I’m not much of a baker, but when I saw this pie recipe from NYT Cooking I had to try it. Make an all-butter single pie crust (or use your favourite pie crust recipe), place it in a pie plate, poke holes in the bottom of the dough, fill with pie weights and bake the crust. Combine lemon, sugar and cranberries in pan and boil for about 10 minutes. Strain the mixture. Combine cornstarch, water and egg yolks in the pan and return the strained cranberry mixture. Boil for about 5 minutes and then add lemon juice and cold butter. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie shell. Before serving, make the meringue and pile on the centre of the pie filling. Use a kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue or bake for about 10 minutes. Cook’s note: I used an immersion blender on the cranberry mixture before putting put it through a sieve. I didn’t want to use raw egg whites, so I used ½ cup (125 ml) pasteurized egg whites and they whipped up beautifully.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use unbleached flour and make sure the butter does not contain colour.

Cranberry lemon meringue pie

Ingredients:

For the pie crust

1/3 cup (85) grams ice-cold water

2 teaspoons (10 ml) distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) fine sea or table salt

1 cup (228 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ -inch (1.25-cm) cubes

2 ½ cups (330 grams) all-purpose flour

For the pie

1 disk all-butter pie crust

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1 cup (211 grams) granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) fine sea or table salt

2 medium lemons

3 cups (343 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch

4 large eggs, separated

3 tablespoons (42 grams) cold unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) cream of tartar

½ cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)

Preparation:

For the pie crust

Stir together the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Put in the freezer until ready to use.

To make the dough in a stand mixer, toss the butter with the flour in the mixer bowl until evenly coated. Beat with the paddle on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. It’s OK if there are a few pea-size clumps, but there shouldn’t be many. Add the water solution all at once and beat on low speed until the mixture forms large clumps and no floury bits remain.

To make the dough in a food processor, pulse the butter and flour until coarse crumbs form. Add the water solution all at once and pulse until the mixture forms large clumps.

To make the dough by hand, toss the butter with the flour in a large bowl until evenly coated. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut or smoosh the butter and rub it into the flour until coarse crumbs form. It’s OK if there are some almond-size pieces, but there shouldn’t be many. Add the water solution all at once and stir with a fork or your hand until the dough comes together.

Whichever method you used, gather the dough into a large mass (about 5 cups/660 grams total). If making single-crust or regular double-crust pies, divide the dough in half to form 2 disks (2.5 cups/330 grams each). For a lattice pie, form a little more than a third of the dough into a disk for the bottom, then split the remaining in half to form 2 disks for the top.

Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and preferably 1 day. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

For the pie

If the dough has been refrigerated for more than an hour, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12½-inch (31.75-cm) round. Roll the dough up onto the pin, then unroll it over a standard (not deep-dish) 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate, centring it. Gently tuck and press it into the bottom and sides of the plate without stretching the dough. Fold the overhang of the dough under itself along the rim so that the dough is flush with the edge of the plate. If you’d like, crimp the edges of the dough.

If the dough has softened, refrigerate or freeze it until firm, about 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 10 minutes in the freezer. While the dough chills, position a rack in the lowest position in the oven and heat to 375 degrees F (190 C).

Use a fork to poke holes all over the bottom of the dough without piercing all the way through, if possible. Line the dough with a sheet of crumpled parchment paper (crumpling helps it lie flat against the dough.) Fill the lined dough to the top with pie weights, such as dried beans.

Bake on the bottom rack until the edges are light golden brown, the sides look dry and the bottom looks almost dry, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pie weights with the parchment and return the empty shell to the bottom rack. Bake until the bottom is golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Place the sugar and salt in a large saucepan and zest the lemons directly over it. Gently rub the zest into the sugar. Into a small bowl, squeeze a scant ½ cup (125 ml) juice from the lemons; set aside. Add the cranberries and 1¼ cups (312 ml) water to the saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until all of the cranberries have popped and collapsed and the liquid is red, syrupy and filled with cranberry seeds, 8 to 10 minutes.

Pour the cranberry mixture through a sieve, pressing on the berries to extract all their juice and scraping everything off the underside of the sieve. (You should have 2 cups (500 ml); discard the solids inside the sieve.) Add the cornstarch to the empty saucepan (no need to wash) and whisk in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water until smooth. Add the egg yolks and whisk until smooth, then use a spatula to stir in the strained cranberry mixture.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, then continue to boil while stirring until very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture should be boiling hard with big bubbles. Turn off the heat and stir in the cold butter and reserved lemon juice until the butter melts. Pour into the cooled pie shell and spread evenly. (At this point, the pie can be cooled completely, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring back to room temperature before topping with the meringue.)

Whisk the egg whites with an electric hand or stand mixer on medium-high speed until foamy on top. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. When you lift the whisk from the mixture, the top will droop back down. Add the confectioners’ sugar, sifting it if it’s at all lumpy. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. When you lift the whisk from the mixture, the top should stand up and just the tip will have a curlicue.

Pile the meringue in the centre of the warm pie filling, leaving a 1- to 2-inch (2.54- 5-cm) rim of filling if you’d like. (If covering the filling, spread the meringue over the crust.) Use a kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue all over or, bake at 375 degrees F (190 C) until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool the pie at room temperature until the filling is set very firm. If the meringue weeps moisture onto the filling, dab it away with a paper towel. Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) pie.

From NYT Cooking

I usually shy away from “5-ingredient” recipes, but after reading a review of Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients Mediterranean I decided to give it a try. This recipe for simple steamed fish was quick, easy, colourful and tasty. While cooking the peppers and leek, make a quick dressing of oregano, orange juice, red wine vinegar and oil (olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar are considered pantry staples and are not counted toward the five ingredients). Nestle the fish into the cooked vegetables and steam until cooked through. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar.

Put peppers and leek in shallow pan

Cook for about 15 minutes

Make dressing while vegetables cook

Nestle fish on top and steam until cooked through

Simple steamed fish

Ingredients:

4 x 5 oz (150 g) white fish fillets (I used branzino fillets)

3 mixed-colour peppers

1 large leek

½ a bunch of oregano (0.5 oz/10 g)

1 large juicy orange

Preparation:

Put a large shallow casserole pan on a medium heat. Chop the peppers into 0.8-inch (2-cm) chunks, discarding the seeds and stalks, adding them to the pan as you go with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil.

Quarter the leek lengthways and wash, then slice 0.8-inch (2-cm) thick. Add to the pan, season with salt and black pepper, and cook for 15 minutes, or until sweet and lightly golden, stirring regularly and adding splashes of water, if needed.

Strip the oregano leaves into a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt and pound into a paste. Squeeze in half the orange juice, then add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of extra virgin olive oil and muddle together.

Rinse the fish and pat dry with kitchen paper. Nestle the fish into the veg, squeeze in the remaining orange juice and add ½ cup (125 ml) of water, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for 7 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked. drizzle the orange dressing over the fish and veg and serve. Serves 4.

From 5 Ingredients Mediterranean

This recipe from Food and Drink magazine is labour-intensive, but the results are worth the effort. Roast squash cubes and unpeeled garlic until tender. Meanwhile, combine the cheeses, egg yolks, basil and seasoning. Cook the pasta shells and drain. Puree the cooked squash and peeled cooked garlic with cream, vodka, tomato paste and seasoning. Pour half the squash sauce into a baking dish and top with shells stuffed with cheese mixture. Pour remaining sauce overtop, sprinkle with more cheese and bake.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Tre Stelle ricotta, No Name pizza mozzarella, No Name tomato paste and genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano (look for the name stamped on the rind) are additive-free.

Place stuffed shells over half of sauce, top with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with cheese before baking

Broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese

Stuffed shells with vodka butternut squash sauce

Ingredients:

1 medium-size butternut squash, peeled, cut into large cubes

6 garlic cloves, trimmed with peel on

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

1 tub (475 g) traditional ricotta

2 cups (500 ml) shredded mozzarella, divided

1 ½ cups (375 ml) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino, divided

2 egg yolks

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped basil, plus 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) small basil leaves to garnish

1 tsp + ¼ tsp (5 ml + 1 ml) kosher salt

1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper, plus generous pinches

½ lb (225 g) jumbo shells, about 35

1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream (35%)

¼ cup (60 ml) vodka

1 tube or can (156 ml) tomato paste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).

Spread out squash cubes and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast in centre of preheated oven until very tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Stir and shake pan a couple of times during roasting to prevent any sticking.

Meanwhile, add ricotta and half of mozzarella and Parmigiano to a bowl. Set remaining grated cheeses aside. Whisk yolks, ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped basil, ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt and generous pinches of pepper into ricotta mixture. Set aside.

Bring a large pasta pot of water to a boil. When boiling, salt the water then tumble in shells, separating as you add. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. You’ll likely need to knock a couple of minutes off the cooking time listed on the package. Carefully scoop out 1 cup (250 ml) pasta water and set aside in case you need to thin the sauce later. Drain and cold-rinse pasta.

When squash is done, let cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (177°C).

Turn slightly cooled squash into a food processor. Squeeze garlic out of its papery skins into food processor. Whirl until chopped. Add cream, vodka, tomato paste, remaining 1 tsp (5 ml) salt and 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) pepper. Whirl until puréed. If very thick, whirl in reserved pasta water until thinned to a tomato paste consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Pour half of sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 32-cm) baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp (15 ml) ricotta filling before adding to the sauced pan. Pour remaining sauce overtop. Sprinkle with reserved cheese. Seal dish with foil. Bake until lightly bubbling and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil until lightly golden, about 5 more minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil leaves. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.

From Food and Drink

This tasty recipe from NYT Cooking puts dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Combine oil, yogurt, spices, ginger and garlic and coat the fish with the mixture. Put the fish on top of spinach on a sheet pan and roast until the fish is almost done. Broil for a few minutes to brown the fish and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Oikos Greek yogurt, which is additive-free.

Make the spicy yogurt marinade

Coat the fish in the marinade and place on top of spinach before roasting

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds (680 g) firm, white-fleshed fish (such as cod, bass or halibut, cut into chunks)

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil or any neutral oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) full-fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) garam masala

1 teaspoon (5 ml) red chile powder

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ginger paste or freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic paste or freshly grated garlic

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground turmeric

Fine sea salt

1 pound (454 g) baby spinach (about 14 packed cups/3.5L)

Rice or roti, for serving

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Pat the fish dry and set aside.

Combine the oil, yogurt, garam masala, chile powder, ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt in a large bowl and stir until the marinade is smooth. Add the fish and coat evenly.

Arrange the spinach in an even layer on a large sheet pan. Place the fish on the spinach, dispersing it evenly. Bake on the top rack for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish starts to turn golden.

Set the oven to broil and broil on high just until the fish turns golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt. Serve with rice or roti, if desired. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

I recently bought Canadian chef Mary Berg’s new cookbook, In Mary’s Kitchen. It contains lots of good recipes, including this onion soup. Caramelize onions and add butter, garlic and maple syrup. Deglaze the pan with brandy and balsamic vinegar. Add stout and stock and simmer for about 30 minutes. Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls, top with bread and cheese and broil until browned. Cook’s note: I used regular beer and chicken stock

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use pure maple syrup and fresh herbs. I used Acetaia La Bonissima Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Steam Whistle beer and Imagine Organic chicken stock. Check to be sure the cheddar does not contain colour.

Caramelize the onions

Add beer and stock after deglazing the pan

Top soup with bread and cheese and broil until lightly browned

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons (45 ml) unsalted butter, divided

4 medium yellow cooking onions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup

2 teaspoons (10 ml) finely chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped fresh sage

1 fresh bay leaf, optional

2 tablespoons (30 ml) brandy

1 tablespoon (15 ml) balsamic vinegar

1 cup (250 ml) Irish stout

4 cups (1 L) beef stock

4 x ½-inch (1.27-centimeter slices country bread, toasted

1–1 ½  cups (250-375 ml) grated cheddar cheese

Preparation:

In a large saucepot over medium-low heat, melt two tablespoons (30 ml) of butter, add in the onions, and season with kosher salt and pepper. Give the onions a stir and allow them to cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown slightly, about 15 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium/medium-high, add in the remaining butter, garlic, and maple syrup, and allow the onions to cook and caramelize for ten more minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low, add in the herbs, and deglaze the pan with the brandy and balsamic vinegar, stirring very well and scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any of the golden bits that have developed.

Add in the Irish stout and allow it to bubble until reduced by half then stir in the beef stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot and allow it to cook for 25 to 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

Season the soup with more salt and pepper to taste then ladle it into four oven-safe soup ramekins or French onions soup dishes. Turn the broiler on to high and top each ramekin of soup with a piece of country bread and a good scattering of Irish cheddar. Broil until lightly browned, about three to five minutes, making sure to keep your eye on it so that the cheese and toast don’t burn.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serves 4.

From In Mary’s Kitchen

This sheet-pan meal from NYT Cooking combines cubed chicken breast with zucchini, bell pepper and salad. Marinate the chicken briefly and then arrange on a sheet pan with chunks of zucchini and sliced red pepper. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and set the chicken and vegetables aside. Strain the pan juices and add oil and parsley. Divide romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes among the serving plates, top with the chicken mixture, feta and dressing.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Check the oregano to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Krinos or Tre Stelle feta cheese is additive-free.

Place the cubed chicken, zucchini and red pepper on sheet pan

Set cooked chicken and vegetables aside, strain the pan juices and use them for the vinaigrette

Place romaine and tomatoes on plates and top with chicken, vegetables, cheese and the pan-juice vinaigrette

Ingredients:

½ cup (125 ml) plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced garlic

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried oregano

Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and pepper

1 ½ pounds (680 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

1 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, halved, cored, seeded and sliced ½-inch- (1.25-cm-) thick

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped (8 cups/2 L)

8 ounces (227 g) cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 ½ cups/625 ml)

3 ounces (85 g) feta cheese, sliced or crumbled

Preparation:

Heat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C). In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the oil with the lemon juice, garlic and oregano; season with salt and pepper then whisk to combine. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat, massaging the marinade into the chicken.

On a large rimmed sheet pan, combine zucchini, bell pepper and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss to coat, then spread in an even layer. Arrange chicken on top in an even layer. Roast until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender but still have texture, 15 minutes.

Transfer chicken and vegetables to a large plate. Strain the pan juices through a fine sieve into a small bowl; add the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) oil and the parsley and whisk until well blended.

Divide romaine and tomatoes among plates. Top each with some of the chicken, vegetables, cheese and a drizzle of the pan-juice dressing. Serve warm. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking

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

Ingredients:

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)

Preparation:

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

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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

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