Shrimp Spaghettini with Tandoori Almonds and Honey Dates

For this recipe I used canned Tandoori almonds and pitted honey dates that I had in my snack cupboard. You could probably use other seasoned almonds and dried fruit to get the same sort of cool mix of flavours. The mix of spicy with sweet, and the different textures (including the crunch of the almonds) make this a really pleasant dish to eat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp (frozen or not)
  • whole wheat spaghettini (or other long pasta) (a small handful per person)
  • small handful tandoori almonds (or other seasoned almonds)
  • small handful dried honey dates (or other dried fruit?)
  • approx. half teaspoon sage (I froze my sage and used it after a few months, which worked out just fine!)
  • approx. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • fresh Parmesan (to taste)
  • Fresh pepper (to taste)

Assuming you use the same ingredients I did, here’s what you do:

  1. Defrost and remove shells from frozen shrimp (I fill the bag with hot water to defrost quickly), or prepare fresh shrimp for cooking.
  2. Place a pot of water to boil, then cook  spaghettini while you prepare the rest of the meal:
  3. Roughly chop up the almonds so that you don’t have any pieces larger than a quarter almond.
  4. Chop the dates to the same size.
  5. Finely chop the sage.
  6. Finely chop the garlic, or push through a garlic press.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic. Heat for about 30 seconds and add the sage. Stir. Cook until the aroma of garlic fills the air.
  8. Throw in your almonds and dates. Grate in your Parmesan and pepper. Stir to mix and coat all ingredients with the oil and garlic.
  9. Add the shrimp, stir around to coat, remove from heat once shrimp are cooked.
  10. Dump the shrimp mixture into the pot with the cooked pasta, getting all the bits and oil you can into the pot (I used a rubber spatula to do this).
  11. Stir everything around to coat the pasta and serve!

Unbelievably Simple King Crab Legs


I. love. crab legs. I used to only eat them at restaurants because I had no idea how to cook them myself, but I’ve learned they’re actually really simple to prepare! When you buy them, they’re already pre-cooked. Essentially, you just have to steam them in a pot to get them hot and ready to eat.

Here, I’m sharing a really easy recipe shown to me by my dad.

Check with your market when they’ll go on sale– I’ve seen them for half-price a few times a year.

** Big Tip: Have scissors handy to cut the shells open and get to the good stuff!

Unbelievably Simple King Crab Legs

  • approx. 1 kg frozen King Crab legs
  • 1/2 bottle white wine (Pinot Grigio if you have), OR 1 bottle beer
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 stick unsalted butter

In a large pot, melt butter on med-high heat.
Add Garlic.
After about a minute, add wine (or beer).
Add crab legs (may have to bend some to fit).
Cover, let simmer approx. 15-20 minutes.
Transfer crab legs into a big bowl, pour pot juices over.
Dig in!

Smoked Salmon Crispbread

I concocted this fantastic ensemble one morning for breakfast. Healthy, yummy, easy… good for any time of day. It’s fast enough to prepare that you can make it as a quick snack, but impressive enough that you can serve it to guests for brunch!


Smoked Salmon Crispbread

  • small package smoked salmon
  • handful of arugula
  • herb & garlic cream cheese
  • multigrain rye crispbread (or whatever crispbread you have– the more texture the better, though.)– as many as you like

Lay out crispbread, spread each one with herb & garlic cream cheese. Lay some arugula on top of each one, then some smoked salmon, being gentle so that the arugula doesn’t fall off.

That’s all there is to it!

Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Baked in Tomato Sauce with Feta)

I found the recipe for this dish in a cookbook entitled “The Foods of the Greek Islands” by Aglaia Kremezi. It’s a cinch to make and delicious– just how I like it. The feta cheese gives the dish a nice kick, and the juices are so delicious you’ll want to make sure you have some fresh bread to soak it all up.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • ground black pepper (to taste)*
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup finely diced tomato, drained in a colander for 5 minutes
  • salt (to taste)*
  • 2/3 cup coarsely grated hard feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

* I usually prefer to use freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion over med heat for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add pepper (to your taste) and saute for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and saute for 2 minutes, or until they start to become firm. Add the tomato and salt to taste and cook for 2 minutes more, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Transfer to a baking dish.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more (so the feta is melted). Sprinkle with the parsley and serve!

Pasta al Vongole (Baby Clam Pasta)– a Sicilian Specialty

This is a dish I’ve grown up with and love it every single time it’s made. It’s so utterly delicious and easy (and healthy!) that it should be enjoyed by all.

The whole process takes about 15 minutes!

Here’s how my mom and I do it:

Pasta al Vongole

  • Olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of a big pan)
  • Half a large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans baby clams
  • ½ chicken stock cube
  • big pinch black pepper
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • Spaghetti or spaghettini pasta (as much as you prefer)

Prepare a pot of  lightly salted water to boil for pasta, add pasta and cook until ready (until “al dente”—not hard in the middle, but still slightly chewy).– Cook the “sauce” as you wait for the water to boil:

Open clam cans, save juice aside in a separate cup
In a large skillet with high sides, heat olive oil on medium heat, add garlic and
Add chicken stock and pepper. Stir.
When you smell the aroma of garlic, dump the clams into the pan and stir.
Once clams are hot, add the clam juice (and add about half a cup of white wine if you like for added flavour).
Add the parsley, stir, cook for only about a minute (the fresher the better for taste and nutrients).

When pasta water is drained, add a few spoons of the skillet juices into pasta and mix (so pasta is not sticky).
Put pasta into each plate, spoon on the clam “sauce” (with some more of the juices) and enjoy!
You can add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like.
Serves 4