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This Couscous will have everyone talking at the table.

Photo by Stone Soup @

Excellent as a healthy vegetarian main or as a side dish with lamb or beef, plump and chewy Israeli pearl couscous is cooked in a delicious spiced broth, combined with a mild sweetness of raisins and crunchy toasted almonds.

Healthy and nutrient packed, vitamins and minerals from the raisins and almonds gently boosts up the natural fibre and protein levels from the couscous.

Works incredibly well alone or as a lovely dinner side dish with roasted lamb, spiced chicken or get bold by cooking it with ground lamb, beef or veal.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 large onion very thinly sliced

2 cups pearl couscous

1 cinnamon stick

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup Italian parsley

zest of 1 small lemon

¼ – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste


Warm the oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the almonds and saute until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt the butter in the skillet and then add the onion, couscous, and cinnamon stick. Cook, while stirring frequently, until browned.

Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the couscous is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the raisins, toasted almonds, parsley, and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Taste and salt as needed.

Sandra Chan

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Italian comfort food that everyone in the family will love

Stuffed with a creamy filling of spinach and ricotta, cannelloni pasta tubes are baked in your favourite tomato sauce and melting mozzarella cheese.

This take on a classic Italian recipe is so comforting to eat yet surprisingly simple to make!

And with the secret combination of three cheeses, this is one that will be a big hit with all vegetarians and carnivores alike!


  • 23oz (680 ml) tomato sauce

  • 16 oz (500 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

  • 16 oz (475 g) ricotta cheese

  • 12oz (375 ml) shredded mozzarella

  • 4oz (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, divided

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste

  • ¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste

  • 8oz (250g) oven-ready cannelloni shells (dry pasta)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. Grease a 3 quart (3 liter) baking dish; spread 250 ml tomato sauce at the bottom.

  3. Squeeze thawed spinach to remove excess moisture.

  4. In a large bowl, mix spinach, ricotta, 8oz (125 ml) mozzarella, parmesan, egg, 2 tbsp parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.

  5. Spoon into a large resealable plastic bag.

  6. Snip off one corner to make a piping bag.

  7. Pipe filling into both ends of cannelloni shells to fill.

Now, arrange stuffed cannelloni shells in a single layer in a prepared baking dish. Spread with remaining pasta and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake 30 to 35 min, until cannelloni is tender and sauce is bubbly.

Let stand for 5 min.

Before serving sprinkled with the remaining parsley.

How to store leftovers

Bake in a disposable aluminum tray and once cooled, cover in aluminum foil and freeze. Defrost fully before reheating.


Another wonderful thing about cannelloni is that you can fill the tubes with your favorite bolognese, or anything else that you prefer! Get creative! Add different things into the tubes to your liking.

Sandra Chan

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That first bite makes me think: "This is Mama Mia in a bowl !"

Fill yourself up with this delicious Italian Pasta Salad. Made with your favourite al-dente pasta, salami, vegetables, and fresh herbs - dress this salad up with the tangy home-made Italian dressing!

Perfect for summer, bring it to a cookout or a picnic and wow your guests with this simple dish. The kick also comes from the red pepper flakes for that hint of spiciness.

Fair warning that this recipe makes quite a large salad. It is great for a small crowd, so turn it up as a satisfying side dish with grilled chicken, beef or fish!


Make your own Dressing - or just use your favorite Italian:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • ½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a blow and set aside for a few moments to let the flavors jell.

Ingredients for the salad itself:
  • 12oz (340g) pasta, fusilli or rotini pasta

  • Kosher salt

  • 12 oz (340g) cherry tomatoes halved

  • 1 bell pepper any color, cored and chopped

  • 1 shallot chopped

  • 6oz (170g) marinated artichoke hearts 6 ounces

  • 10 (1.5oz / 45g) pitted kalamata olives

  • 6 pepperoncini, chopped

  • 7oz (170-200g) salami, sliced into bite size pieces

  • 6oz (170g) mozzarella cheese, torn (or mozzarella cheese balls)

  • 1-2 sprigs (30g) chopped fresh parsley

  • 3-4 leaves (30g) chopped fresh basil leaves

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to package instructions until the pasta is cooked to al dante (don’t forget to salt your water).

  2. Drain.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the pasta with the tomatoes, chopped veggies, artichoke hearts, olives, pepperoncini, salami, mozzarella, and fresh herbs.

  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the dressing ingredients together.

  5. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss till well mixed..

Tips for your salad:

  • Don’t over cook your pasta - no one will love a mushy pasta salad as the acid from the dressing will further break down the starches in the pasta.

  • Keep it colourful - Mix it up with shredded carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, or cucumbers, etc.!

  • Make ahead - tastes better as it sits while the flavours blend!

Article by Sandra Chan

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