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Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club started a new session in September. We welcome back the old members and some new members for another great cooking sessions.

Michelle, the facilitator of the cooking club prepared four recipes for this session. The first recipe is Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes.

The quick pesto consists of nutritional yeast which is a deactivated yeast; sold as a food product. It contains protein, vitamins and fiber. It often is fortified with additional B vitamins.

Ingredients

Quick Pesto

  • 3 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Broiled Tomatoes

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cored and halved crosswise
  • 5 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs

Source: Vegetarian Times

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Mexican Chunky Salsa

Lez also served a chunky salsa along the Mexican Potato Empanadas and Mexican Refried Beans at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen.

Minoo brought some Green Salsa which she made during the summer when tormatilla is in abundance. She freezed the Green Salsa in small containers and defrosts one at a time when she needs it. The Green Salsa goes well with the empanadas.

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • lime juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: Lez

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Mexican Potato Empanadas

The Richmond Community Kitchen met again at the Gilmore Park Church for another cooking session. We were fortunate to have Lez to demonstrate some Mexican food to the group.


Lez demonstrated to us how to make Mexican Potato Empanadas, a vegetarian version. It is filled with potatoes, corn, green peppers and cheese.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • oil for frying
Dough:
  • 3 1/2 cups instant corn Masa mix
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Source: Lez

Serves 6 to 8

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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.

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

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.

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

Source: via Minoo

Yield 5 servings.

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Lentil Soup with Tomato and Spinach

Minoo prepared four recipes for the South Arm Community Kitchen held at the Bethel Church. It looks like that we will continue to meet at the Bethel Church until the summer break in July. We appreciate very much for Bethel Church’s generosity to allow us to use their well equipped kitchen for free.

For the starter, Minoo selected a lentil soup recipe. Lentils require soaking (some overnight) before cooking due to the presence of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and tannins. Lentils can be used to make soup, salad or cook with rice to add protein to the vegetarian diet.

Here are some recipes that I had blogged before about lentil:

This soup gets a gentle heat from jalapeno pepper and a burst of added flavours from freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly roasted spices. The addition of tomatoes and spinach also adds freshness to the soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow lentils, washed and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Source: Minoo

The spinach can be substituted with other green vegetables like kale.

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Indian Cuisine: Dal Mong

The second dish which Santoosh shared in the Caring Place Community Kitchen is called Dal Mong. Dal Mong is great to be eaten with roti or rice and vegetables. It is a thick stew. Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat.

Dal is a kind of dried lentil. It is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. Lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish. Lentils are a good vegetable source of iron. Iron is particularly important for adolescents and pregnant women.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • coriander leaves, chopped

Source: Santoosh

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Indian Cauliflower (Phool Gobi)

Santoosh shared three Indian recipes in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. We were very eager to learn from Santoosh. We love to cook ethnic food. Such demonstrations broaden our knowledge on the multicultural cuisines we find in Vancouver.

The three recipes were Indian Cauliflower, Dal Mong and Indian Roti. These are her staple food.

Santoosh is seen here demonstrating how to make Indian Roti. I will not blog about how to make roti because I had blogged about how to make roti here.

Can you guess how old is Santoosh? We were surprised when she told us she will be 80 years soon. Her secret to have such good complexion is to apply milk on her face daily 30 minutes before she takes her bath. She also shared with us that she eats a clove of raw garlic daily and she incorporates lots of garlic and onions in her cooking. She never had a cold for the longest time.

The above is an Indian Cauliflower dish that Santoosh shared called Phool Gobi. The bright yellow colour comes from turmeric.  Cauli in from Latin which means cabbage. Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and Vitamin C. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane which protect against cancer. It also contains Indole-3-Carbinol, a chemical that enhances DNA repair and acts as an estrogen antogonist which slow the growth of cancer cells.

Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory agent and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. Some may use turmeric in skin creams as an antiseptic agent for cuts, burns and bruises.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size head of cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cinnamon powder for sprinkling

Source: Santoosh

Serves 4 to 5

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