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Shrimp, Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Eureka! Shrimp in the freezer. What to do? Checked the ingredients I had on hand and found this recipe for dinner. The worst part is cleaning the shrimp, so just cheat and buy them already cleaned and deveined…LOL. Substitute whatever protein you have available. As always, my changes are in red lettering.

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Shrimp, Tomato and Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

  • 5 medium tomatoes, fresh, chopped into large cubes ( one can of diced with juice depending on how much you like tomatoes)
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 small lemon
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more)
  • paprika
  • 10 oz fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until melted. Add fresh shrimp and half the minced garlic. Make sure shrimp is not crowded. Cook for 1 minute on one side until pink on that side. While it’s cooking, generously sprinkle paprika and salt over uncooked side of the shrimp. Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until pink on the other side.
  2. To the skillet with shrimp, add chopped fresh tomatoes, cooked spinach, and remaining amount of minced garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more). Mix everything well, remove from heat while you cook pasta.
  3. In the mean time cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent pasta from cooking and getting mushy.
  4. Add pasta to the skillet with shrimp and vegetables with 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on the juiciness of your lemon, it could be 1/4 of small lemon or 1/2 lemon). Don’t add too much lemon juice. Season with salt and more crushed red pepper. Warm it up on medium heat until shrimp is cooked through, and all ingredients are heated through.
  5. To serve, top with grated Parmesan cheese.
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Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Costco strikes again! I bought the double package of tortellini when I really only needed one for a previous recipe. What to do? Find a recipe on Pinterest to use the one that was left. Eureka! Pinterest! Not only did it look yummy, it was…

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Author: Karina – Cafe Delites    Serves: 10

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Ingredients

  • 500 grams | 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground chicken, turkey or beef), browned*
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder (or chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth — I use low sodium)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 3x 340 gram | 12-ounce cans full fat evaporated milk or half and half
  • 1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used one of Costco’s, remember)
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach (whatever amount works for you)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, beef bouillon powder, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / liter slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  2. Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon; discard. Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream). Add the tortellini and mix well. Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.
  3. Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid. Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
  4. Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 cup); taste test and season with extra salt ONLY if needed, and pepper to suit your tastes.
  5. Serve with crusty warmed bread

Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Curry

A cold night in the Yucatan calls for a nice warm curry! It was 24 degrees C…LOL. One of my favourite chefs, Stefano Faita of Montreal fame created this tasty dish AND its VEGAN for my friend, Jaromey!

Packed with protein and flavour, this vegetarian one pot curry is quick and easy. For a milder flavour, rinse quinoa before using.

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. curry paste, or to taste
1 tbsp. garam masala, or to taste
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 cup canned diced tomato
2 small to medium sweet potatoes, small dice
1 (14-ounce) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup quinoa
1 cup packed baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

PREPARATION
Add vegetable oil to large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste and garam masala. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high. Add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add quinoa. Stir. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender, adding remaining 1/2 cup stock if curry looks too dry.
OPTIONAL – Right before serving, stir in spinach. Let spinach wilt slightly. Finish with lime juice and fresh cilantro. Serve.

For more great recipes from Stefano, check out this CBC link to his TV show –

In the Kitchen With Stefano Faita

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Blame it on Costco! Too many great vegetables luring us to buy them. The result…better cook these before they spoil! Pinterest to the rescue, another great recipe worth sharing.

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
1 zucchini
1 1/2 cups cabbage (I skipped the cabbage this time)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cut green beans (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen) (didn’t have any)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or canned)
Large handful spinach, or more (skipped this too)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (and/or fresh)
8 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Directions
Prep veggies: mince garlic and dice onion, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms. Roughly chop cabbage if using, and cut broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and all veggies (except spinach if using).
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are desired tenderness.
Stir in spinach or not, and salt to taste.

*Notes:
Vegetable soup freezes wonderfully!
The frozen veggies work great as “fillers” if you want to quickly and easily add more veggies.

Strawberry & Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

A truly summer salad! If you are not into making your own dressings, buy a similar raspberry balsamic one at the store. This salad both looks and tastes great!!

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

ingredients
• 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
• 2 cups strawberries, sliced
• 1 avocado, diced
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette (* see below)
directions
1. Assemble salad, toss in dressing and enjoy!

Option: Goat cheese or feta also work well in place of the blue cheese.
Option: I like to throw in some fresh peas when available in spring.

  • Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1cup

ingredients
• 1/2 cup raspberries fresh (or thawed frozen)
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Mash the raspberries and mix everything. 2. Pour over your favourite summer salad…

Creamed Spinach

A long time ago, we used to go to Detroit for dinner at the famous Joe Muirs Seafood Restaurant. It has moved to a great location in the RenCen overlooking the Detroit River and Windsor, my hometown!

http://gmrencen.com/dine/joemuerseafood.axis

My side dish was always the creamed spinach which went very well with a steak. And…its still on the menu after over 90 years!

Since we had an excess of spinach I decided to use it before it went bad and opted for this recipe from Tyler Florence of Food Network. One thing cooks know is that what seems like a lot of spinach does not make much once it is cooked It says the recipe makes 6 to 8 servings. I  ended up with 4 healthy servings. Then again I love creamed spinach. Its the perfect side dish!

Creamed Spinach (courtesy of Tyler Florence – The Food Network )

Ingredients

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fresh baby spinach, stemmed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Drizzle with a 2-count of oil, add the butter, and stir it around so it melts. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach in batches, pushing it down with a wooden spoon to help it wilt. Keep adding more spinach when there is room in the pot. Cook the spinach until it is dry, then lower the heat and add the cream and nutmeg. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Toss in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/creamed-spinach-recipe2.html?oc=linkback

Jack’s Icebox Salad

My mom used to belong to the Women’s Institute when I lived on the farm. This salad often appeared at family functions with different variations. I was surprised to see it again at a recent birthday party, brought along by our friends Jack and Carlos. This was Jack’s version. If you leave out the bacon it is VEGAN!

Chop up romaine lettuce and spinach and place in the bottom of a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish.

Add the following in layers –
1 cup shredded celery
6 hard boiled eggs chopped
10 oz. frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
8 green onions sliced
6 oz. sliced water chestnuts
8 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon

Dressing – 1 cup mayonnaise + 1 cup sour cream + 2 Tablespoons sugar. Spread the dressing over the bacon layer!

Top with –

1 cup grated medium cheddar
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon.

Cover with Saran wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours!! Trust me on this one…it sets better…

When ready to serve cut into squares and place on chilled salad plates.

Seafood Lasagna

For a very special dinner, we like to prepare this seafood lasagna in a white sauce. Yes, it is very rich, but there is never any leftover!!! Use whatever seafood you favour, but I like shrimp, scallops, lobster or crab in any combination. Think New Year’s Eve!!! The recipe can easily be halved…

If seafood isn’t your thing, substitute chicken! Add some slivered almonds to the Parmesan cheese sprinkling….

Seafood Lasagna (Cooks.Com)

8 Tablespoons butter

8 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup cream

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

1 package “no-boil” lasagna

10 ounces of spinach (you could use frozen if thawed and drained)

16 ounces of ricotta cheese

8 ounces of mozzarella cheese (I preferred Manchego from Spain)

8 ounces of Provolone cheese

1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms

2 sliced onions

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tomato, cut and peeled

1 1/2 pounds of seafood

parsley and rosemary to taste

Sauce:

Melt butter and add flour. Take it off the burner, add cream, milk and broth. Put back on burner. Stir constantly.

When everything is mixed, take it off the heat. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Lasagna:

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter and a little oil. Add tomato, parsley and rosemary. Add all of the seafood.

Preparation:

In a greased lasagna pan pour some sauce, place a row of lasagna, followed by 1/2 of the seafood, some mozzarella or Manchego, ricotta (mixed with the spinach), and Provolone. Press it down before adding a second layer. Follow same order as first layer, ending with another layer of lasagna noodles and sauce to cover the noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. Cover with foil if it is browning to rapidly!!!

It will be rich, so do not give your guests large portions to start with. Serve with a nice fresh salad.

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Salmon

We are back from our three week trip and an overnight trip to our friend Valerie’s Pickled Onion in Santa Elena. In celebration of her birthday, we prepared this incredible stuffed salmon! Originally prepared by our favourite TV Chef Stefano Faita (Canadian), we think you will agree it is a special dish! For more wonderful recipes, visit his website – www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Salmon     Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

INGREDIENTS

1 side of salmon (about 2 pounds)
Olive oil, as needed
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp. chopped dill
4 to 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp. lemon zest (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, sliced and each slice cut in half

Dill and Caper Sauce
1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. capers
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION        Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add spinach and sauté in olive oil just until starts to wilt. Let cool and squeeze out excess liquid. Add spinach, garlic, shallot, dill, feta, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp. olive oil to a bowl. Stir to combine.

Trim the very end of salmon tail and reserve for another use. Cut salmon in half.

Take one of the salmon halves and score the skin side in 1 1/2-inch intervals. Set aside.

Add the other salmon half to a parchment-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Spread evenly with the spinach and feta stuffing. Cover with the remaining salmon half, scored side up.

Fill score marks with lemon slices. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Bake until salmon reaches internal temperature of 140 degrees F., about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Serve with Dill and Caper Sauce.

Dill and Caper Sauce
Add yogurt, dill, Dijon mustard, capers, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper to a bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

 

Coconut Chicken Stew – Thai Style

Coconut Chicken Stew – Food and Drink Magazine
AUTUMN 2007
BY EMILY RICHARDS
1 lb (500 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) each Chinese 5-spice powder and Asian garlic chili paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces*
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk
3 cups (750 mL) baby spinach leaves
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp (25 mL) fish or soy sauce
Cooked basmati or Thai jasmine rice*
Lime wedgesShredded coconut

*If you don’t have lemongrass, just had some orange and/or lemon juice to the rice when cooking to get the citrus flavour.

1. Chop chicken into bite-size pieces and place in large bowl. Add cumin, Chinese 5-spice powder and chili paste and stir to coat chicken well. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil over medium heat in large nonstick skillet. Cook garlic, lemon grass and ginger for about 2 minutes or until light golden.

3. Add chicken and increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until browned. Add coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add spinach, tomatoes and fish sauce and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tender.

4. Serve each bowl with basmati rice and lime wedge and some shredded coconut.

Serves 4