Here’s a tasty recipe from Canadian Living’s Best Weekend Pleasures that uses inexpensive chicken legs. Marinate the chicken for up to 12 hours and then bake for about 40 minutes. You can serve with or without the sauce, and add more cayenne if you like heat. Serve with curried rice, cauliflower and peas.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to be sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use fresh lemon juice and plain yogurt with no preservatives.

Marinate the chicken for up to 12 hours

Bake in marinade until juices run clear

Indian-spiced chicken legs


6 chicken legs, skinned

2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin

2 tsp (10 ml) paprika

1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric

½ tsp (2.5 ml) each cayenne and black pepper

1 onion, chopped

3 large cloves garlic

¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

2 tsp (10 ml) sugar

½ tsp (2.5 ml) all-purpose flour

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

¼ cup (60 ml) plain yogurt


Separate chicken legs at joint. Place in glass bowl and set aside.

In skillet, stir together cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 40 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in onion, garlic, lemon juice, oil and sugar and pour over chicken, turning to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate from 4 to 12 hours, turning often.

Place chicken, meaty side down, in lightly greased roasting pan. Pour on marinade. Bake in 400-degree F (200-degree C) oven for 20 minutes. Turn and bake, basting with pan juices, for another 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.

Set roasting pan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and bring to boil. Cook, whisking, for 30 to 40 seconds or until thickened. Stir in salt and yogurt. Do not boil. Pour sauce over chicken. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living’s Best Weekend Pleasures

If you are in the mood for some comfort food, try this baked pasta from Bon Appetit. It includes harissa, a North African hot chili pepper paste made from chipotle and spices. To tone down the spiciness of this dish, use a mild sausage instead of a hot one.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I have not been able to find preservative-free harissa, so I make it from scratch with canned chipotles and spices. The recipe is below. Look for sausage, canned tomatoes and feta with no preservatives. I use President’s Choice “Free From” sausages, Unico tomatoes and Tre Stelle feta.

Brown the sausage and slice into bite-sized pieces

Saute onion

Add tomatoes and other ingredients

Add cooked pasta and feta, transfer to baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes



2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet paprika

1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) adobo sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground caraway

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil


1 teaspoon (5 ml) caraway seeds

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin seeds

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

12 ounces (340 g) hot or sweet Italian sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 28-ounce (828 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) harissa paste (see recipe above)

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

8 ounces (226 g) medium shell-shaped pasta

3 ounces (85 g) feta, crumbled

A spice mill or a mortar and pestle


Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C)

For the harissa, combine all ingredients into a paste. Set aside.

Grind caraway and cumin in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook sausage until browned all over but still pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Slice into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.

Add onion to same skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and reserved spices. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing, and juices, then harissa. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, 6–8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente (about 3 minutes less than package directions; it will be firm in the center). Drain, reserving ¼ cup (60 ml) cooking liquid.

Add sausage, pasta, and cooking liquid to skillet; toss to coat. Transfer to a 3-qt. (2.8 L) baking dish, top with feta, and bake until top is browned and juices are bubbling, 18–22 minutes. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

This hearty salad from Style at Home keeps well because it is made with Israeli couscous, a toasted pasta shaped into tiny balls a little smaller than peas. The recipe is just a guide; you can be very creative with this dish. I skipped roasting the tomatoes, left out the tuna and halloumi, and added sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and a Dijon mustard without preservatives such as President’s Choice Old Fashioned Dijon. Other ingredients that may include additives are the tuna, beans, artichoke hearts, capers and halloumi.

Toast the dry Israeli couscous to bring out its nutty flavour

You can add lot of ingredients to the couscous, including tomatoes, artichoke hearts and herbs

Toss with a lemony dressing


Lemon chive dressing

2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped shallots

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped chives

2 tsp (10 ml) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard

½ tsp (2.5 ml) sea salt

½ tsp (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

For salad

1 pint (250 ml) multicoloured cherry tomatoes

3 tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1- ½ cups (375 ml) uncooked Israeli couscous

1 5-oz jar (150 g) chunk Italian tuna in olive oil

1 18-oz jar (532 ml) large butter beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup (250 ml) quartered fire-roasted marinated artichoke hearts

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil leaves

1 tbsp (15 ml) capers, rinsed

9 oz (255 g) halloumi, cut into 6 pieces


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C0

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the lemon chive dressing; set aside.

Cut the tomatoes in half and lay them, cut sides up, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are a little wrinkly but still moist. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a pot over medium heat; add the garlic and cook until just sizzling.

Add the Israeli couscous and stir to coat in the garlic oil. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring, until lightly toasted and then add 2 cups (500 ml) cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender. Remove from the heat, stirring to fluff.

Pour the lemon chive dressing over the couscous and stir to combine. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes, tuna, butter beans, artichoke hearts, basil and capers. Stir gently to combine.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Grill the halloumi slices for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden. Serve the Israeli couscous salad warm, topped with the grilled halloumi. Serves 4 to 6.

From Style at Home

This tasty stir-fry from Canadian Living includes soba noodles, which are made from buckwheat flour. While you marinate the shrimp for a few minutes, cook the noodles in boiling water and drain. Stir fry the garlic, ginger and snow peas, then add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp are done. Add the cooked noodles and mix until they are warmed through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce, which usually contains MSG or sodium benzoate. I use Marukan rice vinegar and frozen shrimp with nothing added. Check the cashews to make sure they are additive-free.

Marinate the shrimp for a few minutes

Boil, drain and rinse soba noodles

Saute snow peas

Shrimp, snow pea and cashew stir-fry


6 oz (175 g) soba noodles

2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) rice vinegar

2 tsp (10 ml) sesame oil

2 green onions, sliced

8 oz (250 g) medium shrimp , peeled and deveined

1 tbsp (15 mml) canola oil

1 tsp (5 ml) grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, grated

2/3 lb (300 g) snow peas

½ cup (125 ml) unsalted roasted cashews


Cook soba noodles according to package directions; rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside.

In bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and onions. Add shrimp and toss to coat; set aside.

In wok or nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over high heat; stir-fry ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add snow peas; cook until slightly tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Scrape shrimp mixture into wok; stir-fry until shrimp are pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add noodles and toss until warmed through, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with cashews. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

Perfect for a weeknight supper, this recipe from Real Simple combines chicken thighs with a tangy zucchini salad. Pound the chicken thighs into thin cutlets so they cook quickly. I used green pepper instead of celery in the salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Black olives and Parmesan can contain additives and colour. I use Pilaros brand olives and President’s Choice Parmesan. Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice as the concentrates contain sodium benzoate.

Dress the salad 5 minutes before serving to soften

Chicken cutlets cook quickly

Chicken thigh cutlets with zucchini salad


2 zucchini (about 1 pound/500 g), thinly sliced lengthwise or shaved with a vegetable peeler

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) fresh parsley leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) pitted oil-cured black olives, halved

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice, plus 1 lemon, thinly sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) shaved Parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded ¼ inch (0.64 cm) thick


Combine the zucchini, celery, parsley, olives, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the oil, and ½ teaspoon (2 ml) each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften slightly. Top with the Parmesan.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon (2 ml) each salt and pepper. Cook, in 2 batches, until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to serving plates. Add the lemon slices to the skillet and cook just until browned and softened, about 1 minute.

Top the cutlets with the lemon slices and serve with the salad. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

If you are looking for a way to use up the last of the zucchini from your garden, try these crispy zucchini fries from Martha Stewart Living. Dredge zucchini sticks in wheat germ (the part of wheat that sprouts and grows into a new plant), dip in beaten egg, and then into panko (a Japanese-style breadcrumb, made from bread without crusts). Drizzle with oil, season, bake and enjoy! Cook’s Note: If you don’t have wheat germ, use flour.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the panko you use is additive-free. I am using 4C brand right now.

Dredge the zucchini

Place panko-coated zucchini on baking sheet

Crisp zucchini-panko fries


2 large eggs

½ cup (125 ml) toasted wheat germ

2 cups (500 ml) panko, preferably whole wheat

2 large zucchini (1 ½ pounds/794 g total), halved crosswise and cut into ½-inch wedges

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (201 C).

Whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water in a shallow bowl. Place wheat germ and panko in separate shallow bowls. Working with one wedge at a time, dip zucchini in wheat germ; coat in egg, then panko, pressing gently to adhere.

Arrange in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil; season with ¾  teaspoon (3 ml) salt and pepper to taste. Bake, rotating sheets and flipping zucchini halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

From Martha Stewart Living

This delicious and colourful salad from the Summer 2015 issue of Food and Drink is perfect for a fall potluck. Saute garlic, peppers and onion until soft and stir in tangy capers, balsamic vinegar and oil. Toss with cooked mini potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley. Cook’s Note: This tastes best served at room temperature.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The two ingredients that may contain additives are the vinegar and the capers. Look for a balsamic vinegar with naturally occurring sulfites. I use Unico capers.

Boil mini potatoes until tender

Saute peppers and onions

When the vegetables are soft, toss with vinegar and capers

Garnish with parsley and serve at room temperature


½ cup (125 ml) olive oil

1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced

2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 large orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp (45 ml) good quality balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) drained capers

3 lbs (1.5 kg) mini yellow-fleshed potatoes

½ cup (125 ml) firmly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry garlic until light golden, about 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside.

