Whitefish, Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta

I had intentions on cooking a risotto last night. I love, love, love risotto. So creamy and heart warming! Risotto requires your attention for a good 30 minutes or more. My attention was needed else where, a cute little boy who needed to eat and be held. Cute little boy comes first, eating comfort food comes last. Once I had tended to him I wasn’t up for cooking risotto, so I decided on pasta instead but with the same flavor profile as the risotto. This turned out to be just as creamy and heart warming as a risotto would of been. I used a piece of local Whitefish but feel free to use your favourite fish in this recipe.

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Whitefish, Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta

serves 2-3

3 cups small shell pasta
1 fillet of whitefish, or fish of your choice
3 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped, some oil reserved
1 small red onion, diced
2 tbsp soft goat cheese
2 cups milk
1-2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil, add pasta and cook until al-dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized skillet on medium heat, add a couple teaspoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar. Once heated add fish to pan and cook through. Set aside.

In the same skillet add a teaspoon more of the oil and add in the red onion, cook until soft. Add in the sun-dried tomatoes, stir then add in the milk and turn heat to high. Sift the flour into the milk mixture, one tablespoon at first, whisk into milk and once milk comes to a simmer, turn heat to medium-low. If the sauce doesn’t thicken enough, sift in another tablespoon and whisk to combine. Add in goat cheese and whisk until melted through. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

In the pot with the pasta, take the fish and flake into pasta, pour sauce over the shells and stir to combine everything. Serve and sprinkle green onion over bowls for garnish.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Coconut Crumble

There is a nice rhubarb patch growing beside our house. It is growing so well I don’t know how to keep up with it. I hate to see it grow so nicely and not get put to use. Luckily, from what I have heard, it freezes well, so I have a feeling I will be freezing a majority of it. Which will mean that even once summer is over I can still enjoy this lovely crumble in the middle of winter! (I also have a strawberry patch and plan to freeze lots of it too!)

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This past Sunday I had volunteered to bring a pie to the Father’s Day BBQ we were attending. Well, Sunday morning came and we slept till 9 (thank you, Griffin!), had a lazy Sunday breakfast of pancakes and bacon and then I ventured out to do some gardening while Griffin had a nap. I came in around 2 to get ready for the BBQ and suddenly remembered ‘PIE!’ dangit!! I had no time for pie crust but I had everything for a crumble. Easy-peasy!

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I quickly chopped up the rhubarb and strawberries and let them sit for 20 minutes, enough time to feed Griffin, then came back to make the crumble topping, put it all together and took it with me to bake at the BBQ.

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If I can throw this together in between feedings and getting ready for a party that means this recipe is easy and quick enough to pull together any day of the week.

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Take advantage of the seasonal fruit and enjoy this deliciously sweet crumble!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Coconut Crumble

Ever so slightly adapted from Pixels and Crumbs recipe.

For the filling

1 cup rhubarb, chopped 1/2″ pieces
3 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the crumble

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into small squares
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375C

Mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.

Mix flour, sugar, oats, coconut and vanilla together and with a pastry blender or two knifes cut in the cold butter until it is incorporated well into the flour mixture.

In a 6×10 baking dish, pour in the fruit mixture and spread evenly then pour the flour mixture on top and spread evenly.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until brown on top. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving (also great tastes great cold).

Enjoy!!

BBQ Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with BBQ Broccoli

This was my third attempt at barbecuing all on my own. I cooked salmon and chicken breasts last summer and both turned out really good. I don’t know why I find the BBQ so intimidating, it’s just like an oven, just outside and with open flame.

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Well, no more! This summer I am going to become one with my BBQ, master of the open flame! I am excited because when I see myself cooking on the BBQ it isn’t just burgers and dogs, I want to do kabobs, different veggies and fruits, pizzas and quesadillas!

I had fun grilling the pork tenderloin because I found an easy 3-step system for getting juicy results. I wanted to serve the pork with roasted broccoli, my favourite, but didn’t want to turn the oven on if I was already cooking on the BBQ. I figured it would turn out a similar way if I BBQ’d it and I was right!

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BBQ Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

1 1-2 pound pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp prepared Teriyaki sauce

Turn BBQ on to high heat.
Rinse the tenderloin and pat well to dry off. Mix garlic powder, dried thyme and paprika in a small bowl. Give  the pork a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, then sprinkle on the garlic mix.

