Gluten-free Minestrone

Gluten-free Minestrone - Candy Coated Culinista

Gluten-free Minestrone – Candy Coated Culinista

A cold weekend is ahead and I have been craving soup in a bad way.

Yield/Serving: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: (beginning to end) 1 ½ hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Red onion, half diced
• 3 carrots, peeled & chopped
• 2 zucchini, cut into half circles
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered
• 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 small red bell pepper, diced
• 1 small green bell pepper, diced
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tsp dried oregano
• 2 litres vegetable stock, reduced sodium
• 1 can red kidney beans
• 2 tomatoes, cut into pieces
• 2 cups gluten-free farfalle pasta
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped

Assembly
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, pour extra virgin olive oil and brown onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper and green pepper and let brown slightly, 5 minutes.
2. Stir in tomato paste, oregano, vegetable stock, kidney beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
3. Add in the gluten-free pasta and let simmer until pasta is aldente.
4. Continue to let simmer and add in parmesan cheese and parsley.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a great fall soup. Zucchini is a summer vegetable but in Ontario it can be readily found up until October and I fully took advantage of that. I have always wanted to make a minestone and this was so delicious I didn’t even miss the protein. The carrots and zucchini were still crunchy and this recipe is perfect for freezing.

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Mediterranean Baked Peppers

Mediterranean Baked Peppers - Candy Coated Culinista

Mediterranean Baked Peppers – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
• 2 yellow bell peppers
• 1 red bell pepper
• 1 orange bell pepper
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
• ¼ tsp dried oregano
• pinch sea salt
• pinch black pepper
• 1/8 tsp grated lemon zest
• 1/3 cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes
• 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
• ½ tsp lemon juice

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Cut bell peppers in thick slices.
3. In a bowl mix together extra virgin olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper and lemon zest.
4. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Place cooked peppers into a bowl with feta, parsley and lemon juice and plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is an amazingly tasty dish that is making me a lover of protein free meals. With vegetarian dishes like this it makes it easy to have more meatless meals in a week.

Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee & Saltfish - Candy Coated Culinista

Ackee & Saltfish – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s almost Good Friday and that means one thing, no meat. I always try to have 2 to 3 dishes on hand for the day and will make a shrimp fried rice, buy vegetable lasagna and of course make ackee and saltfish. Ackee is a fruit that is found in parts of the West Indies along with West Africa. It can be poisonous if the fruit is picked too early and is unripened, so naturally I always purchase my ackee canned to ensure I don’t get sick; but I have heard stories of people picking the fruit to early and getting sick. Don’t let this deter you as this is a great dish if you want to try something ethnic and culturally inspired.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1/3 lb saltfish (salted cod) – boneless/skinless
• 4 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion sliced
• 2 green onion
• ½ medium red pepper, chopped long and thin
• ½ medium green pepper, chopped long and thin
• 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 medium tomato cubed
• 1 can ackee (use fresh if you have – about 2 cups)
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• Fresh thyme (couple sprigs)

Tips
• Purchase canned ackee & saltfish from a West Indian store.
• Do not overwork the ackee, or it will before mushy. Try to get the look of fluffy scrambled eggs
• Add the garlic last as to not overcook them.
• You can serve it with Johnny cakes, boiled green banana or any other bread kind, or just some hard dough bread. I like it by itself personally.

Assembly/Method
1. Boil saltfish in a pot for 20 minutes at a simmer. Repeat 3 times to get some of the salt out of the fish.
2. Drain and rinse under cool water and break apart into flaky pieces. Set aside on a plate.
3. Sauté the onions, green onions, red pepper, green pepper, habenero pepper for 5 minutes in olive oil.
4. Add the garlic and the tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes.
5. Now add the saltfish and allow to sauté briefly.
6. Finally add the ackee that has been drained from the tin. It will take a couple of minutes for it to heat through and gently toss the ackee, to ensure not to destroy it.
7. Add ground black pepper & fresh thyme and serve.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
I made a big portion and gave some to my Jamaican co-worker and she liked it and said I did a great job for my first attempt. But of course she’d like more spice. The funny thing was I add more spice to her batch but it still wasn’t enough. Mr. C. on the other hand is no fan; it’s the texture of the ackee that he doesn’t like.

My thoughts
This is a recipe I grew up with and looked forward to having every Good Friday and now that I am making it myself I feel nostalgic every time.

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