Cutting … chopping … callous ….

by groove on February 17, 2015

I am now entering into week 2 of my Plant-Based Chef course through Rouxbe. This week was all about knife handling and cutting and chopping vegetables. After all this knife action I’ve developed a small callous on my right hand at the base of my index finger. Just where the top of the blade meets my hand. One of the downfalls of the joy of cooking, even so, it’s all worth it.


Here is one of the photos I had to submit demonstrating the different cuts. It’s important to know the many, well, there is actually 7 basic knife cuts as seen from the picture.

Needless to say, over the past few days I’ve been chopping up a storm.


And, what to do with all these veggies? A few I put into a salad with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Tonight I’m making a stir fry and I’m also trying a quinoa veggie cake, a recipe I read from a Candle Cafe cookbook.


Here’s my recipe for a very basic vinaigrette that I used on this salad. It takes a minute to make and tastes way better than the store bought salad dressing that’s full of hard to pronounce ingredients.

Simple Vinaigrette


1/2 cup Olive Oil*

3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Pinch of spice. I used garlic and herb

Pinch of salt

1/2 lemon juiced


Put all ingredients in to a mason jar or any container with a lid and shake it like crazy.

*Note: When it comes to olive oil and using it as a salad dressing, please, use the good shit. The stuff you would have paid a little bit more for. Why? Well, because it’s worth it. You’re salad will taste significantly better. Look for organic, first or cold pressed and/ or extra-virgin and the oil should be in a dark bottle so the light doesn’t harm it. Your future salad eating life may depend on it. Well, it you want to enjoy them.


We’re back…with a recipe

by groove on February 10, 2015

It certainly has been a very long time since we’ve posted anything to the Groove Garden blog. We really have no valid excuse. Yes, we could say we have been so busy with work and family stuff but that’s kind of lame. I could say that I haven’t been creatively motivated but if you looked at my Instagram you’ll see that I have been posting lots of good looking food. I could say that Mr. Groove Garden bought a huge collection of awesome vinyl records and has been obsessed with it. Well, that part is true. Stay tuned for future posts of some of his awesome vinyl finds.

So, then why am I doing a blog post now? Well, this past week I started the Rouxbe Professional Plant-Based Certification online course and I’m excited to document for myself and share with whomever is interested what I’m learning and creating from this experience. Already I have been immersed in all the learning activities. So far, I’ve had to clean out my fridge and pantry. Now, who doesn’t need a push every once in awhile to do that? You always find that forgotten bowl in the back of the fridge that you can’t quite remember what exactly it was. So gross!


One of the first tasks they have you do is make your to-go-dish. Something you’ve made many times but this time they want you to take pictures of prepping ingredients, the process of putting it all together and then finally the dish plated. I found this process making me more mindful about what I was doing instead of mindlessly going through the motions. I find that you really appreciate the dish more when you’re thoughtfully putting it all together. It also tastes better too!

So here is what I made for my dish. Simple rice paper veggie wraps along side a peanut ginger dipping sauce. This dish is super easy and fast to make. It makes a great snack, lunch or if you want it for supper, steam some edamame for an additional side. If you decide to make it let me know and share how you made this recipe your own by maybe adding different veggies, maybe tofu and how you enjoyed the dipping sauce.


Veggie Rice Rolls


1 large Red Pepper, julienne

1 large Carrot, julienne

1 small cucumber, julienne

4-5 green onions, sliced lengthwise

½ cup crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced

Small bunch Parsley, roughly chopped

6 Rice Wraps


I like to start by boiling water in my kettle. You’ll use this warm water to soak the rice paper wraps in so they are soft and pliable to wrap up all those veggies.

Once all your veggies are cut and the water has boiled you can set up your production line. You can either use a cutting board or your kitchen counter to make your wraps. I pour the warm water from the kettle into a dinner plate then soak the wrap until it’s soft. I then put the wrap on a flat surface then quickly add the veggies. *After you’ve added a few veggies, mushrooms and parsley I fold over the right edge of the wrap and then the left. Then starting from the bottom ensuring all the veggies stay tucked in, roll everything together until you have a cigar shaped veggie roll.

*Add as little or as much as you want. You can either have many thin wraps a just a few fat wraps.

Ginger Peanut Sauce

This recipe has been inspired from the many recipes I’ve consulted time and time again. Thanks to all the online recipe sharing folks for the inspiration. I’ve made different variations of this often. I just love the combination of ginger, peanut butter and the sweetness of agave syrup.


4-5 tbsp smooth peanut butter

2 tsp rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely minced *

1 inch ginger, finely minced *

1 tbsp agave syrup

1 tbsp tamari

½ lemon, juiced


Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl then taste and adjust to your liking. I always end up adding a wee bit more sweetness and sometimes a dash of salt to make the flavour really pop but that’s just me.

* Feel free to sub in garlic and ginger powder.

We hope you enjoyed our very long over due post and we hope you enjoy the recipe too!


Led Zeppelin III

March 27, 2014
Led Zep 3

This month, I have been involved in the 3rd month in a row of “Record A Day” Instragram posts – a daily photo of an album in my collection following the suggested theme of the day. For instance, there has been “album on classic black”, “green vinyl”, “acoustic album”, “album from high school” and many […]

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Stress Relieving Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 20, 2014
Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve discovered I’m one of those people who likes to bake when feeling a bit stressed. The thought of having warm, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies within 45 minutes is pretty good motivation. I have to say it does help relieve the tension a bit. Having to focus on baking the cookies and not think […]

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The year of new discoveries….and my new favourite record “store”

February 18, 2014
Pop Up Shop

So far, the year 2014 has been very active for The Groove Garden. We have spent a collective 6 hours (and counting….) in the pop-up record store in downtown Kelowna and have still only somewhat scratched the surface of what is hiding in those piles of records. The best part of this hunt has been […]

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Vinyl Finds From The Big Dig

February 3, 2014
Mike Oldfield

Over a number of weeks, I have been visiting the pawn shop in downtown Kelowna, spending the better part of a small fortune stockpiling records of all ages and genres. To give a bit of background, the pawn shop in Kelowna had purchased approximately 40,000 records and literally dumped all of the records into a […]

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The Big Dig

January 17, 2014
Roasted Butternut Squash

For weeks, the anticipation has been building. “A pop-up record store”, they said. “Over 40,000 records in one tiny room”, is what I heard. I stopped by the pawn shop on Ellis in Kelowna a couple of weeks before Grey Cup Sunday in November to find out more about this massive haul of vinyl they […]

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New Year, New Groove

January 7, 2014
Otis Redding

Well, 2013 is over and we are already a week into 2014. We had a significant year of change last year with Daneen taking on a completely new and exciting path (more info below) and The Groove Garden becoming more prominent on-line through social media. The future looks very bright for us as our two […]

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Part 2 of a (?) Part Series: Return To Forever, Return to Yamato and Return to Dead Bolt

October 7, 2013

The musical focus of this post is on a singular act and the timeline and circumstances for acquiring half of the band’s discography. The food focus is the asian restaurant Yamato – a spot we somehow keep returning to time and time again, even though there are several other choices to make. The wine focus […]

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Part 1 of a (?) Part Series: Giants of Jazz and BOTM Record Club

October 4, 2013
Sarah Vaughan

This summer was eventful for The Groove Garden; we travelled to Vancouver to see rock gods RUSH and shortly after travelled to Regina for a long-overdue visit with family and friends. Of course, Mr Groove took the opportunity to load up on records. The most successful “pick” was in the basement of a childhood friend’s […]

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