30th March 2020
Over the many years of cooking for meditation retreats, people keep asking for my recipes. After 40 years of being a vegetarian most are adaptations of ones I have tried on my meat eating family and are now favourites with them.
As an adult I know that the most important thing about food for me has always been the colour.
So my working title is “The Colourful Retreat Cookbook”
My Italian Nonna had the most influence on my approach to cooking. Her food was always colourful, made with love and very tasty. My mum’s influence was all veg. She was an organic gardener long before organic was popular, mainly as a young widow at the age of 30 with 4 young children under 9, she escaped to the garden for her own meditation and we all benefited!
You can’t beat home grown veg for the exercise, the flavour and the joy of being able to pick your own, and walk to the kitchen and cook with it.
My retreat recipes are normally for at least 12 people, I have reduced down the qualities for 4 people. But if I am wrong there are ideas of what I do with left overs!
Thanks to the retreat-ant who called it “love stew”. That’s how I feel about it too!
Turn on the oven. Chop the following and put it into an oven proof dish
2 courgettes cut into finger length strips
2 peppers ideally Red and orange or yellow chopped into fingers length strips
1 aubergine - cut in half and then sliced length wise so you have purple on most pieces.
Sprinkle with dried mixed herbs, Salt and Pepper
Drizzle with Olive oil (or sunflower works as well but not always as flavoursome )
Pop in the oven gas mark 6 for 20 minutes
Whilst the veg are roasting make the sauce:
Put a little olive oil into the bottom of sauce pan
Chop 2 smallish onions and put in the oil on a low heat cook gently for 10 minutes
Add in 4 cloves of finally chopped garlic (keep stirring so the garlic does not burn)
Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and pinch of chill
(unless you’re Suryacitta and then it’s 2 pinches!)
If you have any sun-dried tomatoes or paste add a dessert spoon (this will make the sauce thicker - but it’s not essential)
Cook until thick or about 15 minutes.
The joy of stirring it all together:
Add the tomato sauce into the roasting veg mix in a tin of either cannelloni beans or if you have not got these any white beans like butter beans or white kidney beans.
Cover with silver foil and pop in the oven for one hour on gas mark 6.
If you have fresh herbs - like basil or oregano sprinkle on top before serving.
“Happiness comes from the feasting your eyes on the colour and of course the taste! “
We normally serve this with either quinoa, couscous or a jacket potato put in the oven at same time as the stew.
What to do with with the leftovers:
I try to make a little bit more so there’s enough of a filling for a vegetable lasagna.
My family and friends come round if I say this is what’s for tea.
You get the double gorgeousness of happy stew layers with my family’s favourite pasta - lasagna!
Feedback on if they worked for your family, any pictures you taken and of course further left over ideas welcome.
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