Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet

Michelle prepared a Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet for the main course for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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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Source: mintgreenapron.blogspot.com

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Beety Vegetarian Borscht

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again on Valentine’s Day. Michelle had planned a Valentine’s Day menu with the color red in mind. Unfortunately in the morning of the meeting day, Michelle did not feel well and had to leave the kitchen to Stella to manage. We wished Michelle well.

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We had a group of very capable seniors and everything went well.

The first dish is a Beety Vegetarian Borscht. It is a sweet vegetable stew of beets, cabbage, carrot and tomatoes.

Here are some nutritional information on beets from Livestrong.com:

  • low in calories
  • rich in fiber, containing 3.4g per cup
  • good source of potassium, 518mg per cup, 15% of your daily requirement
  • rich in folate, 136mcg per cup, 34% of your daily requirement
  • contain Vitamin C, B6 and protein
  • contain unique nutrients that may lower cholesterol level

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ground pepper to taste

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Source: via Michelle Li

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Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

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.

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This vegetarian curry is loaded with spices like garam masala, cumin and coriander. Minoo served this Chickpea Curry with brown rice.

Ingredients

  • 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

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Source: via Minoo

Yield 5 servings.

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Chicken Chili

For the main course, Minoo shared a Chicken Chili recipe at the South Arm Community Kitchen. Minoo served the Chicken Chili with steamed basmati rice. You can find the recipe on how to cook basmati rice here except that Minoo did not flavoured it with saffron  this time.

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The Chicken Chili is very saucy and tomato’ish. The sauce is good with the steamed rice.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for chicken
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried ones
  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • freshly ground black pepper

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This recipe used skin on and bone in chicken breast which is cheaper. The chicken breast is cooked with the skin on and bone in for more flavour. The skin and bones can be easily removed after cooking.

Source: unknown

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Spiced Squash and Corn Chili

The second dish prepared by the seniors at the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors is a vegetarian chili dish. This is a healthy and hearty dish for the cold winter.

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The Spiced Squash and Corn Chili has a little kick in it and it utilizes butternut squash which is in season. The addition of walnuts adds a little crunch to the chili.

Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, C and E, manganese, magnesium and potassium.

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 4 cups
  • 2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder or according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper or according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander and ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes or according to taste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika or according to taste
  • 3 bell peppers, mix colors, chopped
  • 1 can corn nibblets
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)

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Source: unknown

Serves 8 to 12

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Chicken Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a traditional French Provencal stewed vegetable dish. Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish. The key ingredient in Ratatlouille is tomatoes accompanying by garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, carrot and a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence which is typically a combination of savory, fennel, basil, and thyme.

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Jorge served this Chicken Ratatouille with Jalapeno Chili Corn Bread which I will blog next.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 zucchini, cut into cubes
  • 1 eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, halved, seeded, and thickly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, quartered and seeded
  • 12 chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: Jorge Viduenez

Prep time: 30 minutes;  Cook time: 1 hour and 10 minutes;  Serves 12

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African Curried Coconut Stew with Chickpeas

Helena and June made this African Curried Coconut Stew with Chickpeas in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.

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This African Curried Coconut Stew with Chickpeas is wonderful. The peanut butter adds an interesting flavour to this hearty stew.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • salt to taste

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Source: adapted from Donna Klein’s Tropical Vegan Kitchen

Prep time: 20 minutes;  Cook time: 25 minutes;  Serves 4.

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Old Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe for Slow Cooker

For those of you of follow chowtimes, I’m sure you’ll know me well enough that I try not to use the oven in summer.  It’s hot enough already and we do not need the extra heat from the oven.  I made this Old Fashioned Beef Stew using the slow cooker.

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I find that this beef stew is slightly on the tangy side.  We are not so fond of tangy meat but I’m ok with tangy dessert.  The next time I’m going to make this again, I will omit the lemon juice.  This is a very hearty meal.

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The main reason I made this beef stew is I found a great deal for eye of round roast at Save-On-Foods.  This 2.6kg piece of meat only cost $11.42.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds lean stew beef
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth or bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I think I will omit this next time)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 carrots, cut in pieces
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup cold water blended with 3 tablespoons flour for thickening (I find it not necessary)

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Potato Chicken Stew

We were all very surprise and glad to Vanessa back in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Vanessa was the ex-leader of the South Arm Community Kitchen for several years until last June. Vanessa has involve in some volunteer job which clash with the South Arm Community Kitchen schedule. She came back today to demonstrate a very homey Chinese dish. Welcome back, Vanessa.

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The Potato Chicken Stew is best served with steamed rice. The sauce goes so well with rice that kids can just eat the rice with the sauce and potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken pieces (we used chicken drummets)
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 whole bulb garlic, minced
  • 8 small shallots, sliced and rough chopped
  • 3″ ginger, cut in chunks and smashed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil for frying

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potatochickenstew-2-300x200Peel the potatoes and cut into 1.5 cm cubes and soak in water to prevent browning by oxidation.
potatochickenstew-3-300x200Wash the chicken and marinate with the rest of the ingredients except the oil for frying. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
potatochickenstew-4-300x200Heat a large wok or frying pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil. Fry the marinated chicken for a few minutes or until the outside of the chicken is lightly cooked.
potatochickenstew-5-300x200Add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil and cover. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
potatochickenstew-6-300x200Add the potatoes and cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is fully cooked. The sauce would have thickened. Check the taste of the sauce and season with salt and sugar if necessary.
potatochickenstew-7-300x200Serve the Potato Chicken Stew on a platter.

Vanessa, thank you for coming back to the South Arm Community Kitchen to demonstrate and we hope to see you more often in the future.

Barley Chicken Stew

It’s Mona and my turn to demonstrate in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Mona made a German dish called Barley Chicken Stew for the main dish while I made Malaysian Fruit Rojak for dessert. I had blogged about the Fruit Rojak here.

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The Fruit Rojak was accepted well even though it is a little too spicy for some of the members in the group despite I did not add Thai chili to the dish. The only problem is the confusion of the origin of the dish where I kept hearing people saying Thai or Indonesian when they mentioned about the rojak.

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The Barley Chicken Stew is a very hearty meal and it’s very filing too. It’s a great dish for cold weather.

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Another new member of the kitchen, Jane, brought some corn meal muffin to share with us. Jane was a school teacher for 25 years, teaching cooking in school. We hope she will share with us many of her culinary skills.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pearl barley, soak in water or broth overnight
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 litre chicken broth
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons chopped chives or green onion and parley each
  • a pinch of tumeric
  • a pinch of chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Mona made her own chicken broth with chicken bones and she added tumeric to the chicken broth for colour. Mona also bought organic pearl barley for about $5 per kilo from Galloway which is just 30% more expensive than regular ones. She also brought her own frozen chopped green onion and parsley which she planted in her garden during summer.

Click on Read More for the instructions.

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