Arugula + summer fruit salad

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The first days of summer always seem to smell the sweetest. The sun burns a little brighter and no one seems to notice. But even the best seasons have their off-days and summer is no exception. You know the ones – where the air is thick, thunderstorms are in the air, and so hot that you would hide away in the fridge if you could.

For those hard dog days of summer where lifting a finger threatens to bring on another shower, this salad is a quick chop and toss (thankfully mostly toss!) away to remind you of summer’s best. If you’re in a pinch, add 3 tablespoons of rhubarb compote to dress your salad and forget the oil. After all, it’s summer and you make the rules.

  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup pea tendrils (optional)
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 cup Rainier cherries
  • 2 sprigs mint, julienned
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Gently toss together the ingredients and dress at the last minute. Serves 2-4.

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Behind a tough skin

The colder weather of the winter season always brings out the cravings for hearty, hot foods. One of my favorite seasonal ingredients to cook with is squash.

Not only is squash high in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B, and antioxidants, but its versatile flavour and dense texture makes it a great complement to pretty much any main dish. It’s all in how you prepare it. My own preference: baked maple-glazed butternut squash. And all you need are a few simple ingredients.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 1-1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried or fresh rosemary (if you’re using fresh rosemary, chop the rosemary or bruise it with the back of your knife. This will release the essential oils from the rosemary.)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon maple syrup (or 3/4 tablespoon of brown sugar if you don’t have maple syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper, to taste

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