Archive for May, 2014

Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs are among my favourite things to make for dinner, because they are inexpensive, tasty and easy to cook. In this recipe from the May 2014 issue of Bon Appetit, the thighs are marinated in a mixture of garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey and aniseed for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Then just pop them in the oven. Halfway through the cooking time (about 20 minutes after putting the thighs in the oven) add asparagus and scallions. The chicken will caramelize into a lovely deep brown colour. Garnish the finished dish with cilantro and lime wedges. The recipe calls for aniseed but I used fennel seed and it worked well.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice and tamari instead of soy sauce, as it is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate.

Marinate the chicken thighs

Add asparagus and scallions when chicken is partially cooked

The thighs will caramelize

Soy-glazed chicken thighs with asparagus and scallions


2 teaspoons aniseed

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

8 chicken thighs (about 4 lb.)

1 bunch asparagus (about ¾ lb.), trimmed

2 bunches scallions, trimmed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems


Toast aniseed in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool; finely chop.

Whisk garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and aniseed in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°. Transfer chicken and marinade to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, placing chicken skin side down. Roast until fat begins to render, 15–20 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up and continue to roast, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until chicken is cooked through and deeply browned, 15–20 minutes longer.

After turning chicken, toss asparagus and scallions with oil on another rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, shaking pan halfway through, until tender, 10–15 minutes (thinner stalks will cook more quickly).

Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour any pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let sit a few minutes, then spoon off fat from surface.

Spoon pan juices over chicken and serve with asparagus, scallions, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serves 4. Do ahead: Chicken can be marinated 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

From the May 2014 issue of Bon Appetit

This recipe from the June 2014 issue of Canadian Living can be made in less than 30 minutes. Simply spread a mixture of yogurt, mayonnaise, onion and cilantro on salmon fillets, pat panko crumbs on top, and bake. The salmon stays incredibly moist, while the panko adds a satisfying crunch. Paired with a curried yogurt sauce, this would be great for a casual dinner party. One note – depending on the thickness of the salmon, the baking time may be closer to 15-20 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use all-natural yogurt and mayonnaise, and butter that contains only cream. Check the label on the panko and the curry powder to make sure they do not contain preservatives, colour or anti-caking agents. If you would like to make your own curry powder, I’ve included a recipe below. I used ShaSha brand breadcrumbs, which are similar to panko in texture but are made from spelt and are all-natural.

Salmon, spread and panko

Spread the yogurt-mayo mixture on the salmon

Top with the panko and bake until the salmon is cooked through

Panko-crusted salmon with curried yogurt sauce


2 tbsp 2% plain Greek yogurt

2 tbsp light mayonnaise

2 green onions, chopped

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

4 skinless salmon fillets (about 680 g total)

Pinch each salt and pepper

½ cup panko crumbs

2 tbsp butter, melted

Curried Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp liquid honey

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp curry powder (to make your own, see recipe below)

Pinch each salt and pepper

Curry powder

2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp crushed or ground fenugreek seed

1 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp crushed dried dill

¼ tsp ground mace

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp dried mustard

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients together.


In bowl, stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, green onions and cilantro. Arrange salmon on lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread yogurt mixture evenly over top of fillets.

Combine panko and butter; sprinkle on top of yogurt mixture, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake in 425F (220C) oven until fish flakes easily with fork and panko is golden, about 10 minutes.

Curried Yogurt Sauce: Meanwhile, in bowl, stir together yogurt, cilantro, ginger, honey, lemon juice, 1 tsp of water, curry powder, salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days). Serve with salmon. Serves 4.

From the June 2014 issue of Canadian Living

I had never tried daikon radish before, but this recipe from Lucy Waverman inspired me to give it a try. It looks like a large, white carrot, but tastes like a mild radish. It added great flavour and crunch to this chicken stir-fry.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce, because it uses alcohol as a preservative, not sodium benzoate. Look for a balsamic vinegar with only naturally occurring sulfites.

Daikon looks like a large white carrot

While the chicken marinates, prepare the daikon, carrots and bok choy

Brown the chicken

Cook the daikon and carrots until tender-crisp

Cook the bok choy until it wilts and return the chicken to the pan

Chicken with daikon radish


2 tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp minced ginger

½ tsp sugar

8 oz (250 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast

Finishing Sauce

1 tsp chopped ginger

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp black or balsamic vinegar

½ tsp sugar


1 lb (500 g) daikon radish, peeled

2 medium carrots, peeled

6 cups baby bok choy

2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil

¼ cup finely chopped green onions


Combine soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a bowl. Slice chicken in half horizontally and then into thin strips. Add chicken to the marinade and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain chicken and discard remaining marinade.

Stir together ginger, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and reserve. Cut daikon in half lengthwise, if large. Slice in thin slices (1/8 inch) on diagonal.

Cut carrots the same way. Divide bok choy into leaves.

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until pan is very hot. Add oil and heat again. Add chicken and cook, stirring until slightly undercooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and reserve. Add daikon and carrots. Stir-fry until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add bok choy and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes longer – until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Return chicken and toss with vegetables. Pour sauce over, tossing everything together.

Bring to boil and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately scattered with green onions.

From Lucy Waverman

I like the recipes in Real Simple magazine because 1. They are real simple, and 2. They combine ingredients in imaginative ways. I would never think to make a salad of oranges, endive, chopped almonds and chives, but it was delicious. Topped with simply prepared artic char and served with couscous on the side, this is a quick, easy and tasty supper.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a wine vinegar without sulfites added, and check the label on the almonds to make sure they have no preservatives added.

Chop almonds and chive for the salad

Separate the endive heads into individual leaves

The recipe calls for Arctic char, but almost any fish would work

Mix the salad ingredients together

Arctic char with couscous and citrus salad


1 cup (250 ml) couscous

4 clementines or 2 small oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

1 head endive, leaves separated

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped roasted almonds

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh chives

4 6-ounce (170 g) pieces boneless, skinless arctic char or salmon


Cook the couscous according to the package directions.

Combine the clementines, vinegar, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the oil, and ¼ (1 ml) teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the endive, almonds, and chives and toss to combine.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the fish with ½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt and ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Serve the couscous topped with the citrus salad and fish, drizzled with any remaining dressing. Serves 4.

From the April 2014 issue of Real Simple