Rhubarb Soda

The second rhubarb recipe which Michelle shared in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club is a drink.

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This Rhubarb Soda is a good summer thirst quencher.

From rhubarbinfo.com

Rhubarb has a long history of herbal usage. The primary result of rhubarb root as a herbal medicine is a positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system. Rhubarb is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. Rhubarb roots are harvested in the fall from plants that are at least six years old. The roots are then dried for later use. The root is used as an anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antipasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic. Rhubarb roots contain anthraquinones which have a purgative effect and the tannins and bitters have an effect that is opposite that of an astringent.

Ingredients

Rhubarb Syrup

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb

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Rhubarb Soda
  • sparkling or fizzy water
  • rhubarb syrup
  • ice cubes

Source: Mintgreenapron.blogspot.com

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars

One of the participant of the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club requested for some rhubarb recipes.

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Michelle shared this Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars which can be prepared all in a pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 cup small diced rhubarb
  • 1 cup small diced strawberries

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Source: Smitten Kitchen.com

Yield: 16 small bars or 8 large ones

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Romaine Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing

Michelle prepared a salad to go with the Pasta with No Cook Sauce for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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We left out the radicchio from the recipe because it’s not in season.

Tips:

  • You can store the salad mix and dressing separately and mix a smaller portion just before serving. It should last several days in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  • If you are making your own salad mixes in ziploc bags, or cutting up lettuce ahead of time, place a paper towel in the ziploc bag. It reduces moisture and you can keep the greens from wilting for several days if stored this way.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded radicchio or thinly shredded cabbage
  • 1 small sweet onion (red or white), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon drained, rinsed capers
  • 1/4 teaspoons each; salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoons sugar

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Canadian Living: Eat Right

Makes 8 side salads

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Pasta with No Cook Sauce

Summer is approaching. Michelle shard this easy summer recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club for days that you do not like spending a long time in the kitchen.

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This Pasta with No Cook Sauce is perfumed with basil. Fresh herbs are like nature’s pharmacy. Add them to meals to add depth of flavour and to boost your intake of healthy foods.

From Mercola.com:

Basil is one of the favourites among herbs because it has so many uses. Everything from soups to sandwiches can be made simply better with the addition of its fresh, pungent leaves. It also has been found to contain oils and flavonoids that protect the body from illness and infection. Very small concentrations can kill harmful bacteria, but still be very beneficial, even preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried whole wheat pasta (linguini, spaghetti, etc.)
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Healthy Family Meals

Serves 6 to 8
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Fresh Blueberry Pie

For dessert, Michelle shared a Fresh Blueberry Pie. Blueberries are in season locally in June.

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This fresh Blueberry Pie is best served with whipped cream.

Blueberry Health Benefits: information provided by the North American Blueberry Council

  • Fresh blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, the pigments responsible for the blue color of blueberries. Antioxidants are important because they appear to be at least partially responsible for lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants do this by protecting the body’s blood vessel walls, making them more resistant to damage caused by oxidation.
  • Antioxidants also seem to have a role in delaying the aging process. Fresh blueberries contain 15 different anthocyanins, as well as other antioxidants like Vitamin C.
  • Research indicates that adding half cup of fresh blueberries to an average daily variety of fruits and vegetables consumed by an individual would essentially double the body’s antioxidant level.
  • Fresh blueberries are rich in Vitamin C and naturally low in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • Fresh blueberries contain iron, potassium and other important minerals, and are a good source of dietary fiber.
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • fresh blueberries, washed and dried to fill pie shell
  • whip cream
Blueberry Glaze
  • 1 cup additional fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

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Source: via South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Michelle shared 3 recipes in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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The main course is Chicken Tortilla Soup; adapted from Healthy Family Meals, AHA. This is a one pot meal which is loaded with vegetables and complete with protein from the chicken and black beans while the tortilla chips provide the carbohydrate. This is a hearty soup for summer.

Ingredients

  • cooking oil
  • 1 pound chicken tenders or chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces; half the amount if you substitute with a can of black beans (rinse and drain)
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, optional
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 28oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup baked tortilla chips
  • 1 avocado, peel, pit remove and slice
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

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Source: adapted from Healthy Family Meals, AHA

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Mint Iced Tea

Michelle prepared a Mint Iced Tea for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club lunch. The mint is from her garden.

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Possible health benefits of consuming mint:

  • Mint is also known as mentha, is actually a genus or group of around 15 to 20 types of plants including peppermint and spearmint.
  • Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symtoms. Because of rosmarinic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties, roamarinic acid has been shown to be a promising treatment.
  • Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus. Mint can also be effective to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.
  • The use of peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from abdominal pain or discomfort associated with irritable bowl syndrome.
  • When applied topically in oil, ointment or lotion, mint has the effect of calming and cooling skin affected by insect bites, rash or other reactions.

Ingredients

  • 3 green tea bags
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 large lemon/lime, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, washed
  • 2 cups cold water

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Source: Food Network

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Mixed Greens with Orange Chive Dressing

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club served the Pasta with Veggie Confetti with a Mixed Greens salad.

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This Mixed Greens with Orange Chive Dressing has a refreshing summer feel.

Ingredients

  • 3 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper
  • half bulb fennel, cored
  • 5 cups mixed salad greens, washed and dried

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Fennel bulb is actually called “Florence Fennel” and is a crisp vegetable that can be sauteed, stewed, braised, grilled or eaten raw. They are used for garnishes or can add flavour to salads. It is high in Vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

Source: Canadian Living: Eat Right, Tasty Recipes for Every Diet

Makes 6 servings

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Pasta with Veggie Confetti

For this South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club meet, Michelle shared a few recipes rich in vegetables and fruits for a heart healthy meal.  She shared with us that a recent studies reviewed a daily intake of 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fruits reduce the risk of heart disease by 50%.

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This Pasta with Veggie Confetti recipe utilizes asparagus which is in season.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz dried whole wheat pasta, such as penne
  • 2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 medium asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

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Source: Healthy Family Meals, American Heart Association

Serves 4

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