Posts in Rice + Pasta
Bounty Bowls With Minty Labneh Sauce
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife



Labneh Tzatziki Sauce

This sauce recipe was created to become a staple in your kitchen. It can be served alongside cut vegetables as a quick snack, in a cold or warm bowl or as a garnish on top of your favorite soup.

Like I mention in this post, it's all about the dressing when it comes to bowls, so I figured I'd let you in on some of my favorites.

The goal with these (and every recipe created in The Nomadic Wife kitchen) is “do this easy thing & call it good”. Don’t strive for perfection. Use it as a tool. Most of all, show yourself a little grace and allow yourself the space to make it your own.

I also use a similar sauce in this recipe, as a salad dressing with broccoli and carrots or in this recipe as the dressing in yummy chickpea gyros on naan bread.

Bounty Bowls / Veggie Bowls

I can talk about eating bowls until I'm blue in the face (as you may have noticed). Truth is you can really throw in anything you like. Right now there are a lot of veggies available in your CSA bounty, so don't be afraid to mix it up.

Try a version with mostly greens. Try one with all your veggies raw or all your veggies cooked. Go nuts!

Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife


Serves 2-4

1 C labneh
2 T fresh mint
2 T fresh dill
1 large clove garlic
2 t Himalayan salt

10 min PREP 

  1. Chop your herbs and use a microplane or the small side on the box grater to grate the garlic

  2. Mix in with strained yogurt (labneh) * see pro tip below

  3. Let sit for a few minutes and salt to taste


Pro tip:

Don't have labneh? No problem, place 1.5 C plain yogourt in a paper coffee filter and let the water drain out into a bowl. Labneh is basically drained yogourt with a little salt!

more yogourt/labneh recipes

Fettuccine Alfredo a la Thomas - with broccoli and summer peas
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



“This is the kind of recipe you serve your mother-in-law if you want her to roll out of your house when she leaves.” - Thomas

I do most of the cooking in our house, but Tom has a handful of sensational recipes that he keeps in his back pocket for the days where I really can’t be bothered to cook (or the ones where he feels like treating me to a sprinkle of his culinary genius).

Tom has been making this particular pasta recipe for as long as I’ve known him, and it’s still part of our special occasions rotation today. I’ll be frank in saying it’s definitely not something that makes it to our table more than a two or three times a year, as it truly is an indulgent dish.

A friend told me that Alfredo sauce is completely absent in Italy. So, there’s no real saying where this is from. I can tell you however that Alfredo pasta is quite popular in Quebec. Most of us have, at some time or other, had some form of it from a glass jar or a simply-add-milk type of pouch.

This alfredo sauce recipe is neither here nor there.

While it is made from very few ingredients, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. When combined, these ingredients sing each other’s praises and make for a dish worthy of a queen. It’s very creamy, perfectly umami and a touch on the salty side. One must approach it with a certain sense of epicurean greed and appreciate that your tablemates may not want to share their bowls as they relish in every bite.

MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

Gratitude for the hands that cook

This recipe always floods me with gratitude towards Tom and the time he takes to cook for me. Especially at the height of summer when it is his busiest season. I feel like it's one of the gifts of life that keeps on giving. This seemingly simple act of kindness fills my cup in more ways than I can explain.

It has me reaching for the quote on my desk (sent to me by a friend & pen pal) which you can see in the photos. It reads:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite, only a sense of existence. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” - Henry David Thoreau

MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens


Serves 6-8

¼ lb salted butter
473 ml heavy cream (35% or more)
250 g parmesan

1 package fettuccine


16 large raw shrimps

1 C freshly shelled peas
2 C broccoli florets

* the three cups of veg can be swapped out for greens like kale, spinach or collards

10 min PREP + 20 cook

  1. Place a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Add butter over medium heat to a pan large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients.

  3. Place pasta in the water and cook until al dente (usually a few minutes less than the package indicates) then drain.

    • keep a little bit of the cooking water in case your sauce doesn't thicken to your liking

  4. Once butter is melted, add cream.

  5. Once cream has begun to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and incorporate Parmesan a little at a time

  6. When the Parmesan is completely incorporated, add the shrimp and veggies.

    • If the sauce is still very liquid, add the pasta water.

  7. The minute the shrimp turn fully pink, add the drained pasta, toss well and serve immediately.


Pro tip:

  1. Keep an eye on the butter as it’s melting and don’t let it brown. Add the cream in as soon as your butter is fully melted.

