Simple seasonal recipes where citrus is the star

Did you know that winter is citrus season?  It seems strange doesn’t it – but I promise you its true.  And I for one LOVE citrus season. I mean its perfect timing because it happens to coincide with cold and flu season (thanks Mother Nature) and not only are these gorgeous fruits filled with immune-boosting Vitamin C, they also offer many other impressive health benefits, as well. The juicy, colorful and flavourful fruits are packed with good-for-you nutrients, making them a great addition to any meal.

So you can only imagine how excited I was to have the opportunity to review Marie Asselin’s (from her blog Food Nouveau) cookbook Simply Citrus.

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I was given a copy and wow! Simply Citrus is filled with beautifully photographed citrus recipes with a variety of fresh citrus fruits, from the more mainstream lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, all the way to pomelos, kumquats, and citrus products such as yuzu juice and orange blossom water.  The Chapters are organized by fruit so it makes it super simple to find the perfect recipe.

My biggest challenge – choosing just one recipe; it was seriously impossible.  So I didn’t.  If you’re following along on my Instagram – you know I’ve made several recipes and even a few more I didn’t get to show you yet.

So where do I start – I’m a sucker for a good salad recipe.  I used to have a blog (that I very lazily posted to) called 365 Day of Salad – so I’m serious about salads.  Because I think a lot of people think salads are boring when in fact – they can be much more flavourful and interesting then the old meat, potatoes and veggie combination.

So the first recipe I made was the roasted sweet potato, lentil and orange salad.

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I loved this salad, actually our whole family loved this salad – even our little 8 month old. The orange and turmeric dressing was a little tart on its own, but paired with this salad it is perfect as it is perfectly balanced and complimented by the sweet potatoes.

The lentils are fantastic as they add weight to the salad without being heavy. I love the combination of flavours – the sweet, earthy flavor from the sweet potatoes, the crisp burst of juice from the pomegranate seeds, the salt from the feta cheese and the sweet tang from the oranges, as a whole – this salad is one of the most well-balanced salads I’ve had the pleasure of making.  And it is great the next day – even with the dressing on.

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Since making it the first time, we have made it a few more times already and what I really love about it is that it’s versatile and making small substitutions and additions to change it up and make it yours are easy.  We love the addition of arugula (I’m always looking for ways to get my greens), and toasted pumpkin seeds instead of pistachios, and mint was a great addition too.

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The next recipe I made was the citrus hummus.  We make hummus a lot in our house, (which is funny cause it’s never been a favourite of mine…but, I find the more I eat it, the more I like it) so anytime I find an interesting hummus recipe I’m down to give it a try.  It’s a great healthy snack, and both Luna and her Dad love it.  Plus I love citrus, so this one was a no brainer.

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This recipe was quick, easy and super flavorful.  It goes great with veggies and crackers, but our favourite was having it with warm pita or naan bread.

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The next recipe I tried (I told you we tried a ton) was definitely one of Luna’s favourites, as you see she got her sweet little hands right in there).  We made the curried chicken and feta skewers with mint and cucumber salad.  What I love about this recipe is that you can make the skewers on their own as an appetizer – with the salad as a meal – or like I did, you can make some quick changes and make a super tasty curry over rice dish.

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For a recipe that is as simple as this – it packs a flavour punch!!!

The marinade for the chicken and feta (a combination of lemon zest, lemon juice, EVOO, cilantro, curry powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper) is to die for.

And if you’ve never had feta that’s been roasted in the oven, you need to.

The funny thing about this recipe is the first time I went to take it, I realized that I had purchased the wrong feta – so the stuff I bought was already in teeny little pieces, whoops! But I was not about to let it go to waste – so I tossed it in a bag with the chicken, doubled the marinade, baked it in the oven and poured it over rice…and the results were fantastic!  It will be a go to for sure in our house because we always have these ingredients.

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Here’s my version over rice:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 11/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta
  • 3 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all ingredients (except chicken) and whisk until combined.
  3. Add chicken to a large ziplock bag and pour over marinade. Let sit for 20 min or so.
  4. Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 350F for approx 45 min to an hour or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. In the meantime make rice according to package.
  6. Pour curry chicken mix over rice and enjoy.

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I don’t have any photos of the way I made it, sorry – you’ll just have to trust me; I promise you it’s delicious. I’m so thankful for Marie’s inspiration.

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As you can see, I have a little helper these days….sort of, haha.

This kid loves her food and she is not afraid to try anything, so I let her go for it and as you’ll see below, she LOVED it.

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I love the look on her face, like she thinks she’s being sneaky…little does she know – I can see her.

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This was probably one of my favourite days cooking.  Although having Luna “help” gets really messy – I love that she’s only 8 months and will jump right in if given the chance.  I can only hope she keeps it up as she gets older.

After making a few amazing savoury dishes…I had to go for some sweet ones too.

I decided to try the mandarin and raspberry ricotta tart, because it was a little outside my comfort zone.

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But I mean look at that gorgeous tart, I had to give it a try.

I will say this – Marie’s photo is so beautiful, it almost seems too beautiful to recreate. And although mine definitely didn’t look like this (I’m not good with details), it looked beautiful and tasted even better; and the best part – it is actually one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made.  Seriously you guys, this recipe is so simple, but the result is so incredible. I would literally buy the book just for this recipe.

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I added some shaved dark chocolate to the tart shell and LOVED the addition.  Next time I will add it to the top of the tart as well.

So my photos for this one kind of suck, sorry.  The lighting in our place has been crappy lately as it has been very grey outside, so we’re not getting a lot of light.

But you get the gist.

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We kept this tart in the fridge for few days and it only got better as all the flavours settled in.  You’re probably wondering how it lasted that long….well there’s only two of us (plus our little) and I’m not big on dessert, and I had made like 10 of Marie’s recipes, so we had A LOT of food to eat – otherwise it would have been gone in one day.

And so the last recipe I’m going to share my thoughts with you guys on are her gorgeous coconut lemon bars – because that is one dessert I LOVE.  I mean who doesn’t love a good lemon bar.

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Again like so many recipes in this book, the recipe is well written, easy to follow and yields great results.

I love lemon bars, but I don’t make them often because the curd is usually so time consuming…but the way this recipe comes together – there’s no reason not to make it.  It takes no time at all, literally within 45 min of starting, you will be eating these babies!

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One of the things I love about this recipe too is that with just a couple of simple substitutions, you can make it gluten-free.

Here’s my gluten-free version:

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup toasted unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Filling

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

To Garnish

  • Powdered sugar
  • toasted unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 in. square baking pan and line with parchment paper (it will make it way easier to remove the bars)
  2. In a medium bowl mix together all the crust ingredients. Place the dough into the prepared pan and press down all the way to the sides. Bake the crust until it just starts to brown around the edges about 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, cornstarch and salt). Next, add the eggs in one at a time whisking until each one is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and the juice and whisk until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
  4. Pour the filling over the hot crust and return to the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the filling is just set, but not hard.   It should be a little jiggly as it will become firm as it cools. Let the squares cool completely.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting.
  5. Cut into squares, top with powdered sugar, toasted coconut lemon zest and serve.

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Aren’t they lovely?  Lemon squares are the bomb!  But, the addition of coconut in this recipe gives it a little more depth in flavour without taking away from the lemony goodness.

This recipe is a new-found favourite and will be made many times in our house.  It is by far the simplest lemon bar recipe I’ve made in recent times and I’m all about quick and easy.

So as I’m sure you’ve figured out – I personally love Simply Citrus.  The recipes are clear, well written and easy to follow.  They are easy to add your own personal spin to and truly yield incredible results everytime.  I know I’ve made several of the recipes a few different times and I’m always switching things up.

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If you’d like a copy, just click on the book below, you can purchase it for less than $20.00 and believe me it is worth WAY more.

Plus, because I love the book so much –  I’m also going to be doing a giveaway.  So one lucky winner will receive a copy of Simply Citrus.

So to enter the giveaway comment on this blog post with who you would like to share a recipe from this book with; and for an extra entry go to my Instagram account – like todays post with the image of the Simply Citrus cookbook and tag at least one friend that you think would enjoy the book as well. One extra entry for each friend tagged on Instagram. If you decide to do the extra entries on Instagram, please include your Instagram handle in your comment below. Giveaway open until Tuesday, November 13th at 4 PM MST; winner will be announced on here, my Instagram feed and stories on Wednesday, November 14th at 12 PM MST.

UPDATE – WINNER IS @mamaoceanlove. Please comment here or DM me through Instagram to claim your prize.

Good luck!!!

Till the next recipe,

Kristen xo

PLEASE NOTE: I was provided with a copy of Simply Citrus as well as a copy for this giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own. This post also includes affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase the book I’ve recommended, I may receive a small commission that helps keep My Sweet Mess running. Thanks so much for reading along.

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37 thoughts on “Simple seasonal recipes where citrus is the star

  1. Caitlin Murray says:

    These recipes all look amazing! My brother Sean would love this as he has a cookbook addiction! I would make him cook me something lol

  2. Oceana says:

    These recipes look AMAZING!!! I’m pregnant and I will share all these recipes with Baby as I make them. And maybe save some for Dada too.😘 ig handle: mamaoceanlove

  3. Devon says:

    Mmm they all look so good. Definitely would like to try the lemon bars and skewers!!! @erinsorge can you please make the skewers next fam din 😉

  4. Michelle L says:

    My daughter Taylor is the big baker in our house! I’m going to recommend this one to her! All your creations always look so yummy!!

  5. Grace says:

    Everything you’ve made looks so delicious and fresh! My fingers are crossed, and maybe with a little extra luck my new fiancee will cook it!! 😂🤦‍♀️ – @gfeens

  6. Camille Graham says:

    All these dishes you’ve made look delicious and citrus is a hit around this house so I’d love to share these recipes with my kids!!… Kieren is big into cooking and we really enjoying trying new recipes together.
    @cfgraham80

  7. Shelley Cormier says:

    This cookbook has been on my wishlist for awhile and I think my dad would love the Coconut Lemon Bars. Also, I’m happy to have discovered your blog!

  8. sabcurrie says:

    Wow, those recipes all look so delicious and I love the endorsement from Luna! I’d love to share these recipes with my kids as well, I’m always looking for interesting recipes that are also kid friendly.

  9. Denise from Urb’n’Spice says:

    Everything that you tried in the Simply Citrus book looks so amazing, Kristen. I would love to make the tart for sure, and that first salad that you tried is so appealing! A great cookbook review! I would love to share this book with @watsup.hw – he would love the lemon squares. My Instagram handle is @urbnspice

    • kmysweetmess says:

      Denise, I loved the book. The beautiful ingredients and simple to follow recipes are enough to make me go back again and again. Fingers crossed for you!!!

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