M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp lemon juice
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp agave nectar
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1 small honeydew melon, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
• 1 golden kiwi, halved and sliced
• ½ English cucumber, cut into chunks
• 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/3 cup black olives, roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp finely chopped dill
• ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Assembly
1. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper until emulsified.
2. In a large bowl add honey dew, golden kiwi, English cucumber, red onion, black olives and dill.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and mix.
4. Finally top with crumbled feta cheese and give one last quick mix and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is one of my most creative salads to date. The combination of fruits and vegetables and it being both salty and sweet was very delicious. I would make this for a dinner party in a heartbeat.

L is for … Lentil Quinoa Salad

L is for ... Lentil & Quinoa Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

L is for … Lentil & Quinoa Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I have had a very long break from my Alphabet Cuisine series and the letter “L” is the reason why. I found a few recipes with Lamb and Lentils but they were just okay and I wanted the series to consist of new and interesting recipes and ingredients I don’t cook with a bunch. I have been working hard to get lentils to work and I finally found a recipe that it out of the park delicious.

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

Ingredients
Salad

• 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa
• ¼ cup orange lentils, washed
• ¼ cup green lentils, washed
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• ½ small red onion, diced
• ½ zucchini, diced
• Handful of dill, finely chopped
• Handful of parsley, finely chopped
• Handful of rosemary, finely chopped
• Handful of oregano, finely chopped
• Handful of thyme, finely chopped
Dressing
• 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Using a small saucepan, with the lentils in the pot bring the water up to a boil then let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Lentils.
2. In a medium saucepan pour quinoa into the pot and bring to a boil then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In the meantime, prep all the vegetables, herbs, and place in a large bowl and set aside.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
5. Drain off the water from the lentils and quinoa once cooked and then pour into the bowl with the herbs & vegetables and incorporate.
6. Add in the dressing and mix well.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have another recipe with quinoa and lentils in it that I can say I am thoroughly enjoying. I think the catch with lentil or quinoa is these two ingredients really can’t stand alone and require flavourful and many other ingredients to help the appeal of them. Or that is the case for myself as I can’t enjoy lentils and quinoa alone in . The fresh herbs and vegetables added texture and interest to the recipe and the simple and satisfying dressing just enhanced everything in this salad. I can now eat lentils more often and actually enjoy it. I also managed to turn a friend who can never seem to get through their lentil or qunioa dinner or lunch sides into a lover and I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

K is for … Kale & Mango Smoothie

Kale Mango Smoothie - Cady Coated Culinista

Kale Mango Smoothie – Cady Coated Culinista

This is my first green smoothie! I was a little apprehensive in regards to how this would taste, as all my smoothies are fruit based and I haven’t introduced vegetables into them as of yet in such a main role.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: less than a minute
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 packed cup, kale leaves, chopped
• ½ cup fresh pineapple, chopped
• 1 fresh mango, chopped
• ½ cup vanilla flavoured almond milk
• 8 ice cubes

Assembly
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was surprisingly delicious. I’m not going to lie I can taste the kale. It’s hard to get all the kale to be blended up smoothly without little kale pieces or flecks being left behind when I am drinking it; but overall pretty good. I could taste the kale and the sweet and tart notes of the pineapple. The addition of almond milk to this smoothie was a great idea.

I is for … Strawberry & Mango Cake Ice Cream

I is for … Strawberry & Mango Cake Ice Cream - Candy Coated Culinista

I is for … Strawberry & Mango Cake Ice Cream – Candy Coated Culinista

I was craving some ice cream which isn’t the norm for me and I had just bought Mango fruit cake from the grocery store. The thought popped into my mind to go crazy and toss some fruit and cake into the ice cream.

Yield/Serving: 4 cups (about 1000 ml)
Prep Time: 10 min.
Shelf Life: 1 week
Cook Time: See your manufacturer’s instructions per your ice cream maker.
Chilling Time: 2 hrs, or overnight

Ingredients
Ice cream
• 1 cup milk
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 6 large egg yolks
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and insides scrapped out
• 2 cups strawberries, chopped
• 4 slices of mango tea or sponge cake, cubed

Assembly
Ice cream
1. Combine milk, sugar and salt in saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Stirring until the sugar is dissolved and texture is smooth.
3. Whisk together the egg yolks in a large glass bowl.
4. Add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, pouring in a constant stream while whisking.
5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and set over medium-high heat until it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 3 minutes.
6. Strain the base into a large bowl and mix in the heavy cream and vanilla extract.
7. Set the bowl into an ice water bath and stir until the base becomes cool.
8. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and cover with plastic wrap and let chill completely for at least 2 hours.
9. Freeze in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
10. In the last few minutes of the churning process, add in the strawberries and mango cake.
11. Transfer to a chilled container and freeze until ice cream firms up before serving.

Tips
• The custard will look a little eggy but don’t fear it will turn out well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my take on a reverse ice cream cake if you will and it just came together amazingly well. Whole strawberries and cake inside a single scoop of ice cream seems perfect to me and I love the taste of homemade ice cream. My favourite part about this recipe is that there are no artificial flavours and that makes me a huge fan.

Radish Butter

Radish Butter - Candy Coated Culinista

Radish Butter – Candy Coated Culinista

A vegetable I hardly use, but thought to create something new and exciting from these radishes.

Yield/Serving: 1 ½ – 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 2 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 10 – 12 radishes, halved
• 1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Trim the radishes and halve.
2. Place into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add butter to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
4. Add salt and pepper.

Tips
• Serve on a toasted baguette.
• Serve as a topping for salmon or any other fish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was slightly peppery, totally fresh and tasty. It tasted great on the baguette and as I had lots left over I thought radish butter would be a great accompaniment on top of some salmon.

H is for … Hazelnut Brittle

H is for ... Hazelnut Brittle - Candy Coated Culinista

H is for … Hazelnut Brittle – Candy Coated Culinista

This confection is a simple step into candy confection making and a great practice for learning the stages or sugar.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Intemediate

Ingredients
• 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
• 2/3 cups water
• Non-stick cooking spray
• 2/3 cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Assembly
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat pour in the sugar and water stirring gently to dissolve water.
2. Let the sugar mixture simmer without disturbing until the sugar turns an amber colour, (325°F -338°F)
3. Place a silpat or non-stick silicone sheet on a cookie sheet.
4. Spread chopped hazelnuts out on the baking sheet and pour caramel over and let set until hardened.
5. Break into shards.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a sweet, nutty and a perfect addition to a scoop of ice cream. It took awhile to get the sugar mixture to reach that hard-crack stage; but slow and steady is the way to go as the temperature can climb fast and become a bitter sugar versus sweet.

G is for … Grapefruit Pomegranate Cocktail

G is for … Grapefruit Pomegranate Cocktail  - Candy Coated Culinista

G is for … Grapefruit Pomegranate Cocktail – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
• 3 grapefruits, freshly squeezed
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed
• 2 oz. Vodka
• 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
• Ice

Assembly
1. Squeeze grapefruits and lime into pitcher and ensure no seeds get through using a strainer.
2. In two glasses pour some pomegranate seeds and muddle.
3. Pour in 1 oz. Vodka into each glass.
4. Put ice into each cup and pour grapefruit juice overtop.

Tips
• Decorate with grapefruit wheel or rind swirls or lime wheel or rind swirls

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Two of my favourite fruits combined into an adult beverage; how could it go wrong. It didn’t and I loved the refreshing taste this had.

F is for … Raw Fig Almond Balls

F is for ... Raw Fig Almond Balls  - Candy Coated Culinista

F is for … Raw Fig Almond Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12-16 balls, depending on your size

Ingredients
• 2 cups raw almonds, or almond meal
• 250g soft dried figs, chopped and de-stemmed
• ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 1/8 cup sesame seeds, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 1/8 cup black sesame seeds, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 4-6 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
1. In a food processor grind almonds into a coarse meal. Ensure you don’t over grind to the point of almond butter. If you have leftover almond meal from making almond milk like I do then use that instead of grinding up raw almonds.
2. Add the figs and cherries and process until well combined.
3. Pour almond mixture into a large bowl and fold in the coconut, sesame seeds and maple syrup.
4. Form mixture into 1” size balls with your hands.

Tips
• If all you can’t find soft dried figs, then soak dehydrated figs for a few hours and de-stem them. They should plum back up some.
• I used my leftover almond meal from making my homemade almond milk.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I loved the idea of making a raw dish, but I think my palette is not used to this. I love that I found a way to use my leftover almond meal; but for me it just comes down to texture and it’s a little too soft. I loved all the flavours and the coating of coconut and sesame seeds did help me like it more.

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is:
Easy

Ingredients
• 500g fresh soft Ricotta cheese, water squeezed from it
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme minced
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
• ½ jalapeño, finely diced
• Handful of cilantro, finely diced
• Green onion, sprig of
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl and well combined.
3. Spoon into a fancy baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Tips
• Make sure you squeeze the water from the ricotta cheese.
• Serve with black and green olives, polish sausage, fancy crackers and bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This would be a great appetizer to serve at a party or a fancier snack. I didn’t take into account the water content of the ricotta and once we started eating it I could see some water at the bottom of the dish.

E is for … Sweet Soy Asian Eggplant

E is for … Sweet Soy Asian Eggplant - Candy Coated Culinista

E is for … Sweet Soy Asian Eggplant – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5-10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Sauce
• 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• ½ tbsp granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• ¼ cup water
• Black pepper, to taste
• Tamarind spice, to taste
Eggplant
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 4 Asian eggplants, sliced into thick strips
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• Green onion, as garnish optional

Assembly
1. Mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, water, salt and black pepper together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a cast iron skillet heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
3. When oil is hot add the eggplant, but don’t overcrowd and let brown turning over to ensure all side are golden and tender.
4. When the eggplants are almost browned add garlic.
5. Add in the sauce and reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer and reduce down until the eggplant has absorbed some of the sauce.
6. Plate the eggplants and pour the remaining sauce over top and serve.
7. Garnish with green onion if desired.

Tips
• Replace tamarind spice with red chilli flakes if unavailable.
• Serve with jasmine rice to make a completed vegetarian dish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Honestly I always find eggplant to be mushy but even though in some areas like this; the flavours from the eggplants far outweighed my displeasure for mushy eggplant. This was so vibrant and flavourful I couldn’t resist.

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