[Giveaway & Recipe] Win A Year Supply of Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta and Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing Recipe

ancient_grainsLast month, I was invited to a cooking demonstration and hands-on cooking session with Food Network Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford at the SAIT Polytechnic Culinary Campus to celebrate the launch of the new Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta in Western Canada.

Along with other local food bloggers, we learned about the the health benefits of the all natural Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta and had an opportunity to sample the pasta at this event. We also learned some tips and tricks from Chef Crawford on preparing fail-proof pasta dishes.

Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta, which is available in three cuts –  Spaghetti, Spaghettini and Rotini and retails for $3.29, is Certified GMO-free (NON GMO Project Verified) and blends 100 per cent Canadian whole wheat with five wholesome ancient grains: quinoa, amaranth, teff, sorghum and millet.

Here is a summary of the health benefits of these ancient grains:

  • Quinoa is high in fibre, protein and minerals – including magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron – and low on the glycemic index.
  • Amaranth is rich in protein, containing all the essential amino acids, key vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.
  • Teff is high in protein, fibre, calcium, thiamin and iron.
  • Sorghum is a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin and magnesium; is known to support digestive health, help fight cardiovascular disease and help control blood sugar levels.
  • Millet is heart healthy, containing a high level of protein, magnesium and niacin. Alkalizing to the body, millet is considered one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available.


During the cooking demonstration, we had the opportunity to sample the pasta on its own, without any sauces so that we could taste the nuttiness of all those ancient grains. The pasta was cooked for different durations to allow us to sample what the texture would be like at the different cooking times. My favorite was the 6 min cook time on the pasta as I prefer my pasta to be more chewy than soft.  We then got to sample the Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains rotini pasta with Chef Lynn’s marinara sauce and the spaghettini with a pesto sauce.

For our hands-on cooking session, Chef Lynn taught us how to make her Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing.

Catelli Chilled Noodle with Ginger Wasabi Dressing


Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 8 min
Servings: 4
Pasta Salad Ingredients:

1 pkg (340 g)              Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains Spaghettini
2 cups (500 ml)         snow peas, thinly sliced diagonally
1 cup (250 ml)            shelled edamame
1                                     small English cucumber
2 cups (500 ml)          napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup (250 ml)             red pepper, cut into matchsticks
3                                     green onions, thinly sliced
1                                      ripe avocado, sliced
1/4 cup (60 ml)           cilantro leaves
2 tbsp (30 ml)              black sesame seeds

Ginger-Wasabi Dressing:

1/4 cup (60 ml)           seasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp (45 ml)              canola oil
2 tbsp (30 ml)              soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml)              lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml)                    lemon zest
2 tsp (10 ml)                 brown sugar
2 tsp (10 ml)                 sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml)                    grated fresh ginger
wasabi to taste


1.      Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Rinse under cold water until well chilled; transfer to large bowl and set aside.
2.      In a pot of boiling water, cook snow peas and edamame until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water until well chilled; set aside.
3.      Meanwhile, halve the cucumber lengthwise and use the end of a spoon to scoop and discard seeds; cut cucumber into julienne strips.
4.      Ginger-Wasabi Dressing: Whisk together rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, sesame oil and ginger. Season with wasabi to taste.
5.      Add cucumber, snow peas, edamame, napa cabbage, red pepper, green onions and avocado to noodles; toss with enough dressing to coat.
6.      Garnish with cilantro leaves and black sesame seeds.

Tip: If you have time, you can chill the noodle dish by refrigerating for 1 to 4 hours.

Per serving: 590 calories, 19 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 710 mg sodium, 84 g carbohydrates, 145 g fibre, 13 g sugar, 21 g protein



For a chance to win a year supply of Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta, simply leave a comment in the section below telling me what is your favorite pasta dish. You will need to put a valid email address in the appropriate box when telling me about the pasta dish (not to worry, your email address will not be published), so that I can contact you if your name is drawn. This giveaway contest will close on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:59PM MST. Your name will be entered in a random draw and one winner will be chosen.  I will contact the winner via e-mail and if the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Note: This giveaway is only open to residents of Canada.

Good Luck!

Posted in Alberta, Calgary, cook, Dinner, Lunch, Noodles, Pasta, Salad | 17 Comments

Sweet Holiday Blog Hop with Calgary Food Bloggers

I was invited by Fareen of Food Mamma to participate in this Sweet Holiday Blog Hop, along with other Calgary food bloggers and food writers. I’m actually a newbie at this as I hadn’t even heard of the term ‘Blog Hop’ until this invite. When I learnt that a ‘Blog Hop’ is simply just a list of blogs or posts on a related topic, in this case, Holiday Sweets , I thought it was a perfect idea for this festive season as it is a great way to share some tasty holiday treat recipes.


For this Sweet Holiday Blog Hop, I am sharing my recipe for Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies. I’m a huge hazelnut fan and this has been my go to recipe whenever I crave shortbread.

Here the complete list of participating local food bloggers and writers and the Sweet Holiday recipes they have chosen to share:

Bakersbeans –  Orange Gingerbread Cookies
Because I Like Chocolate –  Vegan Nanaimo Bars
Dinner With Julie – Sticky Toffee Pudding
Dish N The Kitchen – Salted Pistachio Sables
Food Mamma – Candy Cane Bark
Heather’s EATS –  Butter Tarts
Merry About Town –  No Bake Peanut Butter Crunchies
Miss Foodie’s Gourmet Adventures (that’s me) – Hazelnut Shortbread
Scrumptiously Fit Food – Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies


Hope you enjoy these recipes!

Posted in Alberta, bake, Cakes, Calgary, Cookies, Dessert, Dessert, Snack | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

[Giveaway] Win a $50 Original Joe’s Gift Card

With the winter chill in the air, Original Joe’s is bringing back indulgent, bold flavoured and comforting foods to the menu. In conjunction with the release of their 2014 Winter Warm-Up Menu, Original Joe’s is launching an exciting new partnership with charitable organization Mealshare. As part of OJ’s growing Community Care Fund, partial proceeds from a featured item off of the winter and summer seasonal menus will go towards Mealshare to purchase a meal for someone in need. All 62 Original Joe’s locations (across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) are involved in the partnership, which nearly double the number of restaurants currently involved with the Mealshare program.

Mealshare is a non-profit society that allows people to turn their “dining out” into “helping out”. For restaurant customers, the premise is simple: for every Mealshare item purchased, one meal is provided to someone in need. Half of the meals are provided locally through the Breakfast Club of Canada, Calgary Drop-in Centre, Food Bank, Hope Mission, Mission Possible, Our Place Society, and Warmland House. The other half are provided in developing countries through Save the Children.

Since Original Joe’s is launching the program in conjunction with the release of their 2014 Winter Warm-Up Menu, the featured Mealshare menu item will be the Miso Ramen Bowl – fresh ramen noodles in a white miso stock with thinly sliced BBQ pork and togarashi spice, with red chili hot sauce on the side. For each Miso Ramen Bowl sold, Mealshare and Original Joe’s will provide a meal to someone in need.


Other hearty favourites I’m looking forward to try on Original Joe’s Winter Warm-Up Menu include the Bacon & Tomato Soup with garlic grilled cheese croutons and the French Onion Boar Burger with a house made wild boar patty seared in roast beef jus, caramelized onion jam, melted swiss cheese and mayo on a toasted brioche bun along with a choice of two sides.


For those looking for some lighter fare, the new Winter Warm-Up menu offers a Kale & Quinoa Salad with tuscan kale and english cucumber tossed in a creamy mint yogurt dressing, topped with chopped kalamata olives, dried figs, candied almonds and panko crusted goat cheese.


Thanks to Brookline Public Relations and Original Joe’s, I have one (1) $50 Gift Card from Original Joe’s to giveaway. The lucky winner will have an opportunity to go and check out these items on the Winter Warm-Up Menu.

To enter into this draw for the $50 Original Joe’s Gift Card, simply leave a comment in the section below telling me “Which Original Joe’s Winter Warm-Up menu item are you most interested in trying?”You will need to put a valid email address in the appropriate box when telling me about the menu item (not to worry, your email address will not be published), so that I can contact you if your name is drawn. This giveaway contest will close on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 11:59PM MST. I will hold a random draw and one winner will be chosen. I will contact the winner via e-mail as well as post the name of the winner here.

Good Luck!

Posted in Activity, Alberta, American, Calgary, Canadian, drink, eat | Tagged , | 20 Comments

17th Annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival – Ticket Giveaway!


The Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival is back again in Calgary this Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18! The Grand Tasting Hall will be at the Stampede Park BMO Centre, Halls D & E. The Grand Tasting Hall will feature over 200 exhibitor booths showcasing a wide array of world-class wine, scotch, premium spirits, import and micro-brewed beer along with gourmet culinary creations from local restaurants, hotels, and food purveyors.

Sobeys Liquor will be featuring an on-site liquor store, where attendees can purchase their favourite finds from the weekend. Visit the Liquor Connect booth at the Festival to enter to win a 2015 Banff Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival prize package.  Their website, LiquorConnect.com, can help you find out where your favourite wine, beer or spirits are sold in Alberta. Additionally, Sunshine Village  will be sponsoring the Grand Prize All-Inclusive Weekend Getaway for two, including two nights accommodation at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, VIP parking, dinner for two at the Chimney Corner Restaurant, full mid-mountain rental packages for two, and next day lift tickets.

Thanks to Brookline Public Relations, I have two(2) admission tickets to give away for this event. The giveaway tickets are for the Saturday, October 18 afternoon session (12-4 PM). When presented at the door, these tickets will allow for complimentary access into the Grand Tasting Hall. Please note that sampling coupons are not included and all attendees will need to purchase sampling coupons separately at a cost of $0.50 cents each to use for obtaining food, wine and other beverage samples.  These admission tickets are not transferable to any other session. This is an adult only event. All attendees must be 18 years or older. Minors (including infants) are not permitted to attend.

To enter into this draw for the Wine Festival tickets (Prize worth $40), simply leave a comment in the section below telling me “What is your favourite wine, beer or cocktail drink?”. You will need to put a valid email address in the appropriate box when telling me about your favourite beverage (not to worry, your email address will not be published), so that I can contact you if your name is drawn. This giveaway contest will close on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 5:59PM MST. I will hold a random draw and one winner will be chosen. I will contact the winner via e-mail on the evening of October 9 as well as post the name of the winner here.

If you need to purchase additional admission tickets, they are still available. The tickets are $30 each online or $35 at the door for the Friday, October 17 Evening Session (5-10pm); $20 each online or $24 at the door for the Saturday, October 18 Afternoon Session (12-4pm); and $31 each online or $36 at the door for the Saturday, October 18 Evening Session (6-10pm) . As I mentioned previously, the sampling coupons are $0.50 each and can be purchased (by cash only) at the Grand Tasting Hall.  The samples can range from 1 to 20 or more coupons, depending on the item.

For more information, visit http://www.rockymountainwine.com/calgary.html.

Good Luck!

Posted in Alberta, American, Calgary, Canada, drink, eat | Tagged , | 10 Comments

#YYCBURGERWEEK 2014 @ Billingsgate Seafood Market & Restaurant – Calgary, AB

As “Burger Ambassadors” for the upcoming YYC Burger Week, which runs from May 2 to May 10, 2014,  my friend and fellow food blogger, Anna (@annasappetite) and I were tasked to visit three participating restaurants, one in each of the three price categories ($10 burgers, $15 burgers and $20 burgers) to get a “sneak peek” of the restaurants’ burger creations before the actual YYC Burger Week starts and report back on the YYC Burger Week website so everyone will get a glimpse of what they could expect to savour from each Burger Week participant/competitor. We had already gotten a glimpse of the YYC Burger Week creations at NOtaBLE – The Restaurant, The Fine Diner and Selkirk Grille earlier on in the weekend. I had also tagged along with my friend and fellow “Burger Ambassador”, Carmen (@foodkarmablog), to check out Brasserie Kensington‘s burger creation a couple of days earlier. For our final Sneak Peek,  Anna and I visited Billingsgate Seafood Market & Restaurant (also known as Billingsgate MKT and Billingsgate’s Fish & Chip Restaurant), located in Stadium Shopping Center.

billingsgateThis was my first time visiting Billingsgate Seafood Market & Restaurant. I had no idea that this is one of the oldest continually owned and operated family businesses, not only in Calgary, but also in Canada. It was founded in 1907 by Bert Malthouse. Today, father Bryan Fallwell and son, Frank (Luke) Fallwell IV are the fourth and fifth generations, respectively, of their family to operate the fish business. The market offers a huge selection of fish and seafood while the adjacent restaurant serves up fish & chips and chowders, made from secret family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

If you’re looking for something slightly different for YYC Burger Week or need a break from all the beef and pork burgers, you’re in for a real treat! For YYC Burger Week, Billingsgate is serving up a Samurai Ahi Tuna Burger ($10), which consists of a 5 oz ahi tuna steak seared with soy & sesame oil, and topped with crispy fried dulse, salmon ikura roe, wasabi aioli, all between a baked fresh daily Cobs Breads bun.


billingsgate_dulseThis burger totally knocked my socks off! The combination of flavours and textures worked together perfectly. I loved that the ahi tuna steak was perfectly seared. It was juicy, moist and flavourful.  Besides the ahi tuna steak, my favorite part of the burger was the crispy fried dulse. For those unfamiliar, dulse (also known as sea lettuce flakes) is a red alga that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The dulse comes in small packages and can be found in many health food stores and fish markets. In this case, the dulse was deep-fried to provide a great textural contrast to the ahi tuna steak but without having an overpowering taste. In fact, I would say, unlike nori/laver (which is commonly used in sushi rolls), dulse has a very mild flavour.

I’m really happy to see Billingsgate come up with such a unique and great tasting creation for YYC Burger Week. This burger is definitely worth trying as it is not the typical fish burger with the battered and fried fish fillet that’s drenched in tartar sauce.  Instead, this Samurai Ahi Tuna Burger is healthy, light and the ahi tuna is totally the star of the show. You’d better hurry as this Samurai Ahi Tuna Burger is only available at Billingsgate during their business hours for the duration of YYC Burger Week, which runs from May 2 to May 10.  If you miss your chance, you might never come across a  fish burger like this again!

Billingsgate Seafood Market & Restaurant
Bay 2B, 1941 Uxbridge Dr NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 269-3474 (ANY-FISH)


Posted in Alberta, British, Calgary, Canada, Canadian, Dinner, eat, Lunch | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment