Vegan noodle pie


I dedicate this post to fellow blogger, Meg Wolff, who recovered from cancer thanks to a macrobiotic diet and Donna, a woman who befriended me at a Devon train station, who – it turns out – also cured her cancer after following a macrobiotic diet for ten months.

When Donna first approached me at the brightly-lit station on a dark wintry rainy evening last week, saying: “Hi, I am Donna,” I thought she had mistaken me for someone she knew.

Or maybe we had met…in another dimension?! (I love these stories so bear with me, you rationalists).

Donna asked me: “Are you interested in shamanism?”. “Always” I answered because I love real-life mystery.

To which she replied: “You have good medicine around you.” And I was thrilled.

Donna gave me her card and we are now in email contact – that’s how I know about Donna’s macrobiotic diet, and Axminster’s Awareness Centre, and her parents, the original ‘organic kids’, now 89 and 91. So listen up, you young things, eat your organic greens to get some healthy longevity inside you!

This is all the encouragement I need to eat more organic grains and vegetables, keeping animal-food to a minimum…

Donna and my other dedicatee, Meg Wolff, share many beliefs including the magic of writing things down.

Go visit Meg Wolff’s inspiring blog and I won’t even mind if you don’t come back.

Ah, you are back. OK, so Meg sent a newsletter which included a recipe for vegan lasagna. As a mama, I made lasagna but never considered how to veganise it – until this moment!

So I played around with Meg’s original recipe and here is mine – all ingredients from my local organic shop, the Better Food Company.

I peeled and chopped a big slice of pumpkin, putting the chopped-up pieces gently oiled, in a roasting pan to sizzle away in a medium-hot oven for 40 minutes.

For oil, I used Clearspring organic sunflower seed oil (first cold pressing for a naturally-nutty taste), a new discovery thanks to speaking coach, John Dawson.

While the pumpkin pieces were doing their thing in the oven, I made a vegan white sauce with organic soya milk, sunflower margarine and Dove’s rye flour, adding sliced fennel and mushroom, and tamari sauce, for interest and taste.

Then I drained and mashed 450g of tofu with gently-fried slices of onions and some sprinkling of smoked paprika.

I dunked 50g of gluten-free buckwheat noodles in a pan of boiling water until they softened – about five minutes.

Then I assembled my layers into an oiled-casserole dish, starting with the drained noodles covered with half the fennel and mushroom sauce, followed by the mashed-up tofu and the roasted pumpkin pieces, followed by the rest of the sauce – and baked it for 20 minutes.

I served it with fresh mustard leaves which grow on my balcony in salad pots from Cleeve nursery bought at the Organic Food Festival in Bristol last September – an easy way to have fresh leaves (see pic below)!

It was comfort food-supreme with the baked noodles reminiscent of lokshen pudding from the alter heim.

Happy Obama week!


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16 responses to “Vegan noodle pie

  1. Hi Elisabeth,
    What a fun post. Thanks for the link to my site. You should put me in touch with your friend Donna. What a coincidence!


  2. Ok, I’m eating my greens. Are you serious about the macrobiotic diet? I’m passing this post to my aunt…


  3. I know many people who have recovered from cancer and other diseases through following a detoxifying, well-balanced, organic, mostly vegan diet. It’s well worth trying and can be combined with medical treatments for cancer.


  4. Gosh, realfoodlover, your recipes sound mouthwatering! Now if only I could magically transport you to my kitchen here in Flagstaff, Arizona…
    I credit three weeks of macrobiotic diet for clearing up daily attacks of the herpes virus that no acyclovir (the usual drug given) could impact. I have to say, it was sooo alien from my Western diet, and so spartan, I couldn’t keep it up. But even 3 weeks stopped the daily occurences and reliance on Acyclovir forever. What I like about your recipes, is the Western touch but with MB ingredients. Brilliant! Can’t we name this hybrid something? Any ideas, fellow bloggers?


  5. Thanks Elisabeth,

    Another lovely story and another delicious meal.

    I am a big believer in Macrobiotics and try to do do a ten day brown rice diet at least once a year.

    The theory is that you replace one tenth of your bood every day, so you should be able to purify it all in ten days.

    It always makes me feel much more clear headed and I am sure it boosts my immune system.

    Mike x


  6. Mike,
    Did you only do brown rice for 10 days? That’s amazing, Philippa


  7. Hi Philippa,

    Yes I only eat brown rice and drink water for the ten days, the first few days are the hardest and you can sometimes get mild hallucinations as the toxins come out.

    You usually get a nice peaceful stage after three or four days and the rice tastes really sweet.



