Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes

Michelle prepared a Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes to go with the simple Asparagus Soup at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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The Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes makes a great appetizer and finger food too.

Ingredients

  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 loaf of ciabatta or baguette
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • room temperature grated Parmesan cheese

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Saveur.com

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Superfoods Salad

This Superfoods Salad was made for last year’s South Arm fund raiser for the food bank and it was sold out very quickly. Michelle decided to make it at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club since it has not be made in the kitchen before.

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This Superfoods Salad is good for a few days in the refrigerator. It is great for potluck too. This ecipe makes approximately 8 to 10 servings. For home consumption, it is recommended to halve the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed for a few times
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup green lentils (preferably small French green lentils)
  • 4 1/2 cups water

Vegetables

  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1/2 bunch kale, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

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Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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Source: via South Arm Cooking Club for Older Adults

Makes approximately 8 to 10 servings.

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Simple Asparagus Soup

The Older Adults Cooking Club met again at the South Arm Kitchen. Michelle prepared four new recipes for this kitchen.

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The first recipe is Asparagus Soup. This non-dairy creamy soup is simple to prepare and can be made a day ahead of time. It freezes well for future use.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • approximately 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth or bouillon to make 4 cups of broth
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • optional: yogurt, cream or sour cream to drizzle on top

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Asparagus information:

Stem thickness indicates the age of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from older plants. Older, thicker stalks can be woody and peeling the skin at the base will remove the tough layer. Peeled asparagus will poach much faster. The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand and dirt, so thoroughly cleaning is generally advised before cooking.

Source: this recipe is adapted from epicurious.com.

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Roasted Green Beans with Red Onions and Walnuts

Michelle loves to roast vegetables like cauliflower, kale, green bean, etc as the high heat and short cooking time brings out the caramelization and yet retain the nutrition.

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Michelle shared the above Roasted Green Beans with Red Onion and Walnuts in the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off, rinse and pat dry
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/2″ thick wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 medium thin-sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup toasted and chopped walnuts

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Source: Cook’s Illustrated

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Carrot Ginger Soup

The South Arm Older Adults Kitchen is back in action. For this kitchen, Michelle revisited a couple of the best recipes due to popular demand.

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One of the recipe is Smothered Chicken in Quinoa. This is a high fiber and high protein meal in a pot. This is a recipe which freezes well.

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Michelle also shared her family favourite Carrot Ginger Soup for this session. This is also a recipe which freezes well. It also tastes better the next day. You may double the recipe by just doubling the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon (peeled with peeler, avoid white pith, or grated on a microplane)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or more to taste)
  • whipping cream or yogurt or sour cream, to garnish

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Source: this recipe is adapted from epicurious.com

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Weekend Musings: Coconut Oil

In the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club, Michelle introduced a new item which is Coconut Oil.

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In room temperature, coconut oil solidifies like vegetable shortening. In warmer summer weather, it may turns into liquid. It does not need refrigeration.

Coconut oil can be used in place of oil or butter. It has fairly high heat tolerance and can be used in cooking like sauteing up to medium high heat.

It has a nice coconut flavour and great for baked goods like zucchini and banana bread.

Here is an excerpt  on coconut oil and its benefit from Dr. Oz shared by Michelle in the kitchen. (more…)

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Raspberry Rose Water Sorbet

For dessert, Michelle prepared a Raspberry Rose Water Sorbet for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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You can substitute the raspberry with strawberry.

Ingredients

  • 2 pints fresh raspberries, or 24 ounces frozen, unsweetened raspberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups simple syrup, or to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rose water
Simple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

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Source: Celebrate! by Sheila Lukins

Makes 4 cups

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Cumin Basmati Rice

Michelle served the Coconut Lentil Curry with Cumin Basmati Rice in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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This is another recipe from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram vij & Meeru Dhalwala.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice (we used Jasmin rice as this is the rice available  in the kitchen pantry)
  • 3 cups cold water for soaking
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (ir canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 3/4 cups water for cooking

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Source: Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram vij & Meeru Dhalwala

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Monica’s Coconut Lentil Curry

For the main course, Michelle shared a vegetarian Coconut Lentil Curry.

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This Monica’s Coconut Lentil Curry can be served over rice or with some warmed naan bread.

P/S: I forgot to take a photo of the dish when it was served.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups lentils (green, brown or red)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • sea salt to taste
  • juice from 1 lime
  • optional: chopped cilantro, lime wedges and shredded unsweetened coconut milk for garnishing

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Source: mintgreenapron.blogspot.ca/2010/12/happy-new-eats.html

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Grilled Coconut Kale

This another recipe from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala which Michelle shared in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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We started off grilling the Coconut Kale but the kitchen became too smokey and we ended with baking it in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kale with stem.
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala

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