Spinach, Sweet Potato, Walnut and Homemade Crouton Salad

Packed with Awesome Veggies and Big Flavor

Spinach, Sweet Potato, Walnut and Homemade Crouton Salad

Spinach, Arugula, & Walnut Salad With Homemade Croutons

This salad has been on my dinner table at least a 1/2 dozen times in the last two weeks.  In one form or another, I have served it for guests and at home a couple of nights, all to excellent reviews. My meat-loving hubby has requested it too — when vegetables beat meat on the request menu, you know you have a hit. 

It’s super tasty, with different textures and a great mix of vegetables, this is not a 'rabbit-feeling' salad. 

Try it out and let me know what you think, the walnuts and crumbled parmesan really take it over the top.


2 cups raw spinach
1 large sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch cubes, dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper
1 cup raw arugula
1/2 sweet red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly roasted
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 roll Italian style bread
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Roast sweet potatoes until tender and toasted, 20-25 mins.

  Cut Italian roll lengthwise into 4-6 pieces and toast under broiler until browned on all sides.  Tear into smaller ‘crouton’ like pieces.

  Gently combine all ingredients.  

  Dress with olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  

  Toss.  Garnish with extra parmesan and walnuts.

  Serve immediately.

Serves 2



Roasted Asparagus with Homemade Sriracha Mayo

Homemade 30-Second Mayo Will Make This Asparagus Outstanding

Roasted Asparagus with Homemade Sriracha Mayo

roasted asparagus with homemade sriracha mayo

Spring is finally here and with it asparagus season has arrived! You will find asparagus on my table several times a week these days, made a bunch of different ways, but this is definitely the easiest and one of my all-time favourites. The addition of this spicy homemade mayo takes it over the top, and my fool proof 30-second method with have you impressing your guests with mayo on the side all the time.  

After learning to make mayo the hard way at chef school, with a whisk and a lot of elbow grease, this tip passed along by my mom will have you whipping up mayo in a snap. It is superb on the side served with these asparagus. Once your family tries it, I’m sure this will become a spring favourite recipe of yours too.

For asparagus:

1 bunch asparagus
2 tbsps roasted hazelnut oil
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

For mayo:

1 egg, warmed to room temperature
235 ml sunflower oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Sriracha

For asparagus:

 Preheat oven to broil.

 Wash and prep asparagus.

 Dress with oil, sugar, salt and pepper.

 Place on a baking sheet.

 Place in oven rack on second to highest position and broiled for 15 minutes or until asparagus are browned.


for mayo:

The key to making flawless mayo is to use a hand blender and a tight-fitting glass vessel.  

 Crack an egg into your glass vessel.

 Add lemon juice and salt.
 Pour oil over the mixture, top to 240 ml.

 Submerge hand blender until covering egg and touching bottom of glass container.

 Begin to blend, holding place for about 10 seconds. Once mixture begins to emulsify, slowly lift blender and move around to incorporate all the oil.

 Season with Sriracha to your taste. Add more if you prefer a spicier mayo.

This is a fantastic condiment to have on hand, jazzing up potato salad, burgers, any steamed or roasted vegetables, broiled, BBQd or poached fish. You can get really creative and add so many different flavours to this mayo. Some ideas? Curry, fresh herbs, chopped onions or pickles, sundried tomatoes, capers, etc. Get creative!


Looking for more ways to prepare asparagus this season? Try Nicole's Lemon Parmesan Oven-Roasted Asparagus or Lesley's Roasted Asparagus and Spicy Citrus Olives.



Easy Tomato Split Pea Soup

A Hearty Meal in a Bowl That's Quick to Whip Up

Easy Tomato Split Pea Soup

Easy Tomato Split Pea Soup

I needed to make up a quick pot of soup for a friend this week and pulled this together in a snap. It turned out so well, that I thought it would be a perfect recipe to share with you!  

Next time you're in a pinch, reach for a couple of pantry staples and whip this up in about 30 minutes. It is surprisingly easy and quick to pull together, but is packed with flavour. The soup thickens up very nicely and makes for a very hearty meal. I garnished with some homemade croutons, but feel free to add your favourite cheese, a fried egg, some crumpled bacon or crackers. Your family will love it!

Easy Tomato Split Pea Soup (serves 4)

2 litres chicken stock
2 cups split peas
1 cup small red lentils
3/4 tomato puree
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste


 Heat chicken stock.
l like to make my own chicken stock from scratch and keep it on hand in the freezer. In a pinch, you can find good quality stock at your local butcher. Most have some on hand or in the freezer section. Try not to use a canned or tetra product for this recipe, as they are usually fairly bland and you need a rich flavoured stock as a good base.

 Add split peas, lentils and tomato puree.  
i always keep a couple of bags of dried split peas and lentils in my pantry. They are a great way to thicken up a soup or stew and are a great source of protein.  I also like to have organic tomato puree on hand. I like to look for San Marzano tomatoes that come from Italy to ensure maximum flavour, sweetness and the least amount of acidity.

 Place dried herbs in a mortar and pestle and crush to a dust.  Add to soup.
Some dried herbs can really be overpowering. Crushing herbs to a dust really mellows the flavours and allows you to use dried herbs with more versatility.

 Heat soup to a boil, stir and then reduce to a low simmer for 30-40 minutes until split peas are tender and almost falling apart.
The longer you cook this soup the thicker it becomes. Keep an eye on it until it thickens to your liking. The following day, if the soup has thickened too much, just add some water, if you’d like it to be thicker, remove a cup, puree with a hand blender and add back in.

Season with salt and pepper.

Done! It’s really that easy.


Like these recipes?  Check out a couple of my other favourites:

Moist and Crunchy Oven Fried Chicken

Oven Roasted Herb and Anchovy Crusted Salmon