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

This different take on broccoli from the June 2014 issue of Food and Wine is a great side dish or vegetarian entrée. Cut broccoli lengthwise into “steaks”, grill until charred and then toss with grilled red onion, tomatoes and a tangy dressing. The recipe calls for shaved ricotta salata as a garnish, but I used parmesan cheese instead. Cook’s note: when grilling onion slices, use a toothpick or wooden skewer to keep the rings from falling apart.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a red wine vinegar with no sulfites, such as Eden Organic brand. Check the label on the cheese to make sure it does not contain colour or preservatives.

Cut the broccoli lengthwise into "steaks"

Grill until charred

Top the broccoli and onions with tomatoes and shaved cheese

Ingredients:

2 large, tight heads of broccoli (2 ½ pounds), cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick steaks (reserve any florets for another use)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

Kosher salt

Pepper

2 medium red onions, sliced crosswise ½ inch thick

3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

Shaved ricotta salata, for serving

Preparation:

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the broccoli steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and let cool.

Meanwhile, brush the red onions with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the grilled onions; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the broccoli on plates or a platter and spoon the tomato-red onion salad on top. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata and serve right away. Serves 6.

From the June 2014 issue of Food and Wine

Recipes usually suggest marinating chicken before grilling, but this recipe from Martha Stewart Living suggests coating the chicken with a marinade afterwards. It’s quick, easy and tastes great. Any mixture of herbs would work well. You can also use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, as the concentrates contain sodium benzoate.

Place marinade ingredients in shallow dish

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper

Grill the chicken until crispy and cooked through

Toss the grilled chicken with the marinade and serve

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 cup lightly packed mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, and chervil, finely chopped

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds), pounded to make even (optional)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, and herbs in a baking dish.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill, turning frequently, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to baking dish and turn to coat with marinade. Serve immediately, or refrigerate chicken in marinade up to 1 day, turning to coat a few times. Serves 6.

From Martha Stewart Living

It’s great to be back at our house for the summer and great to be barbecuing again. One of the first things I made was this grilled potato salad with scallion vinaigrette from the June 2014 issue of Food and Wine. Parboil some small potatoes and then grill them with some scallions until lightly charred. Toss with a refreshing vinaigrette and top with slice jalapenos and red pepper. The recipe called for piment d’Espelette, a mildly spicy ground red pepper from France, but I used cayenne.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a rice vinegar with no preservatives; I use Marukan brand. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Parboil small round or fingerling potatoes

Grill scallions until lightly charred

Cover scallions with plastic wrap and steam for a few minutes

Grill the potatoes until lightly charred

Grilled potatoes with scallion vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes

Kosher salt

10 scallions, trimmed

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Piment d’Espelette

1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

Preparation:

In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then halve lengthwise.

Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the scallions with oil and season with salt and black pepper. Grill over high heat, turning, until lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Cut the scallions into 1-inch lengths.

Brush the potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill cut side down over high heat until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In a large bowl, whisk the 1/3 cup of olive oil with the vinegar and lemon juice. Add the scallions and potatoes and toss well. Season with salt and piment d’Espelette and toss again. Scatter the jalapeño slices on top, garnish with a large pinch of piment d’Espelette and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

From the June 2014 issue of Food and Wine

These noodles from the July/August 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated are absolutely delicious. Stir curry powder and cayenne pepper in oil to “bloom” the flavours and then toss with softened rice vermicelli noodles, soy sauce and sugar. Cook shrimp, egg, and vegetables and place in a separate bowl. Add the noodles to some stock to finish cooking them and then toss them in with the shrimp, egg and vegetables. Add bean sprouts, lime juice and scallions and serve. Cutting the softened noodles into thirds makes them easier to eat.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Curry powder may contain colour, so I make my own; the recipe is below. Check the cayenne to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use tamari instead of soy sauce and frozen shrimp that use only salt as a preservative. I use Imagine brand chicken stock, which is free of preservatives. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lime juice.

Warm the spices in oil to bloom their flavours

Cut the softened noodles in thirds to make them easier to eat

Toss the noodles with the curry-oil mixture

Cook the egg and shrimp

Singapore Noodles

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons curry powder (see recipe below)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

6 ounces rice vermicelli

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

12 ounces large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, tails removed, and cut into ½ -inch pieces

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Salt

3 garlic cloves, minced to paste

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks

2 large shallots, sliced thin

2/3 cup chicken broth

4 ounces (2 cups) bean sprouts

4 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 teaspoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

Curry Powder

2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp crushed or ground fenugreek seed

1 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp crushed dried dill

¼ tsp ground mace

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp dried mustard

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients together.

Preparation:

Heat 3 tablespoons oil, curry powder, and cayenne, if using, in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Bring 1 ½  quarts water to boil. Place noodles in large bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles and stir briefly. Soak noodles until flexible, but not soft, about 2 ½ minutes, stirring once halfway through soaking. Drain noodles briefly. Transfer noodles to cutting board. Using chef’s knife, cut pile of noodles roughly into thirds. Return noodles to bowl, add curry mixture, soy sauce, and sugar; using tongs, toss until well combined. Set aside.

Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shrimp in even layer and cook without moving them until bottoms are browned, about 90 seconds. Stir and continue to cook until just cooked through, about 90 seconds longer. Push shrimp to 1 side of skillet. Add 1 teaspoon oil to cleared side of skillet. Add eggs to clearing and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Using rubber spatula, stir eggs gently until set but still wet, about 1 minute. Stir eggs into shrimp and continue to cook, breaking up large pieces of egg, until eggs are fully cooked, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer shrimp-egg mixture to second large bowl.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in now-empty skillet until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add bell pepper and shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shrimp.

Return skillet to medium-high heat, add broth to skillet, and bring to simmer. Add noodles and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add noodles to bowl with shrimp and vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Add bean sprouts, scallions, and lime juice and toss to combine. Transfer to warmed platter and serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately. Serves 4 to 6.

From the July/August 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated

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