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The Main Ingredients Spring Edition: Chef's Conclusion

03/17/2014 03:42 EDT | Updated 05/17/2014 05:59 EDT

I will be the first to admit that this was the most difficult set of challenges yet, but inspiration strikes during the hardest times. I must still be feeling the gold medal halo from our Canadian Olympic athletes' inspirational victories!

And speaking of Olympic athletes, Thien Hyunh displayed Olympic-level dedication by rising to the occasion with his challenge (and with a newborn baby in tow). For the slow cooking or stewing method, it all comes down to flavour. To improve your outcome on the chicken, I might try using the dark meat instead, which is more forgiving and stays tender. Perhaps add some freshly chopped herbs to it before serving. Fresh herbs are a perfect way to add flavour to any dish without any fat or sodium.

To help you improve the dessert, I would suggest reducing the quantity of dates by half (they are really sweet) and adding a tbsp. of honey in place of the half a cup of brown sugar, which is only adding to the sweetness. I love your line that using a slow cooker turns slow food into fast food. In fact, I may have to borrow it.

For our roasting cooking method, I applaud Terri Coles' decision to cook the quinoa in the oven. I think this would be a great way to satisfy both vegetarians and carnivores, and all while using only the oven. I might put a chicken to roast and towards the end, add your great combination of beans, vegetables, and quinoa.

Your recipe for marinating chicken in yogurt and then baking it is a favourite of mine, so I'd like to make a couple of suggestions on how to improve it. Reducing the temperature to 180 C (350 degrees F) instead of 230 C (450 F) will help the ultra lean chicken breast retain moisture. I would be inclined to use dark meat as it will really benefit from the acidity and flavor of the yogurt. To accompany it I would try a refreshing mango chutney or fresh salsa. Keep up your incredible mission to accommodate all the different dietary needs of your family. I love it.

And lastly, Shelley White's stir fry challenge is a great example of being challenged to try a different way to do something and coming up with a new dish the family could love. The twins are obviously going through a phase of just eating certain vegetables, but I don't want you to get discouraged.

The one ingredient I would add immediately to your stir fry, is fresh ginger. It is going to bring more flavour and little peppery kick which you all will love. The great thing with a stir fry is that the combinations are virtually endless when it comes to both the vegetables and the protein. So I say: Keep calm and stir fry on.