Shrimp Tomato Pasta

pasta-dishJust a quick recipe to share.  My go to tomato sauce that I use for spaghetti, jambalaya and meat sauce.  Last time I made it I sautéed shrimp and served it on kamut pasta with a bit of Romano   cheese on top.

The sauce itself is simple and I change up the spices depending on what type of dish I am making.  If I am making a shrimp, chicken sausage jambalaya I make it spicier and if it is for a meat sauce a little less cumin and more heat.

I sauté onions in deep pan with a little olive oil.  While they are sautéing I cut up and puree 8-12 tomatoes, I prefer Romano tomatoes.  I don’t deseed them, I am honestly too lazy and I really don’t mind the seeds in my sauce.  I purée them very well in a food processor.  While they are getting puréed, I add some garlic to my onions and olive oil.  Once the garlic becomes fragrant I add some cumin and Chili powder to make a paste with the onions, garlic and oil. Then I pour in the puréed tomatoes and add some salt and some red wine.  I add a bit of cayenne and some dry basil leaves as well.  I will usually thicken it with a bit of organic tomato paste or cornstarch if I want a thicker sauce.  I let it simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how much time I have.

While it is simmering I sauté shrimp up in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper.  I cut up some red peppers and add them to my sauce.  I make the pasta al dente and drain.  Plate the pasta, add the sauce and shrimp and top with cheese.   The best part of this sauce is that it tastes even better the next day.  I usually make enough for a couple of meals.

The best part is that there are no processed ingredients and fresh tomatoes have so much flavour, you do not need much salt.  You may have noticed my lack of measurements, I tend to just eyeball my ingredients based on my preferences.  I love cumin so I put lots in but less chili and cayenne if I am making it for company. The beauty of making fresh food is you can spice it and flavour it to your own preferences.

Hope you enjoy!



Tonight’s Supper

Today was a stay home Mom day.  I alternate back and forth between working Mom and Stay-Home-Mom, and today was stay home day.  I trotted the small children off to school bright and early, came home worked out, showered and chauffeured the oldest off to work.  Then it was time for groceries.  I try to make the big meals for days like today when I have a little extra time.  Then I can use the leftovers for my 10 hour work days, and give myself a break from meal prep on those days.  It takes a bit of planning and I don’t always follow through with my grand plans, but today was a success!

I decided on pork tenderloin, it is quick and easy to prepare.  I had everything else at home except some potatoes.  I love baked potatoes.  Back home I went.  I cut the pork tenderloin open lengthwise but still joined and smashed the crap out of it with a meat tenderizer.  Very therapeutic!  I filled the open tenderloin with Haskapa jalapeño relish and goat cheese, then closed the pork tenderloin up and tied it together with twine.  Add some salt and pepper to the outside and then refrigerated it until later.

Time to wake the monster who shall not be named, at great risk to myself…aka, my daughter, and then off to school to get the “wee boys”  Today was dentist day for three of the children, not a very fun afternoon.  After the dentist I decided to throw in some hair cuts as my youngest sons are starting to look homeless, and of course since our local hair shop is attached to a pizza/ice cream shop we also went for ice cream.  Then home to shower and start supper.  Good thing I have all that extra time today!

I put the potatoes in the oven to bake while I showered the boys.  Then it was time to sear the pork.  I sear it at a fairly high heat in grape seed oil for about 5 minutes in total on three sides.  Then I bake it at 425 for 13 minutes then let it rest covered in tinfoil for 3-5 minutes.

In the interim I made a balsamic glaze by bringing balsamic vinegar to a boil and simmering while the pork cooked.  I cooked some thinly sliced brussel sprouts, peppers and sugar snap peas in olive oil, salt and pepper.  When the balsamic vinegar had thickened and reduced, I added a glob of honey and poured it over the veggies.  Supper was done.  The pork was amazing, this was my first time making it like this, but definitely not the last.

Total prep time was about 40 minutes but done in stages.  The potatoes took the longest but their cook time can be reduced by cooking them for a short while in the microwave first.  The main show of this meal was definitely the pork and it was so simple to make and a small tenderloin cooks very quickly.

For anyone wondering what the heck Haskapa is, it is a type of berry found here in Nova Scotia.  A local company makes several different products with it but my favourite is the jalapeño relish.  It is a sweet jam like base with a mild kick to it that makes your taste buds say ohhh.  I also love it with crackers and cheese, delicious!  There is a picture above featuring the Haskapa product that I used.  Let me know if you try this, and if you like it!!



Easy Peasy Tuna Pasta

I love to eat.  I try to follow an 80/20 rule with my diet. That means 80% of what goes in is real food (not processed) and relatively healthy, the other 20% is my wine and desserts:). This is sometimes easier to say than do when time is short, so I thought I would try and share the occasional recipe that is simple and quick.  Feel free to share your recipes or links to your favourites as well in the comments, I am always looking for new things to try.

I don’t love seafood but I try to incorporate it in my diet.  This tuna pasta is an example of me squeezing in seafood without it being too “seafoodish” for me.  There are enough other ingredients and flavours to disguise the “fish” taste for me.  As a side note if you are vegetarian you can leave out the tuna and change the pasta to quinoa for a vegetarian dish.

Ingredients :

  • 2 cans flaked tuna (or real tuna cooked and shredded if you are so inclined)
  • 1/2 package of whole grain rotini (I use Kamut grain pasta)
  • coconut oil
  • red onion
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • avocado
  • goat feta crumbled
  • cumin
  • basil
  • cayenne
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Boil salted water and cook pasta according to al dente instructions.  While the pasta is cooking dice some red onion and heat on low in pan with coconut oil — just enough oil to sauté the veggies.  Halve the tomatoes, chop up the red pepper and some celery and add to the onions and sauté.  Add some salt, pepper, cumin and basil as the veggies heat.

In another bowl add the drained tuna sliced cucumber and sliced avocado.  Once the sautéed veggies and pasta are cooked add them to the bowl.  Add some cayenne, cumin and more pepper to taste.  Add a Tbsp. of red wine vinegar and crumbled feta. Toss and serve.

I can usually throw this meal together in 15 minutes or so.  This makes it a favourite for nights I am home late or in a rush.  It is easy but full of vegetables and delicious warm flavours.  You have probably noticed my lack of measurements, I tend to make these up as I go and adjust the flavours according to taste.  So feel free to play with the flavours and ingredients and make it your own!

Bon Appetit!