Browsing all articles tagged with autumn

Winter Squash, Tomato and Split Pea Stew

Tomato and Split Pea Stew

I spent the November long weekend in Jasper for the 25th anniversary of Christmas in November. The landscape was breathtaking, the company was amazing and the food was, well, extremely filling. After returning home to Calgary, I was a little hungry, but after having more than my fair share of rich dishes over the past few days, I opted for something a little healthier.

I had some meyer lemons and leftover tomato sauce in my fridge after whipping up a batch the week prior (similar to this recipe, sans-vodka and artichokes), so decided on making a simple vegetable-forward stew for dinner.

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Honey Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomato and White Bean Cassoulet

Roast Chicken and Cassoulet

Love it or hate it, the cold weather is upon us! Warming up during dinner has never felt so important, so best do it in a delicious way. This dish is easy to put together and when plated has a nice colour contrast (dare I say almost a Christmas colour palate?) making it look pretty damn nice too.

Toss any leftover cassoulet the next day with some extra chicken or vegetable stock you have lying around into a big pot with some chopped up root vegetables and you’ll have a nice, rich batch of soup to feed the masses for the rest of the week. Repurposing dinner is always a great thing!

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Smokey Tomato and White Bean Soup

What you’ll need…

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic

1 TBSP red curry paste

5 cups diced tomatoes

2 1/2 cups chicken stock (use veggie stock to stay vegan)

1 can white beans (drained)

1 1/2 cup zucchini squash (1/2″ cubed)

1 TBSP lapsang sougchung tea (finely ground)

2 TSP lemon juice

1 TSP white wine vinegar

salt and pepper

olive oil

sour cream (for garnish, optional)

Where the hell did all of this snow come from? The first few snowy days of the year are crappy to drive in, painstaking to walk in and, last but not least, mildly depressing. It’s that reminder that warm weather and sunshine is gone for the next five months. Yes, here in Calgary we do get a decent amount of Chinooks, but it’s going to be quite awhile before I dust off my shorts to wear again.

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Acorn Squash Guacamole

What you’ll need…

1 acorn squash (halved, seeds removed, approximately 2 1/2 cups)

1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed, finely chopped)

1 roma tomato (approximately 2/3 cup, diced)

2 tomatillos (approximately 1/2 cup, diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 red onion (finely diced)

1 TBSP lemon zest

1 TBSP lemon juice

2 TSP white wine vinegar

1 TSP chili powder

olive oil

salt and pepper

tortilla chips

sour cream (optional)

I learned something this week. Sometimes you can bastardize things and they still taste delicious. I’m sure Mexican cuisine purists would cry foul at this twist on guacamole, but I can guarantee its tastiness nonetheless. So, stop making that boring squash soup (although, it does always hit the spot on a fall day) and think outside of the box a bit.

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Summer Squash and Beer Bisque

What you’ll need…

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner

3 cups zucchini squash (1″ cubed)

1 cup rutabaga (peeled, 1” cubed)

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable to stay vegan)

1 TBSP grainy dijon mustard

2 TSP soy sauce

½ cup fresh basil (chiffonaded)

1 lemon (zested and juiced)

salt and pepper

olive oil

sour cream (garnish, optional)

When I think ‘back to school’, I think ‘zucchini’ and ‘beer’. Zucchini squash because there are approximately fourteen million of them available at any grocery store or neighbour’s backyard at this time of year. Beer because, well, university life is usually synonymous with beer.

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Coconut Lime Parsnip Bisque with Cilantro Drizzle

What you’ll need…


2 yellow onions (chopped)

3 cloves garlic

2 TSP white sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice

5 parsnips (peeled, 1″ chopped, approximately 3 cups)

1 13.5oz can coconut milk

1 lemon grass stalk (segmented)

1 3″ ginger root (halved)

2 cups chicken stock (or veggie to keep vegan)

1 TBSP white wine vinegar

1 lime (zest and juice)

salt and pepper

olive oil


1 bunch cilantro (loosely chopped)

1 lemon (zest and juice)

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper

As far as root vegetables go, parsnips are overlooked, underused and, let’s not beat around the bush here, forgotten. Well…similar Occupy Calgary protesters, I decided to let parsnips occupy my kitchen this week. However, instead of pitching tents, making signs and refusing to leave Olympic Plaza, err….my house…They decided to jump into a soup pot! Now, that was an easy fix!

Jokes aside, this soup puts parsnips in the much-deserved limelight. Next time you’re at the grocery store, I want you to look carrots in the eye and say: ‘Sorry carrots, I’m with parsnips now.’ Love hurts.

Place the chopped onions and garlic into a medium-sized pot. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle in the sugar, stir and let cook on medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Now, pour in the pineapple juice and let the mixture continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about another 5 minutes. Toss in (recklessly) the parsnips, stir and let cook for (you guessed it!) another five minutes.

Next, add the chicken stock, coconut milk, lemon grass, ginger, vinegar and lime to the pot. Reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 25 minutes. Be sure to leave the lemon grass and ginger in large chunks, as you will need to pull them out prior to pureeing the soup!

In the simmering interim, we can quickly make the ‘drizzle’ (doesn’t that sound so fancy?). Place ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. This is more for looks and also a bit of tang for the soup, but add some salt and pepper to taste, just to round things out. Pour the vibrant green liquid into a small bowl and set aside for now.

Once the soup has simmered for the appropriate length of time, remove the chunks of ginger and the lemon grass stalks. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it has a velvety smooth texture. Barring the immersion blender, pour the soup into a blender or food processor to get the job done. Return the smooth soup to the pot, have a taste, salt and pepper it as needed, then let it sit on low heat until you’re ready to serve.

When it’s time to dish it out, ladle out the soup and top with some of the cilantro drizzle. I feel as though some simple seared scalloped would go well with this soup, so maybe give that a whirl if you’re feeling ambitious.

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…45 min

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