Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice – Candy Coated Culinista

I went to my first Authentic Thai restaurant in February and ever since I have been intrigued by this cuisine and trying to consume and slowly try all things Thai. It’s one hundred percent thanks to this amazing Tamarind chicken I had and the taste and smell is still stuck in my head today. I love the sweet and tangy aspects to the tamarind as we have this fruit in the Caribbean and I remember pulling them of the tree and them being scattered on the streets all over Barbados & Antigua. This dish made me want to try Thai food more ad even though I’m not a curry fan I am finding Thai curry dishes to have a very different spice taste then Indian cuisine that I am not fond of. I am exploring this new flavor profile; but for now only with the rice and salad dishes and then on to noodles and proper Thai curries.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pineapple, halved lengthwise if you want to make a pineapple boat
• 1/2 cup Jasmine Rice
• Peanut oil
• Soy sauce, to taste
• Curry powder. To taste
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ small white onion, diced
• 1 small carrot, grated
• ¼ cup frozen peas
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup pineapple, finely chopped
• 1 spring onion, chopped
• Cilantro, handful, rough chop
• Peanuts, chopped, to taste

Assembly
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat cook rice and set aside.
2. Using a wok add peanut oil and fry garlic cloves and onion for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the Jasmine rice along with soy sauce and curry powder.
4. Add carrots and frozen peas, and let cook for 10 minutes.
5. Crack the egg into the fried rice and stir around.
6. Add in the pineapple, spring onion, cilantro and peanuts and stir for 1 minute.
7. Serve.

Tips
• Serve in a pineapple boats if desired. Just carve out the pineapple and pour Thai fried rice inside.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a totally new food for me and I honestly wanted to make this dish because of the pineapple boat and that wow factor when serving this dish. As I am not a huge curry fan I didn’t add tons of curry powder; but the colour and smell was wonderful and flavouful. I loved all the added fruit & vegetables in the rice.

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp lemon juice
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp agave nectar
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1 small honeydew melon, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
• 1 golden kiwi, halved and sliced
• ½ English cucumber, cut into chunks
• 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/3 cup black olives, roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp finely chopped dill
• ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Assembly
1. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper until emulsified.
2. In a large bowl add honey dew, golden kiwi, English cucumber, red onion, black olives and dill.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and mix.
4. Finally top with crumbled feta cheese and give one last quick mix and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is one of my most creative salads to date. The combination of fruits and vegetables and it being both salty and sweet was very delicious. I would make this for a dinner party in a heartbeat.

Easter Egg Brownie Bars

Easter Egg Brownie Bars – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients

• 2 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 ½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ¾ cup golden brown sugar, packed
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• ¾ cup whoppers, coarsely chopped
• ½ cup whoppers, to place on top

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray 9” x 9” pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt and mix together.
4. Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined.
5. Add eggs and vanilla and incorporate.
6. On low speed at the flour mixture until combined.
7. Fold in whoppers and then pour batter into baking pan.
8. Bake for 25-30 min. or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool, cut and serve.

Tips
• If you prefer your cookies more chewy then under bake them by 2-5 minutes.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
As usual too sweet for me; but enjoyed by others. I like that bars give off that Easter feel. This was a mix of a brownie and a cookie and great for children and adults alike.

Good Friday Shrimp Scampi

Good Friday Shrimp Scampi – Candy Coated Culinista

A beautiful dishes that is perfect for Good Friday if you are off meat for the day like myself.

Yield/Serving: 4-5
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ small white onion, diced
• ½ bulb of garlic, finely chopped
• Shrimp, 40 pieces of smaller sized shrimp
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• spaghetti, 2” circumference of pasta
• pasta sauce with basil
• 2 handfuls of spinach, stems cut
• ¼ green pepper, diced
• ½ small red inion, diced
• Tomato, cut into chunks
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Crushed red pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté white onion and garlic along with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes.
2. Boil a large pot of water with a little oil and salt over high heat.
3. Using the same frying pan add the shrimp and season with sea salt, pepper and paprika and cook.
4. Once water is boiling add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
5. Drain pasta and coat with pasta sauce.
6. Add spinach, green pepper, red onion, tomato, dried oregano, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes; along with shrimp and garlic mixture and incorporate.
7. Serve

Tips
• Add 2 pieces of bacon cut into pieces if this isn’t for Good Friday and you eat meat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was made with everything on hand in my fridge with no pre-planning or for-thought and it turned out wonderfully. This it will be perfect for Good Friday and I can’t wait to make it again next week.

