Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Clean eating at its finest. Such a simple and wholesome recipe that is great for lunch or dinner.

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

Ingredients
Salad

• Salmon fillet
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Green beans, trimmed, handful
• 12 Gem baby potatoes, halved
• 8 Grape tomatoes, halved, handful
• Spinach leaves, stems removed, handful
• Orange bell pepper, sliced
• Cilantro, removed from stem
• 8 Klamata olives
• 1 tsp Capers
• ¼ of Red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
• ¼ of an English Cucumber
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
• 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp poppy seeds
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of black pepper

Assembly
Salmon Salad

1. Using a frying pan pour a little extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Season salmon with salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
3. When oil has reach temperature place salmon fillet skin side down about 80% of the way, then flip using a spatula, and cook the flesh side the remaining way through.
4. Place on a plate and set aside.
5. Using a small pot filled with salted water over high heat, steam green beans and then immediately place in a ice bath and set aside.
6. In a medium sized pot of salted water over high heat, boil potatoes until cooked through.
7. Prep tomatoes, spinach, cilantro, olives, capers, red onion and cucumber.
Lemon poppy Seed Dressing
1. In a small bowl pour in all ingredients and stir well together.
2. Let chill in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This takes a little time to assemble; but this is a great healthy recipe that I will make time and time again. Fresh salmon served on a bed of veggies with a citrusy homemade dressing is just sublime.

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Italian Stuffed Shells

Italian Stuffed Shells – Candy Coated Culinista

A striking Italian meal that is great for a dinner party or a Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 36 Jumbo shells
• 1 lbs ground beef
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 cup pasta sauce
• 2 cups spinach, stems removed and chopped
• ¾ cups ricotta
• 1 egg
• ½ cup grana padano
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Over high heat boil shells in batches and cook until al dente draining and setting aside. Ensure not to break or cook a few more just to be safe.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat add canola oil and onion and garlic and cook until softened.
3. Add in ground beef and spices and brown.
4. Add in ¾ cups pasta sauce in ground beef mixture and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Set out two casserole dishes and pour a thin layer of pasta sauce into each casserole dish.
7. In a medium sized bowl add spinach, ricotta, egg, grana Padano, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and combine.
8. Start assembling the shells by adding ground beef first followed by ricotta mixture and place in casserole dishes.
9. Shred a little more grana padano and mozzarella cheese overtop and drizzle more pasta sauce overtop.
10. Bake for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil and then serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was very time consuming more so than a lasagna; but if you make a few batches like I did it is well worth the while. I made two meat filled shells casserole dishes and one vegetarian casserole option and these tasted great all be it a touch messy to eat. The shells were the perfect amount of meat, cheese and veg and very eye catching. I would definitely make this again; just not in the next few months. Also this is not a weekday meal, unless you start as soon as you get home from work as this took me almost 2 hours from beginning to end.

Italian Stuffed Shells (Pre-Oven) – Candy Coated Culinista

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.

West Indian Curry Chicken & Curry Chickpea

West Indian Curry Chicken & Curry Chickpea – Candy Coated Culinista

I received a text Sunday asking “You in the office tomorrow” to which I replied yes. When I came to the office there was a package on my desk saying “Dhal puri for you”. Well now I’m excited I’m always talking about dahl puri to my Indian West Indian friends and that I can eat it just the dahl puri by itself and totally be satisfied. I almost never make Caribbean food and I have never been fond of curry or spice anything; but this gift had me running home happy to make dinner. I was so surprised that I had all these ingredients at home, yet I never ever made a curry.

Yield/Serving: 5
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Curry Chicken

• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 4 small potatoes, cut into chunks
• 5 chicken breasts
• 2 tbsp curry powder
• 2 tsp all spice
• 1 tsp cayenne powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp onion powder
• 2 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 2 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp red chilli peppers
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• 2 knobs of ginger, diced
• 1 small onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup peas
• Handful chives, chopped
• Handful parsley chopped
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 chicken bouillon cube
• 1 scotch bonnet pepper, optional
Curry Chickpea
• 2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
• 2 knobs of tbsp curry powder
• 1 tsp all spice
• ½ tsp cayenne powder
• ½ tsp paprika
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp cumin
• ½ tsp red chilli peppers
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• 2 knobs of ginger, diced
• 1 can chickpeas, washed and drained
• Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
• ½ can of coconut milk
• Handful of spinach, stems removed
• Handful of rapini, stems removed

Assembly
Curry Chicken
1. Using a Dutch oven add coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Add potatoes and chicken breasts and turn chicken as needed until almost cooked through.
3. Add all the spices, ginger, onion, and garlic along with peas, chives, parsley, chicken broth and scotch bonnet.
4. Turn stove down to low medium and let the curry simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices and mixture marry.
Curry Chickpea
1. In a large saucepan add coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Add sweet potatoes, onion, red bell pepper, garlic and ginger.
3. Add all the spices along with the chickpeas and grape tomatoes.
4. Pour in the coconut milk along with spinach and rapini and turn temperature down to low medium and let simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices and mixture marry.

Tips
• Serve with basmati rice or dhal puri.
• You can use squash instead of sweet potatoes if desired.
• Pour vinegar in a bowl near the stove to lessen the curry smells in the house.
• If curry is to spicy add some coconut milk to calm it down.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I spent a good 3 hours making these two dishes and when I was done I needed to relax; but you know what this was so worth it. Funny enough I found the curry chickpea to be way more spicy that the curry chicken. It tasted great; but there was a slow burn; which I almost couldn’t tolerate. The curry chicken was much more my speed as I love a mild but flavourful curry. It reminded me of all those roti’s I’ve had but never attempted to make. I split this recipe in half and added a scotch bonnet pepper to prove that I can make a recipe truly Caribbean, even though I wasn’t planning on consuming it. I gave the peppery portion to my Guyanese gals, to see if I’m worthy of cooking West Indian and a portion to my dad to surprise him. The only thing I disliked was the fact that the curry smell was throughout the house. I was so glad I closed the bedroom doors; but upon my comment, I learned a bowl of vinegar near the stove while you’re cooking will lessen the drifting of the curry smell. My West Indian family and my Guyanese Gal’s said “it tasted great”, one commented it “tasted like my mom’s” and another said “I didn’t know you could cook Indian”. Well I’ll take all the compliments and be happy I can cook Spicy West Indian even though it is not my favourite type of cuisine. I can now label myself the girl with the Caribbean background that can cook it; but chooses not to and that’s fine by me.

West Indian Curry Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Curry Chickpea – Candy Coated Culinista

Basmati Rice – Candy Coated Culinista

Dhal Puri – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
• 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

Assembly
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.

Tips
• 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

Ingredients
• 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

Assembly
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.

Tips
• 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

Ingredients
• 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

Assembly
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

Tips
• 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

Ingredients
• 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

Assembly
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

Ingredients
Chicken
• 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
Salad
• 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

Assembly
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.

Tips
• 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

Ingredients
• 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

Assembly
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.

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