Healthy Rice and Spinach Croquettes

I am back in the South Arm Multi Cultural Community Kitchen led by Minoo.

As usual, three recipes were shared in the kitchen. The first recipe was Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup with Chorizo) which I had blogged before.


Minoo’s recipe is very similar with the one which I had blogged here, with the addition of fresh parsley.


The second recipe is a great way of using leftover rice. This healthy Rice and Spinach Croquettes makes great snacks for the lunch box.


  • 3 tablespoons butter , melted and extra butter to grease muffin pan
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 12 oz thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed to remove excess water
  • 1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • salt, pepper and dill to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping


Source: South Arm Community Kitchen

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Chicken Rice Casserole

The main dish made in the South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen was a one pot dish.


This Chicken Rice Casserole serves 8 to 10 people.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium or 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated on the large grater
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of salt, or lesser to your taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
  • 5 cups hot reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups medium grain rice such as Basmati or Brown rice
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped, plus more to sprinkle before serving
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle before serving, optional


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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.


The rice was sweetish from the onions.


  • 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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Rice Pilaf

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

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.


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



Serves 4

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Gallo Pinto (Beans and Rice)

Nanzaro learned to enjoy this beans and rice dish while he was on a school humanitarian trip to Costa Rica in spring this year.


The rice did not turn out as black as those Nanzaro had in Costa Rica. I used a mixture of chicken broth and the liquid from cooking the black beans to cook the rice. Perhaps I should use only the cooking liquid from the beans to gives the rice more colour.


  • 1 pound of dried black beans, soak in water overnight (or use canned ones for simplicity)
  • a small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups dry whilte rice (I used basmati rice); do not wash
  • 3 cups of chicken stock or liquid from cooking the beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying the Gallo Pinto


Missing from the ingredients is the black bean.

P/S: the cup I used to measure the rice and cooking liquid is the cup that came with a rice cooker. It is smaller than the regular measuring cup.

Source: Nanzaro found the recipe for me from the internet.

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Cumin Basmati Rice

Michelle served the Coconut Lentil Curry with Cumin Basmati Rice in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


This is another recipe from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram vij & Meeru Dhalwala.


  • 2 cups basmati rice (we used Jasmin rice as this is the rice available  in the kitchen pantry)
  • 3 cups cold water for soaking
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (ir canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 3/4 cups water for cooking


Source: Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram vij & Meeru Dhalwala

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Making Porridge in Less Than 15 minutes

Nanzaro had his wisdom teeth extracted this summer. He had to be on soft diet for a few days.


I received an email on how to make porridge in 10 minutes just in time for Nanzaro’s ordeal.

Here is how it’s done:

  • Rinse and soak the rice for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Drain and freeze the rice
  • Bring water to a boil; the ratio of water to rice is 1 to 10 to 13 depending on how thick you like your porridge
  • Add the frozen rice and a piece of thumb size ginger, peel and smash
  • Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add meat of your choice, I mostly use ground pork marinated with soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, corn starch and sesame oil. I added water to the marinated ground pork to loosen the meat so that the meat will not clump up in the porridge
  • Boil for another 5 minutes and it’s done

Various Japanese Sushi

Terumi demonstrated how to make various sushi at the South Arm multicultural community kitchen.


Participants listened attentively to the instructions.


Terumi demonstrated how to make California Roll, Tuna Maki and Cone.


Kazuko demonstrated how to use plastic mold to make nigiri sushi.


  • 4 cups Japanese short grain rice (cooked a little harder than usual); for rice cooker, one cup is 180 cc
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package of unseasoned sheet nori (dried seaweed); cut in half
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 250g crab meat (can use artificial crab meat)
  • 4 tablespoons Japanese mayo
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 block of sashimi quality tuna
  • soy sauce
  • wasabi
  • 1 can tuna or salmon


Look at all the preparations needed for this demo.

Source: Terumi & Kazuko

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Lentil, Barley and Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Feta

Minoo prepared three recipes for the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Two of the recipes were taken from Vancouver Sun.

The recipes include a Lentil, Barley and Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Feta, a Butternut Squash Gratin with Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs and a Ginger Pumpkin Muffin recipe.


The combination of grains and legumes in the Lentil, Barley and Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Feta provides a complete protein meal. It is easy to pack for lunch or picnic.


  • 1/3 cup (80ml) brown rice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pearl or pot barley
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) dry green or brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) chopped dates, figs or apricots
  • 1 to 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Source: Vancouver Sun

Makes 6 servings

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Caring Place Community Kitchen Making Korean Sushi

There has been repeated requests for sushi recipe in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. So, once again, Ella stepped up to the challenge.

I will not post the recipe here as I had blogged about them before:


Besides the above, Ella also demonstrated how to make Sushi Cone or also known as Maki. This is the simpliest as you just pick your favourite ingredients and roll up a half sheet of seaweed into a cone. Participants are to make their own cone and pick the ingredients they like as Ella quoted “let you tongue speaks to you”.


In this demonstration, Ella prepared 3 types of rice, i.e. white rice (plain and seasoned with sesame oil, salt and sugar), brown rice seasoned with sesame oil, salt and sugar and a mix of brown rice and dal, also seasoned with sesame oil, salt and sugar. Ella is very creative and tries to eat healthy.


Ella called the above “nude” sushi because the rice is on the outside without a seaweed covering. This is similar to the Korean California Roll which were demonstrated in Caring Place before with variation in the ingredients.


Ella is a very organised person. She got everyone to be involved in the preparation of the ingredients first before the rolling begins.
A big thank you to Ella.