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!)
You can click on the scanned recipe for larger view or printing.
You would not believe that the next superfood featured in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is garlic.
The benefits of garlic extracted from webmd include:
- boosting immune system
- anti-viral, antibacterial, antifungal
- high level of Vitamin C
- cancer prevention: for example, National Cancer Institute study found that 2 teaspoons of garlic, onions or chives a day was associated with lower risk of prostate cancer
This Potato Garlic Soup does have a strong garlic flavour. It is a creamy and thick soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth or more
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives for garnishing
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
- salt and pepper to taste
Source: adapted from epicurious.com
You may click on the above scanned recipe to have a larger view.
The South Arm Seniors’ Kitchen prepared another salad for the last session. We had more food than usual because we had all the participants to attend this last session. There were 11 participants for this kitchen.
This potato salad is creamy and the dill adds a good flavour to it.
- 3 pounds new potatoes
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dillweed
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tub (8 oz) container sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Source: via Colleen
Tip: to make this a more quilt free spud salad, you can substitute the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.
The main dish that D’nis shared in the South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen is a Peruvian Potato Dish called Causa.
Here is what D’nis shared with us about her country of origin:
Peru is a country located in South America, with a population of 29 million. It has a democratic government. The area covers 1,285,216 km square. Peru borders Ecuador and Columbia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the south-east and Chile to the south. On the west is the Pacific Ocean with 3,000 km of coast. Peru in area is about 20 percent larger than British Columbia and has about 30 million inhabitants. Peru became an independent country in 1821, many years before Canada.
The geography varies from arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon basin.
The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant of Peruvians speak Quechua or native languages. The mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide variety of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature and music.
Potatoes, tomatoes and corn are originally from the Andes, a gift to the world. Peru has more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes.
The above dish is called Causa Rellena con Atun/Palta/Huevo Duro which is Yellow Potatoes with Tuna, Avocado and Hard Boiled Eggs. The name Causa comes from the Incan Quechuan word “Kausaq”, meaning “that which gives life”. During the colonial period in Peru, the newly arrived Spaniards adapted many of the native food and combined them with the food they brought from Europe, creating the distinctive Peruvian cuisine that exists today. Causa is one of these hybrid dishes: a combination of the ancient potato, avocado and aji amarillo that are all native to Peru, and the lime and garlic imported from Europe. Hearty yet refreshing, cool yet mildly picante, Causa is an intriguing mix of the abundant flavours found in the region.
- 8 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 to 3 pounds)
- 4 eggs
- 3 limes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
- 2 can tuna
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 ripe avocado
- salt and pepper to taste
- chili paste to taste
- parsley for garnishing
Peru is famous throughout South America for its food. As a major fishing nation, fish is abundant. The primary ingredients found in nearly every Peruvian dish are rice, potatoes, pork, lamb, and fish. Most of these meals include one of the different kinds of aji, or Peruvian hot pepper. The main variety are yellow aji pepper, red aji pepper and red rocoto pepper.
Chicken, pork and lamb were introduced to Peru 500 years ago, when Spaniards came to America. Other ingredients, like potatoes, were already being grow in the Peruvian Andes and were taken by the Spaniards back to Europe.
Today, more than 200 varieties of potatoes can be found in the Lake Titicaca area. They range in color from purple to blue, from yellow to brown. Sizes and textures vary as well. Some are smalls as nuts, others can be as large as oranges.
Colleen prepared a seafood dish for the South Arm Seniors Kitchen. It was brought up in the previous kitchen that we seldom cook seafood in the kitchen. One of the main reason is the cost. So, for this kitchen, Colleen picked a recipe which uses can salmon which is low in cost.
This is a great recipe to use leftover food like mashed potatoes and salmon.
Minoo prepared 4 recipes for the South Arm Community Kitchen. This is my first time to the kitchen since it’s renovation. I love all the stainless steel appliances and the addition of a convection oven. It takes time to get to know where the pots and pans and utensils are stored in a new kitchen.
You can prepare this dish in advance and bake it when you need it. A great dish for potluck party and the color of Swiss Chard makes this dish very festive.
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 1/2 cups shredded Swiss Chard
For the main course, Minoo prepared a Chickpea Curry for the spice theme. This is also known as Chana Masala in the Indian culinary term.
This vegetarian curry is loaded with spices like garam masala, cumin and coriander. Minoo served this Chickpea Curry with brown rice.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 inches piece of fresh ginger
- 2 tomatoes, chopped coursely
- 2 potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 20 oz canned chickpeas
- green chilies, finely chopped (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- fresh cilantro for garnishing
Source: via Minoo
Yield 5 servings.
Iryna and Joanne partnered up to demonstrate at the Caring Place Community Kitchen. Iryna is from Ukraine. She demonstrated a very popular Ukrainian dish which originated from Russia. It is a cold soup dish called Okroshka. Iryna told us that she had been making this cold soup all her life.
Okroshka is a summer dish. It is a very refreshing soup. It is made with fresh diced vegetables. The fresh vegetables retain the vitamins due to no cooking is involved. Heat is the main culprit to destroy vitamins. The only vegetables that need cooking is potatoes. Of course, there is meat in this dish which needs cooking. You can add poached chicken, fish, ham or sausages to this dish.
Okroshka is usually made with cucumbers, carrot, a garden radish, parsley, baby dill, green onion, eggs, lemon juice, butter milk or sour cream or mayonnaise. If you like to add meat, it has to be cooked and chilled. The ratio of meat and vegetables should be approximately half and half.
Iryna shared with us something about her country, Ukraine. Ukraine is used to be part of Russia. It’s an European country. It is the biggest country in Europe after Russia. It claimed it’s independence in 1921.
Ukraine’s population is about 50 million. Ukrainian also speaks Russian and it’s language is similar to Hungarian and Poland.
Ukrainian’s winter is very harsh, between -20 to -35 Celsius and the summer can be pretty hot, as high as 40 Celsius.
Ukraine has no mountain except the border with Poland and Hungarian. Iryna is from the south of Ukraine which borders the Black Sea.
- 2 pounds chicken breast or sausages
- 2 cucumbers, dice
- 2 radishes, dice
- 4 boiled potatoes
- 6 hard boiled eggs
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 1 small carrot, boiled, dice
- 1 bunch baby dill, chopped
- 1 small tub of sour cream
- 1 litre of butter milk or 1 small jar of mayonnaise
- lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- salt to taste
Iryna did not use the butter milk but she used the mayonnaise instead. She brought the butter milk to show us the option.
Radish is a root vegetable. It is related to mustard and turnip. Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, i.e. Vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. They are a good source of Vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper and calcium. Radishes can be eaten raw and is often used in salad.
The flavour of Okroshka is predominated by dill. Dill has fernlike leaves that are aromatic and used to flavour many food such as salmon, borscht, okroshka and pickles. Fresh dill loses it’s flavour rapidly if dried, however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavour relatively well for a few months.