Fettuccine with Creamy Mushroom Ragu

Photo courtesy of Almond Breeze. 

By: Alison Silveira

Father's Day is just around the corner and as I get older, I find it challenging to shop for a great gift for dad. He has received colourful ties, his favourite cologne, clothes, books and countless other gifts. I have gotten very creative to surprise him with a gift that I know he will love. 

This year, why not prepare a home-cooked meal that dad will be sure to enjoy? Often times, the best gifts are the gifts of time and those that are homemade with love. Try making a simple, yet delicious pasta dish, fettuccine with creamy mushroom ragu. This creamy and comforting classic will have dad singing your praises!

12 oz (375 g) fettuccini
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb (500 g) mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (250 mL) Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook fettuccini according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/3 cup (75 mL) pasta water.

2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook shallots and garlic for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Transfer half of the mushrooms to blender along with Almond Breeze, lemon juice and lemon zest; purée until smooth.

3. Stir mushroom purée into skillet with sliced mushrooms until combined; cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until heated through.

4. Add pasta and pasta water to skillet; cook for 2 minutes or until pasta is evenly coated and liquid has evaporated slightly. Divide evenly among 4 plates; garnish with parsley.

Serve and watch dad smile! 

Yields: 4 servings

Nutritional Analysis:
Per 1/4 recipe: Calories 470, Fat 9g , Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 210mg, Carbohydrate 78g, Fibre 5g, Sugars 8g, Protein 18g.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Almond Breeze. For more information and cooking inspiration, visit www.almondbreeze.ca.

Almond Cupcakes

Almond Breeze Cupcakes Recipe.jpg

By: Alison Silveira

Springtime happens to be my favourite season. It's not too hot, not too cold and it's a time for renewal and growth. Easter is also upon us and I have fond memories of wearing frilly pastel dresses and helping my mom set the table for Easter dinner. Our family would gather around the table to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. Afterwards, the Easter egg hunt was definitely one of the highlights for my cousins and me, as we would run around scrambling to find chocolate eggs in every nook and cranny of my parents' basement. 

This year, my brother will be hosting Easter (his first time!) at his condo. Although I am quite certain we will not be hunting for Easter eggs, I am looking forward to making new memories and enjoying treats with the whole family. I attended a holiday dinner hosted by Almond Breeze and was inspired to use almond milk in dessert recipes such as banana bread and panna cotta. I would like to share a recipe for Almond Cupcakes courtesy of Almond Breeze. Spring into action by making these delectable treats just in time for Easter and enjoy them with your loved ones!

3 1/2 cups (875 mL) sifted cake flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) plus 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder 
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 
1 cup (250 mL) Almond Breeze® Vanilla
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract 
1 cup (250mL) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 1/3 cup (325 mL) sugar, divided 
8 large egg whites, room temperature 
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cream of tartar 
1/4 cup (50 mL) prepared almond paste, divided by teaspoonfuls and rolled into balls
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt on a sheet of parchment paper. In a small bowl or measuring glass, combine almond beverage, vanilla and almond extract. In a large bowl beat butter until creamy (can use a hand mixer if desired). Add 1 cup sugar and beat quickly until fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the Almond Breeze® Vanilla mixture and mixing slowly after each addition.

In another large bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, mixing with a hand mixer at a high speed, until peaks are stiff but not dry. Use a rubber spatula to fold 1/4 of the egg whites into cake mixture in the large bowl. Then fold in the remaining egg white mixture until batter is well combined.

Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly place prepared almond paste (teaspoonfuls rolled into balls) atop each cupcake, centered. Top with batter so the liner is 2/3-3/4 full. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with almonds. 

Serve and enjoy!

Yields: 24 Serving 

Nutritional Analysis:
Per Serving: 370 cal, 9 g sugar, 16 g fat (6 g sat. fat), 52 g carb, 7 g pro, 2 g fibre, 20 mg chol, 160 mg sodium. % RDI: 102 mg calcium, 189 mg potassium, 50 mg magnesium, 4.8 mg vit E.

A Festive Feast with Almond Breeze at Richmond Station!

A Festive Feast with Almond Breeze at Richmond Station!

I attended a festive holiday dinner prepared by Top Chef Canada winner, Carl Heinrich and his staff at his ever popular restaurant, Richmond Station. Having previously dined at Richmond Station to sample the famed stn. burger, I knew that whatever was on chef Heinrich's menu, I was sure to enjoy. Six sumptuous courses featured the delicious taste of Almond Breeze, the refreshing non-dairy beverage. I enjoy cooking with coconut milk and dairy products, but it never struck me to use Almond Breeze as a substitute for milk in my culinary endeavours. 

Chef Heinrich showed me just how versatile Almond Breeze can be, as he incorporated it in every one of his delicious courses and spoke about each individual dish. Innovative and unique, chef Heinrich's delicate Peking duck crepes featured spiced almonds and flavourful kimchi. 

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