Tag Archives: side dish

Gnocchi with peas and sun-dried tomatoes

Gnocchi with peas and sun-dried tomatoes

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself lacking inspiration in my cooking. I’ve been falling back on a lot of past favourites or quick, easy to throw together dinners. I’ve actually found myself feeling a little blah about cooking, which rarely happens to me. I think it’s mostly because I’ve been busier than normal. I also think that the turn in the seasons is making me feel a little more sluggish than usual. Whatever it is, it seems to have passed in the last couple of days and I’ve been playing around with a couple new recipes, starting with this gnocchi with peas and sun-dried tomatoes.

The idea for this recipe came to me last week when I had the opportunity to visit a local family farm for an incredible farm to table feast. Hosted by Hills Foods, the event was attended by notable, local chefs, food purveyors, foodies and media, and had a strong focus on local, sustainable and ethical food. You can read more about my visit here.

Although the feast was almost entirely meat-centric, there was one side dish that caught my attention; a delicious gnocchi prepared with peas and oven dried tomatoes. This recipe is my attempt to re-create the dish at home.

1 package potato gnocchi

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped

2 tsp oregano

1/4 Cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 Cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for about 3 minutes, until they begin to float to the top. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the shallots and oregano. Saute for a few minutes until beginning to turn opaque. Add the gnocchi, making sure to spread them evenly around the bottom of the skillet (you may need to do this step in two batches). Cook for about 5 minutes, gently tossing or stirring part way through, until the gnocchi are lightly crisp. Stir in the peas, sun-dried tomatoes and salt to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings as a side dish.

 

 

 

 

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Cheesy scalloped potatoes

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

 

This past weekend my brother and his family came to visit for a couple of days. With everyone together, it was the perfect time to have an early Easter feast and cook a ham for dinner one night. And really, what goes better with a ham than cheesy scalloped potatoes? I even convinced my mom to make some of her amazing Boston baked beans. I can’t remember the last time I had them, but baked beans have been on my mind for a couple months now, ever since I saw a recipe for them from Julie at the Flexi Foodie. Growing up, my mom always served baked beans with ham and scalloped potatoes. Now, I’ll be honest, I never enjoyed my moms scalloped potatoes. My mom is an awesome cook, but scalloped potatoes were never my favourite recipe of hers (Sorry, mom. I love you. Thanks for the baked beans). I think the reason I wasn’t a fan of her scalloped potatoes is that they were far too healthy and lacked cheese. Also, I was a bit of a picky eater when I was younger. My opinion of scalloped potatoes completely changed when I met my husband and, more importantly, when I met my father in law and his delicious scalloped potatoes. Now, I’m going to state right up front that there is absolutely nothing healthy about this dish. It’s loaded with cheesy, buttery, creamy, not good for you, deliciousness. But I feel like that’s okay once in awhile. Everything in moderation, right? I have taken the liberty of modifying the original recipe, but only slightly. Mostly to reduce the amount of butter and cheese to a more reasonable level. I also thought it was a great idea to add something green (rosemary) to the recipe. These cheesy scalloped potatoes are still nowhere near healthy, but they are incredibly delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a Happy Easter!

6 – 7 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 Cup onions, diced

1/4 Cup cold butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes

2 – 398mL cream of mushroom soup

2 Cups cheddar cheese, grated

3 tbsp rosemary, chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Lightly grease a 9″x13″ baking dish. Layer one third of the potatoes, followed by one third each of the onions, butter, cream of mushroom soup, a little salt and pepper and the cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers and finish with the chopped rosemary. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is hot and bubbly.

I’ll be sharing this recipe over at Angie The Novice Gardeners weekly foodie party Fiesta Friday. Come join us and check out all the delicious recipes.

 

 

 

 

Fresh Salsa

Fresh Salsa

Fresh Salsa

 

This year has started out with a bang for me. Just off the hectic holiday season, I’ve thrown myself into a couple of new, exciting opportunities. One of which I’m proud to share today. I’ve recently begun guest blogging for the lifestyle website quicktastymeals.com. My recipe for Pistachio Crusted Salmon was featured on their site yesterday. To see that recipe, click here. Continue reading

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Mustard Sauce

With fall now upon us (the weather sure didn’t miss a beat there)  and thanksgiving just two weeks away, I’ve been making more of the hearty comfort foods that the season brings. One of the things I’ve been playing around with is brussels sprouts. Lets face it, they really aren’t loved by  a lot of people. Usually it’s the carrots, broccoli and yams that are the stars of the season. Growing up, my family never had brussels sprouts because my mom didn’t like them. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I first tasted one. In my husbands family, the boiled or steamed brussels sprouts are on the table for every big family dinner. And like them or not, we all have to put at least one on our plate. It’s tradition. This is my attempt to make brussels sprouts a bit more palatable to those who detest them and a bit more welcome on our family’s dinner table.

Here are a couple of tips learned along way:

Look for sprouts with tightly packed leaves that haven’t started to yellow.

The smaller the sprout, the better the flavour

The sprouts will start to turn bitter shortly after they’re harvested, so use them as soon as you can after buying them.

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3 Cups Brussels sprouts

2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Sauce:

1/4 Cup Shallots, minced

1 tsp thyme

2 tbsp White wine vinegar

2 tbsp spicy mustard

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit.

Trim and clean brussels sprouts. Cut in half lengthwise and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the brussel sprouts evenly over a baking sheet and then bake for 25 – 30 minutes until tender.

While the brussel sprouts are cooking you can prepare the sauce. Whisk together the mustard and maple syrup. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a small pan. Add in the shallots and thyme and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the white wine vinegar and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Add the maple syrup mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until heated through. Once the brussel sprouts have finished cooking, toss them gently with the sauce. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Curried Quinoa Salad

Playing around in the kitchen is my all-time favourite thing to do. A couple of hours to myself with music playing in the background and a recipe idea floating around in my head waiting to get out. With a glass of wine nearby, of course, for inspiration. That’s the dream anyway. The reality is more like this:  two little kids trying to “help” by grabbing everything out of the pantry so they can create their own masterpiece, with every Disney princess song ever written playing in the background. And no wine. Let’s just say it’s been a long summer “vacation”.

This is a recipe I’ve had in the back of my mind for most of the summer, but I haven’t taken the time to try it out. This past weekend I finally did and the result was delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

Curried Quinoa Salad

 1 Cup uncooked quinoa

2 Cups water

1/4 cup raisins

!/2 cup pistachios

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tsp curry powder

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

salt to taste

 

Place quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce temperature and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat. Let sit, covered for 5 minutes. Cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Over low heat, toast the pistachios until just golden. Then set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, honey and curry powder.

Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the raisins, pistachios and cilantro. Toss with the orange juice mixture and season with salt. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

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