When BBQ has reached a high temperature, between 400-500C, place pork tenderloin on the grill and close the lid, cook for 7 minutes. Flip the tenderloin over and close the lid, cook for 6 minutes. Once the 6 minutes is up, baste the tenderloin with the teriyaki sauce of your choice giving it a nice coating. Turn off the heat and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid closed. Transfer the tenderloin to a plate and cover with tin foil to rest and let the juices redistribute for 5 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy!

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BBQ Broccoli

2-3 cups broccoli, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red chili flakes
Olive oil

Turn BBQ on high heat

Put the chopped broccoli into a metal pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder and chili flakes. Toss to coat. Place metal pan on the upper rack of BBQ, turn heat on that side to low, leave other side on high heat for the pork. Cook for 15 minutes giving the broccoli a toss half way through.

 

Currently

Hello there!

It seems that over the last year or so, every post I publish is accompanied with an explanation why I haven’t posted anything in awhile. This last year and a half has been busy. Ryan and I moved, got married, honeymooned, got pregnant, watched a wonderful mother lose her fight with cancer and then, 6 weeks early, our son arrived!

All of these huge life events meant that any hobbies were pushed to the side. Life just didn’t allow me to get excited about meal prep, taking photos and sharing our meals with you all. I feel like the last year was a blur of huge life events, both good and bad.

Now my life is all about a little man named Griffin, a little man who should still be swimming around in my belly.

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Griffin decided he had enough life on the inside and made his appearance on April 24; he was due to arrive June 3rd. To say we were scared the night my water broke is an understatement. We both kept our cool but inside I was terrified. I was so worried he wouldn’t be development enough and would be born with complications. Although we ended up spending 10 days in the hospital after his birth for observation, he was born a healthy 5 pounds 4 ounces and was able to breath on his own and eat like champ.

With Griffin’s birth means my maternity leave started sooner than expected. We are adjusting to life at home. I am so glad the weather is starting to improve and we’ll be able to get to know each other over the summer. Being on maternity leave means I am going to be home for a full year and I really hope to allot time each week to keeping things up to date here. Once Griff and I get into a groove here at home I hope to be researching, experimenting and sharing new recipes and ideas here with you.

Thank you for your patience these past few months. It hasn’t been an easy time for us around here but our little rock star sure is putting a smile back on a lot of faces and that is such a wonderful thing to see.

Leah xo

Natural Living February – Oil Cleansing

I have noticed a lack in natural living posts here as of late so I am here today to share my new favourite way to clean my face.

If you are someone who lives a more natural lifestyle or follows organic/natural trends you have probably heard of oil cleansing before. If you haven’t it may seem absolutely bonkers to you. To be honest at first I thought the idea of cleaning my face with oil seemed so backwards but I was so intrigued by it I wanted to give it a shot.
With how cold it has been this winter and we installed a wood stove in our house, which is a very dry heat, my skin was taking a beating.  I was using my regular cleanser Cocoon Apothecary Petal Purity, which I love and is a great gentle cleanser, but my skin was getting terrible dry patches along my hair line, eyebrows and nose. I decided to give oil cleansing a try and it has kept my skin extremely moisturized and dry skin at bay.

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing is using a natural oil to clean your skin. I could describe in detail but this is how they explain it from The Oil Cleansing Method website:

“The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.”

There are several oils you can use to oil cleanse: castor, coconut, sweet almond, olive, jojoba, sunflower, safflower. You can use one of these oils on their own or mixed together, depending on what works for your skin.
I use straight Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, I have tried olive oil and also a blend of different oils and found that coconut oil is what works best for my skin right now.
When I first started I did notice a week or so where my skin looked worse than when I started but after doing some reading I found that this is common as the skin is going through a ‘detoxing’ stage of removing all the impurities that have been trapped down in my pores. If this happens to you keep going with it, it does clear up!

How I Oil Cleanse

I take a teaspoon or so of coconut oil, rub it in my hands to warm it up then I gently rub it on my face, like I would a regular cleanser. I massage it around for 30 seconds to a minute, depending how dirty my face is (or how ambitious I’m feeling that night). I then take a face cloth and rub it under really hot water, wring it out, then gently place it on my face allowing the heat to open my pores up, I leave it there for about 30 seconds, rinse under hot water again then start to gently remove the oil from my face with the cloth. Once it looks like it is all removed I apply a little moisturizer, right now I’m using a few drops of Cocoon Apothecary Argan Oil. You may not need the extra moisture as the oil cleansing leaves the skin nicely moisturized, but with the dry winter air I definitely need the extra moisture!

