This recipe from the LCBO’s Food and Drink is company-worthy. Halibut fillets are dredged and covered with panko, briefly fried and then baked. Meanwhile, fry some capers for a crunchy, salty garnish and sauté zucchini and cherry tomatoes for a colourful and delicious accompaniment.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the chili powder and panko for colour and preservatives. Look for a Dijon with no sulfites or sodium benzoate; I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon. Canola can sometimes contain additives, so buy one that is 100% pure. Unico capers are additive-free.

You will need three shallow bowls or pans for the dredging

Dredged halibut

Brown the halibut until the coating is golden, then bake

Meanwhile, saute the zucchini and tomatoes

Fried capers make a crispy, tangy garnish

Crispy halibut with zucchini saute and fried capers

Ingredients:

½ cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour

2 tsp (10 ml) chili powder

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

1 egg

¼ cup (60 ml) milk

1 tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard

1 cup (250 ml) panko

4 pieces, each 6 oz (175 g) skinless halibut fillet

3 tbsp (45 ml) canola oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) capers, drained, rinsed and patted dry

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

2 small zucchini, cut on the bias into ovals or halved lengthwise and cut into half-moons

1 cup (250 ml) red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 tsp (5 ml) chopped garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped Italian parsley

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Make a dredging station for the fish: combine flour, chili powder and salt in a shallow bowl. Beat egg with milk and Dijon in another bowl, and place panko in the third bowl.

Dredge fish first in flour, then in egg mixture and then in panko to coat.

Heat 2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add fish and fry, turning, for 2 to 3 minutes or until crumbs are golden. Transfer fish to a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

Wipe out pan, add remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil and heat on high heat. Add capers and fry for 2 to 3 min or until crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Add olive oil to pan over medium heat. Add zucchini and fry for 1 minute or until just beginning to soften. Add tomatoes and garlic; fry 1 minute longer or until they have begun to release juice. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley and fried capers.

Serve fish over zucchini mixture, spooning some sauce over fish. Serves 4.

From Food and Drink magazine

This grilled shrimp from Martha Stewart Living is marinated in fresh herbs, jalapeno, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. A few minutes on the grill and you have a lovely lunch or light supper. The recipe calls for jumbo shrimp, but you can use any size.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Shrimp can be treated with preservatives. Look for shrimp with only salt added.

Marinate the shrimp

Grill skewers for a few minutes on each side

Grilled Herbed Shrimp

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped fresh cilantro leaves

3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced jalapeno chile (from ½ jalapeno)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic (from about 3 cloves)

1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest

1/3 cup (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound (500 g) jumbo shrimp, in shells (about 20)

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a large resealable plastic bag. Snip through each shrimp shell down the back, leaving last segment and tail intact, and devein with a paring knife, leaving shell intact. Add shrimp to bag and massage with marinade. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

Soak 10 short wooden skewers in water 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill for indirect heat, with coals to 1 side (or medium heat on a gas grill). Thread 2 shrimp onto each skewer and place on indirect side of grill. Cook, turning once, until shrimp are curled, slightly charred, and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

From Martha Stewart Living

This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa is one of my favourite pasta salad recipes. Fresh tomatoes, black olives, fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes are tossed with cooked pasta and then dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Top with grated Parmesan and chopped basil and you have a wonderful side dish or vegetarian lunch.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

It can be difficult to find sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil that do not contain sulfites. You can dry your own, or look for a sulfite-free brand, such as Mediterranean Organic. Check the ingredients on the olives and fresh mozzarella. I use Pilaros olives (available at Costco) and Tre Stella bocconcini cheese. Red wine vinegar can contain sulfites – I used Eden Organic brand. Unico capers are additive free. Make sure the Parmesan does not contain colour.

Fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, olives and fresh mozzarella

Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

½ pound (225 g) fusilli (spirals) pasta

Kosher salt

Olive oil

1 pound (454 g) ripe tomatoes, medium-diced

¾ cup (188 ml) good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced

1 pound (454 g) fresh mozzarella, medium-diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons (90 ml) good olive oil

1 garlic clove, diced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) capers, drained

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup (250 ml) packed basil leaves, julienned

Preparation:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well. Serves 6-8.

From the Barefoot Contessa

This grilled chicken and corn dish from the August 2014 issue of Food and Wine is perfect for a late-summer lunch or casual dinner. Grilled chicken, corn and scallions are tossed with cherry tomatoes, herbs and a tangy jalapeño-lime dressing. If you want the dressing to be less spicy, don’t use the seeds from the jalapeños. Cook’s note – be sure to zest the limes before juicing them.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lime juice, as the concentrates contain sodium benzoate and are very bitter.

Season the chicken with oil, rosemary, salt and pepper

Leave one layer of the husk on the corn and soak for 10 minutes

Grill the scallions for five minutes and the chicken and corn for 15-20 minutes

Grilled Chicken and Corn with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

Jalapeño-lime dressing

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons minced jalapeños (with seeds)

1 ¼ tablespoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Salad

4 ears of corn

2 bunches scallions, halved

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Pepper

Four 6-ounce boneless, skin-on chicken breasts

1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped

1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes, halved

¼ cup thinly sliced basil

Chopped chives and finely grated lime zest, for garnish

Preparation:

In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing.

Light a grill. Remove all but the last layer of green husk from the corn. In a bowl, soak the corn in water for 10 minutes, then drain.

In a bowl, toss the scallions with 2 tablespoons of the oil; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, coat the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the rosemary; season with salt and pepper.

Grill the corn, scallions and chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the corn and scallions are lightly charred and the chicken is cooked through, 5 minutes for the scallions and 15 minutes for the corn and chicken. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice across the grain.

Chop the scallions into 1-inch pieces. Remove the husks and cut the corn kernels off of the cobs. Transfer the scallions and corn to a large bowl; add the tomatoes, basil and half of the dressing and toss. Transfer the salad to a platter. Top with the chicken and garnish with chives and lime zest. Serve the remaining dressing at the table. Serves 4.

From the August 2014 issue of Food and Wine

This delicious recipe from Great American Grilling can be made ahead and served either hot or at room temperature. Sausages, onion, peppers and garlic are grilled and then tossed with cooked pasta. The pasta is dressed with a mixture of the cooked garlic, vinegar and mustard. This is a great way to use up those leftover peppers in your fridge and sausages in your freezer.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages with no additives or preservatives, vinegar with only naturally occurring sulfites and an additive-free Dijon. I used Spectrum balsamic vinegar and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon.

Grill sausages and vegetables until done, turning once

Slice sausages

Slice grilled vegetables, toss with pasta and dressing

Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Italian Sausages

Ingredients:

1 lb. (454 g) mild or hot Italian sausages

1 large red onion, cut into quarters

1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper, cut into quarters

1 small head garlic, unpeeled

1 lb. (454 g) dried penne

¼ cup (60 ml) balsamic or red wine vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 ml) minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano

1 large tomato, chopped

Oregano sprigs

Preparation:

Arrange sausages, onion, bell peppers and garlic head on preheated grill and cook, covered. Turn food halfway through cooking time, until vegetables are soft when pressed and sausages are no longer pink in the centre (20 to 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts (2.8 litres) water to a boil over high heat in a 5- to 6-quart (5- to 6-litre) pan. Stir in pasta, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook just until tender to the bite, 10-12 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Cut cooked garlic in half crosswise. Squeeze pulp into a small bowl and stir in vinegar, mustard and minced oregano. Slice sausages, onion and bell peppers. Add to pasta along with garlic mixture and tomato. Toss well. Garnish with oregano sprigs, Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8.

From Great American Grilling

This recipe from Anna and Michael Olson Cook From Home is a great way to grill a whole chicken. Because the chicken is flattened, it cooks quickly and evenly. The marinade makes the chicken tender and juice and the herbs add great flavour both before and during grilling. Place the chicken away from direct heat to avoid flareups.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a red wine with sulphite level lower than 10 parts per million and a red wine vinegar that does not contain sulphites. I used a red wine from  Frogpond Farm and Eden Organic vinegar. Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Remove the backbone and flatten the chicken

The marinade uses fresh herbs

Remove the herbs from the marinade and place on the grill

Place the chicken on top of the herbs

The chicken takes about 30 minutes to cook through

Grilled chicken with scorched herbs

Ingredients:

1 2 lb. (1 kg) whole chicken

2 bay leaves

½ bunch fresh thyme

½ bunch fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine

1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander

Coarse salt and ground black pepper

Preparation:

Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry with paper towels. Remove the backbone carefully using a boning knife and split each chicken in half lengthwise through the breastbone. You can also simply flatten the chicken by pressing down on the breastbone from the skin-side until it “cracks”, and cook it whole.

Stir the bay leaves, whole thyme and rosemary sprigs with the garlic, wine, vinegar, cumin and coriander together and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat the grill to medium and make sure the surface is scrubbed clean with a grill brush. Remove the bay, thyme and rosemary from the marinade, and place them on the grill, then season the chicken with salt and pepper and place over the herbs. Cover of the grill and allow this to cook 8 to10 minutes (the herbs will smoke vigourously). Baste the chicken with half of the remaining marinade and cook 5 minutes, then turn over and brush with the last of the marinade. Finish cooking, about 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. The juices of the chicken should run clear and the meat should have lost its “pink” look around the bone (check near the thigh bone). Serve hot from the grill. Serves 4

From Anna and Michael Olson Cook From Home

This is a great recipe for grilled chicken from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling. Marinate chicken pieces in orange, lemon and lime juices mixed with onion and fresh herbs. Grill the chicken, and, when it is almost done, grill some citrus slices as well for a tasty and impressive-looking garnish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Everything in this recipe is all-natural. Be sure to wash the citrus fruits with water before zesting.

Citrus juices and herb marinade

Add the citrus slices to the marinating chicken for 15 minutes

Grill the citrus slices until they are tender and have grill marks

Citrus and honey chicken

Ingredients:

For the citrus-honey marinade

1 orange

1 lemon

1 lime

3 tbsp (45 ml) snipped fresh chives or finely chopped green onion

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) honey

For the chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thighs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 orange, cut crosswise into slices ¼ inch (0.64 cm) thick

1 lemon, cut crosswise into slices ¼ inch (0.64 cm) thick

1 lime, cut crosswise into slices ¼ inch (0.64 cm) thick

4 fresh mint sprigs

Preparation:

For the marinade, finely shred the zest from the orange, lemon and lime, then squeeze the juice from each fruit into a shallow, nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Stir together the orange, lemon and lime juices and zest, chives, chopped mint, oil and honey. Pour off about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the marinade and set aside.

Use the palm of your hand to flatten the chicken pieces to an even thickness of about ¾ inch (1.9 cm). Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the dish and turn to coat both sides with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least one hour or up to four hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Add the orange, lemon and lime slices to the marinade during the last 15 minutes.

Grill the chicken over medium-high heat, turning once or twice and brushing with the reserved marinade, until firm to the touch and cooked through. A few minutes before the chicken is done, place the citrus slices on the grill over low heat. Grill, turning once, until softened and grill marks appear, about one minute per side. Serve the chicken garnished with the citrus slices. Serve 6.

From Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling

This lovely salad from Style at Home is perfect for a summer picnic or buffet. Roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas are mixed with red quinoa, nuts, seeds, mint and dried cranberries, and then tossed with a harissa-flavoured dressing. This would also be a great vegetarian entrée. I omitted the pomegranate seeds.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a mustard that does not contain sulfites or sodium benzoate, such as President’s Choice grainy honey mustard. You can make your own harissa paste (see recipe below). Check the ingredients of the chickpeas and dried cranberries to make sure they are all natural.

Rinse the quinoa well before cooking

Roast the sweet potato and chickpeas

Toast the pecans

Moroccan sweet potato, red quinoa and roasted chickpea salad

Ingredients:

For the harissa paste

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1teaspoon adobo sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground caraway

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients.

For the dressing

¼ cup flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp honey mustard

1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tsp orange zest

2 tsp harissa paste

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp cinnamon

For the salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3⁄4″ cubes

1 540-ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup beluga black lentils

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed

2 green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

½ cup chopped toasted pecan halves

¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves + more for garnish

¼ cup dried cranberries

1⁄3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the honey harissa dressing.

