Posts with tag "pasta"

Mediterranean Inspired Pasta

A simple pasta can be healthy and easy to make. There are times when I want more than just a salad or stirfry (my go-to quick dinners). And some of those times I would want a plate of hearty delicious carbs to fill my stomach.

It’s important to not cut out all carbs from your diet but there are some good alternatives. I’ve started to buy whole grain pasta, and even though it’s not as beautiful as the real stuff, it’s filling and healthy. Here’s a quick pasta recipe that’s light for dinner and great as a potluck dish

- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 4-5 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ounces pine nuts
- 15 ounces pitted black olives rough chopped
- 3 Tablespoons capers minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
- 1 teaspoon oregano, minced
- 1 pound whole grain pasta, any shape (cook according to package)
- Salt and black pepper to taste

* 2-3 oz of Feta cheese

1) Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the tomatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle over the olive oil, toss and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes collapse, about 15 minutes. Then place aside to be mixed in later
2) Start cooking the pasta in a large saucepot of boiling salted water until al dente then drain well and place aside
3) Add the butter with the olive oil and heat over medium heat in a large saute pan.
4) Carefully add the garlic and pine nuts, reduce the heat to low. Cook until the nuts are just beginning to turn light golden in color.
5) Add the olives, capers, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir for a 1-2 minutes until well mixed.
6) Toss the pasta and tomatoes in the pan with the mixture over medium heat and toss for a another minute or so until everything is well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
7) Turn off the heat then add the feta. Serve and enjoy

And that’s it!

Oscar Viewing Food Spread

On Sunday, I hosted a mini Oscar viewing party of sorts (all of +1 lol). The Chinese perfectionist over-achiever side didn’t want to settle with just popcorn, chips, and pop. My ideas for the spread grew and grew and grew and then Sunday while I was at Granville Island I knew I had to shrink my menu. After a couple of hours at Granville Island shopping and waiting at Oyama, I got a little treat at Edible in the form of a caesar with candied bacon (yum!).

The spread that I finished with and instagrammed took only about 1 hour to put together with some good rushing around.

This is what we had on Oscar Sunday
- Wines: Blasted Church’s 2011 Big Bang Theory, Inniskillin 2008 Sangiovese, and D’Angelo 2006 Coppa
- Kale and mixed green salad with homemade creamy dressing (recipe below)
- Crudites with homemade dip (recipe below)
-  Whole wheat pasta with olives, capers and pine nuts (recipe below)

Cheese and Meat platter
- Cheeses and meats from Oyama:
i) Goat cheddar , goat, oka, belgian beer cheeses
ii) Duck proscuitto and some sort of spicy salami
- Vegan mushroom pate from Pastiche Food and Concepts (which I got when I was at the Vancouver Winter Farmers Market)
- Chicken liver pate from Choices Market
- 2 different types of olive oil with balsamic vinegar
- Blueberry Honey from Chilliwack River Valley
- Henderson Farm’s Wild Dandelion wine jelly
- grapes, and sliced apple and pear (this is where I sliced my finger on the damn mandoline)

Yogurt Salad dressing
• 2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, pressed
• Salt and Pepper to taste
• 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Yogurt Dill Dip
• 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoon of dill
• dashes of garlic powder
• Salt and pepper

Pasta with capers, olives, and pine nuts
• 3 – 4 tablespoons of olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoon of pine nuts
• 1/3 cup of black olives, sliced
• 3 Tablespoons capers, rinsed, minced
• 1 Tablespoon basil, cut into chiffonade
• 1 teaspoon oregano, minced
• 1 teaspoon thyme, minced
• 1 pound pasta, any shape
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
• 2 tablesppon Parmesan cheese

- Combine the butter with the olive oil and heat over medium heat in a large pan.
- Add the garlic and pine nuts, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook until the nuts turns light golden in color. Add the olives, capers, basil, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss until everything is mixed well and heated thoroughly.
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well. Toss the drained pasta with the mixture over medium heat until the products are incorporated and heated thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Sprinkle each portion with grated Parmesan cheese.


And yes, there’s tons of leftovers which equals to gourmet lunches.

Oyama Sausage
Granville Island
126 – 1689 Johnson St
Oyama Sausage Co. on Urbanspoon

Choices Market
1202 Richards
Choices Market on Urbanspoon

Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca

Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca is a well established Italian fine dining restaurant in Vancouver. When you think of sophisticated old school fine dining, Lupo Restaurant fits that bill. It’s in a cozy turn of the century heritage home around the Yaletown area. The night life of Yaletown is literally at the footstep but it’s removed enough to feel intimate and hidden in quiet residential neighborhood. This contemporary kitchen serves reinvention and classic take to Italian cuisine.

When you enter the restaurant, it really does feel like you stepped into someone’s heritage mansion. Even though it’s been renovated, you felt the depth and history of the building. As we waited for our friend to arrive, we ordered the signature Lupo bread.

It’s a foccacia like bread topped with cheese, tomato and zucchini with a dash of rosemary and sea salt. It was warm, moist, and fluffy. Not bad for only $5

We felt the need for carbs so we ordered a few decadent pastas to share

The first dish to come was fettucine of preserved black truffle, proscuitto, peas and light cream. We saw ‘truffle’ and knew we had to order it. The fettucine was fresh and nicely al dente. The cream was light and only a hint of it in the pasta as not to cover the already strong flavours coming from the truffle and proscuitto.

Next came the equally decadent creamy lobster ravioli

Tender lobster stuffed ravioli with a drizzle of a half tomato coulis like sauce and half truffle cream sauce.  Once again the ravioli dish was fresh, al dente and the duo sauces complemented each other. I wished we ordered another plate of it.

Of course we ended the night with sharing a dessert, the ever so classic tiramisu

The mascarpone cream was rich and creamy, and not too sweet.  The lady fingers cake layer were nicely soaked with the hint of espresso and Rum.   As you can tell from the picture, there were generous layers of the cream and cake.

In general, the menu lists pretty classic Italian dishes with, of course, West Coast ingredients mixed in.  It’s a lovely restaurant to go to if you want to impress on a first date or to celebrate a nice anniversary.  It’s not a restaurant I would go back often but I might if I want to treat myself and dine in a quiet cozy atmosphere.

Lupo Restaurant + Vinoteca
869 Hamilton Street
Lupo on Urbanspoon