Rice Vinegar Cucumber Salad

Minoo requested for volunteers to demonstrate for the South Arm Community Kitchen which was temporarily held at Bethel Church while South Arm kitchen is under renovation. It looks like the renovation is going to take much longer than anticipated.


Minoo got Emily and Lorna to partner up for this week’s demonstration. Emily made three simple homey dishes. The first is a side dish of Rice Vinegar Cucumber Salad.

Cucumber is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, manganese, folate, dietary fiber and magnesium. The skin of cucumber has the heaviest concentration of sterols which helps to lower cholesterol. Cucumber is a great digestive aid and have a cleansing effect on the bowel. It is low in calories and is great for people on a diet.


  • mini cucumbers
  • salt
  • sesame oil
  • rice vinegar


Source: Emily


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Lemon Banana Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

For dessert, Marian prepared a Lemon Banana Raisin Oat Bran Muffin recipe for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. We had to bake the cake in a baking pan because there is no muffin tins in this kitchen which is a temporary location while South Arm Kitchen is undergoing renovation.


This is a high fiber recipe with the addition of oat bran cereal. It is a healthy muffin that you can have without guilt.


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup oat bran cereal
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisin


P/S: milk and whole wheat flour are missing from the ingredients picture

Source: via Marian

Makes 12 muffins


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Crispy Baked Fish

Fish is the main course for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. This is an easy and nutritional dish. It uses only a few ingredients and you can have a healthy meal.


Fish is a rich source of omega 3. Canada’s food guide encourages us to eat fish at least three times a week. Marian served the Crispy Baked Fish with some Orange Glazed Asparagus which I had blogged before. Marian also prepared an orange honey glazed for the fish on the spot since we had extra oranges from the asparagus recipe.


  • 4 pieces white fish fillet like tilapia fillet
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • oil to grease the pan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Orange Honey Glaze

  • juice from 1 large orange
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • a splash of dry white wine


Source: Marian

Serves 4


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French Onion Soup

It’s meeting time again for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. It’s seems a long time since I attended the senior kitchen because I skip one of their kitchen since Minoo was repeating the same recipes done in another kitchen. The seniors kitchen met once every two week. If I skip a kitchen, then I’ll see them only once a month. That’s the reason it seems a long time I did not see my seniors friends.


Marian prepared four recipes for the seniors kitchen. The first recipe is the ever popular French Onion Soup which is a very common soup dish serves in France. This soup recipe can be prepared ahead of time and keep frozen.

Onions contain chemical compounds such as quercetin which believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, ant-cancer, and antioxidant properties. Other claims that has never substantiated includes weight loss. Nevertheless, onions bring sweetness to dishes. The aroma of frying onions always a good sign of home cook food.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 9 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 6 to 8 slices of French bread
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from Classic soups by Debra Mayhew

Serves 6 to 8


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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.


  • 1 cup Dal, wash and drain
  • 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.



  • 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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Maple Apple Pudding

To complete the meal at the South Arm Community Kitchen, Minoo shared an apple pudding recipe as a dessert.

For those of you who are health conscious, you would like to pay attention to this. This is because of the use of maple syrup. Two days ago I read an article that had identified our maple syrup as a superfood (see article here). Superfood is describe as food with high phytonutrient content that may provide health benefits.


This Apple Pudding is sweetened with maple syrup. We love the addition of cinnamon which goes very well with the apples and raisins. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant and the essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties which can help in the preservation of certain food. I love the aroma in the kitchen when baking with cinnamon.


  • 4 to 5 large ripe apples
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • ground cinnamon


Source: this recipe is adapted from A Taste of Quebec (Macmillan)


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Pastel de Papa (Argentinean Potato Pie)

In the South Arm Community Kitchen, Minoo demonstrated this Pastel de Papa dish, especially for Emily. Emily had requested recipes for potatoes as her son loves potatoes. Unfortunately, on the day of the demonstration, Emily called in sick at the last minute. So, Emily, you can check in here for the recipe.


