Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with a Beer Vinaigrette

Let your squash be merry! This delicious Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad will soak up the perfectly paired Beer Vinaigrette in no time. A great seasonal fall salad for a family dinner or large gathering.

I love getting together with friends and even better if we are all asked to bring a dish to share. This past Saturday an expert cocktail mixer friend invited 3 lush volunteers/friends over for a Gin Cocktail party. It’s a hobby but her cocktails are always off the hook. Well we were asked to bring a dish that would go with gin. A tall order!

I wanted to use one of the four gorgeous squashes I recently bought and fell on this recipe. If there is already booze in the vinaigrette is has to work with drinks, right? All 4 potent Gin cocktails were a hit, and so was this Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with a Beer Vinaigrette!

Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with a Beer Vinaigrette close-up

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2014 The Best Cheap Ethnic Eatz

It is almost time to ring in the New Year! 2015 is just around the corner and it is filled with wonderful opportunities and changes compared to 2014. Do you have a resolution this year?

The beginning of a new year is also a great time to reflect on what you have accomplished in the year that just passed. My personal list is filled with lots of good new things overall. This positive list includes the many recipes I have had the privilege to share with you. Here are the top 10 most viewed recipes of 2014:

Bahraini Chicken Machboos 2014

Bahraini Chicken Machboos

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Crunchy Colorful Thai Cabbage Salad & the 4th annual Food Film Marathon

Do you have a jar of coconut oil at home? If so, you are joining and ever growing crowd of fans of this most delicious and versatile oil. I bought my first jar a while back and I must admit at first I did not use it much. I just did not really know how to use it. But once I broke away from the ‘fear of the unknown’ I became addicted. If you are still hesitant as to howto incorporate this oil, or any coconut product, than I would suggest you check out The Complete Coconut Cookbook.

There are so many intriguing dishes and sweets to pick from in the cookbook but the Crunchy Colorful Thai Cabbage Salad recipe was the perfect dish to prepare for my 4th annual Food Film Marathon which took place this past weekend.

Thai Cabbage Salad

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Watercress Endive Salad with Walnuts and Vinaigrette

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a ‘host’ picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla. She picked a movie that is very dear to my heart: Le Festin de Babette, or translated to Babette’s Feast.

Since there is a very set menu in the movie the choice of what to make was limited. Well we do not have to make a recipe from the movie but it felt more à propos this time. My original idea fell through drastically (keep reading) so I ended up going with “la salade”. It may appear quite simple but my Watercress Endive Salad with Walnuts and Vinaigrette is actually quite lovely and elegant to the palate.

Watercress Endive Salad with Walnuts and Vinaigrette 1

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi and the Shogun sauce

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For some reason my title makes me think of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (rolls off the tongue the same way). But this post is not related and and I will be jumping from one topic to another. You are warned, just go with the flow hi hi.

I am so happy to share my second post and participation with a new monthly group I have discovered called Food ‘n Flix. Once a month a ‘host’ picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe. This month’s pick is hosted by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla. She picked a documentary style movie called Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Kraft going Ethnic with Sizzling Salads

I was recently asked to try out Kraft’s new Sizzling Salads collect. These packages contain each 1 dressing for the salad and 1 marinade for the meat. They are all four ethnic flavored:Greek, Asian, Southwest and Caesar. I was sent the first 3 to test. Let me take a break here and let you read Kraft’s “schpeel” on their Sizzling Salads….

Kraft is inspiring Canadians to turn over a new leaf and change the way they enjoy salads.  As a leading salad expert, Kraft is sharing its fresh thinking with delicious new ways to dress up your greens:  restaurant-inspired Kraft Sizzling Salads entrée salad kits are an innovative addition to the grocery aisle; pure Kraft Refrigerated Dressings offer unique recipes and premium ingredients; and the entire Kraft dressing line-up has been reinvented to offer only natural flavours.  Finally, your greens are getting the attention they deserve!

Available in the salad dressing aisle, each Kraft Sizzling Salads kit (SRP $4.29) perfectly pairs a cooking sauce for your chicken with a complementary dressing for your greens. Take your salad beyond a simple side with these delicious choices:

  • Kraft Asian Chicken Sizzling Salads kit pairs Teriyaki Ginger cooking sauce with Toasted Sesame Dressing
  • Kraft Chicken Caesar Sizzling Salads kit pairs Cracked Black Pepper Cooking Sauce with Classic Caesar Dressing
  • Kraft Southwest Chicken Sizzling Salads kit pairs Spicy Fajita Cooking Sauce with Barbecue Ranch Dressing
  • Kraft Greek Chicken Sizzling Salads kit pairs Lemon Oregano Cooking Sauce with Mediterranean Feta Dressing

That is all nice but are they any good?  To find out I put them to the test. There are of course suggested recipes for each pairing and I used one for inspiration but I took it wayyyy out of the comfort zone boundary. I knew I was making this for Sunday dinner and I happened to be in Chinatown on Saturday afternoon. I picked up a few unusual items for my version….

(Really) Asian Chicken Sizzling Salads
makes 2 servings of 2 cups each

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp oil
¼ cup Kraft Sizzling Salads Teriyaki Ginger Cooking Sauce
400 gr pre-cooked udon noodles package
6 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup shredded carrot, red cabbage, brocoli stem, leek (or what you like)
¼ cup Kraft Sizzling Salads Toasted Sesame Dressing
1 clementine, segmented
10 chestnuts, quartered
handful logans, shelled
4 lotus rootlets, diced
paper thin slivers of fresh ginger

  1. Marinate chicken breasts 30 min before cooking.
  2. In a pan heat 1/2 tsp oil and lightly cook the shredded veggies. Set aside in a bowl.
  3. Heat 1/2 tsp oil in pan and cook chicken completely (15-20 min)
  4. In the mean time arrange udon noodles on two plates and divide spinach over noodles.
  5. On top add the cooked shredded veggies.
  6. Pour dressing over salad.
  7. When chicken is ready remove from pan and cut into strips. Place cut chicken on top of salad.
  8. Arrange remaining ingredients decoratively on top, finishing with the ginger.

So how was the salad with the Kraft Sizzling Salads combo? Honestly, really really good. I thought the chicken had a wonderful flavor and found the dressing very tangy, tasty and refreshing. I have not tried the other two flavors yet but if they follow the quality of the Asian kit I would recommend it without hesitation. And how was my salad ingredient mix…awesome except for the logans.  They really had no business being there.  Hey its trial and error right?