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.

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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

Ingredients
• 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

Assembly
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.

Tips
• 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

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad)

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad) – Candy Coated Culinista

This is salad with a twist. I love to make this recipe when I want something light yet flavourful. Fattoush is an Arabic dish that likes to make use of pitas that have gone stale. So when I came across this recipe it was right up my alley as I hate wasting food. You can use any vegetables you want or have on hand; which is why I love this recipe so much.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 270g chickpeas rinsed & drained (half a can)
• 175g of grape tomatoes. Halved
• 1 green onion, finely sliced
• Radishes, trimed and thinly sliced`
• ½ English cucumber, quartered
• Romaine lettuce, shredded
• Kale leaves, shredded
• Handful of spinach, rough chopped
• 1 sprig of mint, chopped
• 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
• Pomegranate seeds, (optional)
• Carrot ribbons, (optional)
• Handful of whole black olives, (optional)
• Mini pita’s
Vinaigrette
• The juice of 1 lemon
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tsp sumac
• 125 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• 10 ml (1 teaspoons) fresh mint, chopped
• 5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fresh thyme, chopped
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Tips
• Serve pita on the side so you can have non-soggy leftovers or toast them in oven at 350°F for 5 minutes if desired to warm them up.
• Add chicken breast for some protein.

Assembly/Method
1. In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
2. In another bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.
3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine.

My thoughts
This is a quick, fast and always tasty recipe. Now I must admit I have only even made it once with stale pita’s. Pitas never go stale in my house because I love a carb. Every time I make it, I find another ingredient to add in like the optional ingredients listed above. I have been making this recipe for 5 years now and now that I am starting to enjoy chickpeas I thought this would be the perfect recipe to incorporate them into as it works with Middle Eastern dish. The combination of ingredients add a freshness and that lemony sumac is splendid.

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.

Christmas Dinner: Pea Soup

Pea Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

This Christmas I want to make a complete and composed dinner from beginning to end and who better than to use Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook. I am practicing these recipes early so Christmas dinner has no hiccups and I am always one to eat Christmas dinner any time of the year; to a few of my friends chagrin. They just don’t understand Christmas in July of Turkey in late spring. I have been adverse to pea soup for as long as I can remember and the only reason was the colour of the soup. I don’t mind peas in any other fashion, so what is my problem right?

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Soup

• 1 onion
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 1 leek, rough chopped
• 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
• Olive oil
• 6 cups of frozen peas
• 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 6 sprigs of fresh mint
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Plain yoghurt or crème fraiche, optional
Toast
• 6 slices of whole-grain bread with seeds
• 5 ½ oz leftover cooked ham
• 1 crunchy eating apple
• 1 ¾ oz Stilton cheese
• ¾ oz mature Cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Assembly
Soup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Using a Dutch oven add in the garlic, onions and leek and celery over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until softened; but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
3. Add in the frozen peas and stock and let boil.
4. Add on a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
Toast
1. Lay bread in a large baking sheet and shred ham, apple and crumble chees atop of the bread.
2. Finely grate cheddar cheese over top and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and honey.
3. Cook for 10 minutes and then place in soup bowls.
Soup
6. Pick out the mint leave and using the immersion blender; blend until smooth.
7. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, add a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraiche, and serve.

Tips
• Make ahead and reheat when needed and you can also gather the toast topping and have ready to go.
• Top with pomegranates, crumbled bacon if your not making the toast depending on your guest.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Now that I enjoy a daily green smoothie I have no quams about the colour of this soup and I’m very happy I finally decided to try it. The pea soup was so flavourful and my only issue was getting the soup to be silky smooth. Other that that I’m sold. I would suggest using vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken and serve the toast, yoghurt or cream fraiche on the side so those vegetarians and vegans can partake.

Fresh Mint Coconut Gelato

Fresh Mint Coconut Gelato - Candy Coated Culinista

Fresh Mint Coconut Gelato – Candy Coated Culinista

Receiving a high-five for making this recipe from one of your favourite chefs is a really cool experience and meeting Curtis Stone was a pure delight. I get the same feeling every time I make ice cream by hand. It’s so simple and easy and rewarding and I love that feeling.

Yield/Serving: about 1 quart
Prep Time: 10 min., plus 7 ½ hours cooling and freezing time
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly altered from Good Food Goof Life

Ingredients
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cups coconut milk
• 6 fresh mint sprigs
• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped

Assembly
1. Using a large heavy saucepan, whisk sugar and cornstarch together.
2. Whisk in cream and coconut milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
3. Fill a large bowl with ice and very cold water.
4. Pour mixture into a medium heatproof bowl and add the mint.
5. Set the bowl over the ice water and stir occasionally to cool down and remove the mint leaves after 5 minutes.
6. Cover the cream mixture and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until completely cold.
7. Place the container you will be storing the gelato in, into the freezer.
8. Freeze the mint cream in according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof container and melt in 30 second intervals in the microwave until just melted and let cool down.
10. Transfer gelato to a large bowl set over ice and drizzle the chocolate into the gelato while stirring vigorously.
11. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer gelato, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Tips
• Don’t steep mint for too long or it will start tasting like grass.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My first eggless ice cream/gelato recipe and it turned out just as great as the egg based recipes. The original recipe called for regular milk but I used coconut milk instead and I halved the recipe just incase I didn’t like it. Now I wish I had made the full amount as I am a big fan of this recipe. It takes less time without the eggs and Mr. C. liked how smooth the ice cream was; but was not a fan of the mint. I noted this is what fresh mint taste like vs. the whole artificially flavoured ice cream out there. I will be adapting and changing the flavour more and more as I am a fan of this recipe and this is a great eggless recipe base for my gelato.

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Alphabet Soup: C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: min. 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 large vine tomatoes
• Sea salt
• 1 ½ cup vegetable stock
• 1 cup couscous
• 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 spring onion, chopped
• ½ cup golden raisins
• 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
• Handful fresh mint leaves, rough chopped
• 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Salt to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Thinly slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
2. Sprinkle the inside generously with sea salt ad turn upside down on a plate lined with paper towel for 30 minutes. (This step will allow the moisture to be drawn out from the tomato; otherwise you will have soggy couscous.)
3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
4. Using a small saucepan bring vegetable stock to a boil.
5. Add in 1 cup of couscous, stir and cover.
6. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.
7. Fluff with a fork.
8. Add in the carrot, spring onion, raisins, celery, mint leaves, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, salt and black pepper and combine.
9. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
10. Spoon couscous mixture into tomatoes and fill to the top and place in the baking dish.
11. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until tomato skin starts to split open and soften.
12. Serve and eat immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a new favourite recipe of mine and I will be making this one again in the very near future. I wasn’t so sure if I’d like this as I thought it would be soggy, but it wasn’t at all. Even Mr. C. who can’t stand cooked tomatoes loved this. The softness of the tomato, yet it still need to be cut with a knife along with the crunchy toasted couscous with cheese. This was a great combination and I even saved a tomato for the next day and it wasn’t soggy at all and tasted the same as the day before.

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake - Candy Coated Culinista

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake – Candy Coated Culinista

A holiday can’t pass without me trying to make something themed. It’s St. Patrick’s day so enjoy this minty, chocolately shamrock shake.

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

Ingredients
• Chocolate syrup
• 1 scoop cookies & cream ice cream
• 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
• 1 tsp peppermint extract
• 6 drops green food colouring
• 1/3 cup 2% milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• Shamrock sprinkles

Assembly
1. Pour chocolate syrup into a pint glass and set aside.
2. In a blender put in ice cream, peppermint extract, food colouring and milk and blend.
3. Pour milkshake into the pint glass.
4. Whip the whipping cream and put on top of the milkshake.
5. Add sprinkles and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this for Mr. C. and he really enjoyed it and he like hint of mint in the milkshake.

Fruitcake & Mint Chocolate Shortbread

Fruitcake & Mint Chocolate Shortbread - Candy Coated Culinista

Fruitcake & Mint Chocolate Shortbread – Candy Coated Culinista

I have never made shortbread before and I was a little apprehensive to get this started. This is a part of the cooking club and I couldn’t decide between icebox cookies or shortbread. Mr. C. said “shortbread please” so my choice was made. I am making 3 desserts for Christmas dinner and only one I know will be perfect (because I have done it before is the Sky-High Pumpkin Pie). There is a saying that you never try out new recipes when you are expecting company. I however, don’t seem to follow this rule.

I submitted these for the Cooking Club Holiday Cookie Challenge. See my picture here in the Chatelaine gallery.

Fruitcake Shortbread

Yield/Serving: 16 squares
Prep Time: 1 hour (to let the butter reach room temperature)
Cook Time: 45 – 50 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ½ granulated sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, cinnamon)
• 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• 3 tbsp red & green glace cherries
• 3 tbsp candied lemon peel
• 3 tbsp dark rum

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Beat butter until creamy and then gradually beat sugar and vanilla in. Continue to beat for 2 minutes.
3. Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl and mix with a whisk.
4. Pour flour into the butter mixture gradually until well combined.
5. Add the glace cherries & lemon peel and dark rum until well combined.
6. Spray a 9” x 13” glass dish and press dough into dish.
7. Prick the dough with a fork every ½”.
8. Bake in centre of oven for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
9. Once baked prick again and cut into squares while still warm; then let cool completely in pan.
10. Serve.

Tips
• Use sea salt vs. kosher salt. The kosher salt granules are too big.
• Store in an airtight container in a cool place for 1 week or freeze up to a month.

Mint Chocolate Shortbread

Yield/Serving: 20 cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour (to let the butter reach room temperature)
Cook Time: 45 – 50 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ½ granulated sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, cinnamon)
• 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
• 1 tbsp peppermint extract

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Beat butter until creamy and then gradually beat sugar and vanilla in. Continue to beat for 2 minutes.
3. Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl and mix with a whisk.
4. Pour flour into the butter mixture gradually until well combined.
5. Add mini chocolate chips & peppermint extract until well combined.
6. Form dough into a log and slice into ¼” rounds.
7. Bake in centre of oven for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
8. Once baked prick again and cut into squares while still warm; then let cool completely in pan.
9. Serve.

Tips
• Use sea salt vs. kosher salt. The kosher salt granules are too big.
• Store in an airtight container in a cool place for 1 week or freeze up to a month.
• If you have leftover teas you want to get rid of try finely grinding them and adding to shortbread mixture.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Yum. I find shortbread to be a very simple and fool-proof recipe. I managed to alter this first time out and the results were great. I made these a second time a few days back and the results were even better as I chilled the dough. I think I will be making shortbread more than just at the holidays.

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