Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic Cashew Butter

If you’ve been serving regular ol’ mashed potatoes every Thanksgiving for the past decade, we think it’s time you kicked things up a notch with smashed fingerling potatoes! Paired perfectly with fresh thyme and a dollop of our creamy roasted garlic cashew butter, wow your family and friends with this tasty new side dish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 6

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Ingredients:

Roasted Garlic Cashew Butter:
¾ cup raw whole cashews (soaked for 3 hours)
1 garlic bulb (roasted with 1 tsp olive oil + pinch sea salt)
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp sea salt

Smashed Potatoes:
6-7 cups fingerling potatoes (approximately 30)
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme + extra sprigs for garnish
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

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Directions:
1. To roast the garlic bulb, pre-heat oven to 450°F. Trim about a ¼” off the top of the bulb to expose the cloves. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes until roasted and soft on the inside.
2. Rinse and drain soaked cashews. Add to a high-powered blender with roasted cloves of garlic, water, coconut oil and sea salt. Blend until very smooth and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
3. Toss whole fingerling potatoes in 1 Tbsp olive oil, fresh thyme, sea salt and ground pepper. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 450°F for 20 minutes.
4. Smash the whole potatoes with a fork to break open the skin. Drizzle with another 2 tsp olive oil and place whole thyme sprigs on top so they can crisp up as well. Bake again for another 10-12 minutes until crispy.
5. Serve immediately with a dollop roasted garlic cashew butter on each potato.

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Vegan Roasted Cauliflower and Caper Salad

By Janet Malowany

Paradoxically, when I began to eat a vegan diet, restricted to non-animal food products, I found myself with more food options. I wanted to try so many new foods. Instead of recreating meat-centric dishes, I explored naturally vegetarian ones from around the globe. Living in Canada, with its multicultural population, meant I had easy access to international ingredients and that is how this salad was born.

If you think you don’t like cauliflower, I urge you to try it simply roasted with salt and pepper. I could easily eat a whole head of cauliflower this way. Fried capers were revolutionary in my kitchen. Perhaps most reminiscent of crusty bacon bits, brined capers explode into crusty flowers at the touch of hot oil. They contrast nicely with pickled currants. Together, they round out this autumn salad of roasted cauliflower, creamy avocado and your favourite leafy greens.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants, Courtesy of Janet Malowany, tastespace.wordpress.com, Toronto 
An unusual ingredient, fried capers will bring an explosion of flavour to your mouth!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil (or other cooking oil)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
3 tbsp (45 mL) dried currants
2 tbsp (30 mL) capers, soaked in water for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained
Coconut oil
8 cups (2 L) mixed greens
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
2. In large bowl, toss cauliflower florets with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets and roast for 40 minutes, stirring half-way through, until tender.
3. Meanwhile, in small skillet over medium heat, toast almonds, being careful not to burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. In small bowl, pour white wine vinegar over currants. Set aside.
5. Using paper towel, dry capers thoroughly.
6. In small skillet over high heat, melt enough coconut oil to coat bottom of pan. Carefully add capers to skillet, taking care not to be spattered with hot oil. Fry capers, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove capers to paper towel–lined plate.
7. To serve, top mixed greens with roasted cauliflower, toasted almonds, currants, capers and sliced avocados.

Click here to print, save or share this Roasted Cauliflower Salad recipe.

TheTasteSpace
My name is Janet Malowany; I’m a doctor by day and amateur chef by night. I love creating healthy, delicious foods. In March 2011, I adopted a whole-food vegan diet without refined sugars or flours, and I haven’t looked back. The Taste Space is where I share my favourite recipes.

Not Your Average Cornbread

By Regina Braun

Marrying my husband introduced me to a range of South American food traditions. One of the dishes my mother-in-law prepares is Sopa Paraguaya, and it quickly became my favourite.

Despite the name—sopa—there’s no soup at all! The best way to describe it is deluxe cornbread filled with salty cheese and flavourful sautéed onions. The first time I had it was as a side dish with dinner and I absolutely loved it. I enjoy leftover Sopa Paraguaya as a snack pretty much any time of day.

It wasn’t until after my first visit to Paraguay that I set out to make Sopa Paraguaya myself. During the time my husband and I spent in his birth country, we bought Sopa Paraguaya at the bus depot to tide us over through long trips across the country. Alongside empanadas, Sopa Paraguaya was the snack of choice for us and locals alike.

Paraguayans use a salted farmer’s cheese to make this cornbread. With guidance from my mother-in-law, I created my version, which uses a combination of grated mild cheese and cottage cheese as a substitute.

Sopa Paraguaya: Cheese and Onion Cornbread, Courtesy of Regina Braun, leelalicious.com, Calgary, AB

This zesty and satisfying bread from Paraguay makes a great side dish, snack or on-the-go breakfast.

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Yield: one 8-inch (2 L) square pan, or 16 servings

Ingredients
¼ cup (50 mL) butter
1 large onion, sliced
3½ oz (100 g) mild cheese, shredded
1 cup (250 mL) cottage cheese
1 cup (250 mL) milk
5 eggs, beaten
2 cups (500 mL) cornmeal
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC). Line 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese (it will melt), cottage cheese, milk and eggs.
4. Sprinkle cornmeal, salt and baking powder over cheese mixture; stir to combine.
5. Scrape batter into baking dish. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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Leelalicious
I am a busy mom of one little girl who is already a great eater and future kitchen helper. On my blog, Leelalicious, I like to share nutritious and delicious recipes for the entire family!

Crunchy Nut and Quinoa Snack Bars

By Trina Gallop Bank

I admit it. I’m a snack-a-holic.

I cannot make it to dinner without an afternoon snack, and these bars were developed to steer those snack-attacks in a healthier direction. I had just started seeing a nutritionist who advised me to not only pre-plan my main meals but also snacks. Great idea!

I love these bars because they include some of my favourite things – healthy nuts and a good dose of protein from the quinoa – and they’re crunchy! They make a perfect travel snack, and they’re filling, too.

You can also tailor this recipe quite easily. Depending on what you have in your pantry (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, dark chocolate chunks or dried fruit, such as apricots or blueberries) you can alter it to address any craving and snack-attack.

Quinoa Oatmeal Bars, Courtesy of Trina Gallop Bank, willcookforshoes.com, Winnipeg

These nutty and seedy squares make terrific after-school snacks.

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Prep time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 9 generous squares

Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup (250 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup (175 mL) almonds (chopped or slivered)
1/2 cup (125 mL) natural peanut butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup (125 mL) hemp hearts

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line 12×8 pan with parchment paper.
2. Add quinoa, oatmeal and almonds to baking dish; stir to combine. Toast in oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is just starting to turn brown, being careful not to overcook. Let cool.
3. In large bowl, briefly microwave peanut butter and honey, until liquid enough to combine easily. Stir in canola oil and cinnamon. Add quinoa mixture and hemp hearts to peanut butter mixture; stir until combined.
4. Scrape batter into parchment paper–lined baking pan, spreading evenly. It won’t be very thick but that’s OK.
5. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool; cut into squares.

If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, make sure you use rolled oats that are certified gluten free.

Jump over here to print, save or share this Quinoa Oatmeal Bars recipe.

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Will Cook for Shoes
I am a shoe lover, cake baker, sewing enthusiast, knitting wannabe, pet photographer, basset hound wrangler, half-marathon runner…and yes, I will cook for shoes!

Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie Sweetened with Dates

By Megan Band

Every summer we would spend a week or two with my grandparents in Ottawa. My grandma introduced me to banana milkshakes, and turned me into a massive milkshake lover. Back then I really didn’t care what type of ingredients went into the milkshakes, they were just “Nan’s Banana Milkshakes” – made with bananas, vanilla ice cream and milk. Simple, yet so delicious.

Today, I’m more mindful of what ingredients go into my milkshakes – now considered smoothies. My Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Smoothie is the perfect on-the-go breakfast for kids and adults alike: it’s free from refined sugars (it’s sweetened with dates) and it’s filled with whole grains, healthy fats and of course bananas, in honour of my Nan. It has the texture of a delicious milkshake – your kids won’t suspect it’s healthy one bit!

Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Smoothie, Courtesy of Megan Band, straightfromthejar.com, Val Caron, Ont.

All the flavour and texture of a traditional milkshake, made with healthy ingredients you can enjoy at breakfast.

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Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
3 pitted dates
1½ cups (375 mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
¼ cup (50 mL) rolled oats
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp (15 mL) peanut butter
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

Directions
1. In small bowl, cover dates with warm water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain.
2. In blender jug, combine dates, almond milk, ice, rolled oats, banana, peanut butter and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
3. If desired, garnish with additional peanut butter and cinnamon before serving.

Click here to print, save or share this Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie recipe.

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Straight From The Jar
Hi there! My name is Megan and I am the healthy food blogger behind Straight From The Jar. I started SFTJ to document and share my love for healthy, whole foods and eating them from Mason jars!

Slow Cooker Recipe: Soft and Sweet Squash Cornbread

By Kelly Kwok

When I was growing up, there were regular family gatherings at our house. We had a large extended family that lived close by, so they would come over every other weekend for dinner.

On one particular occasion, my new aunt brought over a tray of the most delicious cornbread I had ever tasted. She said it was her mom’s famous family recipe. It received rave reviews from all of us and from then on, she always brought extra servings of this cornbread to every gathering.

When I was old enough to learn how to bake on my own, I immediately asked my aunt for the recipe. She happily wrote it down for me and explained that the buttermilk was what gave the cornbread its soft and tender crumb. Now that I make cornbread for my own family, I always like to sneak in a little bit of puréed vegetables. It adds a healthy dose of sweetness along with moisture.

Making it in the slow cooker frees up the oven so that you can bake a pie or roast some vegetables at the same time. This cornbread goes well with a bowl of chili or a roasted chicken dinner.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Cornbread, Courtesy of Kelly Kwok, lifemadesweeter.com, Niagara Falls, Ont.

Slow cookers are wonderful for multi-course meals because you can prep one dish, like this cornbread recipe, and move on to making more complex dishes while it’s cooking.
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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) cornmeal
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1/3 cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp (45 mL) of honey (or 3/4 cup/175 mL granulated sugar, for an even sweeter cornbread)
1 large egg
2/3 cup (150 mL) cooked butternut squash purée
3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions
1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In large bowl, whisk melted butter with honey. Whisk in egg. Whisk in butternut squash, then milk.
4. Slowly add flour mixture to squash mixture and stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix – it is okay to see a small amount of flour.
5. Pour batter into foil-lined slow cooker and spreading evenly with offset spatula. Cover with lid.
6. Cook on low for 2½ to 3½ hours or on high for 1 to 1½ hours, or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. (Cooking time may vary.)
7. Using foil as handles, lift cornbread from slow cooker and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with chili, honey or your favourite buttery spread.

Tip: If you want your bread sweeter, feel free to add more honey, or an additional 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Alternatively, if you like a less sweet cornbread, reduce or omit the honey.

Tip: Cornbread is best enjoyed the same day, but it will remain soft for two days. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container overnight.

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LifeMadeSweeter
A food blog sharing family favourite recipes with a creative twist, along with a mix of healthy and sweet treats in between.

Fast Family Dinner: Fried Rice With Bacon

By Katherine Chong

Fried rice is one of those super versatile dishes you can whip up on any weeknight and it works especially well with leftover rice. Sometimes my much younger cousins, ages 8 and 11, come over for dinner. This is my go-to recipe for them—they can be picky eaters and getting them to eat what’s good for them can be difficult. However, I’ve found that mixing bacon with kimchi in fried rice appeals to both kids and adults.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is packed with kid-approved flavour, it’s flexible and it’s super quick to prepare. Both the rice and the bacon can be prepared ahead of time, to make the actual dinner itself super quick. After you’ve left work and picked up the kids, just 10 minutes in the wok or pan gets dinner on the table.

Bacon-Kimchi Fried Rice, Courtesy of Katherine Chong, piqueyeater.com, Toronto

Kid-approved and made in minutes, this satisfying fried rice recipe is perfect for weeknights.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients
8 pieces low-sodium bacon (or turkey bacon)
4 cups (1 L) leftover cooked rice
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups (500 mL) frozen vegetables (of your choice)
1 cup (250 mL) kimchi, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp + 1½ tsp (22 mL) kimchi juice
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped green onion, divided

Instructions
1. Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces. Fry in wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until cooked but not crispy. Remove bacon from pan and drain off half the bacon fat.
2. Add leftover rice to skillet and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat.
3. Once rice is reheated, about 5 minutes, pour eggs into skillet and cook, tossing, until mixture begins to set.
4. Stir in frozen vegetables, kimchi, soy sauce, reserved kimchi juice, 2 tbsp (30 mL) green onions and reserved bacon. Cook, tossing, until heated through.
5. Top with remaining green onion just before serving.

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The Piquey Eater
As a fourth-generation Chinese-Canadian, marrying the two cultures in the kitchen is a very important part of my life and something I write about on my blog. I’m also an adventurer, exploring other cuisines and cultures in the mosaic city of Toronto.

SpicedAppleCheesecake

A Savoury Apple Cheesecake to Finish Any Meal

By Shayna Murray

We grow a lot of really great things here in the prairies. We have fields full of lentils, oats and wheat and the most amazing Saskatoon berries. But we aren’t known for our apple orchards. Right on the top of my culinary bucket list is to head either east or west and pick myself baskets and baskets of fresh apples, right off the tree. In the meantime, we are fortunate enough here to have an ample supply of delicious apples from across the country.

Apples are amazing to cook with, and easy to incorporate into sweet or savoury dishes. Nothing (except maybe pumpkins) says fall quite like apples. Sweet or tart, juicy and crisp – I think every cook loves working with apples.

Spiced Apple Cheesecake, Courtesy of Shayna Murray, MommyOutsideTheBox.ca, Regina

While any kind of apple will do, opt for Novaspy apples if you’d like your cheesecake to have a good balance of sweetness and acidity.

SpicedAppleCheesecake

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Yields: 1 pie

Ingredients
Crust
½ cup (125 mL) graham cracker crumbs
½ cup (125 mL) gingersnap crumbs
½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
¼ cup (50 mL) butter or margarine, melted

Filling
3 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese
½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) apple juice
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
3 eggs

Apple Topping
3 apples, sliced 1/4 (5 mm) thick
¼ cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
1 cup (250 mL) apple juice
2 Tbsp (15 mL) butter
¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
Brown sugar

Directions
Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Spray a 9-inch (2.5 L) springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, gingersnap crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter and mix well.
3. Scrape crumb mixture into pan, pressing firmly against bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes; set aside to cool.

Filling
1. In large bowl with electric beaters, or using stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
2. Beat in sugar. Add apple juice, salt and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
4. Scrape cream cheese mixture over crust. Wrap bottom of pan tightly in tin foil and set in a larger pan or roaster. Add hot tap water to larger pan until it reaches about halfway up side of springform pan.
5. Bake for 40 minutes.

Apple Topping
1. Meanwhile, toss apple slices with granulated sugar.
2. In medium saucepan, bring apple juice to boil over medium-high heat. Add apples; simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off and apples are just tender.
3. Add butter and cinnamon to apple mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, until caramelized and no liquid remains. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
4. After 40 minutes, check cheesecake for doneness. It should be mostly set and able to support apple topping. (If not set, bake another 10 minutes and check again.)
5. Carefully scoop apple topping onto cheesecake. Sprinkle with brown sugar and return to oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes.
6. Turn off the oven and prop door open. Leave the cheesecake to sit in hot water bath for 1 hour. before removing from oven.
7. Gently run knife or metal spatula around edge of cheesecake to loosen it from side of pan. Do not remove side from pan.
8. Allow cheesecake to cool at least 2 hours before removing from pan.
9. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before cutting and serving.

MommyOutsideTheBox
Shayna Murray is married and mother to an exhausting but adorable five-year-old girl. She works outside the home, blogs, and is always cooking and doing her best to balance it all.

9 Simple Ways to Use Leftover Canned Pumpkin

You’ve made your pumpkin pie, but you’re left with a cup or so of pumpkin purée at the bottom of the can. So what can you do with it? Check out these easy and delicious ways to use this nutritious and versatile ingredient.

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1. Waffles or Pancakes
Add the purée to your pancake or waffle batter along with a pinch of cinnamon for a delicious autumn breakfast treat. Try this recipe for Sweet Potato Waffles and simply swap the sweet potato for pumpkin.

2. Pumpkin Pasta
If you enjoy making pasta from scratch, pumpkin purée can replace some of the liquid in your recipe. Toss it in with the pasta after cooking with butter or olive oil, caramelized onion, sage and Parmesan.

3. “Pupcakes”
When you need to show your dogs some love, try making them some  pumpkin “pupcakes” — just add some pumpkin purée to your favourite “pupcakes” or even puppy dog biscuits.

4. Pumpkin Soup
This is an easy one! This beautiful soup is hearty and comforting — with just a touch of spice. It’s the perfect anecdote to over eating during the holidays.

5. Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares
These beautiful, tasty treats are easier to make than a full cheesecake, but just as satisfying! They’re full of colour, flavour and would be a great addition to any holiday dinner table.

6. Pumpkin BBQ Sauce
Pumpkin is a perfect consistency for sauces, and adds depth of flavour and sweetness without having to use sugar.

7. Pumpkin Maple “Butter”
Looking for an alternative to jam? Simmer pumpkin purée with a hint of maple syrup and cinnamon until it’s a spreadable consistency. It tastes great on a toasted cinnamon bagel!

8. Pumpkin Onion Dip
All you need to do is add the purée with some caramelized onions and a pinch of chili powder for a healthy, colourful dip.

9. Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
Need I say more? These fragrant, spiced doughnuts are sure to hit the spot, and they’re super easy to make. Agave is used in place of sugar, making for a beautiful shiny glaze.