Archive for August, 2020

This vegetarian dish from the New York Times is bursting with flavor from broccolini, tomatoes, onion, cumin, salty feta and fresh herbs. Serve over cooked orzo or farro.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the cumin and red-pepper flakes to make sure they do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Tre Stelle feta is additive-free.

Arrange the ingredients on a sheet pan

Serve over baked orzo or farro


1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed, thick stalks split lengthwise, or broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups (500 ml) grape tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) wedges

1 lemon, ½ cut into thin rounds and the remaining ½ left intact, for serving

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) red-pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 (6- to 8-ounce/170- 226-g) blocks feta, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) slices

Cooked orzo or farro, for serving

½ cup (125 ml) fresh basil or cilantro leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped (optional)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) with a rack set in the lower third. On a sheet pan, combine the broccolini, tomatoes, onion and lemon slices with the olive oil and toss. Add cumin and red-pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and toss again until evenly coated. Nestle the feta slices into the vegetables.

Roast 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through but leaving the feta in place, until the broccolini is charred at the tips, the stems are easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins start to blister and break down.

Serve over orzo or farro. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the remaining lemon half for squeezing. Top with fresh herbs, if using. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

I have a major weakness for cookbooks and just added America’s Test Kitchen’s Bowls to my collection. Bowls combine vegetables, protein and sauce over a base of greens, rice, grains or noodles. I like this cookbook because suggests many ways to customize your bowl, as well as tips on improvising and presentation. In this recipe, spicy Chinese noodles are topped with vegetables, shrimp, scallions and cilantro. I omitted the carrot.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce and ensure the noodles are additive-free. I used dried chow mein noodles and frozen shrimp with only salt added. Check the curry powder for colour and anti-caking agents. You can also make your own.

Cook the shrimp and set aside

Cook the vegetables and set aside

Toss noodles with sauce, curry powder, garlic and ginger

Top noodles with shrimp, peppers, scallions, cilantro and a lime wedge


¼ cup (60 ml) water

2 tsp (10 ml) soy sauce

1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

6 ounces (170 g) fresh or dried Chinese noodles

4 tsp (20 ml) vegetable oil, divided

½ red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long (5-cm-long) matchsticks

1 tbsp (15 ml) curry powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp (2.5 ml) grated fresh ginger

¾ cup (185 ml) sautéed shrimp

¼ cup (60 ml) cilantro leaves

1 scallion, sliced thin on the bias


Whisk water, soy sauce, sugar and lime juice together in small bowl until sugar is dissolved; set aside. Bring 2 quarts (2 L) water to boil in large saucepan. Add noodles and cook, stirring often, until nearly tender. Drain noodles and rinse thoroughly with cold water; set aside.

Heat 1 tsp (5 ml) oil in 12-inch (30-cm) nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bell pepper and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; transfer to bowl, cover with aluminum foil and set aside until ready to serve.

Add remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil, curry powder, garlic and ginger to now-empty skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture and noodles, tossing to coat noodles with sauce, and cook until liquid is absorbed but noodles are still glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls, then top with vegetable mixture and shrimp and sprinkle with cilantro and scallions. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 2.

From Bowls by America’s Test Kitchen

Parchment packets are a great way to cook fish, because they keep the fish moist. This recipe from Half Baked Harvest tops thin slices of potato and zucchini with salmon fillets, oil, garlic, lemon, herbs and olives. Bake for about 20 minutes and dinner is on the table. Cook’s note: I omitted the dill and used regular paprika.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the paprika to make sure it doesn’t contain colour, flavour or anti-caking agents. Look for preservative-free Kalamata olives, such as Pilaros brand. I use Tre Stelle feta, which is additive-free.

Place salmon on top of sliced potatoes and zucchini and drizzle with oil mixture

Top with lemon and olives

Parchment packets keep the fish moist

Top with feta and greens


¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced or grated

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh dill

2 tsp (10 ml) smoked paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small russet potato, very thinly sliced into ¼-inch (0.6-cm) rounds

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

4 (6-8 oz./170-226 g) salmon fillets, skin removed

1 lemon, sliced

1/3 cup (85 ml) pitted Kalamata olives

4 oz. (113 g) feta cheese, crumbled

Crushed red pepper flakes

Fresh arugula and basil, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, dill, smoked paprika and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Place a large square of parchment paper (about 15 x 15 inches/38 x 38 cm) on clean work surface. On one half of the paper, arrange one-quarter of the potato slices in an even layer (about the size of your piece of fish) and season with salt and pepper. Layer one-quarter of the zucchini on top of the potato and season with salt and pepper. Place one salmon fillet on top of the zucchini, drizzle with the olive oil mixture and top with 2 lemon slices. Scatter a few olives around the fish. Repeat with the remaining parchment and ingredients

Fold the bare half of the parchment over the salmon and fold in the open edges twice (I staple the edges to make sure the packages stay closed). Place then packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Transfer the packets to plates and open carefully, tearing away and discarding the top half of the paper. Serve with crumbed feta, red pepper flakes and fresh arugula and basil on top. Serves 4.

From Half Baked Harvest

Bon Appetit calls this salad “healthyish” because it is made with poached chicken, lots of greens and a tahini-lime dressing. Light and delicious!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice, tahini that contains only sesame seeds and tamari instead of soy sauce. Make sure the sesame seeds and pepper flakes do not contain any preservatives.

Make the dressing

Toss the greens with the dressing

Shred the poached chicken

Poached chicken salad


2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1–1½ lb./454-680 g total)

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) kosher salt, plus more

3 scallions, thinly sliced on a deep diagonal

3 Persian cucumbers

½ cup (125 ml) toasted sesame seeds, divided

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) tahini

1 Tbsp. (15 ml) soy sauce

1 tsp. (5 ml) honey

¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

¼ head of romaine or green or red leaf lettuce or 1 head of Little Gem lettuce

Big handful of cilantro leaves with tender stems

½ lime (for serving)


Bring chicken, 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) kosher salt, and 5 cups (1.2 L) water to a bare simmer in a medium pot over medium heat (chicken should be submerged). Once liquid begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook (water should not be simmering at all now) until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl; discard poaching liquid. Let chicken cool slightly, then shred meat into big pieces; set aside.

Meanwhile, place scallions in a small bowl and pour in very cold water to cover; let soak 10 minutes. Drain scallions in a mesh sieve or colander, then rinse under cold running water, swishing vigorously to encourage them to curl up. Shake off as much water as possible and place in a large bowl; set aside.

Working one at a time, slice cucumbers in half crosswise, then slice each piece in half lengthwise. Place quarters cut side down and slice in half lengthwise again to create 8 pieces total per cucumber. Add to bowl with reserved chicken.

Set 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) sesame seeds aside in a small bowl for serving. Crush remaining sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle until some of the seeds have turned to powder, but with plenty of whole seeds left. (Alternatively, pulse seeds a few times in a food processor or spice mill, then transfer to a medium bowl before proceeding). Add lime juice, tahini, soy sauce, honey and red pepper flakes and mash to create a paste. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) water and whisk to combine (if you don’t have a small enough whisk, work in with the pestle). Taste and season with salt.

Add lettuce and cilantro to bowl with reserved scallions. Pour half of dressing over greens and toss to coat. Arrange on a platter. Pour remaining dressing over chicken and cucumbers, toss to coat, and arrange over greens. Top salad with reserved 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) sesame seeds and squeeze juice from lime half over. Serves 2-4.

From Bon Appetit

Tomatoes + corn + fresh herbs = summer. And when you add shrimp, garlic, hot pepper, wine and butter, you have a lovely dish that can be served over pasta or with crusty bread. I served this recipe from the New York Times over cooked linguine.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used frozen shrimp with only salt added and a wine from Frogpond Farm with a sulfite level of fewer than 10 parts per million. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and butter that does not contain colour.

Cook the shrimp and set aside

Cook the corn and tomatoes

Add the shrimp back in and heat through

Top with herbs and serve over pasta or rice


1 pound (454 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 pint (500 ml) cherry or grape tomatoes

2 cups (500 ml) fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 4 ears)

5 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon (5 ml) red-pepper flakes

¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus wedges for serving (optional)

5 tablespoons (75 ml) unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces

3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped parsley or chives, or torn basil leaves


Pat the shrimp very dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large (12-inch/30-cm) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and lightly golden in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until they start to blister in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the tomatoes burst and the corn is golden in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until you smell garlic, about 1 minute.

Reduce heat to medium, and add the wine and lemon juice, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until nearly evaporated, then add the butter and stir until melted. Add the shrimp and its juices and stir until warmed through. (If the sauce breaks and looks greasy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and stir until emulsified.)

Remove from heat, add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with extra lemon for squeezing over, if you like. Serves 4.

From the New York Times