Beet and Daikon Salsa

With the Vaisakhi around the corner, Michelle was inspired to prepare an Indian theme lunch at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

Here is an excerpt which Michelle shared in the kitchen about Vaisakhi.

For many thousands of years, Vaisakhi has been the time when farmers have put their sickles to harvest and celebrated the coming of a new year. Since 1699, the Sikhs have had a further reason to celebrate at this time of the year. Now Vaisakhi is celebrated with even more energy, pomp and fanfare. It has become a holy day to mark the birth of the Khalsa fraternity. And so 300+ years on, this tradition continues with much gaeity, vigour and enthusiasm, Sikhs worldwide will spend much time remembering this most important day in their religious calendar – the  day the Khalsa was created.

If we take ourselves back to 1699 and the birth place of the Khalsa perhaps the real significance of Vaisakhi for the Sikh people can be comprehended. During the period around 1650, the country around Punjab was in turmoil; the rulers were corrupt; there was no rule of law; the rights of the common people were non-existent; justice did not prevail. The strong imposed their will and their way without question; the weak suffered constantly and quietly; there was misery everywhere. It was under these circumstances that Guru Cobind Singh rose to the occasion and chose to create the Khalsa. The Guru was looking for people within the community who would take on the challenge and rise above the weakness; to be strong and fearless; to be prepared to face these challenges without reservation and to uphold justice; to be fair and even handed at all times; to be prepared to die for the truth.

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This Vaisakhi inspired dish is from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala.  Although this Beet and Daikon Salsa calls for finely dicing the beets and daikon, you could grate or process the veggies to speed thins up.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 beets, peeled and finely diced (or grated)
  • 4 oz daikon, peeled and finely diced (or grated)
  • 1 large, firm tomato, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and salt
  • juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon, or to taste

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

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Fruit Pizza

Michelle shared her mon’s Fruit Pizza recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club. This recipe incorporates a variety of fruit in it. The recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables for older adults is 6 servings.

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This recipe is a great way to encourage kids to get involved in the food preparation as they can help to decorate it. Michelle’s kids have lots of fun doing it.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
Cheese Layer
  • 8oz cream cheese (light or regular), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Glazed (if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, or less
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Fruit Layer
  • Peel and slice a variety of colourful fruit; strawberries, grapes, blueberries, canteloupe, mandarin oranges, etc

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Frank brought the pineapple and cantaloupe to share. Thank you, Frank.

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Parmesan Chicken

The main course for this South Arm Older Adults Cooking session is a chicken dish.

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This simple recipe is easy to make and kids will love it. We cut each of the chicken breast into 3 portions which is the recommended serving size. You can cut it into strips for easy handling for the kids.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken fillets or tenders (we used chicken breast)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil

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This 3-bowl breading system works well for any meat or vegetable that you want to bread and cook on stove top or bake in oven.

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Quinoa with Fried Onions

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club goal is to introduce economic and healthy recipes to its participants. Here is another healthy recipe with quinoa which some of the participants like to learn more about its usage.

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Pronounced as “”keen-wah”, this grain, native to South America, has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. In fact, it is not a true grain at all, but a relative of spinach and Swiss Chard. Over the past 20 years, it has enjoyed a resurgence on plates across America. This might have to do with its nutty flavour or maybe the fact that it has more iron than other grain around and is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. — from epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (or parsley)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • ground pepper to taste

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P/S: missing from the ingredients photo are chives and Parmesan.

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French Cauliflower Soup

Michelle shared a French Cauliflower Soup recipe in the South Arm Older Adults cooking Club.

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The French Cauliflower Soup was creamy and “thickish”.  Garnish with chopped chives and small slices of brie.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves (we omitted this as we did not have any in the pantry)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutmeg to taste
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream (or sour cream)
  • chopped chives for garnishing
  • small slices of brie for garnishing (optional)

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Source: this recipe is adapted from The French Market cookbook

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Endive, Arugula and Orange Salad

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club met again for another fun cooking session.

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Michelle picked this Endive, Arugula and Orange Salad to introduce a vegetable which we seldom use which is endive. Endive has a slight bitter taste which is nicely balanced by the sweet orange and peppery flavor of arugula.

Michelle also pointed out that endive is great to be used as a vessel to serve food.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-size seedless oranges
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons walnut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 4 medium-size heads Belgian endive
  • 1 large bunch arugula, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

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Source: this recipe is from Bon Appetit; April 1996

Serves 6

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Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

For dessert, Michelle prepared a Cinnamon Sugar Muffins for the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen. She would love to have churros for the Mexican theme but it will be too tedious to prepare in the 2 hours kitchen.

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We baked the muffins in regular muffin tin. You can use mini muffin tins to make little morsel of this. Instead of using paper cup, you’ll have to grease the miniature muffin tin. It will take lesser time to bake the miniature muffins.

For a more luxurious dessert, dip the miniature muffins in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • melted butter, optional
  • cinnamon sugar

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Source: Taste of Home

12 servings

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Spiced Lentil Tacos

The main course for the Mexican theme prepared by Michelle for the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen was Spiced Lentil Tacos.

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Michelle shared with us that even his meat lover husband enjoys this. Lentil is a great protein substitute and is high in fiber.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
To serve:
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 8 taco shells or soft tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded lettuce (spin/pat dry)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat (2%) cheddar

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P/S: Missing from the photo: brown lentils, vegetable broth, olive oil, onion, garlic, homemade taco seasoning. I accidentally deleted one of the photo of the ingredients.
Source: this recipe is adapted from epicurious.com

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