Fresh Tomato Pasta with Garlic + Basil Bruschetta

This fresh tomato pasta is perfect all on its own, but top it off with flavourful bruschetta and it throws it over the top.

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So this fresh tomato pasta is a staple in our house, it’s super easy, requires mainly fresh ingredients, and makes you feel good about eating a big bowl of pasta.

While I also really love classic pasta sauce that is slowly cooked and has flavours developed over time, I kinda think that it’s more of a winter, cold-weather meal. That being said, even though it’s summer and hot outside it doesn’t mean you still don’t crave a hearty bowl of pasta every now and then, and so that is where this version comes in. It’s fresh, comes together in no time at all, and is topped off with super yummy bruschetta - the perfect summer meal!

Now, if you have never thought of putting fresh tomatoes on top of your pasta you are seriously missing out. It adds a perfect contrast and really brings this dish to the next level - plus it’s using all the ingredients that you already have so it's super easy to do!

I like to add a bit of Italian sausage into this as well but it is just as delicious vegetarian. You can sub the chicken stock for veggie stock and serve any of your non-meat-eating friends. Even throw it over zucchini noodles for a carb-free option. Seriously, the options are endless so make it any way that works for you and your family - but don’t skip the bruschetta - seriously, it's key and once you try it you will never to back to eating it without!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 30 minutes

total time 50 minutes

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 white onion

1 lb sweet Italian sausage

5 cups chopped tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 cup chicken stock

5 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

6 basil leaves

salt + pepper

1 lb orecchiette (or your favourite pasta)

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package.

In a large saucepan add in olive oil chopped onion and cook until onions are translucent. Add in sausage and cook over medium/high heat until sausage is cooked through.

To the saucepan add in chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft. Add in chicken stock and simmer 10 minutes.

To the sauce add in tomato paste, freshly grated parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, thinly sliced basil leaves and salt + pepper to taste. Add in drained pasta and stir to fully combine. Top each serving with a good amount of bruschetta.

Bruschetta

1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

6 basil leaves

1 tsp olive oil

salt + pepper

In a small bowl combine finely chopped tomatoes, garlic + basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt + pepper to taste.

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Garlic + Ginger Chilli Oil

Spicy and full of flavour - this Garlic and Ginger Chilli oil is the perfect addition to almost any meal!

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Ok, so I don’t know about you, but I think that a bit of heat is an important aspect so many meals. I mean seriously, salt + pepper are wonderful and an absolute staple, but they can only go so far!

So while spice can certainly become unbearable quickly, I think that by having a small jar of chilli oil available is a great way to control the heat level as well as to allow everyone to spice things up to their own liking.

Now, this version of chilli oil also includes garlic and ginger which I absolutely love, but it does make it slightly less versatile than the traditional version - but I still think that it can be used in so many different things. Now while an Asian style vegetable, noodle dishes or stir fry are classic, why not drizzle a little over your pizza or even a fried egg. I promise you that if you serve breakfast sandwiches with little of this chilli oil drizzled on it you will add a kick that will not only add some heat but be that secret ingredient that everyone remembers.

So go ahead and make up a batch to keep on hand, you will be shocked at how many uses you find for it!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 6 minutes

total time 16 minutes

servings 1/2 cup

Ingredients

1/3 cup peanut oil

3 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

In a small sauce pan add in peanut oil, grated garlic, ginger and the chilli flakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until garlic is very fragrant.

To the oil add in sesame seeds and cook another 2 minutes. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.

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Sesame Ginger Sticky Wings

These sweet and sticky wings are the perfect combination of heat with a sweet kick of ginger and garlic.

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Who doesn’t love wings that are crispy, sticky and spicy right! For me, wings are one of those things that when done right can be a meal in itself, but unfortunately so many do it so wrong.

I strongly believe that wings need to be crispy and very well done. The great thing is that most restaurants will happily oblige and cook them well done and if your extra luck you're at Earls and they will finish them in the Forno oven making them not only crispy but also smokey.

So needless to say if I’m going to make wings at home they need to be delicious and crispy. While you can’t go wrong with a classic hot wing sometimes you want something a little bit different. These sesame ginger wings are spicy, tangy, sweet and sticky - possibly one of the best combination. One of the key pieces is the squeeze of fresh lime when they come out of the oven - trust me you don’t want to skip this step.

