Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill

Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill - Candy Coated Culinista

Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill – Candy Coated Culinista

Tomato lovers this is a recipe for you. This is super simple and can be switched up with herbs.

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

Slightly altered from The New Rules

Ingredients
• 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
• Kosher salt
• Ground black pepper
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
• 1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
• ¾ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ cup tightly packed fresh dill roughly chopped

Assembly
1. In a large bowl salt halved grape tomatoes with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.
2. In a small bowl stir together lemon juice, garlic, shallot and half the salt and pepper and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Add the shallot mixture parsley and oil to the tomatoes and toss well.
4. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add dill and toss.
6. Transfer to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a vibrant well seasoned salad that can easily go with meat, seafood or alone. I made a few changes to the recipe by using what I had on hand. I used cilantro instead of dill and red pearl onions instead of shallots. This salad reminds me of a cucumber salad my mom used to make that I loved and it brought back some great memories.

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille – Candy Coated Culinista

Who knew a stewed vegetable dish from very humble beginnings could look so elegant and enticing.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Ingredients
• ¾ cup tomato sauce
• ½ white onion, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 medium yellow zucchini
• 2 medium green zucchini
• 5 roma tomatoes
• 2 tbsp herbs de provence
• 2 tbsp sea salt
• 2 tbsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour tomato sauce in a smallish square casserole dish and spread out thinly.
3. Finely chop and mince garlic and stir into tomato sauce.
4. Pour extra virgin olive oil into tomato sauce and stir.
5. Trim the ends off the zucchini and roma tomatoes.
6. Cut vegetable 1/16” thick (very thin slices) and separate into three bowls.
7. Start layering a green zucchini, yellow zucchini and roma tomato and alternating around the casserole dish. Overlap each piece a little and allow some to be visible.
8. When each layer is completed into the middle sprinkle some herbs de provence, sea salt and black pepper.
9. Repeat step 8 until all vegetable are used up.
10. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the inside surface of the dish, and place and press down on top of the vegetables.
11. Bake for 55 minutes,

Tips
• Ensure the zucchini and roma tomatoes are roughly the same width.
• Use a mandoline if you own one.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This dish tasted amazing and the vegetables weren’t too soft. I added the herbs du Provence as I thought this simple recipe could use some added spices. I love how the end result looked. Just looking at the layered vegetables and the time and patience it took to thinly slice the vegetables by hand made me feel quite cheffy.

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My new traditional of two whole years of a weekend getaway to Norfolk County for Pumpkinfest is so enjoyable and relaxing. The autumn foliage, pumpkin patches, hiking and long walks, hay & corn mazes, great lakes, Halloween decorations and of course pumpkins. This year I finally decided to lug home to big pumpkins packed in the luggage.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 white Cinderella pumpkin
• extra virgin olive oil
• 500 ml mushroom broth
• 500 ml vegetable broth
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Fresh oregano
• Fresh thyme

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash pumpkin and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat pumpkin with extra virgin olive oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 60 minutes.
4. When pumpkin is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven pour in the mushroom and vegetable stock and let cook.
6. Start peeling away the skin from the pumpkin and squash and add to pot.
7. Add salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
8. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Serve.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.
• Don’t waste the seeds. Roast and add to soup as a garnish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Simple and uncomplicated and divine. When I was in the pumpkin patch selecting my pumpkins I asked the farmer if the white pumpkins are well orange inside and if I could still bake or cook with them; to which she replied “yes” and I was sold. I bought two as I have never seen this breed or colour pumpkin before. The Cinderella pumpkin really shined with the roasted pumpkin seeds that added some much needed texture to the soup and I of course froze some for another day.

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Need an afternoon pick me up instead of going to the coffee shop for a coffee; try this energy balls.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 3 ½ oz unsalted cashews
• ¾ oz raw sesame seed
• 3 oz dried apricots
• 3 oz golden raisins
• 3 oz dates, pitted
• 1 cup puffed brown rice
• ½ of fresh gingerroot, peeled & grated
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 2 tbsp Manuka honey

Assembly
1. Toast cashews and sesame seeds in separate dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat and let cool.
2. Remove 1 ½ oz of cashews and crush in a food processor and place on a plate.
3. Add remaining cashews, sesame seeds, apricots, raisins, dates and puffed rice in a food processor until finely chopped.
4. Peel and finely grate ginger and add spices and process.
5. Then add honey and process for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add more honey if necessary to help mixture bind; just be patient.
7. With wet hands divide into 16 portions and roll into balls.
8. Drop into ground cashew dust and store.

Tips
• Will keep for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These energy balls are spiced so well and have a great after kick of ginger. I was worried for a bit that the mixture wouldn’t come together; but I just divided my batch in half in the food processor. These energy balls were well received and especially since no additional sugar was added, this was a real happy treat. I gave this batch away as a gift and I can’t wait to make a batch for myself in the New Year.

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner-Starter: Beet Carpaccio

Beet Carpaccio – Candy Coated Culinista

A vegetarian carpaccio what a unique idea.

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

Slightly altered from: Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 4 large beets, peeled
• 2 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt
• 1 lemon
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tbsp plain-yoghurt
• 1 handful dill, ends trimmed

Assembly
1. Wash and peel beets and then using a mandolin finely slice the beets and place in a large bowl.
2. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a good pinch of sea salt and then squeeze half of a lemon.
3. Toss together and ensure each beet is well coated as this will tenderize the beets.
4. Using a small bowl, whisk mustard, Worcestershire sauce, yoghurt and the remaining lemon juice and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
5. Arrange beets over a large serving platter and sprinkle dill over top.
6. Drizzle the dressing and serving extra dressing on the side.
7. Dollop some yoghurt on a serve (if desired).

Tips
• Use gloves if you don’t want beets stained hands. I didn’t use gloves; but I didn’t mind.
• The recipe called for arugula I used dill instead due to availability.
• Serve with warm crusty bread, goat’s cheese.
• Use heirloom beets eg white, golden, Chioggia (candy cane)beets and swap out the balsamic vinegar for a herb vinegar so the beets won’t get discoloured.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The smell of this starter was irresistible; the fresh dill filled the air with the tangy mustard yoghurt dressing. This is a great way to start a Christmas dinner. I would have this salad any time of year. I don’t have beets all the time; but when I do I remember how much I love these things especially raw.

Winter’s Day Turmeric Smoothie

Winter’s Day Turmeric Smoothie – Candy Coated Culinista

Sunshine in a cup with oodles of health benefits.

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

Ingredients
• 1 large banana
• Knob of turmeric
• 1 blood orange
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• 1 mango (optional)
• 6 ice cubes

Assembly
1. Add all ingredients together into a blend and blend.
2. Serve.

Tips
• Use turmeric powder if you can’t find turmeric roots

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love the colour and smell of this smoothie and I can totally handle turmeric now. It’s all about the dosage and now that I am using the right quantities and not purchasing turmeric cold pressed juices. I am a huge fan now and I notice all those health benefits associated with this root in this smoothie.

Seared Turmeric Chicken & Couscous with Greens

Seared Turmeric Chicken Hummus, Peppers, Couscous & Greens – Candy Coated Culinista

The iron journey continues….

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time-consuming

From: Everyday Superfood

Ingredients
• 2 large roasted red peppers
• 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• Olive oil
• 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
• 7 oz Seasonal vegetables, like Swiss chard or spinach
• ½ cup whole-wheat couscous
• ½ a bunch of fresh mint
• pomegranate seeds
• fresh carrots, peeled and diced
• 1 sprig green onion, diced
• 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp blanched hazelnuts
• 1 can of chick peas
• Olive oil
• Lemon
• 3 garlic cloves
• Salt, to taste
• Plain yoghurt, optional
• Hot sauce, optional

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and roast red peppers coated in olive oil for an hour.
2. Finely chop oregano and place in a bowl along with turmeric, salt and pepper and olive oil.
3. Add chicken to the marinade and set aside.
4. Blanch greens in a large pot of boiling water under just tender and reserve water.
5. Add couscous to the just boiled greens water and season and let sit for 10 minutes.
6. Add mint to couscous and squeeze in half a lemon.
7. Toast hazelnuts in a dry non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and crush in a pestle and mortar slightly.
8. Cook chicken over high heat in a cast-iron skillet for 4 minute on each side until cooked through.
9. Remove stems from red peppers and set aside.
10. Reheat greens if needed.
11. Place chick peas in a food processor along with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend.
12. Serve chicken with couscous, peppers, greens and hummus.
13. Add hot sauce if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is one of my favourite recipes. It combines all the components I enjoy except I wasn’t a fan of the hazelnuts. Marinating the chicken in turmeric gave it a lovely colour and taste and my favourite part was the roasted red peppers and the lemony bright hummus. As a plus I boosted my iron level some and I love that there can be a vegetarian and meat option.

Buttermilk Chicken with Chelo & Persian-Inspired Cauliflower

Buttermilk Chicken with Chelo & Persian-Inspired Cauliflower – Candy Coated Culinista

The perfect weekend family dinner with and Southern and Persian twist.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 24 hours prior
Cook Time: 60 min. plus
Difficulty level is: Medium

Buttermilk chicken from: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Buttermilk Chicken

Ingredients
• 3 ½ – 4 pound chicken
• Salt
• 2 cups buttermilk

Assembly
1. The day before you want to cook the chicken remove the wingtips by cutting through the first wing joint with poultry shears or a sharp knife.
2. Reserve for stock.
3. Season chicken generously with salt and let sit for 30 minutes.
4. Stir 2 tablespoons of kosher salt or 4 teaspoons of fine sea salt into the buttermilk to dissolve.
5. Place the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour buttermilk in.
6. If the chicken won’t fit double up two plastic grocery bags to prevent leakage and tie the bag with a piece of butcher’s twine.
7. Seal it and squish the buttermilk all around the chicken, place on a rimmed plate and refrigerate.
8. If you’re so inclined, over the next 24 hours turn the bag so every part of the chicken gets marinated, but that’s not essential.
9. Pull the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it.
10. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack set in the center position.
11. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without obsessing.
12. Tightly tie together the legs of the chicken with butcher’s twine.
13. Place chicken in a 10” cast iron skillet or shallow roasting pan.
14. Slide the pan to the back of the oven with the legs facing the back.
15. After 20 minutes reduce heat to 400°F and continue roasting for 10 minutes and move the pan allowing another side to brown.
16. Continue rotating so that all sides can brown and continue to roast for 30 minutes or so until juices run clear.
17. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Tips
• Know your salt and how much to add.
• Use yoghurt if you can’t find buttermilk

Chelo or Tadig (Persian Steamed Rice)

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1 cup basmati rice
• 1 1/4cup water
• ¼ cup canola oil
• 1 tbsp salt
• Turmeric, to taste
• Saffron, to taste
• 3 pats of butter

Assembly
1. Rinse rice a few times until water runs clear.
2. Add water to pot and over medium-high heat boil.
3. Once water has boiled bring temperature down and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. In a small bowl mix, turmeric, saffron, a little water and canola oil and set aside.
5. As rice is steaming bore holes into the rice with the end of a spatula.
6. Pour turmeric saffron mixture over rice.
7. Wipe pats of butter around the edges on the pot and continue to cook.
8. Continue to cook until the bottom on the pan forms a crust.
9. Flip unto a plate and serve.
10. Optional – just flavour the rice with the turmeric and saffron mixture and serve in a bowl.

Tips
• I have never been a fan of burnt rice and as a West-Indian child, I have come across this many a time, so I opted for jus t flavoured rice.

Persian inspired Cauliflower

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

Ingredients
• Cauliflower, cut into florets
• 2 tbsp lemon oil
• Sumac, to taste
• Cumin, to taste
• Thyme, to taste
• ¼ pomegranate seeds
• Handful of cilantro, removed from stems
• Pistachios, shelled and chopped
• Pomegranate molasses

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized saucepan, steam cauliflower until just tender as set aside in a bowl.
2. Pour lemon oil, sumac, cumin, thyme into bowl and coat using hands.
3. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds, cilantro, pistachios and drizzle with pomegranate molasses.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The chicken was salty and briny and the buttermilk marinated chicken made the chicken so succulent and simple. This was my first time using buttermilk in any of my cooking or baking as I have never understood the concept of sour milk. The Chelo almost Tadig rice was a bright and flavourful and complemented the chicken perfectly. The veggies was a nice addition; but I really hate cauliflower and am still trying to find a way to love it. I could tolerate it in this dish; but I will swap it out next time for broccoli or Romanesco. The pomegranates added a tartness, while the cilantro and pistachios added a lemony and crunchy texture. This is a wonderful complete meal that received comments like “wow look at this feast” and “look so yummy” with those compliments all that time in the kitchen and prepping was very much worth it.

Buttermilk Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Chelo – Candy Coated Culinista

Persian-Inspired Cauliflower – Candy Coated Culinista

Buttermilk Chicken with Chelo & Persian-Inspired Cauliflower – Candy Coated Culinista

Maple Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup with Warming Spices

Maple Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup with Warming Spices – Candy Coated Culinista

Why didn’t I think to add maple syrup before…

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pie pumpkin, cut in pieces
• 1 acorn squash, cut in pieces
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• sea salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp cinnamon,
• 1 tbsp nutmeg
• 1/3 cup pure Canadian amber maple syrup

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash pumpkin and squash and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat squash with extra virgin olive oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 60 minutes.
4. When pumpkins and squash is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven pour in the vegetable stock and let cook.
6. Start peeling away the skin from the pumpkin and squash and add to pot.
7. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
8. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Drizzle with some maple syrup and serve.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Another soup that was a hit. I love making variations to all of my soups; and why it took me so long to add maple syrup is beyond me. It’s really so obvious in the autumn months. The maple syrup and warming spices added such a wonderful taste that this is high up on my list now as a go to soup.

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup – Candy Coated Culinista

A light dessert for those who prefer fruit for dessert instead of the usual chocolate.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From How to eat a peach

Ingredients
• 6 limes
• 1 ½ cup water
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 ¼ pieces of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely sliced
• 3 medium, perfectly ripe mangoes, peeled

Assembly
1. Zest 2 limes and put in a small prep bowl.
2. Finely grate another 2 limes and put into a small saucepan along with juice from the 6 limes and 1 ½ cups of water, sugar and ginger.
3. Heat on low at first stirring to let the sugar dissolve; then increase heat and let mixture boil.
4. Reduce mixture back to a simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until its syrupy and let cool and chill.
5. Cut cheeks off the mangoes and eat the remainder of save for something else.
6. Slice cheeks and place in a shallow bowl or a high lipped plate and pour syrup over top.

Tips
• Make lime & ginger syrup a day ahead and save one lime skin to zest when ready.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a simple and yet refreshing recipe. It’s like the fruit cocktails we all had as kids; but with a grown up flavour. I want to try this with other fruits now.

%d bloggers like this: