Monday, March 28, 2011

Quickie Pesto Pasta for a Hairy Night

Now, I know when I say the word "quickie" you are automatically going to think something sexy is happening in my kitchen....may I remind you that this is the 'Dietitian's Kitchen' which upholds high standards of cleanliness and decorum. :) 

Speaking of cleanliness, our sons are getting to the age where they are becoming proud of their ability to put on muscle mass. They admire their muscles in the living room mirror which can be seen from a nice vantage point in the dining room. When this happens I feel this internal surge of anxiety of an ensuing conflict - and can hear my father's voice to my teenage brother Harry, who was/is very hairy, "Harry, go get a shirt on!!"  NO ONE was allowed to walk around without a shirt on, especially near the kitchen - it would not matter if you were the queen.

So even though our boys are not yet hairy like Uncle Harry - I will not accept this shirtllessness in the kitchen/dining area....

Speaking of hairy, we had a hairy night on Wednesday so I turned to one of my favourite quickie meals at 6:55 P.M.

 Pesto Pasta With Broccoli and Chicken

Whole wheat Pasta
Cooked chicken breast, cubed
Parmesan Cheese

Add dry whole wheat pasta to lightly salted boiling water.

Approximately 5-6 minutes before it is done, throw some cleaned, cut broccoli florets and stems on top to steam.

To thin your pesto a little, you can use some of the pasta water. I had pesto in the freezer from last fall - You can use store-bought pesto if needed.

Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander and put back into pot. Stir in lots of pesto and some cooked, cubed chicken breast.


Top with some freshly ground pepper and parmesan and serve with a salad!

It will be on the table in about 20-25 minutes!

 Watching my boys turn into men is fascinating, and sad at the same time - it goes by so fast that you want to turn back the clock and see them toddling around again asking for a cuddle- even just for an hour
I guess, in my mind, they will always be my little boys - even with muscles and....hairy chests...

" Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
                                                                                                      -Robert Brault (writer)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poor Little Cabbage!

"You poor little image" my mother used to say to me as a child. A picture of a cabbage always came into my mind and I wondered why she called me a cabbage - and why was I 'poor' - after all, I felt pretty lucky!

I was born 8 years after the first 5 Shaws, who arrived in quick succession. So it was just by luck, and nightly prayers of sister Joey, that I made it into this family! There were many pet names for the 'baby' of the family: Edie bun-bun, Edie-belle, Eedle, little punk, and my sister Joanne's, "angel of my heart"
Now I hold all of these endearing names in my heart like precious family heirlooms.... even 'little punk' which always make me laugh inside.
Brother Harry called and left a message recently - "Hey Eeedle" it goes.............. I saved it to remind me of my great luck to have been born into such a great 
patch of people!



Did you have a nickname at home? I would love to hear them!

Anyway, back to the poor little cabbage

This quick recipe makes a wonderful crunchy winter salad. You can alter almost any ingredient as you desire.
Citrus segments or fresh pineapple pieces
Apple cider vinegar
Other nuts and maybe a little crumbling of feta? Why not....


Remove the outermost leaves. Cut the cabbage in half and take out the core. 
(I just used 1/2 of a medium cabbage for this recipe -makes a lot!)

Put pieces of the cabbage into the grate blade of the food processor - or chop it finely.

Dice up a couple of apples and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them. Add to grated cabbage.
Throw in some dried cranberries if you wish.

Mix up a little vinaigrette: app 2:1 olive oil to balsamic vinegar, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic  - taste and adjust.

Toss the vinaigrette with the cabbage

Top it off with some walnuts and sunflower seeds - particularly if you are using this as a lunch - you will want the protein.

Avocado on Rye Toast with Purple Cabbage Salad

Enjoy your poor little cabbage!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roasted Veggies and Salmon en Papillote

March is Nutrition Month - the theme this year: "Celebrate Food..... From Field to Table"

Here is an interesting piece on preserving farmland on The Current : 


Getting a little tired of winter veggies? Same old carrots, potatoes, parsnips,.......
have you tried roasting them?
Roasting veggies intensifies their flavours and creates some interesting textures:  sweet and salty, crispy and creamy - YES! You will be turned on by root veggies once more! Not a Brussel Sprouts lover? Roast them and try them again!
Onions make you cry? Roast them and you won't shed a tear!


Preheat the oven to 400.
Peel (if necessary), and cut the veggies into similar sizes for even cooking. Don't cut them too small.

Peel some garlic cloves - but leave them whole - they will taste like creamy candy!!

Throw all of the veggies in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil.

Go ahead and season them with a little freshly ground salt and pepper.
Adding a few sprigs of rosemary is not a bad idea either....

Spread the veggies out in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the oven.
Toss them around every few minutes

Test a couple pieces after about 30 minutes to see if they are tender. Cook until tender and carmelized.

So maybe you have been roasting veggies for years and you are thinking - 'oh, I opened up this blog post for THIS....ho hum, Edie, tell me something I don't already know.'

Oh....uh...gee........tough audience...hmmmmm

Have you used parchment bags yet? Or should I say have you cooked 'en papillote' ?


Rinse and pat your filets dry (salmon, trout, haddock etc).
Put a slice of lemon on top of each filet - you may want to season with herbs or just a grind of salt and pepper.
Slide them into the parchment bag - or create a bag out of parchment paper. Put this on a baking sheet. (I actually just threw my bag o' salmon right on top of the veggies!)

When the roasted veggies are about 10- 12 minutes away from being tender, put the fish in the oven. Cook until the fish flakes easily and is opaque. 
Careful opening your papillote! It will be STEAMY AND HOT!


Bella making snow angels