Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.


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.

Good Friday Shrimp Scampi

Good Friday Shrimp Scampi – Candy Coated Culinista

A beautiful dishes that is perfect for Good Friday if you are off meat for the day like myself.

Yield/Serving: 4-5
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ small white onion, diced
• ½ bulb of garlic, finely chopped
• Shrimp, 40 pieces of smaller sized shrimp
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• spaghetti, 2” circumference of pasta
• pasta sauce with basil
• 2 handfuls of spinach, stems cut
• ¼ green pepper, diced
• ½ small red inion, diced
• Tomato, cut into chunks
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Crushed red pepper, to taste

1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté white onion and garlic along with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes.
2. Boil a large pot of water with a little oil and salt over high heat.
3. Using the same frying pan add the shrimp and season with sea salt, pepper and paprika and cook.
4. Once water is boiling add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
5. Drain pasta and coat with pasta sauce.
6. Add spinach, green pepper, red onion, tomato, dried oregano, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes; along with shrimp and garlic mixture and incorporate.
7. Serve

• Add 2 pieces of bacon cut into pieces if this isn’t for Good Friday and you eat meat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was made with everything on hand in my fridge with no pre-planning or for-thought and it turned out wonderfully. This it will be perfect for Good Friday and I can’t wait to make it again next week.

Tomato Mushroom Chicken and Pasta Bake

Tomato Mushroom Chicken & Pasta Bake - Candy Coated Culinista

Tomato Mushroom Chicken & Pasta Bake – Candy Coated Culinista

Sometimes it baffles me how picky people really are. I mean with so much different types of foods available to us how you can only eat a handful of foods, especially when you have no food allergies of dietary concerns. When these people enter my life I always advise them to beware if I’m going to be making you meals be prepared to find new produce because it’s not going to kill you and I’d of course never give you anything that would cause you harm. This meal doesn’t contain anything out of the ordinary yet for some reason items here are not commonly eaten if you can believe that. Everyone is different right.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 can Campbell’s Condensed Tomato with Basil and oregano Soup
• 1 soup can of water
• 2 ½ cups rotini pasta
• 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
• 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
• 1 green pepper, finely chopped
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Oregano, to taste
• Italian seasoning, to taste
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a casserole dish mix soup and water together.
3. Pour pasta and vegetables into the dish and mix well.
4. In a bowl season chicken with sea salt, pepper, oregano and Italian seasonings and place on top of pasta.
5. Sprinkle cheese over top of chicken followed by parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 45 minutes until pasta is tender.
7. Broil cheese at 450°F for 5 minutes until cheese is a golden brown.
8. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe couldn’t be any simpler and that is a perfect meal. Compliments were positive all around from “I loved it” to “man that was some good food you cooked” followed up by what else can you cook lol. Needless to say I sent them home with a serving for later consumption.

Tomato Mushroom Chicken & Pasta Bake - Candy Coated Culinista

Tomato Mushroom Chicken & Pasta Bake – 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.

Green Beans with Mustard Seeds

Green Beans with Mustard Seeds - Candy Coated Culinista

Green Beans with Mustard Seeds – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Seven Spoons

• Sea salt
• 255g green beans, trimmed
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
• 1 small onion, minced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• A couple handfuls of baby kale or spinach leaves

1. Set aside a large bowl with ice and very cold water.
2. Boil a large pot of water and generously salt.
3. Blanch green beans and transfer to ice water bath.
4. Using a large frying pan over medium-high heat; heat oil and fry mustard seeds.
5. Add in the onion once the mustard seeds start to pop and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds.
7. Drain the green beans and add to frying pan and cook for 2 to 5 minutes.
8. Add in the spinach at the last moment and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe could have used more mustard for me. I think I’d add some Dijon mustard also for some extra mustard punch. This is a simple vegetarian side that can be made in a matter of minutes.

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.

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