Ireland is to blame for all of my travels in Europe. Specifically Gabrielle Kirby of the Servant s of Love (SoL) in Wicklow, Ireland. Gabrielle is the one who had sent me an email regarding the April retreat in Spain. This was back in December and it only took a couple email exchanges before we were able to set some dates for my class in Ireland. The Servants of Love are an amazing group of monks and nuns that have dedicated their lives to teaching and sharing information regarding the importance of healthy holistic living. This includes the importance of a spiritual practice, meditation and prayer, music, service and conscious eating. The Servants didn’t start out as raw foodists, it was something they gravitated towards over time. At the heart of The Servants of Love is their founder Kevin Jacobson, who is no longer with us in physical form. Kevin’s inspiring contribution lives on in every meter/foot of The Servants of Love’s cafe (Healthy Habits), health shop and work and living quarters. Every where I looked at SoL there were little time and energy saving gadgets and inventions that Kevin had designed and created. Most impressive were the blanks he created for making wraps and breads in the dehydrator. He had even created a dehydrator the size of a phone booth which was recently taken out of service because it had been constructed of wood and was a potential fire risk. The spirit of Kevin is inescapable at SoL and you could feel it and see it in the selfless work of the Servants. When I had arrived on Thursday none of the Servants that had been at the retreat in Spain had returned yet. So I worked with Paul, Vera, Michaela and Donal until most of the group returned the following day.
Chef Veronica, the one person that wanted to be at my Saturday class most of all would not arrive back in Ireland until Sunday, the day after my class. We were able to take some time during the week to make some kimchi and also redo the onion bread recipe. The class I taught featured a spinach wrap, buckwheat refried beans, onion bread, my signature “gadget” recipes as well as some chia recipes. We had an amazing crew in the kitchen helping out. I owe a big “thank you!” to Donal for helping on both Friday and Saturday and also Carlos Corkish, a classically trained chef who rocked out the guaca-ole, fig vinaigrette and headed up the lunch time plating. Margaret Carey also assisted in plating. Gabrielle pitched in by rolling the burritos and adding a colorful floral finishing touch to all the plates. She even devised a way of giving the blackberries a magical shine before dessert was sent out. My experience with teaching in Wicklow was fantastic. I hope to return next year for another teaching event.
Enjoy this dessert recipe featured during the class in Wicklow, Ireland:
Chia Pecan Flan
- 1/4 C chia gel
- 1/2 C water
- 1 C cashews (soaked),
- 3/4 C pecans (soaked)
- 1/2 C dates (soaked)
- 1 T maple syrup or agave
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 t powder/extract
- 1 T lecithin
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1/2 t salt
Add water and chia gel to blender and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth.
Add remaining ingredients except for lecithin and blend.
Add lecithin to the mixture while blending.
Transfer to bowl and allow to cool in the fridge or freezer before serving. Decorate with fresh/frozen berries and mint leaves.