janet @ the taste space

African-Style Spinach and Zucchini Sauté with Pineapple and Pumpkin Seeds

In Sides on August 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Sunday isn’t even over and I feel like this was such a productive weekend.

I guess that’s what happens when Rob and I aren’t zooming from wedding to wedding…

We still did some zooming this weekend, though… On our bikes, we zoomed over to our closest farmer’s market and caught up with a friend while dining at Live for brunch. Sadly, my tofu scramble was terrible (burnt combined with tasteless) but the delicious Black Forest Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake almost made up for it. I did some grocery shopping and cooked up a few meals for the week in the afternoon. For dinner, Rob and I had a picnic in a nearby park. Just because we could. By the end of the night, we also managed to finish watching the last season of Dexter. Can anyone recommend a show as awesome as this one? Otherwise we will have to wait for the new season to start up in September.

This morning, Rob and I did a 3-hour bike ride through to Port Credit for brunch (again!) at Raw Aura, where Doug McNish was hosting a special 3-course brunch menu. I will just tickle your taste buds with our selections:


Fresh Pear Lemon and Ginger Kombucha Mocktail with Passion Fruit


Grape fruit and Goji Berry Timbale with Marinated Fig, Fermented Macadamia Gouda, Fresh Mint, Hemp Seeds, Baby Arugula, Coconut Water Date Jam, Sprouted Buckwheat Toast Points

Main: Rob and  I both split the following

The BLT (Thick Cut Sundried Tomato Sesame Zucchini Bread, Creamy Hemp Aioli, Crisp Smoked Eggplant Strips, Heirloom Tomatoes, Dill Pickle Spears)


 Herbed Broccoli Cashew Cheddar Quiche with Marinated Mushrooms, Eggplant Bacon, Baby Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, Flax Almond Crust, Local Tomato Crisps, Basil Pesto


Caesar Salad Using Local Greens in a Creamy Sunflower Dressing


Banana Cinnamon Crepes, Walnut Crumble, Local Berry Compote, Caramelized Peach, Young Thai Coconut Vanilla Whipped Cream, Chocolate Fondue

Everything was very good, and it was nice to eat different kinds of raw meals! The only thing left on my agenda for the rest of the day is to study. Which is probably why I am blogging instead. 😉

In any case, this is my Random Recipe for the month. A random recipe from a random cookbook brought me to Donna Klein’s African-Style Spinach and Zucchini Sauté with Pumpkin Seeds and Dried Pineapple from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen. I never would have thought to combine the greens with the sweetness from the pineapple but it worked nicely together. It was quick to come together and was nice, cold, as leftovers with a side of quinoa. Next time, though, I’d add my toasted pumpkin seeds at the end so they stay crunchy.

This is my submission to this month’s Random Recipes, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays, and to this week’s Weekend Wellness.

African-Style Spinach and Zucchini Sauté with Pineapple and Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen

2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium zucchini (1 lb), coarsely chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped dried unsweetened pineapple
1 bunch of spinach (300g), stemmed and coarsely chopped

1. In a large nonstick skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5-10 minutes.

2. Add the zucchini, green onions, pumpkin seeds (consider adding at the end instead for more crunch), and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute for an additional 3 minutes.

3. Add the broth and dried pineapple, stirring to combine. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the spinach is wilted (but not shriveled) and the zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. You may need to stir intermittently. Serve warm.

Serves 4 as a side.

  1. Wow that is quite the weekend! And that raw menu sounds super fabulous 🙂

  2. If this is a double comment, please delete it. I tried before and had problems.

    What an exciting menu–I want to eat with you guys. And the recipe is especially nice–such an unusual combination of flavors. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You know I love weird flavor combos, but pineapple and zucchini is a new one on me! Sounds great though. Actually, i’d like to turn that combo into a dessert!

  4. you see, this is what I LOVE about random recipes… it really finds the freaks and weirdo’s in your recipe books right? but how lovely to discover something so lovely… and fresh and gorgeous, I can so imagine making this for a summer bbq side dish… perfect!… thank you so much for taking part and contributing this month xx

  5. I am not great on getting my head around an African cuisine – would not have guess pineapple to be african but then again I wouldn’t have guessed the stew I made last week to african either – but as it also came from the Tropical Vegan, I guess our dishes would go together nicely 🙂

    • Johanna, that is so true. I associate pineapple with the Caribbean but not Africa. Who knows where these inspired meals come from, eh? All we know is that they taste delicious, which is what matters most to me anyhow. 🙂

  6. Looks delicious, thanks for sharing the recipe Janet!

  7. I can’t believe you guys biked three hours for brunch! By which I mean you’re my hero 🙂 I definitely don’t cook enough from this cookbook. The pineapple does seem like a crazy add-in here but if it works, it works!

    • Joanne, with such a decadent brunch, this was the only way I could justify it. Although my typical cycling commute to work is almost as much on a daily basis… so not really that impressive. 😛

  8. What a crazy combination of flavors! I love it. The unexpected ones are always the best. Thanks for posting!

  9. […] his secrets.Those banana crepes we made? Sound familiar? He made them this summer when he had a special brunch menu at Raw Aura. Some of the recipes are from his current book, some from his upcoming book and others […]

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