Archive for July, 2022

This recipe from Farm Girl Organic is quick and tasty. Combine fish sauce, water, soy sauce and sugar and set aside. Cook the shrimp, onion and garlic, add the sauce and cook until the sauce bubbles. Add chopped green onions, cilantro, jalapeno and basil, cook until just heated through and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a brand of fish sauce with no added preservatives, such as Blue Dragon. Use tamari instead of soy sauce, as it uses alcohol as a preservative instead of sodium benzoate.

Cook shrimp, garlic and onion

Add sauce, green onions, jalapeno, cilantro and basil


2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

1 teaspoon (5 ml) soy sauce

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

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

1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced onion

1 tablespoon (15 ml) garlic, chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) green onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) jalapeno, seeded and chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh basil, coarsely chopped


Stir together the fish sauce, water, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the remaining ingredients, so you can add them quickly when they are needed.

Place a 10-12-inch (25-30-cm) cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it becomes very hot, about 30 seconds.

Add the oil and turn to coat the pan evenly. Add the shrimp in a single layer and leave them to cook on one side, undisturbed, until their edges turn bright pink. Toss well and turn all the shrimp cooked side up so the other side can cook, undisturbed, for 15 seconds.

Add the onion and garlic and toss well. Cook 1 minute, tossing occasionally, until the onion softens and becomes fragrant and shiny; continue tossing so it wilts and softens but doesn’t burn.

Stir the fish sauce mixture to make sure the sugar is dissolved and pour it around the edges of the pan. Toss well to season the shrimp with the sauce, then let cook, undisturbed, just until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.

Add the green onions, cilantro and jalapeno and toss well. Add the basil to the pan and toss well. Cook 10 seconds and pour onto a serving platter deep enough to hold a little sauce. Serves 4.

From Farm Girl Organic

This delicious summer salad from Half Baked Harvest combines grilled chicken with pasta, mozzarella, tomatoes, herbs and avocado—all dressed in a balsamic dressing. Make the salad dressing and use about a third to marinate the chicken. Grill the chicken and cook the pasta. Combine all the ingredients and serve warm or cold. I used chicken breasts instead of tenders.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Acetaia La Bonissma balsamic vinegar, which has no added sulfites and pure honey. Tre Stella mozzarella balls are additive-free.

Grill the marinated chicken

Caprese chicken pasta salad


Balsamic dressing

2/3 cup (165 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup (82 ml) balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey

1 shallot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh basil

Kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes


1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken tenders

1 pound (454 g) short cut pasta

2 cups (500 ml) mozzarella balls (use marinated, if you can find)

2 cups (250 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup (250 ml) fresh basil leaves, torn

1 avocado, diced


To make the dressing combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.

In a bowl, toss the chicken with 1/3 of the dressing. Let sit 10 minutes or marinate up to overnight. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until lightly charred and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking, about 8-10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain. Add the pasta, chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, and avocado to a large salad bowl. Pour over the remaining dressing and toss well to combine. Serve warm or cold. The salad will develop more flavour as it sits. Serves 8.

From Half Baked Harvest

This tasty recipe from Half Baked Harvest is also an easy sheet pan dinner. Briefly marinate the chicken while roasting the potatoes and lemon halves. Add the chicken, peppers and onions to the pan after the potatoes have been in for 20 minutes. Roast for another 25 minutes while you prepare the toppings. I omitted the sun-dried tomatoes and yogurt.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices and pine nuts for additives, colour and anti-caking agents. I used Acetaia La Bonissma balsamic vinegar which has no added sulfites. Krinos feta, Savor sun-dried tomatoes and Astro Original Balkan-Style yogurt are additive-free.

Place ingredients on sheet pan

Add the chicken after the potatoes have been in for 20 minutes, then roast for another 25 minutes

Greek sheet pan chicken souvlaki with potatoes


4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ (680 g) pounds boneless chicken breasts or small thighs

2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, 1 halved

2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) smoked paprika

1 shallot, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

1 large pinch each kosher salt and black pepper

1 large pinch red pepper flakes

1 pound (454 g) russet or baby potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) chunks

2 red bell peppers, sliced

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

½ cup (125 ml) oil packed sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup (85 ml) kalamata olives, pitted

3 tablespoons (45 ml) toasted pine nuts (optional)

8 ounces (227 g) cubed feta cheese

½ cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt

Mixed fresh herbs, for serving


Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C). In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, the chicken, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, oregano, paprika, shallot, 4 cloves garlic, and a large pinch of each salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss well to combine. Let sit 15-20 minutes.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the lemon halves. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and nestle the chicken around the potatoes. Arrange the bell peppers and onions around the chicken, arranging everything in an even layer. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, the olives, pine nuts, and feta in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, 1 clove garlic, and a pinch of salt.

To serve, divide the chicken, potatoes, peppers, and onions between plates. Spoon the feta mix and yogurt over the chicken. Top with a handful of fresh herbs. Serves 6.

From Half Baked Harvest

It’s grilling season and this recipe from Canadian Living delivers succulent beef and veggies flavoured with lemon, garlic, herbs and spices. Make the marinate and use half to marinate the beef. Assemble the skewers and grill until beef is still a little pink inside and the veggies are tender. Cook’s notes: If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes so they don’t burn up on the grill. While the recipe suggests putting the beef and veggies on the same skewer, try doing all-beef skewers and all-veggies skewers. That way, you can do each to your liking, instead of having overdone or underdone meat. I did the kabobs in an air fryer (I omitted the potatoes). To cook the skewers this way, place the vegetable skewers in the air fryer and cook at 400 F (204 C) for 8 minutes, flipping and rotating half-way through. Add the beef skewers on top of the vegetable skewers and cook for another 10 minutes, flipping and rotating halfway through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and check dried herbs and spices for colour or anti-caking agents.

Assemble the vegetable skewers - soak the skewers if they are made of wood

If using an air fryer, partially cook the veggie skewers first, then place the beef ones on top

Garlic-lemon beef and veggie kabobs


¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated lemon zest

2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp/5 ml dried thyme)

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp/5 ml dried rosemary)

½ tsp (2.5 ml) celery seeds

¼ (1.25 ml) hot pepper flakes (optional)

1 lb (454 g) top sirloin, flank or tenderloin steak, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) cubes

Salt and pepper

12 baby potatoes, scrubbed

6 cremini mushrooms, halved

1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) squares

4 green onions, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

Lime wedges


In small bowl, combine oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, thyme, rosemary, celery seeds and hot pepper flakes, if using. In shallow dish, combine beef and half of the marinade; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Prick potatoes with fork and place in microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool.

Preheat barbecue to medium high heat; grease grill. On metal or soaked wooden skewers, thread marinated beef, alternating with potatoes, mushrooms, pepper and green onions. Brush skewers with reserved marinade; season with salt and pepper.

Place skewers on grill, close lid and cook, turning skewers to mark all sides, until beef is grill-marked but still slightly pink inside, about 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This pasta salad from NYT Cooking is another great side dish for grilled meat, fish or poultry and is also an excellent main dish for non-meat eaters. Cook the orzo and let it cool. Meanwhile, sauté onions, peppers, thyme, garlic and tomato. Place in a bowl and add the cooled orzo, lemon juice, basil and feta. Cook’s note: I cut this recipe in half and it was enough to serve 4-6 people.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Tre Stelle feta is additive-free.

Cook the orzo and cool

Sauté the vegetables

Add the tomato

Orzo salad with peppers and feta


1 pound (454 g) orzo

Kosher salt and pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 ½  cups/375 ml))

3 large or 4 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers (about 1 ¼ pounds/567 g), cored, seeded and chopped into ½-inch (1.25-cm) pieces (about 4 cups/1 L)

1 fresh thyme sprig

1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic

1 medium tomato, diced into ½ -inch (1.25-cm)pieces

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

4 ounces (113 g) feta cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled


Cook orzo in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup (60 ml) of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta, pressing out excess liquid. Spread out on a baking sheet to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, bell peppers and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until broken down and juices release, about 8 minutes.

Add the reserved pasta water and stir to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the skillet. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl to cool slightly to lukewarm, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to speed up the cooling process. Discard thyme sprig.

Add cooled orzo, lemon juice, basil and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well, then transfer to a large serving bowl or platter. Garnish with more basil. Serves 4-6.

From NYT Cooking