We have had the lovely pleasure of a visit from our son Jarrod and his wife Anook visiting from Montreal.  We have been visiting, beach walking, and most happily feasting!  The first night we had my Vegetarian Lasagna with a garden salad.  Then the next day we pulled out the BBQ for Organic Cheese Burgers accompanied with A Festive Sprouted Three Bean Salad.
Then day three.  Wooooohoooo......our loved ones did the cooking!  I love to watch Jarrod and Anook cooking in my kitchen.  I sipped some wine, took pictures, inhaled the most delicious smells coming from the kitchen - it was heaven.
This was on the Menu tonight:
Anook's Vegetarian Succotash - made by Jarrod.
Followed by Jarrod's Tahini Ginger Tofu Sauce and steamed rice.
Then for dessert:  Anook's Ginger Raspberry Strawberry Crumble, recipe pending.
Was I in heaven?  Oh yes indeed!    These are dishes I absolutely will be making - plus the leftovers taste even better the next day.  Thank you Jarrod and Anook for a most lovely meal!
So for this lovely Vegetarian dish I give you Jarrod to continue the post:
This recipe has been adapted from the recipe which is used in the Quebec Vipasanna meditation center. The center serves only simple vegetarian cuisine.....simple, but delicious! We enjoy this dish each time we sit or serve at the meditation center, and it has become a regular back at home as well.
Vegetarian Succotash:
4 Tblsp.  Grape Seed Oil
3 small Yams - chopped
4 carrots - chopped
2 medium zucchini
1 large red onion diced
4 minced garlic cloves
2 14 oz. cans Lima Beans, drained
3/4 cup frozen corn
Grated Aged Cheddar Cheese - to cover the casserole evenly
1 Tblsp. Basil
1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Heat up a saute pan on low medium heat with the grape seed oil.  Add in the chopped onion sauteing until soft.
Then add in the garlic and seasonings sauteing until fragrant.  Add in the yams, and carrots, sauteing for 10 minutes.
Then add in the zucchini lid on turn down to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add the lima beans, and season with salt and pepper, lid cracked.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pour the vegetable succotash into a 9x13 inch casserole dish, then add the corn on top and the grated aged cheddar cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Tahini Ginger Tofu Sauce:
This was a bit of an experiment.......with a favorable and flavourable result!
1 Tblsp. Grape Seed Oil
3 minced garlic cloves
3 Tblsp. grated fresh ginger
1 small red onion, chopped
4 cups cubed firm organic Tofu
1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
200-250 grams tahini
2 Tblsp. Chili Paste
1 cup water divided
3 Tblsp. Tamari Soy Sauce
1 Tblsp. Peanut Butter
Heat up a pan on low medium heat with the grape seed oil.  To the pan add in the onions, ginger, chili paste and garlic cloves, sauteing until the onions are soft.
This is a Chili Paste with Sweet Basil Leaves - Gluten Free and MSG Free - found in our local Asian Market: (if you can not find this, Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste is a great alternative that is gluten free)

Add in the Tofu and 2 Tblsp. of Tamari Sauce, sauteing about 10 minutes.
Then add in 1/2 cup water, apple cider vinegar, Tahini butter and continue to saute another five minutes.
Pour in the other 1/2 cup of water, 1 Tblsp. Tamari Soy Sauce, and 1 Tblsp. Peanut butter.  Stir to combine, and if needed, add in 1/3 cup more water and 1 more Tblsp. Tamari Soy Sauce.  Saute until a thick consistency is achieved. Serve over steamed brown rice, with the Succotash on the side.

This was another amazing meal Jarrod created - Oh my goodness!  You can not tell from the picture, but this was a very large zucchini 10-12 inches long, about 4 inches wide, and I wanted to eat the whole thing!  Although my tummy would not have let me, I sure wanted to!   And the aromas coming out of the kitchen..Divine.  I love it when Jarrod cooks, I always know we will be served something amazing.
This was all the veggies sauteing, - lots of color in this pan!
Then it became this:
As well as this:
This delicious veggie pate is wonderful as a spread on sandwiches, or as a dip for crackers and a vegetable plate too!
So here is a list of ingredients:
Olive oil
1 1/2 large chopped onions
5 minced garlic cloves
1 Pablano pepper, de-seeded and membrane removed
1 Large Zucchini
2 carrots chopped small
2 1/2 cups roasted sunflower seeds
1 3/4 cup chopped, shredded red cabbage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. smoked sweet Paprika
sprinkle of dried Thyme
Balsamic Vinegar
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Now I will pass on Jarrod to give you the step by step process, take it away Jarrod:
Hey there everyone here is the numerical order of events.

  1. Grind sunflower seeds and put aside in a large bowl.
  2. Saute the onions in a large skillet over medium heat until soft ( about 5 minutes)
  3. Stir in the paprika and the salt
  4. Add the rest of the veggies  and the garlic and cover for about 5 minutes . ( if the veggies start to stick to the pan, add a bit of water)
  5. Cut the zucchini in half and hollow out the the inside by scraping the seeds out with a spoon, then stir in these scrapings to the sauteed veggies  in the skillet, add a sprinkling of thyme and cover for about 5-10 minutes or until the carrots and cabbage have become soft.
  6. Transfer the sauteed veggies to a food processor and pulse the mixture until it has a c0leslaw-like consistency (it should be a bit chunky, and not a paste)
  7. Stir the mixture into the ground sunflower seeds and put aside for a moment ( if you like you can add some freshly chopped cilantro at this point).
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  9. With a fork  pierce holes into the flesh of the zucchini every 1cm or so ( don't puncture the skin)
  10. Pour a little balsamic vinegar into the holes you've just pierced,  then sprinkle a bit of salt  over the inside of the zucchini.
  11. Fill the zucchini with the Vegepate mixture and  bake in the oven for 35 min at 350 degrees F.  (The rest of the Vegepate can be put into a pan, formed into a loaf, and baked as well)
  12. After 3o minutes in the oven sprinkle parmesan cheese over the zucchini and return to the oven. (Vegans can omit this step)
  13. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  14. Enjoy!

Wow.  We had the great pleasure of eating another wonderful meal created by our son Jarrod, this time Thai influenced.  Wow.  I am still oooohhhhing and awwwwing.  Seriously.  It was so good, I do not know where to begin in describing these incredible flavors.  Think I might be crying when Jarrod goes home.
We started out with a Coconut Curry Thai dish.  Lord have mercy.  Here is a pic:
Then we had a most amazing Raw Chocolate/Banana/Coconut Pudding for dessert.  Here are some pics of the process for this recipe:
And here is some more:
Then came dessert:

So for a recap, here is Jarrod, (by the way, if you want to stay longer Jarrod, the kitchen is all yours!)
This was a delicious meal, I was really satisfied with how it all fit so nicely together, and it was really very simple to do.
This meal should be prepared in reverse order from the way is was eaten, meaning one should prepare the dessert first and then move onto the curry, as the coconut-chocolate pudding should be allowed to set in the fridge for a couple hours prior to being served.
So we'll start with that.
Here are the ingredients for the Raw Chocolate pudding. I obtained this recipe from the following website, as I am new to the whole raw cooking phenomenon.  http://www.raw-food-living.com/raw-desserts.html

  • 1 young coconut
  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked for 4 hours or more
  • 2 bananas, ripe
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted

So go check out that site for the official recipe, but the process is really simple, you soak the almonds in advance, you open the young coconut (available at most supermarkets or Asian food markets)  and then you scrape the coconut meat into a blender/food processor along with the coconut water, drained almonds and blend together with the rest of the ingredients. Then put it in the fridge prior to serving, top with some shredded coconut and any other garnish you wish to use for presentation purposes ( I chose fresh basil, yellow plums and chocolate chips). Et Voila! A very nutritious and delicious dessert which is easy to make and can be used as a sauce on waffles, pancakes etc..
So once I got done with the pudding  I started  the Tofu-Coconut Curry and the Seasoned Green Choy.
Tofu-Coconut Curry

