, which is part of Apartment Therapy. We will of course be eating all the things we create. The building is on the corner of Page and Laguna, in San Francisco. Please sign up early if you can, since we’re limiting the class size to just 20. Hope to see you there!

For those of you who don’t know this strange-looking citrus, it’s a Buddha’s Hand citron; my tiny little tree just keeps cranking them out. I like to cut the fingers off and dry them, then pulverize them and combine with sel gris for an extremely tasty finishing salt. I also make my annual Buddhacello by infusing vodka with plenty of fingers, adding syrup, and freezing. One of my all-time favorite desserts!

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Antioxidant Super Salad / The Power of Placebos

Can a salad full of “superfoods” boost your immunity? I have no idea, but I do know that this salad is pretty damn tasty, and that I felt pretty damn good after eating it. Steve Silberman’s magnificent article on placebos confirmed something that I’ve always suspected: believing that  something you ingest — be it food or pharmaceuticals — will be beneficial to your health usually IS beneficial to your health. Not always, of course, but frequently enough to make it real and measurable.

For years we’ve all heard about the  serious benefits of eating foods rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. The biggest contenders in this group are those found in this salad: salmon (which I broiled with a pomegranate molasses glaze), wild blueberries, pomegranate arils, avocado, edamame, soft tofu, and a few chives. Dressing was just a drizzle of good fruity green olive oil (from Sicily) and a spoonful of vinegar brine from my pickled ginger, plenty of freshly ground black and green peppercorns, and matcha salt.

If you’re looking for a great first course to a special meal — or just any everyday meal for that matter — here you go. After the salmon is cooked, it can be assembled in less than five minutes.

And if you believe that this wonderful little quick salad is really good for you, it just might be.

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