Archive for January, 2012

If you are in the mood for a Tex-Mex meal, try this recipe from the February 2012 issue of Canadian Living. It would also be good to serve to a crowd on Super Bowl Sunday in a couple of weeks. Make a quick enchilada sauce, brown some ground beef, and sauté onion, corn and black beans. Then layer tortillas, the beef mixture and cheese, top with the sauce and more cheese, and bake. You could use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef. Once the dish was heated through, I put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that could include additives and preservatives are the passata, chipotle peppers, black beans, tortillas, cheese and sour cream. Try Molisana brand passata, Herdez canned chipotles in adobo sauce, President’s Choice Blue Menu canned black beans, President’s Choice original flour tortillas and Loblaws No-Name sour cream. If you use low-fat sour cream be sure to check the label, as I find low-fat products tend to contain more additives. Cheddar cheese without colour is relatively easy to find.

Make the enchilada sauce

Brown the ground beef

Layer the tortillas, beef mixture and cheese

Top with sauce and cheese before baking

I browned it for a few minutes under the broiler

Garnish with sour cream and green onions


2 cups (500 mL) bottled strained tomatoes, (passata)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp (30 mL) chili powder

1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped

1 pinch salt

1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef

2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) rinsed drained canned black beans

¾ cup (175 mL) frozen corn kernels

3 large whole wheat or regular tortillas

1- ¼ cups (300 mL) shredded Cheddar cheese

¼ cup (60 mL) sour cream

1 green onion, thinly sliced


In small saucepan, bring strained tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, oregano, chipotle pepper and salt to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, brown beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with wooden spoon. With slotted spoon, remove beef and set aside. Drain fat from pan.

Add oil to skillet; cook onion over medium heat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add black beans and corn. Return beef to pan, stirring to combine. Stir in 1 cup of the sauce, mixing well.

Place 1 of the tortillas in greased 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish. Top with 1/4 cup of the cheese and half of the meat mixture. Repeat layers of tortilla, cheese and meat mixture once. Top with remaining tortilla and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Slice and serve garnished with sour cream and green onion. Serves 4.

From the February 2012 issue of Canadian Living

This is a fast and tasty way to get more fish into your diet. Canned salmon is mixed with bread crumbs, cilantro, green onions, spices and eggs and then formed into patties. Quickly fry the patties and serve with a refreshing raiti sauce. If you don’t like cilantro, use parsley instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives and preservatives are the yogurt and tandoori paste. Look for a Balkan-style yogurt with no artificial ingredients. It is difficult to find spice pastes that are additive-free, so I usually make mine from scratch. A recipe for tandoori paste is below. Also be sure to use fresh lime juice, as concentrates are bitter and usually contain sodium benzoate.

Mix canned salmon with spices, bread crumbs, cilantro, scallions and eggs

Form the salmon mixture into patties

Fry patties for about 4 minutes per side

Serve with raita sauce


½ cup (125 mL) plain yogurt

1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh cilantro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ English cucumber, coarsely grated and squeezed dry

2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice

1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp (15 mL) prepared tandoori paste

2 eggs

¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

2 cans (213 g each) wild sockeye salmon, drained and flaked

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Tandoori paste

¼ tsp each of cayenne, salt, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cumin and paprika

2 tbsp plain yogurt

½ tbsp lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together.


In small bowl, combine yogurt, 1 tbsp of the cilantro, half of the green onions, the cucumber and lime juice. Set raita dressing aside.

In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, ginger, tandoori paste, remaining cilantro and green onions, eggs, cayenne pepper and salmon, mixing well. Shape into eight 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick patties.

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook salmon cakes until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with raita dressing. Serves 4.

From the February 2012 issue of Canadian Living

We don’t have a barbecue at the apartment and one of the things we miss most over the winter is grilled baby back ribs. So I was delighted to see this recipe for Orange and Soy-Glazed Baby Back Ribs in the January 2012 issue of Bon Appetit. The ribs are parboiled for a couple of hours in water flavoured with soy sauce, garlic, cumin seeds and red pepper flakes. This renders the fat from the ribs. Meanwhile, make a sauce with spices, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, orange juice and honey. To finish the ribs, place them on a cookie sheet, brush with the sauce and broil for a few minutes on each side. Garnish with citrus zest, more sauce and enjoy!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredient to watch out for in this recipe is the soy sauce. Use tamari, which is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate.

Parboil the ribs to cook them and render the fat

Parboiled ribs

Place parboiled ribs on cookie sheet, brush with sauce and broil

Garnish the ribs with sauce and citrus zest

Orange and soy-glazed baby back ribs


3 ½ pounds baby back pork ribs, cut between bones into individual ribs (18–20 ribs)

1 cup soy sauce, divided

9 garlic cloves, minced, divided

5 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided

3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, divided

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 scallions (white and light-green parts separated from dark-green parts), finely chopped

1 ½ cups fresh orange juice plus zest from 1 orange

3 tablespoons honey

Zest from 1 lemon and 1 lime


Place ribs, ½ cup soy sauce, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp. cumin seeds, and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes in a large pot; add water to cover completely. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover with lid ajar; cook until ribs are tender, about 2 hours. Drain ribs; set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add remaining 3 tsp. cumin seeds and 2 tsp. red pepper flakes. Toast lightly until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add remaining 6 minced garlic cloves and white and pale-green scallions. Sauté until just soft, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup soy sauce, orange juice, and honey. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is thick, 12–15 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place ribs on prepared sheet; brush with sauce. Broil until sauce bubbles, 2–3 minutes. Turn, brush with additional sauce, and broil until ribs are heated through and sauce is bubbling, 2–3 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Sprinkle dark-green scallions and citrus zest over. Serves 4-6.

From the January 2012 issue of Bon Appetit

This Classic Chicken Teriyaki recipe from the January 2012 issue of Food and Wine is light, tasty and doesn’t take long to make. Chicken breasts and peppers are sautéed and then topped with teriyaki sauce made from scratch—much better than the store-bought version. To make the chicken breasts thinner, cover them with plastic wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer mallet or cast iron frying pan. This does a good job on the chicken and is an excellent way to vent the day’s frustrations. I served the chicken and peppers with steamed rice and sautéed baby bok choy.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives and preservatives are the broth, mirin (rice wine vinegar) and soy sauce. I used Imagine brand chicken stock, which is all-natural. Mirin and soy sauce can contain sodium benzoate, so look for tamari instead of soy sauce and a brand of mirin that uses alcohol as a preservative. I used Kikkoman brand aji-mirin.

I used a red pepper and hot banana pepper

Pound chicken breasts and saute until cooked through

Saute peppers until they start to brown

Slice the chicken and serve with the peppers and teriyaki sauce


1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/3 cup sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

Steamed short-grain rice, for serving

Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, lightly pounded

2 tablespoons mirin

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons sake

2 large Italian frying peppers, cut into ½-inch strips


In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock with the soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the teriyaki sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup and syrupy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned all over and cooked through, 8 to 9 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let stand for 5 minutes.

Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and heat until shimmering.

Add the pepper strips and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Transfer the peppers to plates. Slice the chicken breasts crosswise and transfer to the plates. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve with rice. Serves 4.

From the January 2012 issue of Food and Wine

Who doesn’t love chicken wings? This wing recipe from the December 2003 issue of Canadian Living is one of our favourites. The main reason is that they are delicious; the other reason is that they are baked, making them lower in fat than deep-fried wings. I like to marinate them a day in advance. The dipping sauce is great – I double the quantity so there is enough for everyone.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives are the soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Use tamari instead of soy sauce, because it is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate. I use Marukan brand seasoned rice vinegar and Eden Selected Toasted Sesame Oil.

Marinate the wings in advance and place on rack over baking sheet

Bake until cooked through; then broil for a few minutes to brown then

Korean Hot Wings with Garlicky Soy Dipping Sauce


2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp minced gingerroot

1 tbsp sesame oil

1-1/2 tsp granulated sugar

½ tsp pepper

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 lb. chicken wings, trimmed


Mix together first eight ingredients in bowl and add chicken wings. Bag and marinate in fridge for 2-24 hours. Arrange wings on rack on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes; turn and bake until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 15 minutes. Broil wings, turning once, until crisp and browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Serve with Garlicky Soy Dipping Sauce. Serves 2-4.

Garlicky Soy Dipping Sauce


2 tbsp minced green onions

4 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

½ tsp sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp hot pepper flakes


Mix together all ingredients in small bowl. Makes about ¼ cup.

From December 2003 Canadian Living.

This frittata from the June 2003 issue of Canadian Living is a great dish for either brunch or a light supper. Asparagus and red pepper pieces are sautéed and then mixed with eggs and feta. The recipe said the frittata would be set in 7 minutes – it was more like 12 minutes when I made it. A few minutes under the broiler finishes the cooking and browns the top. You need a 9- or 10-inch ovenproof, nonstick skillet for this dish; a cast iron frying pan works very well. Save any leftovers for breakfast the next day – the frittata is just as delicious at room temperature.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this dish that could have artificial ingredients include the butter, which may contain colour, and the feta cheese. Look for butter with one ingredient only: Cream. If you don’t use much butter, keep it in the freezer to preserve it. President’s Choice feta cheese in brine is additive-free.

Saute chopped asparagus and red pepper

Brown the frittata under the broiler for a few minutes before serving


1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

2 cups (500 mL) trimmed asparagus, chopped

1 sweet red pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme, (or 1 tsp/5 mL dried)

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

8 eggs

1/4 cup (60 mL) milk

1/3 cup (75 mL) feta cheese, crumbled


In 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) nonstick ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook asparagus, red pepper, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.

In bowl, whisk eggs with milk. Stir into asparagus mixture; sprinkle with feta cheese. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until bottom and side are firm but top is still slightly runny, about 7 minutes. Broil until golden and set, about 1 minute. Serves 4.

From the June 2003 issue of Canadian Living