Sweet and Salty Squash Seeds

Waste not, Want not, who made up this saying? I always like to use all of the parts of a food but this saying just makes it seem like such a chore.
These seeds were no chore at all, and turned out to be a perfect sweet and salty little treat. Perfect for snacking.

First I soaked the seeds from a winter amber squash in a brine of equal parts salt, brown sugar and about an 1/8th of pepper or cayenne, or whatever form of spice you prefer, I used a Chinese red pepper and it turned out awesome. I soaked them for a few hours, I cook very casually, but you should aim for 2 -4 hours.

Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 - 60 minutes, mine took a full hour but sometimes it can take less, you should watch them fairly carefully as they could burn quickly. Also don't forget to give them a turn half way through.

Here's a before, they look all soppy and wet but full of potential:

And after; crisp, brown and delicious:

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Such a delicious departure from your average salsa.
This dish is rich in protein and fibre, it can be eaten as a salad,
or with chips and veggies as a salsa!


1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Corn
1 Medium Bell Pepper
1 Medium Tomato
4 Green Onions
Big bunch of Cilantro

3/4 C Salsa
1/2 of the Juice from the Corn
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt & Pepper

Rinse the beans really well, add them and the corn to a largish bowl, save the juice from the corn for later. Chop the Bell Pepper (I used red, choose your fave) and the tomato fairly small. You want all off the vegetables to be roughly the same size and the corn and beans are definitely on the small side - don't stress out about this but if you do want to dip it on a chip you'll want to get all of the yummy bits on there! This goes for the green onions too, I use the whole thing, green and white, you could easily substitute red onion but my boyfriend doesn't appreciate them as much as I do so I decided to please him this time with the green.

Mix up the ingredients for the dressing and add to the salad, mix it all up and add as much cilantro as you like.

Serve with chips or as a side salad and enjoy!!

Coconut Squash Dipping Sauce

I am totally digging the coconut! I just made the coconut marinaded chicken again, although this time I slowly poached it in the the marinate and then broiled it to add some color - it wasn't as tender after the broiling. The true success tonight, however; was this absolutely fabulous creamy and rich Coconut Squash Dipping Sauce.

Here is what I have decided to dip-d-do the chicken into:

Half a Can of Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup of Roasted Squash
2 Tablespoons of Shredded Coconut
A 1 cm slice of Ginger
Salt & Pepper

Add the all of the ingredients to a saucepan and allow them to get to know each other. After it simmers for about 3 minutes remove the ginger and buzz it all together with an immersion blender. Go on give it a taste. Its an amazing winter pick me up. Just the right blend of cozy veg and Caribbean flair. I topped it with roasted squash seeds that turned out so yummy I'm including the recipe separately.

Nutritional Note:
Winter squash is outrageously high in Vitamin A and has been known to support optimum overall health, but particularly lung health. Also as it is harvested late in the season it has the opportunity to develop its nutrients for a longer period of time creating a healthy and delicious heath boost! Also to make the sauce a little less calorific as the coconut milk can sneak them in: use a light coconut milk!

Oh and here's how the Coconut Marinade looks after a good hot tub!

And here's how I served it, with a corn and bean salad, some avocado and a few chips, this makes a great dinner, lunch, or in a smaller portion a snack. Have a look...

Coconut Marinated Chicken Skewers

Mmmmm.. Coconut Milk!

What could make chicken better then coconut milk, lime and cilantro?

Just look at it, so tender and juicy! Here goes-

2 Chicken breasts cut into think strips
1/2 Can Coconut Milk
Zest of 2 Limes
Big Handful of Cilantro

Put all of this into a baggy and let it chill out in the fridge for a few hours. I did it the night before so it was nearly 24 this is why I didn't add the lime juice or the salt as these can change the texture of meat if they get friendly for 2 long in a marinade.

I let the whole breasts marinade but it would have been easier to slice them before hand. Honestly I have never thought that raw chicken was very appealing but this carcass is delicious looking!

When I was ready for dinner I just put the chicken on skewers and bar-b-qued them. While that was on the grill, I roasted some broccoli with a little sesame oil, salt and pepper. The Bar B Q actually took a little longer then expected because it was - 10 and snowing outside, very strange for Vancouver Island!

I topped the Broccoli with sesame seeds and added more cilantro, chopped peanuts and a few squeezes of lime juice to the chicken. It was ridiculously tender- I made sure to cook it just through so it was still juicy- Seriously make this chicken as soon as you can. You will love it!

Get on the Juice!

Recently, I bought a juicer - the best thing ever! - and decided to break it in with a juice fast.
I juiced for nearly 2 hours straight, the juicer wasn't very happy but I was. I drank only juice for 4 days and had more energy then I knew what to do with. I was surprised no hunger, just sheer energy. I could barely sit still which led to my boyfriend making jokes about me being 'on the juice'.
The sky really is the limit when juicing, here is a recipe that I really liked:

Apple and Carrot

4 Apples
4 Carrots
1 Inch of Ginger
1 Whole Lemon

I found the lemon made it really smooth, also refrigerating helped to simmer down the foamy top that always forms on the top.

Mmmm... Dippy Dips!

One of my favourite dips is Baba Ganooj, I tried it the first time because the recipe looked so simple but now have created my own version. It is so easy, delicious and healthy, I even used it last thanksgiving and my guy friends had no idea it was so good for them. One even asked for the recipe! I'm sure he was to 'cheerful' to remember. And by cheerful... I mean drunk!

The Recipe is so simple! Here it is:

1 Large Eggplant
1 Yellow Onion
1 Head of Garlic
Half a Lemon
Salt & Pepper

Roast the Eggplant, Onion and Garlic in a 350 degree oven until lightly brown and soft (I love roasted veggies!) I ususally roast them whole then remove from the less attactive skin and pop it all into a food processor, whiz it up and give it a taste. Add your preference of salt and pepper and enough of the squeezed lemon juice to liven up the party.

I usually ganish with some lemon zest and serve with veggies and pita. It really isn't very pretty but it makes up for it in taste!

Here is another dip that I made while the food processor was out!
I call it Left Over Lunch Dip, because thats what it was, my left over lunch all whizzed up!

I just added equal parts cottage cheese and tomatoes with a big handful of fresh basil. Season with Salt, Pepper, and a little garlic if you like it spiced up! Serve with crostinis or crackers, even you won't remember that it was leftovers! The flavour is so fresh because of the tomatoes! mmmm!!