Tag Archives: side dish

Kabocha Squash with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

There are so many “rules” for eating.

As a dietitian, I often find myself dictating many of them. Get 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Eat one leafy green per day. Eat one orange vegetable per day. Eat local food. Eat food that’s in season. Eat the rainbow. Make half your plate vegetables.

Roasted kabocha squash with garlic yogurt sauce is a healthy vegetable side dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious!

It can get overwhelming! I’m not saying these tips aren’t important – because I do! I personally believe in all of them. But I try not to push them too much because I don’t think that’s what eating should be about. When you have too many “rules” dictating how to eat, it can turn eating into a math assignment rather than just a meal.

Roasted kabocha squash with garlic yogurt sauce is a healthy vegetable side dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious!

Sometimes you just need to take a step back for some perspective. You may not eat half your plate as vegetables at every meal or eat a leafy green every single day – I know I don’t – but that’s okay because it’s the overall quality of your diet that matters.

Take this roasted squash with garlic yogurt sauce recipe for example. The squash is out of season and imported from Mexico, so it fails on the local seasonal eating front. I also ate it for both lunch and dinner with nary another vegetable in sight. Strike number two. But it’s a vegetable at least and it tasted fantastic, so I think I’m doing alright.

Roasted kabocha squash with garlic yogurt sauce is a healthy vegetable side dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious!

Kabocha squash I find can either be really moist or really dry. It’s always a gamble when I buy them, but luckily this one was drier, which I prefer. It also works better for this recipe because the creamy sauce offsets the dry texture of the squash. Also, hello garlic. I hope you’re a garlic lover if you make this! You don’t really notice it while you’re eating because the squash’s sweetness mutes the strong taste of the garlic – but you’ll notice it afterwards, believe me.

So enjoy this recipe, brush your teeth afterwards, and don’t worry so much about what you eat. You’re doing fine, I promise.

Roasted kabocha squash with garlic yogurt sauce is a healthy vegetable side dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious!

Kabocha Squash with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Roasted kabocha squash with garlic yogurt sauce is a healthy vegetable side dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious!
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 kabocha squash (or butternut, buttercup, or delicata squash)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup garlic yogurt sauce (link to recipe below)
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut your squash into wedges about ½ to ¾ inch thick. Brush with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt, then bake on a sheet pan for about 20 minutes. Flip over and bake for another 15-20 minutes on the other side. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  3. Arrange squash wedges on serving platter and drizzle with garlic yogurt sauce. Top with chopped fresh cilantro.

Get the recipe for the garlic yogurt sauce here.

Roasted kabocha squash with garlic yogurt sauce is a healthy vegetable side dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious!

Do you ever get caught up in all the rules of healthy eating?

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Broccoli and Radicchio Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Over the past couple years, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is the importance of finding the right balance.

One of the reasons that JZ and I make such a good fit is that we are different in ways that allows us to balance each other out. I’m more scheduled, he’s more spontaneous. I like to relax in the evenings, he’s more likely to work until 10 pm. I like vegetables, he likes meat. And so on and so on. But over the past year and a bit, we’ve rubbed off on each other to make both of us more balanced.

Take last weekend for example. I’ve always been an uptight person who has trouble letting loose. So when it comes to going out to the bar, I worry about feeling okay and being productive the next day instead of just enjoying myself. But JZ has helped me to let go and be more care free. And you know what? Last weekend I actually had fun at a bar for the first time in a long time.

A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette | Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

That same kind of balance is important in food. I bought radicchio the other week which, if you haven’t tried it, is a strong bitter leafy vegetable. And when I say bitter, I mean bitter. Kale and collard greens are mild compared to it! So to bring balance to it, I like to pair radicchio with sweet flavours.

This broccoli and radicchio salad is the perfect example of that. The honey apple cider vinaigrette coats the salad in a mild sweetness to mute the bitterness of the radicchio. The tangy feta cheese nutty sunflower seeds also bring more complexity to the salad to take the focus off of the radicchio. I add raisins (or dried cranberries would work too!) for a final punch of sweetness on the tongue. It’s the perfect balance!

A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette | Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

Broccoli and Radicchio Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
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A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette. Vegetarian, gluten free, and nut free.
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 crowns of broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded radicchio
  • ¼ cup sultana raisins
  • 2-3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small dish, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the broccoli, radicchio, sunflower seeds, feta, and raisins. Toss in the dressing to coat everything, then serve. Salad keeps for 2-3 days in a container in the fridge.

A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette | Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

How do you create balance in your life? In your food?

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Broccoli with Cheese Sauce and Toasted Pine Nuts

I wasn’t always so gung ho about vegetables. Just like most other children, I was skeptical of new foods and needed some prompting to eat my vegetables.

So my dad came up with the idea of serving us broccoli with cheese sauce. Made with just a simple roux, milk, and shredded cheese, it was a 5 minute solution to get us to eat our veggies. And it worked! My sister and I would gobble them up and even ask for seconds!

Broccoli with cheese sauce and crushed toasted pine nuts

As I got older I found I liked the taste of broccoli on its own – especially roasted – so I haven’t thought about that cheese sauce in years. That is until I started dating JZ who has the taste buds of a 5 year old (and I say that in a loving way). So I’ve had to get creative with my veggies and whip out that cheese sauce for broccoli, maple glaze for roasted carrots, gremolata for green beans… basically anything to disguise the fact that I’m actually serving vegetables. So far everything has been a hit, I think (except for coleslaw!), but he especially loved that broccoli with cheese sauce.

I was inspired to add the pine nuts on top after I went to Beast in the fall and had rapini with spiced buttermilk aioli and pine nut crumble. The aioli wasn’t a cheese sauce, but it reminded me of the one from my childhood and gave me the idea to merge the two dishes into this one.

I used Gruyere, but you could really use any hard cheese like cheddar or Gouda or Parmesan. Or hey, go crazy and do a blend of cheeses. Either way, you can’t go wrong with cheese sauce, am I right?

Broccoli with cheese sauce and crushed toasted pine nuts

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce and Toasted Pine Nuts
 
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Steamed broccoli with an easy homemade cheese sauce. Toasted pine nuts on top add a great nutty flavour and texture to the dish!
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of low fat milk
  • ¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper or more to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, toast the pine nuts over low heat (watching them carefully!) until they are golden in colour. Let them cool, then crush them in a mortar with a pestle. Add ¼ tsp of salt and then set aside.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Then add the flour, and whisk it into the butter for about a minute. Add about ¼ cup of the milk and whisk it in until smooth, then add the rest of the milk, grated cheese, and salt and pepper. Stir until thickened then remove from the heat.
  3. Place the broccoli florets in about 1 inch of water in a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil and let the broccoli steam until it is bright in colour. Drain and place broccoli in a serving dish. Top with cheese sauce and crushed pine nuts.

Broccoli with cheese sauce and crushed toasted pine nuts

How do you jazz up your vegetables?

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