Toss ¼ cup of the dressing with the sweet potatoes and spread out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Toss another 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the chickpeas and spread out onto another parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

In a small pot, bring the beluga lentils and 4 cups cold water to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain, rinse and place in a large bowl, along with the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas.

Meanwhile, in another small pot, bring the red quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain the quinoa and let dry in the sieve for 2 minutes. Add to the sweet potato mixture.

Stir in the green onions, pumpkin seeds, pecans, mint and cranberries. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss gently to combine. Place the warm salad on a large serving platter and garnish with the fresh pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. Serves 6.

From Style at Home magazine

Pork and sweet potatoes go well together and this recipe from the July 2014 issue of Canadian Living combines them on the grill. Steam or microwave sweet potatoes and then grill the slices. Meanwhile, grill skewers of pork and red onion, brushing with mustard-honey-garlic glaze. I added some snow peas to my kebabs. Cook’s note: Instead of steaming the potatoes, you can pierce them with a fork and microwave on high, turning once, until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Let them cool slightly, then peel, slice and grill as directed. Also, if you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water before using so they don’t burn up on the grill.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Mustard may contain sulfites or sodium benzoate. Look for an organic brand; I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon.

Thread pork and veggies on skewers and brush with glaze

Steam or microwave yam before grilling

Grill skewers and yam until cooked through and tender

Mustard-glazed pork skewers with grilled sweet potatoes

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes, (about 800 g), peeled and cut crosswise in ½ -inch (1 cm) slices

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

1 tsp (5 ml) chopped fresh thyme

1/4 tsp (1 ml) each salt and pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) grainy mustard

1 tbsp (15 ml) hot mustard

2 tsp (10 ml) liquid honey

1 clove garlic, minced

450 g pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut in 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes

Half red onions, cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks

Preparation:

In shallow saucepan, pour enough water to come 1 inch (2.5 cm) up side of pan; bring to gentle simmer. Place sweet potato in steamer insert; set in saucepan. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer sweet potatoes to rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 2 tsp (10 ml) of the oil; sprinkle with thyme and half each of the salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, stir together grainy mustard, hot mustard, honey and garlic; set aside.

In bowl, toss pork with onion, 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the mustard mixture and the remaining oil, salt and pepper. Alternating pork and onion, thread onto metal or soaked wooden skewers.

Place skewers and sweet potatoes on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once and brushing skewers with remaining mustard mixture, until potatoes are tender and juices run clear when pork is pierced, about 10 minutes. Serves 4.

From the July 2014 issue of Canadian Living

This recipe from Williams Sonoma Grilling would be a great summer dinner party entrée. Chicken breasts are butterflied, stuffed with fresh sage and mozzarella cheese, and grilled. The cooked chicken is topped with a sage-garlic butter. Cook’s note: Toss the extra sage-garlic butter with cooked pasta for a delicious side dish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the cheese and butter do not contain colour or any other additives. The cayenne pepper should be free of colour and anti-caking agents.

Place sage and cheese on one side of a butterflied chicken breast

Grill over medium-high heat

Turn chicken once and grill until it is just cooked through

Top with sage-garlic butter and serve

Ingredients:

For the chicken

Olive oil for coating

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

4 slices mozzarella cheese

8 fresh sage leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sage butter

½ cup (125 g) salted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh sage

2 cloves garlic

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat and oil the grill rack.

Using a long, thin, sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts: Cut horizontally into the thickest part of each breast to within ½ inch (12 mm) of the other side. Open the breast like a book and place it between sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with the flat side of a cleaver or knife to flatten and even out the thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and lay 1 slice of cheese and 2 sage leaves on one half of the flattened breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fold the chicken over the cheese. Coat with oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and black pepper. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.

To make the sage butter, with a fork, mix together the butter, sage, garlic and cayenne in a small bowl and blend well. Set aside or form into a log in waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grill the chicken on one side directly over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, then turn carefully with a spatula. Grill on the second side for 3 minutes. Check for doneness by cutting into the centre of one of the breasts. There should be no pink showing. Cook longer if necessary, but be careful not to overcook them.

Top each breast with 1 tbsp (15 ml) or more of sage butter and serve. Serves 4.

From Williams Sonoma Grilling

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