Tsawwassen Mills

Ben and I visited the newest mall in British Columbia on its first weekend of debut. We were there early, like just after 9:00AM. We did not have traffic or parking problem when we arrived.

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We came to this new mall because we heard that it was of the largest mall in BC. It was a rainy day and we were looking for indoor walking space.

The mall has 1.2 million square feet of retail space and will have 200 retailers.

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A sculpture at one of the many entrances.

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The body of this bear sculpture is made with recycled items.

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A tree like decor. Continue reading

Chicken Tzatziki Salad

The last salad we made in the South Arm Community Kitchen is a Greek style salad.

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This healthy chicken salad has a yogurt base (much better than mayo base) and with Greek inspired flavour. If you can’t find garlic paste, just finely grate some fresh garlic.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (optional)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • mixed salad greens

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Source: Dinnertime Hacks for People Too Tired to Cook

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Black Bean Burrito Bowl

The second salad we made in the South Arm Community Kitchen with rotisserie chicken has Mexican flavour to it.

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You can make this a vegetarian version by leaving out the rotisserie chicken but it still has protein in it in the form of black beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans (drain and rinse if using can beans)
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1/4 rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
  • fresh cilantro (optional)

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon/lime juice
  • ground cumin to taste
  • chili powder to taste
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: South Arm Community Kitchen

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Brown Rice Bowl

The South Arm Community Kitchen theme for this kitchen is to make quick meals with rotisserie chicken. Rotisserie chicken is a versatile ingredient. We made three different flavour salad out from two chicken breasts from a rotisserie chicken.

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The first salad is a Brown Rice Bowl which has an Asian flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (click here on how to cook brown basmati rice)
  • 1/2 cup carrots, julienned or grated
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
  • rice vinegar to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • torn nori strips (optional)
  • salt to taste

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Source: Dinnertime Hacks fro People Too Tired to Cook

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Root Vegetables Soup

The South Arm Community Kitchen met again on a Wednesday. We made a winter soup with various seasonal root vegetables.

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This simple, robust and cold weather soup can be made with almost any mixture of root vegetables you can get on hand. We made this with carrots, parsnips, celery root, turnips, rutabaga and sweet potatoes. Winter gourd, potatoes and squash are great for this soup too.

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We served the Mixed Root Vegetables Soup with a 3 chicken salad of 3 different flavours.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion or 2 leeks (white and light green part only), chopped
  • 2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 rosemary or thyme stalks (or 1 teaspoon dried ones)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 pounds mixed root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, celery root, turnip, rutabaga, sweet or regular potatoes), peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, or more for serving
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chili flakes, optional

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Source: South Arm Community Kitchen

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Alleluia Cafe at Richspot Plaza, Richmond

Ben and I went for an early breakfast on a Saturday morning. When we arrived at Alleluia Cafe, it was not opened yet, another 10 minutes to the opening time at 8:00AM. So, we went for a short walk before we returned to the restaurant.

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Ben wanted something healthy, so he ordered the Nutritious Breakfast. It is listed as Tomato + Banana + Avocado + Poached Egg + Brown Toast. Literally, the items are served individually.

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I ordered the Congee Combo as I knew Ben would like some hot Asian style breakfast too. I ordered the Fish Fillet Congee. Ben likes the congee which is slightly grainy.

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I ordered the Soy Sauce Fried Noodle for the combo as it’s Ben’s favourite breakfast noodle.

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Alleluia Cafe accepts cash only.

Alleluia Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Baghdad Cafe on Seymour Street, Vancouver

Nanzaro and I were in downtown to run errands. We had some time to kill before our next errand. We decided to get a bite as it was almost lunch hour.

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Nanzaro picked the Baghdad Cafe as he likes middle eastern food.

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Since I was not that hungry, I just taxed on his order. He went for the Mixed Kebab Platter. The server told us that it will take 10 minutes for it to be prepared.

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It came with two type of meat skewers, chicken and beef.

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You get to pick the sauces and Nanzaro got some of each which include garlic, hummus and tzatziki.

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He also got to pick a salad. As usual, I had most of the tabouleh. I made a simple wrap with the pita bread while Nanzaro had most of the rice and meat.

Baghdad Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Leisure Tea & Coffee on Alexandra Road, Richmond

It’s been a while since Polly and I met up for cake meet due to her busy schedule. We found time to meet up and went to Leisure Tea & Coffee for a light lunch, more like a snack lunch.

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Leisure Tea & Coffee only opens at 12:00PM.

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Polly told me that this is a popular place for Taiwanese. Truely enough, a group of middle aged people came in for coffee at the later part of our meal and they spoke “Hokkien”/”Fujian”.

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We had the Oriental Style Combo for 2 with 1 black coffee and 1 pot of tea for $26.25. For the tea, Polly selected the Passion Fruit and Pineapple Tea. It was very sweet and fragrant. We asked for a pot of hot water so that we can dilute the tea before drinking. Continue reading

Parklane Chinese Restaurant on Westminster Hwy, Richmond

The praise dance group from Richmond Chinese Evangelical Free Church went for dim sum after the practice to celebrate the mid autumn festival. We went to Parklane Chinese Restaurant. Two of the members got to the restaurant earlier to place the orders first for the early bird discount. When we arrived, a couple of dishes had just delivered to our table. It was nice that we did not have to wait long for food.

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Here are the dishes that we had. Taro Root Dumpling with a crispy exterior and a creamy interior.

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Steamed Pork Dumpling (“Siew Mai”) with Pork Liver. This is slightly unique with the presence of the pork liver.

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Phoenix Claw and Peanut. I only tasted the peanuts as the chicken feet is not easy to break up for sharing.

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The Oyster Omelet is more of Chinese style omelet. Unlike the Taiwanese style which is more starchy and serve with a sauce. I prefer the Chinese style. Continue reading

Homemade Kefir (or Milk Kefir)

Minoo brought her homemade milk kefir to share in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Milk kefir is a probiotic yogurt-like drink.

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Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. Kefir is a source of calcium, iron, vitamin B12, etc.

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Minoo demonstrated to us how to make homemade kefir. First she strain the kefir with a stainless steel strainer. The kefir milk taste like yogurt drink, i.e. a little sour with a yeasty smell. The longer you leave the kefir grains in the milk, the more sour the milk will be.

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Rinse the kefir grains under cold running water.

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Kefir grains are symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. They are alive. They will grow as you continue the process of making the kefir milk. You can share the excess kefir grains with your friends.

The probiotics in kefir promote a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system. They are the good bacteria in our guts.

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Minoo gave us a little kefir grains to bring home to make our own kefir. Just place the kefir grains in a clean jar and add milk to it. Close the jar and give it a few shakes. Leave the jar in room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours and repeat the process of straining, rinsing and restart fermentation with a new batch of milk.

Minoo reminded us not to place the kefir grains in the fridge for too long as the cold will kill the kefir grains. If you cannot attend to the kefir grains for a day or two, it will be alright to place in the fridge, but any longer than that, you have to find someone to baby sit it.

Minoo, thank you for sharing.