Saturday, June 25, 2016

Smoked Salmon Pea Quinoa Pilaf

If there's ever been a theme to this blog beyond cooking, it's likely that of the one-pot dish. I grew up on meat and vegetables and enjoyed it. I like going from one side of my plate to another sampling different items. Maybe an interest in minimizing the clean up lead me in this direction. Or the ease of lunch packing, for that matter. Either way, I'm consistently drawn to a single dish as a meal.

Did I mention I'm all over seafood this month? I wish I was writing this post from Vancouver or Halifax, where the fish is as fresh as fresh can be. Ultimately this may be why I go for smoked salmon, as it's well preserved! This recipe has a preliminary step: the paleo mayonnaise. I hummed and hawed at the thought of making it. I had bought an aioli at a recent market trip and figured it would make an easy substitute. Instead, I made it. Having sweet potatoes on hand made me think it was worth the effort. It takes another 5 minutes and gives the salad a nice, garlicky infusion. Pack some gum if you're taking this to work!

Serves 6


  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 t stock seasoning (Knorr/Oxo)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 100g smoked salmon, chopped
  • 2 T dill, minced

Paleo Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 4 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 T paleo mayonnaise
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • juice of a lemon


Boil two cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa, stock seasoning, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove lid and fluff with a fork. Prepared peas either by boiling or microwaving them for about 3 minutes. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

To prepare the mayonnaise, crack an egg in a blender and add the lemon juice. Blend on low for a few seconds to allow the two to mix. Combine the coconut and olive oil and while the blender is on low, slowly add the oils. This should take a few minutes and will allow the mixture to thicken. Once all the oil has been added, throw in the garlic and salt and blend another 20 seconds. The mayonnaise can be stored in the refrigerator, but will need to be brought back to room temperature before using as the coconut oil hardens with the cold temperature.

For the dressing, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour in with the pilaf and toss well, allowing the dressing to coat all ingredients. Serve with sprigs of dill.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Prawn Saganaki

Yes, Alberta is indeed landlocked, but other parts of the world are in full seafood swing and I can't help but want a piece of the action. I have been stocking up on fish and prawns, eating what I can fresh and freezing the rest. Chances are there will be a few other seafood posts to follow.

Might have been the bread that sold me on this dish, or perhaps the fact that I already had shrimp and tomato paste and this recipe calls for both. There's something very satisfying about being able to use an entire can of tomato paste vs. the tablespoon you need for one recipe. Either way, this turned out to be a good decision. The acidic tomato and wine base simmered together with sweet prawns made for a lovely light dinner. I opted to buy naan bread and heat it on a grill before serving it to sop up the tomato sauce. French bread or another loaf of your choosing would work just as well. If you're fearful of bread try serving it over potatoes or rice. Remember to drink the leftover white with it!


Serves 4


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1, 400ml can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 t granulated sugar
  • 1/2 red pepper flakes
  • 350g raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 125g feta, crumbled
  • handful of flat leaf parsley or cilantro to garnish


Preheat the oven to 350F. In a cast iron pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion stir, cooking for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and let simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and combine thoroughly with the garlic and onion. Pour in the wine and allow to simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, sugar and red pepper flakes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and sprinkle the feta over the pan. Place in the oven and let bake for 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the parsley/cilantro over top.

Serve with plenty of bread to sop up the tomato sauce.