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Have you ever had one of those moments where you think to yourself “How is this my life? How am I so lucky that THIS is what I get to do for a living?” I have those moments constantly, it’s probably pretty common when you’ve taken that gigantic (scary) leap to follow your passion, professionally. The other night I got a huge dose of “I’m so lucky!”
I was recently invited by Catelli pasta to spend an evening learning about their new Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta and enjoying a hands on cook class with Food Network Canada star, Chef Lynn Crawford.
My initial thoughts when I received my invitation:
- Absolute elation
- Followed by big butterflies in the tummy
- Followed by “Why me? Why am I so lucky?”
- Followed by pure joy, excitement and the need to call and update all of my family and closest friends…. Seriously. I may have sent a text to my husband saying “YOU NEED TO CALL ME NOW!!! Don’t worry, everyone is fine but BIG EXCITING NEWS!!!”
The night of the event I headed down to Granville Island and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts for my cooking class with Chef Lynn. When I got there I mixed and mingled with 15 of the very best food writers and media that Vancouver has to offer (seriously, thank you for the invite Catelli, this creative living blogger was humbled.)
For the next hour I was thoroughly entertained by Chef Lynn as she told us all about Catellis Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta and let us sample a few of her dishes made with the pasta.
- Chef Lynn dancing around the dining room, singing along with “It’s All About The Bass” but changing “Bass” to “Basil” as Amy from Family Feed Bag made homemade pesto.
- Chef Lynn popping sorghum (one of the key ingredients in the Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta) just like it was popcorn on a hot plate.
- Sampling Chef Lynn’s famous marinara and pesto sauce on warm bowls full of pasta.
- The realization that Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta doesn’t have the grainy texture of a whole wheat pasta and that not many people would be able to taste the difference between it and a bowl full of white pasta.
Chef Lynn passed around plates with quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet and sorghum (the 5 ancient grains used in the Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta) for each of us to look at and sample. It was really interesting to take a closer look at the grains and sample the nutty flavors.
After Chef Lynn thoroughly entertained us, we headed into the kitchen to whip up Chilled Noodle Salad With Ginger Wasabi Dressing . Chef Lynn and the instructors from the school came around to each of our stations to chat with us, give us some cooking tips and chat about food.
I’m not a huge fan of wasabi, but that’s one of the things that I love about cooking– Recipes can be played with. The instructors at PICA encouraged us to make the salad our own, to eyeball instead of measure, to add more of flavors that we like, and less of ones that I don’t. In my recipe finished salad you could taste a bit of heat, but it was no where near the flavor of eating your sushi with wasabi.
I brought home 4 big “to go” containers of this salad that I shared with The Hubs, neighbors, friends and myself. It was a big hit with all. I know you will love it too!
Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing Recipe
- 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
- 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.
Serves 8. Per serving: 295 calories, 9.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 355 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 73 g fibre, 6.5 g sugar, 10.5 g protein
So what was it like hanging out with a food network star for an evening? Amazing, entertaining and real. Chef Lynn was down to earth, funny and completely approachable and it was incredible to be among the first to cook with Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta.
Want to try out Catelli Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains Pasta too? One lucky winner will win a 1 year supply! That’s 60 boxes valued at $198! Enter below and comment telling me what your favorite pasta dish is.
Must have a Canadian mailing address to win.
Thank you to Catelli pasta for inviting me to experience this amazing event!