Category Archives: Healthy Cooking with Candi

Sheet Pan Salmon with Brussels and Butternut Squash

In these crazy times with all the bad news coming our way with the Coronavirus occupying our every waking moment it’s good to know that a home cooked meal can still bring you a moment of peace in another wise chaotic time.

I am not saying that I won’t eat out just yet but cooking and eating at home is in my control and that gives me a sense of contentment.

This is a wonderful weeknight or any night meal. A very light Asian flavor with soy and sweetness with honey paired with brussels and creamy butternut squash. Sweet and Savory. I think this meal is pretty healthy and brimming with healthy vitamins and heart-healthy omega -3 fats. Fairly easy to make with easy to get ingredients.

Enjoy! and follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

 

Ingredients:

app. 1-1 1/4 lb. Salmon — I used a center cut piece or you can use skin on Salmon Fillets — your choice

cooking spray of your choice

1 1/2 Tablespoon lower sodium soy sauce or Tamari

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil –divided ( see instructions)

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice — 1 lime should do

2 cloves garlic–minced and divided ( see instructions)

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 Tablespoon sliced green onion for garnish –(scallion)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large rimmed sheet pan ( app. 13 x 18 ) with cooking spray

Combine soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, honey, lime juice, 1 minced clove of garlic, and ginger in a large bowl. Use a whisk and whisk all ingredients together and then set salmon piece or pieces in the bowl to marinate–set aside

In another bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, remaining clove of minced garlic, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, salt , pepper and paprika. Toss to coat. Spread out vegetables on pre-sprayed baking sheet, avoid over-crowding. Bake at 400 degrees for app. 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir vegetables and push to edges of pan to make a space in the center of pan for Salmon.

Place marinated Salmon in the open center space of pan. Pour any leftover marinade over the salmon. Bake at 400 degrees for at least 15 minutes and check salmon doneness — I cooked for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top Salmon with the green onion. I served with Basmati Rice and Brussels and Butternut.

Keep Calm and Keep Cooking

 

 

Kale and White Bean Soup

IMG_0276IMG_0278 IMG_0280 IMG_0282Sometimes you just feel like making something very quickly and easy. I was in the mood for soup and felt like eating something comforting and hearty. I happen to have all the ingredients for this soup in the house and improvised with a little lemon for extra added flavor. This is why I always keep certain staples in my pantry such as chicken or vegetable stock, garlic, onions and always have extra cans of cannelinni beans. I love a good fresh bean as much as the next but sometimes only canned will do. This was one of those times. This soup can actually be made in an hour from start to finish. Big recommendation if you’re in the market for hearty comforting soup this winter. Leftovers were a snap , I just added a little more broth and heated it up. A little freshly grated parmesan never hurt any either.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, minced– I chopped it finely

1/2 Tbsp. fresh garlic–minced as well ( app. 1 large clove)

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter–you can omit but I liked the flavor it added

1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/8 tsp. dried oregano

1 small lemon, juiced

4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth–depending on thickness of soup and consistency you like

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 (15 oz.) cans cooked cannellini beans, drained–not rinsed

1 – 2 cups loosely packed kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc. I happen to have a package of baby kale in the house so that’s what I used. Remove any rough stems and tear into small pieces if you’re working with whole heads of kale, etc.

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot, I used my Le Creuset for this. Heat oil till it is shimmering and add the minced onion, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and translucent, I do this on a low flame. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the butter, and as it is melting add in the dried herbs. Let cook for another few minutes.

Add the lemon juice, add the stock and stir to combine. Cover, and bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and let it simmer uncovered for about 1/2 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the white beans and kale leaves, and continue simmering until it is hot through and through, about 5 more minutes.

Serve warm with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan or just as is.

A nice piece of warm crusty bread would also be a perfect addition!

Enjoy!

 

 

Salmon Baked in Foil

Easy baked salmon on a baking sheet with aluminum foil with garlic, lemon and fresh rosemary. A delicious simple and healthy recipe. Turns out perfectly every time.

You’ll need a large rimmed baking sheet and aluminum foil

I served alongside long grain wild rice and roasted cauliflower.

Ingredients:

2 pound side of Salmon–boneless– I like the skin on and whatever kind of salmon you like

5 sprigs of fresh Rosemary

2 Lemons–1 for slicing and 1 for juicing

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic–peeled and chopped

Directions:

Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature while you prep the other ingredients.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil.

Lightly coat the aluminum foil with baking spray, then arrange 2 sprigs of Rosemary down the middle. Cut one of the lemons into thin slices and place 1/2 the slices down the middle with the rosemary. Place the Salmon on top.

Drizzle the Salmon with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Rub to coat, then add the chopped garlic cloves on top. Place the remaining 3 sprigs of Rosemary and lemon slices on top of the salmon. Juice the second lemon and pour the juice over the top.

Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil and place another sheet on top and crimp the two together making a sealed packet . Make sure to leave a little breathing room in there for air to circulate. Don’t make packet too tight.

Bake the salmon for at least 20 minutes and check it . I actually cooked my piece for 30 minutes. You’ll want the thickest piece to be cooked through. Check every 5 minutes after the initial 20 — you’ll want to ensure your salmon does not overcook. If your piece is very thick it may need longer . Depending on thickness and your oven .