Have you heard of or tried this method before? If you have tried it, what was your experience like?

Happy Saturday!!

Cranberry Seed Muffins

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I have been eyeing this recipe for awhile. I planned on baking them right away, then didn’t, then I added them to my holiday baking list and then they got pushed to the side. I am so happy I finally made them yesterday. I love the crunch from the seeds and the tart bites of the cranberries.

These make a great breakfast muffin or snack throughout the day. I love them as a snack right now, being pregnant I need something at work that is quick and nutritious to eat and with the whole wheat, wheat bran, seeds and fruit I think it comes together as a great fulfilling snack.

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Cranberry Seed Muffins – Canadian Living – makes  approximately 18 muffins

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran or wheat bran
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp finely grated orange rind
2 eggs
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups thawed cranberries

Topping

3 tbsp each oat bran, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

In a large bowl whisk together both flours, oat or wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sunflower and pumpkin seeds, whisk to combine.

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In a separate bowl, whisk both sugars and the orange zest. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in butter until combined. Add into flour mixture in 2 additions until just combined. Fold in cranberries.

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Scoop into greased or paper lined muffin tins. Combine the topping ingredients into a small bowl and sprinkle on top of each muffin. Put prepared tins in a preheated 375F oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely on rack then store in air tight container.

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Delicious when warmed through with a little butter or coconut oil.

Enjoy!

Looking Back on 2013

2013 has been one of the most exciting and memorable years of my life. That is truly a bold statement but it really is the truth. Writing and blog wise, this year has been lacking. I’ve been so busy with other things that this project was pushed to the side. At times I felt guilty about it but I knew it was for the best and when I put something up here I want it to be of some quality and not just posting for the sake of it.

So why has 2013 been such a memorable year?

1 – This was the first year I spent living in my new home.

In October 2012 Ryan and I packed up our life and moved from the city in Southern Ontario to the country in Northern Ontario, St. Joseph Island. This is where Ryan grew up, his family roots run deep here and it always amazes me to hear stories of his childhood and how much the Kent’s have brought to this community.

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Moving has been an adjustment, not just in scenery but in lifestyle too. Instead of stopping at the grocery store for a few items every few days, I need to plan out my meals for a few weeks depending on when I’ll be able to get into town again. Even little things like how much internet usage we have (very minimal, because it’s too expensive!) to heating our house with wood instead of flicking on a switch.

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It’s humbling and has made me appreciate a slower pace of living. It definitely gives you room to breath and take in your surroundings rather than in the city where everything goes at a pace you can barely keep up with.

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2 – I married my best friend.

Ryan and I promised to love each other for always on June 22nd. After a reherseal dinner in a torrential downpour we were convinced we’d be getting married in the rain, and we had planned an outdoor wedding.

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We went to bed accepting this thought but when we woke it was clear and birds were signing us a beautiful song. We married on his parents front lawn to birds signing, the calmest, almost glass like water and sun peaking through the clouds. It was a dream.

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3 – Cross Country Honeymoon Road Trip

After Ryan and I married we set off on a 3 week road trip. We left with no real plan, we knew we were heading west through Canada but didn’t know exactly where we would go or what we would see. We decided not to plan too much, being on the open road without a plan seemed like more of an adventure and left the world open and waiting for us to explore it.

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In our 3 weeks on the road we went further than we ever expected. We made it all the way to the Grand Canyon! We traveled 12,000 KM’s, we explored the Rocky Mountains, visited with old friends, drove through the winding roads of the mountains in a sports car going way too fast. We camped under the desert starry sky, touched the Pacific Ocean, walked the beaches in California, got lost and fell in love in the beauty of the Redwood Forest, stood in awe of the Grand Canyon and finally drove 14,000 ft up Mount Evans.

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I crossed off many things on my bucket list in this short but amazing trip across the country and to share it with Ryan was amazing, a great way to kick off our marriage!

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Looking forward to the new year I know that 2014 will be just as memorable with the birth of our first child, watching my big sister get married and spending time with my growing family! I hope that my time here on A Simple Love For Food is more present than last year. I have good intentions set for myself and my health this year and hope to share that here with you.

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All the best to you and yours in the 2014, I hope health and happiness follow you throughout the year.