Archive for December, 2022

If you are looking for a way to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of the holiday turkey, try this turkey barley soup recipe from Canadian Living’s 20th Anniversary Cookbook. Reserve about 4 cups (1 L) of cubed cooked turkey and then make broth from the turkey carcass. Add carrots, celery and pearl barley to the strained stock and cook until the vegetables and barley are tender. Add the cooked turkey and corn and simmer for a minute or two until heated through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Imagine Organic chicken stock and Unico or Blue Menu tomatoes. Frozen corn kernels are usually additive free.

Turkey barley soup



1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 bay leaf

10 peppercorns

¼ cup (60 ml) parsley stalks

1 turkey carcass

8 cups (2 L) water

10 oz (284 ml) chicken stock

19 oz (540 ml) canned tomatoes


1 cup (250 ml) sliced carrots

½ cup (125 ml) sliced celery

1/3 cup (85 ml) pearl barley

4 cups (1 L) cubed cooked turkey

½ cup (125 ml) corn kernels

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley



In stockpot, combine onion, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley, turkey carcass, water, chicken stock and tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 ½ hours. Strain.


In clean stockpot, combine strained turkey broth, carrots, celery and pearl barley; simmer for 30 minutes or until barley and vegetables are tender.

Add turkey and corn; cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls; garnish with parsley. Serves 6.

From Canadian Living’s 20th Anniversary Cookbook

Once you assemble your ingredients, this stir-fry recipe from Real Simple is on the table in 15 minutes. Marinate sliced steak in cornstarch and soy sauce while you make a quick sauce and chop the scallions, ginger and green beans. Quickly stir fry the beef, add the ginger and scallions, add the beans and finally add the sauce. Serve garnished with scallion greens and sesame seeds. Cook’s note: The recipe calls for green beans, but I used asparagus. You could also substitute broccoli. I omitted the rice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used tamari instead of soy sauce, Natural Value sriracha for the chili-garlic sauce and Lee Kum Kee sesame oil.

This dish cooks quickly, so assemble your ingredients in advance

Ginger stir-fry beef


1 cup (250 ml) long-grain white rice

1 pound (454 g) flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch

3 tablespoons (45 ml) lower-sodium soy sauce, divided

3 tablespoons (45 ml) chili-garlic sauce (such as sambal oelek)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil

4 scallions

3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola oil

1 2-inch (5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks

12 ounces (340 g) trimmed green beans

2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted sesame seeds


Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss steak, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce in a medium bowl until steak is evenly coated. Combine chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce in a small bowl. Roughly chop scallion whites and thinly slice dark green scallion tops.

Heat canola oil in a large wok or skillet over high. Add steak mixture in a single layer; cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Stir once and cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Add ginger and scallion whites; cook, stirring often, until steak is well browned, about 2 minutes.

Push steak to sides of pan, creating room in middle, and add beans. Cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture; cook, stirring often, until steak and vegetables are well coated, about 1 minute. Serve with rice, topped with sliced scallion greens and sesame seeds. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

This recipe from Bonnie Stern’s Don’t Worry, Just Cook could be served as an appetizer or main dish. Shrimp are seared and topped with butter, honey chilies, garlic, a sweet citrus sauce, scallions and cilantro. This spicy dish cooks quickly, so be sure to have all the ingredients measured and at hand before you begin cooking. Serve over rice, or, if you are using peeled shrimp, serve in lettuce cups.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used thawed frozen shrimp with only salt added as a preservative. Look for butter that contains only milk or cream, with no colour added. Use pure honey and freshly squeezed lime juice. Check the tamarind for colour and preservatives or substitute 2 tbsp (30 ml) of lime juice mixed with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of brown sugar.

Hot sweet shrimp


1 ½ lb (680 g) extra-large (12 to 16 count) shrimp, shells on and deveined

1 whole star anise or ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground

1 tsp (5 ml) coriander seeds, crushed, or ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) ground

1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt

2 tbsp (30 ml) butter

1 tbsp + 1 tbsp (15 ml + 15 ml) honey

1 long red chili, thinly sliced into rounds

1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed if desired, diced small

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) tamarind paste thinned with 2 tbsp (30 ml) water or substitute 2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lime juice mixed with 2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh lime juice

1 tbsp (15 ml) light brown sugar

3 scallions, sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving


Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and set aside in the refrigerator. Place the whole star anise and coriander seeds in a hot, dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat for 30 to 45 seconds. Let cool, then grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or in an electric spice grinder. Skip this step if you are using ground spices.

Combine the ground star anise, ground coriander and salt in a small ramekin. Have the butter, honey, chilies, garlic, olive oil, tamarind, lime juice, brown sugar, green onions and cilantro is separate ramekins close to the stove.

Set a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skilled over medium heat to get very hot.

Increase the heat to medium-high and when the pan is extremely hot, add the shrimp to the dry pan in a single layer. Let the bottom side of the shrimp brown for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the butter, drizzle with 1 tbsp (15 ml) honey, scatter the chilies overtop and sprinkle with half the salt-spice mixture. Using a large metal spatula, flip the shrimp over. Brown on the second side. Add the garlic, remaining spice mixture, 1 tbsp (15 ml) honey, olive oil, tamarind, lime juice and brown sugar and toss together. Add the scallions and cilantro and cook gently until the shrimp are opaque.

Serve with cilantro sprigs scattered on top. Serve 4-6.

From Don’t Worry, Just Cook

I recently purchased Evergreen Kitchen by Canadian recipe developer Bri Beaudoin and am loving it. The recipes are for weeknight vegetarian meals and they are hearty and delicious. The book also provides options for making the recipes vegan. We try to go vegetarian once or twice a week and these recipes are terrific. This carrot and lentil dish would also be a great side dish for meat, fish or poultry. Cook’s note: To make this dish more economical, use dried chickpeas and lentils. Soak ½ cup (125 ml) of dried chickpeas overnight in water, then drain, cover with water and cook until tender. Cook 2 cups (500 ml) of dried lentils in simmering water for 20-30 minutes. I omitted the lemon zest and juice and yogurt.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your butter does not contain colour and that the hot pepper flakes and dried spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used pure honey and Natural Value organic sriracha, which is additive free. Blue Menu chickpeas and lentils are additive free, as is President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard. No Name sliced almonds are free of preservatives. I used Tre Stelle feta, which has no artificial ingredients. Astro original Balkan-style yogurt is additive free.

Make the hot honey glaze

Drizzle glaze over carrot and chickpeas and roast

Combine lentils with spices, mustard, oil and parsley

Spread carrots and chickpeas over lentils, drizzle with glaze, top with almonds and heat through - to serve, top with crumbled feta


Hot honey

3 tbsp (45 ml) honey

3 tbsp (45 ml) butter

1 tsp (5 ml) hot pepper flakes

1 tbsp (15 ml) hot sauce

Roasted carrots and lentils

1 lb (454 g) carrots, peeled and cut diagonally ½-inch (1.25-cm) thick

1 can (14 oz/398 ml) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry

¾ tsp (3.75 ml) fine sea salt, divided

2 cans (19 fl oz/562 ml each) lentils, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard

1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) ground cumin

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) cinnamon

¼ cup (60 ml) minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) sliced almonds

Zest and juice of half a lemon

1/3 cup (85 ml) crumbled feta cheese

½ cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt


Place an oven rack in the centre position and preheat to 425 F (220 C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, stir together the honey, butter, red pepper flakes and hot sauce over low heat. Once the butter is melted, cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes to let the flavours infuse.

Scatter the carrots and chickpeas on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with half of the honey and toss to coat Sprinkle with ½ tsp (2.5 ml) of the salt and toss to coat. Roast until the carrots are almost fork-tender but not yet fully cooked, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22-cm/3.5 L) casserole dish, combine the lentils, olive oil, Dijon mustard, cumin, cinnamon and remaining ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) salt. Add the parsley and stir to mix.

Pile the carrots and chickpeas on top of the lentils. Drizzle with the remaining hot honey and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake until the lentils are warm, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the lemon zest, lemon juice, feta and dollops of yogurt. Serves 4.

From Evergreen Kitchen