Archive for December, 2021

This chili recipe from Ina Garten doesn’t have beef or beans, but it’s delicious and perfect for a winter supper. Cook onions, peppers and spices, add tomatoes and basil and simmer for a half hour. Meanwhile, roast skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. Cut the cooked chicken into chunks, add to the vegetables and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve the chili topped with chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar and sour cream.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Blue Menu canned tomatoes are additive-free. Check the corn chips and sour cream for additives and make sure the cheddar does not contain colour.

Cook onions

Add vegetables and spices

Ina Garten's chicken chili


4 cups (1 L) chopped yellow onions (3 onions)

2 tbsp (30 ml) good olive oil, plus extra for chicken

2 tbsp (30 ml) cup minced garlic (2 cloves)

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced

2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili powder

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) dried red pepper flakes, or to taste

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt, plus more for chicken

2 (28-ounce/828-ml) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained

¼ cup (60 ml) minced fresh basil leaves

4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on

Freshly ground black pepper

For serving: Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream


Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into ¾ -inch (1.9-cm) chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving. Serves 6.

From Ina Garten

This is a busy week, so a quick and tasty supper is in order. Try this Bon Appetit recipe for clams arrabbiata – clams in a spicy tomato sauce. Brown pancetta, cook onion and garlic and stir in hot pepper flakes. Add tomatoes and simmer until the sauce reduces by about half. Add clams and water, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes and then remove the clams. Cook the ditalini or any other small pasta until done and return the clams to the pot to warm them through. Serve the clams and sauce topped with basil and with crusty bread. Cook’s note: I cooked the pasta separately while the sauce was simmering, added it to the sauce and clams and served right away.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for pancetta or bacon without nitrites, such as brands preserved with celery salt. Make sure the pepper flakes do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Blue Menu tomatoes are additive-free, as are several varieties of Ace Bakery crusty bread.

Clams Arrabbiata


3 Tbsp. (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 oz. (57 g) thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¾ tsp. (3.75 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-oz. (828 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

24 littleneck clams, scrubbed

4 oz. (114 g) ditalini or other small pasta (about 1 cup/250 ml)

Handful of torn basil leaves

Country-style bread (for serving)


Cook oil and pancetta in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pancetta begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes.

Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go; increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until tomato liquid is reduced by half and tomatoes take on a jammy consistency, 12–15 minutes. Add clams and 2 cups water. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until clams begin to open, 8–10 minutes. Uncover pot and transfer opened clams with a slotted spoon to a plate. Re-cover pot and continue cooking clams until they open, up to 15 minutes longer; discard any clams that haven’t opened by this time.

Add ditalini to pot and cook, stirring often (pasta will want to settle and stick to the bottom of the pot), until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Add clams back to pot.

Ladle clams and sauce among bowls; top with basil. Serve with bread alongside for dipping. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

This absolutely delicious recipe from Canadian Living is inspired by the Alsation flammekueche, a pizza-like savoury tart cooked over a wood fire. Cook pancetta until crispy, set aside and then cook the onion. Cut a baguette in half lengthwise and top each half with a mixture of crème fraîche and quark, top with onions, pancetta and Swiss cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, sprinkle with chives and serve. Cook’s note: I couldn’t find crème fraîche or quark so I substituted sour cream and cream cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for pancetta preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites. I used an Ace Bakery baguette, which is additive free, No Name sour cream and Arla organic cream cheese. Look for Swiss cheese that does not contain colour or additives.

Cook pancetta and set aside

Spread cheese mixture on sliced baguette

Top with cooked onions, pancetta and Swiss cheese and bake

Garnish with chives and serve


5 oz (140 g) pancetta

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 baguette, halved lengthwise

¾ cup (187 ml) crème fraiche or sour cream

¾ cups (187 ml) quark cheese or cream cheese


1 cup (250 ml) shredded Swiss cheese

4 teaspoons (20 ml) chopped fresh chives


In skillet, cook pancetta over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plate; set aside. In same skillet, add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C); line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place baguette halves cut side up on prepared baking sheet. In small bowl, combine crème fraîche and quark; season with pepper. Spread over baguette halves. Top with onions, reserved pancetta and Swiss cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer baguette halves to cutting board and cut into thirds. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living

It’s a busy time of year, and sheet-pan recipes help get dinner on the table in a hurry. This dish from Melissa Clark combines sausages, onions and sweet peppers, which are roasted and then topped with a vinegar-oregano dressing, served over arugula and garnished with feta cheese. Cook’s note: I used fresh marjoram instead of oregano.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free-From hot Italian sausages and Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which are free of additives and preservatives. Tre Stelle feta cheese is also additive-free.

Place sausages and peppers on baking sheet

Roast until sausages are cooked through and peppers are tender

Drizzle dressing over sausages and peppers, serve over arugula and garnish with feta


1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, each seeded and sliced into ¼-inch- (about ½-cm-) wide strips

1 small onion, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch (about ½-cm) thick rounds

1 tbsp (15 ml) and 1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sprinkling

¾ tsp (3.75 ml) kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 lb (450 g) fresh Italian sausages (sweet or hot), pricked with a fork

½ tsp (2.5 ml) red wine vinegar, plus more for sprinkling

1 tsp (5 ml) finely chopped fresh oregano

3 cups (750 ml) fresh arugula for serving, if desired

¼ cup (60 ml) crumbled feta cheese


Preheat oven to 400F (200C). On a rimmed baking sheet, scatter bell pepper slices and onion rounds and toss with olive oil, salt and black pepper until lightly coated. Spread vegetables in a single layer and roast until limp, about 10 minutes. Arrange sausages on top of vegetables and continue roasting until peppers are caramelized and sausages are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Sausages are cooked when internal temperature (checked with a meat thermometer) reaches 160F (71C). Broil in upper third of oven until tops of sausages are browned and edges of peppers are slightly charred, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine vinegar and oregano.

Drizzle vinegar mixture on vegetables and sausages and toss, adding more salt, pepper and/or vinegar to taste.

If using, divide arugula on individual plates and sprinkle with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar. Arrange peppers, onion and sausage over the arugula and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 2-3.

From Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark