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

• 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

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).

• 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.

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

• 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

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.

• 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

Autumn Beetroot Smoothie

Autumn Beet Smoothie – Candy Coated Culinista

I remember a short while ago I couldn’t tolerate a vegetable smoothie and then I started enjoying them. Slowly I added more and more vegetables building up my tolerance and now I’m at the point where I have a veggie smoothie more days than naught.

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

• ½ raw beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
• Handful of cranberries
• 1 small knob of ginger
• 1 banana, cut into slices
• 3 tbsp plain yoghurt
• ½ cup water
• Few ice cubes

1. Prepare vegetables and fruit and place in blender jar.
2. Add yoghurt, water and ice and blend for one minute.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’ve always loved beets and this smoothie with its natural sweet touch from the beetroot and slight kick from the ginger is a wonderful fall smoothie.

Oktoberfest Tray Bake

Oktoberfest Tray Bake - Candy Coated Culinista

Oktoberfest Tray Bake – Candy Coated Culinista

This hearty dish is my ode to Oktoberfest.

Yield/Serving: about 5
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy; but time- consuming

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 4 purple chard leaves
• 4 swiss chard leaves
• 7 uncooked pork bratwurst sausage
• 3 small red skinned potatoes, washed and cut into slices
• 5 small red beets, peeled and sliced
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• Basil, to taste
• Oregano, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Cayenne Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour olive oil on two rimmed baking sheets.
3. Trim chard and cut away stem with a knife.
4. Wrap bratwurst with chard.
5. Lay potatoes overlapping each other followed by the beets.
6. Sprinkle the potato with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper.
7. Sprinkle pepper over beets.
8. Bake for 45 min.
9. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Once everything is on the tray this is a pretty simple dish; just a little time consuming. I did find it hard to wrap the bratwurst with the swiss chard; but this is most likely a technique I would have to practice again. The overall taste of the dish was super savoury; perhaps to savoury for me.

Oktoberfest Tray Bake - Candy Coated Culinista

Oktoberfest Tray Bake – Candy Coated Culinista

Sochi Olympic Inspired Borscht

Sochi Olympics Inspired Borscht - Candy Coated Culinista

Sochi Olympics Inspired Borscht – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s Olympics time and I’m an Olympic nut; I just love seeing people get a chance at their dreams. It’s awe-inspiring, the countless hours of practice, gruelling schedules, physical and mental pain, injuries and rehab. They do all to make it to the big event where they can show the world, their country and themselves what you’re made of. They do this because they love it and they can’t see their lives without this sport. These athletes aren’t making the huge amount of cash like professional sports players do, so you know it’s about the love and passion they have. In these two weeks I get some of my poorest sleep; i’m up early going to sleep late, watching 3 stations to keep up to date on who’s wining what just so I can cheer Canada on all the way. Sure I have my favourites from other countries that I follow and love, but nothing gets between me and my Canadian pride. As soon as the Olympics started I knew I had to make something Russian. Lucky for me my mother in-law is Russian, so I asked to borrow a Russian cookbook and I went searching for Borscht one of the most popular Russian dishes.

Adapted from Classic Russian Cuisine

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Difficulty level is: Medium

• Vegetable oil
• 2 ½ pounds chicken legs with bones
• 6 cups water
• 1 bunch parsley, chopped
• 1 bunch dill, chopped
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste
• 3 medium beets, peeled, halved and sliced
• 1 cup white vinegar
• 1 medium onion, julienned
• 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 medium red skinned potatoes, cubed
• ¾ pound red cabbage, sliced
• Handful of parsley, chopped
• Handful of dill, chopped
• 2 tbsp, sour cream

1. Sear chicken in a large frying pan with vegetable oil and set aside.
2. Make a broth with water and the parsley, dill, salt, pepper and chicken and simmer for 1 hour.
3. Over medium heat place beets in a saucepan of vinegar and steam until vinegar is almost evaporated and turn off heat.
4. After the broth has been simmering for 1 hour, strain out the chicken, parsley and dill and place back on heat.
5. Shred chicken and add in the beets along with the leftover vinegar if any is remaining, onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, cabbage and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
6. In the last five minutes add in the chopped dill and parsley.
7. Serve with a huge dollop of sour cream.

• This was my fast version of this recipe as I made this on a weeknight and had little time. Increase the simmering time to let the ingredients marry more.
• This tasted better the next as the ingredients had more time to marry.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m not sure if I am a fan of borscht yet. I eat all of these ingredients in different ways all the time but in a beet soup I’m not sure yet; also the sour cream in a soup in new to me. The next day this soup tasted much better and I omitted the sour cream from my portion. Mr. C. said it was good and tasted like it should. I guess I need to get my stomach accustomed to this dish.

Swedish Pork Loin Sandwich on ACE Ciabatta Piccola

Swedish Pork Loin Sandwich on ACE Ciabatta Piccola - Candy Coated Culinista

Swedish Pork Loin Sandwich on ACE Ciabatta Piccola – Candy Coated Culinista

My dad has seen all the photos I have done for my blog and the cooking club challenges; and when he heard about the Ace Bakery-Canada’s Best Sandwich Contest my dad knew he had to tell me. When he first told me I didn’t think this was the contest for me. However 3 weeks later something said give this a try. Even if you don’t get selected regionally or win I have a blog entry and a 100% all mine sandwich creation. I have never made a sandwich at a gourmet level; granted I make a mean sandwich but when I think sandwich I think deli meats.

Servings: Makes 4

Pickled Beets & Onions (Refrigerate for 24hrs prior)
• 2 beets, peeled and thinly sliced (match stick sized)
• ½ red onion thinly sliced
• 1 cup white wine vinegar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 large jar 750ml or (2 – 400ml jars)
Pork Loin
• 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silverskin if required.
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp garlic powder
Orange Marmalade BBQ Sauce
• 2 tbsp orange marmalade
• 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
Apple Coleslaw
• 1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
• 1 Royal Gala apple, peeled, cored & julienned
• 1 small carrot, shredded
• 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup cider vinegar
• ¼ cup honey
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp mustard
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper

Pickled Beets & Onions
1. Wash and peel beets and slice into match sticks.
2. Thinly slice red onion.
3. In a small saucepan boil the vinegar, sugar and water.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour vinegar mixture into jar over beets and onion.
5. Tightly lid the jar and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Pork Loin
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix paprika, salt, black pepper and garlic powder and rub on tenderloin.
3. Combine orange marmalade and BBQ sauce in a prep bowl.
4. Put rub on the pork tenderloin.
5. Brush orange marmalade BBQ on pork
6. Place tenderloin on a foil lined baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.
7. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
8. Cut into 1 cm wide slices.
Apple Coleslaw
1. Prepare the cabbage, apple, carrot and green onion and put into a medium bowl.
2. Add the cider vinegar, honey, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper to the bowl and incorporate until well blended.
Ciabatta Piccola
1. Toast ACE Ciabatta Piccola bun at 350°F for 7 minutes.

1. Slice toasted ACE Ciabatta Piccola in half.
2. Place some apple coleslaw on the bottom of the bun.
3. Add 3 medallions of the pork loin onto of the coleslaw.
4. Finally add some pickled beets and onions on top.
5. Place the top half of bun on top and serve.

Please Enjoy

Mr. C. & I loved this. “Good job babe” “This is delicious” “We have leftovers right?”.

My thoughts
This was the most time I ever put into making a sandwich. I was thinking about this sandwich from beginning to end. The concept, what region (I choose Scandinavia as Sweden is where I have wanted to live since I was a teen), what flavours, the bread, the cut, the texture, bias cuts, knife skills, bread to meat ratio and so on. I even made a second pork tenderloin rub and tested it out on Mr. C. but we decided the orange marmalade BBQ sauce worked the best. I felt like an artist putting this creation together and then taking the perfect photo to show off all my hard work. This is the most fun to date I have had creating a recipe.

Alternate Swedish Mustard Pork Loin Sandwich  - Candy Coated Culinista

Alternate Swedish Mustard Pork Loin Sandwich – Candy Coated Culinista

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