Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My new traditional of two whole years of a weekend getaway to Norfolk County for Pumpkinfest is so enjoyable and relaxing. The autumn foliage, pumpkin patches, hiking and long walks, hay & corn mazes, great lakes, Halloween decorations and of course pumpkins. This year I finally decided to lug home to big pumpkins packed in the luggage.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 white Cinderella pumpkin
• extra virgin olive oil
• 500 ml mushroom broth
• 500 ml vegetable broth
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Fresh oregano
• Fresh thyme

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash pumpkin and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat pumpkin with extra virgin olive oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 60 minutes.
4. When pumpkin is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven pour in the mushroom and vegetable stock and let cook.
6. Start peeling away the skin from the pumpkin and squash and add to pot.
7. Add salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
8. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Serve.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.
• Don’t waste the seeds. Roast and add to soup as a garnish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Simple and uncomplicated and divine. When I was in the pumpkin patch selecting my pumpkins I asked the farmer if the white pumpkins are well orange inside and if I could still bake or cook with them; to which she replied “yes” and I was sold. I bought two as I have never seen this breed or colour pumpkin before. The Cinderella pumpkin really shined with the roasted pumpkin seeds that added some much needed texture to the soup and I of course froze some for another day.

W is for Watercress Winter Salad

W is for … Watercress Winter Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love when I can get my hand on those winter fruits. It’s one of the few things I look forward to when it’s frigid and icy.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Winter Salad

• Watercress, bunch, stems removed
• Spinach, medium sized bunch, stems removed
• Parsley, handful, stems removed
• Persimmon, ripe & sliced
• Physalis, handful halved
• Kumquats, sliced
• ¼ pomegranate arils
• Blackberries, handful
• Extra creamy Danish blue cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup pecans tossed in vinaigrette
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
• 1/3 persimmon, rough chop
• 2 kumquats, rough chop
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
Winter Salad

1. Place watercress, spinach and parsley on a large serving plate.
2. Add persimmons, physalis, kumquats, pomegranate arils, blackberries and set aside.
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor add persimmon, kumquats, apple cider vinegar, olive oil & maple syrup until smooth and combined.
2. In a small bowl place pecans along with a tablespoon on vinaigrette and toss.
3. Sprinkle blue cheese and pecans over the salad and drizzle vinaigrette.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a wonderful winter salad with such a great combination of well everything it was a delight to eat. It doesn’t take a little longer than a regular salad; but it’ worth in.

Winter’s Day Turmeric Smoothie

Winter’s Day Turmeric Smoothie – Candy Coated Culinista

Sunshine in a cup with oodles of health benefits.

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

Ingredients
• 1 large banana
• Knob of turmeric
• 1 blood orange
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• 1 mango (optional)
• 6 ice cubes

Assembly
1. Add all ingredients together into a blend and blend.
2. Serve.

Tips
• Use turmeric powder if you can’t find turmeric roots

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love the colour and smell of this smoothie and I can totally handle turmeric now. It’s all about the dosage and now that I am using the right quantities and not purchasing turmeric cold pressed juices. I am a huge fan now and I notice all those health benefits associated with this root in this smoothie.

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup – Candy Coated Culinista

A light dessert for those who prefer fruit for dessert instead of the usual chocolate.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From How to eat a peach

Ingredients
• 6 limes
• 1 ½ cup water
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 ¼ pieces of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely sliced
• 3 medium, perfectly ripe mangoes, peeled

Assembly
1. Zest 2 limes and put in a small prep bowl.
2. Finely grate another 2 limes and put into a small saucepan along with juice from the 6 limes and 1 ½ cups of water, sugar and ginger.
3. Heat on low at first stirring to let the sugar dissolve; then increase heat and let mixture boil.
4. Reduce mixture back to a simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until its syrupy and let cool and chill.
5. Cut cheeks off the mangoes and eat the remainder of save for something else.
6. Slice cheeks and place in a shallow bowl or a high lipped plate and pour syrup over top.

Tips
• Make lime & ginger syrup a day ahead and save one lime skin to zest when ready.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a simple and yet refreshing recipe. It’s like the fruit cocktails we all had as kids; but with a grown up flavour. I want to try this with other fruits now.

Smoky White Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Smokey White Cheddar Zucchini Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

Another year and I am the recipient of a baby sized zucchini from a friends garden; this time around 4 month sized. I had the opportunity to make zucchini bread many years ago for a cooking club; but the idea of zucchini bread never appealed to be. I still feel the same way; but I am willing to give it a try now. Who knows I may just like it right.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 medium zucchini, grated
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 cups smoky white cheddar cheese, grated
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray mini loaf pan with a non-stick spray.
3. Grate unpeeled zucchini, squeeze out any excess water with your hands, and then pat dry using a clean kitchen towel. Zucchini should come to about 1 cup.
4. In a large bowl, pour flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda and nutmeg and combine with a whisk.
5. Add in the sugar, zucchini and 1 ½ cups of the cheese.
6. In a small bowl whisk eggs and oil together and then pour over flour mixture and combine until mixed.
7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth down the tops and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let loafs remain in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The one thing I like about this recipe is I don’t have to be pre-planning getting butter to room temperature. This tasted much better than I expected and this vegetable loaf was loved by my taste testers.

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

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.

Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco

Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco – Candy Coated Culinista

Having a BBQ? Try this interesting grilled appetizer for your guests.

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

From: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 1 pound, green, purple or yellow wax beans (preferably a combination)
• 1 thick slice country style bread
• 2 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
• 2 fresno 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. 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 10 minutes prior to use.
2. Snap ends of asparagus and trim beans and set aside.
3. Grill the bread over direct heat until grill marks appear, about one minute per side.
4. In a bowl lightly toss bell peppers, chilies and onions in olive oil.
5. 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.
6. Cover peppers in a kitchen towel (to make it easier to remove the skin)
7. Grill tomatoes and when cooled enough remove skin also.
8. 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.
9. Grill asparagus and beans and serve warm or at room temperature with romesco.

Tips
• Sprinkle some flaky finishing salt and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipes was super simple and very easy to complete. The only thing here is you have to be a fan of romesco. I had heard of romesco before; but never had tried or made it. It reminds me of a salsa or pesto of sorts. Typically it is served with meat or fish; but today it’s served with grilled veggies and totally works. I added some finishing salt and it really rounded out the taste of the veggies.

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

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