Caribbean Soup … Just like my mom used to make …

Mom’s Caribbean Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My mom passed away before I really got into cooking and she was one of the cooking types who had no recipes written down. That can be and is quite hard when I am trying to recreate those dinners that are near and dear to my heart. One of those recipes is her Caribbean soup; this is one of those dishes that I loved as a kid and I detested soup back then yet I would enjoy this soup; even with the pigtails in it – it’s a Caribbean thing. I have made this recipe twice now purely from the taste, I remember from days gone by and I have made a pretty good replication. My first attempt was closer I believe, but silly me can’t find where I put the recipe or I just never jotted it done; so here I go again and this time I made sure to write it down.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Turkey pieces, 4 wings & 2 legs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Season salt, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 500 ml water
• 3 Small red skinned potatoes, halved
• Dumplings (flour, salt, water)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• carrots, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season turkey and place in roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes.
3. In the meantime prepare the celery, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic and set aside.
4. Using a large stockpot place garlic an oil and cook until a golden brown.
5. Add chicken stock and water and put pot to simmer.
6. When turkey is cooked, shred turkey meat into pieces and add to the pot.
7. Add in the potatoes and increase the heat to medium and continue to let cook.
8. Using a medium sized bowl make dumplings by mixing flour, a pinch of salt and water until ingredients form into a ball.
9. Add to pot and cook for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size.
10. Once dumplings are cook add the remaining vegetables and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
11. Serve.

Tips
• If you are going all out Caribbean, add pigtails and bread kind like breadfruit, eddoes, plantain, yam and soup seasoning. I totally forgot to add plantains, which I can readily find at my local grocery store; but the other ingredients would require a trip to the West Indian store.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was very reminiscent of my mom’s soup and this made me happy; but I know something was missing. The soup tasted much better on the second day as the flavours married. My mom’s soup however always tasted good on day one, so I know something was a touch off. Was it the extra West Indian ingredients or more likely my mom putting love and attention into the soup is what made it always taste oh so good. Probably a bit of both.

Broccoli Almondine

Broccoli Almondine – Candy Coated Culinista

Broccoli is a vegetable I have loved from my childhood and yet I always consume it one of two ways; Raw or steamed and that is it. Just the naked veg with nothing added to it. I have been trying to find another way to create some interest for my most favourite vegetable and this experiment fit the bill.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 8 – 10 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 broccoli crown, cut into pieces
• 3 tbsp vegetarian butter
• ¼ cup sliced almonds
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Celery salt, to taste
• Fresh lemon juice, from half a lemon

Assembly
1. Cut broccoli into pieces and steam vegetables until broccoli is a bright green.
2. In a small frying pan, heat up margarine over medium heat, add almonds, and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Place cooked broccoli in a serving dish and coats with margarine & almond mixture.
4. Add salt, black pepper, celery salt and lemon juice.
5. Mix well and serve.

Tips
• Add parmesan cheese if desired for a non-vegan option.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have been wanting to make this side dish for awhile now and I’m glad I finally managed to make it. This simple side tasted so fresh.

Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio - Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Vesuvio – Candy Coated Culinista

When I heard of a dish called Chicken Vesuvio, I immediately assumed this was an Italian dish because of the name. To me it seems derived from Mount Vesuvius the volcano that erupted back in 79 AD and destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Well upon further research this Greek mythology, architecture and history buff was wrong, Chicken Vesuvio is a speciality of Chicago and is an Italian-American dish.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 45 – 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• 2 cartilage in chicken breasts
• 2 large red skinned potatoes, cut into wedges
• Rosemary, finely diced
• oregano, finely diced
• dill, finely diced
• parsley, finely diced
• thyme, finely diced
• ½ a small red onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 2 tbsp all purpose flour
• Low sodium chicken broth
• 1/3 cup frozen peas

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
2. Season chicken with spices and then using a cast iron skillet, pour some extra virgin olive oil in over medium-high heat.
3. Sear all sides of the chicken breast and turn off heat.
4. Cut the potatoes in wedges and coat with the fresh herbs.
5. Place potato wedges around the chicken breasts and cook in oven for 45 minutes.
6. Transfer chicken and potatoes to a plate.
7. Add onion and garlic to the skillet oven medium-heat to soften.
8. Using a wooden spoon scrape the flavour from the bottom on the skillet.
9. Stir in the flour to make a roux.
10. Slowly add in the chicken broth letting the flour dissolve to your preferred gravy consistency.
11. Add wine if desired.
12. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes and frozen peas.
13. Add chicken and potatoes back into the skillet and let simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Sometimes I am on a real cooking streak and everything I make just comes out smashingly. This one after I made it I was actually considering making it again the same week; because it was that good. The chicken was moist and juicy, the potatoes were firm and savoury with the fresh herbs and a scratch gravy turned out most excellent again (Thanks Chuck). I will be making this for dinner when I have guests as it a simple yet classy sophisticated dish.

Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry & Jasmine Fried Rice

Shrimp Stir-Fry - Candy Coated Culinista

Shrimp Stir-Fry – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been craving shrimp for a while now and I figured it was time to make something shrimp related.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry
Ingredients

• 25 whole shrimp, deveined
• Garlic, 4 cloves, finely chopped
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Broccoli crown, cut into pieces
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into circles
• Small red onion, cut into chunks
• Plum sauce
• Spicy ginger oil
• Sesame seeds

Assembly
1. Clean shrimp and place in a bowl.
2. Add garlic, kosher salt & black pepper and mix then set aside covered with saran wrap.
3. Using a wok over medium heat add some spicy ginger oil and fry the shrimp. Add some plum sauce after the first few minutes. Once cooked set aside.
4. Add more spicy ginger oil and fry broccoli, carrots, red onion and plum sauce for five minutes.
5. Add in the shrimp and mix.
6. Plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Jasmine Fried Rice
Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup jasmine rice
• 2 tbsp spicy ginger oil
• ¾ cup frozen mixed veg of corn, carrots & peas
• 4 tbsp spicy ginger oil
• 1 eggs
• 2 tbsp soy sauce

Assembly
1. In a pot, cook the rice in 1 cups of water over medium-high heat until cooked.
2. In a small saucepan cook the mixed vegetables and drain.
3. In a wok with 4 tbsp of spicy ginger oil and fry rice and add in the mixed vegetables and stir frequently for 5 minutes.
4. Add egg and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
5. Add soy sauce and toss until coated.
6. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My taste tester loved this and was very surprised by the treat. They love Chinese food but always buy it at the restaurant, so I decided to make them my version. This was eaten for brunch, as they couldn’t wait which made me laugh. I seem to have a lot of testers that just can’t wait to dive into the food I prepare which is a lovely feeling. I loved the slight kick of the ginger that coated the shrimp and the sweetness of the plum sauce over the Crunchy vegetables. Funny enough when I was showing a co-worker this picture another co-worker of Chinese-Vietnamese decent saw it and said it looked great. She asked my other co-worker to sneakily ask for the recipe for her. If a Chinese person wants my recipe I have done a good job. I am now officially a big fan of adding an egg to my fried rice and can’t believe I only started doing this last year. I really should have been doing this a long time ago as it just add that little bit extra to the rice.

L is for … Lentil Quinoa Salad

L is for ... Lentil & Quinoa Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

L is for … Lentil & Quinoa Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I have had a very long break from my Alphabet Cuisine series and the letter “L” is the reason why. I found a few recipes with Lamb and Lentils but they were just okay and I wanted the series to consist of new and interesting recipes and ingredients I don’t cook with a bunch. I have been working hard to get lentils to work and I finally found a recipe that it out of the park delicious.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10-15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa
• ¼ cup orange lentils, washed
• ¼ cup green lentils, washed
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• ½ small red onion, diced
• ½ zucchini, diced
• Handful of dill, finely chopped
• Handful of parsley, finely chopped
• Handful of rosemary, finely chopped
• Handful of oregano, finely chopped
• Handful of thyme, finely chopped
Dressing
• 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Using a small saucepan, with the lentils in the pot bring the water up to a boil then let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Lentils.
2. In a medium saucepan pour quinoa into the pot and bring to a boil then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In the meantime, prep all the vegetables, herbs, and place in a large bowl and set aside.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
5. Drain off the water from the lentils and quinoa once cooked and then pour into the bowl with the herbs & vegetables and incorporate.
6. Add in the dressing and mix well.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have another recipe with quinoa and lentils in it that I can say I am thoroughly enjoying. I think the catch with lentil or quinoa is these two ingredients really can’t stand alone and require flavourful and many other ingredients to help the appeal of them. Or that is the case for myself as I can’t enjoy lentils and quinoa alone in . The fresh herbs and vegetables added texture and interest to the recipe and the simple and satisfying dressing just enhanced everything in this salad. I can now eat lentils more often and actually enjoy it. I also managed to turn a friend who can never seem to get through their lentil or qunioa dinner or lunch sides into a lover and I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs – Candy Coated Culinista

My love of photography and Toronto has rewarded me. I love my city and I am constantly exploring it no matter the time or weather conditions. One very early morning on the way to work it must have been -27 this December morning and I saw a gingerbread “Toronto scape” presented by KitchenAid Canada. It was gingerbread pieces made by local bakery The Rolling Pin to resemble Toronto buildings. I took the picture, because that’s what I do and I used the hashtag made from gingerbread not knowing I had entered myself into a contest of sorts. Cut to me receiving a DM that I won a Professional 5 Series Mixer & Spiralizer and after answer a skill-testing question correctly these babies where shipped to me. I can’t wait to give my new mixer a try as this one is bigger than my other KitchenAid Custom series mixer and I will not have to bake in batches anymore; which will save me time or I can start making multi flavoured layered cakes and mix at the same time. I was over the moon with excitement when I found out I won this awesome prize and I have many more recipes in mind for my new toys and also a request for apple pie using my gadgets.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Inspired from Williams & Sonoma

Ingredients
Tomato Sauce

• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
Meatballs
• 500g ground turkey
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• ¼ small red onion, diced
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs
• 2 eggs
• 1 large zucchini, trimmed and spiralized
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Eggplant Ragu
• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
• 1 eggplant, cut into cubes

Assembly
Tomato Sauce

1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar and add tomato sauce.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat to simmer.
Meatballs
1. Place ground turkey in a large bowl and add garlic, herbs, spices, Worcestershire sauce, red onion, bread crumbs, eggs and spiralized zucchini.
2. Combined and form into meatballs.
3. In a frying pan over medium-high heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
4. Sear meatballs on all sides in batches; about 1 minute per side.
5. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add zucchini to pan and cook for no more than 4 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
Eggplant Ragu (Vegan Option)
1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce and eggplant.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was beyond excited to use my spiralizer and it couldn’t be any easier to use. The zucchini was spiraled and crunchy and it makes a wonderful substitute if you don’t want to have carbohydrates. The turkey zucchini meatballs were so lovely that I think this will be a new way for me to enjoy meatballs. I will still make my Italian style meatballs; but this is now a healthier alternative for me. The eggplant ragu came about when I thought to take this recipe one step further and make a meatless vegan recipe. I have always been of the mindset that if I could prepare tasty and flavourful vegetarian and vegan recipes I could increase my meatless days to about three days a week and if I can make recipes like this it would be a no brainer. Also if you have an audience that you think would question the whole zucchini spaghetti, then serve the turkey meatballs with spaghetti pasta instead. These few recipes can be combined in different ways and it’s still just as memorable.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape - Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape – Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer - Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer – Candy Coated Culinista

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