Roasted Pumpkin and Green Bean Quinoa Salad in Thai Peanut Dressing

Roasted Pumpkin and Green Bean Quinoa Salad in Thai Peanut Dressing
It's time for another pumpkin recipe and this time we've got a roasted pumpkin and green bean quinoa salad in a tasty Thai peanut dressing. Quinoa makes for both a nice addition to a salad and a great base for salads and if you are using it as a base for a salad all you really need to do is add some veggies, like pumpkin, along with a dressing and you're done! In addition to the pumpkin I added green beans (which I blanched rather than roasted to retain their bright green colour and crispy crunch) and red peppers along with some green onions and cilantro. The pumpkin and Thai peanut sauce combo is a fabulous one, and the inspiration for this salad, so a dressing based on it was a must! Although it's not required, I like to serve this salad on a bed of baby spinach, just to get some more veggie goodness!

Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce

Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce
Everyone loves a quick, easy and tasty chicken dish and this chicken in a creamy parmesan and sundried tomato sauce fits the bill perfectly coming together in less than 30 minutes. This recipe could not be easier, you simply cook the chicken in the pan and then make the sauce in the same pan! The sauce is pretty simple and yet packed with flavour from the sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan and it is made in a base of chicken broth and cream. This chicken in a creamy parmesan and sundried tomato sauce is great by itself or served over rice, quinoa, etc. or you could even slice the chicken up and toss it and the sauce into a pasta like fettuccine.

Pumpkin and Chicken Tagine

Pumpkin and Chicken Tagine
I certainly have been enjoying pumpkin season and while they are here I squeezed in another recipe, this pumpkin and chicken tagine (a Moroccan style stew). One of the signatures of a tagine dish is all of the multitude of flavours that meld together perfectly and these flavours come from the use of many spices and other ingredients; but don't let the long list of ingredients daunt you, it's actually a really easy dish to make and well worth it! I was going for a Fall theme with stew so I added some apples to the pumpkin and they complement the pumpkin nicely without overpowering it. There are usually plenty of spices in a tagine and they vary from dish to dish and for this one I went with more of a pumpkin pie spice blend with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Tagines also commonly include dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, etc and for this fall themed tagine I went with dried cranberries. The final touch of fall comes from the pomegranate garnish which accompanies the almonds, cilantro and yogurt. This pumpkin and chicken tagine truly does taste like a wonderful melody of fall in your mouth and it is perfect comfort food for these cooling days!

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup
One of my favourite ways to enjoy pumpkin has to be in this tasty Thai pumpkin soup that literally comes together in less than 15 minutes! I first posted this recipe a few years ago so the photo was a bit dated and with all of the fresh pumpkins around it was the perfect opportunity to update the photos along with the recipe! This recipe really only has the four main ingredients, the red curry paste, broth, coconut milk and pumpkin puree along with some seasonings including fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. These seasonings are there to create a perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour along with the spicy aspect from the curry paste itself! Canned pumpkin puree is really convenient for this soup (and it allows you to make it year round) but you can also use homemade pumpkin puree or even raw pumpkin where you would simply add diced pumpkin to the broth and coconut milk and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. This soup works both as a starter or side and as a meal and you can easily add things like chicken, noodles, tofu, veggies, etc. The next time you are thinking about making soup, don't reach for the canned stuff, this soup only takes a few minutes more and it is so much better!

Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust
I have really been enjoying the cauliflower and mushroom combo lately, especially if they are roasted, and I thought that it was about time that I used them in a breakfast dish and a quiche is the perfect way to do it! I wanted to keep things on the lighter and healthier side so I started out with a quinoa crust, which is easy to make, you simply mix an egg and possibly some cheese into the cooked quinoa, press it into a pie plate and pre-bake it before filling it and baking it again. From there I roasted the cauliflower and mushrooms and added the usual quiche suspects, eggs and cream, along with some goat cheese, since a quiche just isn't a quiche without cheese! (Aged white cheddar or blue cheese would also be amazing in this quiche!) The cauliflower and mushroom combo works amazingly well in this quiche and now I can enjoy my favourite combo for breakfast lunch and dinner!

Pesto Zucchini and Corn Quinoa Salad

Pesto Zucchini and Corn Quinoa Salad
Although fall is officially here and the days are cooling, there is still plenty of zucchini around and I wanted to give summer one last hurrah with this zucchini and corn quinoa salad with a basil pesto dressing. This salad is as easy as it sounds with the quinoa, sautéed zucchini and corn, the basil pesto dressing and I like to add some chickpeas to fill it out a bit along with some green onions and toasted pine nuts as garnish. Really all you need to do is cook the quinoa, zucchini and corn and mix everything and you are done! This pesto zucchini and corn quinoa salad makes for a great side or even a light meal and it's sure to brighten your day!

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Double Smoked Bacon

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Double Smoked Bacon
It's time for another side dish and this time it's one using one of my favourite fall green vegetables, brussels sprouts, in a parmesan roasted brussels sprouts dish. Ever since I discovered just how magical roasted brussels sprouts are I try to roast them every chance I get! Roasting the brussels sprouts brings out their flavour, mellows the slight bitterness and caramelizes the edges and those caramelized bits are the best part! This roasted brussels sprouts dish could not be easier to make, you simply slice or quarter the brussels sprouts (I prefer to slice so that there is more surface area to caramelize but quartering is quicker.), toss them in some oil along with chopped garlic, roast them, sprinkle on the parmesan and return them to the oven until the parmesan is all melted and good. Given my bacon addiction and how well bacon and brussels sprouts go together I almost always add bacon and a touch of lemon zest brightens things up a bit! In addition to being super easy to make, you can do most of the prep work a few days ahead of time and even roast the brussels sprout a few hours early and return them to the oven briefly to warm when ready to serve so this side dish is perfect for large meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner!

Eggplant Parmesan Boats

Eggplant Parmesan Boats
With all of the stuffing that has been going on with the stuffed zucchini and stuffed spaghetti squash it was time that eggplant got stuffed and what better way to start than with stuffed eggplant parmesan! It seemed only natural to stuff eggplant with the flavours of a dish that eggplant is normally used in and this eggplant parmesan boat recipe, adapted from Skinny Taste, is super easy to make and packed with flavour. You pretty much just need to hollow out the eggplant, roast it, cook the sausage along with the eggplant that was scooped out before adding the marinara sauce, stuffing the eggplant, topping it with cheese and baking it until the cheese melts. Stuffing vegetables is always fun and this stuffed eggplant parmesan is a new favourite! I can't wait to see what else I can stuff eggplant with!

Spinach and Feta Mashed Cauliflower

Spinach and Feta Mashed Cauliflower
I know I seem to say this a lot but I can't believe that it is fall already and what's more is that this weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving already! With that in mind I just had to share some Thanksgiving recipe ideas and since creative side dishes are what I enjoy most about a Thanksgiving feast I started with this spinach and feta mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower is a healthy and light alternative to mashed potatoes and when you jazz them up with things like spinach and feta they become an absolute delight that could easily outshine the main on your dinner plate. The flavours in this mashed cauliflower are based on spanakopita a Greek spinach and feta phyllo pie with fresh herbs like dill and green onions. Normally mashed potatoes are made nice and creamy with the addition of heavy/whipping cream and/or sour cream, cream cheese and loads of butter but I went with creamy Greek style yogurt and a touch of butter to keep things lighter. Whether you are serving this spinach and feta mashed cauliflower at a Thanksgiving dinner or just any old weeknight dinner, they are super quick and easy and just packed with flavour!

Creamy Parmesan Tomato and Spinach Tortellini Soup

Creamy Parmesan Tomato and Spinach Tortellini Soup
With the cooling fall weather I have been thinking about soups a lot more and I started this years soup season off with this comforting creamy parmesan tomato and spinach cheese tortellini soup. This tasty soup is super easy to make and it only takes about 30 minutes so it is perfect for busy weeknight meals! You basically just need to cook the onions and garlic, add the broth, tomatoes and tortellini and simmer until the tortellini is cooked before adding the spinach and parmesan cheese. (I like to add some fresh basil at the end but this is completely optional.) With the cheese tortellini this soup is hearty enough to eat as a meal and it is perfect for those chilly nights when you just want something quick, easy, tasty and comforting!