Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

I got a special request to make my lasagna and of course since I don’t make the exact same recipe twice I had to put a new twist into my lasagna. This recipe however took a very unexpected turn when it caused my third kitchen injury and this one was the worst yet; and had me almost contemplating going to the ER. To make zucchini lasagna there are two options using a knife to make thin strips or the easier way using a mandolin. I used my mandolin and was slicing the zucchini with no issue without the guard on (yes I know bad idea right) I was slicing away and then I noticed there was blood on the cutting board and I still didn’t feel anything mind you. I look to see where it’s coming from and I’ve sliced off a chunk of my finger and fingernail. Sighhh. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt and after an hour of getting the bleeding to stop and a quick google search of when to go to the ER regarding deep cuts. Not to forget I also checked how to glue a cut together if necessary as I had crazy glue in my tool box it finally stopped and I went back to the business of slicing zucchini and using that guard. Never again will I not use the guard.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 1hr
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• season salt, to taste
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 3 tbsp fresh oregano
• 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme
• 3 tbsp fresh parsley
• 3 tbsp fresh dill
• 1 – 250 ml container, ricotta
• 1 eggs
• 4 zucchini cut lengthwise to resemble noodles
• 1 cup spinach
• Pasta sauce
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
• Fresh herbs to sprinkle on top

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large saucepan sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until softened.
3. Add ground turkey and spices and cook.
4. In a small bowl mix together the fresh herbs, ricotta cheese and egg and set aside.
5. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini lengthwise.
6. Place a layer zucchini in a baking dish followed by ricotta cheese, spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
7. Repeat step 4 until all the ingredients are finished.
8. Add the finale layer of zucchini and then sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
9. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Wow another recipe I enjoyed with no carbs and it was very satisfying. I didn’t miss the pasta and it tasted wonderful. I’m not sure if I could get any guests to enjoy this if I actually mentioned first that there is no pasta; but ever morsel was consumed. Also I’m very happy I didn’t bleed on any ingredients and if I had to cut myself I did it at the best time possible.

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

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Buddha Bowls with Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs

Buddha Bowls with Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs – Candy Coated Culinista

These healthful round bowls of proteins, fresh vegetables and grains are a delight to anyone. In addition, the best part of these bowls is you can use whatever you have on hand and skies the limit.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. & 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Ingredients
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
• any seeds, to garnish
Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs
• ½ pound lean ground chicken
• ½ pound lean ground turkey
• ½ small white onion, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
• 1 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• Onion powder, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Oregano, to taste
• Dried parsley, to taste
• Curry power, two pinches or to taste
Buddha Bowl
• Kidney beans
• Lentils
• Chives, chopped
• Carrots, steamed
• Broccoli florets, steamed
• Brussel sprouts, halved and sautéed in vegan butter
• Red skinned potatoes, boiled
• Lemon oil, to drizzle
• Slivered almonds, to garnish

Assembly
Hummus

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut red pepper in half and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
3. Roast for 1 hour and set aside to cool.
4. Pour chickpeas, garlic, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper in a food processor and blend.
5. Add in the red peppers and blend once again.
6. Once mixture is smooth, set aside in a small bowl.
Turkey & Chicken Kofta Kebabs
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl add in ground chicken and turkey, white onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs and spices and mix until combined.
3. Form ground meat into a football shape and place of a aluminum foil lined roasting pan.
4. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool.
Buddha Bowl
1. Drain and pour kidney beans into a bowl and prepare the lentils by boiling for 5 minutes. Or use canned lentils if desired.
2. Chop chives and set aside.
3. Steam carrots and broccoli, meanwhile sauté brussel sprouts in a frying pan in vegan butter.
4. In a small saucepan boil 2 red skinned potatoes until tender. Let cool and then cut into chunks.
5. Add all ingredients into a bowl and drizzle with lemon oil and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my meal prep for the week. I don’t ever do meal prep; but I found this lends itself to being perfect for meal prepping. My favourite aspect was the hummus and I have come a long way from 2014. I posted a recipe I made for feta hummus where I still wasn’t a fan even though I add feta. So this time I bought feta thinking I would need it once again and I absolutely loved the roasted red pepper hummus without any feta. I can now say I love hummus and I’m excited to make a beetroot hummus next. The preparation of veggies was very simple and my taste testers really enjoyed this. I got told “you trying to show me up by making your own hummus eh.” “what did you use in that hummus and kofta” to which I replied “C’C’s secret spices and love. Love makes everything taste better.”

Turkey Stock

Turkey Stock – Candy Coated Culinista

Another great make ahead Thanksgiving or Christmas recipe that can be used in stuffing, gravy and day after soup.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 4 hours, plus
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Slightly altered from No Crumb Left

Ingredients
• 6-8 turkey pieces; combo of wings and drumsticks
• 10 cups of water
• 1 large onion. Sliced into rings
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 celery sticks, chopped
• Fresh parsley, handful
• Fresh chives, handful
• Fresh thyme, handful

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place turkey pieces into a roasting pan and bake for 60 minutes. (Just ensure all sides of the turkey are a golden brown)
3. Check every 30 minutes and flip.
4. Meanwhile using a large stock pot add ten cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Once turkey is done, tear apart the wings and place all the turkey pieces along with the vegetable into the stock pot.
6. Scrape the brown bits from the roasting pan with a wooden spoon and add to the stock pot. (If it hasn’t all deglazed; just turn on the burner and add some water and let boil and scrap the turkey pieces off)
7. Gently simmer over low heat for 4 hours. The stock will reduce down.
8. Let cool and pour into jars and chill.

Tips
• Use the leftover turkey for whatever you like. I saved the drum sticks for dinner as they remained whole and the turkey wings were put in a quick turkey soup with the rest of the veg.
• You can also freeze this stock.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Not going to lie here this is a lot of work for stock; but then there are no preservatives, sodium or salt and chemicals. So start this in the morning and go about your day in the house and let this reduce while you’re doing chores and other baking. There is no salt in this recipe so it won’t be as flavourful as you expect; but it’s best to salt whatever dish you put this into after the fact.

Caribbean Soup … Just like my mom used to make …

Mom’s Caribbean Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My mom passed away before I really got into cooking and she was one of the cooking types who had no recipes written down. That can be and is quite hard when I am trying to recreate those dinners that are near and dear to my heart. One of those recipes is her Caribbean soup; this is one of those dishes that I loved as a kid and I detested soup back then yet I would enjoy this soup; even with the pigtails in it – it’s a Caribbean thing. I have made this recipe twice now purely from the taste, I remember from days gone by and I have made a pretty good replication. My first attempt was closer I believe, but silly me can’t find where I put the recipe or I just never jotted it done; so here I go again and this time I made sure to write it down.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Turkey pieces, 4 wings & 2 legs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Season salt, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 500 ml water
• 3 Small red skinned potatoes, halved
• Dumplings (flour, salt, water)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• carrots, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season turkey and place in roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes.
3. In the meantime prepare the celery, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic and set aside.
4. Using a large stockpot place garlic an oil and cook until a golden brown.
5. Add chicken stock and water and put pot to simmer.
6. When turkey is cooked, shred turkey meat into pieces and add to the pot.
7. Add in the potatoes and increase the heat to medium and continue to let cook.
8. Using a medium sized bowl make dumplings by mixing flour, a pinch of salt and water until ingredients form into a ball.
9. Add to pot and cook for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size.
10. Once dumplings are cook add the remaining vegetables and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
11. Serve.

Tips
• If you are going all out Caribbean, add pigtails and bread kind like breadfruit, eddoes, plantain, yam and soup seasoning. I totally forgot to add plantains, which I can readily find at my local grocery store; but the other ingredients would require a trip to the West Indian store.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was very reminiscent of my mom’s soup and this made me happy; but I know something was missing. The soup tasted much better on the second day as the flavours married. My mom’s soup however always tasted good on day one, so I know something was a touch off. Was it the extra West Indian ingredients or more likely my mom putting love and attention into the soup is what made it always taste oh so good. Probably a bit of both.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs – Candy Coated Culinista

My love of photography and Toronto has rewarded me. I love my city and I am constantly exploring it no matter the time or weather conditions. One very early morning on the way to work it must have been -27 this December morning and I saw a gingerbread “Toronto scape” presented by KitchenAid Canada. It was gingerbread pieces made by local bakery The Rolling Pin to resemble Toronto buildings. I took the picture, because that’s what I do and I used the hashtag made from gingerbread not knowing I had entered myself into a contest of sorts. Cut to me receiving a DM that I won a Professional 5 Series Mixer & Spiralizer and after answer a skill-testing question correctly these babies where shipped to me. I can’t wait to give my new mixer a try as this one is bigger than my other KitchenAid Custom series mixer and I will not have to bake in batches anymore; which will save me time or I can start making multi flavoured layered cakes and mix at the same time. I was over the moon with excitement when I found out I won this awesome prize and I have many more recipes in mind for my new toys and also a request for apple pie using my gadgets.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Inspired from Williams & Sonoma

Ingredients
Tomato Sauce

• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
Meatballs
• 500g ground turkey
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• ¼ small red onion, diced
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs
• 2 eggs
• 1 large zucchini, trimmed and spiralized
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Eggplant Ragu
• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
• 1 eggplant, cut into cubes

Assembly
Tomato Sauce

1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar and add tomato sauce.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat to simmer.
Meatballs
1. Place ground turkey in a large bowl and add garlic, herbs, spices, Worcestershire sauce, red onion, bread crumbs, eggs and spiralized zucchini.
2. Combined and form into meatballs.
3. In a frying pan over medium-high heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
4. Sear meatballs on all sides in batches; about 1 minute per side.
5. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add zucchini to pan and cook for no more than 4 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
Eggplant Ragu (Vegan Option)
1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce and eggplant.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was beyond excited to use my spiralizer and it couldn’t be any easier to use. The zucchini was spiraled and crunchy and it makes a wonderful substitute if you don’t want to have carbohydrates. The turkey zucchini meatballs were so lovely that I think this will be a new way for me to enjoy meatballs. I will still make my Italian style meatballs; but this is now a healthier alternative for me. The eggplant ragu came about when I thought to take this recipe one step further and make a meatless vegan recipe. I have always been of the mindset that if I could prepare tasty and flavourful vegetarian and vegan recipes I could increase my meatless days to about three days a week and if I can make recipes like this it would be a no brainer. Also if you have an audience that you think would question the whole zucchini spaghetti, then serve the turkey meatballs with spaghetti pasta instead. These few recipes can be combined in different ways and it’s still just as memorable.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape - Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape – Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer - Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer – Candy Coated Culinista

Epic Breakfast Bagel

Epic Breakfast Bagel - Candy Coated Culinista

Epic Breakfast Bagel – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe started as a “what am I going to make for breakfast” The first time I made this it was a simple breakfast belt – bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato and then every time I made this the recipe grew and grew until it reached what I’m calling epic status. At this point I basically have to unhinged my jaw now to wrap my mouth around this sandwich and I love that.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients

• Lettuce
• Tomato, sliced
• Red onion, sliced thinly
• Bacon
• Apple Cheddar turkey sausage
• Fried egg, slightly runny yolk
• Poppyseed bagel
• Mayo
• Mustard
• Cheese slice
• Dijon mustard

Assembly
1. Prep the lettuce, tomato and red onion and set aside.
2. Using a frying pan over medium-high heat cook bacon and turkey sausage, and drain on a paper towel and set aside.
3. In another frying pan over medium-high heat fry egg until it is slightly runny.
4. Toast bagel.
5. Once bagel is toasted spread mayo on one side and mustard on the other.
6. Add red onion, turkey sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, Dijon mustard, lettuce and finally cheese.
7. Enjoy this great breakfast sandwich.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The first bit into this and the oozing of the egg running down was amazing. There is so much going on in this recipe and yet you can taste every ingredient. I find myself make my Epic Breakfast bagel more and more and I may even make that as a breakfast for dinner in the future

Epic Breakfast Bagel - Candy Coated Culinista

Epic Breakfast Bagel – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: Pie Squared

Food Diaries: Pie Squared - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: Pie Squared – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 366 Bloor Street East Phone Number: 647-350-2743

The science of the perfect pie. This Eatery offers those Hand held pies you’re accustomed to from the U.K. and Australia with a cute element stamp on each pie. I have passed by this shop a few times now and I finally decided to go in. The shop is small but; bright and welcoming. As I perused the menu the very friendly associate explained the whole Pie Squared concept to me. Hand held pies, pie desserts, tarts and even salads and soups are also offered; but let’s face it I’m here for the pies. I visited around Christmas and there was a seasonal Pie and dessert on the menu and of course I couldn’t resist as I love everything Christmas related. I choose the Pie Squared Combo which included a pie, sweet and a drink. I choose the Turkey Dinner Pie which was mashed potatoes, cranberry, turkey and gravy. The potatoes were creamy with the perfect amount of turkey chunks and a dollop of cranberry. For dessert I choose an egg nog butter tart; which was sweet and oozed filing. Now I’m not a fan of things that ooze much like jelly filled doughnuts; but this smelt just like egg nog and tasted delicious. I just couldn’t finish it because it was too sweet for me; but overall a great place for a quick bite to eat.

Pie Squared - Candy Coated Culinista

Pie Squared – Candy Coated Culinista

Pie Squared - Candy Coated Culinista

Pie Squared – Candy Coated Culinista

Pie Squared - Candy Coated Culinista

Pie Squared – Candy Coated Culinista

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