Smothered Chicken in Quinoa

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again after the Christmas and New Year winter break. Michelle, the program facilitator prepared four recipes for the first meeting in 2012. By the way, Michelle has her own recipe blog by the name Mint Green Apron. Go check out her blog for healthy and delicious recipes.

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The main dish for this meeting is an easy, one pot meal with almost all the food groups covered. It’s called Smothered Chicken in Quinoa.

Quinoa is widely considered a “super food” that originated from South America. It is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds. It contains essential amino acids and good quantities of calcium, phosphorous and iron. It is also high in protein and is a “complete protein source”- unusual among plant foods. It’s nutritional value is similar to milk. The information above is taken from www.quinoa.net and wikipedia.

You can use quinoa in place of almost any other grain and it cooks in 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sherry, cooking sherry or more broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: via Michelle

Serve: 4 to 6

P/S: Michelle substituted shallots for the onion in this recipe

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Swiss Turkey Broccoli Bake

This is the first time I return to the South Arm Seniors Kitchen after the summer break and South Arm kitchen renovation. I think I missed at least one kitchen due to my trip to Beijing. The new senior kitchen facilitator is Michelle Li.

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Stella, the South Arm seniors program coordinator decorated the table with a Christmas theme since this is the last kitchen in December. Michelle also prepared some festive recipes which can utilize leftover food from the holiday feast.

Here is some tips that Michelle shared with the seniors on food safe regarding leftovers. The excerpt is adapted from dietitian Heather McColl.

  • Ensure the fridge is at the correct temperature, 4 degrees Celsius or colder; a fridge thermometer is a great tool to have.
  • Refrigerate leftovers immediately after dinner or within 2 hours of cooking
  • Cool food quickly by storing in shallow containers on your refrigerator’s wire shelves to promote maximum airflow and even cooling.
  • Quickly cool a large pot of hot food like soup or stew by chilling in an ice bath and stirring frequently before storing in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Chill large  pieces of mat or poultry quickly and safely by deboning and dividing into small portions before storing in the refrigerator.
  • Date your leftovers and use within 3 to 4 days or store in the freezer for up to 6 months
  • When heating leftovers, be sure to heat foods to an internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius or bring liquids like soup to a rolling boil
  • Since you cant tell the safety of food by its look, smell or taste, a good rule of thumb is “when in doubt, throw it out”.

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The main course for this kitchen is Swiss Turkey Broccoli Bake. This is a good recipe to encourage kids to eat vegetables with the incorporation of a cheesy creamed sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken or turkey
  • 3 cups broccoli florets or asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces, steamed
  • 1/2 cup grated swiss, chesddar or parmesan cheese
Cream Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, half and half or light cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

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This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey and already cooked vegetables. Leftover can be packaged into individual portions and freeze for enjoyment later.

Source: via Michelle Li

Serve 4 to 6

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Zucchini Meat Loaf

The Richmond Community Kitchen resumed operation in September. The first kitchen took place at the Gilmore Park Church.

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Minoo prepared 3 recipes for this first kitchen. The main dish is a healthier version of meat loaf with the incorporation of zucchini. Zucchini is a summer squash. Zucchini has a delicate flavour and requires little cooking cooking time. You can steam, boil, grill, bake, barbecue or fry it.

Here are some of recipes using zucchini that we had made in the community kitchens:

Zucchini is low in calories (approximately 15 calories for 100g of fresh zucchini). It contains useful amount of folate, potassium, Vitamin A and manganese.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons Dijon honey mustard
  • 2  to 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 pound zucchini (about 2 small zucchini), coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

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Source: via Minoo

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Ian Lai’s Healthy Asian Cooking: Broccoli and Beef Stir Fry

Are you overwhelmed when you shop at the sauces aisle in Chinese groceries? I am. There are so many types of sauces that even as a Chinese I have not try all of them.

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Ian Lai shared some of the more common sauces that he uses in the Healthy Asian Cooking workshop. They include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, hot bean sauce,  etc.

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One of the sauces that stands out is the Korean Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste because Ian Lai said it is MSG free. As for soy sauce, the Japanese Tamari is also MSG free.

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The last recipe in the Healthy Asian Cooking is Broccoli and Beef. Ian’s Lai take for the popular Broccoli and Beef you find in Chinese restaurants is very different. He cooks the beef separately and he added multigrains and goji berries into this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steak
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into flowerets, slice stem to same bite size so that they cook evenly
  • 1 package of snow peas
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of water crest, rough chopped
  • 1 handful of goji berries, re-hydrated in cold water for a few minutes until plump
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 2 slices of ginger

Marinate for flank steak

  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 big tablespoon Gochujang
  • 1 big  tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

Sauce

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 block of soft tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon of togarashi (Japanese spice mix)
  • salt to taste

Grains

  • 2 cups of multigrains
  • 3 cups of water

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The above is the package of multigrains that Ian used. You can get them from T&T or Osaka Supermarket. The 2 kg package costs around $1o to $12.

It’s a very cultural thing for Chinese to eat steamed white rice with dishes. The rice is usually washed a number of times until the water runs clear. Ian shared with us that their family gradually changed to not washing the rice as it’s his daughter’s responsibility to cook rice. After much complaints, they forgo the washing of the rice. Nowadays, they try to eat other grains instead of white rice. White rice has the least nutrients as all the good nutrients have been polished away.

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Braised Beef Rib Fingers with Daikon

Lorna is gracious to show me how to make this Braised Beef Rib Fingers with Daikon. Lorna got a pack of “chek lup guat” (in Cantonese) from the meat store on Leslie Road. The “chek lup quat” does not have bones in it despite the name. It is packed in strips. The 3 pounds of “chek lup guat” costs only slightly over $12. I found out later that it’s called beef rib fingers from the packaging in T&T.

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The Braised Beef Rib Fingers with Daikon is best consumed the next day. The reason is the meat is quite fatty. If you keep it in the fridge overnight, you can remove the solidified fat easily. Nanzaro and Arkensen likes this meaty dish except that they will leave all the daikon behind for mommy.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds pack of  beef rib fingers
  • 1 large daikon, peel and cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch of green onions, green and white separated, cut into slivers
  • 1 large onion, slice
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 slices of ginger
  • 4 star anise
  • 8 to 10 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of crystal brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • few drops of sesame oil
  • salt to taste

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Source: Lorna

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Pork Skin in Laksa Broth, with Rau Thom in Moderation

I know. This is not exactly the healthiest of breakfast.

When I was young and growing up in Malaysia, I used to always walk to the open air wet market near my house to buy breakfast. There are a lot of choices but there is one thing I like to buy most of the time is the curry with pork skin. I like it so much that in my last trip back to Malaysia a few years ago, the first place I headed to for breakfast is exactly that.

For some reason, back home in Vancouver, I completely forgot about it.

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The reason was because I did not come across pork skins until now. So with the help of Suanne, I made the pork skin in laksa broth above. Maybe the proper word to describe this is not made, but rather assembled.

For those of you who love laksa and pork skin, this will be something you will like a lot. I am sure. The pork skin does a great job in absorbing and holding the laksa making it bursting with flavour.

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There are not many places where you can buy pork skins like these above. Or at least I have not paid much attention to it until recently.

What really excites me is that it is really cheap. It is just $2.99 a pound. Not knowing how much is a pound, I told the shop that I wanted $5.00 and they ended up giving me $7.00 worth of it. That makes it well over 2 pounds. Actually it is not really what it is weigh because it also holds some clear jhup which I figure makes up the bulk of the weight.

The owner of the shop told me that not many places will “bow” (translated as explode in English), these pork skin but they do make it themselves. I am wondering if any of you knows of other places who also “bow” pork skins in Vancouver.

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Russian Cold Soup (Okroshka)

Iryna and Joanne partnered up to demonstrate at the Caring Place Community Kitchen. Iryna is from Ukraine. She demonstrated a very popular Ukrainian dish which originated from Russia. It is a cold soup dish called Okroshka. Iryna told us that she had been making this cold soup all her life. She served the Okroshka with toasted bread and a dollop of sour cream.

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Okroshka is a summer dish. It is a very refreshing soup. It is made with fresh diced vegetables. The fresh vegetables retain the vitamins due to no cooking is involved. Heat is the main culprit to destroy vitamins. The only vegetables that need cooking is potatoes. Of course, there is meat in this dish which needs cooking. You can add poached chicken, fish, ham or sausages to this dish.

Okroshka is usually made with cucumbers, carrot, a garden radish, parsley, baby dill, green onion, eggs, lemon juice, butter milk or sour cream or mayonnaise.  If you like to add meat, it has to be cooked and chilled. The ratio of meat and vegetables should be approximately half and half.

Iryna, thank you for sharing your favourite soup with us.

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Iryna shared with us something about her country, Ukraine. Ukraine is used to be part of Russia. It’s an European country. It is the biggest country in Europe after Russia. It claimed it’s independence in 1921.

Ukraine’s population is about 50 million. Ukrainian also speaks Russian and it’s language is similar to Hungarian and Poland.

Ukrainian’s winter is very harsh, between -20 to -35 Celsius and the summer can be pretty hot, as high as 40 Celsius.

Ukraine has no mountain except the border with Poland and Hungarian. Iryna is from the south of Ukraine which borders the Black Sea.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breast or sausages
  • 2 cucumbers, dice
  • 2 radishes, dice
  • 4 boiled potatoes
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 small carrot, boiled, dice
  • 1 bunch baby dill, chopped
  • 1 small tub of sour cream
  • 1 litre of butter milk or 1 small jar of mayonnaise
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste

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Iryna did not use the butter milk but she used the mayonnaise instead.  She brought the butter milk to show us the option.

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Radish is a root vegetable. It is related to mustard and turnip. Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, i.e. Vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. They are a good source of Vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper and calcium.  Radishes can be eaten raw and is often used in salad.

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The flavour of Okroshka is predominated by dill. Dill has fernlike leaves that are aromatic and used to flavour many food such as salmon, borscht, okroshka and pickles. Fresh dill loses it’s flavour rapidly if dried, however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavour relatively well for a few months.

Source: Iryna

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Stuffed Pepper with Beef and Brown Rice

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again at Bethel Church. For this meeting, Stella and Minoo were not able to make it and Marian was in charged of the kitchen. Perhaps, it was during the spring break, not many turned up for this kitchen. There were four seniors and four volunteers.

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Marian prepared four recipes for this kitchen. The above is Stuffed Pepper with Beef and Brown Rice. Bell peppers are in season and they are cheap. Bell pepper is also known as sweet pepper or capsicum. The green one is more pungent, that’s why Marian used the red, yellow and orange ones which are sweeter. Due to the shape and hollow nature of the bell pepper, it is great to be used as a container for stuffing.

Bell pepper is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, folate, Manganese, Magnesium and Pantothenic Acid. Bell pepper is ideal for maintaining optimum health and weight loss.

Ingredients

  • 6 red or yellow or orange peppers
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Sauce

  • 1 can dice tomato
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Lazy Day Cooking

Serves 6

You may substitute brown rice with 2 cups of quinoa. The orange juice can be substituted with lemon juice.

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Curry Roasted Duck with Lychee

Lorna partnered with Emily to demonstrate at the South Arm Community Kitchen. While Emily made a soup and 2 side dishes, Lorna made a main dish.

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Lorna made a Curry Roasted Duck with Lychee. This dish is very colourful and it makes a great potluck dish. You may substitute the roasted duck with fresh tofu skin pouches that had been lightly pan fried for a vegetarian curry dish. This is a mild curry dish.

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Lorna served the Curry Roasted Duck with Steamed Brown Rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 roasted duck, cut up
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk for cooking
  • 2 cans (565ml) lychee in syrup (reserve syrup from 1 can)
  • 1 can (14oz) pineapple slices, cut into big chunks
  • 1/2 pack of Glico curry (Japanese curry)
  • 1 bottle (195g) of red curry paste
  • 6 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into triangles
  • 1 orange pepper, cut into triangles
  • 1 red pepper, cut into triangles
  • 1 medium onion, cut into big chunks
  • 3 to 4 celery sticks, cut into triangles
  • 1 small pack of grape tomatoes
  • salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

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Source: Lorna

Serves: 10 to 12; prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 30 minutes

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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.

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

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Source: Minoo

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