Archive for October, 2023

This recipe from Bon Appetit is a great vegetarian main dish. Roast tomato wedges on a sheet pan until soft. Combine chickpeas with spices and oil and add to the roasted tomatoes. Add slices of feta cheese and broil for about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, top with arugula and olives and drizzle with vinegar and oil. Serve with flatbread.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Blue Menu canned chickpeas are additive-free. Check the dried spices to be sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Tre Stelle or Kinros feta are additive-free. I used President’s Choice garlic-stuffed green olives and Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which do not contain additives or preservatives. Some flatbreads contain preservatives, so be sure to check the label.

Roast tomato wedges

Add chickpeas and feta and broil

Top with arugula and olives and drizzle with vinegar


2 lb. (907 g) heirloom or other large tomatoes, cored, cut into1½”- (3.8 cm-) thick wedges

Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. (5 ml) Morton kosher salt, plus more

Freshly ground pepper

2 15.5-oz. (458 ml) cans chickpeas, rinsed, patted dry

1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cumin

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) smoked paprika

1 lb. (454 g) feta, cut into ½”- (1.25 cm-) thick slabs

1 large handful arugula

½ cup (125 ml) torn, pitted green olives

Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar (for drizzling)

Pita (for serving)


Place racks in middle and top positions of oven; preheat to 425°F (218°C). Arrange 2 lb. (907 g) heirloom or other large tomatoes, cored, cut into 1½”- (3.8 cm-) thick wedges, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; toss to coat. Roast on middle rack until collapsed and slightly jammy, 25–30 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler.

Meanwhile, combine two cans chickpeas, rinsed, patted dry, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle lightly with oil and toss to coat.

Spoon chickpea mixture over and around tomatoes. Break feta, cut into ½”- (1.25 cm-) thick slabs, into large pieces and tuck around. Broil on top rack until tomatoes and feta are blistered, 8–10 minutes. Let tomato-chickpea mixture cool 5 minutes.

Scatter 1 large handful arugula and torn, pitted green olives over tomato-chickpea mixture. Drizzle some sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar and more oil over; season with pepper. Serve with pita. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

This recipe from NYT Cooking is a great sheet-pan meal. Cook sausage and mushrooms and then remove from pan. Add torn crusty bread to the pan to soak up the drippings—top with a tangy vinaigrette and roast until the croutons are toasted. Return the mushrooms to the pan, add a couple of handfuls or arugula and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Stir in parsley and serve with sausages, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free From hot Italian sausages and Eden Organic red wine vinegar—both are additive free. Ace Bakery white bread is all-natural, as is genuine Parmesan cheese. Look for the name stamped on the rind.

Score and roast the sausages

Toss arugula and croutons with roasted mushrooms

Sheet-pan sausages and mushrooms with arugula and croutons


1 pound (454 g) hot or sweet Italian sausages

1 pound (454 g) mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, maitake or cremini, trimmed and quartered (or cut into 1-inch/2.54-cm pieces if large)

5 tablespoons (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Kosher salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons (45 ml) red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

4 cups (1 L) torn, bite-size pieces of crusty bread (6 to 8 ounces/170 to 226 g)

2 cups (500 ml) arugula

½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Finely grated Parmesan, for serving


Heat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Score the sausages in a few places on both sides, making sure not to cut all the way through. Toss the sausages and mushrooms on a sheet pan with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast, shaking the pan once or twice, until browned and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil with the vinegar and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the sausages and mushrooms are done, use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer to a plate, leaving the drippings behind. Add the torn bread and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of the dressing to the baking sheet. If the bread seems dry, add more dressing, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time. Roast until the bread is lightly toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and arugula to the pan. Drizzle and toss with the remaining vinaigrette until lightly coated. Stir in the parsley, then season to taste with salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with Parmesan and eat with the sausages. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

This tasty recipe from Food and Wine combines cubes of seared steak with tomatoes, onion, scallions and a soy-mirin sauce. Cook’s note: I omitted the nuts and fried garlic.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used tamari instead of soy sauce, Yoshi brand mirin and Foreway sesame oil—all are additive free.

Sear the steaks

Prepare the other ingredients

Make the sauce

Beef poke


1 ¼ pounds (566 g) 1-inch-/2.54-cm thick beef tenderloin steaks

1 ¼ teaspoons (6.25 ml) kosher salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil

¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce

3 tablespoons (45 ml) mirin

2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) light brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) cornstarch

2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced garlic, divided

1 cup (250 ml) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

2/3 cup (165 ml) sliced sweet onion

1/3 cup (82.5 ml) sliced scallions, plus more for garnish

3 tablespoons (45 ml) roughly chopped salted roasted macadamia nuts, plus more for garnish

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) fresh lime juice

Fried garlic, for garnish

Lime wedges, for serving


Place steaks on a plate, and season evenly with salt. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature 1 hour.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over high until shimmering. Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Add steaks to skillet; cook 2 minutes per side. Turn and sear edges of steaks until browned, about 1 minute. Remove steaks from skillet, and transfer to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Wipe skillet clean.

Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic in skillet; bring to a simmer over medium, whisking and scraping bottom of skillet. Simmer, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens to a loose, syrup-like consistency, 15 to 30 seconds.

Cut steaks into ½-inch (1.25-cm) cubes. Stir together steak, tomatoes, sweet onion, scallions, macadamia nuts, lime juice, soy sauce mixture, and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic in a medium bowl until combined. Garnish with fried garlic and additional scallions and macadamia nuts. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.

From Food and Wine

This tasty dish from Real Simple is ready in less than 30 minutes. Combine honey, vinegar, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, garlic and cornstarch in a bowl and set aside. Cook the mushrooms and bok choy and set aside. Cook the shrimp and then add the honey mixture and cooked rice noodles. Remove from heat and stir in the mushroom mixture.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used pure honey, President’s Choice rice vinegar, tamari instead of soy sauce and Nature Value organic sriracha for the chili-garlic sauce. Look for frozen shrimp with only salt added.

Prepare your ingredients

Cook the mushrooms

Add the bok choy

Set aside mushrooms and bok choy and place cooked shrimp and noodles in the pan

Return the mushrooms and boy choy to the pan and toss with the sauce


¼ cup (60 ml) honey

2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Asian chili-garlic sauce

1 ½ teaspoons (7.25 ml) grated garlic (from 3 cloves)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cornstarch

3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola oil, divided

1 5-oz. (142 g) pkg. sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (3 cups/750 ml)

3 heads baby bok choy, sliced (4 cups/1 L)

1 pound (454 g) peeled, deveined extra-large raw shrimp, patted dry

1 8-oz. (227g) pkg. rice stick noodles, cooked according to pkg. directions


Whisk honey, vinegar, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, garlic, and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add bok choy; cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a medium bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil over medium-high. Add shrimp; cook, flipping occasionally, until just opaque in centers, 2 to 3 minutes. Add honey mixture and cooked drained noodles to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and noodles are coated in sauce, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mushroom mixture. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

This salad from NYT Cooking combines Israeli couscous (a tiny pea-shaped pasta also known as pearl couscous) with broccoli, feta, nuts and fresh herbs, all tossed with an orange-lime-cumin dressing. Cook’s note: I omitted the nuts.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed orange and lime juice. Check the cumin to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Krinos feta is additive free. Check the nuts to make sure they do not contain preservatives.

Citrusy couscous salad with broccoli and feta


1 small navel orange, half juiced (about 3 tablespoons/45 ml), half peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

1 lime, juiced (about 1 tablespoon/15 ml)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) honey

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cumin

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, sliced into thin rounds (deseeded, if desired, for less heat)

1 ½ cups (375 ml) pearl couscous

1 medium head broccoli (about 12 ounces/340 g), florets and tender stems cut into bite-size pieces, or 10 to 12 ounces frozen florets (4 to 5 cups/1 to 1.25 L total)

½ cup (125 ml) crumbled feta

¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted, dry roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

¼ packed cup (60 ml) fresh mint, basil or parsley, finely chopped

Freshly cracked black pepper


To the bottom of a large serving bowl, add the orange juice, lime juice, honey, cumin and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt. Whisk in the olive oil until the honey is dissolved. Mix in the scallions and half the chile; set aside.

In a large-lidded pot over medium-high heat, toast the couscous, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, season with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt, cover and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain an active simmer and cook according to the lower end of the time frame on package’s instructions, usually about 8 minutes. During the last 3 or 4 minutes of cooking (depending on the size of your florets), stir in the broccoli and cook until bright and tender, and the thickest parts are easily pierced with a fork. Drain, shake off excess water, then transfer to the serving bowl.

Mix until the couscous has absorbed most of the dressing. Mix in the feta, pistachios, herbs, orange pieces and the remaining chile, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat immediately or let cool and serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking