Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad)

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad) – Candy Coated Culinista

This is salad with a twist. I love to make this recipe when I want something light yet flavourful. Fattoush is an Arabic dish that likes to make use of pitas that have gone stale. So when I came across this recipe it was right up my alley as I hate wasting food. You can use any vegetables you want or have on hand; which is why I love this recipe so much.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 270g chickpeas rinsed & drained (half a can)
• 175g of grape tomatoes. Halved
• 1 green onion, finely sliced
• Radishes, trimed and thinly sliced`
• ½ English cucumber, quartered
• Romaine lettuce, shredded
• Kale leaves, shredded
• Handful of spinach, rough chopped
• 1 sprig of mint, chopped
• 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
• Pomegranate seeds, (optional)
• Carrot ribbons, (optional)
• Handful of whole black olives, (optional)
• Mini pita’s
Vinaigrette
• The juice of 1 lemon
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tsp sumac
• 125 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• 10 ml (1 teaspoons) fresh mint, chopped
• 5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fresh thyme, chopped
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Tips
• Serve pita on the side so you can have non-soggy leftovers or toast them in oven at 350°F for 5 minutes if desired to warm them up.
• Add chicken breast for some protein.

Assembly/Method
1. In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
2. In another bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.
3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine.

My thoughts
This is a quick, fast and always tasty recipe. Now I must admit I have only even made it once with stale pita’s. Pitas never go stale in my house because I love a carb. Every time I make it, I find another ingredient to add in like the optional ingredients listed above. I have been making this recipe for 5 years now and now that I am starting to enjoy chickpeas I thought this would be the perfect recipe to incorporate them into as it works with Middle Eastern dish. The combination of ingredients add a freshness and that lemony sumac is splendid.

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V is for … Vodka Drunken Shrimp

V is for Vodka Drunken Shrimp – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
• Lime juice, from one lime
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 leek, chopped
• ¼ of red cabbage, shredded
• 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
• 2 ½ tbsp hoisin sauce
• 2 tsp Salt
• 1 tsp Black pepper
• ¼ cup vodka
• Basmati Rice

Assembly
1. Peel and devein shrimp and place into a bowl.
2. Add soy sauce, garlic cloves, parsley, lime juice and honey and let marinate for 10 minutes.
3. Using a wok over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and add in the leeks, red cabbage and button mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add in the hoisin sauce, salt and black pepper and cook for two more minutes stirring to mix in the hoisin sauce.
5. Using a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook shrimp until they become a bright pink, turn the shrimp once at three minutes and cook on the other side.
6. Remove shrimp from the heat and add the vodka and return shrimp back to the stove and cook for one more minute until the alcohol smell has dissipated.
7. Serve on top of basmati rice with veggies on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love the marinade I used on the shrimp as there was a sweet and acidity throughout the dish.

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

I got a special request to make my lasagna and of course since I don’t make the exact same recipe twice I had to put a new twist into my lasagna. This recipe however took a very unexpected turn when it caused my third kitchen injury and this one was the worst yet; and had me almost contemplating going to the ER. To make zucchini lasagna there are two options using a knife to make thin strips or the easier way using a mandolin. I used my mandolin and was slicing the zucchini with no issue without the guard on (yes I know bad idea right) I was slicing away and then I noticed there was blood on the cutting board and I still didn’t feel anything mind you. I look to see where it’s coming from and I’ve sliced off a chunk of my finger and fingernail. Sighhh. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt and after an hour of getting the bleeding to stop and a quick google search of when to go to the ER regarding deep cuts. Not to forget I also checked how to glue a cut together if necessary as I had crazy glue in my tool box it finally stopped and I went back to the business of slicing zucchini and using that guard. Never again will I not use the guard.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 1hr
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• season salt, to taste
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 3 tbsp fresh oregano
• 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme
• 3 tbsp fresh parsley
• 3 tbsp fresh dill
• 1 – 250 ml container, ricotta
• 1 eggs
• 4 zucchini cut lengthwise to resemble noodles
• 1 cup spinach
• Pasta sauce
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
• Fresh herbs to sprinkle on top

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large saucepan sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until softened.
3. Add ground turkey and spices and cook.
4. In a small bowl mix together the fresh herbs, ricotta cheese and egg and set aside.
5. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini lengthwise.
6. Place a layer zucchini in a baking dish followed by ricotta cheese, spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
7. Repeat step 4 until all the ingredients are finished.
8. Add the finale layer of zucchini and then sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
9. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Wow another recipe I enjoyed with no carbs and it was very satisfying. I didn’t miss the pasta and it tasted wonderful. I’m not sure if I could get any guests to enjoy this if I actually mentioned first that there is no pasta; but ever morsel was consumed. Also I’m very happy I didn’t bleed on any ingredients and if I had to cut myself I did it at the best time possible.

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

Pea Guacamole

Pea Guacamole – Candy Coated Culinista

A controversial idea of adding fresh peas to guacamole; which even had Former President Obama tweeting about how this was a terrible idea.

Yield/Serving: 2 – 3
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Diner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark original recipe from Dominic Perri

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of fresh sweet peas
• 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1 large avocado, mashed
• 1 green onion, thinly sliced, whites only
• Zest from 1 lime
• Juice from 1 lime

Assembly
1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
2. Cook peas for 1 minute and shock in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process and drain.
3. Using a food processor, puree peas.
4. Add cilantro, salt, avocado, green onion, lime zest and lime juice.
5. Serve with taco’s.

Tips
• Add 1 small jalapeno if desired
• Add 1 tsp toasted sunflower seeds if desired
• Serve with a fried fish taco and avocado taco.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I removed the peppers as I don’t like heat; but I bet this would taste just as wonderful with the jalapeno peppers. To me the addition of peas makes so much sense to guac as it add a complexity, it’s vibrant and fresh and add a much needed added texture to the normal guac. Also it makes the perfect “glue for tacos as the shells stay sealed together. This makes so much more sense to me than the avocado bun; which is very impractical and isn’t a bun. If you can get over the fact that peas are in your guacamole you must give this a try. It extends the life of the dish and adds a touch of something special.

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