New Finds

This recipe from NYT Cooking is a quick and easy vegetarian dish. Prepare the noodles and combine the sauce ingredients. Quickly scramble eggs, then remove them from the pan and chop coarsely. Cook the cabbage and pepper and remove from the pan. Cook onion, garlic and carrot, return the noodles, eggs and cabbage and pepper to the pan and stir in the sauce. Garnish with chile and scallions. Cook’s note: I used rice vermicelli instead of glass noodles and omitted the carrot.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I haven’t been able to find oyster sauce without additives, so I make my own. You can find the recipe here. I used Cock brand fish sauce and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Pad woon sen


1 (6.3-ounce/178 g) package dried mung bean glass noodles

3 tablespoons (45 ml) oyster sauce

3 tablespoons (45 ml) fish sauce

1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce

1 teaspoon (5 ml) granulated sugar

Grapeseed or another neutral-tasting oil, as needed

3 eggs, whisked


¼ napa cabbage, cut crosswise into ¼ -inch (0.63-cm) slices

1 bell pepper, halved, deseeded and cut crosswise into ¼ -inch (0.63-cm) slices

1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely grated

1 medium yellow onion, halved and cut into ¼ -inch (0.63-cm) slices

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 Thai bird chile, sliced

4 scallions, thinly sliced


Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover them with hot (but not boiling) water. Let soak for 10 minutes to soften, then drain well.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar until well combined.

In a large cast-iron skillet or wok, add a splash of oil and heat over medium-high until shimmering. Add the eggs and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove to a plate and roughly chop.

Add a splash of oil to coat the pan again, add the cabbage and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage has charred in spots and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the egg.

Add another splash of oil to the pan and add the bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the same plate.

Add another splash of oil to the pan and add the carrot, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the drained noodles and stir well. Add the vegetables and egg and stir again to combine. Add the sauce along the perimeter of the pan and stir to combine. Keep cooking and tossing until the sauce evenly coats the noodles, 3 to 5 minutes.

Off heat, add the chile and scallions, toss to combine and serve hot, at room temperature or even cold. Serves 4-6.

From NYT Cooking

This recipe from Canadian Living is a perfect summer salad. Make a lemon-tarragon vinaigrette and set aside. Steam potatoes, asparagus and beans and set aside. Grill the shrimp. Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette and top with shrimp and fresh herbs. Cook’s note: I used green beans instead of yellow beans and omitted the seafood seasoning. I garnished the salad with fresh dill.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Hellman’s mayonnaise and substituted Eden Organic red wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar. I used thawed frozen shrimp preserved only with salt.

Potato salad with grilled shrimp



Zest and juice of ½ a lemon

1/3 (82 ml) cup 14% sour cream

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) mayonnaise

1 tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Salt and pepper


16 to 20 baby potatoes, halved

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces

8 oz (250 g) yellow beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces

12 oz (340 g) large shrimp, deveined and peeled

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)

½ sweet onion, very thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

Chopped herbs



In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, sour cream, oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.


In a large steamer or saucepan fitted with a steamer, steam potatoes for 10 minutes. Add asparagus and beans and cook until all vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil, garlic and seafood seasoning. In ridged skillet over high heat, cook shrimp, turning halfway through cooking time, until shrimp are opaque and grill-marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

In large serving bowl, place reserved potatoes, asparagus and beans. Add onion; drizzle with vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Divide among bowls and top each with a few reserved shrimp. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This recipe from NYT Cooking takes just minutes to make and is a great way to use up leftover rice. Cook onion and then add curry powder and chicken thighs. Cook until chicken is done, then add frozen vegetables and rice. Stir in cilantro and garnish with scallions and, if you wish, a fried egg. Cook’s note: I used frozen corn and peas and omitted the fried egg.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the curry powder does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use frozen vegetables with no preservatives—I used Green Giant brand.

Curry chicken fried rice


¼ cup (60 ml) canola or another neutral-tasting oil

½ cup (125 ml) diced red onion

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) mild curry powder

Salt and pepper

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

1 ½ cups (375 ml) frozen mixed vegetables (such as carrots, green beans, corn and peas)

2½ cups (625 ml) cooked rice, such as jasmine or basmati (preferably cold)

1/3 cup (83 g) chopped fresh cilantro

Sliced scallions, for serving

Fried eggs (optional), for serving


In a nonstick pan on medium-high, heat oil then add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the curry powder, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and the chicken thighs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through with no signs of pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in the rice, making sure to flatten any clumps of rice to ensure the rice gets evenly covered with the oil and spices. Cook until the rice is heated through, about 4 minutes. Adjust for seasoning, then stir in the cilantro.