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prep time 5 minutes

cook time 45

total time 50 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken wings

salt + pepper

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp agave or honey

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/4 cup sambal

2 tbsp soya sauce

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp ginger

1 lime

cilantro + sesame seeds to garnish

Instructions

In a small bowl combine sesame oil, agave, white wine vinegar, samba, soya sauce, finely chopped garlic and grated ginger. Whisk to combine then set aside.

On a baking sheet lay out the chicken in a single layer and sprinkle with salt + pepper then bake at 400 for 35 minutes then remove from the oven. Pour your sauce over the wings and toss so they are fully coated. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and wings are slightly crisp.

Remove from the oven then squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the wings and garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.

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Garlic + Ginger Broccoli

This garlic and ginger marinade is the best way to add a kick to your broccoli and make it the perfect side dish to almost any meal.

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So it’s finally Friday! Is everyone else excited that it’s the weekend? Here in Calgary, it’s supposed to be beautiful so the plan is to enjoy it while we have it!

So I am also 1 week of my eat no meat January, and surprisingly it hasn't been very hard. I actually think it has been fun to try to figure out different things to eat rather than the typical meals that I tend to make. Needless to say, I have been spending tons of time on Pinterest getting ideas of what to cook. One thing I have been doing is cooking up big batches of vegetables to keep in the fridge to add on to any meals that I make.

This broccoli has been one of my favourites, so good in fact I have made it twice this week. The flavours of the fresh garlic and ginger with the bit of heat with the Sriracha is such a good combo and goes so well as a side dish with just about anything else your eating, or in my case, cold right out of the fridge as a mid-day snack.

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 20 minutes

total time 30 minutes

servings 4


Ingredients

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp soya sauce

1/2 tbsp Sriracha

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsp sesame oil

1 lemon zest and juice

1 large head of broccoli

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soya sauce, oil, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and the zest and juice of the lemon. Whisk until well combined.

Cut broccoli into florets and place on a baking sheet. Pour marinade over the broccoli and toss until it is all covered. Bake for 10 minutes, stir then bake another 10 minutes.

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Garlic Rosemary "Quick" Bread

This easy no knead bread has a wonderful rich flavour from the sautéed garlic! With such little effort it’s hard to believe you can whipped this up in just a few hours.

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Bread is one of those things that I really want to be a master at, I think there is just something so lovely about the whole process. And while I can make a pretty decent loaf, I certainly would not call myself an expert.

My first bread making experience was at age 13. My mom was always making homemade buns, but never bread, so we decided that we were going to attempt to make a loaf. The first couple of tries were terrible. They either didn’t rise, or they were shaped really weird. Finally, one day we made the most perfectly looking loaves - we had finally done it!

Fast forward a few hours to a very sad sight - rock hard, charred loaves. Apparently in all of our excitement we had forgotten to set the timer. Needless to say on that very day our bread dreams died.

Since then I have been experimenting off and on with making bread - mostly more artisan rustic loaves (probably from the trauma of my childhood). One of my favourites is a rosemary garlic loaf. In the past I have always used raw garlic and just let it cook in the bread, but this time I sautéed it in advance and let me tell you, it kicked it up a notch and i’m never going back!

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prep time 10 minutes + 1 hour 45 min rising time

cook time 40 minutes

total time approx 3 hours

servings 1 large or 2 small loaves

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup warm water

2 1/4 cup instant dry yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp finally chopped rosemary

5 cloves thinly sliced garlic

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour (more if needed)

Instructions

In a large bowl add yeast and sugar. Add in warm water and stir until combined. Allow to sit 4-5 minutes until mixture begins to get foamy.

In a small frying pan add olive oil and thinly sliced garlic. Sauté until garlic gets slightly browned and very fragrant.

Once yeast mixture is foamy add in salt, olive oil, rosemary, garlic and flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined and begins to form a dough - approximately 2 minutes.

Cover bowl loosely with a tea towel and allow to sit in a warm place for 45 min to 1 hour - or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Turn your dough onto a floured workspace and being to shape your loaves by stretching the surface of the dough and tucking it underneath. Once you dough is formed place on a parchment lined baking pan and cover with tea towel.

Allow to rise another 30-40 minutes or until it has again doubled in size. If you like you can use a sharp knife and make cuts into the top of your loaf.

Preheat oven to 400. Transfer loaf to oven and bake 40-45 minutes until it is golden brown.

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