*if you’d like you can change the oven setting to broil and open the foil so that fish is completely uncovered and return fish to oven and broil for about 3 minutes until the top of the salmon and garlic are slightly golden and the fish is fully cooked. It’s up to you — I didn’t this time but it’s a good option to finish cooking the fish but be careful you don’t burn the garlic.

 

Enjoy!

 

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes –Fresh and Delicious

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199It’ s June so let’s break out all the delicious summer food. This is a most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight . It is totally vegan. I am not a vegan but totally love this salad with all it’s fresh flavors . I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad.  I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.   Of course I love  jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them.  You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve.  You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast.  I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.

I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.

Ingredients:

2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.

1 pint grape tomatoes , halved

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup small diced red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Directions:

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Middle Eastern Salad

This salad appeals to me on so many levels. Firstly I love Middle Eastern food , I love raw salads, I love the freshness that is going on in this salad and did I mention that it’s super easy with very obtainable ingredients.

I served with toasted pita bread cut into small triangles.

Ingredients:

5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

2 pints of small grape /cherry tomatoes or any tomatoes that you want to use. You can use up to 1 lb. of fresh cut up tomatoes

1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise , seeded and 1/2 inch diced

1 can 12 to 16 oz. size of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup cut up fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — you may need up to 4 small lemons or 2 very large ones. I use my juicer for this.

1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic — app. 3 cloves

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste– start with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 tsp. pepper– you’ll taste for additional salt and pepper at the end.

1/2 cup good olive oil

8 oz. good feta cheese, buy a chunk and dice it up

Toasted Pita Bread for serving

Directions:

Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, drained chickpeas, parsley , mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream till it emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the salad tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add in the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper *if necessary. Serve the salad alongside the toasted pita.

Yum!

 

Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Eggplant and Stringbeans

IMG_1456Here is a new recipe that I tried last night for Meatless Monday. Sometimes it’s good to lighten up the menu with no meat.   I love when I try something new and it’s so delicious that I know it will stay in the rotation all summer long.This is a delightfully light pasta dish with really no sauce just some delicious fresh vegetables and some amazing fresh burrata. Of course you can leave out the burrata and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese or just leave out the cheese all together. I improvised a lot with this recipe please feel free to do the same.

The beauty of this pasta dish is that it would be delicious served hot off the stove or at room temperature. You can prepare ahead , assemble and just let it sit out while you prepare other dishes if you’re serving to a larger group as a side dish.  It was just the two of us so we ate it hot off the stove as our main meal.

We love cheese in our house so we went with delicious fresh burrata. A little sprinkle of fresh thyme at the end and I sprinkled crushed red pepper at the end because I love a spicy pasta.

*Fresh Burrata is a delicious cheese with a creamy interior. It’s like Mozzarella on the outside.

Ingredients:

8 oz. Pasta — I used casarecce because I love that pasta when I can find it. Fusilli or Penne would work just fine — you can also use whole wheat pasta for an extra fiber boost.

8 oz. French Green Beans if you can find them if not use yellow wax beans or fresh green beans –trim them

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil — you’ll start with 2 and you may need a little more this will depend on how dry the eggplant seems while it’s cooking. I used about 2 1/2 Tbsp.

2 cups Chopped Eggplant– I used a regular eggplant and just chopped up into small pieces ( keep it uniform in size) you can use Japanese Eggplant as well. 1 average eggplant should work

1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar

Kosher Salt– I sprinkled about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt on the eggplant and tomatoes but I added more at the end. Salt to taste.

1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper– again to taste

6 oz. Burrata– if you don’t want to use Burrata you can also use fresh Mozzarella just cut into bite-size pieces.

2 Tsp. chopped fresh thyme– of course this is optional but fresh herbs always add a delicious layer of flavor.

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Add green beans for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before you drain the pasta.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the cut-up eggplant and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. kosher salt , cook, stirring occasionally until tender — about 5 minutes. Add in the fresh garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook until the juices from tomatoes start to release –another few minutes.

Add the wine, cook and stir often until most of the wine disappears. Add pasta and beans, toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta, cooking liquid– a little at a time– I used almost all of it. It depends on how dry the pasta is. Stir in the vinegar and taste for salt and sprinkle that 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper here.

Put Pasta in individual pasta bowls and top evenly with burrata and a sprinkle of chopped fresh thyme. I also sprinkled crushed red pepper on mine at the table.

This should serve 4 nicely even with only 8 oz. pasta as a side dish. It was just the two of us so we ate it as a main and there was left-over which will be delicious cold the next day.

 

 

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes –Fresh and Delicious

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199It’ s June so let’s break out all the delicious summer food. This is a most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight . It is totally vegan. I am not a vegan but totally love this salad with all it’s fresh flavors . I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad.  I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.   Of course I love  jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them.  You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve.  You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast.  I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.

I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.

Ingredients:

2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.

1 pint grape tomatoes , halved

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup small diced red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Directions:

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and Mint

IMG_7873IMG_7872 IMG_7864 IMG_7863Totally delicious and fresh tasting that’s what this is. Looking for an easy,  fresh side dish?  This could be it. It’s very easy and took about 1/2 hour to make whole recipe and I served it alongside Mustard Glazed Salmon for dinner. Mint gives this dish the most wonderful layer of flavor, don’t leave it out.  Easy, quick and packed full of flavor, you can even add crushed red pepper for a little heat if you like.

Perfection!!!!

Ingredients:

1 pound orzo pasta

1/4 cup olive oil plus 1/8 cup olive oil

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup or more feta cheese use as much or as little as you like but at least 1 cup for that tang and bite. I used crumbled feta which makes it a little easier to work with. Block of Feta is fine and equally delicious, you’ll just have to cut it up.

1 cup or more arugula ( I used a little more) but use at least 1 cup

1/2 cup fresh mint , chopped ( don’t omit)

3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt ( you may want to taste before adding this , I used 1 teaspoon )

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( you may want to taste before adding this as well, this is what I did)

Directions:

Prepare orzo according to box directions for al dente and make sure you add salt to water

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté until the shallots soften and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes on a very low heat. Be careful not to burn! Add the cherry tomatoes, and then heat for another few minutes and then I put heat on the lowest setting and let tomatoes just sit on stove-top while orzo cooked. ( about 5 more minutes)

Add tomato mixture to a large bowl along with the feta, arugula, mint and balsamic vinegar.

Drain the orzo and allow to cool a little bit. Add it to the bowl, and drizzle app. 1/8 of a cup of olive oil. Toss well . Taste for Salt and Pepper, I added 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Adjust seasoning to your taste.  I put it in refrigerator till we ate dinner, it can be served cold or warm, delicious either way.

Toss and Serve.

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Couscous Salad, Real Mediterranean Style

It’s springtime so I am thinking of lighter food, and of course salads come to my mind. I make this recipe with couscous or quinoa. I have another recipe for quinoa on my website so I figured that I would make one with couscous this time, but feel free to use either one. The dressing has a definite Greek flavor. This dish is perfectly tasty and served with grilled fish or chicken you have a perfect meal. As far as salads go, this one is perfection. This is not an exact science; if you like a lot of tomatoes, add more. If there is another item here that you don’t like, feel free to substitute, and I’d love to hear what you did. I love to hear variations on my recipes. This is so quick and easy to assemble. Can definitely be made ahead of time.

Ingredients: 

Vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 /2 teaspoon dried oregano (if you like to use fresh, use 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – I started with a 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the peppermill.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good one)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk in the olive oil slowly. Adjust the salt and pepper and set aside.

Ingredients for Couscous:

Prepare 1  box (usually 10 – 12 ounces) couscous (or quinoa) according to the directions but use 1/4 less water than it calls for. For example, the Near East Couscous calls for 2 cups of water or broth so I would reduce by 1/2 cup. After cooking, allow to cool for a bit then stick in the fridge for about an hour. I usually cook my couscous in either chicken broth or vegetable broth for extra added flavor.

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (I like a lot of tomatoes, so use more if you do too) I tend to like my tomatoes cut into smaller pieces but cut however you like just don’t leave whole

1 cup pitted black or Kalamata olives (I prefer Kalamata because they are saltier)

1 roasted red or orange pepper (you can use from jar) I just eyeballed from the jar, use as much as you’d like

1 cup garbanzo beans (drained from the can are fine)

6 ounces cubed feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onions or chopped red onion would work quite well here as well

* chopped cucumbers would be a nice addition as well, I didn’t use this time

In a large bowl, gently toss the couscous, tomato, pepper, olives, beans and feta. Add the dressing, transfer to a lovely serving bowl and there you go. This is so delicious and light, it’s a perfect side dish and a beautiful salad .

Corn and Tomato Soup – no cream

DSCN0358DSCN0382DSCN0381The corn is so delicious right now that I had to make this soup. I was going to save this recipe for the Fall but I used the fresh Olathe corn at the market now and couldn’t wait to share. When the corn is not as fresh and sweet you can definitely use frozen . I used fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and fresh Olathe corn ( local in Colorado) but I happen to know Long Island has particularly good sweet local corn. So while the getting is good and you can get fresh vegetables please do so. Farm to Table here we go again.

I made this soup for dinner as an appetizer. I think it would be good cold but I prefer it warm.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots , coarsely chopped or 1 large one

1 teaspoon kosher salt ( more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( more to taste)

3 1/4 cups corn, or 1 lb. bag of frozen corn thawed it’s approximately 5 – 6 ears of fresh corn

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian

2 beautiful medium size tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces*

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

Directions:

In a large dutch oven ( Le Creuset) type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally until shallots are soft, app. 5 minutes. While this is going on cook up the corn as follows.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and just cook corn till it turns yellow for 1-2 minutes, then I throw into an ice bath to stop the cooking. When corn is cooled down cut kernels off cobs.

Place the cooked shallots, corn and chicken stock into the blender.

Pour the corn mixture back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer , cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil, let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve!

*to seed the tomatoes, cut them in 1/2 horizontally and using a small dessert spoon, scoop out the seed and discard. The seeds make the soup too watery.