Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘pesto’

ZucchiniNoodles_First

As usual, I’m a little late on the bandwagon for this post. The humble zucchini noodles have been around the web-o-sphere for some time now with the very fancy (and expensive) spiralizers. I wasn’t ready to commit to such a large piece of equipment for yet again, one task, until I saw Liz’s easy Zucchini Noodles with Parmesan using a hand-held spiralizer. Now that’s something I can definitely get my head around! So I bought a cheap and cheerful version ($3) thinking if I liked it, I would go ahead and splurge for the OXO version ($15) and take the cheap and cheerful version to the cottage!

HandHeldSpiralizer

Cheap and Cheerful version

We’ve actually been making zucchini noodles using a simple mandoline and the taste was fine but they really didn’t resemble noodles too well. So when I started seeing the curlier noodles made with this incredibly simple hand held version, I was smitten.

Did I love it? HELL YES! I’ve already made zucchini noodles a many, many times since purchasing the spiralizer and have been LOVING it. I loved it so much, I went out and purchased a good quality version as a hostess gift. I’m sure it’s much better quality and will likely last longer.

ZucchiniNoodles

It really is one of the most delicious vegetable dishes EVER! AND low calorie (if you don’t use pesto)

Zucchini Noodles with Walnut Pesto

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 small straight zucchinis
  • 2 tbsp walnut pesto (recipe below), or pesto of choice
  • 10 walnut halves
  • freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the zucchinis. Microwave whole vegetable on high for 40 seconds each; microwaving warms the zucchini and softens it a bit so the noodles cut smoother.
  2. Spiralize both zucchinis using the small blade, cutting the very long lengths into spaghetti lengths. Microwave the zucchini noodles on high for about one minute to heat.
  3. Toss gently with the pesto and garnish with parmesan cheese and walnut halves.
ZucchiniNoodles2

Wrapping the “noodles” on your fork is just as easy as regular pasta

Walnut Pesto

A Kitchen Inspirations Original Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g walnut pieces
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil, washed and stems removed
  • 1/4 cup EVOO, or more if desired
  • 100 g freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Lightly toast the walnut pieces and allow to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a large food processor, add the basil, olive oil and cheese.
  3. Pulse until a desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Freeze pesto in about 1 tbsp ice cube containers and once frozen, remove and put into a zip lock baggy and return to the freezer. Use as required.

Notes:

  • I used to use the larger blade but honestly, the smaller blade results in linguine noodles.
  • You can peel the zucchini but I like the contrast in texture and colour of the dark green peel. I did not test peeled zucchini in the initial microwave so you’ll have to tread lightly — you want to soften the zucchini and not turn it to mush.
  • Use a combination of zucchini and summer squash (yellow zucchini) for more interest.
  • Microwave the “noodles” to heat, you really don’t want to cook them through. It’s noodle texture you want with a slight crunch (al dente)!
  • Pine nuts have been ridiculously expensive over the few years. The $15 bag I used to buy at Costco is now close to $30 at Costco. It comes from China. I have since refused to buy the Chinese product for a variety of reasons (this is the main one) so I am constantly on the lookout for good pesto nut/seed substitutions.
  • If you prefer a more runny pesto, add more olive oil.
  • ALWAYS clearly label nut products in the freezer so you don’t poison someone (unless you want to).

Read Full Post »

It’s a holiday weekend today, Queen Victoria’s birthday to be exact! What is interesting is that Canada celebrates this day, but the UK does not!
And it’s our wedding anniversary weekend (actually was yesterday)!
I met JT when I was 15 and knew instantly that we would be together! The day we met I went home and wrote my new name; I still have the book (it was the Book of Nothing) I wrote my new name “Eva Taylor” in script. We met through Facebook -10.2 — the Citizens Band Radio (breaker, breaker; remember Smokie and the Bandit?) it was my brother’s radio but he quickly discovered he could talk to cooler people if he had a girl on board. My Dad forbade us to use our real names so I was Leslie and my “handle” was “The Roxy Roller” and he was John “The Baracuda” both from some cool songs of the day. JT was “Blue Magic”. Blue Magic was a wee bit older than I and I knew my parents wouldn’t approve; we were together a year before they found out. I went to the library a lot; my parents thought I was very studious. At night, JT used to come over to our apartment after my parents went to bed and we’d toss love letters to each other from my second floor bedroom window (not sexts but actual love letters, the Romeo and Juliette kind). When my parents met him, they also fell in love. My biggest regret is lying to them for a year but they forgave me. After my Dad’s first heart attack, he gave JT permission for my hand, if he should ever want it. He passed away three months later.
We dated 8 years before we married (not exactly smooth sailing, but in my heart I always knew it would work out and we’d be together).
My Mom and I hand sewed a million pearls onto my veil; the night before the wedding I tried on the dress and decided to cut (yes, CUT with manicure scissors) the neckline because it was too high! I still have the dress, anyone want it?
It rained the entire day of our wedding, except for the very few times I stepped outside (thanks Dad); and by rain, I’m talking teaming, pouring, drenching rain, not the spitting kind! Even the limo driver asked if I wanted to be carried to the car! My brother walked me down the aisle. I wish I had asked my Mom too, but it wasn’t done back then, and I hadn’t thought of it. In the limo, on the drive to the church my brother offered me his savings if I wanted to escape, exact words “I’ve got enough money for you to go to the airport and buy a plane ticket outa here”. I thought it was sweet. And then I found out he offered the same thing to JT in the church! We had both declined. 🙂
20130518-062611.jpg

Speaking of all dressed up, back in April, my friend Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella posted a gorgeous Salmon en Papillote recipe which inspired me to come up with one for Tilapia, a staple in our house, it really isn’t a recipe, just a guideline — completely customizable to your taste and what you have on hand.

Tilapia with white wine en Papillote (French for ‘in parchment’)

We used basil pesto, but you can use any flavouring you want.

We used basil pesto, but you can use any flavouring you want.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 120 g fennel cubed*
  • 200 g zucchini cubed*
  • 170 g red pepper cubed*
  • 100 g yellow pepper cubed*
  • 50 g celery cubed*
  • 50 g carrots cubed*
  • 3 tbsp pesto (home made or otherwise)
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 x 100 g Tilapia filets

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Begin by cutting three ‘heart’ shapes from parchment paper. I found it easier to cut a square of parchment, fold in half and cut a half heart shape.
  3. Mix the cubed* vegetables all together and divide into three portions on the parchment, placing the vegetables in towards the centre of the heart.
  4. Top with the tilapia filet, add 1 tbsp pesto and spread on top of the filet, drizzle with one tablespoon white wine and season.
  5. Fold over the other half of the heart and begin folding the edges in at the top of the heart so that the parchment seals completely (I googled how to do this and used this method). Continue with each heart. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (just in case they leak, but mine did not) and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove and plate carefully, open the parchment very carefully because inside is very hot steam. Serve immediately.
Papilotte_4623

It’s easier to cut a heart shape if you fold the parchment in half.

Filling the parchment toward the centre on one side of the heart.

Filling the parchment toward the centre on one side of the heart.

Add the fish, white wine and season.

Add the fish, white wine and season.

Folded up all nice and cozy.

Folded up all nice and cozy.

*it’s imperative that your vegetables be cut the same size so that they all cook at the same rate. This 7-10mm (1/4″) cube was perfect for 20 minutes in the oven, they weren’t over cooked and had a bit of a crunch left in them.

Read Full Post »

The weather is incredible and promises to be. I’m thinking shorts and T’s! I’ve already started the tanning cream in hopes that my legs don’t look as pasty white as they have been! And I’ve beefed up my workout schedule. JT got my bike in working order so I’ve been biking the 8 km to and from work! Summer…BRING IT!

In an effort to cut back and hopefully lose a couple of pounds, I decided to eat vegetarian for a week. It’s not as much of a challenge as it would have been 20 years ago, there are so many incredible vegetarian products out there, and one that recently surfaced on my radar again are Sheritaki Noodles. They are low carb, low fat and they have a decent amount of protein. I usually buy this brand of Sheritaki Noodles. I have to admit, one needs a good robust sauce over these noodles because even after they are rinsed well, and heated they still have a bit of a fishy smell (the package calls it uniquely distinct). JT won’t eat them. So I have them for lunch during the week.

Lots of garlic and the basil in the pesto really helped mask the fishy flavour so distinct of this product

Sheritaki Noodles with Tofu Pesto

an original recipe by Kitcheninspirations (serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 55 g of firm tofu
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 4 steamed asparagus cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 113g Sharitake Noodles

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a small food processor, add the basil, tofu, minced garlic, lemon juice and salt, process until it is a smooth paste (like pesto).
  2. Warm the sheritaki noodles as per package directions, toss with the pesto and the asparagus and garnish with the green onions. Enjoy.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: