Archive for June, 2020

This recipe from Half Baked Harvest is a savoury and hearty one skillet meal. Cook ground chicken with spices and jalapeno, stir in enchilada sauce and rice and cook until the rice is tender. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and lime juice and top with cheese and tortilla chips. Bake until the cheese has melted and top with avocado, cilantro and yogurt or sour cream. Cooks’ note: I wasn’t able to find additive-free enchilada sauce, so I made my own; the recipe is below.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Imagine Organic broth and La Costena chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. No Name tomato sauce and tomato paste are additive free. Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used President’s Choice Kettle-Style tortilla chips, No Name pizza mozzarella cheese and No Name sour cream.

Cook chicken, onion and spices

Add enchilada sauce and rice

When rice is cooked, top with tortilla chips and cheese

Bake until cheese has melted


Enchilada sauce

1 to 1 ½ cups (250 to 375 ml) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 ½ to 2 ½ tablespoons (22.5 to 37.5 ml) canned chipotle adobo sauce, divided

One  443-ml (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/3 cup (83 ml) tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) mild chili powder

1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin

1 teaspoon (5 ml) oregano

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) onion granules (not powdered)

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Chicken tortilla enchilada bake

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 pound (454 g) ground chicken, beef, or turkey

1 yellow onion, chopped

1-2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped, use to your taste

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

2 teaspoons (10 ml) smoked paprika

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt

2 ½ cups (625 ml) red enchilada sauce

1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped (optional)

1 cup (250 ml) dry long grain rice

½ cup (125 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving

juice of 1 lime

2 cups (500 ml) tortilla chips

1-2 cups (250-500 ml) shredded Mexican cheese

Sliced avocado and yogurt or sour cream, for serving


Enchilada sauce

To begin, add all ingredients to your blender, starting with 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth and 1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) adobo sauce (You can add more broth and adobo sauce while the enchilada sauce is cooking to doctor the consistency and taste.) Blend, starting on low speed and working up to high speed, for about 30 seconds.

Pour the mixture into a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 12 to 18 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the flavours have deepened. Stir every few minutes ; cover the pot with a splatter screen if needed. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper as needed. (Salt amounts will vary depending on sodium in your broth.) Add more adobo sauce to your liking for a smokier and spicier flavour. If the sauce thickens too much, add more vegetable broth to thin it out.

Once the sauce is thick and flavourful, remove it from the heat. You can use it right away or store in the fridge. Makes 15 ounces (625 ml).

Chicken tortilla enchilada bake

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C).

In a large oven safe skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the ground chicken and onion. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the chicken is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeños, garlic, paprika, cumin, and salt, cook 1 minute. Stir in the enchilada sauce, chipotle chili, if using, and 2 cups (500 ml) of water. Bring to a boil, stir in the rice. Place the lid on the skillet and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked into the rice, but not all of it.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the chicken/rice. Add the tortilla chips on top, pressing them gently into the cheese. Evenly sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Serve topped as desired with avocado, cilantro, and yogurt. Serves 6.

From Half Baked Harvest

This recipe, adapted from Half Baked Harvest, takes about 15 minutes to cook, once you have assembled the ingredients. Toss chicken with cornstarch, turmeric, ginger and pepper, then stir fry until browned. Add shallots, broccoli and cashews and cook for another few minutes. Stir in the honey-soy-rice vinegar sauce and simmer for about five minutes. Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your dried spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I use Marukan rice vinegar. Always use freshly squeezed lime juice.

Stir fry chicken and vegetables and then add honey-vinegar-soy sauce

Serve over steamed rice


1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch or flour

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground turmeric

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground ginger

1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) black pepper, using more or less to your taste

3 tablespoons (45 ml) sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) honey

¼ cup (60 ml) low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

2 medium shallots, sliced or chopped

2 small heads broccoli, chopped

½ cup (125 ml) raw cashews

Zest and juice of 1 lime

½ cup (125 ml) fresh basil or cilantro, roughly chopped


In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, cornstarch, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil.

In a glass jar, combine the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and ¼ cup (60 ml) water.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml( oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and brown all over, until it becomes crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots, broccoli, and cashews, cook another 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli is charring. Pour in the honey/soy sauce mix. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sauce coats the chicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and the basil.

Serve over cooked rice or rice noodles, with additional basil and lime wedges. Serves 4.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

This recipe from Canadian Living pairs baked salmon with orzo, snow peas and greens — all tossed with an orange-chive-mustard-honey dressing. And it’s ready in about 30 minutes!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed orange juice and pure honey. I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard.

Spread parsley, mustard and orange zest over salmon before baking

Orange salmon and orzo salad


Orange-chive dressing

½ tsp (2 ml) grated orange zest

3 tbsp (45 ml) orange juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh chives

2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tsp (5 ml) liquid honey

1 clove garlic, finely grated or pressed

½ tsp (2 ml) each salt and pepper

1/3 cup (75 ml) vegetable oil


1 lb (450 g) skinless salmon fillet

Pinch each salt and pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley

4 tsp (18 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 ml) grated orange zest

1 ½ cups (375 ml) orzo

2 cups (500 ml) snow peas, trimmed and sliced diagonally

8 cups (2 L) baby arugula

2 cups (500 ml) watercress leaves or living cress leaves


Orange-chive dressing

In small bowl, whisk together orange zest, orange juice, chives, mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil. Set aside.


Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Stir together parsley, mustard and orange zest; spread over salmon. Place on lightly greased foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until fish flakes easily when tested, about 15 minutes. Remove to cutting board; chop or break apart into large chunks.

While salmon is baking, in large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook orzo until almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Add snow peas and cook until orzo is al dente and peas are bright green and tender-crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain.

In large bowl, toss together orzo mixture, arugula, watercress and dressing. Gently fold in salmon. Serves 4.

If you’d like leftovers, set some salad and dressing aside before tossing together. That way, your next-day salad stays nice and crisp.

From Canadian Living

This recipe from Stacie Billis uses two great techniques for cooking a whole chicken quickly and ensuring the meat is moist and well seasoned. The first is to butterfly or spatchcock the chicken, which means removing the backbone and flattening the bird. The second is to sprinkle the chicken with salt and keep it uncovered in the fridge for up to a day before cooking, although even a few hours will make a difference. This recipe is a one-pot meal – the chicken roasts with potatoes and then olives and artichokes are added for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time. It’s named after Billis’s son, Oliver. Cook’s note: I didn’t cut the potatoes in half, because they were small.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and make sure the artichokes and olives do not contain preservatives. Check the label for the garlic powder to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Arrange the potatoes around the butterflied chicken

Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving

Serve the chicken with the potatoes and the artichokes and olives, which are added toward the end of the cooking time


1 whole (3 to 4 pounds/1.36 to 1.8 kg) chicken, butterflied

1 ½ pounds (680 g) new potatoes,

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder

1 teaspoon (5 ml)  freshly ground black pepper

1 (14 ounce/396 g) can artichoke bottoms, drained and quartered

1 cup (250 ml) small, pitted green olives


If you have time, remove the chicken from your refrigerator up to 1 hour before cooking. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F (200°C) and prep the potatoes: Cut the potatoes in half. Add them to a medium bowl with the oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the garlic powder. Toss to coat well and transfer to a shallow roasting pan or a large sheet pan. Set the bowl, which should still have a little bit of the oil–lemon juice mixture at the bottom, aside.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season it with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt (if you have dry-brined the chicken, don’t add more salt at this point) and the pepper, dividing them evenly between both sides of the chicken. Nestle the chicken skin side up between all of the potatoes on the roasting pan, making sure that the potatoes remain in a single layer and that none get stuck under the bird. Pour the remaining oil–lemon juice mixture from the bowl onto the chicken and rub it into the skin.

Place the pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, basting the chicken with drippings and shaking the potatoes every 10 minutes or so. If at any point there aren’t enough drippings to baste the bird, drizzle a small amount of oil onto the chicken and use that. After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add the artichoke bottoms and olives to the pan, scattering them all around the bird. Cook for another 5 minutes before checking for doneness: an instant-read thermometer should register 160°F (70°C) at the thickest part of the breast and 165°F (75°C) at the thigh. If the chicken is not cooked through, roast for 5 to 10 minutes longer until it is.

Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

From Stacie Billis