Eat Well: Tibetan Roast (with the most)

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks mom!
I am a huge fan of the Dalai Lama. Huge. Several years ago, Rachel had the honor of performing (with other musicians) as people gathered for the Dalai Lama’s speech at The University of Michigan, and since then, it has been my dream to see him in person, too. When Larry and I heard he was coming to San Diego, we decided to try to buy tickets. Seconds after they went on sale, Larry was lucky enough to snag two of them. (The Dalai Lama spoke at three universities in San Diego and all three venues sold out in 10 minutes, so we felt fortunate to be able to go.)

There is something incredibly special about His Holiness. His humble child-like innocence, joyful laughter, and the simplicity of his message resonate beyond belief systems. He talked of compassion, finding common ground, being respectful of others, of seeing our relationships as “we” and not “you and me,” of having a calm mind and open heart, of forgiveness. He stressed the importance of family and of raising children with unconditional love and respect for others—giving our children a strong sense of self, and teaching them to be “citizens of the world.” If we do this, he said, our children will transform our world from one of conflict to one of love.

He ended with these words: “Effort must come from (the) individual. You, here, may be over 10,000 people. Each of you has (the) same potential. Same opportunity. Let us create inner peace, through that way, create peaceful family, peaceful community.” I am still basking in the unlimited inspiration coming from the mouth of one very special human being. For anyone interested in reading the Dalai Lama’s full speech at SDSU, you can go here.

This week, in honor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, I made a Tibetan buckwheat “roast” and it was delicious. I served it plain but I think it would be yummy topped with my mushroom gravy found here. (The following recipe was something I adapted from various sources found online.)

Tibetan Roast 
(buckwheat meat(less) loaf)

2 T oil 2/3 cup buckwheat
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
½ cup red wine
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 cup walnuts, ground finely
8 oz spinach
1 egg (optional)
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. In skillet, fry buckwheat in oil on medium high, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until the color changes to a rusty color.
Add onions and mushrooms and cook until soft. 
Add wine and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
(Add more stock if necessary, but you don’t want the buckwheat to get too mushy). Take off heat and cool slightly. Meanwhile, cook spinach without water.

Drain off any excess liquid and chop. Add spinach, ground walnuts, and seasonings to buckwheat mixture.
If adding the egg, beat the egg and add to the mixture and stir well. Press into a greased 1 lb loaf tin.
 Cook for 50-60 minutes or until brown on top and firm to the touch. Let stand for 10 minutes and slice into servings.



Red Stethoscope | 11:11 AM

This looks amazing! I will be trying it!

Taylor | 12:15 PM

Love this post-- and looking forward to making the recipe. I studied Buddhism in college and have had the honor of meeting HHDL several times, and even traveling to India and studying in a Tibetan University there.

I have one qualm with your post, and I know this was meant well, but Westerners often refer to HHDL as "childlike," which I think misses something crucial about him and compromises the effects of his work.

Although he is spontaneous, quick to smile and wholly joyful in a way that most adults aren't anymore (we get jaded, right?), he's not a child. His joy isn't born of innocence. HHDL has witnessed his country and people ravaged by China's takeover. The worst the world has to offer (torture, rape, murder, missing persons) are familiar subjects for him; he often meets with Tibetans who've suffered terribly. Yet his message is always one of compassion, and never retribution.

I think it's a mistake for us to interpret the fruits of many years of contemplative practice (presence, compassion, joy) for something as simple, and fleeting, as innocence (or related to childhood itself). It shortchanges the weight and wisdom in his teachings, when instead we should recognize the Dalai Lama's qualities as an example of what we all inherently possess, and can access within ourselves. He also embodies the example of how we can extend these qualities to create a more peaceful world.

That being said, it's clear you respect and appreciate HHDL and I appreciate your sharing your experiences (and awesome recipes) with us. :-) I hope you don't feel offended, or like I'm picking a bone over something minor, but yeah, I've seen this a lot (even in journalistic coverage of HHDL's talks in the US... I'm thinking of one in the Pioneer Valley in Western, MA in particular), and I'd like to encourage us all to consider the Dalai Lama's demeanor in something of a less... distanced... light.

Thanks for considering my thoughts on this,

Taylor Hengen Newman

Wendy Woolf | 2:10 PM

Taylor...I am wondering if you are confusing "childlike" with "childish" which is a derogatory term. To me, being "childlike" is a compliment of the highest order. I believe children are naturally happy, naturally in the moment, naturally filled with abundant laughter and free of the mental turmoil that we as adults struggle against. I don't agree that calling him that takes away from his work. I rather feel being "childlike" is something I would like to aspire to be. As the Dalai Lama said so succinctly in his speech, we lose this quality sometime in the middle of our life, only to find it again when we are dying. The fact that he can keep that attitude, even in exile, is a testimony to his abundant compassion. I, also, have studied Buddhism, for years. I have only deep respect for its tenets and for His Holiness.

Valerie (all mussed up) | 2:19 PM

Wendy, this looks scrumptious. I keep my pantry shelf stocked with nuts and grains and beans (it makes me feel like a fierce pioneer woman), so all the ingredients are in reach!

Taylor | 4:57 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Wendy; I think your distinction between childlike and childish is apt-- and I'd suspected you also have background in Buddhism. Anyway, I certainly didn't intend to call into question your respect for HHDL or his teachings-- I just notice Westerners frequently responding to his childLIKE (spontaneous, joyful, etc.) qualities with something of an "Aw, isn;t that cute?" tone (or, you know, articulating that sentiment exactly), and always wonder whether I should jump in with a reminder of context. Clearly, you've got the context and the subtleties down.

Thanks for sharing good food, links and ideas with the masses, and again for your response to my comment. Looking forward to making this roast-- one of my favorite Tibetan restaurants in NYC makes a version I adore, but I've never attempted to replicate it. Here goes.


Taylor Hengen Newman

Anonymous | 6:20 PM

I had the honor of meeting his holiness once, at an event for my university. He was amazing, and bold. He stood in front of this group of PhDs (it was also a women's only college) and talked about the importance of motherhood, and of raising children, and educating them with the values you mentioned. He ended the speech with something like "What good is all this education you achieve if you teach it to no one but yourself? How does it help the world?"

Anyway. This roast looks fantastic, with one problem. I'm allergic to nuts. Are there any good substitutes you can use in place of the walnuts?

(ps. I think his Holiness would like your egg posts. He is said to be very concerned with the welfare of chickens. :)


Anonymous | 12:03 AM

i love you WWW and GGG but this particular dish looks repulsive.

Mackenzie | 6:25 AM

I am so inspired by the Dalai Lama. I'm sure the roast tastes awesome. Looks kinda gross, but so many delicious things do.

Allison | 6:53 AM

You remind me so much of my mom, WWW, so it's a joy to read what you post.

Be well,


Jen | 7:53 AM

Looks good!
That must have been a terrific experience, getting to hear him speak :D

Anonymous | 6:05 AM

Westerners know little about the 14th Dalai Lama. It's considered hip to attend one of his events and then enthuse about how spiritual and peaceful he seemed and how he laughed a lot, just like an innocent child, oh my!
I doubt you'd attend a revival meeting run by some evangelical Christian because it would seem tacky and low-status. A guy in a suit shouting about Jeebus is not exotic like a guy in robes who smiles enigmatically and speaks softly about vague concepts like "peace."
The thing is, Tibetans know the real deal about the D.L. They think Westerners are a bunch of suckers for getting taken in by him. Do some REAL research and see what you find about his financial empire, his lack of accountability and his less-than-peaceful dealing with his enemies. Remember how the Beatles got burned by the Maharishi? Don't be fooled by a guy in a robe.

Heidi Oran | 12:55 PM

Great post. I read his new book immediately when it was releases (Beyond Religion) and wish it would become mandatory for all high school students. It as you say, resonates beyond belief systems.

Unknown | 4:39 PM

This looks delicious! Would using ground almonds instead of walnuts work do you think? Only as I have a thing about walnuts and already have almonds in my pantry. :)

Lobsang | 8:09 AM

This is a great post and we will share this on our Facebook page. You and your mom might like to check out the vegetarian Tibetan recipes at We are always interested in seeing new Tibetan recipes, and this one is so creative! All the best to you both :-)

Unknown | 10:01 PM

I totally accept wat Taylor have written. His Holiness is not like an innocent chilelike nature he is trying to cheerish love and compassion amount the communite that already in danger of losing trust to each other....
Since I mysafe is a Tibetan and I always trying follow wat every He teach, but its not really simple like we can practice in generally.........becoz he is beyond all these humanly nature even he was born in our communite...........Long Live His Holiness Dalai Lama. And Love Ur Yumy Yumy Tibetan roast it looks very exotic and tasty..............