Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cajun Shrimp & Sausage Fettuccini

I made this dish for my friend Anne who sent me a less-than-subtle message on Facebook asking for this dish (in fact she sent me the recipe and said "Make this for me") I did!  Here is a fantastic dish that I served at a dinner party and disappeared in no time!!!

1/2 to 3/4 lb cooked fresh fettuccine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb peeled, deveined raw large shrimp
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp Essence Seasoning (recipe below)
1 1/2 hot or smoked turkey sausages (I used turkey/chicken ones from Costco), diced into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano or Peccorino Reggiano
 Essence Seasoning:
2 1/2 tbsp Hungarian paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.  Season the shrimp with 2 tsp of the Essence.  Place the shrimp in the pan and saute until almost done.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • Place the remaining oil in the saute pan along with the onion and bell peppers.  Saute, stirring until the onions are translucent (about 3 mintues).  Add the sausage and cook another minute.
  •  Add the garlic to the pan and saute, stirring quickly to avoid garlic burning, for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken stock to the pan and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the thyme, 1 tbsp of Essence and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream to the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Return the shrimp and pasta to the pan.  Continue to cook the sauce and pasta, stirring occasionally to combine.  Remove from the heat and add the basil and Parmesan.
  • ENJOY!

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is the SIMPLEST recipe and it is absolutely DELICIOUS!!!  Before I left for work I started this stew and by dinner time we had an amazing dinner that everyone enjoyed.

1 lb stewing beef, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 to 2 tbsp oil (preferably grapeseed or coconut, but olive is fine too!)
28 oz can tomatoes*
2 carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 zucchini diced into 1/2" cubes
4 cups water
1/2 cup red wine
4 beef bouillon cubes**
2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves garlic diced)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 cup couscous (as we don't eat wheat, I used rice pasta, but I am sure quinoa would be lovely too!!)

  • In a skillet, heat oil and brown the beef. Brown in batches to allow for air to circulate around the beef pieces so they brown, rather than steam!
  • Place all vegetables in the slow cooker and add the beef.  Stir to combine.
  • Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a bowl (except couscous) and pour over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  • Cover.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  Stir in couscous.  Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • ENJOY!
*Try for low sodium tomatoes as mine weren't and combined with the bouillon cubes, the stew was on the salty side.
**Homemade stock is best as it generally contains little or no sodium, if using prepared bouillon cubes, opt for low sodium varieties as it isn't impossible to remove the saltiness, but it is more difficult!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beef & Falafal Patties

This creation came about because I wanted to make a meatloaf, but didn't have any breadcrumbs...I spied a box of falafal mix in the cupboard and this delicious creation was born!!!  I love them served with a salad (such as in the photo with my quinoa salad with cucumber, fresh dill and toasted almonds)  or inside of a pita or wrap smothered in hummus, tzatziki, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes!!

1 box of falafal mix
1 1/4 cups water
1 large egg, beaten with a fork
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp dried mint leaves
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • Place the falafal mix in a large bowl.  Add water and stir to incorporate.  Let mixture stand for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Add the egg, parsley and mint leaves and stir well.  Add ground beef and mix to incorporate.  
  • Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set the oven to broil.  Shape the beef mixture into 3" diameter patties and place on the tray.  Broil on centre rack in the oven for approximately 5 minutes per side (or until a thermometer reads 160F when inserted into the centre of a patty)
  • Serve as you wish; either in a pita with your favourite dips and veggies, or on a plate with some tzatziki sauce...the sky is the limit!
  • ENJOY!