Archive for August, 2013

Grilled chicken skewers are quick, easy to make, and, if you use wooden skewers, easy on the clean-up crew. This recipe, adapted from the Summer 2011 issue of Food and Drink also features a tangy yogurt sauce.

To thicken the yogurt for the sauce, place 2 cups of it in a sieve lined with a paper towel or coffee filter and place the sieve in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Discard the clear whey in the bowl and use the thickened yogurt

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, be sure to use fresh lemon juice, yogurt without colour or artificial ingredients and red wine vinegar that contains naturally occurring sulfites.

The chicken marinates briefly in a marinade of lemon, garlic and fresh oregano

Thicken the yogurt by draining it for a few hours in a bowl lined with a paper towel or a paper coffee filter

Chicken Souvlaki with Yogurt Sauce



2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp fresh oregano

1 tsp chopped garlic

1½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Yogurt Sauce

2 cups plain yogurt, drained to yield 1 cup thick yogurt

½ cup grated cucumber, liquid squeezed out

3 tbsp chopped green onion

2 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tsp chopped garlic

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil


Combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and garlic in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Divide chicken between four skewers and set aside.

Combine yogurt, grated cucumber, green onion, coriander, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to high.

Place chicken skewers on grill and grill on all four sides for 2-3 minutes per side, 12-15 minutes total, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with warmed pita bread and yogurt sauce. Serves 4.

From the Summer 2011 issue of Food and Drink

I have been in charge of harvesting the garden the past few days, and I thought I was doing pretty well. Until today, that is. When, seemingly out of nowhere, three gigantic, one very large and one normal-sized zucchini appeared.

I can grill zucchini slices, sauté zucchini ribbons, make zucchini fritters – but I was still going to have lots of zucchini. So I decided to bake a cake. I found this easy recipe for zucchini cake on I had all the ingredients in my pantry and recipe comes together quickly. You can frost this cake or leave it plain, as I did, and serve it with ice cream or whipped cream.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not artificial, and check to make sure the nuts and raisins are preservative-free. Butter the pan with a brand of butter than contains only cream. If you make the frosting, look for an organic brand of cream cheese without artificial ingredients added.

Grate the zucchini and squeeze out the excess moisture

Combine the dry ingredients, except the sugar, and add to the beaten eggs and sugar

Pour the batter into a buttered pan

The cake bakes in about 40 minutes

Moist and delicious zucchini cake



2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon (can substitute 1 teaspoon with other spices such as allspice and nutmeg)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

2 cups white, granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional, my addition)

2 cups (from about 3-4 regular sized zucchini) grated un-peeled zucchini (place grated zucchini in a sieve and press out some of the excess moisture before measuring)

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)


3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

¼ cup butter, room temperature

1 ½ to 2 cups of powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×12 or 9×13 baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the 3 eggs on high speed until frothy. Lower the speed and beat in the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the flour mixture, a third at a time. Stir in the zucchini and chopped nuts and/or raisins.

Pour mixture into a 9×12 or 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Frost the cake and serve. Store covered with aluminum foil. Makes 20 pieces.


This recipe from the July 2013 issue of Food and Wine doesn’t take long to make and is a great way to use up the season’s bountiful crop of cherry tomatoes. The recipe calls for chorizo, but I used cooked hot Italian sausage instead. Be sure to have crusty bread on the table to sop up the delicious juices!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Chorizo may contain artificial ingredients, so if you can’t find an all-natural product, substitute cooked hot Italian sausage that contains no additives or preservatives. Look for cannellini or white kidney beans with only salt added, such as PC Blue Menu brand.

Cook chorizo with garlic

Add cherry tomatoes, followed by seasoning, beans and mussels

Mussels with white beans and chorizo


¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

2 ounces dried chorizo, diced

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Pinch of crushed red pepper


Ground black pepper

One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained

2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded

Chopped parsley and grilled bread, for serving


In a large, deep skillet, combine the olive oil with the garlic and chorizo and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and crushed red pepper, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the cannellini beans, mussels and ½ cup of water, cover and cook over high heat until the mussel shells open, about 3 minutes; discard any mussels that don’t open. Transfer the mussels, beans, tomatoes and chorizo to deep bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve with grilled bread. Serves 2-4.

From the July 2013 issue of Food and Wine

This recipe from the March 2006 issue of Bon Appetit is a simple way to prepare sole or other thin fish fillets. Dredge the sole in flour, sauté it quickly and place in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. The sauce is very easy to make; just sauté butter and oil in the pan until the butter foams, add minced shallot, and cook until the butter turns brown. Add orange and lemon juice, cook for another minute or so, season and serve with the fish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice and butter than contains only cream.

Dredge sole fillets in flour and quickly saute

Cook oil, butter and shallots over high heat until butter foams and browns

Sole with orange brown butter


1 pound sole fillets

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Flour for dusting

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large shallot, minced

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


Season the fillets with the salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour. Shake off any excess flour. Put half of the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, sauté the fish on one side for 3 minutes. Then flip and cook on the other side until just done, 1 to 2 minutes; the fillets should be golden brown and just cooked through. Transfer them to a platter and keep them warm in a 200°F oven while you make the sauce.

Add the remaining oil and the butter to a sauté pan and cook over high heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the shallot. Cook until it is golden and the butter is a pale hazelnut brown, about 1 minute. Add the orange juice and cook for 1 minute more. Add the lemon juice. When the butter mixture starts to foam again, remove the pan from heat. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Put a piece of sole on each plate, drizzle with the brown butter, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

From the March 2006 issue of Bon Appetit