I like the name Pastel de Papa. Sounds like Papa’s Pie. Actually it means just Potato Pie in Spanish. This is really similar to Shepherd’s Pie in that it is covered with mashed potatoes.

Pastel de Papa is a popular Argentina food. It is also known as Chilean potato pie which is a staple in that country. It’s a hearty country food and simple to make. This is a great dish for potluck party.


  • 10 to 12 potatoes, peel and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 medium onions, dice
  • 2 tablespoons oils
  • 2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • a large can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 or four eggs
  • 1/2 cup green pitted olives
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • paprika, salt and pepper to taste
  • chili flakes to taste, optional
  • freshly chopped cilantro, optional
  • few pinches of ground nutmeg


Source: Minoo


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Spicy Parsnip Soup

Minoo shared a Spicy Parsnip Soup recipe in the South Arm Community Kitchen during one of the community kitchen in winter. Parsnips are considered a winter vegetable because they need the frost to develop their flavour. Hence, parsnips are popular in northern climates such as Canada because they don’t require a long growing season and store well through the winter.

Here are some notes that Minoo shared about parsnips.

Parsnips are root vegetable related to the carrot and a member of the parsley family. In fact, they look like a big, ivory-coloured carrot. Parsnips, like carrots, have been cultivated in Europe at least since the Roman times, though their prevalence decreased after the introduction of the potato from South America.


Since this is a winter root vegetable, I don’t really know if this is widely available in the supermarket these days since we are in spring now. Does anyone know? Anyway, I have a good guide in this post called Guide To Winter Root Vegetables that you might like to check out.

Selection and storage

Choose unblemished smaller parsnips over larger ones as they will be more tender. The best tasting specimens are freshly harvested that appear in markets and stores in the late fall and early winter. However, parsnips from storage are usually available through spring and even summer. Store them as you would carrots, in a cool, dark place such as the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, for up to two to three weeks.


Parsnips are a significant source of many nutrients. According to Health Canada, half a cup of boiled and drained parsnips contains about 70 calories, 2.7g of fiber (10 percent of the daily RDA), 30 mg of calcium, 302mg of potassium, 48 microgram of folate and 11mg of Vitamin C.


Peel and remove stem ends. If making mashed parsnips, add cream, butter, tarragon, chives and nutmeg as flavours which have an affinity with the sweet taste of parsnips. Parsnips can be added to recipes in place of carrots. Nutritionist Leslie Beck suggested the following ways of serving parsnips:

  • shredded and mixed with hash browns
  • peeled and grated raw into salads (best for small and tender parsnips)
  • as a substitute for potatoes in stews
  • shredded and added to a stir fry
  • cooked and mashed in place of potatoes like this Whipped Carrot and Parsnips


This Spicy Parsnip Soup has a little kick with the addition of chili flakes. It is creamy and warming.


  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled, and minced
  • a small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 6 parsnips, peel and chopped parsnips into chunks.
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped or 1 to 2 teaspoons of chili flakes
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves


Source: Minoo


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Banana Split with Pineapple and Maple Walnuts

The South Arm Community Kitchen completed the meal with a dessert. Minoo prepared a Banana Split recipe with a twist.


This Banana Split with Pineapple and Maple Walnuts is just the right size and not as indulging as the version served at the stores. I like the portion size and the addition of the pineapples with a slight sourness to counter balance the sweetness of the ice-cream.

While we were enjoying our meal, Minoo shared with us some tips for a healthy lifestyle and a cleaner environment, starting from our own kitchen. Here is the link to the tips.


  • 1 x 15 ounce can crushed pineapple, in natural juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ripe, firm bananas
  • 6 scoops vanilla light ice-cream or frozen yogurt, 1/4 cup each
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, for garnishing, optional
  • Maple Walnuts for toppings (refer Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Walnuts recipe)


Source: unknown via Minoo

Serves 6

Oh!, I learned something new about banana from a NCIS: Los Angeles show and it is also mentioned in Wikipedia.

Bananas are naturally slightly radioactive, more so than most other fruits. Small amounts of the isotope is found in naturally occurring potassium.


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