Archive for March, 2022

This recipe from Canadian Living is perfect for a spring dinner party. Brown chicken thighs and set aside. Sauté vegetables and add beer, vinegar, broth, maple syrup, tomato paste, mustard and thyme. Return the chicken to the pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Add snow peas and peas and bake for another 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with watercress and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a micro-brewery beer, such as Steam Whistle. Allen’s cider vinegar, Imagine Organic broth, No Name tomato paste, pure maple syrup and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard are additive-free. Check the thyme to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Brown the chicken and set aside

Cook the vegetables

Return the chicken to the pot and bake

Add the peas and snow peas for the last 15 minutes of cooking and serve garnished with watercress


8 pieces bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 3.3 lb./1.5 kg total)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

1 pack pearl onions, peeled

8 small carrots (with stems), tops trimmed

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) all-purpose flour

1 12-oz (341-ml) bottle Amber beer

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cider vinegar

½ cup (125 ml) sodium-reduced chicken broth

2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup

1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste

1 tablespoon (15 ml) grainy mustard

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried thyme

2 cups (500 ml) snow peas

1 cup (250 ml) fresh peas or frozen

½ cup (125 ml) watercress


In saucepan of boiling water, blanch pearl onions about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl of ice water, cool and peel.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, skin side down; cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Turn chicken and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Transfer to plate; set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Drain all but 1 tbsp (15 ml) fat from pan. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden, about 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, about 1 minute.

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Pour beer and vinegar over vegetables, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add broth, maple syrup, tomato paste, mustard and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine; bring to boil.

Add reserved chicken to pan; nestle among vegetables. Cover, transfer to oven and bake about 30 minutes. Add snow peas and peas to pan; stir gently to combine. Continue baking, uncovered, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with fork, about 15 minutes. (Make-ahead: Can be stored in air-tight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days and frozen for up to 2 months.) Sprinkle with watercress. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living

We are lucky to have a great fish monger close by, so were able to buy sushi-grade tuna for this delicious salad from Lucy Waverman’s Dinner Tonight cookbook. Cook the noodles and make the sauce. Then sauté shiitake mushrooms and ginger and stir in mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and green onions. Then quickly sear the tuna so that it brown on the outside and rare in the centre (you can cook it longer if you wish, but the tuna won’t be as tender). Plate the noodle mixture and top with slices of the tuna and a spoonful of sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Wasabi paste typically contains artificial colour and flavour, so I used 1 tsp (5 ml) of freshly grated horseradish and 1 tsp (5 ml) of President’s Choice Old-Fashion mustard in place of the wasabi paste. I used tamari instead of soy sauce, Yoshi mirin, Marukan rice vinegar and Lee Kum Kee sesame oil, which are additive-free.

Add cooked noodles to sautéed mushrooms

Quickly sear tuna on each side - it should be rare in the middle

Seared tuna with Japanese noodles


2 tsp (10 ml) wasabi power or paste

½ cup (125 ml) mayonnaise

3 tbsp (45 ml) whipping cream

8 oz (226 g) udon noodles

2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil

6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 tbsp (15 ml) grated ginger

1 tbsp (15 ml) mirin

1 tsp (5 ml) sesame oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) rice vinegar

3 green onions, slivered

4 8-oz (226 g) tuna steaks, about 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine wasabi, mayonnaise and whipping cream. Add a little water if it is too thick.

Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente. Drain well.

Heat 1 tsp (5 ml) oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and ginger and sauté until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and green onions. Stir in noodles and keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Season tuna with salt and pepper. Sear tuna for 2 minutes per side (or longer if desired).

Divide noodle mixture among serving plates. Thinly slice tuna and place on top. Spoon wasabi mayonnaise onto tuna. Serves 4.

From Lucy Waverman’s Dinner Tonight

If you love Indian food, this Canadian Living recipe for saag paneer—cooked spinach with paneer cheese—will not disappoint. Blanch and purée the spinach and set aside. Cook the cumin and onion in butter and add ginger and garlic. Stir in the cilantro, remaining spices and the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes break down. Stir in the spinach, yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala and cubed paneer and cook until heated through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I was delighted to find additive-free paneer at the grocery store—check the label to make sure it does not contain sulphites or other preservatives. Make sure the dried spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents and that the butter does not contain colour. I used Astro Original Balkan-Style yogurt.

Boil the spinach until wilted, then puree

In addition to the spinach, this recipe contains tomatoes, onion, spices, garlic, ginger, cilantro, yogurt and paneer

Cook the tomatoes until they start to break down

Add the spinach

Add the paneer and cook until it is warmed through


2 bunches spinach trimmed

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) cumin seeds

1 onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter

3 cloves garlic minced

2 teaspoons (10 ml) finely grated gingerroot or minced

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh coriander

2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground Indian hot pepper or ½ tsp (2.5 ml) cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground coriander

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) turmeric

1 pinch cinnamon

3 plum tomatoes peeled and finely chopped

1/3 cup (82.5 ml) plain Balkan-style yogurt

2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice

3/8 teaspoons (1.87 ml) garam masala

8 oz (226 g) paneer cubed


In large pot of boiling salted water, blanch spinach just until wilted; drain, chill under cold water and drain again. In food processor, purée spinach with ¼ cup (60 ml) water; set aside.

In large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook cumin seeds until slightly darkened, about 10 seconds. Add onion and butter; cook until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; stir in garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in fresh coriander, hot pepper, salt, ground coriander, turmeric and cinnamon; cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 3 minutes.

Stir in puréed spinach; cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) water if mixture is no longer saucy, until steaming hot, about 3 minutes.

Stir in yogurt, lemon juice and garam masala; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; add paneer. Cover and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living

This salad from Fine Cooking is colourful and nutritious. Cook the noodles and set aside. Cook the chicken with soy sauce and crushed red pepper and set aside. Combine noodles, vegetables and chicken and toss with the vinaigrette. Cook’s note: I omitted the carrot.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used tamari instead of soy sauce. Marukan rice vinegar, Nature Value sriracha and Lee Kum Kee pure sesame oil are additive-free.

Make the ginger vinaigrette

Toss vegetables, chicken and noodles together with vinaigrette

Asian noodle salad with ginger vinaigrette


8 oz (226 g) spaghetti or ramen noodles

¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

1 ½ lb (680 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) chunks

6 tbsp (90 ml) low-sodium soy sauce, divided

Crushed red pepper

3 tbsp (45 ml) rice vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) sriracha

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) grated ginger

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced garlic

1 tbsp (15 ml) honey

1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame seeds; more for garnish

2 cups (500 ml) finely shredded red cabbage

1 large carrot, peeled into strips or julienned

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 radishes, thinly sliced

3 scallions, chopped; more for garnish

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the soy sauce and crushed red pepper to taste; cook 6 to 8 minutes and let cool.

Combine the remaining 5 tbsp (75 ml) soy sauce, remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, the rice vinegar, sriracha, lime juice, ginger, garlic, honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles, cabbage, carrot, bell pepper, radishes and scallions and gently toss. Add the chicken and vinaigrette and toss to combine. Garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds and scallions. Serves 4.

From Fine Cooking