Monday, February 25, 2013

Ten Shallot and Kale Pasta

Here we are again, made it through another Monday.  Only four more days and the weekend is here again…trust me it can’t come soon enough.
A couple weeks ago I was off work and saw the recipe on Rachael Ray. While her recipes are usually quite yummy looking they aren’t really on the healthy side of the food spectrum. White pasta and lots of cheese make a regular appearance.  I saw this one and thought it had potential so I wanted to give it a try.  It only has a few ingredients and can be ready to eat in 30 minutes.
I changed a few things up so here’s the link to the original recipe Ten Shallot and Kale Spaghetti
The original recipe says it’s 4 servings.  It made a very large batch so I would say it is more than 6 servings especially if you serve it with a large mixed green salad.
Ten Shallot and Kale Pasta
  • 10 large shallots halved and thinly sliced
  • 10 cloves of garlic thinly sliced (I love garlic so adjust to your taste)
  • 2 big pinches of crushed red chilli's
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 lb spaghetti (whole wheat, rice, kamut, spelt)
  • 1 bunch (medium) kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • fresh grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO
Sauté shallots in EVOO approx. 10 minutes.  Add garlic salt, pepper chilli’s and thyme sauté till onions are a light caramel color stirring frequently.  Cook pasta till al dente.  Add the kale in the last 4 minutes of cooking.  Add a cup of cooking water to the shallots, drain pasta and toss with shallots.
Serve topped with fresh grated parmesan, toasted walnuts and fresh parsley.


I was really happy with this recipe.  It had a lot of flavour, is figure friendly and of course the kale adds a lot of nutrition punch. 
Have a great week!  Don’t forget to head on over to Facebook and like my page.
~ Jackie 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sun Dried Tomato Braised Chicken Thighs


Finally the blizzard  has ended, and at 9:00 pm the plow has finally showed up to plow us out.  Good thing, I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be able to park my car in the driveway till July.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to walk through knee deep snow drifts, and when you’re boots are only ankle high that poses a little bit of a problem. 

I wish I would have gotten out to take some pictures but I was a wimp and didn’t want to brave the cold, snow and blowing snow. Here’s a couple I found though.  As you can see the storm surge caused a lot of damage for those close to the water.

nor easter 2013aNor Easter 2013snowstorm 2013

I had no plan for supper last night and of course I was missing ingredients for just about everything I could think of.  I ended up pulling some things out of the fridge/freezer and went with what I had on hand.  It turned out quite good if I do say so myself.  As usual I don’t measure when I’m cooking and go by taste most of the time, so you can use the measurements as guidelines and adjust to your taste. 

Sun Dried Tomato Braised Chicken Thighs

· 8 – 9 boneless skinless chicken thighs

· 1 bulb garlic, roasted

· 1/3 red onion chopped

· 1/3 – ½ cup sun dried tomatoes chopped

· 2 tbsp tomato paste

· 1 tsp Italian seasoning

· 1 tbsp lemon juice

· ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (walnuts would work too)

· ½ bottle red wine

· 450 ml chicken broth


· Sea Salt & Pepper (I use Himalayan or Celtic Salt)

· ½ package of rotini

· Chopped fresh parsley and fresh grated parmesan

Preheat skillet add EVOO and sauté onions till soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from pan. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs, brown both sides. Add onions, roasted garlic, tomato paste, and sun dried tomatoes to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add wine, chicken broth and Italian seasoning,  cover and turn the pan down to simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes. Keep checking on the liquid you want it to reduce some but not evaporate, it will be the sauce for your pasta. If it reduces too much just add in some more wine and or broth.

While the chicken is cooking toast your pine nuts and cook your pasta. When the pasta is cooked drain but save ¼ -1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water and add it along with the pasta to the pan. Add your lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thru.

Serve topped with your toasted pine nuts, parsley and parmesan.

(The ingredients I started with and went from there.  The rosemary never made it in the recipe)


Sorry for the poor lighting the feline fur kids decided my light box made a great place for hide and seek so it needs a few repairs.


I served mine with a mixed green salad and grilled polenta.  The polenta needs some work.  It was ok but could be better.
Have a good week !
~ Jackie

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Sage and Parmesan Pasta


It’s a winter wonderland outside today.  Last I checked they are calling for 20 – 40 cm’s of snow and or 20 – 40 mm or rain.  Either way it’s going to be a big mess.  Glad I’m cozied up at home with the fur kids.


I was planning on doing some cooking or baking today but I think it’s going to be mostly a study day.  I do have to make some dog food  so I guess you can count that as cooking.

I was looking through my pictures the other day and realized I hadn’t posted this recipe yet.  This was my second attempt at making my own pasta and my first attempt at Fettuccini.  I did run into a little bit of a problem, as the noodles were coming out of the pasta rollers…where and how was I going to dry the pasta.  I didn’t have anywhere to hang it so I frantically dug out some all of my cookie sheets and spreading the noodles out to dry.  It worked but was less than practical.  That problem has since been remedied.  My honey bought me the KA pasta drying rack for Christmas.  That should save some counter space.

KA pasta drying rack


Roasted Pumpkin Sage and Parmesan Pasta

  • 2 cups fresh fettuccini noodles
  • 1 small – med pumpkin roasted
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pureed roasted pumpkin
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 fresh grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp pasta water
  • 2  - 3 slices pancetta (or bacon), cooked till crispy
  • fresh grated nutmeg or a pinch of already ground
  • salt and pepper

Cut pumpkin in half.  Scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with a little salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Roast until flesh is tender.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.

Chop pancetta (bacon), and cook till crisp.  Remove from pan and drain off most of the fat.  If you don’t want to use some of the bacon fat you can drain it all off and use EVOO.  Add garlic and shallots to the pan and saute till soft.  Add pureed pumpkin, sage, salt, pepper, milk and 2 tbsp of the pasta cooking water.  Grate some fresh nutmeg in the pan.  Turn heat to low and warm through.

Add cooked pasta to the sauce and a little more pasta water if necessary.  Add parmesan stir till combined.  Top with pancetta/bacon pieces, a bit more fresh grated parmesan and a little ground black pepper.




 IMG_0531  IMG_0525  IMG_0535

When I made this I used between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of sage but I thought it needed more so I increased the measurements.  I would suggest starting off with the smaller amount and go from there.  I’m not sure how this would taste with canned pumpkin.  I find canned pumpkin doesn’t work as well in savoury dishes so if you try it post a comment and let me know how it turned out.

Have a great Sunday!!  Enjoy the Superbowl if that’s your thing.  I’m off to get some studying done.  This weeks topic Optimum Nutrition for the Mind.

~ Jackie