Hearty Winter Soup

Hearty Winter Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

We had our first snowfall last Friday and I was pushed head on into soup season a little earlier than I expected. Now I had bought rutabagas and had no clue what to do with them besides my usual preparation and then I thought of adding this to my winter soup.

Yield/Serving: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour + 45 min. inactive tine
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pepper squash
• 2 rutabagas, peeled and cubed
• 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil
• 1 white onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 3 button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 litre homemade vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut squash in half and scoop out the insides while the oven warms up.
3. Place in a roasting pan and bake for one hour.
4. Prepare rutabagas and sweet potatoes and boil in a medium sized saucepan until tender.
5. Using a frying pan over medium heat pour in olive oil and add onions, garlic and mushrooms; fry until golden brown.
6. Place rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.
7. Using a large stock pot, pour vegetable stock in and add vegetables.
8. Using the immersion blender, vegetables and let simmer until squash is tender.
9. Once squash is cooked, scoop out of the skin and add to the stock pot.
10. Blend again until all the vegetables & fruit have been pureed and the soup is smooth.
11. Let simmer on low for 45 minutes.
12. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.

Tips
• Use store bought vegetable stock.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out much better than I expected as rutabaga has very little flavour. However; with the other vegetables there was an added earthiness I enjoyed. The colour was a little muddier than I’d hoped; but I would have had to add more squash and sweet potato to get my desired colour.

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Buttery Balsamic Green Beans

Buttery Balsamic Green Beans - Candy Coated Culinista

Buttery Balsamic Green Beans – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet, buttery, tart and salty and on a beautiful vegetable… this can’t get any better.

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

Ingredients
• Green beans, 2 handfuls
• 2 tbsp Vegetarian margarine
• 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
• 1 tbsp Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
• Feta Cheese, to taste

Assembly
1. Using a saucepan; bring water to a boil.
2. Add green beans into a steamer basket cover and reduce to medium heat and steam until just cooked.
3. Place steamed green beans in a bowl and add margarine, agave nectar and raspberry balsamic vinegar and coat.
4. Add dried cranberries and mix.
5. Plate and sprinkle feta cheese on top and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this recipe with what was in my panty and fridge and this turned out amazing. I love how some of my best recipes come from just what is on hand at the time. I have already made this simple recipe twice already and I will continue to make this time and time again. The dressing is a great way to get that picky eater to at least take a few bites of a not so favorite vegetable. I did however have to take their portion; because I just knew it all wouldn’t be eaten. A valiant effort was made and it was appreciated.

F is for … Raw Fig Almond Balls

F is for ... Raw Fig Almond Balls  - Candy Coated Culinista

F is for … Raw Fig Almond Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12-16 balls, depending on your size

Ingredients
• 2 cups raw almonds, or almond meal
• 250g soft dried figs, chopped and de-stemmed
• ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 1/8 cup sesame seeds, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 1/8 cup black sesame seeds, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 4-6 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
1. In a food processor grind almonds into a coarse meal. Ensure you don’t over grind to the point of almond butter. If you have leftover almond meal from making almond milk like I do then use that instead of grinding up raw almonds.
2. Add the figs and cherries and process until well combined.
3. Pour almond mixture into a large bowl and fold in the coconut, sesame seeds and maple syrup.
4. Form mixture into 1” size balls with your hands.

Tips
• If all you can’t find soft dried figs, then soak dehydrated figs for a few hours and de-stem them. They should plum back up some.
• I used my leftover almond meal from making my homemade almond milk.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I loved the idea of making a raw dish, but I think my palette is not used to this. I love that I found a way to use my leftover almond meal; but for me it just comes down to texture and it’s a little too soft. I loved all the flavours and the coating of coconut and sesame seeds did help me like it more.

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas - Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 6 chicken thighs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• onion powder, to taste
• garlic powder, to taste
• season salt, , to taste
• ground cumin, to taste
• red chilli flakes, to taste
• 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 2 springs green onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
• Organic Gluten- free BBQ Sauce
• Cheddar cheese, shredded
• Mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 8 Whole Grain & Ancient Grain Tortilla
• 1 avocado, mashed

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat sprinkle chicken with spices and cook the chicken thighs through, let them rest and finally cut into strips.
2. Cut all the vegetables and set aside the bell peppers and green onions in a bowl.
3. Over medium-high heat and pour olive oil into skillet and sauté the tomatoes and mushrooms until most of the liquid is gone.
4. In the last few minutes of cooking add in BBQ sauce to taste and incorporate.
5. Using a clean frying pan the size of the tortilla, start toasting as many tortillas as needed and set aside on a plate.
6. Once all tortillas have been toasted place one back on the frying pan and add in a mixture of chicken, cheese and all the vegetables.
7. Cook and flip at least once until tortilla in crispy and cheese is melted.
8. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This isn’t a really great dish to look at but it tastes amazing. I even made them the next day again with the leftovers.

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

This new recipe was intended to be for St. Patrick’s Day, but then the recipe didn’t turn out and I was left very disappointed…then I said a week later I am going to try this one more time and I’m happy to say my Lemony Letdown turned into a fairly decent whole wheat bread. See my picture here apart of the Cooking Club Gallery.

Attempt #1

Yield/Serving: 14 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Should be easy, or rather looks easy

From Chatelaine

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups warm water, divided (about 110°F)
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 8g pkg active dry yeast
• 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp salt

Assembly
1. Spray a metal loaf pan with oil.
2. Stir ½ cup water with molasses and yeast into a large bowl until combined.
3. Let stand for ten minutes.
4. Stir in flour, remaining water and salt using a wooden spoon until combined.
5. Lightly flour the clean counter and transfer the dough.
6. Knead once or twice and shape into a log.
7. Place in the prepared pan and cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about forty-five minutes.
8. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
9. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about forty-five to fifty minutes.
10. Let stand for five minutes and then turn out the loaf and let cool completely, about one hour.
11. Slice and serve.

Attempt #2

Yield/Serving: 8 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, for me

Altered from Chatelaine

Ingredients
• 2 ½ – 3 cups warm water, divided (about 110°F)
• 8g pkg active dry yeast
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 1 tbsp honey
• 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp salt

Assembly
12. Spray a metal loaf pan with oil.
13. Stir ½ cup water with molasses, honey and yeast into a large bowl until combined.
14. Let stand for ten minutes.
15. Stir in flour, and add in the remaining water using a wooden spoon until combined. You may not need it all, but I did.
16. Lightly flour the clean counter and transfer the dough.
17. Knead once or twice and shape into a log.
18. Place in the prepared pan and cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about forty-five minutes.
19. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
20. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about forty-five to fifty minutes.
21. Let stand for five minutes and then turn out the loaf and let cool completely, about one hour.
22. Slice and serve.

Tips
• If the bread looks too crumbly and is not coming together, like the picture below; the dough is too dry and for some reason more water is needed.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Attempt #1
What a disaster! Who would think such a simple recipe would have such a disastrous outcome. When I was mixing in the flour the dough was crumbly and not coming together at all. I still kept going hoping it would still rise and turn out ok. Of course it did not and I really don’t know what went wrong as I followed the recipe precisely. Usually I try to redo a recipe again, but I’m not wasting more flour. The recipe is what it is and once it baked the crust was rock hard but the inside wasn’t absolutely terrible, but still it was bad, you’d think I didn’t put yeast in at all and I made sure the active yeast wasn’t expired and it did bloom properly.

Attempt #2
I decided to suck it up and waste more flour to give this another go. My second try turned out much better, but I added a lot more water than listed in the recipe and I really don’t know why it was needed. I just went with my instincts and it turned out better, the crust may have been a touch hard, but compared to my first try it was leaps and bounds better. I omitted the salt as I don’t see the point to adding salt to bread because I can never detect the salt in the bread I consume regularly; butter and other food going on the bread will always have salt in it. I added honey on a whim to add another layer of flavour and I was debating adding some whole oats, but then I thought that would be too much experimenting when I don’t know what the outcome would be. I’m so happy I didn’t give up; sure I was up till 11:30pm making and sampling a slice of buttered bread but it was worth it. Truth is I probably will never make homemade bread again, unless I make a gluten-free or another other type of bread as I have never liked whole wheat bread since my childhood.

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread Attempt #2- Candy Coated Culinista

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread Attempt #2- Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread Dough - Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread Dough – Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Exploring Queen Street West again I went in a saw what Belmonte Raw had to offer. I usually wouldn’t have gone in but since I went to Greenhouse Juice Co. I am more eager to try other juice bars. Also since I knew I was going to be heading home with a bunch of unhealthy cookies, I should start off on a good foot. Belmonte Raw’s motto is cleanse, nourish, indulge & learn. They specialize in nutritious whole foods and juices, cleanses, raw foods and even have raw food making classes.

Today I had.
Refresh Juice – Carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger – It promises to be sweet, spicy, tangy and robust and it was. Benefits – Maintain healthy blood pressure, circulation, and aids in preventing cardiovascular issues. I am really fond of beet juice, I have always liked beets when prepared correctly and its sweetness is reminiscent of normal juices and I like that a lot.

Trail Mix – Cranberries, gogi berries, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, raisins, walnuts, hemp seeds & sunflower seeds. I don’t usually eat trail mixes because they tend to have granola or chocolate or marshmallows in it and those are all a no for me in my trail mixes. I want my trail mixes hearty and healthy; as I prefer them to be sweet from dried fruits and not candy. I wasn’t fond of the hemp hearts as they were so tiny and make the mix hard to eat on the go but it all tasted great together, and I think I will start making my own trail mix.

This cost around $20 but each bottle requires a $2 deposit and if returned you will receive your money back or put towards your next purchase. Once again eating healthy or raw doesn’t come cheap but it sure is tasty and you feel good about yourself.

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Garden Frittata

Garden Frittata - Camdy Coated Culinista

Garden Frittata – Camdy Coated Culinista

Mr. C. wanted an omelette for dinner and I immediately said “I’m going to make a frittata”. Then I said to myself a frittata is basically a thicker baked omelette or an egg cake right? I love how I just jump both feet into things sometimes.

Yield/Serving: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• Kernels from 1 corn, trimmed
• 4 cloves garlic
• 8 eggs
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• 1 cup parmesan cheese
• Black pepper, to taste
• Cayenne pepper, generous pinch
• 3 sprigs, green onion, thinly chopped
• 10 asparagus, trimmed & cut into pieces
• ¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved
• ½ green pepper, diced

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. On medium heat using a 12” cast-iron skillet, melt the two tablespoons butter.
3. Pour in the corn and garlic into the skillet and cook for a few minutes.
4. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk and whisk.
5. Add in the parmesan cheese, black pepper and cayenne pepper and whisk again.
6. Pour the remaining veggies into the bowl and mix.
7. Pour into cast-iron skillet and bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed.
8. Cut frittata and serve warm.

Tips
• Can be eaten warm or cold.
• Serve with a side salad or crusty baguette or even bacon.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
I gave my dad a portion and he loved it and asked for the recipe.

My thoughts
Absolutely delish and for my first time this came together quite easy. I had a lot of eggs in the fridge (thanks Costco) and I wanted to use some up and thought this was the way to go. I loved the freshness of all the vegetables and the saltiness of the parmesan cheese. This is a great dish to have as leftovers for lunch or breakfast and I did both I must say. I could taste the sweetness of the corn and burst of tomatoes with every bite and I didn’t add any salt believing that the parmesan cheese would be salty enough and it was. When the frittata came out of the oven one side looked like a mountain and I was wondering how in the world did I mess this up. Five minutes later when the frittata deflated I felt a lot better and happier. It was golden brown and smelt delightful. I served ours with bacon as I love my bacon & eggs and our light dinner was quite filling but still light.

Healthy Diaries – Greenhouse Juice Co.

Healthy Diaries - Greenhouse Juice Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Greenhouse Juice Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Greenhouse Juice Co.
Location: 5 MacPherson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1W7 (Between Rosedale & Summerhill subway stations)
Phone: 416-546-1719
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30 am – 6 pm, Saturday: 8 am – 6 pm, Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm

I had an early morning errand to run and knew Greenhouse Juice Co. was in the area. At 7:45am I went in and I asked a very helpful associate to explain to me and suggest to me some juices. She explained that the juices are cold-pressed, which makes the juices nutrient packed, raw and unpasteurized. I was even gave me a few taste samples to help me decide what I wanted to purchase and when I made my selections I was given a menu for next time and I was on my way to work.

My selections were:
Deep Roots – $8-250ml or $11-500ml – beet, carrot, apple, celery, lemon
Benefits – Lung kidney & liver cleansing, bone strengthening, heart healthy, antioxidizing
Rabbit Run – $7.50-250ml or $10.50-500ml – carrot, apple, ginger
Benefits -Immunity & metabolism boosting, anti-inflammatory, stress reliever
Tumeric – $5.50 for a shot
Benefits – anti-inflammatory, antioxidizing

These juices were really healthy and tasty and I could detect all the ingredients in each juice. I didn’t care for the turmeric at all even though I know the health benefits are great. I poured half a shot into my deep roots and it overpowered the whole juice. Turmeric is very pungent to me and also gave me a stomach ache and I didn’t even consume that much. I have heard others get the same reaction to turmeric also and maybe I have to build up a tolerance, or for me I’ll just stay away as I prefer my raw healthy juices to be less spicy.

I do find that it’s too overpriced as I could make it at home, but doing the cold-pressed process is what makes it a little different and attributes to the price. However, if you’re on the go, don’t have time to juice vegetables at home or own a cold-press juicer it’s worth it just not all the time. Each juice comes in glass bottle which probably helps to increase the price; but I expect no less than a glass bottle. To me the whole idea is to be healthy and having plastic bottles wouldn’t be healthy to the environment, or our bodies.

Keep in mind that these types of juices have a very short shelf life but that’s to be expected, so don’t purchase too many at once and also arrive early as there is a tendency to run out of those popular flavours before the end of day. Next time I will try the nut-milks and keep in mind that it’s not cheap eating healthy for sure.

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