  • 1 Medium head of broccoli- Chopped into small florets
  • 2 medium carrots-sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion- Thinly sliced
  • 3 small zucchini- thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes- sliced horizontally
  • 1 handful of green beans- cut into 1 inch sections
  • 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  • 350 grams extra firm tofu cut into 1/2 inch  cubes
  • 3 tsp  Thai chili paste with basil leaves
  • 1 tsp Thai seven spice
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves.
  • 2 tbsp Tamari (wheat free)
  • oil for cooking
  1. Heat oil in a large wok or pot on a medium heat
  2. Add Thai chili paste and cook for about a minute
  3. Add onion  and saute till soft.
  4. Add Thai seven spice, ginger, Tamari, carrots and  tofu and cook together for 5 minutes, stirring  frequently
  5. Add remaining veggies ( except the tomatoes), and cook for 5-10 minutes (or until veggies are cooked to desired softness) with cover on, stirring occasionally ( add a little water if the ingredients start to stick to the pot) .
  6. Stir in coconut milk  allow coconut milk to boil slightly then reduce heat  to minimum and cover.
  7. Stir in 2 tbsp of whole fresh basil leaves and tomatoes 5 minutes prior to serving
  8. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with rice or rice noodles.

Seasoned Green (Yu) Choy

  • 8 cups green choy-  cut stems  and wash well
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1  thinly sliced red or yellow onion
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Tamari sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  1. Heat water in a large pot on medium-high heat
  2. Add onion, garlic,  ginger and Tamari, and cook with cover on until onions are soft.
  3. Add Green choy  and cook with cover on for 5-7 minutes or until choy is cooked to taste.
  4. Serve as a side  and  conserve extra  sauce to be added to rice noodles or to the choy itself.

So there you have it. A lovely Thai influenced meal made easy.

We had the most wonderful visit from our son Jarrod. He is visiting from Montreal, Quebec - across Canada.   And when he gets in the kitchen....Oh Mama, am I happy!  He is an outstanding cook.  I kept wanting to help...but then I didn't.  I just wanted to kick back and allow his amazing creativity happen.  And happen it did.  Here are a few pictures:
It began with this:

Then this happened:

And after this picture came this:

Then came this:

Then came a most wonderful beginning:

Lord have mercy....then came the best part:

Let me have the pleasure of introducing you to Jarrod - Head Chef in our kitchen tonight - and what a feast it was, thank you Jarrod:
Hey there everyone, my name is Jarrod, and three years ago I found myself in the province of Kerala in Southern India. My wife and I were serving at a meditation course  there, and when it was done we decided to go explore the territory. We ended up getting invited for lunch with an Indian family living near the meditation Centre. After lunch and tea had been served I decided to use the opportunity to get some real authentic Indian recipes. One of these recipes was a recipe for masala dosas, which is what you see served with in the above picture (left hand side). It is usually served with chutney but this time I chose to serve it with Cabbage Raita, which is the sauce shown in the blue bowl surrounded by fresh cut mango. I also prepared rice and Daal Mahkani on the side, but in retrospect I think I went a little overboard, cause it ended up being a lot of food. We were all stuffed!!! Just the Dosas would have been enough.
I won't bother going into the step by step process for each recipe because a close facsimile of each recipe can  be found at www.indianfoodforever.com, but to tickle your taste buds here's a brief description of each part of the meal.
First of all what is a Dosa?
Well a Dosa  is something like an Indian crepe made from a mixture of  rice and urad daal, soaked, ground and fermented and then fried like a crepe and served with chutney and sambar. A Masala Dosa is stuffed with a vegetable curry.
The curry I used to stuff the Dosas was an Aloo-Gobi curry which in English is simply a potato(Aloo) cauliflower(Gobi) curry.
And what is Raita?
Raita is an Indian sauce made from yogurt (known in India as "curd") and diced vegetables. It can be made sweet or savory depending on what it is accompanying. The recipe I used was the Cabbage-Raita recipe found on the Indian-food-forever website.
But what is Daal?
I'm sure you already know, but if you don't, it is a thick soup-like Indian dish made from different types of  cooked beans, and spiced with a mixture of spices (a masala).
The Daal I prepared for this meal was  Daal Mahkani, a Daal normally made from Urad Daal and Red kidney beans, Yogurt and cream, and is seasoned with Garam Masala and Coriander. Here I substituted the kidney beans with Pinto beans and left out the cream (Ina is lactose intolerant). This dish is then garnished with a dollop of butter and a sprig of cilantro.
For dessert I simply cut up an organic mango, after such a hearty meal you won't want much more.
Anyway thanks for reading, and check out:
www.indianfoodforever.com for all the ins and outs of the recipes.
-Jarrod Gawne