  8. Hi Elisabeth

    Very interesting post on the macrobiotic diet, I have read quite a few articles about people with cancer who believe they recovered due to a good diet (ie lots of organic fruit and vegetables). It is very conviencing and logically it makes sense. I am not sure whether I would be able to do the macrobiotic diet long term, but elements of it could be very managable.

    Great link to Meg Wolff’s blog, it is very inspiring and touching. But also helpful and interesting. What an amzing woman.


  9. Hi Elizabeth

    Pesticide-free fruit and vegetables are certainly crucial in health. I love macrobiotic and biodynamically grown foods. These are very important to neutralise everyday pollutants and electromagnetic radiation, particularly if you live in cities or contaminated rural areas. You just have to keep at it religiously and visit a Medical Herbalist offering Organically and biodynamically grown herbs if you are still being challenged. By the way, I cannot wait to talk about Faith in Food at tomorrow’s workshop of The Soil Association Annual Conference. With gratitude, Elena


  10. Hi thanks for the visit! I agree that meat substitutes are kind of pointless. And the health benefits are questionable. But they have their place though, if you are trying to convert a “traditional” recipe to a vegetarian recipe that a non-vegetarian (my husband!) might still eat. 🙂


  11. I only know one macrobiotic recipe – would be delighted to learn more….


  12. I like this description of macrobiotics from Macrobiotics’ email newsletter 6 Feb 2009:

    “Any [macrobiotic food] list will include a half dozen grains, including several types of brown rice (e.g., short grain, sweet, basmati)…To my knowledge, no type
    of grain has been considered a “prohibited” food from the macrobiotic point of view.

    Macrobiotics is, in part, the personal discovery of the energetic effects of food upon oneself. Someone limited to the standard American fare for, say, 40 years, stands to benefit greatly by such food lists in the beginning stages of practice. It serves as a departure point for a life of self-discovery.

    Once we clean up the excess, and debris, of decades of blind consumption, people generally become more educated and aware of the subtle influences of food upon their health.

    Many people then quickly expand outward from the list. When viewed correctly, what once served as a springboard for introducing a variety of healthful new foods, in time becomes regarded for its limitations.

    The foods on the list never lose their value though. They are simply augmented by other regional foods and styles of food preparation. That’s the nature of change in a word: Macrobiotics. ” From Jeffrey Reel


  13. I am interested in food and healthand chosing the right things, and have looked at macrobiotics and food energetics and think i have some basic understanding. I think its really powerful stuff but one fear i have of it is if you start to worry about every single thing you eat, where it comes from, what it contains, what energy it has, you could drive yourself mad? is it not OK to eat a chocolate doughnut from Mister Doungnuts with a horribel black coffee once in a while? i was wondering how best to overcome this kind of thing when deciding what to eat? i guess its alot to do with the culture your in. I always think becuase we have strayed away so much with modern life from these principles is why it is such a head stress to work out what to eat! and if the culture was different it would require less thinking, as i always think tradioanl foods from any country are nutritious and balanced and dont require all this thought?

    Anyway just thought i-d mention it!



  14. Thanks Pete, and for raising an interesting concern. Does becoming more health-conscious lead to unhealthy obsession?

    I think macrobiotics is like Buddhism: take from it what is useful. Some people like to follow it religiously. I don’t have the discipline or mindset to do that. But I am aware of its basic principles. For instance eating a plate with more grains and veg than protein and eating locally as much as possible.

    I agree we can get obsessed with ‘getting it right’. I also agree that modern life has further confused us! I think once we have some basic nutritional information (and especially if we have had the experience of eating homecooked food) , we can develop our own intuition and common sense to make our own decisions.

    For instance, if I eat something very sugary on an empty stomach, it makes my head feel cotton-woolly. On the other hand, I love coffee. On the other hand, I crave brown rice. On the other hand I sometimes need meat. ETC

    So I think give everyone some simple basic nutritional facts, make unprocessed food cooked from scratch as available as possible – and celebrate our human need for a diverse diet!


  15. One more thing on Macrobiotics, wouldnt it be great if they employed it in hospitals! organic, whole foods taylored to the condition could probably speed recovery no end! the stuff ive alwys seen in hospitals was always watery and lacking in any nutrients whatsoever!


  16. I could not agree more! “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” said Hippocrates.

    The NHS is partly signed up to the idea that sound nutrition is related to health. But does not always join up the dots.

    Hope is on the horizon! Thanks to efforts of campaigners (including the Soil Association), pilot projects are changing the way hospital food is sourced with Food for Life targets: &0% unprocessed, 50% local and 30% organic – at NO extra cost!

    Imagine if all the huge institutional contracts, for schools, hospitals and prisons, did the same. It would be transformative.

    Thanks again, Peter, for your comments that trigger thought!

    A fresh approach to hospital food report:


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