This jerk chicken recipe from Bon Appetit is quick and easy. Just toast and grind the spices, mix with oil, rub the mixture on the chicken and bake.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Toast the spices

Grind with a spice mill or mortar and pestle

Mix rub with oil

Coat chicken with the rub-infused oil

Bake until the chicken is cooked through

Ingredients:

1 4-inch (10 cm) piece cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon (15 ml) plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) allspice berries

2 teaspoons (10 ml) black peppercorns

2 teaspoons (10 ml) whole cloves

2 tablespoons (30 ml) light brown sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried thyme

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cayenne pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)

Kosher salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C). Whack cinnamon stick with the back side of a chef’s knife to break into small pieces. Toast cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns, and cloves in a dry small skillet over medium-high, tossing, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; let cool.

Grind spices, brown sugar, thyme, and cayenne in spice mill or with mortar and pestle to a fine powder. Mix oil and 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) spice rub in a small bowl (save remaining rub for another use). Rub chicken legs with jerk spice mixture; season with salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and cooked through, 30–35 minutes. Serves 4. Do Ahead: Jerk spice can be made 3 months ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

From Bon Appetit

When I saw this recipe in the July 2016 issue of Bon Appetit, I knew I had to make it. Aside from containing so many of my favourite ingredients — roasted red peppers, basil, olives, cheese —it looks absolutely gorgeous. And you can even make it ahead! Bake red pepper halves with anchovies, garlic and basil and then top with a delicious basil oil, cherry tomatoes, cheese and olives. The recipe calls for ricotta but you can use bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the anchovies and cheese have no preservatives added. I used President’s Choice garlic-stuffed green olives, which are additive-free.

Top halved peppers with anchovies, garlic and basil

Roast until tender and slightly charred on the edges

Top with cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese, basil oil and serve

Ingredients:

4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed

6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) basil leaves, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons (30 ml) plus ⅓ cup (75 ml) olive oil

1 pint (500 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

⅓ cup (75 ml) fresh ricotta

¼ cup (60 ml) pitted small black and/or green olives

Flaky sea salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with anchovies and garlic. Tear ¼ cup (60 ml) basil leaves over top, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) oil. Bake until peppers are tender but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around edges, 35–45 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

Meanwhile, blend remaining ¾ cup (175 ml) basil and remaining ⅓ cup (75 ml) oil in a blender until smooth; season basil oil with kosher salt and black pepper.

Arrange bell peppers on a platter. Top with tomatoes, ricotta, olives, and more basil, then drizzle with basil oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Serves 8.

From the July 2016 issue of Bon Appetit

Fresh kitchen herbs are approaching their peak in the garden, and it’s sometimes hard to think of ways to cook with them. My favourite way is Eileen’s Potatoes, named after my dear friend (because she likes them so much). The recipe is simple, uses whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, and can be done in the oven or barbecue. Enjoy!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

This recipe uses only all-natural ingredients.

Rinse potatoes and place on large piece of foil

Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and top with fresh herbs

Bake or barbecue until potatoes are tender and remove cooked herbs

Toss cooked potatoes with oil, salt and pepper and top with fresh chopped herbs

Ingredients:

2 lbs (900 g) small potatoes or fingerlings

4 cups (1 L) fresh mixed herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, lovage, chives, oregano, summer savory, basil, tarragon and dill

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Rinse potatoes and place them on a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place about half the fresh herbs on top and fold up the foil to form a secure package. Place in a pre-heated 425 F (218 C) or on the rack of a hot gas or charcoal grill. Cook, turning once, for about 30 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, chop the rest of the fresh herbs.

Remove cooked potatoes from foil and discard the cooked herbs. Toss the cooked potatoes with more olive oil, salt and pepper and top with the chopped fresh herbs. Serves 4.

This recipe from Bon Appetit is a great side dish for grilled meat or poultry. The smoky charred onion pairs beautifully with the refreshing cucumber and zingy pepper.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a red wine vinegar with no added sulfites, such as Eden Organic brand. Make sure the oregano does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Insert toothpicks into the onion rounds to keep them from falling apart on the grill

Combine chile and vinegar

Slice cucumber

Grill the onion until charred and tender

Cucumber and charred onion salad

Ingredients:

1 hot chile, thinly sliced into rings, seeded if desired

4 tablespoons (60 ml) red wine vinegar, divided

2 medium red onions, sliced into ¼-inch (0.64 cm) rounds

4 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium English hothouse cucumber, sliced into rounds

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) dried oregano

Preparation:

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Combine chile and 2 tbsp. (30 ml) vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.

Place onions on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp. (30 ml) oil; season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat. Grill onions directly on grate until lightly charred and softened, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with remaining 2 tbsp. (30 ml) vinegar; let cool.

Coarsely chop ½ cup (125 ml) grilled onion and return to bowl. Add chile and soaking liquid, cucumber, dried oregano, and 2 tbsp. (30 ml) oil and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with more oil.

From Bon Appetit

Chicken on the grill is a summer staple. But if you’re tired of the same old chicken pieces with barbecue sauce, try this recipe from Epicurious.com, which includes two great grilling tricks — butterflying the chicken and using a board sauce. Removing the backbone from the chicken and flattening it means the chicken cooks more quickly and evenly. Tossing it with an herb-infused sauce on the cutting board allows the warm chicken to soak up the flavours.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The only ingredient that might contain preservatives are the red pepper flakes, so check the label.

Chop cilantro and oregano for the sauce

Set aside some sauce for basting and use the rest on the cooked chicken

Removing the backbone means the chicken will cook for quickly and evenly

Baste the chicken when it is almost done

Toss the cooked chicken with the rest of the sauce on the cutting board

Ingredients:

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

¾ cup (180 ml) chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil plus more for grill

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 4-pound (1.8 kg) chicken, halved, backbone removed

Lime wedges (for serving)

Preparation:

Combine red pepper flakes, cilantro, oregano, lime zest, and ¼ cup (60 ml) oil; season dressing with salt and pepper. Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Prepare grill for medium indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave 1 burner turned off). Brush grill rack with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, on grill. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165° F (74° C), 10-15 minutes per side (move chicken to cooler part of grill if it’s cooking too quickly). About 5 minutes before chicken is done, baste with some of dressing.

Pour remaining dressing onto a carving board (or platter, if you don’t have a large board) and place chicken, skin side up, on top. Let sit at least 10 minutes to rest and absorb flavor from dressing before carving. Drizzle chicken with some dressing from board and serve with limes. Serves 4.

From Epicurious.com

This beef stir-fry from Canadian Living gets dinner on the table in a hurry. Whip up the sauce stir-fry the beef and bok choy, toss and serve. Cook’s note: When stir-frying, cook the meat in batches instead of all at once. If you crowd the pan, the meat will steam instead of browning.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce, because it uses alcohol as a preservative instead of sodium benzoate. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and an all-natural peanut butter.

Slice beef into strips

Chop bok choy

Combine sauce ingredients and warm on top of stove

Beef and bok choy satay

Ingredients:

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

Half onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp (15 ml) sodium-reduced soy sauce

2 tsp (10 ml) smooth peanut butter

1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice

1 tsp (5 ml) packed brown sugar

400 g beef eye round oven roast, cut in scant ¼ -inch (0.6 cm) thick slices

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

2 heads Shanghai bok choy, cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1/3 cup (75 ml) torn fresh cilantro

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped unsalted peanuts

Sliced red finger chili pepper (optional)

Preparation:

In small saucepan, heat two-thirds of the oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, lemon juice and brown sugar, stirring, until smooth and thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Sprinkle beef with salt. In large nonstick skillet or wok, heat half of the remaining oil over medium high-heat; sauté half of the beef and bok choy until golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil, beef and bok choy.

In large bowl, toss beef mixture with sauce to coat. Sprinkle with cilantro, peanuts and chili pepper (if using). Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This is a new take on traditional salade Niçoise from Bon Appetit calls for halibut instead of tuna and a variety of seasonal vegetables. I used garlic scapes, green beans, baby potatoes and cherry tomatoes. The Green Olive Tapenade is great on fish or as a dip or spread.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the anchovies, olives and capers for additives. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Grilled halibut Niçoise with vegetables and olive tapenade

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

1½ pounds (675 g) skin-on halibut fillets

2 tablespoons (30 ml) plus ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 pounds (1 kg) mixed vegetables (such as scallions, garlic scapes, Romano beans, halved small eggplants, halved baby or new potatoes)

4 cups (1 L) torn lettuce leaves (such as romaine, red leaf, or butter)

1 cup Sun Gold tomatoes, halved

1 bunch small breakfast radishes, trimmed, halved lengthwise

1 cup (250 ml) Green Olive Tapenade

Green Olive Tapenade

10 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped

2 cups (500 ml) green olives, pitted, crushed

1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped parsley

1 cup (250 ml) olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) coarsely chopped, drained capers

2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely grated lemon zest

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Green Olive Tapenade

Mix anchovies, both olives, parsley, oil, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large jar or medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Tapenade can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

Fish and salad

Place eggs in saucepan of water, covering them by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring water to rolling boil, then cover and remove pan from heat. Let eggs stand in water 18 minutes.  Drain and place in a large bowl of ice water; let cool.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Rub halibut with 2 tbsp. (30 ml) oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill, skin side down, until skin is charred and fish is nearly cooked through, 5–8 minutes. Turn and grill just until cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer halibut to a plate and remove skin.

Toss vegetables with remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender. Time will be different for each vegetable (about 2 minutes for scallions and garlic scapes, 4 minutes for Romano beans, 8–10 minutes for eggplants, 10–15 for potatoes). Transfer to a plate as they are done.

Carefully peel and halve eggs. Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and place halibut, grilled vegetables, tomatoes, radishes, and eggs in separate areas on top. Spoon some Green Olive Tapenade over; serve remaining tapenade alongside. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

This fun recipe from Food and Wine bakes flour tortillas into a crisp bowl for a salad of coleslaw and shrimp, topped with radishes and avocado. The recipe suggested using an inverted muffin tin to shape the tortillas but I used soup bowls instead and it worked very well.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the shrimp, tortillas, cumin and chili powder to make sure they are additive-free. Use freshly squeezed lime juice and pickled jalopenos without preservatives. I used President’s Choice brand.

Place the flour tortillas in bowls

Bake until crisp

Cook the shrimp

Mix together the coleslaw ingredients

Place the coleslaw in the bottom of the tortilla bowl and top with shrimp, radish, cilantro and avocado

Ingredients:

Four 10-inch (25.4 cm) flour tortillas

1/3 cup (75 ml) mayonnaise

2½ tablespoons (37 ml) fresh lime juice

½ teaspoon (2 ml) ground cumin

8 cups (2 L) shredded green and red cabbage (1 pound/454 g)

1 cup (250 ml) chopped cilantro, plus more for serving

3 pickled jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced (¼ cup/60 ml)

Kosher salt

Pepper

¾ pound (340 g) large shrimp, shelled and deveined

¾ teaspoon (3 ml) chili powder

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Sliced radishes and diced avocado, for serving

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Invert a jumbo muffin tin on a work surface. In 2 batches, gently stuff the tortillas between the upturned muffin cups to form bowls. Bake for 15 minutes, until crisp; cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice and cumin. Add the cabbage, 1 cup (250 ml) of cilantro and the jalapeños and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp and chili powder; season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just white throughout, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Fill the taco shells with the slaw and shrimp. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, radishes and diced avocado. Serves 4.

From Food and Wine

This recipe from Canadian Living calls for halibut, but any firm-fleshed fish would do. I used salmon and it worked very well. Make the croutons, sauté the tomatoes and garlic and then combine the salad ingredients while the fish cooks. A healthy and tasty dinner is ready in no time!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the bread is additive free and that the butter and Parmesan do not contain colour. Use balsamic vinegar with no sulfites added and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Make the croutons

Toss the greens and onions together

Sauté the tomatoes and garlic until the tomatoes begin to shrivel

Buttery halibut (or salmon in this case) with balsamic cherry tomatoes and arugula salad

Ingredients:

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

1- ½ cups (375 ml) cubed sourdough bread

1 pkg (255 g) cherry tomatoes

1 clove garlic, finely grated or pressed

2 tsp (10 ml) balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp (1 ml) each salt and pepper

4 skinless halibut fillets (about 450 g total)

1 tbsp (15 ml) butter

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

½ tsp (2 ml) liquid honey

pinch each salt and pepper

6 cups (1.5 L) lightly packed baby arugula

¼ cup (60 ml) thinly sliced red onion

1/3 cup (75 ml) shaved Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil over medium heat; cook bread, stirring occasionally, until crisp and light golden, about 3 minutes. Scrape into bowl. Set aside.

In same pan, heat 2 tsp (10 ml) of the remaining oil over medium heat; cook tomatoes and garlic, stirring, until tomatoes are beginning to shrivel, about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and half each of the salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into bowl with bread; toss to combine. Set aside.

Sprinkle fish with remaining salt and pepper. In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook fish, turning once, until golden and fish flakes easily when tested, about 7 minutes. Add butter; cook, swirling pan, until butter is melted and fish is coated. Remove to plate.

While fish is cooking, in large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Add arugula, red onion and Parmesan; toss to coat. Divide among serving plates; top with bread mixture and fish. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

Arroz con pollo — rice with chicken — is a traditional dish of Spain and Latin America. The ingredient list may seem long for this recipe from Epicurious.com, but the results are worth it, yielding moist and tender chicken and flavourful rice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed orange and lime juice and butter that does not contain colour. Saffron may contain colour, so I substituted turmeric. Look for a white wine with no sulfites added, and canned tomatoes and chicken stock that are preservative-free, I used Unico tomatoes and Imagine stock. President’s Choice pimento-stuffed olives are additive-free, as are Unico pimientos.

Brown the chicken well and set aside

Saute onion and peppers

Bake chicken and rice until tender, then scatter peas, olives and pimientos on top

Arroz con Pollo

Ingredients:

For chicken

3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) salt

¾ teaspoon (3 ml) black pepper

1 (3 ½ – to 4-lb/1.6 to 1.8 kg) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces

1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter

For rice

1 lb onions (454 g), chopped (2 ½ cups/675 ml)

2 green bell peppers, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) crumbled saffron threads

¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin

2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt

1 Turkish or ½ California bay leaf

1 (14- to 15-oz/414-444 ml) can diced tomatoes, including juice

1 ½ cups (375 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

1 ½ cups (375 ml) water

2 cups (500 ml) long-grain white rice

1 cup (250 ml) frozen baby peas, not thawed

½ cup (125 ml) small or medium pimiento-stuffed green olives, rinsed

¼ cup (60 ml) drained chopped bottled pimientos, rinsed

Special equipment: a wide 6- to 7-qt (6-7 L) heavy pot (about 12 inches/30 cm in diameter and 4 inches/10 cm deep)

Preparation:

Prepare chicken

Purée garlic, orange juice, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. Put chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour purée over them, turning to coat. Marinate chicken, covered and chilled, turning occasionally, 1 hour.

Transfer chicken, letting excess marinade drip back into bowl, to paper towels, then pat dry. Reserve marinade.

Heat oil and butter in 6- to 7-quart (6-7 L) pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken as browned to a plate, reserving fat in pot.

Prepare rice and bake arroz con pollo

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F (180°C)

Sauté onions, bell peppers, and garlic in fat in pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits from chicken, until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

While vegetables cook, heat saffron in a dry small skillet over low heat, shaking skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

Add cumin and salt to vegetables and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in saffron mixture, bay leaf, tomatoes (including juice), broth, water, and reserved marinade and bring to a boil.

Add all chicken except breast pieces, skin sides up, and gently simmer, covered, over low heat 10 minutes. Stir in rice, then add breast pieces, skin sides up, and arrange chicken in 1 layer. Return to a simmer.

Cover pot tightly, then transfer to oven and bake until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Scatter peas, olives, and pimientos over rice and chicken (do not stir) and let stand, pot covered with a kitchen towel, until peas are heated through and any remaining liquid is absorbed by rice, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and serve. Serves 4.

From Epicurious.com

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