Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Clean eating at its finest. Such a simple and wholesome recipe that is great for lunch or dinner.

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

Ingredients
Salad

• Salmon fillet
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Green beans, trimmed, handful
• 12 Gem baby potatoes, halved
• 8 Grape tomatoes, halved, handful
• Spinach leaves, stems removed, handful
• Orange bell pepper, sliced
• Cilantro, removed from stem
• 8 Klamata olives
• 1 tsp Capers
• ¼ of Red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
• ¼ of an English Cucumber
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
• 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp poppy seeds
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of black pepper

Assembly
Salmon Salad

1. Using a frying pan pour a little extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Season salmon with salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
3. When oil has reach temperature place salmon fillet skin side down about 80% of the way, then flip using a spatula, and cook the flesh side the remaining way through.
4. Place on a plate and set aside.
5. Using a small pot filled with salted water over high heat, steam green beans and then immediately place in a ice bath and set aside.
6. In a medium sized pot of salted water over high heat, boil potatoes until cooked through.
7. Prep tomatoes, spinach, cilantro, olives, capers, red onion and cucumber.
Lemon poppy Seed Dressing
1. In a small bowl pour in all ingredients and stir well together.
2. Let chill in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This takes a little time to assemble; but this is a great healthy recipe that I will make time and time again. Fresh salmon served on a bed of veggies with a citrusy homemade dressing is just sublime.

Huevos De Caja

Huevos De Caja – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s always funny that you never notice ingredients in the grocery store until you need it…

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Nopalito

Ingredients
Huevos De Caja

• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 2 homemade soft corn tortillas or store-bought
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tbsp white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup Frijoles Negros Refritos or good quality refried beans, warmed
• ¼ cup salsa cilantro
• ¾ cup grated jack cheese
• Chopped cilantro leaves
Frijoles Negros Refritos
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
• 1 can black beans drained.
• 1 ½ tsp dried organo
Salsa Cilantro
• 4 large tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 1 jalapeno
• 1 clove garlic
• Salt
• 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
• 2 tbsp white onion, chopped

Assembly
Huevos De Caja

1. Boil water and season with salt and vinegar.
2. Lower heat to a simmer.
3. Crack egg into a small bowl and ease into water.
4. Cook until the outsides are set and the inside is still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
6. In a small pan cazuelas or cast-iron skillet, place tortillas in pan followed by refried beans in a next shaped. Then tip poached eggs into centre and divide the salsa pouring on top.
7. Sprinkle jack cheese and bake in oven until completely melted for about 5 minutes.
8. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro
Frijoles Negros Refritos
1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot.
2. Add onions and stir occasionally until a dark golden bron, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add in the oregano and let cook for another 1 to 2 minutes and let beans get hot.
4. Smash the bean mixture until slightly chunky.
5. Add a little water if need to reach the desired consistency.
Salsa Cilantro
1. Using a medium saucepan, combine tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and enough water just to cover and season with salt.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes, or until tomatillos and jalapenos begin to dull in colour.
3. Transfer mixture discarding the water to a blender and blend until salsa is smooth, but the seeds are still visible.
4. Pour into a bowl and chill.
5. Add in onions and cilantro just before serving.
6. Add additional salt if necessary.

Tips
• The recipe for Frijoles Negros Refritos calls for 1 cup canola oil; which I found to be a huge amount of oil even using the full 6 cups of black beans. I used 2 tbsp of canola oil with one can on black beans.
• I served mine with homestyle Mexican salsa, chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce.
• Purchase green Mexican salsa and add some cilantro if you don’t want to make Salsa Cilantro.
• You can also do step 6 & 7 using a frying pan and serve in a plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have walked by the Mexican food section for many years in the same row with the Asian and Indian foods I pick up and yet I never saw them. I will start grabbing the Mexican salsa from now one instead of the Amaericanized salsa brands in the other aisle. This is another massive recipe. This book really serves a crowd and I’m happy I batched down the refried beans as I was only making it for this recipe. I used the leftover refried beans in some shrimp taco’s. I must say I made this recipe purely because the photo caught my eye; even though I didn’t think I liked refried beans and the last poached egg I made didn’t turn out the best. When this was a pleasant surprise with a runny egg served with two types of salsa, refried beans, adobo peppers. I served mine with some shrimp and with Agua de Jamaica and oh so tasty.

Huevos De Caja – Candy Coated Culinista

Garlicky Shrimp & Tequila Lime

Garlicky Shrimp & Tequila Lime – Candy Coated Culinista

What beats a 5 minute shrimp dinner … nothing.

