Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini dressing and Hummus

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini dressing and Hummus – Candy Coated Culinista

A delicious side with a Middle Eastern flair.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Cherry Bombe

Ingredients
• 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1tsp sea salt
• Chives, finely chopped, handful
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro
• ¼ cup chopped basil
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Dressing
• 1/3 cup tahini
• ¼ cup honey
• 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
• 2 tsp toasted ginger garlic sesame seed oil
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• Cumin, to taste
Hummus
• 1 red pepper, roasted
• ¾ cups chickpeas
• 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 6 tbsp tahini
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ½ tsp Kosher salt
• ½ tsp Black pepper

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small roasting pan place red pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast until the wedges are complete.
3. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into wedges.
4. In a medium sized bowl combine extra virgin olive oil and salt with wedges.
5. Place onto another large sized baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes on one side and then turn and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until brown and creamy in the centre.
6. In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients for the tahini dressing and set aside.
7. Cut red pepper in half and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
8. Roast for 1 hour and set aside to cool.
9. Pour chickpeas, garlic, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper in a food processor and blend.
10. Add in the red peppers and blend once again.
11. Once mixture is smooth, set aside in a small bowl.
12. Arrange wedges on a serving platter, drizzle with dressing and hummus and sprinkle with basil, chives, parsley, cumin and black sesame seeds.
13. Serve dressing and hummus on the side.

Tips
• Parboil the sweet potato whole first, let cool and then cut into wedges and toss in extra virgin olive oil and then bake is another option, if your like me and don’t enjoy sweet potato wedges cooked only in the oven.
• Add a little water to dressing if too thick.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was making homemade burgers for dinner and wanted to add a different and tasty but familiar side. Well this sweet potato fries made the best accompaniment. I also made some more of my roasted red pepper hummus as a dipping sauce to keep that Middle Eastern theme going. I wasn’t that much of a fan of the tahini dressing, so I added the hummus for my own selfish reasons. Tahini is an odd thing to me; I love it in shawarma; but when I tasted it in this dressing or on its own I just couldn’t get on board. The original recipe called for cilantro, mint and scallions; but I used chives, basil and parsley instead. I also sprinkled in a touch of cumin and I used black sesame seeds as I prefer and always have those in my pantry. I can’t wait to make this again; just without the tahini dressing sadly.

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Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce

Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

A tarte tartin is a French dessert named after the hotel that served this as their signature dish. To me I entered making this dish with memories of my poorly maple-honey upside down cake. I am hoping for a decent caramel and a palatable dessert.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance

Ingredients
Creamy Caramel

• ¾ cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cups unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Apple Tarte Tatin
• 1 sheet store-bought all butter puff pastry, thawed
• ½ cup creamy caramel, plus extra to serve
• 3 granny smooth apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1 cm
• a few blueberries (optional)
• Vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional)

Assembly
Creamy Caramel

1. Place cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring with a metal spoon until combined.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until temperature reaches 350°F using a candy thermometer and the mixture is a deep golden colour.
5. Remove from heat and working fast, add butter mixture in a thin steady stream, stirring to combine.
6. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until caramel has thickened slightly.
7. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.
Apple Tarte Tatin
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Using a small sharp knife, trim the pastry into a 30cm round and make a small cross incision in the centre.
3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Place the caramel in a 26cm round ovenproof non-stick frying pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
5. Add apples and cook for 5-6 minutes or until apples are just softened.
6. Remove from heat and top with pastry round.
7. Place the pan on an oven tray.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed.
9. Let cool slightly.
10. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking tray with parchment paper.
11. Bake for 5 more minutes or until apples are golden and caramelized.
12. Serve warm with ice cream and extra caramel if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was very happy that my caramel actually turned out; but man was it sweet. It had me wishing I had made a salted caramel to cut some of that sweet. However; this tasted much better then it looked and for a person who eats 90% with her eyes first this was a hard one for me. Once I got past the copious amount of caramel; which would be a draw for most but for me a person who never liked caramel overall it just tasted okay. I batched down the caramel recipe as I knew I didn’t need three and a half cups of caramel and I am still left with way too much for my liking. The puff pastry was crispy and flakey and the apples were cooked well. This dish isn’t a looker even with the pictures I saw online as my aid and next time I think I’ll double the puff pastry layers and add much less caramel.

Herby Vegan Compound Butter

Herby Vegan Compound Butter - Candy Coated Culinsta

Herby Vegan Compound Butter – Candy Coated Culinsta

I love compound butter; but I don’t necessarily want to partake in all the yummy delicious artery clogging full fat butter. Therefore, here is my version of compound butter that I use on veggies and on proteins.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 400g vegan margarine
• 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme
• Handful fresh dill
• Handful fresh parsley
• 2 tbsp fresh oregano

Assembly
1. Using a food processor chop fresh herbs
2. Place vegan margarine in food processor.
3. Blend herbs and butter together.
4. On a long piece of wax paper place butter in the middle and form butter into a cylinder.
5. Twist the edges and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
6. Take butter out of the freezer and cut butter into discs and roll back up and use as needed on vegetables or meat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love having a stack of discs in my freezer to use whenever I want. It is handy and an excellent way to use up all those fresh herbs that may be about to turn.

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Thanksgiving is this weekend and I was in the mood to do a little trial run for the big day.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 35 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Rock Cornish Game Hen

• White onion, slices from half a small onion
• Garlic, 2 cloves whole
• Dijon Mustard
• Dried basil
• Dried rosemary, crushed
• Lemon, slices from half a lemon
Smashed Potatoes
• Yellow skinned gem potatoes
• Fresh thyme, sprinkle on top
White Haricots with Chives
• White haricots
• Chives, finely chopped
Sauteed Mushrooms
• Handful button mushrooms, quartered

Assembly
Rock Cornish Game Hen

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Slice onions and place inside the cavity of the hen along with whole garlic.
3. Rub spices over hen and spread Dijon mustard over top.
4. Bake for 1 hour and until the skin is a golden brown.
Smashed Potatoes
5. Over high heat boil a pot of salted water with the gem potatoes.
6. When the potatoes are slightly tender drain; set aside and let cool.
7. Once cooled place potatoes on a cutting board and smash overtop with a mug base and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
White Haricots with Chives
8. In a medium size saucepan steam haricots until just firm.
9. Immediately place haricots in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.
10. Set aside in a bowl and add chives and mix.
Sauteed Mushrooms
11. Using a small frying pan, place a little extra virgin olive oil and sauté mushrooms.
12. Place of platters and serve.

Tips
• Make a quick scratch gravy from the pan drippings

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These little hens are such a simple, gourmet way to enjoy your Thanksgiving. If you are not in the mood for Turkey or have guests that dislike turkey; this is the way to go. One hen per person is a wonderful idea and also having an intimate dinner for two splitting the rock hen in half works just as well. This meal felt very farm to table with the Farmer’s market finds and a more unique protein. I have already bought another hen for a rainy day when I want to make something just a little more special for my guests.

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

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.

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.

Spiced Apple and Blackberry Compote

Spiced Apple and Blackberry Compote - Candy Coated Culinista

Spiced Apple and Blackberry Compote – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a multi-purpose recipe. I made this recipe thinking it would help me to enjoy plain Greek yoghurt and I ended up finding many other uses for this recipe.

Slightly altered from: Simply Nigella

Yield/Serving: approx 235ml
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
• 1/3 cup blackberries, chopped
• 1 stick cinnamon
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Assembly
1. Peel and chop apples into small pieces and place in a medium sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid on top.
2. Add blackberries, cinnamon and water and place the lid on over medium-low heat.
3. Check mixture at the 2-3 minute mark and see if the water has come to a boil.
4. Replace lid and let cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes with a wooden spoon. (to ensure nothing stick to the bottom of the pot)
5. When the fruit has broken down into a puree, remove pot and cinnamon stick from the heat and add maple syrup and stir.
6. If the mixture hasn’t broken down, give it a quick pulse in a blender until smooth.

Tips
• Compote will keep in the fridge for up to five days
• Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The smell of this compote was delicious and reminds me of those colder winter months. Serve on top of Greek yoghurt if you like; but I still couldn’t tolerate the yoghurt even with this delicious compote. I fell back to my usual go to of adding this to my smoothies and to accompany my pork loin.

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.

Creamy Mustard Herb Pan Gravy

Creamy Mustard Herb Gravy - Candy Coated Culinista

Creamy Mustard Herb Gravy – Candy Coated Culinista

If you’re tired of the usual brown gravy with your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner then this is a great recipe for you. A cream based gravy has never touched my lips before this recipe; but after today my mind has been changed for the better.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 – 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Longos Experience

Ingredients
• Turkey pan drippings
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• ½ small onion, chopped
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp basil
• ½ tsp oregano
• ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and sauté until golden.
3. Whisk in flour and mustard.
4. Pour in vegetable broth, cream, basil and oregano and bring to a boil.
5. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
6. Remove from heat and add parsley, salt and pepper.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is the first cream based and white gravy I have made as I am not a fan of cream based gravy. This recipe has changed my mind and I think a creamed based gravy will be made once and awhile now.

Chunky Apple Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Apple Chutney - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Apple Chutney – Candy Coated Culinista

Sometimes I wonder how vegetarians get through the holidays like, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter where the main focus is a big piece of protein. This is also the time where there probably is the most side dish options thank can build up a full meal, but still center stage is well let’s face it that protein. I saw this recipe in a Longos in-store magazine and altered it from being non-vegetarian to vegetarian. To me there is no reason why the sides can’t at least be all meat and animal by products free right.

Yield/Serving: 6- 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Longos Experience

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp vegetable margarine
• 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
• ¼ cup red onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
• 1/2 cup vegetable broth
• 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Zest from one orange, fresh

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Add in apples and onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.
3. Add in the cranberries, garlic, broth, maple syrup, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
4. Bring mixture to a simmer until slightly thickened, 7 to 8 minutes.
5. Grate in orange zest
6. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is was a very delicious cranberry sauce. I found it to taste more savoury than the other cranberry sauces I have had around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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