This salad from Chatelaine is supposed to serve four, but it was so good the two of us ate it all in one sitting. This is a great way to use up the green beans, cherry tomatoes and fresh oregano from your garden.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a red wine vinegar with no sulfites added, such as Eden Organic brand. Look for shrimp and feta with no additives or preservatives.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a large bowl

Cook the beans in boiling water until tender-crisp

Keep the cherry tomatoes whole if they are small

Cook the shrimp until pink, about 3 minutes

Toss everything together and enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped oregano

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups (500 ml) trimmed green beans

12 oz (340 g) frozen peeled shrimp, thawed

4 cups (1 L) thinly sliced romaine lettuce

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) crumbled feta

1 cup (250 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved if large

Preparation:

Whisk oil with vinegar, oregano and garlic in a large bowl until combined. Season with fresh pepper.

Boil a pot of water. Add green beans and cook until tender crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water and pat dry. You can boil the shrimp in the same water or sauté them in a pan with oil. Cook until shrimp turns pink, about 3 min.

Add beans and shrimp to dressing, along with romaine and onion. Toss until coated. Add feta and tomatoes. Serves 2-4.

From Chatelaine

These tasty beef and vegetable skewers reach a whole new level when topped with a parsley-basil pesto vinaigrette. Use any remaining vinaigrette to toss with grilled potatoes or other vegetables.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a red wine vinegar with no sulfites added, such as Eden Organic brand.

Use fresh parsley and basil for the vinaigrette

Combine the herbs with garlic, vinegar, salt and oil

Cut the meat and vegetables in chunks that are about the same size

Cook on a greased grill, basting with the vinaigrette

Provençale Beef Brochettes

Ingredients:

1 lb (500 g) steak cut into 1½-inch (3.8 cm) cubes

1 red onion

1 each sweet red and green pepper

1 small eggplant

12 mushroom caps

Olive oil

Pesto Vinaigrette

3 large garlic cloves, quartered

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

2 cups (500 ml) packed fresh parsley

1 cup (250 ml) packed fresh basil

3 tbsp (45 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) granulated sugar

⅔ cup (150 ml) olive oil

Preparation:

Pesto Vinaigrette

In food processor, puree garlic and salt. Add parsley and basil and process into fine paste.

With motor running, add vinegar and sugar, then oil in thin, steady stream. Season with pepper to taste. Makes 1 cup (250 ml).

Cut beef into 1½-inch (3.8 cm) cubes and cut vegetables into similar-sized chunks.

Thread steak, onion, peppers, eggplant and mushrooms onto skewers and brush with oil.

Place skewers on greased grill over high heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Reserving half of pesto vinaigrette, brush some of the remaining vinaigrette over the brochettes. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living’s Best Barbecue Cookbook

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life is Ruth Reichl’s memoir about the year after her beloved Gourmet magazine abruptly ceased publication. Set mostly in her country house, Reichl mourns her loss, ponders her future — and cooks. In the book, Reichl makes these Americanized Thai noodles during the winter, but they are delicious at any time of year.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a brand of fish sauce without MSG and shrimp without preservatives added. I used Tabasco sauce instead of sriracha.

Cook shrimp until they change colour

Stir fry scallions with ground pork

Add soaked rice noodles

Scramble egg

Add sauce and combine

Thai American Noodles

Ingredients:

½ pound (250 g) very thin rice noodles, preferably Thai rice sticks

¼ cup (60 ml) sugar

¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) white vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut oil

½ pound (250 g) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ pound (250 g) ground pork

4 scallions, white and tender green parts, sliced into ½ -inch (1.27 cm) lengths

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 limes (juice only)

½ cup (125 ml) salted peanuts, finely chopped

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish

Sriracha Chili sauce

Preparation:

In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water to cover for about 20 minutes or until soft, then drain and set aside.

Combine the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Set aside.

In a wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, just until they change color, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the garlic to the wok, and as soon as it starts to color and get fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the pork and half of the scallions. Cook just until the pork loses its redness, 2 to 3 minutes, then add drained noodles and mix quickly. Add the fish sauce mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until the noodles have absorbed all the liquid.

Clear an area of the wok and crack 1 egg into it, breaking the yolk. Tilt the wok to get as thin a sheet of egg as possible and scramble just until set, about 1 minute. Then mix the egg into the noodles. Repeat with the remaining egg. Add the shrimp, remaining scallions and red pepper flakes and mix thoroughly. Add the lime juice and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Transfer the noodles to a platter and top with a sprinkling of peanuts. Serve with lime wedges, the remaining peanuts and lots of Sriracha. Serves 3.

From My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl

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

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