The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club met again for another cooking session.
Michelle, the facilitator of the kitchen calls this Lentil Leftover Soup. You can use any leftover vegetables like spinach, rapini, swiss chard, etc in this recipe.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups vegetables or chicken broth or water
- 2 cups lentils (brown)
- 1 x 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt if using water (a pinch if using broth)
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- spinach (we used baby spinach) or any leftover leafy vegetables
Soaking the lentils helps the body to absorb its nutrients more easily.
Michelle shared the health benefits of eating lentils from mindbodygreen.com in the kitchen.
- Lower Cholesterol – Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
- Heart Health – Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy.
- Digestive Health – Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestion disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
- Stabilized Blood Sugar – Soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
- Good Protein – Of all the legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
- Increase Energy – Lentils increase steady, slow burning energy due to its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.
Michelle shared a Yaki Udon recipe for the main course of the Japanese theme meal at the South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen.
Udon are thick white noodles that are typically Japanese. You can get them frozen in Asian supermarkets or in dry form. You can also use soba, the thinner noodles or spaghetti for Yaki Soba.
Frozen udon typically takes about 1 minute to cook. Let it drain while your are cooking the vegetables.
This recipe is a great way to use leftovers!
- 1 tablespoon, or more vegetable oil (sunflower, grapeseed, canola, etc)
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 zuchinni, julienned
- 1/2 small cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks green onions or a small bunch chives, thinly slice
- soy sauce to taste
- worcestershir sauce to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Source: South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen
Michelle shared a Kale Pesto Pasta for the main course at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.
Here are some facts about kale that Michelle shared with us:
- Kale has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the United States in the 17th century.
- Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collards.
- Kale for snack. Kale chips are a nutritious, easy to make snack.
- Kale is packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Some research suggests kale helps reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C and K.
- For the best flavour, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures some of the starches are turned into sugars.
- Types of kales are differentiated by color (green, white, purple, or bluish green) and leaf shape.
- Kale contains lutein, a type of carotenoid (an organic pigment) responsible for the plant’s color and nutrients. Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy. From Webmd.com.
- 1 bunch lacinto kale or other kale or hearty green
- 10 oil packed anchovies, optional
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup mascarpone or heavy cream or soft cream cheese
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1 cup frozen peas
- parmesan cheese
- 1 cup pasta water, to thin
Source: this recipe is adapted from Gwyneth Palthrow’s My Father’s Daughter cookbook
For the main dish, Michelle shared a Pasta with Broccoli recipe in line with the idea of adding more vegetables in our diet.
Michelle encouraged the use of whole grain pasta which has higher fiber contents.
- 8 oz (1/2 pound) chunky, whole grain pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Extra salt for cooking pasta. Salted water gives the pasta more flavour. Adding a bit of the pasta cooking water to your pasta sauce helps to thicken the sauce and makes it sticks to your pasta better.
You may experiment with these variations:
- add one cup cooked edamame or other beans
- add 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
- top with toasted walnuts or pine nuts
- add a couple chopped tomatoes at the end
Source: Moosewood for Health
I have not been back to the multi-cultural community kitchen for a long while. This is because Minoo is having new groups of people, mostly new immigrants and she’s demonstrating very basic recipes which I had mostly covered in the blog already.
Out of the blue, Minoo asked me if I would like to come to the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen because one of the member is going to demonstrate a couple of Ukrainian recipes. Of course I’m more than happy to attend. It’s always nice to learn from another culture.
For this kitchen, Joe (the gentleman in the above photo) demonstrated how to make Potato Perogies and Borcht soup. Thank you, Joe for sharing with us.
Minoo served the Potato Perogies with a simple greens salad.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 400g cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- missing from the photo are the potatoes. onion and garlic;
- ingredients not for this recipe are the lemon juice, ground pepper, half & half
This Superfoods Salad was made for last year’s South Arm fund raiser for the food bank and it was sold out very quickly. Michelle decided to make it at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club since it has not be made in the kitchen before.
This Superfoods Salad is good for a few days in the refrigerator. It is great for potluck too. This ecipe makes approximately 8 to 10 servings. For home consumption, it is recommended to halve the recipe.
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed for a few times
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup green lentils (preferably small French green lentils)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1/2 bunch kale, finely chopped
- 1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Source: via South Arm Cooking Club for Older Adults
Makes approximately 8 to 10 servings.
Nanzaro learned to enjoy this beans and rice dish while he was on a school humanitarian trip to Costa Rica in spring this year.
The rice did not turn out as black as those Nanzaro had in Costa Rica. I used a mixture of chicken broth and the liquid from cooking the black beans to cook the rice. Perhaps I should use only the cooking liquid from the beans to gives the rice more colour.
- 1 pound of dried black beans (or use canned ones for simplicity)
- a small bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
- 2 cups dry whilte rice (I used basmati rice); do not wash
- 3 cups of chicken stock or liquid from cooking the beans
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying the Gallo Pinto
Missing from the ingredients is the black bean.
P/S: the cup I used to measure the rice and cooking liquid is the cup that came with a rice cooker. It is smaller than the regular measuring cup.
Source: Nanzaro found the recipe for me from the internet.
Michelle served the Coconut Lentil Curry with Cumin Basmati Rice in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.
This is another recipe from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram vij & Meeru Dhalwala.
- 2 cups basmati rice (we used Jasmin rice as this is the rice available in the kitchen pantry)
- 3 cups cold water for soaking
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (ir canola oil)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 3 3/4 cups water for cooking
Source: Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram vij & Meeru Dhalwala