  2. Keep a bit (2-3 T) of pasta water in case your sauce doesn’t thicken enough, the starch will help it thicken.

more Broccoli recipes

Middle Eastern Almond Rice
easy dinner recipe Middle eastern almond rice
simple dinner recipe almond rice



No desire to cook tonight? No worries. This is better than takeout!

This easy recipe is one of those "I have absolutely no desire to cook tonight" recipes. It's super quick, and you can make a larger batch if you like as it keeps quite well in the fridge. I almost prefer it the next day, when it has cooled off and I eat it right from the fridge. Haha.

That being said, it's an easy rice dish to warm up, with a little butter or oil, and have as lunch the next day too!

Typically, it can be made with ground lamb or beef, but I personally prefer this vegetarian take on the dish. The key is the cumin + cinnamon balance. Too little of either spice will leave you rice tasting rather bland. So start with the measured amounts but don't be afraid to sprinkle a little extra on there!

Enjoy this little taste of middle eastern cuisine! <3

Note: this dish is already packed with protein from the almonds, but if you would like to add meat, just stir fry it separately and add it before serving. I've had this with everything from ground beef to chicken breast & it's always yummy!




Makes 2 portions

1 C rice
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T olive oil or butter
2 C almonds, roughly chopped
2 t cinnamon
1 t cumin
1 t fresh black pepper
Salt to taste
1 1/2 C vegetable stock


1 can sweet corn
10-12 Brussels sprouts
Chopped kale
Any other veggies you have left over, chopped
Parsley for topping - optional but super yummy


5 mins prep + 15 mins cooking

In a large pan over medium heat, add your onion, garlic, pepper cinnamon, cumin & olive oil.
Stir until fragrant, then add the rice and let it soak up the oil. About 2 mins. 
Add the vegetable stock and bring up to a boil. Then cover and set to low for about 10 minutes.
In the mean time, chop your vegetables.
Once the rice is ready, fluff it lightly with a spoon and mix in your raw veggies.
Cover for another 2-3 minutes, so the veggies can steam lightly, and serve with parsley & fresh pepper.


Impromptu fresh pasta dinner against all odds
Homemade pasta with ragu - the nomadic wife

Last night I hosted an impromptu dinner against all odds.

This season of our lives has been one of hustle, and not the meaningless trying-to-fill-my-day-to-prove-im-busy sort. Real hustle. The kind that slowly gnaws at you and leaves dark clouds below the gentle skin of our under-eyes. The sort that keeps us awake well into the night and wakes us with a start.

In our house, fall is the season where Thomas works around the clock to make sure all of the concrete clients are satisfied before the snow blanket settles over the city.

On my end, it is often a season of rush, when my design clients realize back to school has passed and holiday promotions need to be strategized on, dreamed up and created.

homemade fresh pasta

The season of work, difficult weather & heart warming food

It's also a season of weather temper tantrums akin to those of a small child in the God forsaken terrible twos. The daily warm and nightly cool mean that I need to add more hustle to my plate and get the garden sorted out in a jiffy when this temperamental mother nature decides unexpectedly to delivery early snow instead of rain. I almost lost my basil to this battle, but thankfully, it was brought inside in the nick of time and with a sticky coating if fresh wet white mess to boot.

This crazy season, one would argue, would be a great one to keep friends and relations at bay, do the work and leave the rekindling of relationships old and new to the holiday season. That would be the logical thing to do it seems, but alas I'm hardly one to be practical when someone says they're finally available for dinner after months of company-less meals for two.

So, I hosted an impromptu dinner last night between the work and the harvest. Needless to say it came together beautifully despite the odds and the tired faces around the table that all clearly needed a respite from the mundane grind as much as I did.

fresh pasta with Bolognese sauce - the nomadic wife
fresh pasta with meat sauce - the nomadic wife

Fresh pasta with ragu

I made a batch of fresh pasta, with organic eggs and local flour & kneaded it in traditional way on our butcher block table top until the dough had absorbed all the flour and then I left it to rest in a cul-de-poule until the gluten became tender and supple.

After about a half hour of sauce making, I rolled each portion if pasta out by hand, with our clamp-on-the-counter pasta roller. First at the largest setting and then slowly made my way down before hand-cutting them in wide strips perfect for the blogonese ragu I had bubbling on the stove.

A bottle of red wine, one I'd been keeping for an occasion exactly like this, was pulled out of storage in the basement and uncorked to breathe before settling it down on the table for the company along with my favorite stemless glasses.

Pasta was rolled, stories were shared & faces where warmed with wine. Our house was filled with laughter for a few fleeting hours before we each returned to our now slightly lighter feeling daily hustles.



1/2 lb ground beef
1 medium yellow onion
24 oz diced tomato
1 T dried basil
1 t marjoram
1 T pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt


In a large pan, cook the meat over medium-high heat along with the onion until it has released all of its juices and is nicely browned.
Squish the tomatoes along with the herbs, then add to the pan along with a pinch of salt & minced garlic.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer until it thickens, about 25 minutes.
Serve with the freshest pasta you can get your hands on or refer to this article for the perfect dry pasta to pair with ragu.



Easy Weeknight Dinner: Pesto rice with brussels sprouts & walnuts

This is a fantastic way to use day-old rice. So if you have leftovers, you're in luck!

Brussels often get a bad rep because they can taste a little funky if you're not used to them. Like most of the cabbage family, they can release some bizzaro smells when they're boiled or steamed which is why I usually stick to roasting them or giving them a quick pan-fry.

In this case, they cooked just long enough to get bright green but not long enough to lose their crunch, because let's be honest here, who want's to eat soggy food? No one.

I love this dish, because despite it's use of fall / winter ingredients it has the spirit of a summer dish. Thank-you pesto!

I make my own (pesto that is) but I know that there are a few good commercial brands out there too, so don't worry if you didn't harvest basil this year you can totally get away with this dish either way.



Makes 2 portions

2 C cooked white rice
1 or 2 T pesto
1 C Brussel sprouts, thinly chopped
1/4 red onion, minced
1 clove garlic * optional
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
Parmesan & sriracha for serving


5 mins prep + 5 mins cook

If your rice is already cooked, just grab it from the fridge. If not, cook it like this.
Next, grab a medium pan and add a spoonful of pesto along with your chopped garlic, onion & brussels.
Taste the pesto before adding the garlic as some are particularly garlicky.
Stir fry the veggies for a minute or two over high heat until the onions become fragrant.
Next, add the rice & a bit more pesto if you feel like there's not quite enough.
Plate your rice & veggies then top it off with walnuts & parmesan.
I like having it with just a bit of sriracha on the plate to add a bit of heat, but that's just me!

Mushroom & bone broth risotto

With fall having turned into winter without any warning, Edmonton feels cold and disconnected to me. Snow fell in October & just when I thought I was getting a handle on fall weather, we got hit with multiple inches of sticky, wet winter mess.

If you can't tell yet, winter isn't one of my favorite seasons. I'm usually one to take off and travel at the first sight of snow. This year however, it's different. There will be no evasion, no escape.

Instead of a plane ticket, I've opted on remaining rooted here and make the most of it. An experience in the name of science, if you will.

I've turned my nomadic soul towards local, season fare and found that I can travel just as much without ever leaving the comfort of my kitchen. Today, we take to Italy with this scrumptious risotto that will turn even the most finicky eater into an instant fan.

I used Bo & Marrow broth to make it, and if you're a local I really recommend that you try it. If not, your favourite broth or homemade stock will do the trick. 



1 1/4 C arborio rice - you can substitute with just about any short grain rice
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 t chili flakes
6 C beef stock (or veggies stock)
2 C white mushroom, cleaned and chopped
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
5 kale leaves, chopped
1/4 C grated Parmesan
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
Salt & pepper



First, get your stock up to a low boil as you will be incorporating it hot
Next, your olive oil and onion to a medium sized pan
Once your onions are nice and browned but not burnt, add a tiny splash of stock as well as your garlic, chili flakes & 1 T of butter
When your mixture becomes fragrant, it's time to to add your chopped up mushroom, these will take a good 10 minutes to release their water
Once your mushrooms have been sweated, its time to add in your rice along with 1 ladle full of stock
The rice will drink up all of the stock. Once it's all gone you can add another ladle. 
Do this until there is no stock left & the rice has become creamy.
At this point, you can add the last of the butter, the Parmesan, kale & the broccolini
Once the broccolini has turned bright green, it's ready to serve

Aglio e Olio a simple italian pasta recipe

Dinner time can be a struggle sometimes (read often) when you don't have a meal plan done. It's just like any other part of life really, unless you're one of those fabulously crazy people who can just get by on the seam of their pants.

I don't know about you, but I'm not one of those people. Never have been. Never will.

So I keep recipes like this aglio e olio recipe in my back pocket instead. I know we always have pasta in the house ( gluten free pasta that is ) and that we always have garlic & eggs. So, it makes sense to have this eggy pasta dish on those nights where the alternate option is peanut butter toast. 

It's my personal take on a very simple Italian dish which consists of pasta, olive oil & garlic. It's the perfect midnight snack too - you didn't hear this from me!

That being said, having a plateful of pasta with no veggies or protein in sight is really something I can't stand behind. So I've tweaked this recipe to balance things out but also to make it richer & keep you from being hungry ten minutes after you eat!


The key to balancing this dish is to add a few cherry tomatoes in each portion. It really brightens everything up and is the difference between a simple hearty dish and something you'll want to eat every week. So don't skip the tomato, whatever you do!


Makes 4 portions

1 lb of dry pasta, cooked
5-6 large leaves of chard or kale
20 cherry tomatoes, cut in four
1 chilli, sliced & seeded
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 C sunflower seeds
4 eggs
Olive oil
Salt & pepper


10 mins prep + 15 mins cooking

Grab a pot large enough to boil your pasta in and set it on high.
The minute it starts to boil, add your pasta and set the timer for the time indicated on the package.
Chop your chards, tomatoes, chili, parsley and garlic.
Divide everything into 4 stacks, one for each serving.
Drain your pasta & place the pot back onto the stove, over medium heat this time.
Add one pile of garlic & veggies to the pot along with some olive oil. 
When the garlic becomes fragrant and the greens have wilted ( about 2 minutes ) add one serving of pasta and mix quickly adding a bit more olive oil if neccessary.
Crack an egg right into the pasta and stir until the egg is set. 
Serve and repeat for the other portions.


Radish Green Pesto Pasta

All of the ingredients from this meal (short of the pasta) can be found at the farmer's market. I know that radish greens (the tops if you prefer) can be quite difficult to find in traditional grocery stores, but if you can't find them.. don't fret. You can always swap them out for arugula.

Radish tops have a very "green" taste to me and aren't bitter in any ways. They sort of remind me of freshly mowed grass on hot summer days. Lovely isn't it?

Oh, did I mention they're super good for you? Unlike their root counterpart, which are mostly water and have little nutritional value, the greens explode with vitamins. They have iron & calcium but they're superhero factor comes from the fact that they're loaded up with vitamin A & C. So if you have a summer sniffle, eat your radish greens!


Makes 4 portions

1 lb pasta
1 block tofu, grilled
1 head garlic, minced
1 t cumin
1 t paprika
1 bunch of radish greens, minced
1 bunch fresh basil
2 T nutritional yeast
1 lime, juiced
3 T olive oil
Salt & pepper 

Note: Don't have access to radish greens? No problem. Swap them out for arugula. It's just as divine!


10 min prep + 10 min cook

Start by getting your garlic & radish greens minced.
You can use a mortar & pestle at this point, or if you prefer you can pop everything into a food processor. 
Pour in your nutritional yeast, olive oil & lime juice to get a nice sauce going.
Once your sauce is ready, get your pasta cooked (typically 7-8 mins in boiling water should do the trick).
While that happens, quickly grill up some tofu with cumin & paprika.
Serve your pasta up with that grilled tofu and you're good to go!

Penne alla Parma Rosa

This sauce is a combination of two of my favourite pasta sauces. Alfredo + Marinara.

It's really luscious and somewhere beyond yummy closer to insanely good. It's also a really good "hide all". What I mean by this is you can easily load up your pasta with a TON of veg, but when covered with this sauce ever veg is a crowd pleaser.

It's also a fantastic way to get rid of any veg you may have sitting in the fridge that's no longer looking it's freshest! When you add them, however, be mindful of how long they take to cook. Put the harder veggies in first and soft ones life zucchini, last. 


makes 4 portions

1 lb short GF pasta
1 head garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped finely
1 t coconut oil
1 T olive oil
1 28 oz can diced tomato, crushed
Small handful of fresh basil or oregano
1 C coconut cream
1/2 C fresh parmesan (or nutritional yeast)
Fresh pepper & salt to taste
2-3 C of chopped left over veggies (I used broccoli, french beans & green chickpeas)


10 min prep + 15 min cook

Start with a large pan over medium-high heat with a bit of coconut oil.
Add in your onion & garlic. Stir well and wait for them to become transparent. 
Once this happens, add your crushed tomatoes.
Over the tomato, layer the basil or oregano, fresh pepper and salt.
Add your veggies on top of everything.
Cover without stirring and let it reduce for about 10 minutes.
While it's reducing, get your pasta going in a large pot over high heat (they should take 7 mins or so in boiling water).
Drain the pasta, transfer your sauce to you large pasta pot & add the coconut cream and parmesan. 
Mix well, then fold in the pasta & serve!