Garden Update

Purple chive flowersWe’re a little late getting the garden started.  In Eastern Ontario, the long weekend in May is traditionally considered the safe garden planting time.  With the warming climate, some say the average last frost date in our region is actually around May 6th, although it certainly wouldn’t have paid off to plant delicate plants that early this year.  While I do wish we would have had the plants in the ground earlier, we did A LOT of work on the garden so far this year.  Continue reading

Red Fife Maple Walnut Pancakes with Sliced Strawberries

Red Fife Maple Walnut Pancakes with StrawberriesWe’ve been hit by a snow/ice storm today, and I am lucky to have the option to work from home.  I take transit, so commuting to work wasn’t so much of a concern, but I did already put away my winter parka and boots, and I’m stubborn and don’t want to get them out again on principle.  Silly, I know!  I treated myself this gloomy morning to these delicious and healthy pancakes.  I’m generally not a fan of pancakes (I know, that’s sacrilegious to some) but I really liked these.  The Red Fife, flax and walnuts added lots of flavour and texture.  And I’ve had a thing for strawberries lately, my impatience for spring produce is growing!  Continue reading

Roasted Tomato and Blackened Chicken Pasta

Apparently I’m on a roasted tomato kick!  You won’t want to buy store bought tomato sauce once you taste this easy roasted tomato pasta sauce.  My inspiration recipe is this one from the National Post, which uses spaghetti squash instead of pasta!  I’ve made it exactly to the recipe in the past, which is delicious, but it’s also a great jumping off point to modify for whatever fresh, local ingredients you have on hand.  Since I haven’t received any squash in my CSA yet, I used regular whole wheat pasta this time.  Here’s what we did today:

Sauce

2-3 cups roughly chopped tomatoes (I used 2 small red tomatoes and the balance was orange grape tomatoes)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
dash of red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
fresh ground salt and pepper

Chicken

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

goat cheese, to taste

1. Heat oven to 400.  In a 9 x 9-inch glass baking dish, toss together tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, until tomatoes are soft and starting to wrinkle.  Remove from oven and stir in chives and basil.

2. Meanwhile, combine chicken spices and rub chicken breasts evenly with the spice mixture.  BBQ at approximately 350-400 until cooked (according to Health Canada, chicken is cooked when an internal temperature of 165 is reached – BBQs may differ, so the safest and easiest way to tell when it’s done is to use a meat thermometer).

3. Cook pasta of choice according to package directions until al dente.

4. Slice chicken breasts and top pasta with chicken and tomato mixture.  Finish with crumbled goat cheese.