Kale, Pear and Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Well hello November!

I’ve never been one to herald the arrival of this dismal time of year, but this month we’ll transition into our Halifax home and I am filled with anticipation for that new chapter. I’ll be sharing more on our move soon (here’s a sneak peek at our lakeside cottage), but for now we need to talk about this salad I’ve been making on repeat.

Since the cooler weather has arrived, I’ve certainly been cooking more sheet pan dinners and slow cooker suppers, but I’m also embracing fall greens with gusto. It might be my favourite season for building a hearty salad, and as you will see, I like to pile just about everything on the plate.

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Autumn Apple and Kale Salad with Parmesan and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I know, I know, another kale recipe. It might seem as though my recent posts are all part of a calculated recipe flow that balances cheesecake brownies and maple-glazed pork chops with nourishing soups and salads, but there is no way I am that organized.

In truth, kale and herbs are the only greens thriving in my garden right now and the kale recipes are an honest example of how we are eating in November – simple, seasonal and featuring ingredients we have on hand.

This salad was born in the garden, on a sunny late morning last week…but wait, we have the photos to tell the story.

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Simple Lentil, Pumpkin and Kale Soup

After an inspiring, but exhausting weekend away at a food blogging conference in Toronto, I returned home to a bare refrigerator and a rather chilly kitchen.

My days in the city had been spent with dear friends who are also hard core foodies, eating around at various hotspots each afternoon and feasting far into the night at our private events.

While I highly recommend shops like Nugateau and Forno Cultura, and can’t wait to return to Bar Ravel, the weekend left me longing to cook something comforting over my own stove, but what to make from the pantry stores?

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Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon

It is my firm belief that many spring foods need to be just as hearty and filling as winter fare, at least for those of us with gardens to plant.

From turning the compost to prepping the ground for planting, hauling soil and rocks and clearing brambles, an afternoon of work on our homestead can leave me utterly famished. It’s on those days when a meal featuring bacon, gnocci and sour cream makes complete sense. I love my spring salads and soups, I DO, but I won’t say no to refuelling with fully loaded bowl of carbs.

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Kale Tabbouleh with Cucumber, Mint and Garlic Scapes

I never know which direction my summer salad obsession will take me until that first forkful.

Last summer it was the grilled green bean salad. I experimented with every possible variation from June through September, then I picked my favourite and added it to my upcoming cookbook. The summer before was a smoky grilled corn, red onion and bell pepper salad, served warm with plenty of torn basil.

This summer, it’s all about the tomato salad in every possible form. Paired with briny olives and salty feta in a tangy Greek salad, sliced with fresh mozzarella and basil in the Caprese, and married with watermelon and mint for a refreshing bite.

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