This is a pasta you’ll want to steal just one more bite of. I too have been a victim of the devil’s ways. The combination of sundried tomatoes, garlic, shrimp, chili creates that savory umaminess that I really love. Easily doubled for four or leftovers for tomorrow. And takes from 15-20 minutes start to finish.
Diablo shrimp pasta
16 shrimp fresh or if frozen slightly thawed and tails pinched off
Half of a jar tomato passata
1 onion diced
6 sundried tomatoes roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
Olive oil for pan and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Smidge of oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes
¼ teaspoon chili powder (more if spicier preferred)
6 turns of fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
Pasta cooked to package (I like tagliatelle, spaghetti, linguini)
Sautee the onion in olive oil and a shake of salt until fragrant. Add the garlic, and then shrimp and tomatoes. Time for the pepper and chili powder. The chili is a matter of taste. A quarter of a teaspoon will impart little to any heat, so increase as you like. Stir in the tomato passata just as the shrimp start to turn opaque. They’ll finish cooking in the sauce and stay tender. Simmer for 3 minutes and then add the balsamic and tomato jar oil. Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce. Turn onto plates and skip parmesean in favour of chopped Italian parsley if you like to garnish. Serves two. Enjoy!
Chive and cheddar…best friends forever.
This recipe was born out of wanting to make a birthday surprise for Matt. Matt moved to Toronto from rainy London to marry sunny Kate years ago. When it’s his birthday I try to bake something I tell myself is British. These are lovely on their own, or with scrambled eggs for breakfast, or beside a bowl of soup for lunch.
Savory cheese and chive scones
2 heaping tablespoons chopped chives
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
5 turns of fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup almond milk (or any milk you like)
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
One stick of butter or 8 tablespoons
1 and ½ cups grated aged white cheddar cheese (cheddar mixed with a ½ cup of asiago or parmesan is also delicious)
Smidge of fleur de sal for sprinkling on top or any good coarse salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and throw the stick of butter in the freezer. Hot meets cold here. And get a muffin pan ready. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, mustard and pepper.
Wisk the eggs and milk with the chives. Grate the butter over top of the flour bowl. Once you get near the end of the stick use it to grease the muffin pan. Stir the milk into the dry mixture and then add the grated cheese. Taking care to touch it as little as possible. Minimal mixing means the butter stays cold. And that means the scones get fluffy.
Once everything is combined, using a tablespoon in each hand, spoon out a large dollop of batter into each muffin cup. Add a little sprinkle of good salt on top if you like.
Get the scones into the middle rack of the oven quick. After 12-13 minutes the tops will be puffed up and golden brown and you won’t be able to resist the smell. Makes 12.
Don’t knock it till you try it. I rolled my eyes at the green smoothie fanatics for a long time. That is, until I decided to try it for myself. Then BAM. I converted too. They made me feel good, satiated and energized all morning long. This smoothie is a great re-set if you’re feeling sluggish on Monday morning or maybe overindulged the day before. I use only organic fruits and veggies. Grab your blender, throw this all in and I promise you will be riding high all morning long.
Green smoothie for green smoothie newbies
2 handfuls of washed and chopped kale or spinach
1 heaping tablespoon shredded coconut
1 scoop of brown rice protein powder
1 cup of almond milk
½ cup water
Juice of 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in blender and off you go. Feel free to add more or less water and milk depending on the consistency you prefer. Serves two hungry morning bellies.
The recipe was inspired by perfect cocktail nuts I ate watching the sun go down on a surfing trip to San Jose del Cabo. [Sidebar: Cabo is a gorgeous and special place to visit if you can. I used to live in BC before calling Toronto home, and all the sailing and surfing and delicious food reminds me of that peaceful west coast way of life].
The best place to eat is a little farm to table oasis in the dessert called Flora Farms. Neil and I told each other stories, sipped California wine and hibiscus martinis while waiting for our table and
inhaled munched on these cocktail nuts. Sweet and smoky and salty. They are divine.
When suitcases were long unpacked back in Toronto I began dreaming of these nuts. . Recipes from travels are some of my favourites because they evoke great memories.
sweet + salty roasted cocktail nuts
3 cups of nuts (1 cup each unsalted almonds, cashews, pepita seeds)
½ cup maple syrup
½ tablespoon fleur de sel
¼ tsp each chipotle powder and chili powder (less chili if you don’t like spice at all, but these really aren’t too spicy)
a few turns fresh ground black pepper
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix everything together. It’s sticky business and I find it easiest to use a spatula and stainless steel bowl. Tumble onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 mins just until cashews start to brown. Give the pan a shake and stir halfway through. Let cool on the pan. If stuck together, break up to form delicious little clusters. Highly addictive with a cold drink in hand. Store sealed in a container for up to two weeks. Taste even better the second day.
Small, raw and delicious. These little balls are packed with goodness, flavour and protein. I like to store them in the freezer to nibble on when craving something sweet. They take 15 minutes to make from start to finish…the hardest part is waiting for them to set in the fridge or freezer. These are a staple made at least twice a month in our house. Hope you like them as much as we do.
coconut peanut butter protein balls
6 medjool dates chopped
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
pinch sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup (feel free to omit to make less sweet/sugar)
3 heaping tablespoons peanut butter or any nut butter
1 heaping tablespoon goji berries
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut for rolling
Combine everything in a bowl, except for the coconut. Wet your hands and form small balls. Roll in the shredded coconut. Let set in the fridge or freezer for 1 hour before eating. Makes 12.