Great White North

I’m currently tearing off the layers as I write this. It’s tough to believe that it’s Thanksgiving, here in Canada, that is. You see, it’s 90ºF and I’m really thankful I cooked our “Appreciate The Turkey Day” feast yesterday when it was cloudy and chilly enough for a cozy fire.

I went outside to try to find any scratch of this great Holiday going on. Any cars gathering for visits, the scent of roasting goodness traveling through a window screen, a football cheer, or the screech of a fork on a plate, but nothing. Nothing but cyclists, lawn mowers buzzing, the summer smell of the backyard grill, fans blowing and kids giggling with their dad on his day off.

I made soup last night, with feast leftovers, two kinds! This time of year, mind floods to comforting, feel good, stick to your ribs meals. But today, as I’m about down to my skivvies, I just can’t imagine any more hot and sticky.

Together with a little roasted pumpkin and grilled tofu, left over from yesterday, I whipped up a creamy spinach pesto to go over some quick, brown rice fettuccine. It was perfectly satisfying and didn’t add heat to the house.

Oh well, shouldn’t complain, it could have been snowing.


2 Cloves Garlic
8 Large Basil Leaves, fresh
3 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves, packed
1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Package Firm Silken Tofu
1 Package Firm Tofu, grilled or roasted – optional
700g Brown Rice Fettucini, 3/4 standard package
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1/2 Cup Roasted Pumpkin, cubed

Place the brown rice noodles in a large bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to cover. Let the noodles sit to soften, changing the cooling water if necessary.

If using, grill tofu with a light spray of oil, salt and pepper until golden.

In a food processor, add 1/2 of the basil with the peeled garlic cloves, pulsing to chop.
Add the 2 cups of the spinach, salt, pine nuts and silken tofu. Combine well, stopping to scrape the sides, if necessary.
With the motor running, drizzle the oil through the feed tube, continuing to mix until an even, thin, paste-like sauce is created.

Once the noodles are al dente, drain and add them to a large bowl.
Pour over the tofu and toss the noodles well.
Chop the remaining basil and toss it and the remaining spinach to the hot rice noodles.
Serve topped with the cubed pumpkin, sliced, grilled tofu and a sprinkling of lemon zest.

Serves 4.

For this and more great pasta recipes, check out Ruth’s great weekly Presto Pasta round up.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

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