Archive for January, 2023

This one-pot recipe from Ricardo combines sausages with rice, fresh fennel, red pepper and rice. Brown the sausages and then add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Add paprika and rice, pour in broth and wine, bring to boil and cook, covered, for 18 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fennel fronds and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free From hot Italian sausages, Imagine Organic chicken stock and wine from Frogpond Farm that has a sulfite level below 10 parts per million. Use genuine Parmesan cheese—the name is stamped on the rind. Make sure the paprika does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Brown sausage and cook vegetables

Add rice and stock, bring to boil, cover and simmer until rice is done

One-pot rice with sausages, fennel and peppers


1 lb (454 g) spicy Italian sausages, casings removed

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

1 small fennel, quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips

2 tsp (10 ml) sweet paprika

1 ½ cups (375 g) long grain parboiled rice

3 cups (750 ml) unsalted chicken broth

½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine

½ cup (125 ml) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

3 tbsp (45 ml) fennel fronds, finely chopped


In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage meat in the oil, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it starts to brown. Add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the paprika and rice. Pour in the broth and wine. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 18 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Add the Parmesan and fennel fronds. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

From Ricardo

This recipe from Ina Garten’s new cookbook Go-To Dinners is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Make croutons in the oven and then roast shrimp on the same sheet pan. Make the dressing and combine cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, capers, croutons and shrimp in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette to moisten and then add arugula, feta and more vinaigrette. Cook’s note: I used romaine lettuce instead of arugula and I peeled the cucumber. Instead of shrimp, you could use cooked chicken, salmon or steak.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Ace Bakery bread, which typically does not contain preservatives. Look for frozen shrimp that uses only salt as a preservative. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar, President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard, Unico capers and Tre Stelle feta.

Make the croutons

Roast the shrimp on the same sheet pan

Roasted shrimp panzanella


4 cups (1L) diced (1 inch/2.5 cm) bread from a country loaf, crusts removed

1 cup (250 ml) good olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb (454 g) 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ cup (60 ml) plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced garlic

1 tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard

1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeds removed and ¾-inch (1.9-cm) diced

1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and ¾-inch (1.9-cm) diced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and ¾-inch (1.9-cm) diced

1 pint (475 ml) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved through the stem

½ medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-rounds

¼ cup (60 ml) capers in brine, drained

3 ounces (85 g) baby arugula

½ lb (227 g) feta or ricotta salata, ¾-inch (1.9-cm) diced


Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).

For the croutons, place the bread on a sheet plan, drizzle with 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, sprinkle with ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) black pepper, toss together and spread out in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Dry the shrimp. On the same sheet pan (no need to wash it) toss the shrimp with 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, 1 tsp (5 ml) salt and ½ tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper. Spread out and roast for 7 minutes, until just pink and firm. Set aside

Meanwhile, in a 1-cup (250 ml) glass measuring cup, whisk together the ¼ cup (60 ml) vinegar, the garlic, mustard, 1 tsp (5 ml) salt and ½ tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper. While whisking, slowly add the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, capers, croutons and shrimp. Pour enough vinaigrette over the mixture to moisten. Add the arugula, feta and the remaining vinaigrette and toss lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp (30 ml) vinegar and extra salt and serve at room temperature. Serves 6.

From Ina Garten’s Go-To Dinners

Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice that is said to have several health benefits, including reducing inflammation. In this recipe from Canadian Living, chicken thighs are tossed in turmeric, thyme and salt before being browned and set aside. In the same skillet, cook onion, ginger and garlic for a few minutes. Add rice and more turmeric, add water and stock and bring to a boil. Place reserved chicken on rice, cover skillet and bake about 25 minutes. Serve with a yogurt, lime and cilantro sauce and lime wedges, if desired. Cook’s note: I omitted the cilantro leaves and lime wedge garnish. If your ovenproof skillet doesn’t have a lid, cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil before putting it in the oven.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your dried spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Imagine Organic chicken stock and Astro Balkan-style yogurt. Use freshly squeezed lime juice.

Toss chicken with turmeric, thyme and salt

Brown chicken and set aside. Cook the onion, garlic and ginger, add rice, turmeric and liquid, return chicken to pan and bake.

