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

Advertisements

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

I visited a different grocery story looking for ground turkey for my kofta’s and to my surprise I found Jamaican Ginger and Tumeric. I have never seen either of these in the store. Regular Asian ginger yes; but not its spicier cousin and the turmeric was a sign for my to go all in and try this ingredient I have had a love hate relationship with. Having a lifelong love affair with ginger, I thought it was an obvious choice to start trying to add turmeric into my diet alongside its “cousin” ginger. Now as easy as ginger is to enjoy for myself I just couldn’t get on board with turmeric. I have finally found a way to consume it and enjoy it along with all its benefits like aiding with ingestion and those all so important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities keep calling me back. Well this soup struck a chord with me in the most delightful way and I can now enjoy turmeric and its unique scent and vibrant colour.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 & ½ hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• 2 knobs of turmeric, peeled and minced
• 900 ml vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash and place in a roasting pan.
3. Boil sweet potato and carrot in a medium saucepan.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a blender along with the sweet potatoes and carrots.
6. Add turmeric and vegetable stock and blend.
7. Pour into two bowls and serve.

Tips
• Add more turmeric if you like.
• Use a Dutch oven if you prefer.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did start with a relatively small amount of turmeric in my eyes; but the soup surely had that lovely and distinctive turmeric scent. The colour of this soup is my most favourite of all the soups I have prepared. It also kept the colour upon reheating. I could taste each ingredients and they came together very well. This will be another soup in my rotation. If you want a faster dinner use your blender. I used the blender for Christmas for the purpose of using it solely for cooking and not my daily smoothie. I started off using the immersion blender in the Dutch over but I couldn’t’ get the consistency and the find turmeric to blend nicely and smooth.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini dressing and Hummus

Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini dressing and Hummus – Candy Coated Culinista

A delicious side with a Middle Eastern flair.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Cherry Bombe

Ingredients
• 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1tsp sea salt
• Chives, finely chopped, handful
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro
• ¼ cup chopped basil
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Dressing
• 1/3 cup tahini
• ¼ cup honey
• 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
• 2 tsp toasted ginger garlic sesame seed oil
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• Cumin, to taste
Hummus
• 1 red pepper, roasted
• ¾ cups chickpeas
• 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 6 tbsp tahini
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ½ tsp Kosher salt
• ½ tsp Black pepper

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small roasting pan place red pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast until the wedges are complete.
3. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into wedges.
4. In a medium sized bowl combine extra virgin olive oil and salt with wedges.
5. Place onto another large sized baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes on one side and then turn and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until brown and creamy in the centre.
6. In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients for the tahini dressing and set aside.
7. Cut red pepper in half and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
8. Roast for 1 hour and set aside to cool.
9. Pour chickpeas, garlic, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper in a food processor and blend.
10. Add in the red peppers and blend once again.
11. Once mixture is smooth, set aside in a small bowl.
12. Arrange wedges on a serving platter, drizzle with dressing and hummus and sprinkle with basil, chives, parsley, cumin and black sesame seeds.
13. Serve dressing and hummus on the side.

Tips
• Parboil the sweet potato whole first, let cool and then cut into wedges and toss in extra virgin olive oil and then bake is another option, if your like me and don’t enjoy sweet potato wedges cooked only in the oven.
• Add a little water to dressing if too thick.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was making homemade burgers for dinner and wanted to add a different and tasty but familiar side. Well this sweet potato fries made the best accompaniment. I also made some more of my roasted red pepper hummus as a dipping sauce to keep that Middle Eastern theme going. I wasn’t that much of a fan of the tahini dressing, so I added the hummus for my own selfish reasons. Tahini is an odd thing to me; I love it in shawarma; but when I tasted it in this dressing or on its own I just couldn’t get on board. The original recipe called for cilantro, mint and scallions; but I used chives, basil and parsley instead. I also sprinkled in a touch of cumin and I used black sesame seeds as I prefer and always have those in my pantry. I can’t wait to make this again; just without the tahini dressing sadly.

