side dish

Roasted Chili Lime Acorn Squash with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Dried Cranberries


Roasted acorn squash tossed in a chili, lime, and cilantro vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment to a fall or holiday meal. You can use any squash apart from spaghetti and butternut. Kabocha is another one of my favourites!


The Squash


serves 4-6

  • 2 acorn squash seeded and sliced into 1 inch thick slices
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. of tamari
  • 1/2 cup of toasted raw pumpkin seeds (toasted in a skillet over medium heat until browned)
  • 1/4 cup of fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and then scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Cut the squash into 1 in. thick slices.  On a large cookie sheet, toss the squash with the olive oil and tamari. Rearrange the squash so that it sits individually on the cookie sheet. Reserve the pumpkin seeds and cranberries to garnish.


Bake for about 30 min. flipping the squash half way through. It should browned on both sides and tender when pierced with a fork. While the squash bakes, prepare the dressing. (recipe follows)



The dressing:

  • 1/4 of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. pink himalayan salt
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.



To serve, toss the roasted squash with the vinaigrette. Serve on a platter topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries!




Avocado Toast with Olives, Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Dukkah

Once you have the dukkah made, this recipe makes for a satisfying breakfast or an accompaniment to a great bowl of soup! Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment which consists of nuts, seeds, and spices. You can find the Dukkah recipe under the Roasted Roots with Tahini Jasmine Green Tea sauce and Dukkah recipe! I used a dense sunflower rye bread as a base for the avocado, however; if you are gluten sensitive you can use your favourite gluten -free substitute or even a rice cake!





makes 2

  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 himalayan salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 slices of toasted bread of your choice or 2 rice cakes. ( I love the Lundberg tamari seaweed ones!)
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 6 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 3 Tbsp. of dukkah
  • extra chopped basil to garnish

Mix the salt, lemon, garlic, and chopped basil into the mashed avocado. Set aside.




Toast your bread. Spoon the avocado mixture onto your toast. Top with tomato, olives, extra chopped basil and a generous sprinkling of dukkah!

Quinoa Pomegranate Salad with Roasted Pecans

This protein rich salad jewelled with pomegranate seeds is perfect with a bowl of soup or as an accompaniment to a holiday meal.  This salad only takes half an hour to prepare once you learn the trick of whacking a cut open pomegranate with a wooden spoon to remove the arils!





serves 4-6

  • 11/2 cups of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp. of pink himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • arils from one or two pomegranates
  • 3/4 cup of roasted pecans, chopped coarsly *
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • lots of fresh cracked pepper


* To roast the pecans bake at 350 for 6-8 min. on a cookie sheet.

Combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and the 2 tsp. of salt in a small saucepan. Cooking the quinoa with the salt ensures that it is distributed evenly. Cover, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 min. Allow to sit for 10 min. before fluffing with a fork. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

The dressing:

Whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl. Toss the dressing with the warm quinoa in a medium sized bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To prep the pomegranate:

Score the outer skin of the pomegranate in 1/2 with a knife.



Pry it apart with your fingers and then gently pry each half apart slightly to loosen the arils.




Holding the pomegranate half over a bowl, whack the outside of it with wooden spoon. The arils will all pop out into the bowl!




Remove any little bits of the yellow membrane that may have fallen into the bowl as well.




Add the arils, roasted pecans, green onion, and parsley to the dressed, cooled quinoa.




Mix well and top with plenty of fresh cracked pepper!



Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts with Tempeh



This is a vegetarian friendly version of pan fried brussel sprouts with tamari sautéed Tempeh instead of pancetta!  I must admit that I am not ordinarily a big fan of brussel sprouts. In this dish they are caramelized to perfection with onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar and then tossed with crisp bacon like tempeh! A perfect vegetarian accompaniment to a holiday feast!



If you haven’t tried Tempeh before, it is it much like tofu in that it absorbs whatever flavours that you mix or marinate it with. Unlike Tofu, it is fermented and is much more easily digested by the body. It is usually found frozen and because it is fermented often appears a little mouldy on the surface. It is completely normal for Tempeh to have a dark mould on it.


  • one package of tempeh, thawed and sliced thinly



  • 6 tbsp. of olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. tamari
  • 1 pkg. of Tempeh, thawed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of brussel sprouts, cut in half and trimmed
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. himalayan pink salt or more to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit juice sweetened cranberries to garnish

Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a medium sized fry pan over medium high heat. Arrange the thinly sliced tempeh in the pan and drizzle the tamari over top. Saute until browned and slightly crisp on both sides. Feel free to add a little more tamari  as it cooks to make sure that the tempeh is well coated. Remove from the pan, cut into bite sized pieces, and set aside while you prepare the brussel sprouts.


Add the remaining olive oil to the pan over medium high heat. Add the brussel sprouts, onions, balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir every few minutes to make sure that the brussel sprouts brown on all sides.  This will take about 10 minutes. During the last few minutes add the minced garlic. Add more salt if desired but keep in mind that the tempeh bites are salty.

Add the tempeh to the pan along with the dried cranberries. Toss to combine. Serve topped with lots of fresh cracked pepper!



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