Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sesame Tuna Pasta: A Stupidly Simple Supper

Yep, that's going to be a new category: Stupidly Simple Suppers.  It'll be searchable!!

This recipe might be stupidly simple, but finding the time to blog about it was... less so.  Apparently, here's another post I started but didn't finish.  So get into your Delorean and head back to February 2014!!

Life is settling into a rhythm here.  Wake up, feed baby, get dressed, go to work, come home, feed baby again, feed us grownups, then maybe catch a bit of TV or a nap or see some friends, then blessed sleep.  Not a bad routine, but it doesn't leave a lot of time for fancy, multi-step dinners (or time for the cleanup thereafter!)

Enter these recipes.

My coworkers sometimes tease me, saying that I downplay the ease of certain recipes.  Mainly, this has to do with chopping.  I remember seeing a commercial for pre-cut potatoes once that made it seem like it took, quite literally, ALL DAY to chop a few spuds up for dinner.  At the time, I thought, "you can't be serious..."  but now, I understand a bit better (though I'll be damned if I start chopping veggies at work...)

This takes seriously minimal chopping.  I've played with this (fellow Blogspot user's!) recipe a few times, especially after a big sesame craving during pregnancy; I think this hot iteration is my favourite.  While I like chicken, Hubs doesn't, so I really liked this (much easier) tuna version.  It's a far cry from tuna noodle casserole (not that there was anything wrong with that, Ma, I swear...)  Try it out (except you, Ni, and all others with a sesame seed allergy).

Sesame Tuna Pasta
Serves 4
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or similar short pasta; farfalle also works very well!)
  • 2 cans of tuna packed in water, drained (chunk light is what I usually use; feel free to up the quality!)
  • 1/3 cup canola, safflower or other mild tasting oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut julienne (or chopped finely, if you're me)
  • 1 cup of green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted sesame seed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups washed baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  1. Boil and cook pasta according to directions. Make sure to salt the cooking water. Drain pasta and just leave it in the colander. 
  2. Return the pasta pot back to the stove. (You don't need to wash it.) Add the canola oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, peppers, and rice wine vinegar. Heat over low heat until the honey is dissolved and the peppers are softened.
  3.  Remove from heat and toss in the pasta. Add the tuna, scallions, black pepper, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Toss well to coat all the ingredients. Toss the spinach in at the last minute, so it only gets slightly wilted.
  4. Either serve hot, or chill down and serve as a cold pasta salad (which I did for my coworkers at a potluck!)

Now that I've taken this little trip down recipe memory lane, I'm going to add this to my refridgerator-door-menu for next week.  Somehow, just knowing what I'll be cooking each night makes it seem like a LOT less work (maybe I'm mentally preparing on my drive home...?)

Thinking about cooking for the week ahead,

PS- I took this pic of Baby G the day after making this pasta; he's giggling due to tickles at his 6-month well child doctor's visit.  Compare with previous post.  How time flies...

Savoury New Year's Day Waffles!

Happy 2015!!

I tried to entice some friends to stay the night after partying by offering up these tasty morning-after-NYE-party treats.  Nobody took me up on it (can't blame them... nothing better than sleeping in your own bed); even Hubs slept in QUITE late.  So G and I had a lovely breakfast, just us two!

These Savoury Dill & Cheddar Waffles are inspired by some that Ni made for the family one holiday morning.  Honestly, it's not much different from how I made regular cornbread... just enter a waffle iron!

The key here is Jiffy cornbread mix (America's favourite!!)  Yes, I am endorsing the use of a mix.  The ease afforded to you cannot be understated!  Go buy some, it's well worth the 50¢.

Savoury Dill Cheddar Waffles
Makes 3 Belgian-sized waffles (enough for two adults and a toddler!)
Adapted from the Jiffy box
  • 1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp (1/8 cup) shortening, melted (or be like me, and use some of the rendered fat from making bacon!!)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 sliced green onions
  1.  Preheat your waffle iron.  Mine is really basic; it's either on or off (no temperature setting).  Spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with melted butter.
  2. Mix the muffin mix, egg, milk and shortening/bacon fat until just combined (it will be lumpy).
  3. Stir in the cheddar, dill and onions.
  4. Pour/spoon about a 1/2 cup into the waffle maker.  I overestimated the first time and ended up with batter overload... try the "less is more" approach.
  5. Cook until browned.  In my experience, the outside of the waffle might look a bit "overdone," but you want the inside cooked fully (raw cornbread batter is icky).
  6. Serve nice and hot, ideally with more melted butter if you're feeling decadent.  

I love savoury/sweet combos, so I stuck with syrup and added a side of thick-cut peppercorn bacon (thank you, President's Choice!!)  Paired that with a cup of freshly-ground vanilla hazelnut coffee (thank you, Costco!!), and G-man and I had a lovely breakfast together (his consisted mostly of a kiwifruit, banana, and grapes, but he got some waffle and bacon love too!)  A great way to start off what will hopefully be a fantastic year!

Bidding you all good eating in 2015,