Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Pasta

Easter is over and it seems that spring has finally arrived - or at least it is definitely on its way.  I realized that I have posted a summer pasta and a winter pasta, but there was no spring pasta.  Well, here it is.  With bright green flavours including spring fresh vegetables like asparagus and leeks, this is sure to be another meal that you will make again and again.

It makes two large portions or four sides.


170 g short pasta like bow ties

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 large or 2 small leeks, cleaned
8 asparagus spears, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen sweetlet peas
1 cup cottage cheese
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped


1. Put pasta water on to boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

2. Cut leeks into half-moon slices and sauté in a large pan with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

3. When leeks start to soften, about 4 - 5 minutes, add the asparagus spears.

4. When there is about three minutes left on the cooking time for the pasta, add the garlic and the peas.

5. When the pasta is drained, remove the pan of vegetables from the stove, add the cottage cheese and pasta and toss. Adjust seasoning.

6. Serve in pasta bowls and top with basil.  Add freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ravishing Radishes

What is the most under-rated spring vegetable? The radish!  Radishes are detoxifying and great for digestion, they are high in vitamin C and low in calories, and they can even help with bug bites.  Why then are they so ignored?  In most homes, radishes show up on veggie trays or on top of green salads, and they are almost never on restaurant menus, but there are so many wonderful ways to eat them!  Did you know that radishes can be cooked or even roasted?  They can! In fact, cooking them reduces their pungency and gives them a more subtle flavour.  Although at this time of year, they are usually a little milder already.  What's even better is that you can even eat the radish greens.  They are tender like spinach and taste a bit like watercress.

Since I will not be posting next week, here are two ravishing radish recipes to hold you over.

Fennel and Radish Shrimp


1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 large leek, washed, quartered, and sliced
1 large fennel bulb, chopped
1 bunch radishes, quartered and sliced

1 lb frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
1 clove garlic, minced

juice of half a lemon
1 Tbsp light miso
1 tsp honey
salt pepper

fresh dill, chopped


1. In a large pan, sauté the oil, butter, leek, salt, and pepper for 4 - 5 minutes.

2. Add the radishes and sauté for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Combine the lemon juice, honey, and miso into a paste.  Add to the pan and sauté for approximately 2 minutes or until the shrimp curl and turn pink.

5. Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and top with fresh dill.


1. This can be eaten on its own or is great when tossed with a short pasta like bow tie.

Radishes on Rye
Spread a fresh piece of rye bread with butter, add sliced raw radishes, and top with flaked salt such as Maldon.  Even if you have very pungent radishes, this combination will remove some of the heat. As an alternative, add sliced raw radishes to your avocado toast from this previously posted recipe. Enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dill Pickle Roasted Chickpeas

What do you do with your old pickle juice?  You probably throw it out, right?  Well, I usually use a bit of mine to make potato salad, but I too throw most of it away.  That is until I received the newly released cookbook, "Oh She Glows".  This new book by Canadian blogger Angela Lidden has received rave reviews, so when I saw a recipe for salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas, I immediately had the idea to use my leftover pickle juice instead of vinegar.

The greatest thing about this snack is that it is both healthy and delicious.  Try it out, and then check out Oh She Glows for the salt and vinegar version.

Serves two to four.


1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups dill pickle juice
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp fine grained sea salt
1 tsp dried dill


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small pot, bring chickpeas and pickle juice to a boil for 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for about 30 minutes.

3. Drain the chickpeas, drizzle with olive oil, spread on a parchment covered baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 20 minutes.

4. After 20 minutes, shake the chickpeas on the sheet, sprinkle with the dried dill, and bake for another 20 minutes until charred and crunchy.  If they are at all soft, they are not done.

5. Let cool for about 5 minutes to further crisp up, and then enjoy!


1. If you have any leftover, pop them back in the oven to get crisp again before eating.