Tabbouleh with Baked Pita Chips

This is the second last kitchen for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for this season. Colleen prepared a theme of Middle Eastern flavours with recipe like Tabbouleh and recipes with ingredients like walnuts and dates that are common in the middle east.

Colleen got the inspiration from a request from a participant who wanted to learn how to use bulgur wheat.


Bulgur is a whole grain with equal calcium and protein as found in brown rice but has fewer calories, less fat and more fiber and folate. It is found in various grinds or sizes. The above which Colleen bought from the Real Canadian Superstore is of a larger grain. Bulgur can be used in soups and bread.


Tabbouleh is best served after chilling in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight for the flavour to mellow.


Colleen served the Tabbouleh with some crispy Baked Pita Chips.


  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: via Colleen


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Quinoa Vegetable Salad

I had to accompany Ben to the Chinese Visa Office to apply his visa for his next business trip to Beijing. So, I only managed to get to the South Arm Seniors Kitchen just after 11:00AM.


I was so surprised that the group had finished cooking and had started to eat already. I managed to take some photos of the food before I sat down to savour the food.

Quinoa is said to have more calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and Vitamin E than any other grain. Technically, quinoa is not a grain but a seed. It is very similar to animal-based protein, as it contains all 8 essential amino acids.


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced


Source: via Colleen


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Tuna Salad with Cannellini Beans, Red Onion and Tomatoes

Minoo served a Tuna Salad along the dips and chips at the South Arm Community Kitchen.


Cannellini beans go well with tuna in this salad. This is an easy to make salad with canned tuna and cannellini beans from the pantry.


  • 1 x 6-ounce can tuna, drained
  • 4 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked cannellini beans or canned beans (rinsed if canned)
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Source: via Minoo


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Jicama Salad

This is the first kitchen led by Colleen in the South Arm Seniors Kitchen. Colleen will facilitate the kitchen for a couple of months until it breaks for the summer.

Colleen planned a Mexican theme for this kitchen. She said the meal is Mexican flavoured and may not be authentic.


The first recipe is Jicama Salad which is crunchy and colourful.


Jicama (pronounced he-cah-mah), is the root of a vine native to Mexico and Central America. In Mexico it is usually served with fruit covered in lime juice and seasoned with salt and chili pepper. Jicama is crunchy, juicy and has the texture that is similar to Asian pear.

Jicama is a great source of dietary fiber (6.4g per cup) and Vitamin C (1 cup provides 40% of daily value recommended). It also contains calcium, iron, Vitamin A and potassium.

You can get jicama from Real Canadian Superstore and most Chinese groceries stores.


  • 1 large jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 of each of red, green and yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 navel orange, cut away peel, sliced crosswise, then quarter each round
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of paprika


Source: via Colleen


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Mixed Green Salad

Minoo complements the Classic Lasagna with a simple Mixed Green Salad.


The Mixed Green Salad is dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar. I would add a touch of honey to cut the acidity of the vinegar.


  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 15 to 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: via Minoo


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Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

Minoo served the Fettuccine with Mushroom Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce with a side salad of Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad.


The Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad has a nice balance of sweet and sour plus chewiness from the dried cranberries and crunchiness of the toasted almonds.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-sized pieces or 1 box of pre-washed baby spinach
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


Source: this recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver

Serves 8


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Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans

Originally, Michelle intended to serve the Chicken Paprikash with a side salad of Spinach with Pomegranate and Candied Pecans. However, Stella could not find pomegranate during the groceries shopping since it’s not in season. We made the salad without the pomegranate. The ruby red color of pomegranate is to tie with the Valentine’s Day color scheme.


Here is some nutrition facts of pomegranate which Michelle found out:

  • it has been used as a traditional remedy for thousands of years
  • good source of Vitamin B5
  • when consume with the seeds, it is a high fiber source of food
  • some studies have shown that pomegranate juice may reduce LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol


  • 2 bunches spinach, washed and stems removed or 1 small package of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate (which we omitted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • thinly sliced apple or feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (original recipe asked for Balsamic vinegar but we do not any in the pantry)
  • 1/2 shallot, finely minced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Candied Pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, rough chopped or halves
  • optional salt and pepper to taste


Please note that the icing sugar should not be in the picture. Missing from the picture are most of the dressing ingredients.

Source: the vinaigrette is adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook


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Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad

For this community kitchen at Gilmore Park Church, Minoo had a theme of vegetarian dishes. In this kitchen, Minoo wanted to introduce Brussels sprouts which is in season during winter time.


There were two Brussels sprouts dishes planned for this kitchen; a salad and a warm side dish.


Here is the excerpt which Minoo shared in the kitchen:

No one knows the origin of Brussels sprouts, though it’s logical to assume they originated in Belgium. Like nearly all vegetables, Brussels sprouts are naturally low in fat and calories.

Unlike most vegetables, Brussels sprouts are rather high in protein, accounting for more than a quarter of their calories. Although the protein is incomplete, i.e. it does not provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids; it can be made complete by eating it with whole grains. This means you can skip a higher calorie source of protein, like high fat meat and occasionally rely on a meal of Brussels sprouts and grains for your protein intake.

Brussels sprouts are loaded with Vitamin A, folacin, potassium and calcium. They are high in fiber; they provide 3 to 5 grams of fiber per cup, and at 25 calories per 1/2 cup cooked. Brussels sprouts are one of those food that will fill you up.

Brussels sprouts belong to the disease fighting cabbage family. Indeed, they look like miniature cabbages. Like broccoli and cabbage; fellow cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts may protect against cancer with their phytochemical property.

Brussels sprouts are also rich in Vitamin C, another anti-cancer agent. You are assured of the health benefits of high in protein and low in fat and calories of Brussels sprouts, so enjoy them while they are in season.


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup almonds with skins, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan or Romano cheese


Source: this recipe is adapted from Care 2

Serves 6 to 8


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Green Greek Salad

Michelle prepared a Green Greek Salad for South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors as a side dish. Most Greek salads have heavy oil dressing. For this salad, it has a lighter dressing with lemon juice and vinegar.


The use of romaine lettuce adds more nutrition to this Green Greek Salad. Michelle word of wisdom is to use lettuce in darker greens for more nutritional value.


  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed, thinly sliced and spin dry using a salad spinner or dry with paper towels
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • up to 1 cup olives, cut up
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed


Source: via Michelle

Serves: 8 to 10


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