Pasta & Rice

Sweet Potato Veg-Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms

This recipe went viral on Facebook last week and I just had to try! Wow – what a dish, it is incredibly delicious and so easy that I have already made it twice this week! The texture of the sweet potato noodles are perfect and I quote from my pasta loving man friend  “I feel like I actually just had pasta, that was so good!” That’s success in my books!

Lately, I have been on a sweet potato kick -roasted, grilled, mashed, thrown into a smoothie or juice – sweet potatoes every which way. They are super delicious, versatile and as most runners know they are a great source of fuel for runs and a great source of recovery post-run. Not to mention all the other fantastic benefits which I’ve shared with you before – see post here. Trust me, you will love this dish and if you’re not into the carbonara or you are vegan – season with olive oil, salt and pepper and I guarantee it’ll be just as good!

Sweet Potato Noodles

Sweet Potato Veg-Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms (yields 4 servings)

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • Basil and chilli oil to top


  1. Spiralize sweet potatoes into “noodles.”
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms start to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Cook the sweet potato noodles in boiling water, gently stirring once or twice, until just starting to soften but not completely tender, approx. 1 minute. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return the noodles to the pot, off the heat.
  4. Combine eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper and the reserved water in a bowl and mix.
  5. Pour mixture over the noodles and gently toss with tongs until evenly coated.
  6. Add the vegetables to the noodles and toss to combine.
  7. Top with a generous grinding of pepper, Parm, and basil.

Sweet Potato Veg-Carbonara YUM! xx


Beet Risotto

Fall is in the air, which means more time to be in the kitchen cooking up warmer, cozier food. Well for me that is! So bring on the soup, chilli, risotto, all things comfort.

As you all know, risotto is a Fall fave in my household (see post here). And with our last harvest of the garden, beet risotto was a definite to do. Sweet and savoury, this dish is one that will be on repeat into the Winter months. And for my vegan friends, it is easily adaptable to suit your needs. I often forget how easy risotto is to make, which is always a thumbs up in my books. Plus look how pretty does this beet risotto look! 🙂

Here’s the dish –

Beet Risotto (yields 8 servings)

  • 3 cups aborio rice
  • 4 tbsp of unsalted butter/margarine/ or earth balance
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 7 cups of low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 large beets, shredded
  • S&P to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup pecorino cheese
  1. In a saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a simmer
  2. In another saucepan saute, butter, oil, onion, on medium heat until softened
  3. Add the shredded beets and cook, stirring until pan is dry (about 12-15 minutes)
  4. Add aborio rice to mixture, once coated add 2 ladles of vegetable broth
  5. Once absorbed add 2 more ladles of vegetable broth
  6. Repeat adding ladles of broth every five minutes on medium to low heat for 20 minutes
  7. Mix in the white wine as you go (I’ll add in a ladle of broth + ladle of wine as I go – this is all up to you!)
  8. Stir in the cooked beats and pecorino
  9. Keep stirring until cooked. Add tbsp by tbsp of water or wine if it is still too thick
  10. Top with rosemary, pecorino and a drizzle of olive oilIMG_5379

Get Cozy. xx

Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheese

Okay, my first thought was, “Really what could possibly compare to a traditional lasagna?” While I am definitely on Team Veg, I knew it would be hard to please the man of the house with a vegan friendly option, as well as satisfy his Italian taste buds.  I mean I do love the traditional meat lasagna with all the gooey cheese, but I often find myself resisting temptation to indulge due to the “not so hot” feeling afterwards; not to mention the perception lasagna has for being such a task to make. I had the craving for that warm comforting meal, without the comforting calories. Luckily, I had this recipe sent my way from a friend with the affirmation that her husband loved it too, more than regular lasagna! Done and done, this was now Sunday night’s dinner.


Well, I definitely have proven myself wrong with this recipe, taken from Oh She Glows, this vegan lasagna far surpassed my expectations (as well as his!) and would fool any lasagna lover otherwise. I mean it’s evident that there is no meat sauce, but the flavour combination from the sautéed veg, sugo, and the basil cashew cheese, one would never question the difference.

Hope you enjoy today’s dish.

Lemon Basil Cashew Cheese (Yield ~2 cup)

  • 1.5 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed)
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (gives the cheese flavour)
  • 3/4-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
  1. Drain and rinse soaked cashews
  2. Add ingredients in order listed and process until smooth

Vegan Lasagna (Yield ~12 servings)

  • box of oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1.5 bottles of pasta sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Lemon Basil Cheese Sauce (from above)
  • Daiya mozzarella cheese or vegan feta (as much as desired)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic over low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Now add in the rest of the veggies and sauté for another 10-15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepperIMG_4362
  2. Add 1 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish. Add a layer of noodles, half the basil cheese sauce, half the vegetables, more pasta sauce, another layer of noodles, the rest of the cheese sauce, the rest of the vegetables, more pasta sauce, and finally a sprinkle of cheeseIMG_4371
  3. Cover with tinfoil and prick with fork a few times. Bake at 400F for 40-45 minutes and then remove tinfoil and broil for 5 minutes on medium. Watch closely so you don’t burn the edges. Remove and serve. Will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 daysIMG_4377IMG_4393

Eat Hearty! xx


Pumpkin Risotto

Nostalgia and a feeling of warmth flows over me whenever I hear the word risotto (ri-sòt-to/riˈzoːtto, pronunciation is keynothing quite irks me like this one, it’s not ri-SOH-toh or ri-ZAH-toh people!). It is definitely the comfort food that instantly brings me back to my childhood. Growing up with Italian roots, risotto was always my choice of comfort carb -forget about the pasta.  My mom would make her chicken giblets, garlic, and white wine recipe (simplicity at its best) and a smile would cross my face as the smell of heaven circulated the house.

As I grew older, I gravitated towards the more complex varieties. Seafood, squash, beet, truffled mushroom, the flavour combinations bountiful and ever changing. How do we try them all?  Different variations are constantly popping up at my favourite restaurants or in my favourite magazines, often surrounding the latest food trend – which inspired me to introduce pumpkin to my love of risotto.

Once the cooler weather hit, I was set on stirring up a pumpkin risotto. And low and behold a friend of mine happened to post this dish days after the idea entered my mind. So here it is, pumpkin risotto. Best served as a meal or would make a killer side dish to an apple stuffed pork tenderloin (just saying).

Pumpkin Risotto (yields 6 servings)

  • 2 cups aborio rice
  • 1 cup bacon, sausage or pancetta
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 sprigs rosemary
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • S&P to taste
  • Parmesan
  1. In saucepan saute, oil, onion, garlic on medium heat
  2. Add in meat option, paprika and rosemary and mix until meat is cooked through
  3. Add aborio rice to mixture, once coated add 2 ladles of vegetable broth
  4. Once absorbed add 2 more ladles of vegetable broth
  5. Repeat adding ladles of broth every five minutes on medium to low heat for 20 minutes
  6. Melt in pumpkin puree within the last minutes of cooking
  7. Serve with parmesan, cracked black pepper and rosemary

China 1347Mangia Mangia! xx