Archive for October, 2022

This recipe from NYT Cooking suggests marinating the chicken and apricots up to 24 hours in advance. This adds flavour to the dish and marinating ahead means your meal prep is done and you can have this sheet-pan meal on the table after just a half hour in the oven.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Greaves pure apricot jam, Hellman’s mayonnaise, Cock brand fish sauce and Sunny Fruit dried apricots – all are free of artificial colour, flavour and preservatives. Check the chili powder to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Marinate the chicken and apricots

Add carrots and cook on sheet pan

Roasted chicken thighs with tangy apricots and carrots


¼ cup (60 ml) apricot preserves

¼ cup (60 ml) mayonnaise

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fish sauce

2 teaspoons (10 ml) chili powder

Kosher salt and black pepper

½ cup (125 ml) dried apricots (about 3½ ounces/100 g)

1 pound (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut in half

3 to 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced into coins (about 1 pound/454 g)

Fresh herbs, such as cilantro, parsley and mint, for topping

Cooked white rice, for serving


In a large bowl, whisk together the apricot preserves, mayonnaise, lemon juice, fish sauce, chili powder, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper until smooth. Tear each dried apricot in half at its seams, so each apricot becomes 2 flatter pieces. Add the apricots and chicken to the bowl; toss to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C) with a rack set in the center position. Line a large sheet pan with parchment.

Add the carrots to the chicken mixture and toss to evenly coat. Spread the chicken and carrot mixture in a single layer on the sheet pan. Roast, rotating the pan halfway through, until the chicken is light brown and the carrots begin to shrivel, 20 to 25 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and lemon juice as desired. Top with fresh herbs and serve with rice. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This tasty recipe from Canadian Living is as good as take-out. Prepare chow mein sauce and set aside. Cook broccoli and noodles and set aside. Sauté broccoli, onions, garlic and ginger in sesame oil, add noodles and then chow mein sauce. Add cooked shrimp, heat through and serve. Cook’s note: I omitted the bean sprouts.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used tamari instead of soy sauce, Marukan rice vinegar and Lee Kum Kee sesame oil. Make sure the noodles and shrimp are additive-free.

Use cooked shrimp for this recipe

Cook broccoli, onions, garlic and ginger

Add cooked noodles and sauce

Add shrimp and heat through


Chow mein sauce

7 tbsp (105 ml) soy sauce

3 tbsp (45 ml) rice vinegar

3½ tbsp (22.5 ml) granulated sugar

2 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch

Chow mein

2 cups (500 ml) chopped Chinese broccoli (gailan) or rapini or small broccoli florets

14 oz (400 g) dry chow mein noodles

3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola oil, divided

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated fresh ginger

1 ½ cups (375 ml) bean sprouts

2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted sesame oil

Chow mein sauce

1 lb (454 g) cooked shrimp


Chow mein sauce

In bowl, whisk together ingredients until sugar is dissolved. (Make-ahead: Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.) Makes about ½ cup (125 ml).

Chow mein

In saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch broccoli for 2 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, drain again. Set aside.

In separate saucepan of boiling salted water, cook noodles for 2 minutes. Drain and drizzle with 1 tsp (5 ml) canola oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

In wok or large skillet, heat remaining canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and reserved broccoli; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, bean sprouts and sesame oil; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in reserved noodles, mixing well. Pour chow mein sauce around edge of wok; toss mixture gently to coat; cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 1 minute. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

Mussels are delicious, inexpensive and quick to prepare. This recipe from NYT Cooking combines mussels with white beans, served in a savoury rosemary-garlic broth. Cook’s note: To make this meal even less expensive, use dried beans instead of canned beans. Soak 1 ½ cups (375 ml) of dry navy or cannellini beans in water overnight, drain, cover with 2 inches (5 cm) of water and simmer until tender.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

If using canned beans, try Blue Menu brand, which is additive-free. Make sure the red pepper flakes do not contain colour. I use Imagine Organic stock and white wine from Frogpond Farm that has a sulfite level below 10 parts per million.

Assemble your ingredients

Cook the garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes in oil

Add beans, stock and wine and simmer to thicken before adding mussels

Steam mussels until they open, 5-8 minutes


¾ cup (187.5 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

2 rosemary sprigs

Fine sea salt or table salt

2 (15-ounce/425 g) cans white beans, such as cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth, plus more as needed

¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine

2 pounds (907 g) mussels

1 teaspoon (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest

½ cup (125 ml) chopped fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, dill or cilantro, plus more for serving


In a large pot with a tight-fitting cover, combine oil and garlic over medium-low heat. Add red-pepper flakes, rosemary and pinch of salt. Cook until garlic just begins to turn pale gold at the edges (don’t let the garlic turn brown), 2 to 4 minutes.

Add beans, vegetable broth, wine and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt to the pot and stir until beans are well coated. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until broth thickens, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse mussels under cold running water. If you see hairy clumps around the shell (called beards), use a sharp knife or your fingers to pull them off, then rinse mussels well. Discard any mussels with cracked shells or shells that won’t close once you pinch together the edges.

Add mussels to the pot and cover. Let the mussels steam, stirring once or twice, until they open, 5 to 8 minutes. Gently stir in lemon zest and herbs. Taste, adding more salt, if needed.

To serve, divide mussels and beans among individual bowls. Discard any mussels that have not opened and garnish with more herbs and red-pepper flakes, if you like. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

Air fryers are becoming more popular because they cook a wide variety of foods quickly with very little oil and yield fantastic results. In this recipe from Breville, chicken wings are coated with baking powder and salt before being air fried for 30 minutes. They are then tossed with a sauce made of gochujang (Korean fermented red chile paste), garlic, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Delicious! Cook’s note: If you don’t have an air fryer, you can broil the wings for about 30 minutes, flipping once. Make sure the wings are about six inches (15.24 cm) from the element. You can also broil the wings briefly after tossing them in the sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Gochujang usually contains preservatives, but I used O’Food brand, which is additive-free and available from I used Marukan rice vinegar, tamari instead of soy sauce and Lee Kum Kee sesame oil.

Air fried Korean chicken wings



1 ½ lbs (680 g) chicken wings

1 tbsp (15 ml) baking powder

1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt


¼ cup (60 ml) gochujang

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced fresh ginger

1 tsp (5 ml) sesame oil

3 tbsp (45 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp (45 ml) honey

To serve

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp (30 ml) white sesame seeds


Place wings in a large bowl. Combine baking powder and salt in a small bowl and sprinkly mixture over wings to coat them evenly.

Place the wings in the air fryer basket, in a single, evenly- paced layer. Air fry the wings for 30 minutes at 450 F (230 C) for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

While the wings cook, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Sauce can be made 24 hours in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Transfer the cooked wings to a bowl and toss with some of the sauce to coat evenly. You can serve the wings at this point or broil them for 1-2 minutes per side to brown them.

Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and serve with the remaining sauce. Serves 4.

From Breville

This delicious vegetarian soup from Bon Appetit gets its savoury flavour from onions, garlic and thyme, its heartiness from cannellini beans and its tang from vinegar. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all the delicious broth. Cook’s note: If you can’t find frozen pearl onions, buy them fresh, blanch in boiling water for two minutes and remove the skins.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use an additive-free stock, such as Imagine Organic. I use Marukan rice vinegar and Ace Bakery bread.

Oniony brothy beans


2 Tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

2 large white onions, cut through root ends into 1″ (2.54 cm) -thick wedges

1 Tbsp. (15 ml) kosher salt

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp. (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1½ tsp. (7.25 ml) thyme leaves, plus more for serving

4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable broth

¾ cup (187.5 ml) seasoned rice vinegar

2 15-oz. (443 ml) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed

8 oz. (227 g) frozen white pearl onions (about 1½ cups)

1 Tbsp. (15 ml) distilled white vinegar

Slices of crusty country-style bread, toasted (for serving)


Heat 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Add 2 large white onions, cut through root ends into 1″ (2.54 cm) -thick wedges, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) kosher salt, and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn onions over and cook until golden brown on other side, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic cloves, thinly sliced, freshly ground black pepper and thyme leaves to pot; stir to combine. Pour in low-sodium vegetable broth and seasoned rice vinegar and bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Stir in cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed, frozen white pearl onions, distilled white vinegar and 2 cups (500 ml) water. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans, white onions, and pearl onions are very tender and flavors have melded, 35–40 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Ladle beans into bowls; top with more thyme. Serve with slices of crusty country-style bread, toasted for dipping. Serves 4-6. Do Ahead: Beans can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

From Bon Appetit