Spring Asparagus Medley

Spring Asparagus Medley – Candy Coated Culinista

An easy peasy evening spring vegetable medley to accompany a chicken or beef dish.

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

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 20 Asparagus; hard bottoms cut off
• 5 button mushrooms, sliced
• 10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
• ½ small red onion, sliced
• Celery salt, to taste

Assembly
1. In a large frying pan pour olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add asparagus, mushrooms. Tomatoes, red onion and fry for 5 minutes until tender.
3. Add celery salt.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A simple yet satisfying spring dish. This would be a great side dish for a springtime BBQ. Crunchy asparagus, and softened mushrooms, tomatoes and onions is a great combination.

L is for … Lentil Quinoa Salad

L is for ... Lentil & Quinoa Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

L is for … Lentil & Quinoa Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I have had a very long break from my Alphabet Cuisine series and the letter “L” is the reason why. I found a few recipes with Lamb and Lentils but they were just okay and I wanted the series to consist of new and interesting recipes and ingredients I don’t cook with a bunch. I have been working hard to get lentils to work and I finally found a recipe that it out of the park delicious.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10-15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa
• ¼ cup orange lentils, washed
• ¼ cup green lentils, washed
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• ½ small red onion, diced
• ½ zucchini, diced
• Handful of dill, finely chopped
• Handful of parsley, finely chopped
• Handful of rosemary, finely chopped
• Handful of oregano, finely chopped
• Handful of thyme, finely chopped
Dressing
• 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Using a small saucepan, with the lentils in the pot bring the water up to a boil then let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Lentils.
2. In a medium saucepan pour quinoa into the pot and bring to a boil then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In the meantime, prep all the vegetables, herbs, and place in a large bowl and set aside.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
5. Drain off the water from the lentils and quinoa once cooked and then pour into the bowl with the herbs & vegetables and incorporate.
6. Add in the dressing and mix well.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have another recipe with quinoa and lentils in it that I can say I am thoroughly enjoying. I think the catch with lentil or quinoa is these two ingredients really can’t stand alone and require flavourful and many other ingredients to help the appeal of them. Or that is the case for myself as I can’t enjoy lentils and quinoa alone in . The fresh herbs and vegetables added texture and interest to the recipe and the simple and satisfying dressing just enhanced everything in this salad. I can now eat lentils more often and actually enjoy it. I also managed to turn a friend who can never seem to get through their lentil or qunioa dinner or lunch sides into a lover and I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

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

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas - Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Whole & Ancient Grain Quesadillas – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 6 chicken thighs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• onion powder, to taste
• garlic powder, to taste
• season salt, , to taste
• ground cumin, to taste
• red chilli flakes, to taste
• 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 2 springs green onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
• Organic Gluten- free BBQ Sauce
• Cheddar cheese, shredded
• Mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 8 Whole Grain & Ancient Grain Tortilla
• 1 avocado, mashed

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat sprinkle chicken with spices and cook the chicken thighs through, let them rest and finally cut into strips.
2. Cut all the vegetables and set aside the bell peppers and green onions in a bowl.
3. Over medium-high heat and pour olive oil into skillet and sauté the tomatoes and mushrooms until most of the liquid is gone.
4. In the last few minutes of cooking add in BBQ sauce to taste and incorporate.
5. Using a clean frying pan the size of the tortilla, start toasting as many tortillas as needed and set aside on a plate.
6. Once all tortillas have been toasted place one back on the frying pan and add in a mixture of chicken, cheese and all the vegetables.
7. Cook and flip at least once until tortilla in crispy and cheese is melted.
8. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This isn’t a really great dish to look at but it tastes amazing. I even made them the next day again with the leftovers.

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.

Skillet Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables - Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables – Candy Coated Culinista

I am finally starting to love my skillet, don’t get me wrong I still find cooking certain proteins on it a little challenging; but every day it get better and today I am trying to bake a whole bird using the skillet.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 small whole chicken
• Season salt
• Paprika
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• 3 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil
• 4 medium potatoes, cut into wedges
• 4 stalks celery, rough chop
• 4 carrots, rough chop
• 1 small onion, sliced
• Handful, green beans
• 2 fresh sprigs, rosemary
• 8 chives
• 6 cloves garlic, rough chop

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Season whole chicken rubbing seasoning onto chicken.
3. Pour olive oil into skillet and place potatoes on the bottom of the pan.
4. Place celery, carrots, onion, and green beans around the side, leaving space for the whole chicken in the middle.
5. Stuff the rosemary, chives and garlic into the cavity of the chicken.
6. Place chicken into the middle of the skillet and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Then reduce temperature to 375°F and bake for about 45 minutes.
8. The internal temperature should be between 150°F – 165°F, or cut into the thigh meat at the joint and if the juices run clear it is ready.
9. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with vegetables.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my best roast chicken to date. It was so fragrant, juicy and succulent and I could smell the rosemary, chives and garlic throughout the chicken. Cooking the whole recipe in one pan made me so happy as I really dislike using multiple pot and pans, but most times it is needed. The only thing I would change is putting the potatoes in first let cook and then the whole chicken followed by the carrots, celery and green beans.

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables - Candy Coated Culinista

Skillet Roast Chicken & Vegetables – Candy Coated Culinista

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Alphabet Soup: C is for … Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: min. 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 large vine tomatoes
• Sea salt
• 1 ½ cup vegetable stock
• 1 cup couscous
• 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 spring onion, chopped
• ½ cup golden raisins
• 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
• Handful fresh mint leaves, rough chopped
• 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Salt to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Thinly slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
2. Sprinkle the inside generously with sea salt ad turn upside down on a plate lined with paper towel for 30 minutes. (This step will allow the moisture to be drawn out from the tomato; otherwise you will have soggy couscous.)
3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
4. Using a small saucepan bring vegetable stock to a boil.
5. Add in 1 cup of couscous, stir and cover.
6. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.
7. Fluff with a fork.
8. Add in the carrot, spring onion, raisins, celery, mint leaves, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, salt and black pepper and combine.
9. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
10. Spoon couscous mixture into tomatoes and fill to the top and place in the baking dish.
11. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until tomato skin starts to split open and soften.
12. Serve and eat immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a new favourite recipe of mine and I will be making this one again in the very near future. I wasn’t so sure if I’d like this as I thought it would be soggy, but it wasn’t at all. Even Mr. C. who can’t stand cooked tomatoes loved this. The softness of the tomato, yet it still need to be cut with a knife along with the crunchy toasted couscous with cheese. This was a great combination and I even saved a tomato for the next day and it wasn’t soggy at all and tasted the same as the day before.

Mulligatawny Sans Soup

Mulligatawny Sans Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Mulligatawny Sans Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Altered from From “Jamie’s Great Britain – 130 of my favourite British recipes, from comfort food to new classics“

I saw this recipe while flipping through Jamie’s Great Britain, while waiting for him to take stage for his book tour a couple of years ago and my face lit up that night in Massey Hall. The other day I was going through some of my older cookbooks and I saw “Mulligatawny” again. For me when I hear the word Mulligatawny, a very specific pop-culture reference comes to my mind; but for me I have two reasons why this recipe will always bring a smile to my face though. First: the 116th episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld”. The owner of this restaurant has gotten this moniker of “Soup Nazi “due to his temperament and his procedure of how to place an order. When Elaine goes in to order she doesn’t follow the procedure and is banned for one year. Secondly, it reminds me of my mom. She was not a big Seinfeld fan yet every time this episode came on she would sit down and watch it with me. She loved when Elaine told off the Soup Nazi and said “You’re through, Soup Nazi. Pack it up. No more soup for you. Next.” She would repeat it as best as she could and we laughed the whole way through. This is a really great silly memory of my mom, so now when the episode comes on and I’m visiting my dad he will hang around and watch it with me and we think of mom.

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 ½ oz lean ground beef
• ½ red onion, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 red pepper, diced
• ½ jalapeno, diced
• 2 tbsp curry powder
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 sprig of fresh thyme
• Handful of fresh cilantro
• 1 cup basmati rice

Assembly/Method
1. Using a frying pan over medium-high heat pour in the olive oil and brown the ground beef.
2. Add in the onion, carrots, garlic, red pepper, jalapeno and cook for another 7 minutes.
3. Add in the curry powder, tomato paste, salt, pepper and thyme.
4. Prepare the basmati rice.
5. Pour the beef mixture onto the basmati rice and add the cilantro and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was an ok dish for me as I am not a fan of Indian or in this case Anglo-Indian Cuisine, but I had to give it a try. I removed the soup aspect as I didn’t want to drink curry flavours, however, if this is your cup of tea give it a try with or without soup. I may not care for this recipe but the memories and smiles it brings me is well worth it.

Salt & Vinegar Mini Potatoes

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

A grown up potato chip you say. Sounds great.

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1.5 pounds Yellow, Red & Blue Mini potatoes, halved
• ¾ cup white vinegar
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. In a large saucepan bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Drain in a colander.
3. Using a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat add in the butter and add in the potatoes face down as best you can and let brown for 5 minutes.
4. Add in the vinegar and salt and continue cooking until crisp.
5. Add a little black pepper and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my new favourite way to make my mini gem potatoes. They’re crispy, crunchy and oh so tasty. I have cut potato chips from my diet and this really fills the spot for my cravings once and awhile. I am wondering what other types of potato chips flavours I can infuse this way dill pickle, ketchup or even all dressed maybe.

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
Salad
• 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
Dressing
• 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• Black pepper to taste

Assembly
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.

Tips
• 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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