Skillet turmeric chicken with rice, topped with yogurt lime cilantro sauce


Chicken and rice

6-8 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 1.4 lb/625 g)

2 tsp (10 ml) ground turmeric, divided

1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

2 tbsp (30 m) canola oil, divided

1 tbsp (15 ml) grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 ½ cups (375 ml) basmati rice, rinsed and drained

1 2/3 cups (415 ml) sodium-reduced chicken stock

1 cup (250 ml) water

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro

Lime wedges (optional)

Yogurt, lime and coriander sauce

1 cup (250 ml) 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 cup (250 ml) fresh cilantro leaves

1 tsp (5 ml) grated lime zest

1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice



In blender, combine yogurt, cilantro leaves, lime zest and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.

Chicken and rice

Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C). In bowl, mix chicken thighs with 1 tsp (5 ml) of the turmeric, the thyme and salt. In large ovenproof skillet with lid, or large casserole dish, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and remaining turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Pour in chicken broth and 1 cup (250 ml) water. Bring to boil. Place reserved chicken on rice.

Cover skillet and bake until rice has absorbed all the liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with yogurt, lime and cilantro sauce and with lime wedges, if desired. Serves 4-6.

From Canadian Living

This recipe from Real Simple is perfect for a weeknight supper. Cook bacon and then cook Swiss chard stems and leaves in the bacon drippings. While the chard bakes for 5 minutes, whisk together flour, milk, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Remove the chard from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet. Bake until puffy and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Top with bacon, chives and more cheese and serve. Cook’s note: To make this recipe vegetarian, just omit the bacon and sauté the chard in olive oil. The recipe suggests serving this with sour cream, but it was delicious without it.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a bacon that uses celery salt as a preservative instead of nitrites. Use unbleached flour and genuine Parmesan cheese – the name will be stamped on the rind. No Name sour cream is additive-free.

Cook Swiss chard stems and leaves in bacon drippings, then bake for 5 minutes

Pour batter into pan

Bake until puffy and golden, about 25 minutes

Serve topped with bacon, chives and cheese


5 slices bacon (8 ounces/227 g total), chopped

1 pound (454 g) bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and finely chopped

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk

4 large eggs

2 ounces (57 g) parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup/125 ml), plus more for serving

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) kosher salt

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons (30 m) chopped fresh chives

½ cup (125 ml) sour cream


Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Cook bacon in a 12-inch (30-cm) oven proof skillet over medium, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 tablespoons (30 ml) drippings in skillet.

Add chard stems to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chard leaves; cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Move chard away from edges of skillet, leaving about ½ inch (1.27 cm) of space around edges. Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes.

Whisk flour, milk, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth.

Remove skillet from oven and carefully pour in batter. Return skillet to oven and bake until puffy and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Top with bacon, chives, and more grated cheese. Serve with sour cream. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

If one of your resolutions for 2023 is to eat more veggies, try this vegetarian chili from Evergreen Kitchen. The ingredient list is a bit long, but using your food processor to mince the vegetables reduces the prep time. Once everything is in the pot, the chili will be ready in about 35 minutes. Cook’s note: Instead of canned beans and lentils, I used 1 cup (250 ml) of dried kidney beans and 1 cup (250 ml) of dried lentils. I soaked the dried kidney beans overnight, drained them, covered them with cold water and then simmered them until tender. Lentils don’t require soaking; just cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes. I topped the chili with sour cream, parsley, red onion, shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used No Name tomato paste, Blue Menu diced tomatoes, Unico roasted red peppers, Imagine Organic stock and La Costena chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Check the dried spices for colour and anti-caking agents. If you are using canned beans and lentils, Blue Menu and Unico brands are usually additive-free.

Easy veggie chili


1 sweet onion, quartered (10 oz/283 g)

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 celery ribs, roughly chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 cups/500 ml)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste

1 tbsp (15 ml) ground cumin

2 tsp (10 ml) ground coriander

¾ tsp (7.5 ml) smoked sweet paprika

2 cans (28 fl oz/796 ml each) diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 can (19 fl oz/540 ml) lentils, drained and rinsed

1 can (14 fl oz/398 ml) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup (165 ml) roasted red peppers from a jar, diced

1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock

3 tbsp (45 ml) tamari

1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, minced + 1 tbsp (15 ml) adobo sauce

Toppings (optional)

Pitted, peeled and chopped avocado

Diced red onion

Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves


In a food processor, pulse the onion until finely minced. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the carrots and celery to the food processor and pulse until finely minced; keep them in the food processor for now.

In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil, farlic, tomate paste, cuin, corander and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly, until frangrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, kidney beans, roasted red peppers, vegetable stock, tamari and chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Stir to mix. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sweet potato is fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer to thicken slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.

Ladle the chili into bowls. Garnish with toppings of your choice. Serves 6-8.

From Evergreen Kitchen