Archive for November, 2019

The stir-fry from Real Simple magazine cooks in less than 10 minutes, once all your ingredients are ready to go. Make a simple salty-spicy sauce with soy or tamari sauce, hot sauce and lime, cook shrimp and set aside. Stir-fry vegetables until tender-crisp, add the shrimp back to the pan with sauce and heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with lime wedges, sesame seeds and cilantro. Cook’s note: I used red peppers instead of carrots.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I used Simply Natural organic sriracha, which is additive-free. Check the shrimp for sulfites or other preservatives.

Stir fry shrimp and set aside

Stir fry vegetables, then add sauce and shrimp to the pan and heat through

Spicy shrimp stir-fry


2 tablespoons (30 ml) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek) or sriracha

1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

2 limes

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil, divided

1½ pounds (680 g) peeled, deveined, tail-on large raw shrimp

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) kosher salt

6 ounces (170 g) snow peas (about 2 cups/500 ml), trimmed

2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 1-in./2.5-cm piece)

Steamed white rice, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


Place soy sauce, chile paste, and honey in a small bowl. Squeeze in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) juice from 1 lime and stir to combine. Cut remaining lime into wedges and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil to skillet. Add snow peas, carrots, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sauce and shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened and shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute. Serve stir-fry over rice with lime wedges alongside; garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro leaves. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

Another great sheet pan dinner, this one from the New York Times. Coat chicken pieces in oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika and oregano. Arrange on a baking sheet and add cherry tomatoes and peppers. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for about a half hour.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives or preservatives.

Arrange vegetables around the chicken and bake for about 30 minutes

Sheet pan paprika chicken with tomatoes and peppers


3 pounds (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, drumsticks, thighs or a mix)

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) apple cider vinegar, plus more for serving

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet paprika

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Espelette pepper or smoked hot paprika (pimentón)

1 teaspoon (5 mml) dried oregano

1 pint cherry (500 ml) tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved

1 poblano chile or 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

⅓ cup (85 ml) grated Parmesan

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Season chicken all over with salt, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, Espelette and oregano. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.

Add tomatoes, poblano and sweet peppers to baking sheet, spread vegetables around the chicken. Season vegetables lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle Parmesan all over chicken and vegetables.

Roast until chicken is golden, crisp and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking but don’t disturb the chicken. If white meat is done before dark meat, remove it as it finishes cooking.

Transfer chicken to plates. Stir vegetables around in pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides of pan, and stir in the parsley and black pepper to taste. Taste and add salt if needed, and a drizzle of vinegar if you like. Spoon vegetables over the chicken to serve. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

Here’s another delicious dish from Alison Roman’s new cookbook Nothing Fancy. Cook a pot of rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta and drain. Brown spicy sausage or chorizo and set aside. Brown breadcrumbs and set aside, then fry garlic and add tomato paste and broccoli rabe. Cook a few minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender-crisp. Add the cooked pasta, a splash of pasta cooking water and sausage back to the pot and heat through. Garnish with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use PC Free From hot Italian sausages, which are additive-free, a panko without additives and No Name tomato paste. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives, preservatives or colour.

Brown the sausage and set aside

Brown the breadcrumbs and set aside

Brown the garlic

Add tomato paste and broccoli rabe and cook until tender-crisp

Add cooked sausage and pasta to the pan

Garnish with breadcrumbs and cheese and enjoy


1 pound (454 g) fresh chorizo or spicy hot Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed

6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more as needed

1 ½ cups (375 ml) fresh coarse bread crumbs or panko

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound (454 g) dried tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste

1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

Hunk of pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata, for grating


Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, leaving the fat behind.

Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil and the bread crumbs to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup (250 ml) of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil in the pot, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s a nice brick-red color and starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broccoli rabe, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s all wilted and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and sausage back to the pot along with ½ cup (125 ml) of pasta water. Cook, stirring constantly, until each piece of pasta is coated nicely in the tomato-y, sausage-y sauce.

Serve straight from the pot (or not), with toasted bread crumbs and cheese for sprinkling over. Serves 6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

This recipe from Food52 is great comfort food for a chilly fall night. Dredge chicken thighs in flour, brown them and set aside. Fry some bacon and cook peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Season, add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock, return the chicken to the pan and braise until done. Toss in some fresh herbs, serve over pasta or polenta and sprinkle some grated parmesan on top.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for nitrite-free bacon and spices without colour or anti-caking agents. I used Imagine organic chicken stock, Unico canned tomatoes and Molisano tomato sauce, which contains only tomatoes and salt. Genuine parmesan cheese contains no artificial ingredients.

Dredge chicken in flour and brown

Cook bacon until crisp

Fry peppers, onion and mushrooms

Add tomatoes, stock and tomato sauce, return chicken to pan and braise

Serve over pasta or polenta


Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 ounces (113 g) white or brown button mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried basil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground fennel seed

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

1 (14 to 15-ounce/414 to 144 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

8 ounces (236 ml) tomato sauce

8 ounces (236 ml) chicken broth

¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh basil leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh oregano leaves

Grated parmesan for serving

Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving


Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about ¼ inch (0.64 cm) and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.

Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.

Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.

Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

After the 30- to 40-minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy! Serves 4.

From Food52