Fresh Strawberry Salad Dressing

I don’t usually think outside the box with salad dressings. When I’m making my own, I usually just some shake together some oil, acid, and sweetness in a jar. Maybe garlic.  I saw this recipe, and I was instantly intrigued. … Continue reading

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto

This is not the first pesto to make an appearance on this blog and there is a reason for this. Pesto sauces are an interesting and delicious deviation from the typical tomato sauce. I love them because their use is … Continue reading

Spinach Almond Pesto


When we think of pesto, our mind wanders to the traditional Genovese pesto with pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.  One of the reasons why I like pesto is because you don’t have to stick to that script. Pesto, really, just refers to the way it was originally prepared – in a mortar and pestle. I stumbled across this recipe using spinach and almonds and was instantly intrigued. It’s not always easy to produce a large yield of pesto sauce unless it is peak basil season…and have more landscaping area than a balcony can provide. Secondly, I like to save a few bucks, and pine nuts…well…they cost many bucks.

I loved this version.

Keep a jar in your fridge to add to pastas, wraps, pizzas, sandwiches, salad dressings…the list goes on, for a quick way to add flavour to your meals this summer.


Served with pasta and fresh grape tomatoes

1 oz parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese)
1 oz raw almonds (unsalted, unroasted)
2 oz fresh spinach (approximately 2-3 cups loosely packed)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
a pinch chili pepper (or any source of heat you like, we used hot peppers from the garden)
1 small clove of garlic
handful of fresh basil leaves
¼  to 1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Combine parmesan and almonds in food processor and grind until fine. This will take a few minutes. Compare it to coffee grounds or bread crumbs
  2. Add spinach, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili peppers and process until spinach is ground as well. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed
  3. With the processor running, add olive oil until desired consistency is reached. We didn’t use much more than ¼ cup

Adapted slightly from: The Italian Dish

Thai Crunch Salad


I really enjoy salads. They can be really interesting and diverse and satisfying – we do a disservice to the salad name if we only think of some iceberg with tomatoes and cucumber swimming in ranch or Italian dressing.

This recipe meets my criteria for a tasty salad that can behave as a meal.  It’s really crunchy and fresh while still delivering the health factor that salad for dinner should. The dressing is excellent; we have used it as dipping sauce for rice paper rolls, as a sauce for a wrap, or whatever really. It’s great.

Dressing **(Recipe yields 2 cups!)
1 cup sweet chili sauce
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup coconut milk (we freeze the remainder of the can)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
3 tablespoon peanut butter (we use chunky, based on what is in our cupboards)
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
Juice of 2 limes

2 chicken breasts
2-3 cups Coleslaw mix (or, use shredded cabbage)
½ red pepper, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, shredded
½ cup shelled edamame
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk together.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes. The mixture will thicken
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a baking dish, brush the chicken with dressing (making sure you do not put the utensil you used to brush the chicken back in the ‘main supply’!!!)
  3. Cook chicken for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before shredding or slicing.
  4. Prepare the edamame as per package instructions.
  5. Divide prepared ingredients among plates.

Adapted slightly from:
Smells Like Home
How Sweet It

Simple Tomato Sauce


So, about this tomato sauce. It really is just 3 ingredients. You’re going to say to me “where’s the garlic?”, “where are the herbs?”, or many other questions that summarize: “That’s it?”  This is it, guys. Deal with it, and thank me after you smell your kitchen. It does take some time to simmer, but by the time you get your pasta ready and have a cup of tea – you’re in business.

1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, and juice
(San Marzano style tomatoes, if possible. When the tomatoes are the star, they better be good ones)
1 yellow onion, quartered
5 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer. Slowly simmer for 45-60 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes on the side of the pot.
  3. Remove the onion pieces as best you can. Now, throw these onions out if you must, BUT, they are delightful. We have put them on meatball sandwiches. Post on this to come.


Seen above with homemade whole wheat pasta.

Smitten Kitchen
Annie’s Eats