This delicious recipe from Great American Grilling can be made ahead and served either hot or at room temperature. Sausages, onion, peppers and garlic are grilled and then tossed with cooked pasta. The pasta is dressed with a mixture of the cooked garlic, vinegar and mustard. This is a great way to use up those leftover peppers in your fridge and sausages in your freezer.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages with no additives or preservatives, vinegar with only naturally occurring sulfites and an additive-free Dijon. I used Spectrum balsamic vinegar and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon.

Grill sausages and vegetables until done, turning once

Slice sausages

Slice grilled vegetables, toss with pasta and dressing

Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Italian Sausages


1 lb. (454 g) mild or hot Italian sausages

1 large red onion, cut into quarters

1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper, cut into quarters

1 small head garlic, unpeeled

1 lb. (454 g) dried penne

¼ cup (60 ml) balsamic or red wine vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 ml) minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano

1 large tomato, chopped

Oregano sprigs


Arrange sausages, onion, bell peppers and garlic head on preheated grill and cook, covered. Turn food halfway through cooking time, until vegetables are soft when pressed and sausages are no longer pink in the centre (20 to 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts (2.8 litres) water to a boil over high heat in a 5- to 6-quart (5- to 6-litre) pan. Stir in pasta, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook just until tender to the bite, 10-12 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Cut cooked garlic in half crosswise. Squeeze pulp into a small bowl and stir in vinegar, mustard and minced oregano. Slice sausages, onion and bell peppers. Add to pasta along with garlic mixture and tomato. Toss well. Garnish with oregano sprigs, Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8.

From Great American Grilling

Everyone should have a good spaghetti and meatballs recipe in their arsenal, and this one from the Barefoot Contessa is a classic. The meatballs, which contain three kinds of meat, are simmered in a savoury tomato sauce. Serve on top of cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with lots of Parmesan cheese. This recipe takes a little time to prepare, but your family and friends will love it!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

White bread, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, red wine and canned tomatoes may contain preservatives, colour or sulfites. The bread and bread crumbs should contain only natural ingredients. I used a wedge of President’s Choice Parmesan cheese and red wine from Frogpond Farm that had no sulfites added. Buy whole nutmeg and grate it on a microplane grater – it will taste much fresher than pre-ground nutmeg, which can include anti-caking chemicals. I use Unico canned tomatoes, which contain only tomatoes and salt.

The meatballs are made with veal, pork and beef

Make about 15 meatballs, two inches in diameter

Brown the meatballs well

Saute the onion and garlic in the same pan

Deglaze the pan to incorporate the delicious brown bits, aka fond

Simmer the meatballs in the tomato sauce

Serve atop cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with Parmesan


For the meatballs:

½ pound ground veal
½ pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
¼ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup good red wine, such as Chianti
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

1 ½ pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs.

Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

From Family Style by the Barefoot Contessa

This is the potato side dish I serve most often when entertaining. Thinly sliced potatoes are tossed with butter, olive oil, herbs and cheese and then pressed into an ovenproof skillet. Brown the potatoes for a few minutes on top of the stove to make sure they develop a crispy bottom. Then transfer to the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender. Invert the skillet to transfer the galette, crispy side up, onto a serving platter or cutting board and cut into wedges to serve. A food processor makes short work of the slicing, and you can make the galette up to two days in advance of serving it. Make sure the oil/butter mixture covers the bottom and the sides of the skillet so it is easy to remove.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only a single ingredient: cream. If you use dried herbs, check to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use a Parmesan cheese that does not contain colour.

Toss thinly sliced potatoes with oil, butter, herbs and cheese

Layer the potatoes in an ovenproof skillet

Place a round of foil on top and press down on it with your hand

Transfer skillet to oven and bake until potatoes are tender

Invert onto serving dish so the crispy side is up


6 Yukon Gold potatoes – 2.5 lbs (1.25 kg) scrubbed or peeled

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, melted

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped mixed fresh herbs or 4 tsp (20 ml) herbes de Provence

¼ cup (60 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

¾ tsp (3 ml) each salt and pepper


Using mandoline or food processor with very thin blade, or by hand, slice potatoes paper-thin. Rinse in cold water; drain, pat dry and set aside.

Combine oil and butter; pour 2 tsp (10 ml) into 8- or 9-inch (20.3 to 22.9 cm) ovenproof skillet and set aside.

In bowl, toss potatoes with remaining oil mixture, herbs Parmesan, salt and pepper. Heat oil mixture in skillet over medium-high heat, tilting pan to coat; evenly layer potatoes in pan. Place round of foil on potatoes; press very hard with hand. Cook, pressing a few more times, for 5 minutes.

Transfer pan to 400-degree F (204-degree C) oven; bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until tender when pierced with knife. Loosen edge with knife; invert on to serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve. To make ahead, let cool. Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat in 350-degree F (177-degree C) oven for 25 minutes or until hot. Serves 8.

From the December 2001 issue of Canadian Living

The fastest way to cook pork tenderloin is to slice it crosswise, pound the slices to a thickness of about ¾ of an inch, and quickly sauté the slices in a hot skillet. The pork remains juicy and tender and has a nice sear. I served the pork with a pan sauce of sautéed shallots, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, fresh rosemary and mustard. Both recipes are from Cook’s Illustrated.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for butter without colour or preservatives and for a brand of balsamic vinegar that contains only naturally occurring sulfites. Many brands of Dijon vinegar contain sodium benzoate or sulfites. I use PC Old-Fashioned Dijon, which contains all-natural ingredients.

Slice pork crosswise and pound to uniform thickness

Sear in a hot pan; don't overcrowd the pan

Meanwhile, saute shallots in butter

Add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and rosemary; finish with more butter

Sauteed pork tenderloin medallions with balsamic rosemary mustard sauce



1 (5 ml) teaspoon table salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground black pepper

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, (454 g), silver skin removed, cut into 1-inch (2.54 cm) slices, each pounded to ¾ inch (1.9 cm) with flat side of chef’s knife blade

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

Shallot-Balsamic Sauce with Rosemary and Mustard

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (60 ml), cut into 4 pieces

2 medium shallots , sliced thin, about ½ cup (125 ml)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) light brown sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

¾ cup (175 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard

Salt and ground black pepper



Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of pork slices. Heat oil until shimmering in heavy-bottomed pan, at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) across bottom, over medium-high heat, swirling pan to distribute oil. Working in batches of no more than six slices to avoid overcrowding, sear medallions without moving them until brown on one side, about 80 seconds (oil should sizzle, but not smoke). Turn medallions with tongs to avoid scraping off the sear; sear until meat is mostly opaque at sides, firm to the touch, and well browned, about 80 seconds. Transfer pork to plate.


Place 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter to hot skillet; when melted, stir in shallots, brown sugar, and water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until shallots are browned and caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes; set skillet aside off heat.

While pork is resting, set skillet over medium-low heat and add vinegar; simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add rosemary; continue to simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup (75 ml) , about 2 minutes longer. Off heat, whisk in mustard and remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter, one piece at a time. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serves 2-3.

From Cook’s Illustrated

Grilled chicken skewers are quick, easy to make, and, if you use wooden skewers, easy on the clean-up crew. This recipe, adapted from the Summer 2011 issue of Food and Drink also features a tangy yogurt sauce.

To thicken the yogurt for the sauce, place 2 cups of it in a sieve lined with a paper towel or coffee filter and place the sieve in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Discard the clear whey in the bowl and use the thickened yogurt

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, be sure to use fresh lemon juice, yogurt without colour or artificial ingredients and red wine vinegar that contains naturally occurring sulfites.

The chicken marinates briefly in a marinade of lemon, garlic and fresh oregano

Thicken the yogurt by draining it for a few hours in a bowl lined with a paper towel or a paper coffee filter

Chicken Souvlaki with Yogurt Sauce



2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp fresh oregano

1 tsp chopped garlic

1½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Yogurt Sauce

2 cups plain yogurt, drained to yield 1 cup thick yogurt

½ cup grated cucumber, liquid squeezed out

3 tbsp chopped green onion

2 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tsp chopped garlic

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil


Combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and garlic in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Divide chicken between four skewers and set aside.

Combine yogurt, grated cucumber, green onion, coriander, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to high.

Place chicken skewers on grill and grill on all four sides for 2-3 minutes per side, 12-15 minutes total, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with warmed pita bread and yogurt sauce. Serves 4.

From the Summer 2011 issue of Food and Drink

This recipe from the March 2006 issue of Bon Appetit is a simple way to prepare sole or other thin fish fillets. Dredge the sole in flour, sauté it quickly and place in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. The sauce is very easy to make; just sauté butter and oil in the pan until the butter foams, add minced shallot, and cook until the butter turns brown. Add orange and lemon juice, cook for another minute or so, season and serve with the fish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice and butter than contains only cream.

Dredge sole fillets in flour and quickly saute

Cook oil, butter and shallots over high heat until butter foams and browns

Sole with orange brown butter


1 pound sole fillets

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Flour for dusting

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large shallot, minced

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


Season the fillets with the salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour. Shake off any excess flour. Put half of the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, sauté the fish on one side for 3 minutes. Then flip and cook on the other side until just done, 1 to 2 minutes; the fillets should be golden brown and just cooked through. Transfer them to a platter and keep them warm in a 200°F oven while you make the sauce.

Add the remaining oil and the butter to a sauté pan and cook over high heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the shallot. Cook until it is golden and the butter is a pale hazelnut brown, about 1 minute. Add the orange juice and cook for 1 minute more. Add the lemon juice. When the butter mixture starts to foam again, remove the pan from heat. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Put a piece of sole on each plate, drizzle with the brown butter, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

From the March 2006 issue of Bon Appetit

This salad from Anne Lindsay’s New Light Cooking is a summer staple at our house. It couldn’t be easier to make: just mix together black beans or kidney beans, chopped red pepper, cooked corn, celery, scallions and cilantro. Toss with a simple vinaigrette and you’ve got a perfect salad for lunch, dinner, picnic or potluck. Be sure to rinse the beans to reduce the sodium. If you don’t like cilantro, try basil or parsley. You can also add feta cheese to make it a heartier dish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for canned beans with no preservatives, such as PC Blue Menu brand. I use Marukan rice vinegar and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon Mustard.

This salad is simply, healthy and delicious

It goes well with grilled fish or meat.


1 19 oz. can (540 ml) black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

2 cups (500 ml) cooked corn kernels

½ cup (125 ml) chopped celery

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped green onions

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh cilantro

3 tbsp (45 ml) rice or cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp (7 ml) Dijon mustard

¼ tsp (1 ml) each granulated sugar, salt and pepper

1 tbsp (15 ml) each water and vegetable oil


In bowl, combine beans, red pepper, corn, celery, onions and cilantro.

In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in water and oil. Pour over salad and stir to mix.

Can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

From Anne Lindsay’s New Light Cooking

Every once in a while we get a hankering for hot and sour soup. This version from the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine is a classic. Simmer rehydrated dried mushrooms, lean pork, ginger and bamboo shoots in chicken stock, add tofu and seasonings, drizzle in a beaten egg, top with minced green onion and it’s ready. Once your ingredients are prepared, this soup cooks in less than 15 minutes. If you want more heat, boost the amount of hot sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Many of the ingredients in this recipe may contain artificial ingredients, so read the labels carefully. I used Imagine brand organic chicken stock, Ponderosa brand mixed dried mushrooms, M’Lord brand sliced bamboo shoots, PC Blue Menu tofu, tamari, Marukan rice vinegar, Tabasco hot sauce and President’s Choice sesame oil.

Rehydrate mushrooms and reserve soaking water

Thinly slice lean pork

Dice tofu

Place ginger, pork, mushrooms and bamboo shoots in pot before adding stock

Simmer soup for five minutes

Add tofu and seasonings, and, when soup is done, drizzle a beaten egg into it

Top with chopped green onion and serve


6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock

6 dried mushrooms, soaked for 15 minutes and thinly sliced (soaking water reserved)

6 to 7 oz (175 to 210 g) lean pork, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) bamboo shoots, julienned

1 tsp (5 ml) finely chopped ginger

1 cup (250 ml) diced soft tofu

2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce

2 tbsp (30 ml) rice vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) chili sauce (such as Tabasco sauce)

1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil

½ tsp (2 ml) sugar

½ cup (125 ml) reserved mushroom soaking water mixed with 1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch

1 egg, beaten

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 green onion, finely chopped


Combine chicken stock, mushrooms, pork, bamboo shoots and ginger in a pot over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until pork is no longer pink. Add tofu, soy, rice vinegar, chili sauce, sesame oil and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch mixture and boil for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

Pour beaten egg into soup in a slow stream, stirring to make egg stringy. Season with salt, pepper, more soy or chili sauce depending on your tastes. Sprinkle with green onions. Serves 4.

From Food & Drink magazine

This Classic Almond Biscotti recipe from Canadian Living is our favourite Christmas cookie (although you will want to bake them all year long). These biscotti are delicious, low in fat and perfect for dunking. Biscotti means twice-cooked. The dough is formed into a log, baked, then removed from the oven and sliced. The slices then go back into the oven where they dry out and develop their characteristic crunch. When you are slicing the log, use a sharp chef’s knife and make firm cuts so the dough doesn’t crumble.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. I would also love to hear from you about any dishes/foods you would like to see more often on Eye For a Recipe.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The butter, vanilla, almond extract and almonds may contain additives. Use a butter made with a single ingredient: cream. No-name brand whole almonds are all-natural. When using vanilla or almond extract, be sure it is a natural extract, not artificial.

Mix dry ingredients together

Then mix the wet ingredients together

Combine the dry and wet ingredients and form into a soft dough

Form the dough into two 12-inch logs

Place the logs on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg white

Remove the partially cooked logs from the oven

Cut the logs into diagonal slices using a sharp chef's knife

Stand the cookies up on the baking sheet and put them back in the oven

Classic Almond Biscotti


1-3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

¾ cup (175 mL) whole unblanched almonds

2 eggs

¾ cup (175 mL) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, melted

2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla

½ tsp (2 mL) almond extract

1 ½ tsp (7 mL) grated orange rind

1 egg white, lightly beaten


To measure flour accurately, lightly spoon flour into dry measure, without tapping, until cup is heaping; level off with blunt edge of knife. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and almonds.

In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and grated orange rind; stir into flour mixture until soft sticky dough forms. Transfer to lightly floured surface; form into smooth ball.

Divide dough in half, roll each into 12-inch (30 cm) long log. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet.

Brush tops with egg white; bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on pan on rack for 5 minutes. Transfer each log to cutting board; cut diagonally into 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick slices.

Stand cookies upright on baking sheet; bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden. Transfer to rack and let cool. Biscotti can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes 24 pieces.

From Canadian Living

Who doesn’t love chicken wings? This wing recipe from the December 2003 issue of Canadian Living is one of our favourites. The main reason is that they are delicious; the other reason is that they are baked, making them lower in fat than deep-fried wings. I like to marinate them a day in advance. The dipping sauce is great – I double the quantity so there is enough for everyone.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives are the soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Use tamari instead of soy sauce, because it is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate. I use Marukan brand seasoned rice vinegar and Eden Selected Toasted Sesame Oil.

Marinate the wings in advance and place on rack over baking sheet

Bake until cooked through; then broil for a few minutes to brown then

Korean Hot Wings with Garlicky Soy Dipping Sauce


2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp minced gingerroot

1 tbsp sesame oil

1-1/2 tsp granulated sugar

½ tsp pepper

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 lb. chicken wings, trimmed


Mix together first eight ingredients in bowl and add chicken wings. Bag and marinate in fridge for 2-24 hours. Arrange wings on rack on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes; turn and bake until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 15 minutes. Broil wings, turning once, until crisp and browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Serve with Garlicky Soy Dipping Sauce. Serves 2-4.

Garlicky Soy Dipping Sauce


2 tbsp minced green onions

4 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

½ tsp sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp hot pepper flakes


Mix together all ingredients in small bowl. Makes about ¼ cup.

From December 2003 Canadian Living.

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