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.


  • 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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Moroccan Carrot Soup

For this kitchen in the Gilmore Park Church, Minoo chosed a theme of spice. Here is an excerpt that Minoo shared with us.

Spices do more than make food taste great. Recent reseach is showing that spices can promote health and well being through a series of actions that are anti-aging and inhibiting of degenerative disease. The vegetarian diet so often associated with good health and lack of disease relies heavily on the use of spice. But you dont have to be a vegetarian to gain the amazing health benefits these inexpensive flavour enhancers have to offer.

The addition of spices can turn up the taste of almost any food. Here are some examples of the uses of spices in everyday cooking:

  • Add some chili pepper, cumin or turmeric to mashed potatoes or rice.
  • Sprinkle marjoram or rosemary on your salads.
  • Dress up cottage cheese with whatever spice flavour that appeals to you
  • Add spice to vegetable dishes
  • Sprinkle spice on meats, poultry or fish before cooking
Any way you do it, adding spice means adding a wealth of health benefits. Spices have more antioxidant power, measure for measure, than fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants helps prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and premature aging.

This Moroccan Carrot Soup has a punch of flavour. The addition of lemon juice gives it a much depth of flavour.


  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 2/3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, stirred to loosen


Source: this recipe is adapted from
Makes 4 servings; Preparation time: 20 minutes: Total time: 40 minutes


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Butternut Squash Gratin with Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

The second dish which Minoo prepared from the Vancouver Sun was Butternut Squash Gratin with Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs. It”s in season now. Winter squash is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium and potassium. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and E.


This casserole dish is tender, crisp, sweet and savoury. It is a great dish for potluck.


  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, about 1 pound (450g), chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2ml) freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (250ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) chopped fresh sage leaves


Source: adapted from Vancouver Sun

Makes 8 servings

P/S: the shallots are not supposed to be in the ingredients


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Lentil, Barley and Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Feta

Minoo prepared three recipes for the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Two of the recipes were taken from Vancouver Sun.

The recipes include a Lentil, Barley and Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Feta, a Butternut Squash Gratin with Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs and a Ginger Pumpkin Muffin recipe.


The combination of grains and legumes in the Lentil, Barley and Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Feta provides a complete protein meal. It is easy to pack for lunch or picnic.


  • 1/3 cup (80ml) brown rice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pearl or pot barley
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) dry green or brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) chopped dates, figs or apricots
  • 1 to 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Source: Vancouver Sun

Makes 6 servings


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Oatmeal Blueberry Muffin

Mary requested for a recipe of blueberry muffin. Minoo has many blueberry muffin recipes but this recipe that Minoo shared is one she has never try before. She likes that there is oatmeal in this recipe.


This Oatmeal Blueberry Muffin has a very moist batter. Minoo added some freshly ground flax seeds for additional nutrition. Flax seeds are high in Omega-3 essential fatty  acid and high in fiber and lignans. Some of health benefits of flax seeds are:

  • lower cholesterol
  • fight diabetes
  • fight constipation
  • fight cancer
  • fight inflammation
  • fight menopausal systoms
  • fight heart disease

You can check out this article for more details.


  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup bluberries
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground flax seeds

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for this recipe.


Source: via Minoo

Makes 12 muffins


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Sesame Green Beans

Minoo prepared a second side dish to go with the pasta. This week’s recipes were mostly vegetables which is a good thing.


The Sesame Green Beans are aromatic with sesame oil and the sesame seeds add nuttiness and texture to this simple stir fry vegetable dish.


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons or more sesame seeds (a handful)
  • soy sauce to taste


Source: via Minoo


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Cole Slaw with Creamy Tangy Dressing

Minoo prepared one of her favourite cole slaw recipe for the salad to go with the Sweet Pepper and Kale Pasta.

Cole-Slaw-with-Creamy Tangy-Dressing-6

This Cole Slaw has a tangy, sweet but yet creamy dressing. This is a very economical recipe to feed a crowd.


  • 1 medium head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • salt to taste

Cole-Slaw-with-Creamy Tangy-Dressing-1

P/S: we do not have cider vinegar and replaced it with white vinegar

Source: via Minoo

Serves 6 to 8


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Sweet Peppers and Kale Pasta

The community kitchen met again at Gilmore Park Church. Minoo prepared 4 recipes for this kitchen.


For the main dish, Minoo prepared a Sweet Pepper and Kale Pasta. Minoo tried to incorporate the usage of kale in the recipes in the community kitchen. You can check out the nutritional value of kale in this Kale and White Bean Soup post.

This recipe uses fresh tomatoes as they are in season and are really cheap. Due to the mild summer, tomatoes are harvested late this year.


  • 1 x 8 ounce package uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 to 6 tomatoes
  • 1 cup roughly chopped kale leaves, discard the stem as they are tough and bitter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


Source: via Minoo


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Canning Pickled Onions

When we were almost done with the canning of the Apple Ginger Chutney, Gretchen dropped in with a bag of  home grown onions for canning. The onions are huge, jumbo size.


According to Karen DW, onions are low in acidity and they need to be pickled.


So, we did a quick Pickled Onions canning for Gretchen. Pickled onions can be tossed with salad or added to sandwiches, especially cheese sandwiches.


  • 3 large onions
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt for flavouring

Source: Karen DW

Makes about 9 x 250ml jars


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Canning Apple Ginger Chutney

I was able to find time for the canning drop-in again last week. For the month of September, the canning drop-in is conducted at the Minoru Seniors Center, in the kitchen of the cafeteria. The canning drop-in runs on Tuesday, from 5PM to 7PM for the month of August and September.


For last week’s canning drop-in, Karen DW of Your Secret Chef prepared Apple Ginger Chutney for sale at the Applepalooza event which will take place on Oct 2nd in the Apple Orchard at the south end of Gilbert Road, from 10AM to 2PM. It’s a celebration about apple. This is the second annual festival and it includes tasting and sales of apples, baked goods with apples and apple ginger chutney. The price of a jar of 250ml homemade organic apple ginger chutney is only $5 which is a bargain. There is also a lunch by chef Ian Lai ($5), face painting and crafts and wonderful music in the orchard.

This delicious condiment can be made with in-season apples now, or with non-seasonal ingredients any time of the year. It is delicious served with meats like chicken and grilled fish or combined with sour cream or cream cheese in appetizer toppings or sauces.


The apples are home grown and it’s perfectly alright to use the imperfect apples for canning.


  • 3 cups (750 ml) prepared Granny Smith apples, about 5 large or 1 lb (500 g)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (we substituted this with a cup of apple as we did not have the red bell pepper)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chopped onion
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1- 1/2 cups (375 ml) cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) peeled and minced ginger root
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 ml) ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 ml) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) red pepper flakes


Source: Bernadin via Karen DW

Makes about 7 x 250ml jars.


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