THIS IS MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER’S GEFILTE FISH - Originally published in 2012

My grandmother Jenny Mandel nee Schwartz, came from Minsk, Russia when she was just a baby. Her mother Mary who I am named after made gefilte fish for her family on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When Jenny was old enough to learn her mother taught her and her sisters, Sarah and Edith.

It all starts with fresh fish. According to my mother, Jenny would  pick out her fish, ten pounds of white fish and always one Pike, once home the fish were kept alive in the only bathtub in the house.  The next day newspaper would be spread around the floor and kitchen table, the fishmonger would stop by…it was time to kill the fish.  As a child my mother never took a bath and she never ate the fish! 

When Jenny was in her 80’s it was time to teach my mother Irene. From then on twice a year my mother would make the gefilte fish with her late best friend Theda Warner.  I know that they had a long fun day of cooking, chopping, cleaning and lots of good gossip!  And fortunately we don’t have to worry about the bathtub, we can buy our fish already cleaned from Nortown!

Well, my mother turned 80 this year so I guess it is time I learn to make the fish!

I hope to carry on the tradition with my grandmother’s handwritten recipe.

 My mother Irene.

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lots of Veggies

I have come a long way from the girl who grew up thinking that the only way to eat a potato was baked with lots butter and salt, (always a classic and a favourite with Gordy).  Growing up we ate lots of potatoes but the only time I remember eating sweet potatoes was at the holidays when they were sliced, layered and baked with apples, butter and brown sugar, (another favourite with Gordy). Then in the 90's restaurants starting serving up an alternative to french fries by offering sweet potato fries on their menus and I thought yeah, healthy fries - I was kinda sad when I realized otherwise.

That's why I  am really excited about sharing this recipe with you.  My sweet potatoes are packed with lots of veggies, black beans, spices and when served with a green salad make a most delicious healthy meal.  Sweet potatoes are one sweet veggie that are packed with lots of fibre, vitamins and potassium.  This recipe is vegan, gluten free and 100% Gordy tested!

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lots of Veggies

This recipe serves 4


  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 cup corn, (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced pepper, (red or yellow)
  • 1 cup chopped swiss chard
  • 2 tsp finely diced fresh jalapeno pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • dash of hot sauce 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • sliced limes for squeezing 

Creamy Avocado Dip

  • 1 large avocado
  • ¼ cup lime juice 
  • pinch of salt (or more to taste)
  • dash of hot sauce
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Roast sweet potatoes for about 1 hour, or until fork tender.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes in half. Scoop out flesh and place into a large mixing bowl.  Place skins back onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and return to oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the skins become crispy.
  4. To the scooped out sweet potato add the black beans, corn,  onions, red peppers, swiss chard, jalapeno pepper and spices. Stir to mix until well combined.  Taste mixture and adjust seasoning
  5. Remove skins from oven and fill each skin with black bean mixture.  (You may have extra filling, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes).
  6. Place back in the oven and bake again for 20-25 minutes, or until filling is heated through and tops are starting to get crispy.

Creamy Avocado Dip:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth and creamy. Add more water or lime juice if needed. Taste and add more lime juice or salt if needed.  If you want to thin out the dip add a bit of water or lime juice.
  2. Drizzle all over baked sweet potatoes or use as a dip.

Cooks Notes:

  • These can be made-ahead and reheated.
  • Try spinach in place of the swiss chard
  • I like to serve with extra hot sauce on the side.


Nutritional Information for this recipe can be found at Meal Garden.