Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Cheese

The main dish for this South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen is Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Cheese.

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The cream sauce for this baked penne recipe is made with cauliflower. It’s a great way to incorporate vegetables in dishes for picky eaters.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups 1.5 inch cauliflower florets (about 1 pound from 1/2 head)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Fine sea salt or table salt
  • 12 oz. dried penne
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 oz. coarsely grated sharp white Cheddar (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1.5 cups using a grater)

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Source: from Fine Cooking Online

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Baked Brown Rice with Onions

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. The original recipe has an optional roasted red peppers which we left out.

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The rice was sweetish from the onions.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups long or short-grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 3/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

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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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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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Rice Pilaf

To complete the Greek meal, Michelle shared a simple Rice Pilaf recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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Give plain rice a kick by adding a little chopped onion and chicken broth. Stir in some fresh herbs before serving adds extra flavour to the Rice Pilaf.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

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Source: www.eatingwell.com

Serves 4

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Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Pita Chips

Michelle also shared a snack recipe in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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These crispy pita chips with Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip made an amazing snacks. Michelle also suggested that the dip is good to be used on pasta like a pesto.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 bag of whole wheat pita bread

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Source: this recipe is adapted from chow.com

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Pasta with Roasted Zucchini and Tomatoes

Michelle prepared a few easy recipes for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club during the spring break with a lighter attendance.

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The main course is a Pasta with Roasted Zucchini and Tomatoes.

From medicalnewstoday.com:

One medium tomato (approximately 123 grams) provides 22 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate (including 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of sugar) and 1 gram of protein.

Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamins A and C and folic acid. Tomatoes contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 small zucchini, diced
  • 6 to 8 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound package pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese, optional
  • Basil, thinly sliced

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Source: South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club

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Yaki Udon

Michelle shared a Yaki Udon recipe for the main course of the Japanese theme meal at the South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen.

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Udon are thick white noodles that are typically Japanese. You can get them frozen in Asian supermarkets or in dry form. You can also use soba, the thinner noodles or spaghetti for Yaki Soba.

Frozen udon typically takes about 1 minute to cook. Let it drain while your are cooking the vegetables.

This recipe is a great way to use leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon, or more vegetable oil (sunflower, grapeseed, canola, etc)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 zuchinni, julienned
  • 1/2 small cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks green onions or a small bunch chives, thinly slice
  • soy sauce to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen

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Kale Pesto Pasta

Michelle shared a Kale Pesto Pasta for the main course at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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Here are some facts about kale that Michelle shared with us:

  • Kale has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the United States in the 17th century.
  • Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collards.
  • Kale for snack. Kale chips are a nutritious, easy to make snack.
  • Kale is packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Some research suggests kale helps reduce the risk of certain cancers.
  • One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C and K.
  • For the best flavour, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures some of the starches are turned into sugars.
  • Types of kales are differentiated by color (green, white, purple, or bluish green) and leaf shape.
  • Kale contains lutein, a type of carotenoid (an organic pigment) responsible for the plant’s color and nutrients. Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy. From Webmd.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale or other kale or hearty green
  • 10 oil packed anchovies, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone or heavy cream or soft cream cheese
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pasta water, to thin

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Gwyneth Palthrow’s My Father’s Daughter cookbook

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Pasta with Broccoli

For the main dish, Michelle shared a Pasta with Broccoli recipe in line with the idea of adding more vegetables in our diet.

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Michelle encouraged the use of whole grain pasta which has higher fiber contents.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (1/2 pound) chunky, whole grain pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Extra salt for cooking pasta. Salted water gives the pasta more flavour. Adding a bit of the pasta cooking water to your pasta sauce helps to thicken the sauce and makes it sticks to your pasta better.

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You may experiment with these variations:

  • add one cup cooked edamame or other beans
  • add 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • top with toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • add a couple chopped tomatoes at the end

Source: Moosewood for Health

Serves 4

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