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Hello all my lovely rays of sunshine, I hope you brought your appetite for this excerpt from my novel and some local sustenance! Come join me for this heartfelt and moving kitchen celebration!

Story Time:

We came to a sudden halt, Andrew enthusiastically chimed, “Wait here!” Before I could respond he turned on his heels and was off towards the kitchen. I giggled to myself wondering what he was up to. However, I didn’t have time to give it any real thought, just as quickly as he’d dashed away, he returned slightly flushed and out of breath. He smiled playfully and told me to follow him, all the while, that same mischievous gleam still dancing in his eyes. I couldn’t help joining in on all his merriment, as I grinned from ear to ear. His enthusiasm was utterly contagious as I sprinted behind him.

He pulled me into the kitchen and tossed me an apron, as he slipped one on and washed his hands. I followed his lead, still not quite sure what we were up to. I slipped over next to him as he was pulling out ingredients and tools, I gave him a gentle nudge, “So what are we making?” I asked curiously. Instantly, an excited smirk crossed his face and his eyes lit up, “I want the first meal that I make in my new Cafe to be comforting, light-hearted, and to bring me back to my childhood to where the dream to open restaurants all over the world first began. It seems only right with you right here by my side to celebrate.”

At this point, he grew very serious and looked away, suddenly at a loss for words. I took his hands and gently squeezed them, my heart ached, to see the pain in his face. Understanding a piece of the puzzle was missing in this warm-hearted celebration. I gently whispered, “you have to know how proud of you Alexander would be.” I drew him into a tight hug and felt tears burning at the corners of my eyes feeling his tears hit my shoulder. He buried his head in my hair and we stood there for a long while.

I felt Andrew’s grasp around me loosen and his breathing returning to a gentle even flow, I knew he’d released a lot of pain he’d been holding onto. He whispered softly into my hair, “Thank you.” At that same moment, we lifted our heads and looked at each other, despite the remaining echo of sadness in his eyes, his face lit up into a smile that I found utterly contagious. Wanting to help him ease out of this difficult moment, I looked over at the counter of ingredients and asked, “So what’s the verdict on lunch Chef?”

Storytelling with Food

This excerpt is moving and shows the power of a simple dish to bring memories vividly to the surface. Memories that tie the past and the present and drive the character’s motivations. It brings moments to life and fills our senses. Food is a direct link to times of celebration, evoking powerful emotions of happiness, new beginnings, sadness, togetherness, etc. 

Food Feeds the Imagination

Throughout various points, in my book, we’ve seen the power of food to motivate and inspire.  Earlier this week as I entertained the idea of going out to eat with my husband for lunch. Though, knowing that recently my digestive system has been more sensitive, I wanted to make sure I was able to eat ingredients that I knew wouldn’t rock the boat and cause digestive distress. I wanted to make sure whatever I ate would be wholesome plant-based, would be sensitive for my current digestive needs, as well as allergy-friendly. This sparked my creativity and got my imagination reeling!  

Bring Your Appetite and Your Imagination:

My husband and I ventured out for lunch on Memorial Day to my favorite local vegan restaurant, Fruits and Roots in Stuart, FL. It’s a locally owned juice bar and vegan cafe where all their plant-based cuisine is truly crafted with love. They tell you to bring your appetite and your imagination, which is an open invitation for this creative to get crafty and think outside the box.

Which, is exactly what I did as I planned what I might eat off the menu before we even arrived. I jotted down a sprinkling of ingredients I know they serve to create my a new dish. Granted I had no voice, I was glad to have my husband and my phone to help me express my ideas.

What’s For Lunch You Ask?

The servers there are always helpful! This time was no exception, they went above and beyond in helping me to create this unique entree that had been brewing in my imagination. This lightly toasted gluten-free flatbread topped with mashed avocado, fresh baby spinach, vegan provolone cheese, and homemade cashew parmesan was made with love from imagination to edible delight.

Order’s up on this delish dish! My initial senses were filled with the delightful aroma of the avocado paired with the tantalizing scent of the homemade cashew parmesan cheese. Not to mention, visually the pops of green are absolutely alluring. Even more satisfying was my first bite!

The slightly sweet earthy flavor of the baby spinach intermingled with the warm creamy, mildly cheesy flavor of the avocado, cashew parmesan, and vegan provolone cheese was truly scrumptious. After diving in for the first bite, I couldn’t just stop at one. My husband laughed at me as I bobbed up and down, and swiveled from side to side, doing the yummy in my tummy dance as I ate each bite.

This entree is simple, healthy, and delicious! It’s something I can order again in the future or recreate from scratch in my own kitchen. What’s a dish that you’ve tried when you were eating out that just totally left you inspired to want to attempt to recreate on your own? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your stories about mouthwatering delights that left you both satisfied and inspired!

Made With Love: The Power of Storytelling with Food


Hello, my rays of sunshine! I’m Jenna Gee, aka the Sunshine Artist, always seeking to brighten the world around me and seeking to help others embrace the magic that’s inside them. Every day is an empty canvas waiting to be painted and an empty page waiting to be written. Let’s fill today with the magic of the world around us!

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29 thoughts on “Made With Love: The Power of Storytelling with Food

  1. This is too cruel, it’s just lunch time now and I’m starving! But found the markets this morning so got some yummy fresh organic veg to enjoy.

    The bestest meal I’ve ever had out in my life was one night feeding the homeless. A new vegan online business gave us vats of leftovers. Now I’ve been veggo for decades but their’s is the best food I’ve ever tasted! The homeless preferred the meats and were wary of this ‘healthier’ food so there was masses over. I helped myself to a tub full and ate it in a nice park …

    1. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to share with others and be blessed with a delicious treat…a picnic in the park is always a lovely time! 😊 ❤️

      I love going to the local farmers market, always delicious organic fruits and veggies to choose from 😁

      This next week a friend that my husband works with is bringing us a few bags of fresh organic okra and zucchini from his garden…I’m definitely planning some delicious meals with his generous gift. 😊

    1. Thank you Punam! Yes, much better. My vocal cords are still healing a little (as so many of my students have pointed out this week, I still sound funny) otherwise much better!😊 💞🤗

      1. Good to know that! 🤗 Keep spreading the sunshine, my dear and may your vocal chords heal completely. ❤️
        But how do you manage in school?

      2. Well, I’ve been doing activities that require much less talking. I have some very helpful students that I’ve appointed as helpers. There’s only two more half days left for the school year. Then I’ll have a little time before I start summer camp. So it’s not too bad.😉❤️

    1. Thank you Richa! ❤️ Yes definitely feeling so much better..now taking care of my poor hubby who managed to catch my cold. 😜 ❤️

  2. my mouth was watering Jenna! i love avocado, anyway, anyhow! and your story was a perfect prelude, food connects people more than anything else and you are right, the memories all come rushing back when that first aroma hits us!

    1. I love avocado too! 😊 it’s such a versatile food. I agree food connects us on so many levels its a baseline for connecting with others. ❤️

      1. so right, sharing recipes and memories from food strengthens and renews bonds not to mention humanity in general

    1. Thank you Kevin, I hope you and your family have a wonderful week filled with lots of little moments that fill you joy. 😊 ❤️

  3. Yum! Heartwarming tale and love the dish you created! Sounds like a great restaurant! Fruits and Roots serves a ginger beer which fascinates me! You have such a way with words to describe such a treat. I hope to learn how to do that better. In fact let me try right now… 😉

    There was a restaurant a friend invited me to called The Good Kind (http://eatgoodkind.com/) for my birthday. I ordered a colorful market bowl which the employees decorated it like a tropical delight. I could feel how “clean” it tasted, and it made me feel wonderful. Black rice with raw vegetables lightly seasoned with a “Green Goddess” dressing and avocado and nuts sprinkled on top. I would absolutely love to create this birthday bowl from scratch…

    1. Sounds like a delicious dish!😊 ❤️ I looked at the menu, lots edibles delights to choose from!😁😘

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