When you are in a room full of people who have the same love of food as you do, you know you are going to have a good time, leave inspired, with new ideas on creating healthy delicious food and most importantly you leave with experiences and knowledge from those who you just spent an evening cooking and eating with.
I read a quote somewhere, I don’t know who the quote was from or where I saw it, but it read “most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel” and I find myself always circling back to this quote, especially when I am working with people on helping them learn healthy eating habits. There is this misconception that eating healthy means eating plain salads all day and that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Eating healthy means enjoying whole, natural, fresh, sustainable, locally grown, farm fresh foods. Eating healthy is full of flavor and vibrant colours.
Not long ago I attended one of the Canola Connect Culinary Workshop Series which was, held at Kitchen24 one of the most amazing Kitchen spaces I’ve ever been too. As an Italian Canadian, my passion for cooking started when I was really young and by the age of 7, my mom had me cooking with her. I don’t always toot my own horn, but I’m going to for just one second, I can cook damn good! I’ve always had a natural ability to whip up delicious foods with simple ingredients. From cooking to baking fresh bread, my love for creating fresh, simple, natural foods that people enjoy runs deep and when you have the chance to learn from Chefs Ned Bell and Rory White you know you are going to learn to make something amazing!
I have to be completely honest with you though, I never used or even thought of using canola oil for cooking before. I use it in baking often, but never once thought about cooking with it until I attended this workshop. Not only is Canola a great source of Omega 3 Fatty acid, it has the lowest amount of saturated fats and as a Nutrition Coach, you can see how this makes me happy! Did you know that all canola oil is made in Canada? I had no idea that Canola was grown here by over 43,000 Canadian Farmers which are all owned and operated by Canadian families, families that work long hours every day, who take a lot of care and pride in the food that they produce. They work hard to feed their families, but they are also working really hard to feed all of us too. The more I learn about health and nutrition, the more it’s important for me to have locally grown foods.
What I also didn’t know before seeing Ned and Rory cook, was how amazing canola oil is to cook with. Because of its neutral flavor, it makes it great to cook with as it enhances the flavors of all the ingredients you use and because of this, I find I am using a lot less oil overall in my cooking while still creating delicious healthy meals and that’s kinda amazing!
Inspired by Ned Bells Cookbook ‘Lure’ and after attending the Canola Connect workshop, I’ve been cooking a lot more fish and seafood using Canola oil, especially this summer as I grow all of my own herbs and vegetables. If you love food from the sea as much as I do, this cookbook is amazing! My favorite recipe from the cookbook is the Wild Salmon with Heirloom Tomato Jam and Kale Cashew Pesto. I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser!
I love trying different recipes from different cookbooks, every time I try a new recipe from someone else I learn something new and find myself using ingredients I never would have thought of before. Although I love cooking recipes from cookbooks, I also love creating and developing my own and having learned so much about sustainable seafood, new ways to cook it and canola oil while at the Canola workshop, I created this amazing Shrimp dish that is so easy to make and is definitely going into my own cookbook one day!
Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp with Homemade Pesto
Recipe: Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp with Homemade Pesto
Ingredients for Honey Lime Shrimp:
- 800g Extra large frozen raw shrimp (I use peeled)- Thawed
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2tbsp canola oil
- 1tbsp raw honey
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
- 1tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1tsp paprika
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Ingredients for Homemade Pesto
- 8-10 Fresh basil leaves, washed
- 2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley, washed stems removed ( about ½ cup parsley leaves)
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2tbsp canola oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1tsp apple cider vinegar
- Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp
- Pre-heat BBQ Grill
- Marinade: In a small bowl, add all the ingredients except for the shrimp and parsley. Whisk together until well combined.
- In a large bowl, add thawed shrimp, marinade and parsley. Mix well. I recommend marinating the shrimp for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better, but if you don’t’ have time to let it marinade, no worries- it will still turn out delicious!
- This made 10 skewers of 5 shrimp on each skewer. Once shrimps have marinaded, add 4-5 shrimp on each skewer. ( I use metal skewers)
- Place on grill, and grill on each side for 3-4 minutes on each side. Do not overcook your shrimp.
Directions for Homemade Pesto
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until the consistency that you like. If its too thick add a bit of water.
- Drizzle on grilled shrimp or serve on the side.
NOTE: The pesto will last a few days in the fridge. It’s excellent on bread, chicken, pasta and grilled veggies!
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