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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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.


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.


  • 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


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


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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Marian’s Pineapple Fried Rice

Once again, Marian led in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. For this kitchen, Marian shared her family recipes with us.


The first recipe is Marian’s Pineapple Fried Rice. This is Marian’s mom’s recipe and was handed down to her when she was thirteen years old.

In this kitchen, we also learn about the benefits of pineapple. Here is the excerpt shared in the kitchen.

Pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family and the only edible bromeliad. It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. It is a multiple fruit, i.e. one pineapple is made up of dozens of individual flowerettes that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of an individual flower.

Pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked. There is no special way of storing them that will help ripen them further. Color is relatively unimportant in determining the ripeness.

Choose your pineapple by smell. If it smells fresh, tropical and sweet, it will be a good fruit. The more scales on the pineapple and the bigger the scales, the sweeter and juicier the taste.

Pineapple is a remarkable fruit. It is lush, sweet and has an exotic flavour. It’s health benefits includes easing indigestion, arthritis and sinusitis. Pineapple juice has an anthelmintic effect which helps to get rid of intestinal worms.

Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to the development of strong bones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple juice will give you nearly 75% of the recommended daily amount of manganese. It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bones tend to become brittle with age.

Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme which helps to break down protein; which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body to digest proteins more efficiently. Bromelain is also considered and effective anti-inflammatory agent. Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It produces a mild pain relief. In Germany, bromelain is approved as a post-injury medication because it is thought to reduce inflammation and swelling.


  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped or grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 250g chicken breast or 2 pieces breast fillet, cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • garlic powder
  • ginger powder
  • salt and pepper
  • sesame oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 whole pineapple for presentation (optional)


Source: Marian

Serves 4 to 6


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Indian Cuisine: Rice with Peas (Mutter Pulao)

The Apple Raisin Curry Chicken is best served on rice. Therefore, the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors made and an Indian rice dish to complement the curry chicken.


The Rice with Peas also known as Mutter Pulao or pilaf uses whole spices because they lend a more nuanced flavour than ground spices. Be sure to remove them before eating.


  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 or 4 cardamon pods, cracked
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted in a strainer under running water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups hot water


Source: this recipe is adapted from Indianfoodsco.com

Prep time: 10 minutes;  Cook time: 40 minutes;  Serve 4 to 6


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Venezuelan Cuisine: Vanezuelan National Dish (Pabellon Criollo Con Barandas)

Maria from Venezuela demonstrated Venezeula’s natioanal dish in the Caring Place Community Kitlchen. We were so excited to learn about this dish.


Venezuela’s national dish is called Pabellon Criollo. It is has rice, beans and beef. Maria made a version called Pabellon Criollo con Barandas which also include fried plantain. Branda is Spanish for guard rail. The long fried plantain slices are placed on the sides to keep food from falling off the plate. Fried plaintain slices are called tajadas.

Panellon Criollo is one of the most representative of Venezuelan cuisine. It is full of colours and flavours which shows represent the union and integrity of the country.


This dish is made up of a few elements. The first item is the rice which is called Arroz. The rice may look plain but it has lots of flavour in it. I will blog about the other elements in following posts.


  • 1 kilogram of white rice (about 4 cups)
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green or red pepper, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • green onion, sliced (optional)
  • 6 cups water
  • Arroz-20-600x400

Source: Maria

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes;  Serve 8 to 10


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Minoo was very excited to inform me that Ella is going to make Gimbap in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. I had blogged about making kimbap in 2007 in the same kitchen by Minnie. I thought it will be more illustrative if I can video taped the sushi rolling process instead of taking static photo of each step for this post. You must go to the bottom of this post and watch that fun video.


Gimbap or kimbap or Korean sushi is very colourful and has lots of different textures in it.


  • laver (in Korean, Gim means seaweed sheets)
  • eggs
  • cucumbers, cut into long strip
  • carrots, cut into long strip
  • imitation crab meat
  • Korean style ham (which is less salty than Canadian ham/sausages)
  • burdock
  • yellow pickled radish, cut into long strip
  • rice
  • salt
  • sugar
  • soy sauce as dipping sauce
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds


Source: Ella

Prep time: 45 minutes; Serve: 6


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Red Rice Pilaf

Minoo also made a Red Rice Pilaf in the Gilmore Park Community Kitchen. This dish is made impromptu as Lorna gave a bag of red rice to Minoo that morning.


The Red Rice Pilaf was cooked to al-dente with a good bite to it. It’s almost like risotto to me.

Source: Minoo

Prep time: 10 minutes;  Cook time: 40 minutes;  Serve: 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish.


  • 2 cups red rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 6 button mushrooms, diced
  • water or chicken stock



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Moroccan Chicken and Rice

The main dish which Minoo planned for the South Arm Community Kitchen is a Moroccan Chicken and Rice dish. We were surprised with the use of winter squash in this rice dish.


This Moroccan Chicken and Rice dish is a all in a pot dish.  It has protein, vegetable and grain in this dish.  This recipe is adapted from Alive Magazine and it serves 4.

The butternut squash and raisins add sweetness to this rice dish.  This is a good recipe to make use of winter squashes which are in season now.  They are cheap and nutritious.

Here is a tip to peel the tough skin butternut squash.  Microwave the whole squash, on high, for 2 minutes.  This softens the skins, making it easier to peel. (more…)

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