Category Archives: vegetables

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!

 

Creamy Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce –No Cream Added

This Oven Roasted Creamy Tomato Sauce is just what you’ve been looking for . Perfect Summer Tomato Pasta Sauce made with delicious cherry tomatoes. It’s sweet and creamy without using a drop of cream!!! Love it!! Only delicious fresh ingredients and the only special equipment you’ll need is a food processor!

Should make app. 3 cups of sauce which you can use right away, or put in the fridge for a day or two, or even better freeze for a month and when you’re looking for something to make for dinner –there you have it!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 cups of cherry tomatoes — stems off

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2 Tablespoons of good Olive Oil

1/3 cup fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread Tomatoes single layer on a large sheet pan. Don’t crowd. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with onion powder

Bake for app. 40 minutes , you’ll want tomatoes good and wrinkly

Let cool for a bit then put your tomatoes into food processor

Add the fresh basil, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste in food processor

Blend to smooth and creamy

Use it right away! or put in fridge for a few days or freeze for another time.

Enjoy and say thank you!!!!!!

 

Basic Corn Salad

This is the time of the year when corn is at its sweetest and readily available all over. There are times I buy fresh corn but don’t feel like serving it on the cob, even though it is perfectly delicious this way. This corn salad is a suggestion for you as a side dish with very little ingredients and pretty much all corn. I like to serve as a side dish in the summer because it can be made ahead and served at room temperature.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and keep on Cooking with Candi.

Ingredients:

5-6 ears of corn , schucked

1/2 cup small diced red onion

3 Tablespoons cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons good olive oil

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt – you can always add more salt after you finish and taste for salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper the same applies for the pepper as for the salt

app. 1/2 cup cut up fresh basil leaves–use as much or as little as you like –it adds wonderful flavor

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for app. 3 minutes (just to let go of the starchiness) Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. When the corn cools down , cut the kernels off the cob , cutting close to the cob to get the whole kernel. I use a bundt pan to catch all the kernels.

Toss the corn kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

How simple and easy is this?IMG_5739

Farmers Market to Table Gazpacho

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Delicious fresh vegetables from the local farmers market went into this gazpacho. This time of year you must take advantage of the awesome selection of fruit and vegetables at your local farmers market. In Colorado there is so much local produce it would be a pity not to . I bought the tomatoes , cucumbers, peppers, garlic and red onion all from our local farmers market. Whole Foods also sells many local products which is so amazing. I don’t want to preach and there are so very many foods that I am particularly fond of that come from very foreign shores ( shrimp for one) . It’s just quite the thing to put food on your table from your own garden or at least from one within 100 miles of where you live. Farm to Table . Simply put it’s the best .

Ingredients:

1 cucumber or 2 – 3 Kirby size cukes, halved and seeded , but don’t peel . If not Kirby cukes you can use a hothouse cucumber. Go organic, because you are eating the peel.

2 yellow bell peppers, cored and seeded. Of course you can use red bell peppers, but not green.

4 tomatoes , use what you can find. I went to local farmers market for mine . If you use plum tomatoes use 4.

1 red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced or throw them into the food processor along with vegetables

3 cups Spicy V8 or use regular tomato juice

1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno depending on how spicy you like it, remove seeds from jalapeno

* cilantro, chopped is a nice touch for garnish

*avocado cut up is also nice garnish

*shrimp is also a nice garnish

Directions:

I cut up cukes, tomatoes, bell peppers and red onions into app. 1 inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor with steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not make baby food, don’t over process.

After each vegetable is chopped up combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic ( if you haven’t already) , juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. It’s a good idea to chill for a while, the longer it sits the more the taste develops.

The second night I added shrimp and avocado.

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Broccoli Salad–no cooking involved here

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Brocccoli Slaw with same dressing

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Original Broccoli Recipe made with whole florets

My kitchen is under renovation so I am not cooking at this very moment but that doesn’t mean you all aren’t cooking. This is totally delicious and definitely easy and worth a try. And no cooking involved!!!

I had this broccoli salad at a friend’s house and completely fell in love with it. It was so delicious.  Mind you I don’t even love raw broccoli , I usually prefer it cooked. This was really good and I even broke my own rule and made a new recipe for company. It is so simple to make and ingredients are easily obtainable.   No fuss and no muss here.

I put it together in the morning but you can definitely put together the night before. I would suggest making it at least 8 hours ahead of time so broccoli softens and soaks up some of the delicious marinade. Mix bowl throughout the day .  I left it out for 2 hours before serving to bring it to room temperature. It’s a great summer salad that you can make ahead of time and doesn’t require any cooking!

I also made it with broccoli slaw ( you can shred yourself or buy bags already made) Pre-made broccoli slaw is available almost everywhere now. If using the slaw I would use 3- 12 oz. bags . Just keep mixing it and make ahead so it can absorb, it was equally as yummy. I put photos of both salads on here.

Great recipe for those of you who don’t want to turn on the oven!!!!

Ingredients:

1 Large Bunch of Broccoli, broken up into florets

1/2 cup Red Grapes, I sliced them in half

1 cup chopped celery

1 bunch of scallions greens and whites only , sliced thinly

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat-free please)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice , I used the juice of one small lemon.

Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the salad.

In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, sugar and lemon juice.

When dressing comes together and has a nice consistency pour over the broccoli give it a good mix and refrigerate. Give it a few mixes during the day and that’s it!

 

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 DSCN0199Most 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

Veggie Frittata for Mothers Day ’18

Our family  does a brunch for Mother’s Day and and this frittata is a delicious addition to any brunch. Of course we will also have Baked French Toast which is a brunch staple in this house, and lots of other tasty treats.   This is pretty delicious and a crowd pleaser. There is some prep involved so I cut up all the veggies the night before and leave them in little baggies in the fridge overnight.  Enjoy your Mothers Day from our house to yours.

I added some old photos of all of us . Mothers and Daughters who are all Mothers now. We will miss my Mother as always.

*check out my Baked French Toast Recipe as well

Veggie Frittata

1 small zucchini , 1 inch diced (app)

1 red bell  pepper, seeded and diced (1 -2 ” diced)

1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced ( 1- 2″ diced)

1 red onion ( 1 – 2″ diced)

1/3 cup good olive oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 2 cloves)

12 extra large eggs (let them sit out at room temperature)

1 cup half and half

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green ( app. 3 scallions)

1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the zucchini, peppers, and onion on a sheet pan.( you want all the veggies the same size so they all cook evenly and at the same time) Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and toss well. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Add the garlic, give it a toss, and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down Rome and Thanksgiving 053DSCN2293IMG_1999IMG_1438DSCN2950DSCN3141to 350 degrees.  This can be done one day ahead and leave in a container in the fridge till you’re ready to use.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half , Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

In a 10″ ovenproof sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the scallions over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add the roasted veggies to the pan and toss with the scallions. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and cook for 2 minutes over medium=low heat without stirring. Transfer the pan the oven and bake the frittata for 20 – 30 minutes, until it is puffed up and set in the center. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the Gruyere and bake for another 4 minutes or until the cheese is just melted.  Put the pan right on the table and cut wedges and serve hot! Enjoy and Happy Holidays.Featured Image -- 7127

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 .