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

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Turmeric Ginger Juice Shots

Turmeric Ginger Juice Shots – Candy Coated Culinista

Now that I have found the right way to consume turmeric I want it all the time.

Yield/Serving: makes 12 (2 once) bottles
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Preservation Pantry – Modern Canning

Ingredients
• 4 cups orange juice (from 15 medium oranges)
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 medium lemons)
• 1” piece ginger, peeled, minced
• 1” piece turmeric, peeled, minced
• 1 tbsp local honey
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Assembly
1. Assemble canning stations by creating a tidy filling station, cleaning the jars and lids and set up stove station.
2. Slice fruit in half and juice.
3. Mince ginger and turmeric.
4. Place juice, ginger, turmeric, honey, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a stainless steel saucepan.
5. Once boiling turn heat down to low and steep for 5 minutes.
6. Place contents into a blender and blend for 3 minutes until no peels or pulp can been seen.
7. Strain the contents of the blender through a sieve and pour into a heat resistant container to cool down.
8. At the filling station keeping the jars and juice hot, fill the jars using a funnel. Ensure you leave a ¼” headspace.
9. Wipe each rim and secure lids.
10. Place jars in the water bath covered in 1” of water and once the water boils process for 10 minutes.

Tips
• I have ginger and turmeric in my smoothies daily so I doubled the amount of it because I am used to these ingredients.
• Wear gloves when working with turmeric as it can stain counters, skin and clothes. I never need to do this of have an issue; but just take note.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Since I’m such a turmeric and ginger fan I doubled up on those two ingredients because I can tolerate them easily. This is a very spicy juice and the cayenne and black pepper adds a real extra unexpected but great kick. I enjoyed my shots straight or I put them in my daily smoothie to get those anti-inflammatory benefits. I wish I had doubled this recipe; but it just means I have to make this again soon.

Romanesco Steaks with Romesco

Romanesco Steaks with Romesco Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s BBQ season; but what about all on you vegans and vegetarians. Here is one dish that is substantial and you won’t be envious that you aren’t apart of the BBQ season.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 8-10 min. per side
Difficulty level is: Easy

Inspired by: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 1 head of Romanesco
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 2 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
• 2 fresh chilies
• ½ red onion, cut into thick wedges
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 2 plum tomatoes, halved
• ¼ cup skinned roasted hazelnuts or almonds
• 1 tsp sherry vinegar, plus more as desired
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or marjoram leaves
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp smoked garlic (from book)
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Remove leaves and trim stem of the Romanesco leaving the core intact.
2. Place on a cutting board and slice in half.
3. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat and coat the gill pan with extra virgin olive oil over high heat using a paper towel. If you are using a grill basket allow to heat for 5 minutes prior to use.
5. In a bowl lightly toss bell peppers, chilies and onions in olive oil.
6. Place over grill on in grill basket turning and rotating for 6 to 7 minutes for the onions and continue to char the red peppers.
7. Cover peppers in a kitchen towel (to make it easier to remove the skin)
8. Grill tomatoes and when cooled enough remove skin also.
9. Using a food processor add peppers, chilies, onion, tomato along with nuts, thyme and paprika and salt into a thick puree. Drizzle in olive oil as you go.
10. Grill Romanesco rotating them to prevent excessive charring. The exterior should be just tender.
11. Serve in a pool of the romesco sauce and sprinkle with flaky salt id desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The original recipe called foe cauliflower; which I’m not fond of. I did plan on using cauliflower; but I came across the Romanesco a cousin to the cauliflower and said maybe this is better. The sauce was also supposed to be a harissa; but another recipe I made had way too much sauce left over and I hate wasting. So this is how I got here; I loved it, a red sauce is very complimentary to the green veg and it all worked out well. Romanesco still tastes like cauliflower to me and it was just ok.

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I can never pass up anything with beets in it. Since its summer and it is the time for lighter, fresh and fast dishes this was a great lovely light meal.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 red beetroots
• 2 golden beetroots
• 2 chioggia (candy cane) beetroots
• 250g of couscous
• 1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Zest and juice from one lemon
• Handful of pine nuts
• 540g chickpeas, rinsed & drained
• Handful of parsley, chopped
• Handful of mint, chopped
• Pinch of paprika
• 1/2 crumbled feta
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Wrap beets in foil and roast for 30 minutes until tender.
3. Prepare couscous. (follow the instructions on the box); but use vegetable stock instead of water.
4. Fluff couscous with a fork and add in olive oil, lemon zest and juice.
5. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.
6. Using a small frying pan over medium-high heat toast pine nuts. Ensure you don’t take your eyes off the skillet as the pine nuts will brown fast.
7. Peel beets and cut into large small wedges.
8. Stir in the couscous with the chickpeas, chopped herbs and spice.
9. Crumble feta over top and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.
10. Serve warm.

Tips
• Add chicken breast for protein with harissa.
• Top with halloumi instead of feta.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a very filling an flavourful dish without the meat. I enjoyed my dish without the meat ad this will be a great addition to my menu. My guests thoroughly enjoyed this dish. There are many components to this dish and yet not one ingredient overpowers the next and each beets has a distinct taste, which is wonderful.

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad)

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad) – Candy Coated Culinista

This is salad with a twist. I love to make this recipe when I want something light yet flavourful. Fattoush is an Arabic dish that likes to make use of pitas that have gone stale. So when I came across this recipe it was right up my alley as I hate wasting food. You can use any vegetables you want or have on hand; which is why I love this recipe so much.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 270g chickpeas rinsed & drained (half a can)
• 175g of grape tomatoes. Halved
• 1 green onion, finely sliced
• Radishes, trimed and thinly sliced`
• ½ English cucumber, quartered
• Romaine lettuce, shredded
• Kale leaves, shredded
• Handful of spinach, rough chopped
• 1 sprig of mint, chopped
• 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
• Pomegranate seeds, (optional)
• Carrot ribbons, (optional)
• Handful of whole black olives, (optional)
• Mini pita’s
Vinaigrette
• The juice of 1 lemon
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tsp sumac
• 125 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• 10 ml (1 teaspoons) fresh mint, chopped
• 5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fresh thyme, chopped
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Tips
• Serve pita on the side so you can have non-soggy leftovers or toast them in oven at 350°F for 5 minutes if desired to warm them up.
• Add chicken breast for some protein.

Assembly/Method
1. In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
2. In another bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.
3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine.

My thoughts
This is a quick, fast and always tasty recipe. Now I must admit I have only even made it once with stale pita’s. Pitas never go stale in my house because I love a carb. Every time I make it, I find another ingredient to add in like the optional ingredients listed above. I have been making this recipe for 5 years now and now that I am starting to enjoy chickpeas I thought this would be the perfect recipe to incorporate them into as it works with Middle Eastern dish. The combination of ingredients add a freshness and that lemony sumac is splendid.

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

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.

Autumn Beetroot Smoothie

Autumn Beet Smoothie – Candy Coated Culinista

I remember a short while ago I couldn’t tolerate a vegetable smoothie and then I started enjoying them. Slowly I added more and more vegetables building up my tolerance and now I’m at the point where I have a veggie smoothie more days than naught.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• ½ raw beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
• Handful of cranberries
• 1 small knob of ginger
• 1 banana, cut into slices
• 3 tbsp plain yoghurt
• ½ cup water
• Few ice cubes

Assembly
1. Prepare vegetables and fruit and place in blender jar.
2. Add yoghurt, water and ice and blend for one minute.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’ve always loved beets and this smoothie with its natural sweet touch from the beetroot and slight kick from the ginger is a wonderful fall smoothie.

Q is for … Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche

Q is for … Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche – Candy Coated Culinista

Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These delicate little quiches are good anytime of day and taste of the Mediterranean.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 30 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp butter
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of black pepper
• ¼ tsp Greek spices
• Handful of spinach
• 10 Kalamata olives pitted and chopped
• ¼ grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/8 cup red onion diced
• ¼ cup feta cheese, cubed
• ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Butter the dishes and set aside.
3. Using a medium bowl and whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and spices together.
4. In a separate bowl add vegetables and feta cheese and mix and place in dish.
5. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and pour egg mixture over top.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until quiche has set.
7. Let cool and cut into slices.

Tips

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I know only three foods of dishes that start with a Q that I could make that wouldn’t entail me searching far and wide for peculiar and exotic ingredients. So I went back and made another quiche but crustless this time; eliminating the part of my last quiche that I didn’t love.

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash – Candy Coated Culinista

A visit to the local farmers markets always gets the creative juices flowing. This summer and fall season I’m lucky enough to have a new farmer’s market just steps from my door and I intend to take full advantage of what they have to offer. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh snap green beans, golden and purple beets, gourmet popsicles and pizza, fresh loaves of bread, honey, cheese and so much more. I found these lovely Pattypan squash for the second time in two years and I wanted to make a simple recipe to highlight and respect the local ingredients.

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

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp vegetarian butter
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 6 large sized pattypan squash, cut into quarters and eights
• Fresh thyme, finely diced
• Fresh dill, finely diced
• Fresh parsley, finely diced
• Fresh rosemary, finely diced
• Fresh Oregano, finely diced

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat let butter and extra virgin olive oil get to the temperature of the pan and melt.
2. Add pattypan squash along with fresh herbs.
3. Cook for 5 min, ensuring squash stays crunchy.
4. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I enjoyed pattypan squash for the first time last month when I visited the CN Tower 360 revolving restaurant. I hadn’t managed to buy the squash I saw last year, so I was very happy to come across it again this year. Simple summer sides are a delight to make especially with the farmers markets finest produce. The squash was buttery and herby and the aroma was delightful. I love a good crunchy vegetable and this was the perfect side to my dinner last night.

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