Now that the holidays are over, I feel like cooking simple, light meals. This sheet-pan shrimp recipe fits the bill. Create a paste of garlic, oregano, lemon juice, oil and pepper. Rub the paste on peeled shrimp and broil them for a few minutes on each side. Serve with tomatoes and feta.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the feta to make sure it is additive-free and use freshly squeezed lemon juice. I use frozen shrimp with only salt added.

Coat the shrimp with the paste and broil for a few minutes on each side

Sheet pan shrimp with tomatoes, oregano and feta


1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

Black pepper

1 ½ pounds (680 g) peeled shrimp

Chopped tomatoes, for serving

Crumbled feta, for serving


Turn on the broiler, and position the oven rack close to the heat.

Mash garlic clove with salt until it forms a paste. Add chopped oregano, lemon juice, olive oil and lots of black pepper. Rub paste all over peeled shrimp.

Spread shrimp out on a pan and broil, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Served topped with chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta. Serves 4.

From New York Times Cooking

Happy New Year! This recipe from Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy can be made in the oven or on the grill. Marinate the chicken in citrus juice, tamari sauce, oil, jalapeno and garlic. Cook the chicken and let it rest on top of citrus slices. Sprinkle with herbs and reserved marinade and serve after the chicken has rested about 15 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed juice and tamari, which does not contain artificial ingredients. Use jalapeno instead of the sambal sauce.

Let the cooked chicken rest on citrus slices, topped with herbs and reserved marinade

Citrus chicken rested in herbs


½ cup (125 ml) lime or lemon juice, plus 1 lime or lemon, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) orange juice, plus 1 orange, thinly sliced, seeds removed

½ cup (125) ml soy or tamari sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sambal or 1 jalapeño chilli, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground

Black pepper

1 3.5 to 4 lb. (1.6 to 1.8 kg) chicken, halved lengthways through the backbone, or bone-in, skin-on parts

1 handful coarsely chopped coriander, tender leaves and stems

1 handful coarsely chopped parsley, tender leaves and stems

A few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, oregano or marjoram (optional)


To make the marinade, combine the lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, oil, jalpeno and garlic in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set about half aside for later, and add the rest of the marinade to a large bowl, resealable bag or baking dish. Add the chicken, tossing to coat well.

Let it sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Alternatively, heat a barbecue grill to medium heat, with cooler coals or low flames on one side. (You can grill the chicken over hotter flames, but it can be challenging to manage; for beginners, it’s good to err on the side of the coals being slightly cooler than slightly hotter.)

Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade the chicken was sitting in. Place on a baking tray, skin side up. Roast until the skin is deeply browned and lightly charred and the chicken is cooked through, 35–45 minutes; there’s no need to flip or turn the chicken.

Alternatively, place the chicken skin side down on the grill and cover; make sure the vents are open. Let it grill, resisting the urge to turn or check too frequently, until it’s nicely golden brown with those cute little grill marks, 10–12 minutes; just like when you’re searing chicken in a skillet, the skin will release effortlessly once it’s cooked and golden. Attempting to move it beforehand will probably tear the skin and maybe ruin your day! Using your finest and largest tongs, carefully flip the chicken, then cover so that it continues to grill and cook on the other side, another 10–12 minutes. Flip once more, skin side down, and add a few halves of cut citrus if you have them. Continue to grill another 5–8 minutes, to crisp the skin and finish cooking through.

Place the citrus slices on a platter or cutting board and scatter with the herbs. Place the cooked chicken on top, skin side up, and pour the reserved marinade over. Let the chicken rest for 10–20 minutes, allowing its juices to mingle with the citrus and herbs.

Carve the chicken into pieces before serving. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

Happy holidays! This recipe from Real Simple is a tasty weeknight supper that is on the table in less than 45 minutes. Roast carrots and onions on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, season the pork and sear it on top of the stove. Reserve the skillet for the sauce. Place the pork on the baking sheet with the vegetables and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C). While the pork rests, make a quick sauce with stock, butter, mustard and tarragon and serve over the sliced pork.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Imagine Organic chicken stock, Gay Lea unsalted butter and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard. All are additive-, preservative- and colour-free.

Roast vegetables for about 15 minutes

Meanwhile, sear the pork

While pork is roasting with the vegetables, make the sauce

Let pork rest for a few minutes before slicing

Roast pork tenderloin with carrots, onions and mustard-tarragon sauce


1 lb. (454 g) carrots, cut into 2-in. (5-cm) pieces

1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided

1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 1-lb. (454 g) pork tenderloin

1 cup (250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard


Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Toss carrots and onion with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) each salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beginning to soften, 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season pork with remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Move vegetables to edges of baking sheet; place pork in center (reserve skillet). Roast until a thermometer inserted in center of pork registers 140°F (60°C), 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes.

Add broth to skillet; cook over medium-high until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, tarragon, and mustard. Thinly slice pork and serve with vegetables and mustard sauce. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

I’m really enjoying cooking from Alison Roman’s new cookbook, Nothing Fancy. In this recipe, salmon is topped with browned butter, caramelized lemon and onion slices and capers and then slow-roasted until just cooked through. Cook’s note: the recipe calls for a garnish of dill, sesame seeds and onion. I didn’t make the garnish and the dish was still outstanding.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your butter doesn’t contain colour. Unico capers are additive-free.

Season salmon with salt and pepper and place in baking dish

Brown the butter and add lemon, onion and capers

Pour the butter mixture over the salmon and bake

Buttered salmon with lemon and red onion


1 lemon

2 lbs (907 g) salmon fillet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tbsp (90 ml) unsalted butter

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

½ a small red onion, sliced into very thin rings, divided

2 tbsp (30 ml) brined capers, drained

One cup (250 ml) fresh dill

2 tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325º F (163º C). Thinly slice half the lemon and remove any seeds; save the other half for juicing.

Place the salmon on a baking tray or in a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has started to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the olive oil, sliced lemon and half the onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the lemon and onion have started to brown and frizzle, 2-3 minutes (you’re looking for a kind of crisped rather than softened and caramelized). Add the capers.

Pour the brown butter-lemon mixture over the salmon. Place it in the oven and roast until just cooked through but still medium rare inside, 12-15 minutes; the flesh will more translucent, less opaque. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish.

Meanwhile, toss together the dill and sesame seeds, if using, in a medium bowl. Give a squeeze from the halved lemon and season with salt and pepper. Scatter on top of the salmon, along with the raining sliced onion. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman

Sausage, spinach, cheese, pasta — comfort food at its best! This recipe is from a magazine ad for dairy products and it’s great for supper on a cold winter night. Cook pasta shells and drain. Meanwhile, cook the onion, garlic and sausage. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and add the cheeses. Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of a baking dish, stuff the shells, place them on top of the sauce and bake.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages without additives, such as PC Free From brand. Tre Stelle ricotta is additive-free, as is genuine Parmesan cheese. I used Hunt’s tomato sauce.

Cook the onions, garlic sausage

Add the spinach

Cook until the spinach wilts

Stuff shells and place on top of tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden

Sausage, spinach and ricotta cheese shells


32 uncooked jumbo pasta shells

1 tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil

1 small onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 Italian sausages, casings removed

6 oz (170 g) of spinach, chopped finely

14 oz (400) of ricotta cheese

¾ cup (180 ml) of grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp (2.5 ml) of sea salt

22 ounces (640 ml) of store-bought tomato sauce

Fresh Italian parsley, minced


Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta shells according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the shells are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian sausages. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage meat and sauté until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the sausage mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, ½ cup (125 ml) of the grated Parmesan cheese and the sea salt, and mix to combine.

Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of a large baking dish. Generously fill the cooked shells with the sausage and cheese mixture and set over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Saputo grated Parmesan cheese and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is golden. Garnish with Italian parsley and serve. Serves 8.

From Saputo Dairy Products

This recipe from the New York Times uses harissa paste, a North African paste made from roasted peppers and ingredients such as garlic, caraway, coriander and cumin. It adds wonderful flavour and colour. In this recipe, brown the chicken thighs and set aside. Then cook shallots and garlic, stir in harissa and cinnamon, return the chicken to the pan, add stock and simmer until the chicken is done. Serve with the sauce and garnish with cilantro, scallions and lime wedges.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used additive-free Belazu Rose Harisssa paste, which is available from or Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts at 141 Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa. I used Imagine Organic brand chicken stock. Check the cinnamon to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Cook the chicken and shallots in the harissa sauce

Harissa chicken thighs with shallots


1 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

4 to 5 small shallots, ends trimmed, quartered, root to stem, and peeled

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons harissa paste

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 to 1 ½ cups chicken stock, plus more as needed

¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

Flaky salt, for serving (optional)


Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook undisturbed until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan and return to medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

Stir in harissa and cinnamon, and add back in the chicken and any residual juices. Pour in enough of the stock to come up to the chicken about halfway, and bring to a simmer. Partly cover and allow the chicken to finish cooking through, about 15 minutes more.

Toss the chicken in the sauce until it’s nicely coated. Plate and top with the cilantro and the scallions. Serve, spooning braising liquid on top and with lime wedges on the side. Finish with flaky salt, if desired. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

The stir-fry from Real Simple magazine cooks in less than 10 minutes, once all your ingredients are ready to go. Make a simple salty-spicy sauce with soy or tamari sauce, hot sauce and lime, cook shrimp and set aside. Stir-fry vegetables until tender-crisp, add the shrimp back to the pan with sauce and heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with lime wedges, sesame seeds and cilantro. Cook’s note: I used red peppers instead of carrots.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I used Simply Natural organic sriracha, which is additive-free. Check the shrimp for sulfites or other preservatives.

Stir fry shrimp and set aside

Stir fry vegetables, then add sauce and shrimp to the pan and heat through

Spicy shrimp stir-fry


2 tablespoons (30 ml) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek) or sriracha

1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

2 limes

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil, divided

1½ pounds (680 g) peeled, deveined, tail-on large raw shrimp

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) kosher salt

6 ounces (170 g) snow peas (about 2 cups/500 ml), trimmed

2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 1-in./2.5-cm piece)

Steamed white rice, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


Place soy sauce, chile paste, and honey in a small bowl. Squeeze in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) juice from 1 lime and stir to combine. Cut remaining lime into wedges and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil to skillet. Add snow peas, carrots, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sauce and shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened and shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute. Serve stir-fry over rice with lime wedges alongside; garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro leaves. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

Another great sheet pan dinner, this one from the New York Times. Coat chicken pieces in oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika and oregano. Arrange on a baking sheet and add cherry tomatoes and peppers. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for about a half hour.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives or preservatives.

Arrange vegetables around the chicken and bake for about 30 minutes

Sheet pan paprika chicken with tomatoes and peppers


3 pounds (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, drumsticks, thighs or a mix)

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) apple cider vinegar, plus more for serving

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet paprika

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Espelette pepper or smoked hot paprika (pimentón)

1 teaspoon (5 mml) dried oregano

1 pint cherry (500 ml) tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved

1 poblano chile or 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

⅓ cup (85 ml) grated Parmesan

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Season chicken all over with salt, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, Espelette and oregano. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.

Add tomatoes, poblano and sweet peppers to baking sheet, spread vegetables around the chicken. Season vegetables lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle Parmesan all over chicken and vegetables.

Roast until chicken is golden, crisp and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking but don’t disturb the chicken. If white meat is done before dark meat, remove it as it finishes cooking.

Transfer chicken to plates. Stir vegetables around in pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides of pan, and stir in the parsley and black pepper to taste. Taste and add salt if needed, and a drizzle of vinegar if you like. Spoon vegetables over the chicken to serve. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

Here’s another delicious dish from Alison Roman’s new cookbook Nothing Fancy. Cook a pot of rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta and drain. Brown spicy sausage or chorizo and set aside. Brown breadcrumbs and set aside, then fry garlic and add tomato paste and broccoli rabe. Cook a few minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender-crisp. Add the cooked pasta, a splash of pasta cooking water and sausage back to the pot and heat through. Garnish with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use PC Free From hot Italian sausages, which are additive-free, a panko without additives and No Name tomato paste. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives, preservatives or colour.

Brown the sausage and set aside

Brown the breadcrumbs and set aside

Brown the garlic

Add tomato paste and broccoli rabe and cook until tender-crisp

Add cooked sausage and pasta to the pan

Garnish with breadcrumbs and cheese and enjoy


1 pound (454 g) fresh chorizo or spicy hot Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed

6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more as needed

1 ½ cups (375 ml) fresh coarse bread crumbs or panko

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound (454 g) dried tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste

1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

Hunk of pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata, for grating


Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, leaving the fat behind.

Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil and the bread crumbs to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup (250 ml) of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil in the pot, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s a nice brick-red color and starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broccoli rabe, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s all wilted and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and sausage back to the pot along with ½ cup (125 ml) of pasta water. Cook, stirring constantly, until each piece of pasta is coated nicely in the tomato-y, sausage-y sauce.

Serve straight from the pot (or not), with toasted bread crumbs and cheese for sprinkling over. Serves 6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

This recipe from Food52 is great comfort food for a chilly fall night. Dredge chicken thighs in flour, brown them and set aside. Fry some bacon and cook peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Season, add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock, return the chicken to the pan and braise until done. Toss in some fresh herbs, serve over pasta or polenta and sprinkle some grated parmesan on top.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for nitrite-free bacon and spices without colour or anti-caking agents. I used Imagine organic chicken stock, Unico canned tomatoes and Molisano tomato sauce, which contains only tomatoes and salt. Genuine parmesan cheese contains no artificial ingredients.

Dredge chicken in flour and brown

Cook bacon until crisp

Fry peppers, onion and mushrooms

Add tomatoes, stock and tomato sauce, return chicken to pan and braise

Serve over pasta or polenta


Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 ounces (113 g) white or brown button mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried basil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground fennel seed

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

1 (14 to 15-ounce/414 to 144 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

8 ounces (236 ml) tomato sauce

8 ounces (236 ml) chicken broth

¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh basil leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh oregano leaves

Grated parmesan for serving

Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving


Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about ¼ inch (0.64 cm) and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.

Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.

Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.

Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

After the 30- to 40-minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy! Serves 4.

From Food52

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