Sauteed Shrimp in Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

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I love anything pumpkin. And I am always thinking of ways to spend less time in the kitchen, but still crank out a healthy flavorful meal. So, I thought to give this pumpkin pasta sauce a shot and it was creamy goodness. Here’s how I whipped it all up.

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Cooking time 15 minutes.

Recipe:

1 tsp of oil

1 box of whole wheat pasta

1 jar of Pumpkin Pasta Sauce. ( could be found in the gluten-free section of your supermarket)

1 bag of spinach

2 cups of already cooked shrimp.

Boil water in a big pot and add whole wheat pasta. Cook for 8 to 1o minutes. Drain pasta and sit aside. (Tip!  if you don’t like your pasta sticking together, add a tbsp. of oil in the boiling water while cooking.)

Meanwhile,  heat sauce pan with oil.  Sautee shrimp for 3 minutes until lightly caramelized.  Sit aside.

On medium high heat, add a bag of spinach in a sauce pan. Stir until the spinach wilts. Add Pumpkin pasta sauce, and shrimp. Cover and reduce heat to low medium and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Toss in cooked pasta to the mixture and stir until everything is combined.

Serve with  salad of your choice. I had sunflower as my salad…I love trying different kinds of salad.

 

Side dish: Zucchini  Tossed in pesto. Cook time 8 to 10 minutes

1 tsp of oil

2 Zucchinis Diced

tbsp. of pesto.

 

Heat  oil in pan on medium high heat and sautee the diced zucchinis for 8 minutes until soft.  Add in a tbsp. of pesto to the cooked zucchini and stir until thoroughly coated and wha-la! you are done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant now opened in Toronto!

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My spouse and I decided to do some last minute Christmas shopping and as we hopped out the car we noticed Yorkdale Mall had opened up a new restaurant…not just any restaurant, but JAMIE OLIVER! Food Network’s star.

I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver for years, even before I knew how to cook like a pro. I always wanted to taste Jamie’s food, so I was gungho when I saw this new restaurant at my favorite mall in Toronto.

Now, you might be wondering…Why an Italian restaurant? Jamie is British. Well…Jamie is a lover of Italian food and its traditions.  In Jamie’s words..”When I tasted the menu at Buca (…in Toronto), and found that we had the exact same ideas in mind, I knew I had found the right guys to kick start this exciting project with.”

When we walked into the establishment we were instantly greeted by a hostess. The place was relatively packed.  There was a forty five minute wait for a table, so we opted to sit at the bar. I was pleasantly surprised how attentive the service was even at this disadvantage. Besides, It was pretty entertaining watching the bartenders do their thing.

 

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In the evening, the ambience is very laidback and intimate. The décor is rustic with wood paneling running throughout the restaurant.

 

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This was pretty cool.  Huge legs of prosciutto and bundles of grape tomatoes hung around the deli station, which can be seen in its glory at the bar.

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In the back of the restaurant,  you can find an open kitchen where all the cooks are bustling in action.

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For the main, I initially wanted the Rabbit Ragu…but it was sold out. So, I opted for their famous Prawn Linguine. It was delicious. The pasta was swimming in a spicy reddish orange broth. My spouse and I agreed that this dish would have been better with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth. I will definitely recommend this dish. But if you don’t like spicy dishes I will suggest you tell the chef to tone it down a notch.

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We ended the meal with an Italian dessert called Panna Cotta. It had a light, creamy cheese cake consistency with a sweet raspberry compote pooling on top.  This was my first having this dessert and I liked it. The perfect dessert to bring a good meal to an end. Not at all heavy.

I ordered a cup of Americano to watch it all down.

Over all, the experience was great. The service was very attentive. A cool place to bring family and friends.

 

Reservations: Yes

Price: Moderate (small servings are available)

Website: https://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/canada/

Quinoa and Cajun Shrimp

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I’m on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. I’m sick of eating out all the time and clogging my arteries. I’m getting older and need take better care of myself. So I’ve been thinking of ways on cooking healthier. That means finding better substitutes for white rice because I would love to fit into my skinny jeans again.

Lately, Quinoa has been getting good a wrap for being nutritional over white rice. Therefore higher in fiber, iron and protein.  So, I thought I would give it a try.

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I went to Whole Foods and picked up a bag of Gluten free Quinoa, and came up with this festive, healthy , simple recipe that will have your family and friends imploring to make it again!

 

 

2 tsps. oil

1 tsp of Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 cup of vegetable broth

2 cups of Quinoa

1 bag of raw shrimp

1 pomegranate

Garnish with a dollop of yogurt.

 

Rinse Quinoa. Place in a sauce pan and add vegetable broth. Bring to boil and let cook for 5 to 10minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Once done, fluff the Quinoa with fork and toss in chopped cilantro.

Meanwhile, add oil to pan on high medium heat. Saute shrimp in a shallow pan until pink. Add Cajun seasoning and stir a couple of minutes.

Place cooked Quinoa  and shrimp on a plate. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top, which the sweetness plays well with the saltiness of the shrimp.

Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, and enjoy!