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

This Greek salad from Canadian Living has a twist – fried halloumi cheese. Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese typically made from goat’s and sheep’s milk. Its high melting point makes it perfect for frying or grilling. It’s a delicious addition to salads and to other meatless meals.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Pita can contain additives; I used Pita Break brand. Look for a red wine vinegar with no sulfites added, such as Eden Organic. Check the ingredients in the olives; I use Pilaros brand from Costco.

Combine salad ingredients and dressing in a large bowl

Fry or grill halloumi slices

Top salad with fried halloumi and pita chips

Ingredients:

Herbed Pita Chips

1 Greek pita

1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil

¼ tsp (1 ml) each dried basil and dried oregano

Salad

Half pkg (260 g pkg) halloumi cheese, cut crosswise in scant 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp (1 ml) dried oregano

Pinch pepper

5 cups (1.25 L) mixed baby greens

1 sweet green pepper, chopped

1 pkg (250 g) cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved

Half English cucumbers, chopped

Half red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) pitted Kalamata olives

Preparation:

Herbed Pita Chips: Brush pita with oil; sprinkle with basil and oregano. Cut into 8 wedges; arrange in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until crisp and light golden, about 8 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool completely; store in airtight container for up to 2 days.)

For salad, in large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano and pepper. Add baby greens, green pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and olives; toss to coat. Divide among serving plates

In nonstick skillet, cook halloumi over medium heat, turning once, until light golden, about 3 minutes.

Top salad with halloumi. Serve with pita chips. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

I was a bit skeptical about this recipe from the May 2016 issue of Martha Stewart Living because the entire dish is cooked under the broiler — a part of my oven I don’t use very often. I was pleasantly surprised by the finished dish, which was an excellent one-dish meal, but it did take much longer to cook than the recipe indicated.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Imagine organic chicken stock, which has no artificial ingredients.

Slice leeks

Place leeks, potatoes and stock in ovenproof pan and broil until tender-crisp

Add chicken and broil until cooked through, turning once

Add spinach

Stir in spinach until it wilts

Broiled skillet chicken with leeks, potatoes and spinach

Ingredients:

2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut into ½ -inch (1.27 cm) rounds, washed well

1 pound (500 g) baby yellow potatoes, cut into ¼ -inch (0.63 cm) rounds

1 cup (250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2 ½ pounds/1.13.kg total)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) coriander seeds, toasted and crushed

1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 6 cups/1.5 L)

Preparation:

Preheat broiler with rack 8 inches (20 cm) from heating element. Combine leeks, potatoes, broth, and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Broil, stirring once halfway through, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes (I cooked the vegetables about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil. Season with coriander, salt, and pepper, then place, skin-side down, atop leeks and potatoes. Broil 8 minutes (I broiled for 15). Flip chicken; scatter lemon wedges around it. Broil until a thermometer inserted into thickest parts of thighs (avoiding bones) registers 165 degrees F (74 C), 10 to 12 minutes more (I cooked for at least 20 minutes).

Transfer chicken to serving plates. Stir spinach into leek-potato mixture until wilted. Serve chicken with vegetables, lemon wedges, and pan juices. Serves 4.

From the May 2016 issue of Martha Stewart Living

These shrimp pancakes from Chatelaine are easy to make and fun to eat. Make a batter, stir in cooked shrimp, cabbage and scallions, and fry until set and browned. Serve with a spicy soy vinegar.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce, which contains preservatives. I used Marukan rice vinegar and Tabasco sauce instead of sriracha. Check the ingredients on the canola oil – some brands contain preservatives. Look for frozen shrimp with only salt added.

Cook shrimp and cut in half if large

Whisk batter ingredients together

Add shrimp and cabbage

Spoon into frying pan

Fry until tender and golden

Ingredients:

2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce, divided

1 tbsp (15 ml) rice vinegar

1 tbsp (15 ml) sriracha

1 egg

1½ cups (375 ml) water

¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil, divided

1½ cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

3 cups (750 ml) very thinly sliced napa cabbage

340 g (12 oz) smalled cooked shrimp

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

Preparation:

Whisk 1 tbsp (15 ml) soy with vinegar and sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.

Whisk egg with water, 2 tbsp (30 ml) oil and remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) soy in a large bowl. Whisk in flour, baking powder and salt until smooth. Stir in cabbage and shrimp. Reserve 2 tbsp (30 ml) green onions. Stir in remaining green onions.

Heat an extra-large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil. Scoop heaping 1/3-cup (75 ml) portions of batter into pan, pressing to flatten slightly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until the bottom is set and golden, 3 to 4 min, then flip. Cook until edges start to crisp, 3 more min. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and batter. Sprinkle with remaining green onions. Serve with vinegar. Serves 4.

From Chatelaine

This beef stir-fry from Cook’s Illustrated includes some great tips to make sure the beef is tender. Soak the meat briefly in a mild baking soda solution and add cornstarch to the marinade, then sear over high heat. It is important not to crowd the pan; otherwise the beef will steam, not sear.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce and a preservative-free rice vinegar, such as Marukan. Check the label on the sesame oil to make sure it is free of additives. I cannot find oyster sauce made without preservatives, so I make my own; the recipe is below.

Marinate the beef

Sear the beef and set aside

Stir fry the peppers and set aside

Stir fry the garlic, ginger and scallion whites

Add peppers and beef back to the pan

Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon (15 ml) plus ¼ cup (60 ml) water

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) baking soda

1 pound (500 g) flank steak, trimmed, cut into 2- to 2 ½-inch (5-6.4 cm) strips with grain, each strip cut crosswise against grain into ¼-inch-thick (0.64 cm) slices

3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce

3 tablespoons (45 ml) dry sherry or Chinese rice wine

3 teaspoons (15 ml) cornstarch

2 ½ teaspoons (12 ml) packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) oyster sauce (see recipe below)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) rice vinegar

1 ½ (7 ml) teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons (10 ml) coarsely ground pepper

3 tablespoons (45 ml) plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch-wide (0.64 cm) strips

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch-wide (0.64 cm) strips

6 scallions, white parts sliced thin on bias, green parts cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated fresh ginger

Oyster Sauce

1 ½ tablespoons (25 ml) soy sauce

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar

1 ½ teaspoons (7 ml) cornstarch

Preparation:

The vegetables and aromatics can be prepared while the beef is marinating. Serve with steamed white rice.

Combine 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water and baking soda in medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Whisk 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sherry, 1½ teaspoons (7 ml) cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon (2 ml) sugar together in small bowl. Add soy sauce mixture to beef, stir to coat, and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

Whisk remaining ¼ cup (60 mo) water, remaining 2 tablespoons (30 mo) soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sherry, remaining 1½ teaspoons (7 ml) cornstarch, remaining 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sugar, oyster sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper together in second bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vegetable oil in 12-inch (30 cm) nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef in single layer. Cook without stirring for 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown on both sides, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining beef and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.

Return skillet to high heat, add 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vegetable oil, and heat until beginning to smoke. Add bell peppers and scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are spotty brown and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl with beef.

Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining 4 teaspoons (20 ml) vegetable oil, scallion whites, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Return beef and vegetables to skillet and stir to combine.

Whisk sauce to recombine. Add to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

From Cook’s Illustrated

This quick and tasty dish from Martha Stewart is cooks in one pan on top of the stove. Brown the chicken and set it aside, then sauté garlic, artichokes and olives. Stir in stock and thinly sliced lemon, return the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. Cook’s Note: If you can’t find frozen artichoke hearts, the jarred marinated ones work just fine.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the artichoke hearts and olives are additive free. I use Imagine Organic chicken stock.

Brown the chicken

Sauté the olives and artichokes

Add the stock and lemons, return chicken to pan and simmer until done

Braised chicken with artichokes, olives and lemon

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (3 ½ pounds/1.6 kg), cut into 8 pieces and patted dry

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

12 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

9 ounces (255 g) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved

6 ounces (170 g) green olives, such as Castelvetrano (1 cup/250 ml)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano, plus leaves for serving

2 tablespoons (30 ml) all-purpose flour

2 cups (500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

1 small lemon, sliced into paper-thin rounds

Cooked orzo, for serving

Preparation:

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. Add oil, then chicken, skin-side down, in a single layer. Cook, turning, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and artichokes; cook until golden brown in places, 5 to 7 minutes. Add olives, oregano, and flour; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Stir in broth and lemon, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Return chicken, skin side up, and any juices to pan; bring to a simmer. Partially cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of chicken (without touching bone) registers 165 degrees F (74 C), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove lid; continue simmering until sauce thickens slightly. Serve over orzo, sprinkled with oregano leaves. Serves 4.

From Martha Stewart Living

This delicious dish from Food52 is redolent with Indian spices. While the shrimp marinates in salt and turmeric, mix up a cilantro-ginger-garlic-chile paste. Toast the spices and then sauté with onion and half the paste. Add water, butter and mint, bring to a boil, then add the rice and bake. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, sauté the shrimp in the other half of the paste.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the shrimp is additive-free and use spices that have no colour or anti-caking agents. Use butter that contains only cream.

Marinate shrimp in salt and turmeric

Toast spices and sauté onion

Add half of cilantro-chile paste

Add water, butter, mint and then rice

Sauté other half of the paste

Then sauté the shrimp in the paste

Top baked rice with shrimp

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 ml) basmati rice

1 pound (500 g) shrimp, shelled and de-veined

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground turmeric

¼ bunch cilantro

2 Serrano chilies

1 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of ginger

4 large cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil

1 large yellow onion

1 teaspoon (5 ml) whole black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick, 1-½ inches (3.8 cm)

¼ stick of butter

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) whole cloves

10 – 12 whole green cardamom pods

2 bay leaves

3 cups (750 ml) water

2 sprigs mint

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Wash the rice and soak it in cold water until needed.

Wash the shrimp and drain it well. Add the salt and turmeric and mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Peel the ginger and garlic and use a food processor to blend it to a paste with the cilantro and chilies. You can use a little water if it is too dry.

Chop the onion and mint and leave to the side until needed.

Heat the oil on medium in an oven safe dish. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and 1 bay leaf. Sauté until fragrant, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Add the chopped onion and sauté until light brown, stirring constantly.

Add half of the paste and sauté for another minute or two.

Add water and salt to taste and bring to this to a boil.

Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water and add the butter and mint. Bring this to a boil, cover and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

When the rice has been in the oven for about 10 minutes heat some oil in a sauté pan and add the remainder of the paste along with the other bay leaf. Sauté this for a minute or two and add the shrimp. Sauté the shrimp until done (they should be light pink) about 5 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven. Top it with the shrimp and serve. Serves 6.

From Food52

This spicy cassoulet from Food and Wine takes some advance planning, but the results are worth it. Soak the beans overnight, cook them the next morning and refrigerate, and then assemble the cassoulet and bake for dinner. Merguez sausages are spicy sausages made from mutton or beef; I used hot Italian sausages cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for bacon preserved with celery salt and make sure your spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use sausages and bread made with all-natural ingredients.

Soak the beans overnight

Cook bacon until fat is rendered

Add the vegetables to the bacon - this mixture will flavour the beans as they cook

Cook the beans until tender

Toast the spices for the harissa

Grind the toasted spices and combine with smoked paprika and cayenne to make the harissa

Brown the sausages

Brown the other vegetables, sprinkled with the harissa

When the cassoulet is assembled and baked, top with cubed bread

Cook under the broiler until the bread is browned and crisp

Harissa-spiced cassoulet

Ingredients:

½ pound (250 g) thick-cut bacon, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely diced

1 celery rib, finely diced

2 medium carrots, finely diced, plus 2 large carrots, cut into 2 ½ -inch (6.35 cm) lengths

14 ounces (397 g) dried cannellini beans (2 cups/500 ml), soaked overnight and drained

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 ½ teaspoons (7 ml) cumin seeds

1 ½ teaspoons (7 ml) coriander seeds

1 ½ teaspoons (7 ml) yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon (5 ml) smoked paprika

¾ teaspoon (3 ml) crushed red pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 (15 ml) tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Twelve 2-ounce (57 g) merguez sausages

2 large sweet potatoes (1 ¼ pounds/625 g), peeled and cut into 2 ½ -inch (6.35 cm) pieces

3 turnips (¾ pound/375 g), peeled and cut into 2 ½ -inch (6.35 cm) pieces

4 ounces (113 g) rustic peasant bread, crusts removed, bread cut into ¼-inch (0.64 cm) dice (2 cups/500 ml)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced parsley

1 teaspoon (10 ml) grated lemon zest

Plain yogurt, for serving

Preparation:

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered. Add the onion, celery and diced carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the beans, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer the beans until al dente, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the beans, bacon and vegetables and transfer to a bowl; reserve 2 cups (500 ml) of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). In a small skillet, toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool. Add the smoked paprika and crushed red pepper and grind the harissa blend into a powder.

Wipe out the casserole and heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the olive oil in it. Add the merguez and cook over moderate heat, until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not wipe out the casserole.

Add the sweet potatoes, turnips and large carrots to the casserole. Season with salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add the harissa spice blend and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bean mixture and the reserved 2 cups (500 ml) of cooking liquid and bring just to a simmer. Arrange the merguez on top. Cover and bake the cassoulet for about 1 hour, until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the oven and uncover the cassoulet.

Preheat the broiler. In a bowl, toss the bread, parsley, lemon zest and the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the bread over the cassoulet and broil until golden and crisp. Let the cassoulet stand for 10 minutes before serving. Pass yogurt at the table. Serves 10-12.

From Food and Wine

This healthy and tasty stew from Canadian Living only takes about 45 minutes to make, so it’s perfect for a weeknight supper. And the leftovers are great for lunch the next day!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Imagine organic chicken stock, which has no artificial ingredients. Check the label on your spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use all-natural yogurt and fresh lemon juice.

Cube the squash and slice the onions

Add peppers and garlic

After adding the broth and simmering the chicken, add kale and corn

Cook until the kale wilts

Chicken and Kale Stew with Chili Yogurt

Ingredients:

Chicken and Kale Stew

1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil

2-½ cups (625 ml) cubed seeded peeled butternut squash

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely grated or pressed

1 small finger chili pepper, (red or yellow), halved lengthwise and seeded

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced peeled fresh ginger

1 pkg (900 ml) sodium-reduced chicken broth

½ tsp (2 ml) each dried sage and dried thyme

½ tsp (2 ml) pepper

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

450 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

4 cups (1 L) chopped stemmed kale

½ cup (125 ml) frozen corn kernels

1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) cornstarch

Chili Yogurt

1/3 cup (75 ml) 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh chives

½ tsp (2 ml) lemon juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) sunflower seeds, toasted

Preparation:

Chicken and Kale Stew: In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook squash and onion, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili pepper and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in broth, sage, thyme, pepper and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add chicken; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, remove chili pepper to cutting board; mince chili pepper. Reserve for Chili Yogurt.

Add kale and corn to Dutch oven; cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is wilted and chicken is no longer pink inside, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

Whisk cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30 ml) water; stir into Dutch oven. Bring to boil; cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Ladle stew into serving bowls.

Chili Yogurt: In small bowl, stir together yogurt, chives, lemon juice and reserved chili pepper; dollop over stew. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Serves 6.

From Canadian Living

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