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.

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Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

I got a special request to make my lasagna and of course since I don’t make the exact same recipe twice I had to put a new twist into my lasagna. This recipe however took a very unexpected turn when it caused my third kitchen injury and this one was the worst yet; and had me almost contemplating going to the ER. To make zucchini lasagna there are two options using a knife to make thin strips or the easier way using a mandolin. I used my mandolin and was slicing the zucchini with no issue without the guard on (yes I know bad idea right) I was slicing away and then I noticed there was blood on the cutting board and I still didn’t feel anything mind you. I look to see where it’s coming from and I’ve sliced off a chunk of my finger and fingernail. Sighhh. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt and after an hour of getting the bleeding to stop and a quick google search of when to go to the ER regarding deep cuts. Not to forget I also checked how to glue a cut together if necessary as I had crazy glue in my tool box it finally stopped and I went back to the business of slicing zucchini and using that guard. Never again will I not use the guard.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 1hr
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• season salt, to taste
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 3 tbsp fresh oregano
• 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme
• 3 tbsp fresh parsley
• 3 tbsp fresh dill
• 1 – 250 ml container, ricotta
• 1 eggs
• 4 zucchini cut lengthwise to resemble noodles
• 1 cup spinach
• Pasta sauce
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
• Fresh herbs to sprinkle on top

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large saucepan sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until softened.
3. Add ground turkey and spices and cook.
4. In a small bowl mix together the fresh herbs, ricotta cheese and egg and set aside.
5. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini lengthwise.
6. Place a layer zucchini in a baking dish followed by ricotta cheese, spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
7. Repeat step 4 until all the ingredients are finished.
8. Add the finale layer of zucchini and then sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
9. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Wow another recipe I enjoyed with no carbs and it was very satisfying. I didn’t miss the pasta and it tasted wonderful. I’m not sure if I could get any guests to enjoy this if I actually mentioned first that there is no pasta; but ever morsel was consumed. Also I’m very happy I didn’t bleed on any ingredients and if I had to cut myself I did it at the best time possible.

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

U is for … Udon Noodle Soup

U is for … Udon Noodle Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
• 6 cups beef broth
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 medium onion, diced
• Handful of Italian parsley, rough chop
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 7 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• One knob of ginger, minced
• ½ cup sugar snap peas, halved
• 2 tbsp, mint leaves
• 200g, 1 package of pre-cooked udon noodles
• 1 baby bok choy, halved down the length of the leaf
• 6 dashes, fish sauce
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Cook the udon noodles according the package then drain and set aside.
2. Using a large saucepan pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil.
3. Add in celery, onion, parsley, green onions, garlic, carrots, ginger, snap peas, mint leaves and let cook for five minutes.
4. Add in the udon noodles along with fish sauce and apple cider vinegar and cook for five more minutes.
5. Turn down the temperature to simmer and add in the bok choy and let cook for 10 more minutes.
6. Serve

Tips
• Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian, vegan dish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I usually love the soup I make; but so far the Asian inspired soups I haven’t really been a fan of. It tasted fine, but just not to my style.

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo – Candy Coated Culinista

How can something that looks so simple and uncomplicated taste so divine and complex. That was my reaction to this recipe after asking the question “do you have any requests” and then I said to myself I guess it’s time to learn how to make chicken Alfredo.

Yield/Serving: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, a little time consuming

Ingredients
• 2 handfuls linguine pasta
• 4 boneless chicken breast
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Dried Oregano, to taste
• Dried Basil, to taste
• Dried parsley, to taste
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp margarine
• 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and stems chopped
• 3 pieces of bacon, fried and crumbled
• 2 handfuls button mushrooms, sliced
• 2 tbsp margarine
• ¾ cup chicken broth
• ¾ cup 2% milk
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 anchovies, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
• ½ cup cream cheese
• ¼ cup mozzarella, shredded
• Fresh basil, chiffonade
• Fresh chives, finely diced
• Parsley, to garnish

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Boil a large saucepan with salt and canola oil.
3. Season chicken breasts with sea salt, pepper, oregano, basil and parsley.
4. Using a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add extra virgin olive oil and margarine and sear all sides of the chicken for 2 minutes
5. Then place in oven and continue to cook for 20 minutes covered in aluminum foil and let rest.
6. Meanwhile a saucepan steam broccoli.
7. Using a medium frying pan fry mushrooms in a little extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
8. Using the same frying pan cook three slices of bacon, drain on a paper towel, crumble and put into the same large bowl.
9. Add linguine into pot and cook until aldente and drain well.
10. Using a small saucepan over medium-high heat melt the margarine and Gradually add in the chicken broth, 2% milk and whisk constantly.
11. Add in the minced garlic, anchovies, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and whisk until sauce has Gently broccoli, mushrooms, bacon, chives, basil and alfredo sauce into the pot with the pasta.
12. Serve immediately and garnish with parsley if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m in love with this recipe, now it’s not the traditional recipe as I just can’t help myself but it still has the flavours and it tasted divine. The addition of the mozzarella cheese, bacon and anchovies was a great idea and I think the recipe would have felt like it was missing something without out these. This is definitely a rich dish; but still so satisfying. This is one of my recipes that was talked about days after so I know I did a great. I even patted myself on the back for a job well done and I made it again the following week.

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.

Buddha Bowls with Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs

Buddha Bowls with Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs – Candy Coated Culinista

These healthful round bowls of proteins, fresh vegetables and grains are a delight to anyone. In addition, the best part of these bowls is you can use whatever you have on hand and skies the limit.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. & 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Ingredients
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
• any seeds, to garnish
Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs
• ½ pound lean ground chicken
• ½ pound lean ground turkey
• ½ small white onion, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
• 1 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• Onion powder, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Oregano, to taste
• Dried parsley, to taste
• Curry power, two pinches or to taste
Buddha Bowl
• Kidney beans
• Lentils
• Chives, chopped
• Carrots, steamed
• Broccoli florets, steamed
• Brussel sprouts, halved and sautéed in vegan butter
• Red skinned potatoes, boiled
• Lemon oil, to drizzle
• Slivered almonds, to garnish

Assembly
Hummus

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut red pepper in half and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
3. Roast for 1 hour and set aside to cool.
4. Pour chickpeas, garlic, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper in a food processor and blend.
5. Add in the red peppers and blend once again.
6. Once mixture is smooth, set aside in a small bowl.
Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl add in ground chicken and turkey, white onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs and spices and mix until combined.
3. Form ground meat into a football shape and place of a aluminum foil lined roasting pan.
4. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool.
Buddha Bowl
1. Drain and pour kidney beans into a bowl and prepare the lentils by boiling for 5 minutes. Or use canned lentils if desired.
2. Chop chives and set aside.
3. Steam carrots and broccoli, meanwhile sauté brussel sprouts in a frying pan in vegan butter.
4. In a small saucepan boil 2 red skinned potatoes until tender. Let cool and then cut into chunks.
5. Add all ingredients into a bowl and drizzle with lemon oil and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my meal prep for the week. I don’t ever do meal prep; but I found this lends itself to being perfect for meal prepping. My favourite aspect was the hummus and I have come a long way from 2014. I posted a recipe I made for feta hummus where I still wasn’t a fan even though I add feta. So this time I bought feta thinking I would need it once again and I absolutely loved the roasted red pepper hummus without any feta. I can now say I love hummus and I’m excited to make a beetroot hummus next. The preparation of veggies was very simple and my taste testers really enjoyed this. I got told “you trying to show me up by making your own hummus eh.” “what did you use in that hummus and kofta” to which I replied “C’C’s secret spices and love. Love makes everything taste better.”

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.

S is for … Soba Noodle Salad

S is for … Soba Noodle Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Buckwheat noodles I wonder how these taste? This cold Soba noodle salad is a vegans or vegetarian heaven; but for me I was looking for the protein.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 7 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 2 bundles of soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
• Half a small red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, shredded
• ½ English cucumber, julienned
• Handful of spinach
Dressing
• 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
• 1 tbsp honey
• 3 tbsp anchovy or fish sauce
Garnish
• 1 sprig green onion, chopped
• Handful of peanuts, chopped

Assembly
1. Using a medium saucepan bring water to a boil and widely spread one bunch of soba noodles in water.
2. Cook in the boiling water for seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile prepare the red onion, carrots, English cucumber and spinach and set aside in a bowl.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together.
5. Once the soba noodles are cooked, drain and rinse in cold water three times and plate.
6. Place the vegetables on top and then drizzle with dressing.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My first thoughts were, this is so tasty but near the end I was thinking, this is in need of some protein like chicken. The flavours were there, but for a meat lover like me I still wanted some protein.

Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

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