Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’


I spent some time living in Europe. I became very good friends with an Italian who has a lot to do with how and why I cook today. His passion was for Italian food, and he made amazing pasta. It opened my eyes. This recipe is largely influenced by him with a lot of my own twists in it.


  • 15-20 Roma tomatoes, diced (Romas have less juice and more pulp so they will form a sauce faster)
  • 4-5 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Large yellow onion or 2-3 shalots, diced
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 palmful of sunflower seeds, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Good quality Spaghetti Noodles (I use barilla)


  1. Put a deep fry pan on medium heat
  2. Once hot add olive oil and garlic
  3. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, but not browned, add the tomatoes
  4. Leave for about 10-20 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down
  5. Add the zucchini and allow to soften
  6. Put a pot of water on the boil, add a palmful of salt (The may seem excessive, but is very necessary)
  7. Once boiling add the pasta and cook to package instructions, careful not to overcook, and drain
  8. It is important to try to time the sauce and noodles so that they finish cooking at about the same time
  9. Once the pasta starts to form a sauce like consistency, remove from heat and add the basil and sunflower seeds (Adding the herbs after cooking helps them to keep their flavour and creates a fresher taste)
  10. Toss the noodles with the sauce and serve

If you are in a hurry you can add tomato paste to thicken the sauce. I use pecorino cheese on top instead of Parmesan. What ever you do, do not ruin the dish with that fake Parmesan that is already shredded. It is far better to keep a piece of cheese and shred it as you need it. Parmesan and pecorino are both hard cheeses and will keep in the fridge for a long time.


Lime and Black Bean Chilli

Chilli is a fairly easy meal to make in large quantities. Great to freeze for lunches or future dinners on nights you might be feeling lazy. This recipe made about 4 servings, but you can scale it up as much as you like. Chilli is a great way to use up wilted or about-to-go-bad veg in your fridge. I used fresh tomatoes, but you can replace part or all of them with canned tomatoes. Using canned tomatoes makes it a bit easier, but I love the flavour of fresh. I prefer Roma tomatoes because they aren’t as juicy and don’t take as long to cook down, but you can use any tomato that is in season. I added the seeds as an extra protein and iron boost. Seeds have a lot of benefits and it is good to add them to soups, salads, and baking. Get creative with them!

Hemp Seeds

Sesame Seeds

  • 6 hot house tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, cut
  • 1 lime
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 8 large mushrooms, cut
  • Hand full torn cilantro
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic or to taste, chopped finely
  • Chillies to taste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the mushrooms and onions. Put them in a non-oiled deep frying pan over medium heat. The oil from the mushrooms will be enough to cook both. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, cumin, garlic, and the juice of the lime. Allow to simmer until the tomatoes start to breakdown and the potatoes soften. Add the black beans, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and chillies and allow to simmer for about 15-20 more minutes. When the chilli is almost done add the cilantro, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. It is best served in a warmed bowl with some garlic bread.