Serve hot, topped with scallions and fried eggs (if using). Serves 3-4.

From NYT Cooking

I made this recipe from Taste of Home while recreating a dish from one of my favourite restaurants—a salad of greens topped with potato pancakes and smoked salmon. Air frying the latkes is less messy and healthier than deep frying them and the results are excellent. Form the potato pancakes and air fry for about 17 minutes. Cook’s note: I served these with greens and smoked salmon, topped with a sour cream and horseradish sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the garlic powder to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used canola oil in a spray bottle instead of a canned cooking spray, which tends to contain artificial ingredients.

Assemble latkes and air fry

Air fryer potato latkes with smoked salmon and salad


2 medium potatoes, peeled

1 large egg

1/3 cup (82 ml) chopped onion

1 tablespoon (15 ml) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) garlic powder

Cooking spray


Finely grate potatoes; firmly squeeze and drain any liquid. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add egg, onion, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder; mix well.

Preheat air fryer to 375° F (190° C). In batches, drop batter by ¼ cupfuls (60 ml) onto greased tray in air-fryer basket; press lightly to flatten. Spritz with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown, 12-17 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 3.

From Taste of Home

Until I tried this recipe from Bonnie Stern’s Don’t Worry, Just Cook I had never made a salad with roasted squash. It’s delicious! Toss sliced squash and broccoli florets with oil, salt and maple syrup and roast until tender. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make the lime-honey dressing. Just before serving, sear the halloumi until browned on both sides. Arrange arugula on a serving plate, top with squash, broccoli, halloumi and figs. Drizzle with dressing, garnish with nuts and serve. Cook’s note: No need to peel the squash. I couldn’t find a delicata squash so I used the whole butternut squash. I omitted the figs, used mixed greens and substituted cashews for hazelnuts.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice and pure honey and maple syrup. Saputo halloumi is additive-free. Check the nuts to make sure they don’t contain preservatives.

Roasted squash and grilled halloumi salad


Lime-honey dressing

1/3 cup (82 ml) extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh lime juice

1 tbsp (15 ml) honey

½ tsp (2.5 ml) kosher salt + more to taste


2 delicata squash (about 1 lb/454 g)

1 small butternut or honeynut squash (about 1 lb/454 g)

2 tbsp (30 ml) + 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil + more for brushing

1 tsp (5 ml) + ½ tsp (2.5 ml) kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp (15 ml) + 1 tsp (5 ml) maple syrup

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 small head broccoli

12 oz (340 g) halloumi cheese

2 or 3 fresh figs, cut into wedges

2 cups (500 ml) baby arugula

¼ cup (60 ml) roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the delicata squash in half crosswise and use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds. Then slice into rounds about ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick. Cut the neck of the butternut squash into rounds about ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick (use the rest for soup, puree or mash). If the rounds are very large, cut them in half. Place the squash on one of the lined baking sheets and toss with 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, 1 tsp (5 ml) salt, some pepper and 1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup. Place sprigs of thyme over the squash. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until tender and browned around the edges. Cool.

Remove the tough stalks from the broccoli and cut into medium-sized trees with florets and some stalk. Arrange on the second lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil, ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes and then cool.

For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey and salt. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Just before serving, slice the halloumi into pieces about ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick, pat dry with paper towel and brush with olive oil. Sear in a hot, dry nonstick skillet for 1-2 minutes per side, or until browned.

Assemble the salad by arranging the arugula on a platter and topping with roasted squash, broccoli, halloumi and figs. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serves 4-6.

From Don’t Worry, Just Cook

This recipe from Real Simple is a lighter take on spaghetti and meatballs. Make the meatballs and broil for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles and make the dressing. Toss the noodles with carrots, lettuce, cucumber, and thinly sliced chile. Top with meatballs. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with cilantro and peanuts. Cook’s note: I halved the recipe. I used red pepper instead of carrots, omitted the cilantro and used cashews instead of peanuts as a garnish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I have not been able to find hoisin sauce without additives, so I make my own. You can find the recipe here. I used Nature Value sriracha for the chili-garlic sauce. Use freshly squeezed lime juice.

Make the meatballs and then broil them for about 15 minutes

Hoisin-serrano meatballs with rice noodle salad


4 large serrano chiles

2 lb. (900 g) ground pork

½ cup (125 ml) hoisin sauce, divided

3 tsp. (15 ml) chili-garlic sauce, divided

2 ¼ tsp (11.25 ml) kosher salt, divided

1 ¼ tsp (6.24 ml) freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

7 tbsp (105 ml) vegetable oil. divided

1 8.8-oz (250 g) pkg vermicelli rice noodles

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1 ½ cups/375 ml)

3 cups (750 ml) roughly chopped iceberg lettuce

1 cup (250 ml) halved and thinly sliced English cucumber (from 1 cucumber)

Fresh cilantro leaves and chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, for topping


Thinly slice 1 chile; set aside. Stem and finely chop remaining 3 chiles (you should have about 5 tablespoons/75 ml).

Stir together pork, ¼ cup (60 ml) hoisin, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) chili-garlic sauce, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pepper, and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely chopped chiles in a large bowl until combined. Roll into 24 balls (slightly larger than a golf ball). Place on a large rimmed baking sheet, loosely cover, and refrigerate.

Whisk lime juice and remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) hoisin, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili-garlic sauce, ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt, ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper, and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped chiles in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 6 tablespoons (90 ml) oil.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water for 5 to 10 seconds. Drain well; transfer to large bowl. Toss with ½ cup (125 ml) dressing and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil.

Preheat broiler with oven rack 8 inches (20 cm) from heat. Broil meatballs until browned and a thermometer inserted in meatballs reads 160°F (71°C), 10 to 15 minutes.

Gently toss noodles with carrots, lettuce, cucumber, and thinly sliced chile. Top with meatballs. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with cilantro and peanuts.

Meatballs can be stored raw or cooked. Raw, store in an even layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serves 6.

From Real Simple

I’ve been making this pasta with aglio (garlic), olio (olive oil) and shrimp from Canadian Living for more than 20 years and it’s a family favourite. The main thing to remember when making this dish is to cook the garlic over a very, very low heat so it does not burn. Don’t use a garlic press to mince the garlic; either chop it finely by hand or whirl it around in a mini food processor. I usually start cooking the pasta when the garlic has been on the stove for about 5 minutes. The only other ingredients are salt, hot pepper flakes and parsley.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I use frozen shrimp with only salt added as a preservative.

Add the shrimp after cooking the garlic over low heat for 15 minutes

Aglio e olio with shrimp


½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil

7 garlic cloves minced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

1 pinch hot pepper flakes

1 lb (454 g) large shrimp peeled and deveined (thawed if purchased frozen)

12 oz (340 g) spaghetti

1/3 cup (85 ml) chopped fresh parsley


Fill large pot (about 24 cups/6 L) with 20 cups (5 L) water and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) salt; cover and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, in skillet, heat oil over low heat; cook garlic, salt and hot pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until garlic is light golden but not browned.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add shrimp to skillet; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly pink and opaque.

Meanwhile, add pasta to water, stirring to separate strands. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes or until tender but firm; drain and return to pot. Add shrimp mixture and parsley; toss to coat. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This recipe from Canadian Living is a tasty vegetarian meal. Hollow out halved eggplants and bake the skins. Meanwhile, cook eggplant flesh, onion, garlic, seasoning, vinegar, cherry tomatoes, olives, pine nuts and feta. Stuff the hollowed eggplants with the eggplant-tomato mixture and serve with lemon wedges and yogurt.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Be sure the pine nuts don’t contain preservatives. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar, Jesse Tree olives and Krinos feta.

Bake hollowed-out eggplants

Make eggplant-tomato-olive mixture

Tomato, olive and feta-stuffed eggplant


2 small eggplants

1 tsp (5 ml) coarse sea salt

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil, divided

½ small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cumin

Pinch cinnamon

1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar

10 oz (283 g) cherry tomatoes, halved, crushed and drained

½ cup (125 ml) halved pitted Kalamata olives

3 tbsp (15 ml) pine nuts

½ cup (125 ml) crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp (15 ml) za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice)

¼ cup (60 ml) roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Olive oil (optional)

Lemon wedges (optional)

Plain yogurt (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C); line baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise; sprinkle with coarse salt. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Using paper towel or clean tea towel, pat eggplants dry. Using spoon, scoop out flesh from eggplant, leaving about ¼ inch (0.6 cm) of flesh on the skin. Coarsely chop the eggplant flesh; set aside.

Place eggplants on prepared baking sheet, hollowed side up; season with salt and pepper. Brush eggplants with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil. Bake on middle rack of oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add reserved eggplant flesh; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cumin and cinnamon; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add vinegar, tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, feta and za’atar; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and stir in cilantro. Cover and keep warm.

Stuff hollowed eggplant skins with flesh mixture and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges and yogurt, if using. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This tasty recipe from NYT Cooking is a perfect weeknight supper. Combine shopped raw shrimp with onion, cilantro, chiles, egg, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic and dried spices. Form into patties. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the patties for 3 or 4 minutes a side. Serve with chutney.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used frozen shrimp (thawed) with only salt added as a preservative. Panko breadcrumbs are usually additive free. Check the dried spices to be sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. President’s Choice mango chutney is additive free.

Cook patties for a few minutes on each side

Serve the patties with chutney


1 pound (454 g) shrimp, shelled, deveined and roughly chopped

1 small white onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped cilantro

2 Thai green chiles, finely chopped

1 large egg, beaten

¼ cup (60 ml) plain breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ginger paste or freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic paste or freshly grated garlic

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) mild red chile powder

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cumin powder

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) garam masala

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) turmeric powder

1 teaspoon (5 ml) fine sea salt

¼ cup (60 ml) neutral-tasting oil

Mint or mango chutney, for serving


In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, cilantro, chiles, egg, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, chile powder, cumin, garam masala, turmeric and salt and mix until blended. Form patties about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick and set aside (to form the patties more easily, you can pack the mixture into a ¼ cup/60 ml measure).

Heat ghee in a medium skillet on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet, add patties and lower heat to medium. Fry until golden brown and the shrimp turns opaque, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve with mint or mango chutney. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This recipe from NYT Cooking is a good weeknight supper and a great way to get your greens. Combine garlic and spices and rub over chicken. Brown the chicken, then set aside, leaving the garlic in the pan. Stir in scallion whites, stock, greens, herbs and oil. Simmer until the greens wilt. Return the chicken to the pan and bake for 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and add the scallion greens, butter, lemon zest and olives or capers to the pan. Add lemon juice, return chicken to the pan and toss with the greens. Cook’s note: I omitted the lemon zest and juice. I used spinach for the greens, basil for the herbs and capers.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Better Than Bouillon for the stock. Make sure the butter does not contain colour.

Brown the chicken and set aside

Stir in the greens until wilted

Herby skillet chicken with greens


6 garlic cloves, 5 smashed and peeled, 1 finely grated or minced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt, more as needed

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander

Pinch of red-pepper flakes

1½ to 1¾ pounds (680 to 794 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 bunch scallions

About 1 large or 2 small bunches kale, collard greens, mustard greens, mature spinach or other hardy greens (12 ounces/355 ml)

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

1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock or water

1 cup (250 ml) chopped soft herbs, such as cilantro, dill, mint or basil, or a combination, more for serving

2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter

1 lemon, zested and halved

1 to 3 tablespoons (15 to 45 ml) chopped olives or capers (optional)


Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). In a small bowl, stir together grated garlic, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, coriander and red-pepper flakes. Rub all over chicken, then set aside to rest at room temperature while you prepare vegetables.

Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white and green parts. Pull the leaves off the greens and coarsely chop them (discard stems or save for another use). You should have 8 to 9 cups (2 to 2.2 L).

Heat a 10-inch (25-cm) ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add oil and smashed garlic cloves, stirring to coat garlic in oil, then add chicken. Cook, stirring the garlic occasionally, until chicken is deeply browned on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn chicken and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, just until no longer pink (the chicken will still be very raw inside). Transfer chicken to a plate but leave garlic in the pan.

Stir in scallion whites (save the greens for later) and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in stock, greens, herbs, another pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil. Bring liquid to a simmer, tossing to wilt the greens (you might have to add the greens in batches, adding more as they wilt down).

When the greens are wilted, nestle chicken into skillet, browned side up, and pour in any juices from the chicken plate. Transfer skillet to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and transfer chicken to a plate.

If pan juices are watery, bring to a simmer over high heat and cook until thickened slightly. Add scallion greens, butter, lemon zest, and olives or capers (if using) to the pan, stirring until the butter melts. Squeeze in a little lemon juice, then taste and add more salt and lemon juice if needed. Return chicken to the pan and toss with the saucy greens. Top with more herbs and serve. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

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