The following fun macrobiotic recipes have been prepared by Susan Waxman, acclaimed macrobiotic chef at the Strengthening Health Institute. If you are looking to learn more about how to become a certified macrobiotic chef, please check out our programs page.

Fun Macrobiotic Recipes

Arugula Salad with Sautéed Mushrooms

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves 4


5 ounces arugula, washed

½ to 1 pound fresh mushrooms, such as oyster, beech or Maitake

½ red onion, sliced into half moons

Tofu cheese (see below)

Olive oil

Pinch sea salt, about 1/16 teaspoon

¼ teaspoon shoyu

3 to 4 drops mirin


Place the washed arugula in a bowl and add the tofu cheese on top of the arugula.


Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.

Add the red onion and begin to sauté.

Put in a splash of water, a pinch of sea salt and 2 to 3 drops of umeboshi vinegar.

Add the Beech mushrooms, cover the pot and simmer for 1 minute.

Throw in the oyster mushrooms and continue to sauté.

Add the Maitake mushrooms and lightly season with the shoyu and mirin.

Sauté for another minute to cook the mushrooms and blend the seasonings together.

Pour the sautéed mushrooms over top the arugula and tofu cheese.

Lightly toss all ingredients together and serve.

Tofu Cheese

Use tofu cheese in salads, in lightly-cooked vegetable dishes or in pasta.

½ block tofu makes approximately 2 cups tofu cheese


½ block tofu

⅛ cup umeboshi vinegar


Rinse the tofu, then place in a bowl. Use one hand to begin crumbling the tofu while also pouring the umeboshi vinegar into the bowl with the other hand. The texture should remain firm

Vegan Avocado Caesar Salad with Tempeh Croutons

Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes, including the time to cook the tempeh.

Serves 4 to 6


1 head romaine hearts, washed

Use 1 package of tempeh, cooked and cut into inch cubes. (See tempeh recipe in the bean section)

1 small red onion, cut into ⅛ inch thick half moons

Guacamole or avocado slices (½ to 1 avocado)


Slice the red onion and place in a bowl. Add 1/16 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 to 3 drops of umeboshi vinegar. Very gently rub the salt and vinegar into the onion until you see the color deepen. Set aside until you are ready to assemble your salad.

Wash the romaine and remove and excess water using a salad spinner or cotton towel.

Break the lettuce into a bowl.

Add the red onion and the tempeh and lightly toss with your hands or wooden utensils.

Add a little freshly made guacamole, toss to coat the lettuce. If you do not have time to make guacamole add some fresh avocado slices.

Drizzle a little umeboshi vinegar over the entire salad then toss to blend the ingredients.

Susan’s Guacamole

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

Serves 2 to 4


1 avocado

½ cup finely-diced onion

Freshly-sliced jalapeño pepper, center vein and seeds removed (optional)

¼ cup finely-chopped cilantro

Fresh lime juice, to taste

1 ½ to 1 ¾ teaspoons umeboshi vinegar


Dice the onion and place in a pyrex bowl. Add a 1/16 teaspoon sea salt to the onion and gently mix. Add ½ teaspoon umeboshi vinegar to  the onions, mix all ingredients together with your hands, and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit and the fruit.

Place avocado in a bowl together with the marinated onions and the liquid from the onions. Add the cilantro and peppers and the remaining ¾ to 1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar to taste. Add the lime juice and gently mix.

This recipe keeps longer than other guacamole recipes because of umeboshi vinegar. The pickled onions balance the rich vegetable fat of the avocado. You can store the guacamole in a glass or earthenware bowl together with the pit (to maintain freshness). Remove the pit before serving. Serve with good quality corn chips (again made with non-GMO, organic corn and sea salt),  lightly blanched or raw carrots or celery sticks, or top off a vegan rice and bean burrito.


Tempeh is a fermented bean product with a dense consistency and texture. It is a delicious source of protein with a hearty bite and is extremely versatile. It is a must-have for any list of fun macrobiotic recipes.

Fried Tempeh

Place about a ⅛ to ¼ inch of safflower oil in a cast iron frying pan. Cut tempeh into desired size pieces. Fry on each side until the tempeh reaches a golden brown color. To season, transfer the tempeh to a separate pan and season with shoyu. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

Boiled Tempeh

Boil the tempeh in a mixture of 9 parts water to 1 part shoyu, a small pice of kombu and a few slices of ginger. The tempeh will keep in the cooking liquid for up to 1 week.

Tempeh Reuben

Place a few slices of boiled tempeh on a steamed sourdough bun and top with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and sauerkraut.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 2, using 1 medium sweet potato per person


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch thick slices

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

1 tablespoon barley malt

½ to 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


Small pinch sea salt, between 1/16 and ⅛ teaspoon


This recipe works best using a wide, cast-iron saucepan with a heavy lid.


Place the sweet potatoes in the pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Cover and bring to a boil.

Lower the flame and steam on low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and drizzle a little olive oil over the sweet potatoes, then add a pinch of salt, cover, and continue to steam for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl mix the rice syrup, barley malt, and maple syrup together. Pour over top of the sweet potatoes, replace lid, and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender. As the potatoes cook the sauce will reduce, forming a sweet glaze.

Mediterranean Sautéed Vegetables

This is one of my “go to” macrobiotic recipes when I want something quick with a little more substance. It is simple to prepare yet offers a nourishing and satisfying quality. As an added bonus, everyone who tries it seems to love it!

Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes

Serves 4 to 6


1 bunch of broccoli or a small head of cauliflower, or cabbage

⅛ to ¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ to ½ cup of water


Deep stainless steel or cast iron sauté pan with lid


Cut vegetables into medium to larger florets, or into 2 inch pieces, if using cabbage.

Peel and slice the stems into matchsticks proportionate to the size of the florets.

Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, then turn on the flame to medium-low.

If you are interested in learning more about how to prepare healthy meals using fun macrobiotic recipes, please reach out to us and we will be happy to help you determine which program at the Strengthening health Institute would be most beneficial for you to enroll in.