Tex-Mex Bean Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing

This is one of none Danish dish which the seniors made for the Christmas celebration. It’s called Tex-Mex Bean Salad with Creamy Salad Dressing. It’s kind of Mexican. Christina and June were in-charged of making this salad.

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The Tex-Mex Bean Salad is great for potluck but it is advisable to assemble the salad just before serving. This is especially so for the tortilla chips so that they wont get soggy by the salad dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 3 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or you can prepare your own black bean from dry ones)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (or can ones)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 24 baked low-fat tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup cubed cheese (pepper jack or cheddar)

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To store the leftover half of the avocado, sprinkle the cut flesh with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 days.

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Thai Flavour Pork Cheek Salad

Heidi shared two recipes in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen. Heidi made a salad and a dessert. It is always a pleasure to have Heidi demonstrates in the kitchen as her recipes are always very original.

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The Pork Cheek came out very tasty and tender. Heidi used Mirin, a Japanese sweet cooking seasoning to marinate the pork cheek which gives the sweetness to the pork. The Thai flavour dressing gives a kick to the salad. The sour and spicy dressing certainly brings up ones appetite.

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of pork cheek

Marinate

  • 2 tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot and garlic each
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (good quality)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, shallot and Thai chili each

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Heidi emphasized on using a good quality fish sauce for the dressing as it makes a big difference in taste. Cheap fish sauce usually has too much salt in it and does not taste good. Fish sauce is usually used in small amount and a good quality bottle just cost from $7 to $10. A bottle goes a long way.

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Spelt Salad

Andrea made a Spelt Salad to complement her Kidney Bean Casserole. It is another German dish. Andrea brought this Spelt Salad to the community kitchen potluck before.

Spelt is in the family of wheat. It has a moderate amount of gluten, thus suitable for baking. Spelt which is made into bread, biscuits, crackers and pasta can be found in health food stores.

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The Spelt Salad can be a meal by itself. It has lots of vegetables, grains and eggs in it. Someone commented that this salad makes your jaw works out quite a bit as the spelt is quite crunchy and chewy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt kernels
  • 2 large red/yellow peppers, cubed
  • 2 cups dill pickles, drained, cubed, reserve brine
  • 200g cheese (e.g. cheddar), cubed
  • 3 hardboiled eggs – optional, cubed
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cubed
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • chives – optional

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Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Quinoa is 100% whole grain and is close to being a perfect food source. Technically it’s not a grain but the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. A 1/4 cup of Quinoa has a nutritional value of 30g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 1g sugar, 5g protein equivalent to 12 to 18%), 3g fat and 5mg sodium. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Quinoa is “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom”.

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Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which helps the body to produce protein. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in Quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products. Therefore, Quinoa is a good source of protein for those who are allergic to cows milk.

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Quinoa has been one of the primary foods of the Inca Indians for more than 5000 years. The Incas referred to Quinoa as “Mother Grain”. Most Quinoa is grown in the Andes in South America. Some Quinoa is now being grown in the Colorado Rockies. The fact that Quinoa will grow in extremely poor soil together with its great nutritional value makes it a true super grain to feed the world. However, it is still not a common food that you can find in the supermarket. Minoo bought this 1 kg pack of organic Quinoa from Galloway for $12. Someone in the kitchen told us that you can find Quinoa in the bulk section of Save-On-Foods.

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The Quinoa and Black Bean Salad is absolutely great. The Quinoa has a nutty, smoky flavour and is less filling than other grains and pastas.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black bean, rinsed if canned (you may substitute black bean with red asuki bean)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander or parsley

Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Tabouleh

Minoo’s second dish is called Tabouleh or Tabbouleh or Tabouli. According to Minoo, Tabouleh is originated from Syria and is very popular in Mediterranean countries.

The primary ingredients of this salad dish are bulgur, finely chopped parsley, mint, tomato, green onions and lemon juice. The key to this salad is to finely chopped the vegetables.

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Bulgur is a cereal made from wheat, often durum wheat. You may find it in some health food stores. Bulgur has higher nutritional value than rice and couscous.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (only the green parts)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried one), optional
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tamari

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