Archive for April, 2014

This recipe from the May 14 issue of Canadian Living would be great for a casual spring dinner party. Pork tenderloin and asparagus are roasted, served over rice, topped with a warm sauce of ginger, garlic, chicken broth, orange juice and mustard, and garnished with almonds and parsley. It’s healthy, tasty and looks nice too. One note: if your asparagus is thin, it may be done before the pork is cooked. Either remove it and keep it warm, or add it to the pork after it is partially cooked.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the label on the almonds to make sure no preservatives have been added. Use fresh lemon juice and orange juice and an all-natural chicken stock, such as Imagine brand. Many Dijon mustards contain sulfites; I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon, which is additive free.

Roast the pork and asparagus

Prepare the almond parsley garnish

Reduce the warm citrus sauce

Pork tenderloin with asparagus and warm citrus sauce


¼ cup (60 ml) natural almonds, chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice

400 g pork tenderloin, trimmed if necessary

¼ tsp (1 ml) each salt and pepper

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

2 bunches (each 450 g) asparagus, trimmed

1 tbsp (15 ml) grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup (175 ml) sodium-reduced chicken broth

½ cup (125 ml) orange juice

1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard

½ tsp (2 ml) grated orange zest

¾ cup (175 ml) basmati rice


Stir together almonds, parsley and lemon juice; set aside.

Sprinkle pork with half each of the salt and pepper. In nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; brown pork all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer pork and asparagus to foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle asparagus with remaining salt and pepper. Bake in 400 F (200 C) oven until just a hint of pink remains inside pork or instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 160 F (71 C), about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to cutting board; tent with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Add remaining oil to skillet; heat over medium heat. Cook ginger and garlic, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and orange juice; bring to boil. Stirring often, reduce sauce to ½ cup, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in mustard and orange zest. Cook rice according to package directions; serve with pork, asparagus and sauce. Sprinkle with almond mixture. Serves 4.

From the May 2014 issue of Canadian Living

Insalata Caprese is one of my favourite dishes, so when I saw this recipe in an ad for chicken I thought I’d try it. It’s very simple—mix oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest in a baking dish, add thin chicken breasts, top with stock, tomato, cheese slices and basil and bake. It looks great, tastes great and is ready in 30 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice and a stock with all-natural ingredients, such as Imagine brand. The fresh mozzarella, also known as bocconcini, should have no colour or preservatives. I use Tre Stella brand.

Place tomato slices and cheese on top of chicken before baking

I served the Caprese Chicken with noodles and broccolini


1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

¼ tsp (1 ml) ground black pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

Zest of 1 lemon, divided

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 lb. (454 g) skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded thinly

¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock or water

5 large tomato slices

4 medium balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, each sliced into 3 pieces

5 fresh basil leaves, chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix together oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and ½ the lemon zest in a 9 x 13 inch (3.5 L) ovenproof baking dish. Add chicken, turning to coat, and allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour stock over chicken and top with tomato, cheese slices and basil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 170 degrees F (77 degrees C). Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest before serving. Serves 3-4.


This delicious baked pasta from the April 2014 issue of Food and Wine features a sauce made of roasted tomatoes, garlic, thyme and basil. The roasted tomatoes are added to sautéed onion, crispy pancetta and olives. Meanwhile, roast some broccoli. Cook the rigatoni and stir into the sauce, along with the broccoli, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and more fresh basil. This would be a great dish for Sunday brunch or a weeknight supper.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter with only a single ingredient: cream. I used nitrite-free bacon instead of pancetta and President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives, which are all-natural. Check the labels on the ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano to make sure they don’t contain colour or artificial ingredients.

Place fresh herbs on tomatoes prior to roasting

Roast the broccoli

The roasted tomatoes form the basis of the sauce

Combine sauce, broccoli and ricotta

Place in baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano

Baked rigatoni with broccoli, green olives and pancetta


2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

1 ½ pounds (680 g) plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 thyme sprigs

½ cup (125 ml) torn basil leaves, plus 1 basil sprig

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds (680 g) broccoli, cut into small florets and stems reserved for another use

One 4-ounce (113 g) slice of pancetta, finely diced

1 large onion, very finely chopped

1 cup (250 ml) pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano, halved

1 pound (454 g) rigatoni

2 cups (500 ml) fresh ricotta cheese

¾ cup (175 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat the oven to 425° F (232° C) and butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33 cm) ceramic or glass baking dish. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and basil sprigs with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until softened and browned in spots; let cool. Discard the thyme and basil sprigs and coarsely chop the tomatoes and garlic, reserving any juices.

Meanwhile, on another rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and nearly crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives, tomatoes and garlic and the 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter; keep warm.

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain, reserving 1¼ (300 ml) cups of the cooking water. Stir the pasta into the skillet along with the reserved cooking water, broccoli, ricotta, torn basil and ½ (125 ml) cup of the Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) of Parmigiano on top and bake for 15 minutes, until bubbling and browned on top. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

From the April 2014 issue of Food and Wine

This delicious side dish from the April 2014 issue of Canadian Living takes only minutes to prepare and would be perfect for a spring dinner party or Easter feast. Crisp some bacon or pancetta, sauté the veggies, add a little vinegar at the end and it’s ready!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used nitrite-free bacon instead of pancetta. Look for a red wine vinegar with no sulfites added. I use Eden Organic brand.

This side dish cooks in about 8 minutes

Asparagus and mushroom sauté with pancetta


1 pkg (150 g) diced pancetta

3 shallots, sliced

3 bunches (each 450 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2-1/2-inch (6 cm) pieces

2 pkg (each 227 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered

½ tsp (2 mL) pepper

Pinch salt

2 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar


In large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, cook pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes.

Add shallots, asparagus, mushrooms, pepper and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Serves 8-10.

From the April 2014 issue of Canadian Living