Acorn & Butternut Squash Soup

Acorn Butternut Squash Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Acorn Butternut Squash Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again when I start making soups on the regular.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 butternut squash, cut in pieces
• 1 acorn squash, cut in pieces
• Canola oil
• 4 tbs vegetarian margarine
• 1 medium size yellow onion, chopped
• 5 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Cayenne pepper, generous pinch
• Sunflower seeds, to decorate
• Pumpkin seeds, to decorate
• Parsley, to decorate

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash squash and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat squash with canola oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 30 to 45 minutes.
4. When squash is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Meanwhile over medium heat, in a large pot cook onion and garlic until brown.
6. Pour in the vegetable stock and let cook.
7. Start peeling away the skin from the squash and add to pot.
8. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Serve with sunflower, pumpkin and parsley on top.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The colour of this soup was amazing and the crunch of the pumpkin and sunflower seeds added a lovely texture to the soup.

Superfood Gluten Free Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl

Superfood Gluten Free Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl - Candy Coated Cuinista

Superfood Gluten Free Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl – Candy Coated Cuinista

Do you wake up some mornings in a huge rush and know you want something healthy that “sticks to your bones” but going to the coffee shop is something you loathe like me? Well for me I always make some type of breakfast at home because I like to eat healthy. I wake up at five in the morning and need something that’s fast and this superfood gluten free oatmeal bowl is perfect for me. With five superfoods in this breakfast bowl (chia, oatmeal, ginger, pumpkin seeds and cranberries) it’s packed with all the good things I need to start my long day off right and it takes only 5 minutes to make. It really can’t get much easier than that.

Nothing keeps me on time better than a simple and fast breakfast and my Jord Wood Watch. I have been collecting classy, unique, high quality watches since I got my first job a teenager; but like most of us over the years I have stopped wearing my nice watches and opted to just use my phone as a watch. Let’s face it when smartphones took over these classic timeless watches seemed well antiquated and I was never fond of that; but I was just lazy and allowed all my watch batteries to die. However when I got my hands on this sleek, attention-grabbing, fashionable timepiece by Jord Wood Watches I remembered why I used to love wearing this accessory so much. It’s a great way to express your individuality and with these watches being made from different types of wood each piece can be uniquely yours and the women’s Frankie Series fits perfectly on my petite wrist and goes well with everything in zebrawood and its neutral tones.

Check out the well-crafted Jord Wood Watch Women’s Shop and get some gift ideas for Black Friday & Cyber Monday and for your Holiday gift giving. Click here for an instant giveaway and all entrants will receive an instant $25 off gift code for a watch of your choice. Scratch that special someone off your Christmas gift list and keep them on time.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 1 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup coconut milk, boiling
• ½ cup gluten free oats
• 1 tbsp golden brown sugar
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• Pinch of kosher salt
• Pure maple syrup, drizzled
• dried apricots
• chia seeds
• Dried cranberries
• Pumpkin seeds, hulled
• Dried coconut slices

Assembly
1. In a small saucepan boil coconut milk.
2. In your breakfast bowl combine oats, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt with a spoon.
3. Combine boiling milk with oats; stir and then let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Drizzle maple syrup on top and add dried apricots, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and dried coconut slices and serve.

Tips
• Substitute coconut milk for milk, water or any other milk alternative.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
In the morning I’m all about a no fuss recipe and this is hearty and super healthy. It has crunch from the seeds and a slight tart from the dried fruits and sweet from the drizzled maple syrup. It’s a great combination for breakfast.

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches


Unique Watch
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Crustless Blueberry Pie

Crustless Blueberry Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Crustless Blueberry Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Still being the fraidy cat that I am of a proper pie crust I have exclusively stayed away from it for a couple years now. A doughy crust does not please me in any way and those recipes I have tried have never made it out the door for public consumption; friends and family are all good but to those just outside those parameters – no way. Thanksgiving dinner was upon me and I planned to make two recipes. Pie is a Thanksgiving classic; but what is the Candy Coated Culinista to do when she is still so frightened of the pie pastry dough… I’m making a crustless pie. Perfecto.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy
Ingredients
• ½ cup butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 541 ml blueberry pie filling

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray an 8” x 8” pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
3. Using your stand mixer on low speed, cream butter and sugar together for about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add eggs, salt and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
5. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
6. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan and reserve half the dough for the topping.
7. Pour pie filling over the dough base.
8. Drop small pieces of the reserved dough over top of the blueberry filling.
9. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Let cool.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A lovely recipe that wasn’t too sweet from my dessert lovers. I’m starting to perfect the correct amount of sugar even though I have sugar in my diet normally. I will however enjoy it in my baked goods when I must and this wasn’t overly sweet in any way. Score.

Lemony Kale

Lemony Kale - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemony Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

So good it doesn’t even need to be a side. This dish stands alone.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
• 1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 ½ garlic cloves, sliced
• 3 cups torn and stemmed kale
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• ½ pinch of kosher salt
• ½ pinch of ground black pepper

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat using a cast iron skillet cook garlic for about one minute.
2. Add in the kale and cook until wilted and dark green, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the lemon juice, salt & pepper and serve.

Tips

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have made this recipe twice already and even had the intention of sharing this; but I just couldn’t bring myself to save any. The citrusy-garlicky dressing was a beautiful accompaniment to the kale. I ate it just by itself and loved every bite.

Gluten-free Minestrone

Gluten-free Minestrone - Candy Coated Culinista

Gluten-free Minestrone – Candy Coated Culinista

A cold weekend is ahead and I have been craving soup in a bad way.

Yield/Serving: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: (beginning to end) 1 ½ hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Red onion, half diced
• 3 carrots, peeled & chopped
• 2 zucchini, cut into half circles
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered
• 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 small red bell pepper, diced
• 1 small green bell pepper, diced
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tsp dried oregano
• 2 litres vegetable stock, reduced sodium
• 1 can red kidney beans
• 2 tomatoes, cut into pieces
• 2 cups gluten-free farfalle pasta
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped

Assembly
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, pour extra virgin olive oil and brown onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper and green pepper and let brown slightly, 5 minutes.
2. Stir in tomato paste, oregano, vegetable stock, kidney beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
3. Add in the gluten-free pasta and let simmer until pasta is aldente.
4. Continue to let simmer and add in parmesan cheese and parsley.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a great fall soup. Zucchini is a summer vegetable but in Ontario it can be readily found up until October and I fully took advantage of that. I have always wanted to make a minestone and this was so delicious I didn’t even miss the protein. The carrots and zucchini were still crunchy and this recipe is perfect for freezing.

Mediterranean Baked Peppers

Mediterranean Baked Peppers - Candy Coated Culinista

Mediterranean Baked Peppers – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
• 2 yellow bell peppers
• 1 red bell pepper
• 1 orange bell pepper
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
• ¼ tsp dried oregano
• pinch sea salt
• pinch black pepper
• 1/8 tsp grated lemon zest
• 1/3 cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes
• 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
• ½ tsp lemon juice

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Cut bell peppers in thick slices.
3. In a bowl mix together extra virgin olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper and lemon zest.
4. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Place cooked peppers into a bowl with feta, parsley and lemon juice and plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is an amazingly tasty dish that is making me a lover of protein free meals. With vegetarian dishes like this it makes it easy to have more meatless meals in a week.

Oktoberfest Tray Bake

Oktoberfest Tray Bake - Candy Coated Culinista

Oktoberfest Tray Bake – Candy Coated Culinista

This hearty dish is my ode to Oktoberfest.

Yield/Serving: about 5
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy; but time- consuming

Ingredients
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 4 purple chard leaves
• 4 swiss chard leaves
• 7 uncooked pork bratwurst sausage
• 3 small red skinned potatoes, washed and cut into slices
• 5 small red beets, peeled and sliced
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• Basil, to taste
• Oregano, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour olive oil on two rimmed baking sheets.
3. Trim chard and cut away stem with a knife.
4. Wrap bratwurst with chard.
5. Lay potatoes overlapping each other followed by the beets.
6. Sprinkle the potato with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper.
7. Sprinkle pepper over beets.
8. Bake for 45 min.
9. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Once everything is on the tray this is a pretty simple dish; just a little time consuming. I did find it hard to wrap the bratwurst with the swiss chard; but this is most likely a technique I would have to practice again. The overall taste of the dish was super savoury; perhaps to savoury for me.

Oktoberfest Tray Bake - Candy Coated Culinista

Oktoberfest Tray Bake – Candy Coated Culinista

Coconut Pepita Pumpkin Pie

Coconut Pepita Pumpkin Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Coconut Pepita Pumpkin Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

It is funny how a recipe just evolves. This recipe started out as a recipe from a magazine and every year I would deduct and add and let’s face it this recipe probably hasn’t stopped evolving; but for right now it is a beautiful complex dessert that is attention grabbing for the eyes and with ever bit.

Ginger Syrup

Prepping for Thanksgiving dinner with this ginger syrup recipe. Make this ahead of time and refrigerate.

Yield/Serving: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup of ginger, peeled and half sliced and half grated
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 2 cups water

Assembly
1. Peel ginger and grate half and slice the other half.
2. In a medium sized pot bring ginger, sugar and water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
3. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved and then lower to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Using a sieve strain out the ginger pieces and pour into a container and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.

Tips
• Use ginger for something else if you desire. Candied ginger perhaps
• Use the remaining ginger syrup, for cocktails, tea or anything else you like.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a very simple recipe and I haven’t made too many types of syrup before; but this one turned out well. The syrup was spicy and tasted very much like ginger. I can’t wait to incorporate this into my Thanksgiving recipe.

Coconut Pepita Pumpkin Pie

Yield/Serving: 1 pie
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 90 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
For Ginger Syrup
• Prepare ginger syrup recipe ahead of time. See recipe above.
For Crust
• 2 cups chocolate crumbs
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
For Filing
• 5 egg yolks
• 2 cups pure pumpkin puree
• ¾ cup coconut milk
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 2 tbsp ginger syrup
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves
• 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
• ¼ tsp salt
Toppings
• 1/8 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
• spicy pepitas
• Coconut flakes
For Meringue
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 5 eggs whites
Garnish
• Drizzle ginger syrup over top of pie

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a 9” pie plate at the ready.
2. Stir chocolate crumbs with butter in a medium bowl until moist. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of pie plate. Bake in centre of oven, covered with foil, for 10 min.
3. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, coconut milk, brown sugar, ginger syrup and spices. Whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour filling over warm crust. Smooth top.
4. Bake in centre of oven, covered with foil for 30 min. Remove foil and continue baking until filling slightly jiggly in the centre, about 20 more min. Transfer to rack to completely.
5. Toast desiccated coconut in a small non-stick frying pan until just browned and set aside.
6. Place pepitas around the outside of the pie followed by the coconut flakes.
6. Using a medium sized bowl and a hand held mixer. Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar and egg white along with ¼ tsp cream of tartar and mix on medium gradually increasing to high speed. Meringue is complete when it becomes stiff peaks.
7. Spread meringue on pumpkin pie in the middle leaving a little bit of the pumpkin pie to show and using your kitchen torch; torch the meringue.
8. Garnish pie with toasted desiccated coconut and ginger syrup and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I just loved cutting into a pie and seeing all the layers and the giggle and nothing spilling over. It means I’ve done good and at Thanksgiving this is when your recipes need to be top notch. The flavours came together superbly and I think I won’t be changing my recipe anytime soon.

Ginger Syrup - Candy Coated Culinista

Ginger Syrup – Candy Coated Culinista

Coconut Pepita Pumpkin Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Coconut Pepita Pumpkin Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Kale Caesar Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This twist on a Caesar salad is my new favourite way to enjoy Caesar salad. Robust and hearty kale being incorporated into this classic is delicious.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
• 6 kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
• Spinach, big handful chopped
• 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
• Caesar salad dressing
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup croutons

Assembly
1. Chop romaine, kale and spinach leaves and put into a bowl.
2. Using a frying pan, fry bacon until crispy and then crumble.
3. Using the same oil from the bacon, quickly fry the minced garlic and add to another bowl.
4. Finely chop the anchovies and add to the small bowl along with salad dressing and mix.
5. Shred mozzarella cheese and add to the bowl of lettuce along with parmesan cheese and croutons.
6. Mix well and serve.

Tips
• Make the dressing by hand if you like; but I decided not to as I had time restraints.
• Make into a chicken Caesar salad by adding grilled chicken breast into the salad.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This salad was enjoyed by my taste testers. I managed to turn people who claim to hate anchovy’s and kale into a lover. Granted the moment I mentioned there were whole anchovy fillets in the salad some stopped. My point was still proven and I arrested my case. I have made this salad three times already in 2 weeks; even once as a chicken Caesar salad.

Pomegranate Glazed Carrot Medley

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots - Candy Coated Culinista

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots – Candy Coated Culinista

If I can find a way to use pomegranate I will. I have always loved pomegranates and even though they are a mess to eat I enjoy cracking into it. I remember as a child when my mom gave me a pomegranate I would run upstairs to change into an old t-shirt and then have at it while sitting in front of the TV, enjoying my cartoons. This is still my routine to this day; but I also love finding different ways to incorporate pomegranate into dishes.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 35 – 40 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 150 ml pomegranate juice
• 2 tbsp pure fancy molasses
• 4 medium sized carrots
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch, sea salt
• Pinch black pepper
• ¼ cup cashews
• ¼ cup dried blueberries
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat; let pomegranate juice reduce (10 – 15 minutes) and then stir in the molasses.
3. Peel carrots and cut on the bias and place to the roasting pan and coat the carrots.
4. Bake for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Drizzle glaze over and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Add in the blueberries and cashews and bake for another 5 minutes.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Tips
• You can make the glaze in advance if necessary.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The taste of this dish was great. I loved the addition of it as a glaze and this is a great and healthy vegan dish. This would be a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas and I will be adding this to my Holiday menu.

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