Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

 Alarm Clocks.

...Because everyday should start with a mini heart attack. 

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Well maybe not every day. There are some days when it's like I have an internal alarm clock that wakes me up before the real one goes off. Is there anybody else that does this? 

Anyway, today I don't mind waking up to the sound of my blaring alarm clock because I've got this to look forward to for dinner. 

A simple fall quinoa salad served up warm. The butternut squash roasts in the oven with olive oil and nutmeg for 25-30 minutes until it becomes tender and golden brown. While this is happening you cook up the quinoa and make the vinaigrette.

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Done like dinner. You could serve this with a piece of fish or chicken. With steamed veggies on the side.

Brussels sprouts are calling my name...or just have it on it's own. After all quinoa is a superfood of nutrition with ample protein and a good dose of fibre. Trust me you need this recipe in your life.

To toast the pepitas/ pumpkin seeds, add them to a shallow pan or skillet and place on medium heat. There is no butter or oil needed. Cook, tossing frequently, until the pepitas have taken on a nice toasted brown look. They will make popping sounds as they toast. Becareful sometimes you get the odd few that like to jump out of the pan at you. 

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Squash. Check.

Dried cranberries + toasted pumpkin seeds. Double Check.

Maple Vinaigrette. Check.

Fluffy good for you quinoa. Check.

Happy Fall everybody!

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas  // vegan & gluten free (serves 4)

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  • 3 cups peeled, cored and diced butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch salt + pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*. Place butternut squash on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with nutmeg. Toss until squash is well coated. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, stirring once, until tender.
  2. While the butternut squash roasts cook the quinoa. In a medium pot, bring quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until all the water has been absorbed; about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and toasted pepitas.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, water, and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle over quinoa salad. Toss until ingredients are well dressed.
  5. Serve warm or chilled.

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

I have 3 words for you.

Big. Honking. Cookies.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Now I warn you, these are probably the most indulgent treat I have posted to date. Stuffed full of huge chunks of chocolate and local sweet Bala cranberries, these cookies are the size of your face. I kid you not! If you don't believe me just look at how ridiculously big they are against the palm of my hand.

Giada's Oatmeal Cookies

Anyone who says they don't love a good oatmeal cookie are either lying or hasn't had a real one. It's just one of those classics. But the real star of the show here is the chocolate! Camino organic & fair-trade semi-sweet chocolate to be exact. Bars of gold I tell you.

Oatmeal Cookies 1.JPG

These cookies are adapted from my favourite oatmeal cookie made by Giada. The original recipe is from her cookbook Weeknights With Giada. I've seen her make these a few times now. They're hearty and delicious, and they only use a half cup of unsalted butter so they're not greasy. The cinnamon in these also give it something extra special. LOVE cinnamon!

Giada's recipe says it makes a dozen cookies, but if you want big giant ones it will only make about 9. Make sure you keep an eye on them while they bake so they don't burn. They took the full 15 minutes in my oven to be perfectly baked and golden. The hardest part was waiting for them to cool. Now where's the fun in that?!

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Makes9 big cookies

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into large chunks


  1. Preheat the oven to 350* F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the flour mixture.
  5. Add the oats, cranberries and chocolate chunks, mixing until just incorporated.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop slightly rounded mounds of the dough into 9 4-oz balls.
  7. Arrange 6 balls of dough, spaced evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, flatten the tops and bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 13 - 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes (if you can wait that long) before eating.

*Tip* To bring the egg to room temperature, fill a small bowl with hot water and place the egg in it for 2 minutes.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Now to sit down with a cookie and a nice cup of tea for a relaxing end to the day.