S is for … Soba Noodle Salad

S is for … Soba Noodle Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Buckwheat noodles I wonder how these taste? This cold Soba noodle salad is a vegans or vegetarian heaven; but for me I was looking for the protein.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 7 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy


• 2 bundles of soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
• Half a small red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, shredded
• ½ English cucumber, julienned
• Handful of spinach
• 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
• 1 tbsp honey
• 3 tbsp anchovy or fish sauce
• 1 sprig green onion, chopped
• Handful of peanuts, chopped

1. Using a medium saucepan bring water to a boil and widely spread one bunch of soba noodles in water.
2. Cook in the boiling water for seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile prepare the red onion, carrots, English cucumber and spinach and set aside in a bowl.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together.
5. Once the soba noodles are cooked, drain and rinse in cold water three times and plate.
6. Place the vegetables on top and then drizzle with dressing.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My first thoughts were, this is so tasty but near the end I was thinking, this is in need of some protein like chicken. The flavours were there, but for a meat lover like me I still wanted some protein.


Christmas Dinner- Salad: Spinach & Bacon Salad

Christmas Dinner: Spinach & Bacon Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

A simple salad course to keep the Christmas dinner festivities running smoothly.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

• 6 thick cut slices of bacon
• Olive oil
• 2 heaping tablespoons pine nuts
• 12 x ½ ” thick slices of French baguette
• 6 medium pickled onions, and 2 tbsp liquor from the jar
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• Quality extra virgin olive oil
• 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
• 1 handful of seasonal salad leaves

1. Slice bacon into lardons and put into a large frying pan over medium-high heat and fry.
2. Add pine nuts for a minute and scoop out with a slotted spoon leaving the bacon fat behind.
3. Toast the bread in the bacon fat until golden on both sides.
4. Finely slice pickled onions.
5. Using a large bowl mix the pickled onion liquor with the Dijon mustard, ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of black pepper.
6. Wash and dry the spinach and add to bowl.
7. Add bacon, pine nuts and pickled onions and then toss.
8. Place the croutons (sliced baguette) in and serve.

• Add crumbled blue cheese or feta or matchstick apples or pears would work well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a tasty simple salad and with preparing a full Christmas dinner this salad packs a punch without that much effort.

Creamy Blue Cheesey Potatoes with Chives & Haricots Warm Salad

Creamy Blue Cheesey Potatoes with Chives & Haricots warm salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a warm salad and this recipe will not disappoint and if your reading this hating Blue Cheese I urge you to give this a try.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 pound baby yellow skinned potatoes, halved & boiled
• 1 pound green haricots, ends trimmed
• Blue cheese, small wedge crumbled
• Chives, finely chopped
• Thyme, 6 sprigs

1. In a large pot over high heat salted boil potatoes until tender; then drain and set aside.
2. Prepare haricots and steam until just cooked.
3. Place haricots in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.
4. Drain haricots and add to a platter along with the potatoes and crumble blue cheese over top.
5. Sprinkle chives and thyme and serve.

• If you must, you can swap out to another crumbly cheese if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a beautiful way to enjoy some in season haricots. I remember a time I hated blue cheese and just like olives, anchovies and sushi I became a fan once I became an adult and my palette matured. The salty creaminess with that slight medicinal taste makes the perfect coating for the vegetables. One can’t eat loads of blue cheese in one sitting; but this recipe gives the perfect balance that I craved again the next day. I wish I had made more.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Meal – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unexpected victory over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. The victory for the Mexican’s was short lived; but for this day they could celebrate a victory and they did. This is celebrated mainly in the U.S. & Mexico; but other countries around the world like to partake in this day like Canada, the Caribbean and even other countries further away from Mexico. To celebrate this day in history I ventured into something Mexican.

Yield/Serving: 4 tacos, serves 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time-consuming

• 12 shrimp
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 ripe but firm avocados
• 1 egg
• Splash of coconut milk
• ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp canola oil
• 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
• Handful of spinach
• 6 grape tomatoes, slices lengthwise
• ¼ red bell pepper, diced
• ¼ green bell pepper, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• Small piece on red onion, diced
• Small handful of cilantro, rough chop
• Corn kernels from one ear of corn
• 4 corn tortillas
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
• Generous handful of cilantro, stems and all
• ½ of an avocado
• 1 generous table spoon of coconut milk, the solid portion not the watery part
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Few drops of fresh lime juice
• Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp or more
Mango Bean Salad
• 1 large mango, peeled and diced
• 1 dill cucumber, sliced
• ½ red bell pepper, chopped
• ½ green bell pepper, chopped
• 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
• Handful cilantro, chopped
• ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 cloves garlic
• Corn kernels fresh from ear of corn
• ½ freshly squeezed lime juice
• Kosher salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp agave nectar
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
• ½ of a cantaloupe, peeled and chopped
• Tiny piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed
• 6 cubes of ice
• Cilantro, for garnish

1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add olive oil and season shrimp with spices add garlic and cook.
2. Let drain on a paper towel and set aside.
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add canola oil.
2. Peel two avocados and sliced into pieces. Set one half of an avocado and put into the food processor for the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Wisk egg and milk in a small bowl.
4. In a plate mixed together panko crumbs and spices.
5. Dip avocado into egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs.
6. Fry until each side is a golden brown.
1. Using a small saucepan, slice corn kernels off and boil until cooked. Then set aside ¼ of the kernels for the tacos and the remainder for the mango bean salad.
1. Prepare all the topping and place in a plate and set aside.
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
1. Blend all the ingredients together adding extra virgin olive oil little by little until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
2. Set aside.
Mango Bean Salad
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and add agave nectar and apple cider vinegar and stir until well combined.
2. Set aside and let marry.
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
1. Place cantaloupe, ginger, lime juice and ice cubes into a blender and blend.
2. Strain off some of the pulp if desired and garnish with cilantro.
1. Add toppings onto corn tortillas and place avocado on two tacos and shrimp on the other two tacos.
2. Drizzle with the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Serve

• Add a splash of tequila if your feeling festive to the aqua fresca to make it a more adult beverage.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was beyond flavourful and I was super excited to make this from the moment I started and I kept building layers to this as I kept cooking. This took longer than I expected; but there are many different components going into the dish and it makes this a lovely complete meal from beginning to end. The creaminess and crunch of the avocado taco made me not miss the protein. Once again I found another dish where I can up my vegetarian recipes to two or three times a week and not miss the meat. The shrimp taco is a great option for those who still want seafood/meat, as the shrimp was packed with flavour and colour. With the addition of the avocado cilantro coconut sauce it once again added another layer of complexity and it was the usual American salsa. I must say that corn tortillas are the way to go, I highly recommend them to the whole wheat, ancient grain or regular floured tortillas I have tried. They are so much more authentic and if you can find them please give them a try. The bean salad was chocked full of all those Mexican ingredients with the vinegar and agave nectar dressing to add a little sweet and tart aspect. Washing this all down was a mild fruity beverage which didn’t overpower the meal, it was just a lovely compliment. Any vegetarian or pescatarian would be total chuffed to see this for dinner and they were. This is already being requested and I’ll gladly make it again soon and hopefully streamline this recipe down to a hour beginning to end as I like quick weeknight meals.

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

• 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

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.

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Kale Caesar Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This twist on a Caesar salad is my new favourite way to enjoy Caesar salad. Robust and hearty kale being incorporated into this classic is delicious.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
• 6 kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
• Spinach, big handful chopped
• 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
• Caesar salad dressing
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup croutons

1. Chop romaine, kale and spinach leaves and put into a bowl.
2. Using a frying pan, fry bacon until crispy and then crumble.
3. Using the same oil from the bacon, quickly fry the minced garlic and add to another bowl.
4. Finely chop the anchovies and add to the small bowl along with salad dressing and mix.
5. Shred mozzarella cheese and add to the bowl of lettuce along with parmesan cheese and croutons.
6. Mix well and serve.

• Make the dressing by hand if you like; but I decided not to as I had time restraints.
• Make into a chicken Caesar salad by adding grilled chicken breast into the salad.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This salad was enjoyed by my taste testers. I managed to turn people who claim to hate anchovy’s and kale into a lover. Granted the moment I mentioned there were whole anchovy fillets in the salad some stopped. My point was still proven and I arrested my case. I have made this salad three times already in 2 weeks; even once as a chicken Caesar salad.