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

From Now & Again

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 pound large shrimp, uncooked, peeled and deveined
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp silver (blanco) tequila
• Finely grated zest from 1 lime
• 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
• Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Assembly
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a cast iron pan for about 1 ½ minutes over medium-high heat.
2. Once butter has melted add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add shrimp and sprinkle with salt, stirring occasionally until opaque about 1 ½ minutes.
4. Pour tequila in and cook until it evaporates, another 1 minute.
5. Turn off heat, add lime zest and juice, and toss.
6. Add cilantro and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a unique recipe and in theory I thought I would love this. I loved my vodka shrimp; but the tequila shrimp I found slightly bitter; but maybe that was just me. Otherwise I enjoyed the simplicity of the recipe. I served mine with some rapini and my salsa potatoes.

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

It seems like once a year I get a craving or blue cheese. I love blue cheese; but I rarest ever pick it up. Well craving a wedge salad I thought it would be a nice change to make a blue cheese dressing instead of the usual Caesar dressing.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Wedge Salad

• 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and cut in half
• 12 grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/3 English cucumber, sliced
• 6 chives, finely diced
• 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
• Blue cheese, crumbled
Blue Cheese Dressing
• 3/4cup blue cheese
• 3 anchovies, finely diced
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
Wedge Salad

1. Wash lettuce and cut in half and drain cut side down on a paper towel.
2. Cut grape tomatoes, English cucumber, chives and set aside.
3. In a frying pan fry bacon and then crumbled and set aside with the crumbled blue cheese.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1. Using a bowl, break up the blue cheese and add in the anchovy and sour cream, until well incorporated.
2. Add in the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuce cut side up in a plate and add tomatoes, cucumber, chives, bacon and blue cheese.
4. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

Tips
• Salad dressing can be kept for up until 1 week.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a rich, hearty and filling salad. This could work as an entrée depending on how big you lettuce head is. I enjoyed the combination of the creamy blue cheese into the dressing and the crunchy of the crispy bacon. I will be making this again as it is a wonderful starter for any guests.

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.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Meal – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unexpected victory over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. The victory for the Mexican’s was short lived; but for this day they could celebrate a victory and they did. This is celebrated mainly in the U.S. & Mexico; but other countries around the world like to partake in this day like Canada, the Caribbean and even other countries further away from Mexico. To celebrate this day in history I ventured into something Mexican.

Yield/Serving: 4 tacos, serves 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time-consuming

Ingredients
Tacos
Shrimp
• 12 shrimp
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Avocado
• 2 ripe but firm avocados
• 1 egg
• Splash of coconut milk
• ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp canola oil
Toppings
• 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
• Handful of spinach
• 6 grape tomatoes, slices lengthwise
• ¼ red bell pepper, diced
• ¼ green bell pepper, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• Small piece on red onion, diced
• Small handful of cilantro, rough chop
• Corn kernels from one ear of corn
• 4 corn tortillas
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
• Generous handful of cilantro, stems and all
• ½ of an avocado
• 1 generous table spoon of coconut milk, the solid portion not the watery part
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Few drops of fresh lime juice
• Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp or more
Mango Bean Salad
• 1 large mango, peeled and diced
• 1 dill cucumber, sliced
• ½ red bell pepper, chopped
• ½ green bell pepper, chopped
• 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
• Handful cilantro, chopped
• ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 cloves garlic
• Corn kernels fresh from ear of corn
• ½ freshly squeezed lime juice
• Kosher salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp agave nectar
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
• ½ of a cantaloupe, peeled and chopped
• Tiny piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed
• 6 cubes of ice
• Cilantro, for garnish

Assembly
Tacos
Shrimp
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add olive oil and season shrimp with spices add garlic and cook.
2. Let drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Avocado
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add canola oil.
2. Peel two avocados and sliced into pieces. Set one half of an avocado and put into the food processor for the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Wisk egg and milk in a small bowl.
4. In a plate mixed together panko crumbs and spices.
5. Dip avocado into egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs.
6. Fry until each side is a golden brown.
Corn
1. Using a small saucepan, slice corn kernels off and boil until cooked. Then set aside ¼ of the kernels for the tacos and the remainder for the mango bean salad.
Toppings
1. Prepare all the topping and place in a plate and set aside.
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
1. Blend all the ingredients together adding extra virgin olive oil little by little until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
2. Set aside.
Mango Bean Salad
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and add agave nectar and apple cider vinegar and stir until well combined.
2. Set aside and let marry.
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
1. Place cantaloupe, ginger, lime juice and ice cubes into a blender and blend.
2. Strain off some of the pulp if desired and garnish with cilantro.
Assembly
1. Add toppings onto corn tortillas and place avocado on two tacos and shrimp on the other two tacos.
2. Drizzle with the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Serve