Add peppers and onion to pan; season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium- low and cook, stirring from time to time, until vegetables are very soft, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in reserved garlic, balsamic vinegar and capers; reserve.

Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes; drain. When cool enough to handle, cut each in half and add to a large shallow serving bowl or platter. Spoon oil and pepper mixture over potatoes and gently toss to combine. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

Bring to room temperature if necessary and, when ready to serve, scatter with parsley and gently toss once again. Serves 10.

From the Summer 2015 issue of Food and Drink

Plenty, by Yotam Ottlenghi is a fabulous cookbook filled with unusual and delicious vegetable recipes. This pasta and fried zucchini recipe is a great way to use up your overflowing zucchini and herb gardens. Cook’s Note – You can substitute peas for the edamame.

Fry the zucchini until golden brown

Make the basil sauce

Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Eden Organic brand red wine vinegar, which contains only naturally occurring sulfites. Unico capers are additive-free and look for mozzarella with no preservatives or colour.


2/3 cup (150 ml) sunflower oil

3 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch-thick (0.6 cm) slices

1 ½ tablespoons (25 ml) red wine vinegar

¾ cup (175 ml) frozen edamame

2 cups (500 ml) basil leaves, coarsely chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) parsley leaves

1/3 cup (75 ml) olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

9 ounces (255 g) penne or other short pasta

Zest of 1 lemon, grated

1 ½ tablespoons (25 ml) capers

7 ounces (198 g) buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While you’re waiting, in a medium saucepan or skillet, heat sunflower oil over medium-high heat. Fry zucchini slices in batches for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once, until golden on both sides.

Drain in colander, then transfer to a large bowl and pour vinegar on top. Set aside.

In the hot water, cook edamame for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water and set aside to dry.

Combine half of basil and all of the parsley and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until al dente; drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer pasta back to empty pot. Add fried zucchini and any juices, basil-parsley oil, edamame, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella. Stir gently together, then season generously with salt and pepper. Right before you serve it, stir in remaining basil leaves. Serves 4.

From Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

This lovely summer salad from Cook’s Illustrated combines cooked Israeli couscous with pickled shallots, fresh greens, herbs, peas, pistachios and feta cheese.  Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta shaped in tiny balls, about the size of small peas. You can boil it like pasta, or let it absorb water, like rice. Cook’s Note: Prepare the shallots and let them pickle while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a red wine vinegar without sulphites; I use Eden Organic brand. Use fresh lemon juice and check the pistachios for colour and sulphites. Select a feta cheese with all-natural ingredients such as Tre Stelle.

Pickle the shallots first

Toasting the couscous before cooking brings out its nutty flavour

Use lots of greens and mint

Frozen peas are fine if fresh are not available

Israeli couscous with lemon, mint, peas, feta and pickled shallots



2 cups (500 ml) Israeli couscous

1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 ½ cups water (625 ml)

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt


1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar

Salt and pepper

2 shallots, sliced thin

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) red pepper flakes

1 recipe couscous (see above), cooled

4 cups (1 L) baby arugula, roughly chopped

1 cup (250 ml) fresh mint leaves, torn

½ cup (125 ml) frozen peas, thawed

½ cup (125 ml) shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped

3 ounces (185 ml) feta cheese, crumbled



Heat couscous and oil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until about half of grains are golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add water and salt; stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed, 9 to 12 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Serve.


Bring vinegar, sugar, and pinch salt to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat, add shallots, and stir to combine. Cover and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, pepper flakes, and 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) salt together in large bowl. Add cooled couscous, arugula, mint, peas, 6 tablespoons (90 ml) pistachios, ½ cup (125 ml) feta, and shallots and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to serving bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup feta (60 ml) and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pistachios and serve. Serves 4.

From Cook’s Illustrated

This delicious salad from Bon Appetit is a delicious side dish or vegetarian entrée. Cook scallion whites, oil, hot pepper flakes and Sichuan pepper over a low heat to make the oil. To make the dressing combine the oil with tahini, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Combine with the cooked noodles of your choice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking additives. Tahini should contain only sesame. I use Marukan rice vinegar, tamari (which uses alcohol as a preservative, not sodium benzoate) and Spectrum Natural sesame oil.

Make the chili oil

Add the tahini and other ingredients to make the dressing

Sesame noodles with chili oil and scallions


4 scallions, whites and greens separated, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seeds

2 teaspoons (10 ml) Sichuan pepper, coarsely chopped

12 ounces (340 g) thin ramen noodles or spaghettini

Kosher salt

¼ cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame seed paste)

¼ cup (60 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons (45 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons (10 ml) toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar


Cook scallion whites, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12–15 minutes; let chili oil cool in saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 2–3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) chili oil (depending on desired heat) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens and drizzle with more chili oil. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

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