Chef’s Plate Review

Chicken Carbonara - Chef's Plate - Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Carbonara – Chef’s Plate – Candy Coated Culinista

Chef’s Plate promises a better way to cook with farm fresh, premium cuts and healthy & nutritious meals for you and your family. Each week a new set of recipes are available for your choosing and then the fresh pre-portioned ingredients are delivered to your door for you to prepare.

For my first venture in Chef’s Plate is chose steak and roasted tarragon potatoes with a pink peppercorn sauce and mixed green salad and chicken carbonara with fresh linguine pasta in a creamy parmesan sauce. The box even came with some Valentine’s Day treats and a card which was the perfect added touch for those celebrating.

Plans run for a two person plan starting at 49.80/week for 2 meals to $68.70/week for 3 meals; and a four person plan is $87.60/week for 2 meals. There is flexibility with your subscription that you can suspend your deliveries at anytime if you want to take a break; which I like or there isn’t anything on the menu you like that week.

The steak dish was a medium difficulty with 30 min prep time and 470 calories per serving. I would make this recipe again on my own as I never had tarragon before and this was such a simple but appealing dish. The flat iron steak was a great cut and with the addition of the pink peppercorn sauce was simple yet flavourful. I would however season it more than directed and add my usual steak spice medley. The portions on this meal were rather small though and I’m not a big girl or over-eat and I found the portion for two to be ideal for just one person.

The chicken carbonara had a 15 min of prep time with 750 calories per serving and a hard difficulty level; which it lived up to. The recipe couldn’t have been easier until it came to the carbonana sauce portion. My sauce came out too thick and was eggy, which I had to wonder why as I followed the directions and I know the basis of making cream sauces. I checked on social media and I looked at some others photos of the chicken carb and there sauce was also thick and eggy looking; so it’s something in that recipe I gather. The portion size for this meal was huge. This could easily serve 3 people or two very hungry people. This recipe directed to season 3 different parts which I found to be too much.

The directions were almost fail proof which would make this a great idea for those people who aren’t good cooks or just never know where to start. The instructions come on a coloured cardstock paper; with step by step directions and photos for each step. This is one if the few times I followed these recipes exactly without adding anything. I had to use restraint in this aspect which was new as I always go off recipe.

Overall this is a great meal delivery box with delicious simple healthy options and with vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free selections each week. I would try this again when two items on the menu peak my interest. This is also a great way to try a new dish you’ve always wanted to; but didn’t want to source the ingredients or knew you would have to buy much and have leftovers on a dish you may not end up enjoying. The food is delivered in a refrigerated box with ice pack to help food stay fresh until you arrive home. This box has quality ingredients the, price is reasonable; but I can personally source these ingredients for cheaper. That being said this is a great box for super busy people, or people who don’t enjoy sourcing ingredients … I’m a hesitant fan for the moment.

Flank Steak & Tarragon Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Flank Steak & Tarragon Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Chef's Plate Produce - Candy Coated Culinista

Chef’s Plate Produce – Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Spinach & Fennel Salad

Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Spinach & Fennel Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Spinach & Fennel Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

A classy upscale dinner at home yes please.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 15-20 min, depending on your pan size
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly Altered from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

• 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, butterfly
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 large egg white
• 2 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp freshly grated lemon zest
• 1 ½ cups coarse, lightweight breadcrumbs, Panko
• Vegetable oil
• 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tbsp coarse or whole-seed Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 140g baby spinach
• Small fennel bulb

1. Using a sharp knife butterfly chicken breast.
2. Season both sides with salt & pepper.
3. Line up three plates and pour flour into the first plate.
4. Whisk the egg white, mustard, garlic, oregano and lemon zest in a small bowl and pour onto the second plate.
5. Pour Panko breadcrumbs onto the third plate and spread out.
6. Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour, then the egg mixture and finally through the breadcrumbs, ensuring each piece is coated thoroughly.
7. Repeat with each piece of chicken.
8. Place chicken onto a plate and chill for one hour in the fridge (or up to one day covered in plastic wrap.)
9. Pour a 1/2“ of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
10. Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides.
11. Drain chicken on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
12. Repeat cooking the remaining piece of chicken and start to prepare the salad.
13. In a small bowl whisk lemon, mustard and olive oil until emulsified.
14. Add baby spinach to a bowl and thinly slice fennel using a mandoline, or cut as thinly as possible.
15. Mix and set aside.
16. When all the chicken is fried place chicken in the centre of the plate and place arugula salad on top.
17. Drizzle any excess dressing overtop and serve.

• If you don’t own a mandoline I highly recommend purchasing one. Life is so much easier with food preparation now that I own one.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have never made or really heard of chicken Milanese besides this recipe and I am a fan. I hear Milanese and immediately think of Milan and after a quick check I was right. I couldn’t find arugula so I substituted spinach for arugula as I have a strict two store limit when looking for ingredients. It still tasted great to me and the substitution made sense. The recipe also called to
pound (not a tenderizer) the chicken until the breasts are ¼” thick between two pieces of plastic wrap; but I just skipped this step to make this a quicker meal. I must say I liked the presentation on this and the taste. It looked quite classy for a home-cooked meal; I just have to perfect my chicken frying skills, which I have not tried before. I also like that I used fennel, which is an ingredient I don’t cook with normally. I think I will be added this to my grocery list more now as this his light fresh salad is perfect for a summer evening meal.

B.K.T. (Bacon Kale & Tomato) Salad

B.K.T. (Bacon Kale & Tomato) Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

B.K.T. (Bacon Kale & Tomato) Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This robust and flavourful salad is a tasty salad that I like to enjoy after those indulgent weekends.

Inspired from Salad Samurai

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 5 slices bacon ( bacon)
• 1 bunch Kale
• 1 sprig green onion
• Generous handful of spinach
• Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
• 2 carrots, shredded
• ½ English cucumber, large dice
• Handful of Cranberries
• Handful of Walnuts
• 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• Black pepper to taste

1. Using a large frying pan, fry bacon until cooked.
2. Drain bacon on a paper towel and cut into pieces.
3. Strip the kale leaves and tear and dry and place in a large bowl.
4. Add in the spinach, tomato, carrots, cucumber, cranberries and walnuts in and mix.
5. In a medium size bowl vigorously whisk the dressing ingredients until emulsified.
6. Pour over salad and mix until coated.

• Substitute bacon with soy, tempeh or tofu bacon.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love a good salad and this one is at the top of my list. Kale is a little on the chewy side, but I still enjoyed the flavour profile. Sweet, salty and contrasting textures and flavours. For once I was trying to find a bacon substitute and surprisingly I couldn’t find Tempeh, I don’t even know what it is really, so I added what I know and love bacon.

Spring Superfood Salad

Spring Superfood Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Spring Superfood Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This is one of the best cooking club recipes I have done to date and it was so simple and flavourful. I would definitely use this for a dinner party as the salad course; it’s bright and just taste of the spring. See my picture here in their gallery.

Slightly altered from Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 oranges
• 2 red or pink grapefruit
• 3 medium red beets, peeled and chopped
• 3 medium yellow beets, peeled and chopped
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 2 cups mixed greens
• 2 cups baby romaine lettuce
• 1 large handful of organic grape tomatoes (purple, yellow & red), sliced half
• 1/3 red onion, sliced into thin rings
• Handful of sliced almonds
• 100g feta sliced
• Fresh dill, chopped
• Fresh cilantro chopped
• Fresh parsley, chopped
Mimosa Vinaigrette
• 2/3 cup orange juice
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup white wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp agave nectar
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425° and roast beets for 35 minutes.
2. Peel the Oranges and grape fruit and slice into medium slices.
3. Prepare all the remaining ingredients and place on a plate.
4. Peel beets and cut in half and the slice about 1 cm thick.
5. You can toss the salad at this point or lay it out on the plate in a nice neat fashion.
6. Place feta on the side.
Mimosa Vinaigrette
1. Whisk all the salad ingredients together and drizzle over salad.
2. Serve.

• Don’t keep the salad dressing for the next day. The olive oil started to get hard and scab over the top of the dressing, not pleasant. I had made a little extra for lunch the next day and noticed the salad dressing I had put in a container had started to curdle in a sense.
• I roasted the beets as I didn’t want raw beets, but if you like raw beets you can try that also.
• Use any greens & herbs you like, baby kale, beet greens, swiss chard anything you like

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I could have this every day and be quite content. Mr. C loved this salad too, lots of flavours and textures and the dressing which I didn’t have the highest expectations for tasted great. This salad is hearty and eats like a meal. If vegetarianism tasted and looked like this I could actually do it…. maybe.

%d bloggers like this: