Archive for April, 2024

This recipe from Nigella Lawson is a one-pan meal that delivers delicious, Indian-spiced roast chicken and potatoes. Toss peeled and chopped potatoes with spices, lime zest and juice, garlic, salt and water. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Drizzle with oil and salt and roast for about an hour, until chicken is cooked through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Combine potatoes, chicken and spices

Roast for about an hour, until chicken is done

Garnish with cilantro and serve


3 lbs (1½ kg) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes

2 teaspoons (10 ml) cumin seeds

2 teaspoons (10 ml) fennel seeds

2 teaspoons (10 ml) yellow mustard seeds

2 teaspoons (10 ml) nigella seeds

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground turmeric

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes

4 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced)

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sea salt flakes plus more for sprinkling

4 tbsp (60 ml) cold water

12 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

Fresh coriander for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Put the cut potatoes into a large, shallow roasting pan (15 x 14 in/37 x 34 cm) and sprinkle with the spices, followed by the lime zest and juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of salt and the water.

Tumble the chicken into the pan and toss everything well together, then turn the chicken skin-side up on top of the potatoes. Drizzle the skin with the oil and sprinkle over a little salt, then cook in the oven for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken cooked through, its skin golden and crisp. Serve scattered with chopped coriander. Serves 6.

From Nigella Lawson

This recipe from Half Baked Harvest cooks in minutes, once you have assembled all your ingredients. Make the sauce, then add beef and peppers. Add seasoning and cooked noodles. Add the fresh herbs and green onions and serve topped with more green onions, sesame seeds, lime juice and nuts. Cook’s note: I cooked the noodles in boiling water until tender. I did not use lemongrass paste or sesame seeds. I had some asparagus, so cooked it along with the peppers. I used chopped fresh ginger instead of pickled ginger and cashews instead of peanuts.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used tamari, Nature Value sriracha, Cock brand fish sauce, Marukan rice vinegar, Lee Kum Kee sesame oil and butter that contained only cream, with no colour added. Check the dried spices, sesame seeds and nuts to make sure they don’t contain additives.

Assemble all your ingredients before starting to cook

Thai basil beef noodles


6 ounces (170 g) pad thai/wide rice noodles

1/3 cup (82 ml) tamari or soy sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) Thai chili sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce

2 tablespoons(30 ml) rice vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemongrass paste (optional)

Black pepper and chili flakes

3 tablespoons (45 ml) sesame oil (or olive oil)

1 pound (454 g) flank steak, thinly sliced

2 bell peppers, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter, sliced

1 shallot, sliced

4-6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped pickled ginger

½ cup (125 ml) chopped cilantro or Thai basil

4 green onions, chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) sesame seeds

1/3 cup (82 ml) roasted peanuts, chopped


Soak the rice noodles according to package directions, then drain.

To make the sauce. In a bowl, combine the tamari/soy sauce, Thai chili sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lemongrass, black pepper, and chili flakes.

Add the oil, beef, and bell peppers to a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the beef becomes crispy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter, the shallot, 3 cloves garlic, ginger, and a pinch of chili flakes. Continue to cook the beef in the butter until the garlic begins to turn golden, 1-2 minutes.

Add the noodles and sauce, tossing to combine. Cook until the noodles are warmed through and begin soaking up the sauce, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the cilantro/basil, and green onions, and toss again.

Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter, 1 clove of garlic, and the sesame seeds in a small skillet. Cook until toasted, 5 minutes.

Serve the noodles topped with green onions, peanuts, and garlicky sesame seeds. Add a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 4.

From Half Baked Harvest

This baked pasta from Mary Berg’s In Mary’s Kitchen was a big hit at our dinner table. While pasta cooks, make a sauce with shallot, garlic, cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, vodka, cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and place the burrata in the centre of the pan. Scatter mozzarella around the edges and top with pesto. Bake for 20 minutes and serve topped with fresh basil.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only milk or cream, no colour. No-Name tomato paste and mozzarella are additive-free. Genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano is additive-free; check for the name stamped on the rind. Make sure the burrata does not contain preservatives. Store-bought pesto can contain additives. You can make your own with basil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and oil.

While the pasta cooks, make the sauce

Add cooked pasta to sauce

Top with burrata, mozzarella and pesto

Bake until golden brown


1 lb (454 g) rigatoni

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons (45 ml) unsalted butter

1 large shallot, finely minced

Freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 cup (250 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 (5 oz/156ml) can tomato paste

¼ cup (60 ml) vodka

½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream

½ cup (125 ml) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 ball burrata

1 cup (250 ml) grated mozzarella cheese

4-6 heaped tbsp (60-90 ml) basil pesto

3 tablespoons (45 ml) roughly chopped basil


Preheat oven to 400 F (204 C).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season well with salt and add in the pasta to cook according to package directions just until al dente. Reserve 1 cup (250 ml) of pasta water and drain.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a large, oven-safe high sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes and tomato paste and seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes to allow the cherry tomatoes to cook down and to further intensify the tomato flavour.

Carefully deglaze the pan with the vodka and allow it to bubble away for about 1 to 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol then turn the heat down to low and stir in the whipping cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add in the pasta as well as ½ cup (125 ml) of the reserved pasta water and stir to combine, adding more of the pasta water if needed to reach a saucy consistency. Gently tear the burrata open and set in the centre of the pasta. Scatter the mozzarella around the edge to cover the rest of the pasta and top with pesto

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. If desired, turn the broiler to high for the last minute of cooking for a deeper golden-brown colour. Allow the pasta to cool for 5 minutes before serving, scattered with basil. Serves 4.

From In Mary’s Kitchen

This recipe from Serious Eats uses bread as a base for pizza. Heat butter, oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and stir in basil and parsley. Brush half of the mixture on the bread. Add tomatoes and spices to the remaining butter mixture and simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on the bread and bake for about eight minutes. Spread the bread with the sauce, sprinkle with more cheese and bake for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and herbs before serving.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only milk or cream, no colour. Check the dried spices for colour and anti-caking agents. I used Ace Bakery Italian bread, Unico crushed tomatoes and No-Name mozzarella. Genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano contains no additives; look for the name stamped on the rind.

Sprinkle mozzarella on bread brushed with butter-herb mixture

Make the sauce while the bread bakes

Top with sauce and more cheese, bake and sprinkle with herbs before serving


3 tablespoons (45 g) unsalted butter

4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried oregano

¼ cup (60 ml) minced fresh parsley or basil leaves, or a mix

Kosher salt

1 large loaf French or Italian bread, about 18 inches (45 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide, split half lengthwise and crosswise

1 (14.5-ounce/400g) can crushed tomatoes

8 ounces (225 g) freshly grated whole milk mozzarella cheese

2 ounces (60 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Adjust oven rack to upper position and preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Heat butter and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in half of parsley/basil and a big pinch of salt. Remove from heat.

Place bread cut-side-up on a clean work surface. Using a rimmed baking sheet, press down on bread evenly until compressed to about two-thirds of its original height. Place bread on top of rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush half of garlic/butter/oil mixture evenly over cut surfaces of bread, making sure to get plenty of bits of garlic and herbs. Set aside.

Add tomatoes to remaining garlic/butter/oil mixture in pan, stir to combine, increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rich and reduced, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

While sauce cooks, spread one-quarter of mozzarella evenly over surface of bread and transfer to oven. Cook until cheese is barely melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until sauce is cooked.

Spread sauce evenly over bread, then spread remaining mozzarella on top of sauce. Transfer to oven and bake until cheese is melted and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining parsley/basil, and remaining tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Allow to cool slightly and serve. Serves 3-4.

From Serious Eats