Tips
• Add a splash of tequila if your feeling festive to the aqua fresca to make it a more adult beverage.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was beyond flavourful and I was super excited to make this from the moment I started and I kept building layers to this as I kept cooking. This took longer than I expected; but there are many different components going into the dish and it makes this a lovely complete meal from beginning to end. The creaminess and crunch of the avocado taco made me not miss the protein. Once again I found another dish where I can up my vegetarian recipes to two or three times a week and not miss the meat. The shrimp taco is a great option for those who still want seafood/meat, as the shrimp was packed with flavour and colour. With the addition of the avocado cilantro coconut sauce it once again added another layer of complexity and it was the usual American salsa. I must say that corn tortillas are the way to go, I highly recommend them to the whole wheat, ancient grain or regular floured tortillas I have tried. They are so much more authentic and if you can find them please give them a try. The bean salad was chocked full of all those Mexican ingredients with the vinegar and agave nectar dressing to add a little sweet and tart aspect. Washing this all down was a mild fruity beverage which didn’t overpower the meal, it was just a lovely compliment. Any vegetarian or pescatarian would be total chuffed to see this for dinner and they were. This is already being requested and I’ll gladly make it again soon and hopefully streamline this recipe down to a hour beginning to end as I like quick weeknight meals.

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.

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.

Avocado Buns ….. What in the world!

Avocado Bun  - Candy Coated Culinista

Avocado Bun – Candy Coated Culinista

Has the mighty avocado just jumped the shark? I saw the weirdest thing the other day which is all the buzz and the latest fad. Avocados are now being used as a substitute for a bun; hmmm, now I love avocado and can have one every day but as a bun? This is a great gluten free option; but lets get real here it is not a burger bun. It looks visually striking and interesting but this can only be just a fad right? I did a few food experiments to see if this is a viable option.
Here are some of my test recipes.

Smoked Salmon on a Sesame seeds Avocado Bun

Ingredients
• Avocado, cut in half and skinned peeled away also slice a piece off the bottom bun so it won’t tip
• Tomato slice
• Spinach
• Smoked salmon
• Red onion, sliced
• Sesame seeds, sprinkled on top of avocado
• Olives, top of the avocado bun
• Sweet pickles, top of the avocado bun

Assembly
1. Top ingredients on to avocado and serve.

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients
• Avocado, cut in half and skinned peeled away also slice a piece off the bottom bun so it won’t tip
• Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
• Green bell pepper, sliced
• Bacon
• Fried, slightly runny
• Poppy seeds, sprinkled on top of avocado

Assembly
1. Top ingredients on to avocado and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Both these were delicious; but to me nothing beats eating an avocado with a little salt and lemon cut in half and using the shell as a bowl. Sometimes simplicity is the best and honestly you can’t eat this like a true burger with an avocado bun; unless you’re used to eating your burgers with a knife and fork regularly. I may secretly enjoy this at home deconstructed or when I just don’t want a bun; but to truly use the avocado like a bun is near impossible. It’s still delicious but very impractical as a bun and calling this a bun is an enormous stretch to say the least.

Avocado Bun  - Candy Coated Culinista

Avocado Bun – Candy Coated Culinista

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been wanting to try the Fish & Chips from Len Duckworth’s Fish & Chips; as this has been recommended to be numerous times is a Toronto Foodie institution if you will. I’ve had a bad experience with fish & chips from Pickle Barrel and ever since I just haven’t had the desire to have anythimg resembling deep-fried fish. I found it to be extremely greasy and the batter didn’t stick to the fish so I just never wanted to try it again. Then I found saw this recipe and with fresh fish in hand I thought I’d give it another go and make sure I visit Duckworth in the near future.

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

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
Oven Fries
• 2 small yellow potatoes, cut into wedges with skin on
• 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of ground black pepper
Crispy Tilapia
• 2 tbsp cornmeal
• ¾ tsp chili powder
• ¾ tsp dried parsley
• 2 tilapia fillets
• 1/8 tsp kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Lemon-Herb Mayo
• 2 ¾ tsp mayonnaise
• 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• ½ garlic clove, finely grated

Assembly
Oven fries
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Toss potatoes, salt & pepper in a small bowl with extra virgin olive oil.
3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, turning once and bake for 25 minutes until golden and tender.
Crispy Tilapia
1. In a plate mix the cornmeal, chili powder and parsley.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto fish and dredge in the cornmeal mixture.
3. Using a frying pan, heat half the oil over medium heat.
4. Cook tilapia turning once until fish is cooked, about 8 minutes.

Lemon-Herb Mayo
1. In a small prep bowl mix the mayo, parsley, lemon juice and garlic.
2. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a light and slightly healthier fried fish option and the fish didn’t taste fishy and was still flakey. The lemon-herb mayo was such a great addition and this will be my new tartar sauce.

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