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
For the main course, Michelle shared a vegetarian Coconut Lentil Curry.
This Monica’s Coconut Lentil Curry can be served over rice or with some warmed naan bread.
P/S: I forgot to take a photo of the dish when it was served.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cups lentils (green, brown or red)
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- sea salt to taste
- juice from 1 lime
- optional: chopped cilantro, lime wedges and shredded unsweetened coconut milk for garnishing
The main course for the Mexican theme prepared by Michelle for the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen was Spiced Lentil Tacos.
Michelle shared with us that even his meat lover husband enjoys this. Lentil is a great protein substitute and is high in fiber.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
- 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
- 8 taco shells or soft tortillas
- 1 1/4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat (2%) cheddar
Michelle intended to do a pseudo Italian menu for this South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club kitchen.
A little note from Michelle:
Is spinach more nutritious raw or cooked? The answer is cooked. Cooking can actually boost the antioxidant content. Heating vegetables releases antioxidants by breaking down cell walls. Studies have found that eating cooked spinach and carrots versus raw results in much higher blood level of beta-carotene, an antioxidant thought to guard against heart diseases and lung cancer. From Leslie Beck, Globe and Mail
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach
- 15 oz low fat ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 32 oz tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)
- 9 tablespoons (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Source: this recipe is adapted from Skinnytaste.com
Michelle prepared a Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet for the main course for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.
Original cassoulet is loaded with meat. This is a vegetarian version where protein is substituted with white beans. This dish can be made in less than half an hour if you use canned beans, but Michelle prefers the texture of the cooked, dried beans with some planing ahead as the dried beans will cook faster after soaking in boiling water for overnight.
Serve with crostini or slices of baguette alongside.
- 1 1/2 cups dried beans (Zuni or other white beans) or 3 canned white beans, drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 4 sprigs thyme, stripped from stem or 1 teaspoon dried one
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
- optional: cooked bacon (veggie or pork for the carnivores!)
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The ingredient introduced in this recipe is millet. Millet is a cereal grain with origins in Asia and Africa. Millet has been cultivated for 10,000 years. In India, it is often mixed with other grains to make flat bread. It is an important part of the diet in many parts of Africa.
Millet is gluten-free and rich in B vitamins.
This Millet and Cauliflower Casserole is vegan, wheat and dairy free. However, this recipe is very adaptable. You may add Parmesan cheese to it to entice kids to eat. You may substitute the millet with other grain like quinoa. This casserole makes a great potluck dish.
- 1 1/2 cups raw millet
- 3 3/4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large cauliflower, chopped into 1″ pieces
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup tightly packed chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 x 15 oz can Navy beans, rinsed and drained
- vegetable broth
Source: this recipe is adapted from The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook
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Mushroom is the next featured superfood in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. The mushroom is used in this Easy Mushroom Stroganoff recipe.
Benefits of mushrooms extracted from BBC Good Food Megazine and Vegetarian Nutrition Info includes:
- very low in calories
- antioxidant property
- high in potassium (helps lower blood pressure and reduces risk of stroke). For example, one portobella mushroom has more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice.
- great alternative to meat
- source of Vitamin B12
- one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, which keeps bones and teeth healthy and supports the immune system
- shiitake mushrooms have been used by Chinese and Japanese to treat cold and flu, appears to stimulate immune system
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 600 grams mixed mushrooms, washed and chopped
- 1 cup low sodium beef or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup half fat sour cream
- parsley, chopped
- broad noodles, prepared according to directions
Source: adpated from BBC Good Food Magazine
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