Archive for November, 2015

If you are looking for a quick supper during the holiday season, try this shrimp stir-fry from Real Simple. Once your ingredients are assembled and the rice is ready, dinner will be on the table in 15 minutes. If you can’t find broccolini, use broccoli instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Canola oil may have additives, so either use olive oil instead or check the label. Look for frozen shrimp with only salt added. I use Marukan rice vinegar and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Saute the shrimp

Set shrimp aside and then saute the vegetables

Return shrimp to pan and add sauce

Shrimp and broccolini stir-fry with sesame rice


1 cup (250 ml) jasmine or long-grain white rice

1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving

3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola oil

1 pound (454 g) peeled and deveined large shrimp (raw)

1 bunch scallions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated fresh ginger

1 small fresh red chili, finely chopped

1 large bunch broccolini, cut into 2-inch pieces

¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce


Cook the rice according to the package directions. Stir in the sesame seeds.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; reserve the skillet.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil to the reserved skillet. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili. Cook, stirring often, until the scallions are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broccolini and ½ cup (125 ml) water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccolini is crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the reserved shrimp, vinegar, and soy sauce and cook, tossing frequently, until the sauce coats the shrimp and broccolini, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve the shrimp and broccolini over the rice, sprinkled with additional sesame seeds. Serves 4.

From Real Simple magazine

Here’s a tasty recipe from Canadian Living’s Best Weekend Pleasures that uses inexpensive chicken legs. Marinate the chicken for up to 12 hours and then bake for about 40 minutes. You can serve with or without the sauce, and add more cayenne if you like heat. Serve with curried rice, cauliflower and peas.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to be sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use fresh lemon juice and plain yogurt with no preservatives.

Marinate the chicken for up to 12 hours

Bake in marinade until juices run clear

Indian-spiced chicken legs


6 chicken legs, skinned

2 tsp (10 ml) ground cumin

2 tsp (10 ml) paprika

1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric

½ tsp (2.5 ml) each cayenne and black pepper

1 onion, chopped

3 large cloves garlic

¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

2 tsp (10 ml) sugar

½ tsp (2.5 ml) all-purpose flour

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

¼ cup (60 ml) plain yogurt


Separate chicken legs at joint. Place in glass bowl and set aside.

In skillet, stir together cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 40 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in onion, garlic, lemon juice, oil and sugar and pour over chicken, turning to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate from 4 to 12 hours, turning often.

Place chicken, meaty side down, in lightly greased roasting pan. Pour on marinade. Bake in 400-degree F (200-degree C) oven for 20 minutes. Turn and bake, basting with pan juices, for another 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.

Set roasting pan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and bring to boil. Cook, whisking, for 30 to 40 seconds or until thickened. Stir in salt and yogurt. Do not boil. Pour sauce over chicken. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living’s Best Weekend Pleasures

If you are in the mood for some comfort food, try this baked pasta from Bon Appetit. It includes harissa, a North African hot chili pepper paste made from chipotle and spices. To tone down the spiciness of this dish, use a mild sausage instead of a hot one.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I have not been able to find preservative-free harissa, so I make it from scratch with canned chipotles and spices. The recipe is below. Look for sausage, canned tomatoes and feta with no preservatives. I use President’s Choice “Free From” sausages, Unico tomatoes and Tre Stelle feta.

Brown the sausage and slice into bite-sized pieces

Saute onion

Add tomatoes and other ingredients

Add cooked pasta and feta, transfer to baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes



2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet paprika

1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) adobo sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground caraway

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil


1 teaspoon (5 ml) caraway seeds

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin seeds

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

12 ounces (340 g) hot or sweet Italian sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 28-ounce (828 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) harissa paste (see recipe above)

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

8 ounces (226 g) medium shell-shaped pasta

3 ounces (85 g) feta, crumbled

A spice mill or a mortar and pestle


Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C)

For the harissa, combine all ingredients into a paste. Set aside.

Grind caraway and cumin in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook sausage until browned all over but still pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Slice into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.

Add onion to same skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and reserved spices. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing, and juices, then harissa. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, 6–8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente (about 3 minutes less than package directions; it will be firm in the center). Drain, reserving ¼ cup (60 ml) cooking liquid.

Add sausage, pasta, and cooking liquid to skillet; toss to coat. Transfer to a 3-qt. (2.8 L) baking dish, top with feta, and bake until top is browned and juices are bubbling, 18–22 minutes. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit