Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco

Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco – Candy Coated Culinista

Having a BBQ? Try this interesting grilled appetizer for your guests.

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

From: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 1 pound, green, purple or yellow wax beans (preferably a combination)
• 1 thick slice country style bread
• 2 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
• 2 fresno chilies
• ½ red onion, cut into thick wedges
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 2 plum tomatoes, halved
• ¼ cup skinned roasted hazelnuts or almonds
• 1 tsp sherry vinegar, plus more as desired
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or marjoram leaves
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp smoked garlic (from book)
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat and coat the gill pan with extra virgin olive oil over high heat using a paper towel. If you are using a grill basket allow to heat for 10 minutes prior to use.
2. Snap ends of asparagus and trim beans and set aside.
3. Grill the bread over direct heat until grill marks appear, about one minute per side.
4. In a bowl lightly toss bell peppers, chilies and onions in olive oil.
5. Place over grill on in grill basket turning and rotating for 6 to 7 minutes for the onions and continue to char the red peppers.
6. Cover peppers in a kitchen towel (to make it easier to remove the skin)
7. Grill tomatoes and when cooled enough remove skin also.
8. Using a food processor add peppers, chilies, onion, tomato along with nuts, thyme and paprika and salt into a thick puree. Drizzle in olive oil as you go.
9. Grill asparagus and beans and serve warm or at room temperature with romesco.

Tips
• Sprinkle some flaky finishing salt and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipes was super simple and very easy to complete. The only thing here is you have to be a fan of romesco. I had heard of romesco before; but never had tried or made it. It reminds me of a salsa or pesto of sorts. Typically it is served with meat or fish; but today it’s served with grilled veggies and totally works. I added some finishing salt and it really rounded out the taste of the veggies.

Advertisements

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I can never pass up anything with beets in it. Since its summer and it is the time for lighter, fresh and fast dishes this was a great lovely light meal.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 red beetroots
• 2 golden beetroots
• 2 chioggia (candy cane) beetroots
• 250g of couscous
• 1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Zest and juice from one lemon
• Handful of pine nuts
• 540g chickpeas, rinsed & drained
• Handful of parsley, chopped
• Handful of mint, chopped
• Pinch of paprika
• 1/2 crumbled feta
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Wrap beets in foil and roast for 30 minutes until tender.
3. Prepare couscous. (follow the instructions on the box); but use vegetable stock instead of water.
4. Fluff couscous with a fork and add in olive oil, lemon zest and juice.
5. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.
6. Using a small frying pan over medium-high heat toast pine nuts. Ensure you don’t take your eyes off the skillet as the pine nuts will brown fast.
7. Peel beets and cut into large small wedges.
8. Stir in the couscous with the chickpeas, chopped herbs and spice.
9. Crumble feta over top and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.
10. Serve warm.

Tips
• Add chicken breast for protein with harissa.
• Top with halloumi instead of feta.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a very filling an flavourful dish without the meat. I enjoyed my dish without the meat ad this will be a great addition to my menu. My guests thoroughly enjoyed this dish. There are many components to this dish and yet not one ingredient overpowers the next and each beets has a distinct taste, which is wonderful.

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

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.

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

I visited a different grocery story looking for ground turkey for my kofta’s and to my surprise I found Jamaican Ginger and Tumeric. I have never seen either of these in the store. Regular Asian ginger yes; but not its spicier cousin and the turmeric was a sign for my to go all in and try this ingredient I have had a love hate relationship with. Having a lifelong love affair with ginger, I thought it was an obvious choice to start trying to add turmeric into my diet alongside its “cousin” ginger. Now as easy as ginger is to enjoy for myself I just couldn’t get on board with turmeric. I have finally found a way to consume it and enjoy it along with all its benefits like aiding with ingestion and those all so important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities keep calling me back. Well this soup struck a chord with me in the most delightful way and I can now enjoy turmeric and its unique scent and vibrant colour.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 & ½ hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• 2 knobs of turmeric, peeled and minced
• 900 ml vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash and place in a roasting pan.
3. Boil sweet potato and carrot in a medium saucepan.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a blender along with the sweet potatoes and carrots.
6. Add turmeric and vegetable stock and blend.
7. Pour into two bowls and serve.

Tips
• Add more turmeric if you like.
• Use a Dutch oven if you prefer.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did start with a relatively small amount of turmeric in my eyes; but the soup surely had that lovely and distinctive turmeric scent. The colour of this soup is my most favourite of all the soups I have prepared. It also kept the colour upon reheating. I could taste each ingredients and they came together very well. This will be another soup in my rotation. If you want a faster dinner use your blender. I used the blender for Christmas for the purpose of using it solely for cooking and not my daily smoothie. I started off using the immersion blender in the Dutch over but I couldn’t’ get the consistency and the find turmeric to blend nicely and smooth.

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.

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a cold (knock on wood) and even now this hasn’t turned into a full blown cold yet and I’m thankful for that. I should have known my tonsillitis last week was perhaps a warning sign of things to come. So feeling a touch under the weather with a sore throat and slight cough, I had already picked up some soup essentials being preemptive. Now to make a new soup to help me feel better fast and nip whatever this in the bud.

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: approx. 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• Extra virgin olive oil
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 1 cup water
• Salt to taste, if desired
• Black pepper to taste, if desired
• a knob of ginger, if desired
• a little turmeric, if desired
• 3 leaves of kale
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash, sweet potato and carrot and place in a roasting pan.
3. Cover in extra virgin olive oil and roast for one hour and forty minutes, turning vegetable over halfway through.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a Dutch oven along with the sweet potatoes chopped.
6. Chop carrots and add one cup of water to a blender along with the carrots and blend.
7. Then add to the Dutch oven along with the vegetable stock and let simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and continue to simmer.
9. In a small frying pan, fry kale with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and once crispy drain on a paper towel.
10. Laddle soup into a bowl and top with crispy kale and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is really a bare bones recipe for me. I honestly didn’t even add salt or pepper as I wasn’t feeling it and I wanted to keep this soup pure. You can also add ginger and turmeric if you want also. I saved that for my tea on the side personally. I even managed to not add onions and garlic as that might have muddied up the beautiful colour of the soup; which was sweet and simple. Blending the carrots prior to adding them to the Dutch oven really helped with the consistency of the soup and I’m very happy I did. This really took no effort which is perfect when your down for the count. Nap while the veggies roast and maybe 10 minutes on your feet actually tending to the soup. Perfect.

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.

Christmas Dinner: Pea Soup

Pea Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

This Christmas I want to make a complete and composed dinner from beginning to end and who better than to use Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook. I am practicing these recipes early so Christmas dinner has no hiccups and I am always one to eat Christmas dinner any time of the year; to a few of my friends chagrin. They just don’t understand Christmas in July of Turkey in late spring. I have been adverse to pea soup for as long as I can remember and the only reason was the colour of the soup. I don’t mind peas in any other fashion, so what is my problem right?

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Soup

• 1 onion
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 1 leek, rough chopped
• 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
• Olive oil
• 6 cups of frozen peas
• 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 6 sprigs of fresh mint
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Plain yoghurt or crème fraiche, optional
Toast
• 6 slices of whole-grain bread with seeds
• 5 ½ oz leftover cooked ham
• 1 crunchy eating apple
• 1 ¾ oz Stilton cheese
• ¾ oz mature Cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Assembly
Soup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Using a Dutch oven add in the garlic, onions and leek and celery over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until softened; but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
3. Add in the frozen peas and stock and let boil.
4. Add on a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
Toast
1. Lay bread in a large baking sheet and shred ham, apple and crumble chees atop of the bread.
2. Finely grate cheddar cheese over top and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and honey.
3. Cook for 10 minutes and then place in soup bowls.
Soup
6. Pick out the mint leave and using the immersion blender; blend until smooth.
7. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, add a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraiche, and serve.

Tips
• Make ahead and reheat when needed and you can also gather the toast topping and have ready to go.
• Top with pomegranates, crumbled bacon if your not making the toast depending on your guest.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Now that I enjoy a daily green smoothie I have no quams about the colour of this soup and I’m very happy I finally decided to try it. The pea soup was so flavourful and my only issue was getting the soup to be silky smooth. Other that that I’m sold. I would suggest using vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken and serve the toast, yoghurt or cream fraiche on the side so those vegetarians and vegans can partake.

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.

Heirloom Tomato & Purple Pepper Salad with Marinated Onions

Heirloom Tomato & Purple Pepper Salad with Marinated Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

Another trip to the Farmer’s Market with wonderful results.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. to
Difficulty level is: Easy

Marinated Onions slightly altered from No Crumbs Left

Ingredients
Marinated Onions

• 1 medium red onion, sliced
• ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• Chives, small bundle finely chopped
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Heirloom Salad
• Heirloom grape tomatoes, sliced
• Heirloom Purple peppers, sliced
• Red bell peppers, sliced

Assembly
Marinated Onions

1. Thinly slice onions and place in a small bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mix oil and vinegar and herbs and pour over onion.
3. Ensure the onions are submerged and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Heirloom Salad
1. Slice grape tomatoes in half and slice peppers, keeping their full shape.
2. Place tomatoes and peppers along with onions (not including the marinated oil) on a platter and serve.

Tips
• Marinated onions keeps for two days unrefrigerated.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The original recipe called for just oregano and the use of red wine vinegar; but I had just used both these up. (just my luck) so I worked with what was in my pantry. I didn’t slice the onion as thinly as I hoped; but I still turned out great.

%d bloggers like this: