Archive for September, 2020

This is another delicious chicken recipe from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman. Brown a whole chicken or chicken pieces in a Dutch oven. Add lemon and shallot slices, cook for a few minutes and then add dates, thyme and water. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, cover and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove the lid, drizzle with oil and roast uncovered for another 20-30 minutes. Serve the chicken with the shallots, lemon and dates, sprinkled with thyme and sea salt.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the dates to make sure they don’t contain sulfites. I use Parnoosh dates, which are additive-free. Make sure your pepper flakes don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Brown the chicken, then add lemon slices, shallots, dates, thyme and roast in oven.

After 20-24 minutes, remove lid, drizzle with oil and cook another 20-30 minutes.

One-pot chicken with dates and caramelized lemon


3 ½ -4 lb. (1.58-1.8 g) chicken or 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or legs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil, divided

1 lemon, cut into thick slices crosswise, seeds removed

2 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise

4-6 medjool dates (3 oz./85 g), pitted

4 sprigs fresh thyme plus more for serving

1 cup (250 ml) water

1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

Flaky sea salt for serving


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) with rack in the middle.

Season chicken all over with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil in a large (at least 8 quart/7.5 L) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pot breast side up, and using your tongs or hands (be careful!), press lightly to make sure the skin comes into even contact with the pot bottom. This is your chance to brown the legs and render that excess fat! It’s rarely offered in whole-chicken recipes, so take advantage. If using chicken parts, just sear the chicken skin-side down.

Cook, without moving, until the chicken is nice and browned, about 5-8 minutes. Seriously, no peeking! Nothing exciting will happen before 5 minutes, I promise you.

Add the lemon slices and shallot, maneuvering the chicken however you need so that the slices come into contact with the bottom of the pot. Let everything sizzle in the chicken fat until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes.

Add the dates, thyme sprigs and water. Sprinkle red pepper over chicken; cover. Roast in oven until dates are plump, the lemon is jammy and chicken is almost but not totally cooked, 20-25 minutes.

Remove the lid and drizzle the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered until liquid has reduced by half and chicken is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.

Let chicken rest in the pot for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and carve. Serve along with the shallot, lemons and dates, with some more thyme and flaky sea salt sprinkled over. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

This dish from the New York Times is quick, easy and a good way to use up that leftover cabbage in the fridge. Dredge beef in garlic, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir fry the beef and set aside. Cook the cabbage until tender, stir in vinegar and return steak to pan. Serve over rice, garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar.

Dredge the beef

Stir fry the beef and set aside

Stir fry the cabbage

Black pepper beef and cabbage stir fry


1 tablespoon (15 ml) whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed with the bottom of a cup or pan

3 garlic cloves, grated

2 teaspoons (10 ml) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cornstarch

Kosher salt

¾ pound (340 g) sirloin steak, thinly sliced crosswise

3 tablespoons(45 ml) sunflower oil or other neutral oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce

½ head small green cabbage (about 8 ounces/226 g), thinly sliced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame seeds, crushed with your fingertips

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cooked rice, for serving


Add peppercorns, garlic, brown sugar, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add sliced steak and toss to coat.

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add steak and cook, stirring frequently, until some of the edges are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add soy sauce and toss beef to coat, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl or plate.

Add cabbage to skillet, spread in an even layer and let cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute so that some pieces caramelize in the pan. Toss and cook cabbage, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar and season with salt.

Add steak and any juices back to the skillet, and stir until well combined with the cabbage and warmed through, about 1 minute. Top with toasted sesame seeds and scallions; serve with rice. Serves 2-4.

From the New York Times

It doesn’t get much faster or easier than this recipe from Kitchn. Pre-heat the oven with a baking sheet inside. Meanwhile, make the honey-Dijon dressing, halve the potatoes and chop the chicken, broccoli and onion. Toss the potatoes in oil and salt and roast on the pre-heated baking sheet for 15 minutes. Add the chicken and vegetables and toss with half the dressing. Roast for 10 minutes, toss with the rest of the dressing and then roast for another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is done. I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use pure honey. I used President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon whole-grained mustard and Eden Organic red wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.

After potatoes cook for 15 minutes, add chicken, broccoli, onion and sauce

Sheet-pan honey-Dijon chicken with vegetables


1/3 cup (85 ml) honey

¼ cup (60 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon (15 ml) white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt, divided

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1 pound (454 g) small red potatoes, halved

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, divided

1 ½ pounds (680 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 pound (454 g) broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets

1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F (218°C). Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it is heating.

Whisk the honey, Dijon, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, pepper, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of the salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Place the potatoes, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of the salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and arrange the potatoes in a single layer, cut-side down. Return to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the chicken, broccoli, red onion, remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil and remaining ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt in the same bowl and toss to combine.

Add the chicken, broccoli, and red onion to the baking sheet. Pour half the honey-Dijon mixture over the chicken and vegetables and toss to evenly coat them in the sauce. Spread the chicken and veggies into a single layer.

Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss with the remaining honey-Dijon mixture, and spread back into an even layer. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more. Serves 4.

From Kitchn

This is a delicious vegetarian salad from Bon Appetit that feeds a crowd. Cook Israeli couscous, which is small pasta about the size of peas. Grill fresh corn and slices of Halloumi cheese (or cook in a cast iron or grill pan on top of the stove). Remove the kernels from the cobs and toss with the couscous, halloumi, scallions, herbs and toasted walnuts. Toss with a lemon and wine vinegar dressing and enjoy.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the nuts and Halloumi for preservatives. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Corn and Israeli couscous salad with Halloumi


1 cup (250 ml) walnuts

1 cup (250 ml) Israeli couscous

Kosher salt

4 ears of corn, husked

2 tablespoons (30 ml) plus ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces (226 g) Halloumi cheese, sliced lengthwise ¾-inch (1.9-cm) thick

3 scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup (60 ml) basil leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) mint leaves

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons (30 ml) or more white wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C). Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Cook Israeli couscous in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse) and spread out on a baking sheet to let cool.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Rub corn with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let cool.

Meanwhile, brush cheese with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil and grill, turning once, until lightly charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter with corn; let cool.

Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Add scallions, parsley, basil, mint, walnuts, and couscous. Using your hands, tear Halloumi into bite-size pieces; add to bowl and toss to combine. Add lemon juice, vinegar, and remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) oil. Toss to coat; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Serves 8.

From Bon Appetit