Julie Anne you are a Star! Your food last night was outstanding, people went for seconds and more and more..the cous cous, the chicken stew , the brownies…aah my mouth is watering..no one wanted to leave ..Monday evening people stayed until 1 am..you made my dinner party awesome..a big big THANK YOU.”

Maya Fiennes and Julie Anne RhodesMaya Fiennes and Julie Anne Rhodes

Maya Fiennes is one of those rare people that make you feel like sun has just come when she walks into a room. She literally radiates such beauty and positivity it is impossible to say “no” to her. I found that out in the first Kundalini yoga class I attended which would normally be way beyond my exertion comfort zone. She miraculously coaxed me past the pain, to such an energized induced state of well-being, I couldn’t wait to do it again. The same was true when she asked me to cook for her Christmas party.


I was already booked to cook for another client that day, so I used the Personal Chef Approach™ (PCA™) to prepare a portable feast the day before – enabling me to work and have a social life. All I had to do was “heat to eat” once I arrived at her house. Proof you don’t have to sacrifice glamour when you put the apron on!

A busy holiday season for The Roving Stove®A busy holiday season for The Roving Stove®

Thankfully this has been one of the busiest holiday periods ever for The Roving Stove®, yet applying the PCA™ to my own life has made it possible to find some balance with family and friends too. With a little effort on the weekend, you can get a delicious and healthy dinner on the table without a thought for the rest of the week. Wouldn’t you like to afford yourself the luxury of time to do it all?

Enjoying time with family and friendsEnjoying time with family and friends despite a hectic schedule due to the PCA™

Tatjana is home, and the rest of my family come this weekend – so I fear I may have to neglect you all a little a while longer. Thank you so much to Lane Buckman and Rachel Cree Lowe for amusing you all in my absence!

Cauliflower and chickpea stew served at Maya Fiennes Christmas partyCauliflower & Chickpea Stew

This hearty vegetarian stew is robust enough to satisfy any omnivore, or a as an additional quick and easy dish to throw together when some of your guests are vegetarian. You can keep it really healthy by leaving out the cream (and still have great flavor), or you can add richness with the cream. It’s also festive enough to serve at Christmas time due to the red and green colors, and easy to make in advance.



1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 large cauliflower cut into florets
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 pinch cayenne (more or less to taste)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional – I usually omit this)
Salt and pepper to taste


1). Parboil the potatoes and cauliflower in a large saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain; set aside.

2). Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add curry powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add onions, and cook until softened, stirring well to disperse the spices throughout, about 7-8 minutes.

3). Add chickpeas and stir well to coat with spices. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, potatoes and cauliflower. Cook until reduced a little and sauce is thickened and vegetables are tender, about 5-6 minutes.

4). Stir in cream, and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.


This stew is great over basmati rice, or apricot-almond coucous. Pictured above I have substituted quinoa for the couscous (same ingredients otherwise) for a gluten-free client.

PS. Forget someone on your Christmas list? It’s never too late to buy them a premium membership gift certificate (one for every budget available) that can be emailed to you in a snap! [add_to_cart item=”0006″ quantity=”user:1″ ] 10% off all gift certificated through December 24th with minimum $25.00 purchase.

Premium membership gift certificates are available in 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year increments

PPS. If your in the Los Angeles area – don’t miss the play As I Like It by Amanda Eliasch. Tatjana says it’s wonderful (she saw it in London), and I’m quite fond of the cast and writer, so I can’t wait to see it! December 29th – January 15th at the Macha Theater on N. Kings Road.

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  • December 22, 2011
    4:36 pm

    Merry Christmas Jewels thankyou for the inspiration in the kitchen and life. Best wishes and love for you and yours, Michelle

    • December 23, 2011
      10:43 am

      Same to you and yours Michelle!

  • December 23, 2011
    1:37 pm

    This recipe is on my list for next week! Easy to make and it should warm me up inside, feeling chilled right through to the bone again. This should put me to rights again. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and enjoy some free time to do some wonderfully decadent things that you don’t normally have time for. Lots of hugs to you and Daisy. XOXO

  • December 23, 2011
    11:22 pm

    Wishing you the same Ruthee, and do make the stew – it will warm you right up. Hope that is just cold weather and you are well?