Archive for March, 2014

This very healthy recipe from the March 2014 issue of Bon Appetit uses one of my favourite methods for cooking fish—slow-roasting in the oven. At a low temperature, the fish cooks to perfection in about 30 minutes. This all-in-one dish meal also includes chickpeas and wilted greens. The recipe called for mustard greens, but I used kale instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to check for additives and preservatives are the chickpeas, cumin, honey, Dijon and capers. I use PC Blue Menu canned chickpeas, PC Old-Fashioned Dijon and Unico capers. Use an all-natural honey and make sure the cumin does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Mash some of the chickpeas

Place sauteed kale on top

Place salmon on top

Slow-cooked salmon, chickpeas and greens



2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more

1 15.5-oz. can (439 g) chickpeas, rinsed

½ teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

1 bunch small mustard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon (10 ml) honey

4 6-oz. (170 g) skinless salmon fillets

Vinaigrette and garnish

½ small shallot, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon (10 ml) Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon (5 ml) honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) capers, rinsed, patted dry



Preheat oven to 250° F (120° C). Brush a large baking dish with oil. Combine chickpeas, cumin, and 1 tbsp. (15 ml) oil in a medium bowl. Mash about half of chickpeas with a fork; season with salt and pepper. Transfer chickpea mixture to prepared dish.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp. (15 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mustard greens and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add honey and ¼ cup (60 ml) water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until greens are completely wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to dish with chickpea mixture.

Season salmon with salt and pepper; arrange over greens and chickpea mixture and drizzle with oil. Bake until salmon is opaque in the center, 30–35 minutes.

Vinaigrette and garnish

Whisk shallot, lemon juice, mustard, and honey in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook capers until opened and crisp, about 30 seconds; drain on paper towels.

Drizzle salmon with vinaigrette and top with capers. Serves 4.

From the March 2014 issue of Bon Appetit

This is a very simple recipe for chicken thighs, but it yields delicious results. At least four hours before starting to cook, marinate the thighs in oil, garlic, coriander and cumin seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper. When you are ready to cook, sear the thighs, skin side down, in a cast iron skillet, turn them, and finish roasting in the oven. Indian potatoes, peas and cauliflower are an excellent accompaniment.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the spices do not contain colour and always used freshly squeezed lemon juice, as the concentrates are bitter and contain sodium benzoate.

Marinate the chicken for at least four hours

Sear the thighs skin side down

Turn the thighs and then roast until cooked through

Spiced chicken thighs


¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

5 garlic cloves, smashed

1½ tablespoons (25 ml) coriander seeds

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cumin seeds

1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon zest

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice

Eight 6-ounce (170 g) bone-in chicken thighs with skin


In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the garlic, coriander and cumin seeds, lemon zest, 1½ teaspoons (7 ml) of salt and ¾ teaspoon (3 ml) of pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450° F (220° C). Heat a cast-iron skillet. Turn the chicken in the marinade and scrape off any solids; add to the skillet skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until the skin is golden brown. Turn the chicken; transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes, until the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the lemon juice.

From Food and Wine

Paillard is a term used for meat, usually veal or chicken, that is pounded thin and then quickly seared on top on the stove. This recipe for chicken paillards from Martha Stewart Living is healthy and quick to make for a weeknight supper. In addition to the chicken, it includes roasted squash and onion, and a garnish of fried sage leaves and baby spinach. And, if you’ve had a tough day, pounding the chicken can be very therapeutic!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The only thing that may contain artificial ingredients is the butter, which can contain colour. Look for a brand of butter that has only one ingredient: cream.

Toss the squash and onion with oil and put in the oven to roast.

Pound the chicken to a thickness of about a quarter-in

Fry the sage leaves

The sage should be crispy

The thin paillards sear quickly on top on the stove

Chicken paillards with squash, onion, fried sage and spinach


½ small kabocha or acorn squash, unpeeled, seeded and cut lengthwise into ¾ -inch (1.9 cm) slices

1 small red onion, cut into wedges, root end attached

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, 4 to 5 ounces each, (113 g to 141 g each), butterflied

Red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter

16 fresh sage leaves (from about 4 sprigs)

1 cup (250 ml) baby spinach leaves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Distribute squash and onion evenly on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, season with salt, and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast until squash is tender, about 15-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, pound chicken to a 1/8 to ¼ -inch (0.3 cm to 0.6 cm) thickness (use the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, a rolling pin or a heavy pot). Season on both sides with salt and red pepper flakes. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Swirl in remaining tablespoon (15 ml) oil, then butter. Fry sage until just crisp, about 1 minute; let drain on a paper towel.

Working in 2 batches, add chicken to pan and cook until golden and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Divide chicken among 4 plates and top with spinach, squash, onion, and sage. Serves 4.

From Martha Stewart Living

Cooking fish wrapped in parchment paper—en papillote—yields great results. The fish is moist and tender and is cooked with a minimum of fat. This recipe from the March 2014 issue of Food and Wine calls for striped bass, but any kind of thick fillet would work. The fish is topped lemon slices, salt and bay leaves (I used thyme instead), wrapped in parchment, and baked for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, you sauté onions and garlic and then add tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, hot peppers and ground coriander to make a delicious, fresh-tasting salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Ground spices may contain colour and anti-caking ingredients, so check the label.

Place lemon slices on fish and drizzle with olive oil

Wrap the fish in parchment paper and bake

Serve the baked fish with Lebanese salad


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼ -inch dice

2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped

1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves, chopped, plus sprigs for garnish

2 jalapeños, minced

1 fresh hot red chile, seeded and minced, plus sliced chile for garnish

1 tablespoon ground coriander

Kosher salt

Four 6- to 7-ounce skinless striped bass fillets, about ¾ inch thick

8 thin slices of lemon

4 fresh bay leaves


Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for 7 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, jalapeños, minced red chile and coriander. Season with salt; let cool.

Arrange 4 large sheets of parchment paper on a work surface. Season the fillets with salt and set one in the center of each sheet. Top each fillet with 2 lemon slices and 1 bay leaf; drizzle with 1 tablespoon each of the remaining olive oil. Bring up 2 opposite sides of the parchment over the fish and fold to seal. Fold up the edges to create a packet.

Transfer the papillotes to a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly puffed.

Mound the tomato salad on plates. Carefully open the packets and set the fish on the salad. Garnish with the parsley sprigs and sliced chile; serve. Serves 4.

From the March 2014 issue of Food and Wine

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