Archive for January, 2017

This delicious recipe from Bonnie Stern’s More Heartsmart Cooking has lots of flavour from spices and roasted garlic but doesn’t have lot of fat. To flatten the chicken breasts, place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth end of a meat tenderizer. Unlike regular couscous — small grains of durum wheat — Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta shaped in tiny balls, about the size of small peas.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the orange juice concentrate and spices have no preservatives added.

Pound chicken breasts until they are a half-inch thick, marinate and then grill

Flattened Cumin-Grilled Chicken Breasts with Garlic Israeli Couscous



6 skinless, boneless single chicken breasts, 4 oz/125 g each

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) orange juice concentrate

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

½ tsp (2 ml) pepper

Israeli Couscous

4 cups (1 L) chicken stock

8 oz (250 g) Israeli couscous

1 head roasted garlic

Salt and pepper to taste


To roast garlic, trim about ¼ inch/5 mm off the top of a garlic head. Place the garlic cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 400 F/ 200 C for about 40 minutes or until tender. Gently squeeze the garlic out of the skins.

Remove filets from chicken breasts (freezing them for stir-fries or chicken fingers). Pound remaining pieces of chicken until about ½ inch / 1 cm thick

In small bowl, combine olive oil, juice concentrate, cumin, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Rub mixture into chicken breasts. Marinate for 10 minutes or up to overnight in refrigerator.

Grill chicken breasts on lightly oiled barbecue or grill pan for a few minutes per side — 3 to 5 minutes, or just until cooked through.

Meanwhile, to prepare couscous, bring chicken stock to boil. Add couscous and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Stir garlic paste or pesto sauce into couscous. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place couscous in serving dish and arrange chicken on top. Serves 6.

From More Heartsmart Cooking

This tasty recipe from Canadian Living gets its heat from Thai bird’s-eye peppers, which are tiny but pack a powerful punch. To tone down the heat, reduce the amount of minced pepper you add to the dish and use for a garnish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Marukan rice vinegar and Cock fish sauce, which are both additive-free.

Brown the pork

Remove pork and saute green beans, garlic, ginger and Thai pepper

Return pork to pan and add vinegar, fish sauce and brown sugar

Pork and chili pepper bowl


1 Thai bird’s-eye pepper, halved crosswise

1 lb (450 g) lean ground pork

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

2 cups (500 ml) green beans, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons (20 ml) grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon (15 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) fish sauce

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) packed brown sugar

4 eggs (optional)

½ cup (125 ml) chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

2 green onions, sliced (optional)


Mince half of the Thai pepper; thinly slice remaining half. Set aside.

In large nonstick skillet, cook pork and salt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Scrape into bowl. Set aside.

In same pan, heat half of the oil over medium heat; cook green beans, garlic, ginger and minced Thai pepper, stirring occasionally, until green beans are tender- crisp, about 5 minutes. Add pork, vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar and 2 tbsp (30 ml) water; cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions and remaining Thai pepper. Serves 4.

To top with a fried egg (before garnishing with cilantro and green onions), wipe pan clean and heat remaining oil over medium heat; cook eggs until whites are set yet yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Arrange 1 egg over each pork bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions and remaining Thai pepper. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

I always like to get a cookbook for Christmas, and this year I was happy to receive the latest from the Barefoot ContessaCooking for Jeffrey. This is the first recipe I’ve tried, and it’s a winner! Onion and fennel are sautéed with sausage and spices, simmered in a tomato-cream sauce, tossed with cooked pasta and baked. You can also make it ahead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages, Parmesan, tomato paste and spices with no colour or preservatives added. I used a white wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Frogpond Farm organic winery that contains only naturally occurring sulfites.

Saute fennel, onion and sausage

Toss cooked pasta with sauce and press into baking dish, topping with Parmesan

I refrigerated the dish for several hours and then baked it until it was heated through and brown on top


3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

3 cups (750 ml) chopped fennel (1 large bulb)

1½ cups (375 ml) chopped yellow onion

1¼ lb (565 g) sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 tsp (10 ml) minced garlic

½ tsp (2.5 ml) whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

½ tsp (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (whipping cream)

2/3 cup (150 ml) half-and-half

2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste

1 lb (454 g) dry rigatoni

½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley leaves

1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp (10 ml) salt and 1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and add the heavy cream, half-and-half and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp (30 ml) salt and cook the rigatoni according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and ½ cup (125 ml) of the Parmesan. Press into a large shallow baking dish, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and serve. To make ahead, refrigerate for up to a day and then bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 C).

From Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten