Zucchini & Feta Scones

Zucchini & Feta Scones - Candy Coated Culinista

Summer is Ontario zucchini season and when you have a bounty of zucchini you are just looking for ways to incorporate it into recipes. This recipe fits the bill and adds the perfect freshness.

Yield/Serving: 2 + 12 leftover scones
Prep Time: 45 min. plus chilling
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Ultimate Veg

Ingredients
⦁ 1 lb zucchini
⦁ 3 1/3 cups self-rising flour
⦁ 2 level tsp baking powder
⦁ 11 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
⦁ 2 tsp dried chili flakes
⦁ 7 oz feta cheese
⦁ orange bell pepper
⦁ red onion
⦁ 2 large eggs

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Coarsely grate zucchini and place in a large bowl with a pinch of sea salt.
3. Scrunch and squeeze together, them leave aside.
4. Pour flour into a bowl along with baking powder and rub in cubed butter.
5. Squeeze zucchini again to remove excess water and stir into the flour mixture along with chili flakes, feta, orange bell pepper and red onion.
6. Make a well in the middle and crack 2 eggs in and combine, but don’t overmix.
7. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
8. Roll out chilled dough on a floured surface until 1¼ inches thick, then cut.
9. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and let cool.

Tips
⦁ Extra scones can be frozen raw, then cooked to order straight from frozen at 350°F. for 35 minutes.
⦁ Add in any other veggies you have on hand if you like. I had orange bell pepper and red onion so I added a little.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These scones turned out pretty well, if not a little too dense and salty. Just beware of how salty the feta you use are and use less salt when removing excess water from the zucchini in the beginning. These scones looked perfect though which made me very happy as my scones shape in usually hit or miss once removed from the oven.

Avocado & Jalapeno Hash Brown

Avocado & Jalapeno Hash Brown - Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Jamie Ultimate Veg

Ingredients
⦁ 8 oz ripe cherry tomatoes, on the vine
⦁ olive oil
⦁ 1 ¾ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
⦁ 4 scallions
⦁ 2 fresh jalapenos chilies
⦁ 3/4 oz Parmesan cheese
⦁ 4 large eggs
⦁ 4 sprigs of fresh cilantro
⦁ 1 lime

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Place tomatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Clean potatoes, grate and squeeze dry with a paper towel.
4. Place in a oven-proof frying pan on medium heat.
5. Slice scallions and jalapenos and pit and peel the avocado.
6. Mix everything together and place in pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Grate the parmesan and season with salt and pepper and flatten down into a even layer.
8. Cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown nd crisp on the bottom.
9. Then transfer to the oven for the final 10 minutes.
10. Poach eggs to your liking and serve over top of hash brown with tomatoes and cilantro leaves.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This makes the perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and it’s vegetarian. My only change was to roast some mushrooms also; but the combination of avocado, scallions and jalapenos in the hash brown is divine.

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.

Dry-Fried Green Beans

Dry-Fried Green Beans

A Sichuanese recipe involving blistering beans in a shallow dry fry method is a quite new technique to me; but the result is quite outstanding.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Chinese Soul Food

Ingredients
• ¾ pound green beans (haricots or regular)
• 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
• 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more as needed
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 ½ tsp sugar

Assembly
1. Trim green beans and cut them in half.
2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel and set aside.
3. Preheat wok over medium-high heat until smoke rises from the surface.
4. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds to a minute, or until it starts to shimmer.
5. Cooking in batches add beans in a single layer and quickly stir-fry until beans start to blister.
6. Once beans look wrinkled remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking tray.
7. Repeat until all green beans are cooked.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and ground pork until cooked though

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I had never heard of the term dry-frying yet I think this is the way all green beans should taste and look. The slightly blistered green bean carries quite the punch. This makes a great carb-free dish or remove the ground meat and you have a vegetarian dish. A little salty a little savoury all umami.

Sunday Roast Dinner

Sunday Roast Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

I really can’t get enough of a roast chicken and this one is high up on my list. Roast chicken is such a simple protein to make and yields leftovers for another meal soups or salads.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 70 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Simple

Ingredients

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3 tbsp thyme leaves
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• ½ small preserved lemon, seeds discarded, flesh and skin roughly chopped (2 ½ tbsp.)
• 1 lemon, finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 ½ tbsp.
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 1 whole chicken
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill
• 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• ¼ cup sliced almonds
• 3 tbsp baby capers, or regular capers
• ½ cup dill, rough chopped
Sweet Potato Mash with lime Salsa
• 2 lb sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut in half lengthwise
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Salt
• ¼ cup basil leaves, finely chopped
• ½ garlic cloves, minced
• 2 limes, finely zest to get 2 tsp, then juice to get 1 tbsp
• Black pepper

Assembly

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place butter, thyme, garlic, preserved lemon, lemon zest. ¼ tsp salt and black pepper in a food processor and combine.
3. Loosen the skin away from the breast and spread most of the butter mixture underneath. Spread the remaining butter over the legs.
4. Place chicken in a baking pan and drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle ½ tsp salt and pepper.
5. Roast for 70 minutes, basting every 20 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a small knife.
6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix asparagus with 1 tbsp of oil, salt and pepper.
3. Arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spaced well apart and roast for 8-12 minutes until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places.
4. Transfer to a large serving plate and set aside.
5. Put butter into a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
6. Once melted, add almonds and fry for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently until almonds are golden brown.
7. Pour almonds and butter over asparagus.
8. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to saucepan and place over high heat, once hot, add capers and fry for 1 – 2 more minutes, stirring until crisp.
9. Using a slotted spoon remove capers from oil and sprinkle over asparagus along with dill.
10. Serve warm.
Sweet Potato Mash with lime Salsa
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Rub potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil and season with ¼ tsp of salt.
3. Place of parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down and roast for 30-35 minutes, until very soft.
4. While potatoes are roasting, prepare the salsa.
5. Place remaining 3 tbsp of oil into a small bowl with basil, cilantro, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt and stir to combine.
6. Once potato is cool enough to handle, remove the skin or scoop out the flesh and mash.
7. Add salt and pepper, transfer to bowl, and serve with salsa on the potatoes or on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I really can’t resist a roast chicken Sunday dinner as it reminds me of my mom. This spring chicken was so delicious I have made it twice already and it will be a new way to enjoy my Sunday chicken. I even made a preserved lemons weeks before. The flavours were bright and fresh with a little spin.

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill – Candy Coated Culinista

W is for Watercress Winter Salad

W is for … Watercress Winter Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love when I can get my hand on those winter fruits. It’s one of the few things I look forward to when it’s frigid and icy.

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

Ingredients
Winter Salad

• Watercress, bunch, stems removed
• Spinach, medium sized bunch, stems removed
• Parsley, handful, stems removed
• Persimmon, ripe & sliced
• Physalis, handful halved
• Kumquats, sliced
• ¼ pomegranate arils
• Blackberries, handful
• Extra creamy Danish blue cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup pecans tossed in vinaigrette
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
• 1/3 persimmon, rough chop
• 2 kumquats, rough chop
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
Winter Salad

1. Place watercress, spinach and parsley on a large serving plate.
2. Add persimmons, physalis, kumquats, pomegranate arils, blackberries and set aside.
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor add persimmon, kumquats, apple cider vinegar, olive oil & maple syrup until smooth and combined.
2. In a small bowl place pecans along with a tablespoon on vinaigrette and toss.
3. Sprinkle blue cheese and pecans over the salad and drizzle vinaigrette.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a wonderful winter salad with such a great combination of well everything it was a delight to eat. It doesn’t take a little longer than a regular salad; but it’ worth in.

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.

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