Summer Is Back


This makes me very happy.


The sun is back, baby!

You know what is also back?


Summer Squash.

I promise not to drop any more F-bombs on you for a while. [Fall, that is.]

Ok, ok, the ridiculously cute Summer Squash were never gone. They were just hibernating for a while in my crisper until I decided what the heck to do with them.


My motto is, when in doubt grab a knife and get chopping.


Sometimes I don’t know what I am making until I am half way through!


Juicy. Hydrating. Fresh.

In the prime of their life!


Avocados (aka vegan butter!) are also back.


I used to cringe at avocado when I saw OSGMOM eat it. ‘That looks gross!’, I would scoff sticking out my tongue.

Now, I have to make up for lost time.


….and Cocktail Tomatoes. The fancy, fun, life of the party tomato.

They make me want to mix up a Bloody Mary!


I mourn the days when tomatoes will not be in season…I won’t dare mention the W-word…

But let us not worry of the future. Right now they are sweet, bursting with colour, and so fragrant it hurts.


Energy in a bowl.


Soaked cashews.


When you soak the cashews in water overnight in the fridge they get all plump and juicy and are so addicting. Make sure you give them a little sprinkle of sea salt just before serving! I use raw cashews.

My mother in law is here visiting and she brought me a bunch of her herbs!




This salad makes me believe that summer will never end. And right now, that is all I need.


When you hear me complaining about being knee deep in snow come January, please tell me to make this salad to cheer me up.


Actually, don’t. I will cry like a baby when I discover I am 6 months away from having more summer squash and good tasting tomatoes.

Avocado, Cashew, Tomato, & Summer Squash Salad


  • 1.5 large summer squash (I used yellow and green patty pan)
  • 8 Cocktail tomatoes (or any variety)
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 2 small avocados
  • 3-4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste


Directions: Mix the dressing in a small bowl and set aside. Chop all veggies and toss everything into a bowl except for the avocado. Add dressing and mix well. Top with avocado last. Serves 3-4.


This was incredible…and plenty of leftovers too. :)

The Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette contenders: Apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, cold-pressed sunflower oil, and Himalayan sea salt


I can’t believe I used to buy bottled salad dressing for all those years. I know it’s hard to believe, but I really don’t miss the long ingredient list that I can’t pronounce. Or the high-fructose corn syrup. Or the Disodium Inosinate. Or Yellow 5.

Some of you have been asking me how to purchase affordable pure maple syrup and my suggestion is to buy locally (obviously, this depends greatly on your location!) and in bulk whenever possible. If you are in Ontario, check out this listing for local maple syrup producers: Ontario Maple Wholesalers.

Now for a quick desk stretch and then back to my paper work. Goodnight!

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

JenATX August 25, 2010

so my best friend used to hate avocado as well. She has recently converted, but now she steals all my avocado! I think I liked her better when she hated it, haha jk :)


Camille August 25, 2010

Amazing, fresh food! Love it!


Nicole @ Getting Back to the Basics August 25, 2010

All your produce looks amazing! I just recently discovered that guacamole isn’t as horrifying as I always thought it was…our palates are always changing!


Jaime August 25, 2010

I too have been waxing poetic about fresh, local tomatoes. I have to restock at least twice a week!! I will literally cry when the season ends… boooohooooo.


Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) August 25, 2010

Looks like a great week in store for you up there! I love beautiful fresh salads, looks great!

Also, I’ve been meaning to make that better than balsamic for a while now, I keep forgetting – sounds delicious!


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 25, 2010

I also used to think avocado and guac were “gross” — what was I thinking???

The salad looks great, and yes, here in MN it was super hot, then brisk for a few days (50s) and soon it will be back in the 80s! Summer is still here!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 25, 2010

I love the photos of the water drops on the squash! And I also love that forecast even more! I would have never known that soaking cashews would plump them up… I’ll have to give it a try!


Courtney (Delightful Devours) August 25, 2010

You lucky girl! We here in Alberta are not so lucky. We have good/summer weather today and then the weekend is supposed to be 11! Eek! Dusting off the pants now.


Rachael August 25, 2010

It is pretty amazing that you can capture summer in a bowl. Love the cashew idea – I’ve plumped them before for raw dessert recipes, but never thought to just munch on them that way!


Steph@stephsbitebybite August 25, 2010

Soaked cashews?! Wow I have never heard of that before, but they look tasty! What do you soak them in?


Jessica August 25, 2010

Wow that looks amazing…! I might need to make a trip to the farmer’s market :) Love your blog…Just found it the other day. I used to have an eating disorder as well, and I am loving discovering nourishing food and the real joys of a life lived healthy and whole. Keep up the good work :)


Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes August 25, 2010

Absolutely gorgeous photos!!!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is August 25, 2010

Maple syrup is SO expensive here… even at the local farm right down the road!


Hannah August 25, 2010

I cant wait till the warmer weather, despite how much I love F***, Summer cant be beat .


Bethany @ More Fruit Please August 25, 2010

I’ve never heard of soaking cashews before… I’m gonna give that a go!


Wendy @ Seriously Sassy August 25, 2010

Beautiful veggies and squash! I especially love the pic of those big red tomatoes – lovely!
I might be getting a DSLR camera tomorrowwwwwwwwwww!!!!!


Danielle (Runs on Green) August 25, 2010

I used to hate avocado too! What was I thinking…(it doesn’t taste like much)

I buy maple syrup at costco because it’s *a lot* cheaper!


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 25, 2010

I love summer salads! Ahhh yum!


MarathonVal August 25, 2010

Wow, I bet you do get cheap maple syrup since they make it in Canada… unfortunately Chicago is not exactly known for our syrup manufacturers ;) Even at Costco the stuff is off the hook expensive!! But soooooooooo, so good :)


Freya (Brit Chick Runs) August 25, 2010

Oh do you make the most amazing and beauitful creations every day!!??


Chelsea at Striking Balance August 25, 2010

Avocado is my absolutely favourite vegetable (fruit? who knows). It is soo creamy and delicious, especially with a little sea salt on it. My favourite way to enjoy it is just spread on toast with a little bit of sea salt, that way nothing is covering up the taste of it! It is also amazing in salads too. I must try those soaked cashews, they look really good!

I agree about salad dressings. I always just use a little bit of either balsamic or apple cider vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes if I’m feeling fancy I’ll add some maple syrup or agave as well. Yay for real food!


Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 25, 2010

I spent forever being scared of avocadoes, but I’ve been eating them lately like it’s my job. I had one tonight with dinner actually!! I’m trying to savor these last few weeks of summer :)


Bec August 25, 2010

This salad looks amazing, sooo summery!


Heather (Heather's Dish) August 25, 2010

i don’t know if i have ever seen a fresher looking salad. HOLY COLORS! so beautiful! and that first shot of the squash is probably one of my favorites that you’ve ever shot!


Shanna, like Banana August 25, 2010

Those tomatoes are gorgeous. I feel seriously deprived of delicious ripe tomatoes this summer and it’s nearly over!



Stacey@ August 25, 2010

Thank you for the reminder to enjoy summer while it’s still here. Before long it will be gone and so will all the fresh produce.


lindsay (goodiesgalore) August 25, 2010

My boyfriends family sugar so we always get freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee syrup. Yum!


Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 25, 2010

Glad the sun’s back for you! But I’m still looking forward to that F-bomb dropping :)


Twisted Chicken August 25, 2010

Those tomatoes are pure food porn…they look intoxicatingly delicious!

So I’m a little late to the party but I made the Better Than Bottled Vinaigrette for the first time last night. I am out of balsamic vinegar so I substituted rice vinegar. It is the very best vinaigrette I’ve EVER had. I will never buy it again. You were not exaggerating when you named it…so much better than bottled!

Tonight before bed I am going to mix up my first bowl of VOO. I’m not an oatmeal fan but I just have to try it after all the enticing photos and recipes you’ve been posting all summer.

Thanks for all your wonderful posts.


christina cadden August 25, 2010

That salad looks so good! I need to come eat at your house!


Wei-Wei August 25, 2010

Wait, aren’t raw cashews poisonous? Apparently manufacturers have to steam them and then sell them as “raw” to get rid of a poison inside them. You might want to get that checked out… Unless you’ve already handled this issue and know more than me. Very likely. :P


Cara August 25, 2010

Mmmm..Maple syrup!
My heart longs for thee


Chelsey August 25, 2010

Your salad dressing is haunting me! must. make. now!!!


Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] August 25, 2010

I love cashews!! It’s a scorcher here today @ 106*F – yikes!!


sarah August 25, 2010

I feel like I can smell the cashew through my screen yummeeee~~~~~


Kristy August 25, 2010

That salad looks amazing!!! Almost too pretty to eat! lol I’ve never tried cashews soaked overnight, very curious! Thanks for sharing! :)


Kiersten August 25, 2010

What a pretty salad! I swear, you can add avocado to any salad and it automatically makes it amazing. I used to be prejudice against avocados too. So glad I got over it!


Bridget August 25, 2010

I love patty pan squash! Funny thing is, I just had some for dinner tonight! Soooo good!

I used to despise avocado, and now I can’t get enough. They’re one of my favourite sources of fat :)


Mary @ Fervent Foodie August 25, 2010

I said the same thing to my mom when I was a kid! Avocado looked DISGUSTING, so I totally avoided eating it… now I can’t get enough!


Gina August 25, 2010

That salad looked amazing. I should be trying that soon. Thanks for sharing ;)


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