Archive for July, 2023

This recipe from Food to Love Grilling Magazine delivers big flavour and takes only minutes to prepare. Make a spicy Piri Piri paste with hot peppers, hot pepper flakes, garlic and salt. Add oil, vinegar, brown sugar and toss the chicken in the marinade. Grill the chicken over medium heat until cooked through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Allen’s apple cider vinegar is additive-free. Check the hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Marinate the chicken in the piri piri paste and grill over medium heat

Grilled Piri Piri chicken thighs


2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

2 tsp (10 ml) brown sugar

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

4 fresh long red chiles, chopped coarsely

1 tsp (5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, quartered

1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt


To make the Piri Piri paste, grind the chiles, red pepper flakes, garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor.

Grease the grill grate and heat the grill to medium. Combine paste with oil, vinegar, sugar, add chicken and toss to coat.

Grill the chicken until it is no longer pink inside. Serves 4.

From Food to Love Grilling Magazine

This quick stir-fry from NYT Cooking combines beef, peppers, onion, garlic and ginger with a delicious sauce. Marinate the beef, brown it and set it aside. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the sauce and heat through. Serve over rice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Instead of soy sauce, use tamari, which contains alcohol as a preservative instead of sodium benzoate. I used mirin instead of Shaoxing wine and pure honey.

Brown the steak

Set browned steak aside while you cook the vegetables

Cook the vegetables and return meat to the pan

Serve over rice


1 pound (454 g) beef flank or skirt steak

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch

2 ½ teaspoons (12.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

3 ½ tablespoons (52.5 ml) soy sauce, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons (30 ml) neutral oil, plus more for stir-frying

2 medium fresh green bell peppers or Cubanelle peppers, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces

1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces

3 garlic cloves, crushed and thinly sliced

1 (1 ½ -inch/3.8-cm) piece ginger, peeled, crushed and thinly sliced


¼ cup (60 ml) Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey

Cooked white rice, for serving


Marinate the beef: Cut the steak into 2- or 3-inch- (5- or 8-cm) wide pieces along the grain, then cut into thin slices against the grain. In a bowl, combine the steak, cornstarch, black pepper, 2 ½ tablespoons (37.5 ml) soy sauce and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil. Toss to mix, cover and marinate at room temperature for up to 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

Stir-fry the beef: Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high until a splash of water dropped into the pan evaporates quickly. Add enough oil to generously coat the pan, then add the beef in a single layer. Cook without flipping until the meat is browned around the edges, 2 ½ to 3 minutes, then stir constantly until browned all over, about 30 more seconds. Transfer to a plate.

Add the peppers, onion, garlic and ginger to the same wok, still over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

Add the meat back to the pan, along with the Shaoxing wine, honey and the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any stuck-on bits, until the liquid reduces greatly and slicks the vegetables and beef, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper or soy sauce as desired. Serve immediately with rice. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This quick and tasty dinner from Real Simple is a keeper. Toss cucumber with vinegar and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve vinegar. Combine chicken, panko, scallions, salt and egg and shape into meatballs. Cook the meatballs until browned, add soy sauce and reserved vinegar and cook until the meatballs are done. Serve the meatballs with rice and the pickled cucumbers, garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Marukan rice vinegar, Lee Kum Kee sesame oil and 4C panko. Use tamari instead of soy sauce and check to make sure the sesame seeds do not contain a preservative.

Toss the cucumber with vinegar

Make the sauce

Cook the meatballs

Chicken meatballs with quick-pickled cucumbers


1 large English cucumber, cut into thin half-moons

1/3 cup (82.5 ml) seasoned rice vinegar

1 cup (250 ml) jasmine rice

1 lb (454 g) ground chicken

1/3 cup (82.5 ml) panko

¼ cup (60 ml) thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish

½ tsp (2.5 ml) kosher salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp (15 ml) toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) low sodium soy sauce

Toasted sesame seeds, for topping (optional)


Combine cucumber and vinegar in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Drain cucumber, reserving vinegar in a small bowl.

While cucumber marinates, cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, add chicken, panko, scallions, salt, and egg to a large bowl. Mix until just combined. Shape into 18 balls (about 2 tablespoons/30 ml each).

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Add meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add soy sauce and reserved vinegar; cook, stirring often, until meatballs are well coated and absorb some sauce and a thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 165°F (74°C), 3 to 5 minutes.

Serve rice and meatballs with pickled cucumbers. Drizzle remaining sauce in skillet over meatballs. Top with scallions and, if using, sesame seeds. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

This tasty recipe from Canadian Living can be on the table in less than half an hour. Make the sauce and set aside. Brown the pork and add and cook the vegetables. Add the cooked noodles, toss with sauce and serve garnished with scallions. Cook’s note: I used red pepper instead of carrots.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Marukan rice vinegar and Lee Kum Kee sesame oil, which are additive-free. Unlike most soy sauce, tamari is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate.

Brown the pork

Make the sauce

Add the vegetables

Add the cooked noodles and sauce, heat through and serve


¼ cup (60 m) light tamari sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) brown sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) cornstarch

1 teaspoon (5 ml) toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons (10 ml) vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons (10 ml) chopped fresh ginger

1 lb (454 g) ground pork

4 cups (1 L) thinly sliced napa cabbage

1 ½ cups (375 ml) grated carrots

8 oz (227 g) rice noodles

2 green onions, chopped


In small bowl, combine tamari, brown sugar, vinegar, 2 tbsp (30 ml) water, cornstarch and sesame oil until brown sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

In wok or large skillet, heat vege­table oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add pork; cook, stirring and breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and transfer to skillet. Pour in reserved tamari mixture, mix and toss to coat; cook for 1 minute. Divide among bowls and sprinkle each with green onions. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This pasta salad from Half Baked Harvest would be great for a summer potluck. Cook bacon and corn and whip up the ranch dressing. Cook the pasta, drain and toss with dressing, cheese, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and corn. Add the avocado and bacon just before serving. Cook’s note: Instead of grilling the corn, I removed the kernels from the cob and cooked them in a little oil in a skillet until they were beginning to caramelize.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Astro Balkan-style yogurt is additive free, as is Lea & Perrins Worcestershire. I used Hellman’s original mayonnaise and Free From bacon. Check the dried spices for colour and anti-caking agents and check the cheddar to make sure it does not contain colour.

BLT pasta salad


Jalapeño ranch dressing

½ cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

1/3 cup (82.5 ml) mayonnaise

2 tablespoons (30 ml) buttermilk

1 cup (250 ml) fresh basil

½ cup (125 ml) fresh cilantro

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh chopped chives

1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired

2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire

1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder

1 teaspoon (5 ml) onion powder

kosher salt and black pepper


1 pound (454 g) short cut pasta

1 cup (250 ml) cubed spicy cheddar cheese

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded

2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups (500 ml) grilled corn (about 3 ears)

8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1 avocado, diced


To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain.

In a large bowl, toss together the hot pasta with dressing and cubes of cheese. Mix in the lettuce, tomatoes, corn, bacon, and avocado, gently tossing to combine.

Serve warm or cold. The salad will develop more flavour as it sits. If serving later, add the bacon and avocado just before serving. Serves 6.

From Half Baked Harvest