If you are trying to eat more meatless meals, try this hearty cheesy white bean-tomato bake from Cooking NYT. Fry some sliced garlic, stir in tomato paste, add canned white beans, water and seasoning. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for about 10 minutes. To brown the top, broil for a minute or two.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used No Name tomato paste and Blue Menu white kidney beans. No Name pizza mozzarella cheese is additive- and colour-free.

Layer ingredients and bake

Broil for a minute or two to brown the top

Ingredients:

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

3 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons (45 ml) tomato paste

2 (15-ounce/425 g) cans white beans (such as cannellini/white kidney beans, Great Northern beans) or chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup (125 ml) boiling water

Kosher salt and black pepper

⅓ pound (150 g) mozzarella, coarsely grated (about 1 1/3 cups/335 ml)

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 475 degrees F(246 C). In a 10-inch (25-cm) ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the garlic until it’s lightly golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste (be careful of splattering) and fry for 30 seconds, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning.

Add the beans, water and generous pinches of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, then bake until the cheese has melted and browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. If the top is not as toasted as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for a minute or 2. Serve at once. Serves 4.

From Cooking NYT

This nutritious quick sheet-pan meal includes chicken, chickpeas, squash and dates. Toss the chicken, chickpeas and squash with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, add the dates, and roast for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked, the squash is tender and the chickpeas are crisp. While the roasting is underway, mix up a relish of olives, parsley, capers and lemon juice to serve with the meal. Cook’s note: I used acorn squash and individual skin-on, bone-in chicken drums and thighs instead of whole legs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Blue Menu chickpeas, Parnoosh dates, President’s Choice garlic-stuffed green olives and Unico capers—all are additive free. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice, as the concentrates contain preservatives.

Arrange chicken, squash and chickpeas on baking sheet

Add dates after about 20 minutes, roast for another 20-25 minutes and serve

Ingredients:

2 pounds (900 g) delicata squash (about 2 large squash), scrubbed, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise into 1-inch-thick (2.54-cm) pieces

1 (15-ounce/425 g) can chickpeas, rinsed

½ cup (125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

4 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (about 3 pounds/1.4 g)

4 ounces (113 g) pitted large Medjool dates (about 6), quartered lengthwise

½ cup (125 ml) pitted green olives (about 2 ounces/56 g), coarsely chopped

½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon (15 ml) drained capers, plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) caper brine

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving

Preparation:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). On a rimmed baking sheet, combine squash and chickpeas with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil; season well with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in an even layer. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange on top, skin-side up. Roast for 20 minutes, then stir in dates, and roast until squash is golden and chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes longer.

While the mixture roasts, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) oil with the olives, parsley, capers and caper brine, and lemon juice. Season the olive relish with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Divide the roasted chicken, squash, dates and chickpeas among plates. Stir any pan juices into the relish, then spoon the relish on top of each serving. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This sheet-pan recipe from NYT Cooking makes a quick and satisfying supper. Put the sheet pan in the oven while it preheats (I cover the pan with foil for easy clean-up). Toss sausages, sprouts and potatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Place on the hot sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix up the honey-mustard sauce. When the 15 minutes are up, drizzle the sausages and vegetables with the sauce and toss. Roast for another 10 minutes or until the sausages are cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free-From hot Italian sausages and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon Mustard.

Toss sausages and vegetables in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread on baking sheet

After 15 minutes, toss ingredients with honey-mustard sauce and continue cooking until sausages are done and vegetables are tender

Ingredients:

1 pound (454 g) fresh sausage, such as sweet or hot Italian, or bratwurst

1 pound (454 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

1 pound (454 g) small potatoes, like baby Yukon gold or red potatoes, halved

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Kosher salt and black pepper

4 teaspoons (20 ml) honey

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon (15 ml) yellow mustard seeds (optional)

¼ cup (60 ml) almonds or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preparation:

Heat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C), and place a sheet pan in the oven. Score the sausages in a few places on both sides, making sure not to cut all the way through. Transfer to a large bowl with the brussels sprouts, potatoes and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and stir until coated. (If the mixture seems dry, add a little more oil.) Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the mixture in an even layer on the heated baking sheet, and arrange the vegetables cut-sides down. Roast 15 minutes, until the brussels sprouts and potatoes start to soften. (The sausages will not be cooked through yet.)

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the honey, mustard and mustard seeds, if using.

Drizzle the honey mustard over the sausages and vegetables, and toss or shake to coat. Flip the sausages. Sprinkle with almonds, if using. Roast until the sausages are cooked through and the vegetables are golden and tender, another 10 minutes or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This recipe from Half Baked Harvest is a tasty and healthy one-pot meal. Cook fish in a cast iron pan and then set aside. Add butter to the hot pan, sear lemon slices and set them aside. Add garlic, asparagus and uncooked orzo to the pan and cook until the orzo is toasted. Add stock and lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook until the orzo is tender. Add the cod and lemons slices back to the pan to warm through and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream. I used Imagine Organic chicken stock. Always use fresh lemon juice, never concentrated, which contain chemical additives.

Cook fish and set aside

Sear lemon slices and set aside

Cook orzo and asparagus

Return fish to pan to warm through

Lemon-butter cod with orzo and asparagus

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

4 (6- to 8-ounce/170- to 226-g) cod fillets

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons (45 ml) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (30 ml) salted butter

1 lemon, sliced, plus more for serving

1 garlic clove, minced or grated

1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

1 cup (250 ml) uncooked orzo

2¾ cups (687 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh dill, for serving

Preparation:

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the cod all over with salt and pepper, then sprinkle it evenly on both sides with flour. When the oil shimmers, add the cod and sear until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cod to a plate.

Using the same skillet, sear the butter and lemon slices until the lemon is golden, about 1 minute per side. Add the lemon to the cod on the plate.

Again using the same skillet, cook the garlic, asparagus, and orzo until the garlic is fragrant and the orzo is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is al dente, about 10 minutes. Slide the cod, lemon slices, and any collected juices back into the skillet and cook until everything is warmed through, about 1 minute. Top with fresh dill and serve. Serves 4.

From Half Baked Harvest

This recipe from NYT Cooking uses a pan-steam method to cook skinless, boneless chicken breasts quickly while keeping them moist. You can use water, but the soy sauce, honey, garlic and coriander in this recipe infuses the meat with flavour. While the chicken cooks, make a quick side dish of pickled cucumbers, using cucumber, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook’s note: This would be great with steamed rice; I served with the pickled cucumbers and green beans.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Marukan rice vinegar and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Pickle the cucumbers

Pan steam the chicken

Soy-glazed chicken breasts with pickled cucumbers

Ingredients:

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 shallot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar

Kosher salt and black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) ow-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey or maple syrup

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 ½  to 2 pounds/680 to 900 g)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon (5 ml) coriander seeds, roughly smashed with the side of a heavy knife

Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving

Steamed rice, for serving

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, toss to combine the cucumber, shallot, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼  teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper; set aside while you make the chicken.

In a shallow dish, stir soy sauce and honey together; add chicken and turn to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and coriander and stir to coat. Add chicken breasts (reserve the marinade) and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. (Browning happens a little faster than usual here because of the honey and soy; if the marinade is getting too dark, lower the heat slightly.)

Add reserved marinade and ¼ cup (60 ml) water to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more per side.

Uncover the skillet, increase heat to medium-high and cook, turning chicken occasionally, until liquid is reduced and chicken is glazed, about 5 minutes.

Depending on the size of the skillet you use, the sauce may reduce a little slower or faster than the time indicated. When you swipe a rubber spatula across the bottom of the skillet, the sauce should hold a spatula-wide trail that fills in with liquid pretty quickly. If you happen to reduce too much, whisk in water one tablespoon at a time until you’re back to a shiny sauce that can be drizzled.

Serve chicken drizzled with any leftover glaze over rice with cucumber salad and cilantro. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This mini eggplant Parmesan from Alison Roman (it serves two as a main dish or four as a side dish) delivers delicious results without any frying. Roast the eggplant until it is deep brown and tender. Make a tomato sauce, toast the breadcrumbs and then layer the eggplant and sauce with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, capers, oregano and parsley. Top with fresh mozzarella and bake for about 20 minutes. This is a perfect vegetarian main dish, served with a  green salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Unico anchovies, capers and canned tomatoes are additive-free. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no colour, additives or preservatives; look for the name on the rind. I used PC panko, which is additive-free. Make sure the hot pepper flakes and dried oregano (if using) are free of additives. Good-quality fresh mozzarella contains no additives or preservatives.

On top of the sauce, layer the roasted eggplant, Parmesan, parsley, capers, oregano, breadcrumbs and mozzarella

Bake for about 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large globe eggplant (about 2 pounds/900 g), sliced about ½-¾-inch (1.25-1.9-cm) thick

½ cup (125 ml) olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion (yellow, white, or red), thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

4 anchovy fillets (optional), plus more if you want

1 28 oz. (793 g) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed

¾ cup (187.5 ml) panko bread crumbs

⅓ cup (85 ml) grated parmesan

2–3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) capers, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh oregano or marjoram (you can skip, or use half the amount of dried)

⅓ cup (85 ml) coarsely chopped parsley, divided

8 oz. (226 g) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced or torn

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450° F (232° C). Drizzle eggplant with about half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast, turning eggplant halfway through, until it’s as tender as custard and both sides are as brown as if they were fried, 25–30 minutes.

While the eggplant roasts, make the sauce. Heat two tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then until the onions and garlic are tender and starting to brown around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes and anchovies, if using, and stir, letting both things melt into the onions. Pour the juices from the tomatoes into the pot and one by one, crush the tomatoes with your hands into the pot. Season again with salt and pepper and let it simmer gently for 15–30 minutes (you want to evaporate some but not all of the liquid).

Remove from heat. Set half aside and freeze or refrigerate the rest.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a small to medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Stir them to coat evenly in the oil and toast, tossing frequently, until all the bread crumbs are the color of toast, 5–7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spoon about half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 1 qt. (1 L) baking dish or 6-inch (15-cm) skillet (both hold about 4 cups/1 L volume, that’s the size you want. Doesn’t matter the shape, as long as its heatproof).

Top with half the eggplant. Top with half the parmesan, parsley, capers, and oregano. Scatter half the bread crumbs in an even layer on top of all that, followed by half the mozzarella. Repeat this, ending with the mozzarella. Add a little more parmesan if you feel like it, maybe some black pepper.

Bake until the cheese is browned and everything is bubbling around the edges, 15–20 minutes. Remove from the oven, maybe finish with some more parsley and let it cool ever so slightly before eating. Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a side dish.

From Alison Roman

These baked meatballs are a snap to make and cook in 15 minutes. Combine scallions, tamari sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and crushed crackers or breadcrumbs with ground beef and form into meatballs. Bake until golden and cooked through. I served them in lettuce wraps alongside stir-fried peppers and baby bok choy.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I used additive-free panko bread crumbs instead of Ritz crackers.

The meatballs cook in about 15 minutes.

Korean Barbecue-Style Meatballs

Ingredients:

½ cup (125 ml) chopped scallions

2 tablespoons (30 ml) low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced garlic

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (125 ml) finely crushed Ritz crackers (12 crackers) or panko bread crumbs

1 pound (454 g) round beef (round or chuck)

Preparation:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and use your hands to gently mix.

Shape the meat into 12 golf-ball-size rounds (about 2 inches/5 cm in diameter), and arrange on a greased rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This tasty stir-fry from NYT Cooking is a quick weeknight meal. Make a simple sauce of water and honey and toss the chicken in flour, turmeric and salt. Cook the chicken for a few minutes, add chopped asparagus and then the honey mixture. Cook for a few more minutes until the chicken is done and the asparagus is tender.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the turmeric to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Marukan rice vinegar.

Turmeric-black pepper chicken with asparagus

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) black pepper, plus more to taste

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) ground turmeric

1 pound (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil

12 ounces (340 g) asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle

1 teaspoon (5 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar or soy sauce

1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

Preparation:

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together ¼ (60 ml) cup water with the honey, pepper and ½ (2.5 ml) teaspoon salt; set honey mixture aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, turmeric and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt. Add the chicken and toss until coated.

In a medium (10-inch/25-cm) non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until the turmeric is fragrant and the chicken is golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the asparagus, season with salt, stir to combine and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the honey mixture and cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime squeezed over top, if you like. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This simple but delicious butter sauce from New York Times Cooking can be used for any kind of fish and would also work with shrimp or chicken breasts. Melt butter and oil in an oven-proof pan and add garlic, sliced olives and fennel or coriander seeds. Cook for a few minutes and then add the fish to the pan, off-heat. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish and then bake until the fish is just cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the fish and serve with more sauce, garnished with fresh herbs. I used cod, green olives and cilantro.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream, with no colour added. Check the olives to make sure the oil or brine they are packed in does not contain preservatives or colour.

Sizzle the olives in melted butter

Spoon the olives and butter over the fish

Bake the fish until just cooked through

Fish with sizzling olive butter

Ingredients:

¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon (14 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup (250 ml) mixed olives, such as Kalamata, Castelvetrano, Moroccan or Picholine, pitted and sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) fennel or coriander seeds, coarsely crushed (use the flat side of your knife or a mortar and pestle)

4 (1-inch-thick/2.54-cm) pieces flaky white fish fillet, such as cod (about 6 ounces/170 g each), patted dry

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lime wedges, plus more for serving

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro or parsley, leaves and tender stems

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped dill, leaves and tender stems

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium. Add butter and oil, and cook until butter melts and starts to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in olives, garlic and fennel or coriander, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, then nestle them in one layer in the skillet. Carefully spoon some of the butter mixture over the fish, basting the fillets, then transfer pan to the oven.

Bake until fish is opaque and flaky, 10 to 15 minutes, basting halfway through. Remove from oven and transfer fillets to serving plates.

Squeeze a wedge or two of lime into the butter mixture and spoon sauce over fish. Top with black pepper, cilantro and dill, with extra lime wedges on the side for squeezing. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This hearty vegetarian salad from NYT Cooking combines savory, sweet and tart flavours. Toss cauliflower with hot pepper flakes, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes. While the cauliflower roasts, make the vinaigrette: a combination of shallot, raisins, preserved lemon, vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper. Brown the halloumi in a skillet. To serve, toss arugula with some vinaigrette and top with cauliflower, halloumi and avocado. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and sprinkle with parsley. Cook’s note: I used baby spinach instead of baby arugula. To make a quick version of home-made preserved lemon, use a vegetable peeler to remove five long strips of lemon zest from a lemon. Squeeze the lemon into a small bowl and add the zest. Stir in a ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and ½ tsp (2.5 ml) sugar and let stand for about 30 minutes. Chop the zest finely and add back to the juice before using.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Check the raisins for sulfites and the preserved lemon and halloumi for additives. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar.

Roast the cauliflower

Sear the halloumi

Toss the greens with vinaigrette and top with cauliflower, halloumi, avocado, parsley and more vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds/900 g), cut into 1 ½ -inch (3.8-cm) wedges

½ cup (125 ml) olive oil

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml)  red-pepper flakes

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) ground coriander

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) ground turmeric

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 small shallot, minced (about 1/3 cup/85 ml)

¼ cup (60 ml) golden raisins

1 large preserved lemon, seeded, halved, seeded, then very thinly sliced (about 3 tablespoons/45 ml)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey

1 (8-ounce/226 g) block halloumi

6 ounces (170 g) baby arugula (about 8 packed cups/2 L)

1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted and diced

1 cup torn fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender sprigs

Preparation:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and set a large rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, the hot pepper flakes, coriander, turmeric, 1 ½ (7.5 ml) teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pepper. Transfer to the hot baking sheet, spread in an even layer and roast until browned in spots and crisp-tender, tossing once halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, stir together the shallot, raisins, preserved lemon, vinegar and honey with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt and ¼  teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the halloumi: Cut the halloumi into 3/4-inch (1.9-cm) cubes and pat dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add the halloumi cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (You’ll want to be fairly attentive, flipping frequently, as you want to make sure the cubes toast without burning or melting.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with pepper.

Toss the arugula with half the vinaigrette until lightly coated and divide among plates or shallow bowls. Top with the cauliflower, halloumi and avocado. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

From New York Times Cooking

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