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Tomato, Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

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B, A and I got together for a potluck last week and we each came up with amazing dishes that filled our tummies! :) This salad is very simple but oh-so-delicious! If you're missing the freshness of summer, this is the salad for you.

You'll need:
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 4-5 tablespoons of natural yogurt (depending on the constistency you like)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  1. Toss your diced tomatoes and cucumber into a bowl
  2. Mix yogurt, dry parsley and garlic into a small bowl to make your dressing. I recommend doing it separately so you can add garlic, yogurt or parlsey to taste before mixing it up with your veggies.
  3. Pour your dressing onto your vegetables and enjoy!
Perfect for a last minute salad or last minute dish!

- CK

Restaurant Review: Stella Osteria

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source: http://www.stellaosteria.com/

For the occasion of a birthday party last weekend, C and I trotted ourselves down to Stella Osteria, a contemporary Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Ottawa.

While the restaurant has been around since 2006, our tourist tunnel vision hadn’t spotted it yet, as we are both originally from Montreal.

When we first walked in, we were very pleased with the modern d├ęcor and atmosphere. The earth tones of the restaurant, complemented by red and black accessories, really give it an edgy modern feel. The small size of the restaurant builds on the cozy and charming ambience created by the rooms’ colour palette.

As the very friendly hostess sat us at our table close to the bar area – where people can also sit and eat on the go - we noticed that ours was the only one left to be filled. At that point, we were already very much looking forward to trying out their Italian dishes!

When it was time to order, C and I had made our choices from the menu which mainly concentrated on Italian dishes: prices range from 13$ to 27$ for main courses. I personally like it when there aren’t too many choices on a menu as it makes it much easier to choose from. In my opinion, the 7-8 choices per type of dish (pizza, meats, pasta, etc.) were just enough.

C’s Pizza a la funghi (13$) looked like it was fresh out of the oven and the ingredients looked like they were just picked from the garden. The lightness of the dish (no, I couldn’t resist having a bite!) definitely makes it a great choice for our list! The flavours meshed very well together, making it one of the best flatbreads I’ve had the pleasure to taste in a long time.

As for me, my Penne with mushrooms (16$) was to die for! The sauce wasn’t too oily and it looked like a very healthy pasta salad. Again, the veggies looked like they were picked right out of the garden! The only reason I didn’t finish my plate was because the portion was larger than anticipated – an added value for a luxury spot!

We topped off our delicious meal with a shared half litre of red wine, which we enjoyed down to the very last drop.

Stella is a great place for any occasion - from a girl’s night out to a romantic date night with your significant other. Each corner of the restaurant has its own unique charm!

All in all, the service was absolutely delightful and the waiters/waitresses were very patient and friendly with us. The quality of the food vs. the cost definitely surpassed our expectations and we would go back in a heartbeat!

Stella Ostaria is located at 81 Clarence Street in the market. You can view their menu and make a reservation directly on their website: http://www.stellaostaria.com/.

Enjoy!

-CK

Spinach Pear and Parmesan Salad with Balsamic Mustard Dressing

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This salad is really easy, and could be made really beautiful with a little careful pear-placement. I tend to go right in for chaotic salads, but you could make something quite pretty out of this one.


For the dressing, whisk together

3 parts olive oil
1 part balsamic vinegar
.5 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tsp brown sugar
a dash of salt

(These are my preferred ratios, and probably makes enough for two servings, however give it a shot and adjust to meet your own needs and tastes)

Drizzle this over
2 bartlett pears, sliced very thin, length-wise (one per person)
1.5-2.5 cups baby spinach per person

Once dressed, toss in half a cup of freshly grated parmesan (though not pictured here, shaved parmesan "petals" make for a sharper, more assertive parmesan presence that is super delicious. Saputo Parmesan Petals are my flowery cheese source of choice!).

Serve immediately

Sausage and Zucchini Pasta

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Wow! It's been a while since we posted a recipe on the blog! This summer has been a hectic one for all of us here at Stute Kitchen! So much so that we barely even had time to cook! But fall is here and warm and cozy recipes are definitely on the menu. To start off the parade, here's a great recipe that was thrown together last night for supper and turned out to be delicious! :)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 large zucchini (chooped into quarters)
  • 5 sausage links (chopped into small pieces)
  • half a box of mushrooms (chopped)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Half a box of whole wheat spaghetti (or any pasta you like)
*Feel free to add any other vegetables you enjoy

Preparation:
  1. Boil water and cook pasta according to instructions.
  2. In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the sausage until golden (approximately 3-4 minutes). Once cooked, put the sausage aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onions for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, mushrooms and zucchini and mix until the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add the white wine and mix for about 3 minutes, then add the basil and mix for another minute or two.
That's it! Serve the "sauce" over pasta and you get a delicious hearty dish! :)

Enjoy!

-CK