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a cold (knock on wood) and even now this hasn’t turned into a full blown cold yet and I’m thankful for that. I should have known my tonsillitis last week was perhaps a warning sign of things to come. So feeling a touch under the weather with a sore throat and slight cough, I had already picked up some soup essentials being preemptive. Now to make a new soup to help me feel better fast and nip whatever this in the bud.

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: approx. 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• Extra virgin olive oil
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 1 cup water
• Salt to taste, if desired
• Black pepper to taste, if desired
• a knob of ginger, if desired
• a little turmeric, if desired
• 3 leaves of kale
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash, sweet potato and carrot and place in a roasting pan.
3. Cover in extra virgin olive oil and roast for one hour and forty minutes, turning vegetable over halfway through.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a Dutch oven along with the sweet potatoes chopped.
6. Chop carrots and add one cup of water to a blender along with the carrots and blend.
7. Then add to the Dutch oven along with the vegetable stock and let simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and continue to simmer.
9. In a small frying pan, fry kale with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and once crispy drain on a paper towel.
10. Laddle soup into a bowl and top with crispy kale and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is really a bare bones recipe for me. I honestly didn’t even add salt or pepper as I wasn’t feeling it and I wanted to keep this soup pure. You can also add ginger and turmeric if you want also. I saved that for my tea on the side personally. I even managed to not add onions and garlic as that might have muddied up the beautiful colour of the soup; which was sweet and simple. Blending the carrots prior to adding them to the Dutch oven really helped with the consistency of the soup and I’m very happy I did. This really took no effort which is perfect when your down for the count. Nap while the veggies roast and maybe 10 minutes on your feet actually tending to the soup. Perfect.

Hearty Winter Soup

Hearty Winter Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

We had our first snowfall last Friday and I was pushed head on into soup season a little earlier than I expected. Now I had bought rutabagas and had no clue what to do with them besides my usual preparation and then I thought of adding this to my winter soup.

Yield/Serving: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour + 45 min. inactive tine
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 pepper squash
• 2 rutabagas, peeled and cubed
• 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil
• 1 white onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 3 button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 litre homemade vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut squash in half and scoop out the insides while the oven warms up.
3. Place in a roasting pan and bake for one hour.
4. Prepare rutabagas and sweet potatoes and boil in a medium sized saucepan until tender.
5. Using a frying pan over medium heat pour in olive oil and add onions, garlic and mushrooms; fry until golden brown.
6. Place rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.
7. Using a large stock pot, pour vegetable stock in and add vegetables.
8. Using the immersion blender, vegetables and let simmer until squash is tender.
9. Once squash is cooked, scoop out of the skin and add to the stock pot.
10. Blend again until all the vegetables & fruit have been pureed and the soup is smooth.
11. Let simmer on low for 45 minutes.
12. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.

Tips
• Use store bought vegetable stock.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out much better than I expected as rutabaga has very little flavour. However; with the other vegetables there was an added earthiness I enjoyed. The colour was a little muddier than I’d hoped; but I would have had to add more squash and sweet potato to get my desired colour.

Savoury Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole

Savoury Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole - Candy Coated Culinista

Savoury Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole – Candy Coated Culinista

Is there such a thing as too savoury…I sure think so. I made this recipe well before Thanksgiving thinking this sounds like an amazing unique dish too bad you can really only stomach it around the holidays or at least only I can.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
• 6 slices bacon
• ½ cup golden brown sugar
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup walnuts, chopped
• ½ cup butter, melted
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp cloves
• 1/8 tsp ginger
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• 2 tsp sea salt
• 1 spring rosemary, diced
• 1 stem of basil, diced
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• Pecans, to decorate
• Bacon, to decorate
• Rosemary, to decorate

Assembly
1. Fill a large pot with water and boil sweet potatoes until tender.
2. Using a large frying pan, fry bacon slices and place on a paper towel and let absorb.
3. Chop bacon (leave some bacon behind to decorate if desired) and place in a large bowl along with brown sugar, flour, walnuts, butter, cayenne pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, sea salt, rosemary, basil and combine with a whisk.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
5. Mash the sweet potatoes and add in the milk, eggs and sugar and spice mixture and stir until well incorporated.
6. Pour sweet potato into a casserole dish and decorate with pecans along the sides and add bacon bits along with more rosemary in the centre.
7. Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Like eating a very savoury sweet potato pie; the crunch from the nuts and the touch of saltiness from the bacon had me wanting more, the spices though probably a tad too much had me running away and I have altered the recipe accordingly for next time. I’m more of a hint of spices not an overwhelming amount. For awhile I didn’t even remember there was cayenne pepper in it until the slow burn crept up and then that was it I’m was done. This recipe smelt amazing from beginning to end, yet after 5 or so bites I just thought I think this is too savoury. Much like Pumpkin Spice Lattes in autumn and fruit cake or eggnog at Christmas some things are better only eaten at certain times of the year; because you well just don’t enjoy it as much any other time of the year. There is this novelty factor in a way and this is why I’ll be making this for either one of these holidays for dinner and no other time in the year ever.

Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Parsley

Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Parsley - Candy Coated Culinista

Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Parsley – Candy Coated Culinista

For over a year now I have been searching for some tasty lentil recipes. I really can’t stand lentils; but they are so iron rich that they need to be apart of this severely anemic girls diet. Black beluga lentils are on my must eat list now and I actually enjoy these and I love the colour and the taste of this dish and it keeps me going.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ½ cup black beluga lentils, soaked for at least an hour
• ½ cup parsley, chopped
• 2 tbsp vegetarian margarine

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork a few time and bake for 40-45 minutes or until soft.
3. In a small saucepan filled with salted water; bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 20 minutes until al dente.
4. Drain, rinse and set aside,
5. Using a large frying pan melt butter and add parsley to lentils and pour over sweet potatoes.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Sometimes I find these vegan dishes that almost could make me consider being a vegan. If I could come up with vegan dishes like this all the time I’d be very happy. This was the perfect meal no meat required.

Autumn Squash Soup

Fall Squash Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Fall Squash Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

This is a scrumptious fall soup recipe that I made on a whim; as I had to use up the left over pumpkin and coconut milk from my sky high pumpkin pie. I really enjoyed experimenting and making soup from scratch, and I thought about all the aspects of this like: the colour, taste, texture and the trickier aspect of how to make a not so pleasantly coloured soup look tasty and inviting.

Yield/Serving: Roughly 2 litres
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1hour
Difficulty level is: Medium – Labour Intensive

Ingredients
• 1 butternut squash
• 1 pepper squash
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 8 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1 tbsp herbs de Provence
• 1 tbsp basil leaves
• 1 tbsp parsley
• 2 tsp black pepper
• 4 tbsp sea salt
• 1 sprig green onion, chopped on the bias
• Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F and roast butternut, pepper squash and sweet potato for 30 minutes.
2. In a large sauce pan on medium-high with olive oil fry onion and garlic until slightly browned.
3. Once browned add 1 cup of vegetable stock and blend using an immersion blender.
4. Pour the squash and sweet potato into the large saucepan along with the remaining vegetable stock and blend once more. Stir continuously until soup thickens.
5. Add the pumpkin puree and coconut milk along with all the herbs and spices and stir for 5 more minutes.
6. Let simmer for 10 minutes to let flavours marry.
7. Top with green onions and sprinkle red pepper flakes on top.

Tips
• If you would like this a little less thick add more chicken stock.
• Freeze some soup for another day to enjoy.
• Roast the sweet potato for 1 hour and not boil them if desired.
• Serve these with crescent rolls or homemade biscuits.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Mr. C. absolutely loved this. I got multiple compliments and high fives. He even asked to save him some for lunch the next day. I have to mention he doesn’t like carrying leftovers to work the next day so that means if he wants, it I really did a really good job. “Yum yum yum. That soup was amazing” He liked the extra addition of the pepper flakes and commented that it added a nice spicy kick. He cleaned his bowl so I knocked this one out of the park I think.

My thoughts
I am super proud of myself. This autumn soup embodied all the fall flavours to me: it was hearty, rich and had some complexity to it.

%d bloggers like this: