Tortellini Salad with Pesto and Broccoli

Michelle shared a pasta salad recipe in line with the summer theme in the South Arm Community Center Older Adults Community Kitchen.


This pasta salad can be served warm for dinner and cold for lunch the next day or two.


  • 1/4 pound broccoli florets, cut into short length
  • 250g (about 1/2 pound) fresh tortellini
  • 3 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (we used red wine vinegar)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved



Serves 2
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Smoky Chicken, Peppers and Spinach Pasta Salad

Since I’m not free on the last week of May, I asked Michelle if I could attend the South Arm Hungry Men Community Kitchen instead of missing the session for women. Most of the times, the recipes are the same for both kitchens.

Here is my observations of the Hungry Men Community Kitchen; they are eager to learn to cook and they socialize well with one another. They are helpful with the clean up too. I wish the men in my home are the same. They only need extra guidance  with some basic kitchen skills and more complicated recipes ((in term of many steps) .


For this kitchen, the main course is a Smoky Chicken, Peppers and Spinach Pasta Salad. This salad can be served hot or cold.


  • 12 ounces rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions (vegetable rotini is preferred)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauce + 1 tablespoon for cooking chicken
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper,or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • about 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (2 heaping handfuls) fresh spinach leaves, sliced thinly (chiffonade)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and diced small



Yield: serves 8 generously

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Honey Ginger Lemonade

Michelle prepared a Mexican theme meal at the South Arm Community Kitchen for Women due to popular demand.


Most of the recipes had been blogged already. You can click on the link below the photo to view the recipe.


Cabbage Avocado Slaw.


Homemade Taco Seasoning.


Fresh Salsa.


Spiced Lentil Tacos/Burito.


The Honey Ginger Lemonade is a new recipe.


  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup peeled fresh ginger slices
  • 7 sprigs fresh mint
  • 2 cups purified water
  • 4 cups ice cubes.


  1. Place the lemon juice, honey, ginger and sprigs of mint in a large pitcher to release flavour.
  2. Add water and stir until the honey dissolves, then add ice.

Source: Dr.

Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Cheese

The main dish for this South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen is Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Cheese.


The cream sauce for this baked penne recipe is made with cauliflower. It’s a great way to incorporate vegetables in dishes for picky eaters.


  • 4 cups 1.5 inch cauliflower florets (about 1 pound from 1/2 head)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Fine sea salt or table salt
  • 12 oz. dried penne
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 oz. coarsely grated sharp white Cheddar (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1.5 cups using a grater)


Source: from Fine Cooking Online

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Baked Brown Rice with Onions

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. The original recipe has an optional roasted red peppers which we left out.


The rice was sweetish from the onions.


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups long or short-grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 3/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


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Pasta with No Cook Sauce

Summer is approaching. Michelle shard this easy summer recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club for days that you do not like spending a long time in the kitchen.


This Pasta with No Cook Sauce is perfumed with basil. Fresh herbs are like nature’s pharmacy. Add them to meals to add depth of flavour and to boost your intake of healthy foods.


Basil is one of the favourites among herbs because it has so many uses. Everything from soups to sandwiches can be made simply better with the addition of its fresh, pungent leaves. It also has been found to contain oils and flavonoids that protect the body from illness and infection. Very small concentrations can kill harmful bacteria, but still be very beneficial, even preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.


  • 1 pound dried whole wheat pasta (linguini, spaghetti, etc.)
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Source: this recipe is adapted from Healthy Family Meals

Serves 6 to 8
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Pasta with Veggie Confetti

For this South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club meet, Michelle shared a few recipes rich in vegetables and fruits for a heart healthy meal.  She shared with us that a recent studies reviewed a daily intake of 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fruits reduce the risk of heart disease by 50%.


This Pasta with Veggie Confetti recipe utilizes asparagus which is in season.


  • 12 oz dried whole wheat pasta, such as penne
  • 2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 medium asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


Source: Healthy Family Meals, American Heart Association

Serves 4

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Lots of Lentils Chili

The main course for the vegetarian meal made in the South Arm Community Kitchen for Older Adults Cooking Club is a Lentil Chili.


You can double this recipe and freeze the extra portion.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 x 14oz can no salt added dice tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils, rinsed & soaked
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium green onions, sliced


Source: Healthy Family Meals, American Heart Association

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Rice Pilaf

To complete the Greek meal, Michelle shared a simple Rice Pilaf recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

Give plain rice a kick by adding a little chopped onion and chicken broth. Stir in some fresh herbs before serving adds extra flavour to the Rice Pilaf.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth



Serves 4

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Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Pita Chips

Michelle also shared a snack recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


These crispy pita chips with Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip made an amazing snacks. Michelle also suggested that the dip is good to be used on pasta like a pesto.


  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 bag of whole wheat pita bread


Source: this recipe is adapted from

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