Chard with Chickpeas and Olives

Mary and June teamed up to make this side dish in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  The Chard with Chickpeas and Olives tastes wonderful stuffed into a pita, or served on top of brown rice for a quick vegetarian lunch.


This versatile Chard with Chickpeas and Olives side dish tastes best served hot or at room temperature.  The chickpeas lend sweetness and textures to this dish.


Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with red stems. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salad.  Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically used in soup like this Italian Wedding Soup or sauteed which reduces the bitter taste.


  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, or two small bunches
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • 10 marinated green olives, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • generous sprinkle of black pepper



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Okra Sabzi

One of the side dish prepared by the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for the Indian feast is Okra Sabzi. Okra is also known as lady finger. This recipe is adapted from Satta Lal. Mary and June partnered to make this dish.


Okra tastes freshest and most tender when it is small. When buying okra, be sure to choose pods that are no longer than 4 inches. bright green, and firm.

Okra is mucilaginous, i.e. it’s gooey when the seed pods are cooked. To avoid the goo effect, okra pods are often stir fried to cooked away the moisture or paired with slightly acidic ingredients, such as citrus or tomatoes.


  • 4 cups okra
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 green chili pepper or jalapeno pepper, chopped (add according to your taste – 1/2 chili with no seeds, provides a medium heat)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Here is an excerpt from ‘The Spice of Life’ on turmeric shared by Stella:

Turmeric, with its yellow pigment curcumin, is the underground stem of a tropical perennial that grows in many hot Asian countries.  The stem is a light brown colour on the outside but, when ground, produces a bright yellow powder.  Being very cheap and colourful, it has been heaped into curries for thousands of year – with very interesting results.  For a long time, it had been noted that people in India had relatively low rates of cancer of the oesophagus.  In laboratory tests, cucuminoids have been shown to kill melanoma cells.

Evidence from Swansea University now suggests that turmeric may be effectivee at blocking NF-kappaB, a protein linked with several cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.


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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again in the South Arm Community Center. This time, the seniors made 3 items to share. The main dish is called Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. For the nutritional values of Quinoa, please click on this Quinoa and Black Bean Salad link to learn more.

Christina, Frank and Hugh worked together to make this Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and it serves 4.


The Quinoa Stuffed Pepper has a kick to it with the presence of jalapeno pepper. Although this is a Vegetarian dish, the Quinoa is a good source of protein, equivalent or more superior to milk product.


  • 4 yellow bell peppers or (5-inch) poblano chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seed kernels
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 medium can diced Mexican-style tomatoes
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese



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Braised Daikon

Daikon and pork bone soup is my family's common soup. I made it every now and then. I find that the daikon in the soup is pretty tasteless and no…

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Carrot, Orange and Poppy Seed Bake

Frank, Paul and June teamed up to make a side dish called Carrot, Orange and Poppy Seed Bake in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. This recipe requires lots of cutting. While Joan and Joyce teamed up to make the Cranberry Fruit Compote, Joyce decided to help this team to do some cutting as her recipe is fairly simple and Joan can watch over it by herself.


The poppy seeds add texture and flavour to this recipe and counteract the slightly sweet flavour of the carrots.


  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peel and cut into thin strips
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
  • a handful of raisins, optional
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • orange rind to garnish



  • You may substitute cumin with 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice and 2 teaspoons chopped thyme.
  • You may substitute orange juice with lemon or lime juice and garnish with the respective fruit rind.

Click on Read More for the instructions.


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Vegetarian Dumpling

Ming made this Vegetarian Dumpling in the South Arm Community Kitchen. She made it based on Vanessa’s description of the dish which Vanessa had in a restaurant. Since Ming came from Beijing, she is good at making dumpling and noodle which are the staple food of Northern China.

The dumpling is steamed and the vegetarian filing tasted pretty good.


For the dumpling skin:

  • self rising flour
  • warm water

For the filing:

  • vermicelli
  • cloud ear
  • fried tofu puff
  • shiitake mushroom

For seasoning:

  • salt
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • chicken powder

Ming made her dish by eyeball and filing, often, she cant give me the exact amount of the ingredients.

Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Cornmeal Pancake

In the South Arm Community Kitchen, Ming shared a very simple Cornmeal Pancake recipe with us. She also make use of okara, the insoluble material left over from making soya milk from soya beans.


The Cornmeal Pancake is crusty and filing. It is good for teething toddlers. Ming also made some cornmeal porridge with the leftover cornmeal she brought. The porridge can be easily prepared by bringing a pot of water to a boil and add in the cornmeal (amount depend on how thick you want the porridge) and cook for a few minutes until the porridge thicken.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup okara (can be substituted with more cornmeal, a little milk or melted butter to moisten the batter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder dissolved in a little water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Chili in Indian Sauce

Karen made a Chili using some Indian Sauce she got from the food bank. It is a good way to introduce new flavour to your family to expand their culinary experience. This is a vegetarian dish. Karen served the chili with basmati rice and salad greens on the side.


The Chili in Indian Sauce is so simple and quick to prepare. The sauce is sold in microwaveable pouch which is ready to eat.


The sauce Karen used is Baingan Bharta which is roasted aubergines in a tangy sauce infused with rich Indian spices. The sauce is not too spicy. (more…)

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Magnifico Meatless Tacos

Vanessa, the leader of the South Arm Community Kitchen was away on her visit to her homeland in HongKong. Minoo took over the kitchen for the week and she made this Magnifico Meatless Tacos. This is a vegetarian dish and the recipe was obtained from a Heart Smart group. It is rich in fiber and vitamins and complete with protein and calcium.


Kids will love this dish as they get to assemble the tacos themselves.



  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sweet red or yellow pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato juice or salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • taco shells warmed in a microwave
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup salsa


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Radish Salad

This is a Korean Salad and yet another simple recipe to make. Radish Salad is one of the side dishes which is commonly found in Korean cuisine.



  • 1/2 radish or more commonly known as daikon
  • Sea salt
  • Red pepper powder
  • Sugar
  • Chopped garlic
  • Ginger powder or fresh ginger, minced
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions

Bulgogi005_edited-1 (more…)

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