Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil

We made a simple Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil as an appetizer in the South Arm Women Community Kitchen.


The herb highlight in this recipe is basil.


  • 1/2 baguette or crusty long loaf bread
  • 2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • coarse salt


Source:, Rachel Ray

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Garden Greens Pakora

Michelle prepared an Indian inspired meal for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club upon the request of Jeff who comes from UK.


For appetizer, Michelle shared a baked garden greens pakoras for a healthier version. Serve the garden greens pakora with chutney (next post), yogurt or sour cream.



  • 1 cup chickpea or besan flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice + 2 tablespoons water, optional
  • mild-flavoured cooking oil for greasing baking pan or frying


  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and grated (or finely chopped)
  • 1 cup mixed, finely chopped greens (kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)



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Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club started a new session in September. We welcome back the old members and some new members for another great cooking sessions.

Senior Kitchen 076

Michelle, the facilitator of the cooking club prepared four recipes for this session. The first recipe is Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes.

The quick pesto consists of nutritional yeast which is a deactivated yeast; sold as a food product. It contains protein, vitamins and fiber. It often is fortified with additional B vitamins.


Quick Pesto

  • 3 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Broiled Tomatoes

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cored and halved crosswise
  • 5 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs

Senior Kitchen 007

Source: Vegetarian Times

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Kale Crostini

I’m back at the community kitchens after a long break since mid November 2012. The first community kitchen which I attended in 2013 was the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


Michelle prepared three recipes for this kitchen. The first recipe is Kale or Green Crostini. Michelle picked a kale recipe as kale is in season in winter, although we can get almost all year round in Vancouver.

Eating seasonal is the key to:

  • fresher and more nutrients
  • better flavour
  • better for the environment; i.e reduce carbon foot print for imported ones
  • usually cheaper
  • support local economy

Michelle recommended this website for eating seasonal:


  • 1 loaf of ciabatta or baguette bread
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half for rubbing onto the bread
  • 3 cloves of garlic for cooking with the kale
  • 1 bunch of kale, remove leaves from stems (discard stem) and tear into smaller pieces
  • half a lemon for juicing
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from

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Butternut Squash Cakes

In the South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen, Minoo shared three recipes featuring squash and green tomatoes. The recipes were inspired by the squash and green tomatoes given by Richmond Sharing Farm from their abundant harvest.


The above are the squash given by the Richmond Sharing Farm. From front row, left to right is kabocha, sugar pumpkin and acorn. The one on second row right most is butternut squash and the one on the left most is red kuri squash. Any one know what is the name of the squash in the middle of second row?


We made Butternut Squash Cakes with the butternut squash. It is like latkes with the squash replacing the potatoes. They are crispy when freshly fried. These make a great lunch box item.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups grated butternut squash, packed
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • about 4 tablespoons flour
  • olive oil for shallow fry
  • 1/4 cup sour cream for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds for garnishing (optional)


Source: South Arm Community Kitchen

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Deviled Eggs with Crab

In the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen, Minoo shared 3 recipes which she got her inspiration from Woman’s Health Magazine.


The first recipe is Deviled Eggs with Crab. This is great as appetizer. Nanzaro fell in love with Deviled Eggs while he was at his Air Cadet summer camp last year. He told me he ate like 6 eggs every day during the camp.


  • 12 extra large eggs
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of finely chopped crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 pinches of cumin and paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: Minoo

Prep time: 30 minutes;  Yields 24

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Asian Lettuce Cups

For celebration of Chinese New Year, Stella requested a theme of Chinese dishes to be cooked up in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. So, Charlene prepared three Asian dishes and a popular dessert that you find in Chinese restaurants.


The first dish is an appetizer called Asian Lettuce Cups. Other than lettuce cups, you can also serve the filing in small pita pockets.



  • 1.5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 stalks scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen vegetables are fine)
  • 1/2 green apple, finely diced
  • 1 head iceberg or bib lettuce, leaves washed and separated


Source: adapted from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen

Prep time: 30 mins;  Cook time: 6 mins;  Serve 4 to 6

Helmut and Lorna worked on this recipe.

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Spinach And Chickpea Fritters

The second recipe demonstrated by Minoo in the South Arm Community Kitchen is an Indian recipe. It is Spinach and Chickpea Fritters. These vegetarian fritters can be served as an appetizer or snack.


Minoo served the Spinach and Chickpea Fritters with a store bought mango chutney. The fritters are fried to very crispy and they are great snacks with vegetables in it.


  • 1 cup chickpea flour (available at Middle Eastern, Indian or health food stores) or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • mango chutney, for serving


Source: adapted from food network

Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 20 minutes; Serve 6 to 8

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Salmon Patties

Charlene prepared 4 dishes for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. As usual, it’s a complete meal with appetizer, soup, salad and main.


For appetizer, Charlene utilizes canned pink salmon which is reasonably priced. When choosing canned salmon, pick those which include bones which has higher calcium and hence is a better deal nutritionally.


  • 1 can (7 oz) salmon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill


Paul and June partnered to make this Salmon Patties.

Source: Charlene Dy

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 6 to 8 minutes; Serve: 3

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Vietnamese Cuisine: Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

We were very excited when Minoo told us that she had invited one of South Arm Community Kitchen’s pioneer member, Doris to demonstrate some Vietnamese dishes. Doris is a third generation Chinese Vietnamese here. It is such a privilege to be able to invite her to demonstrate in the kitchen as she is a very busy hair dresser now.


The spring roll is deep fried until the skin is crispy. This is a great appetizer or finger food for holiday entertaining.


Of course, the spring roll has to go with the Fish Sauce dipping sauce. The sourness of the dipping sauce cuts back the heaviness of the meat.

Ingredients for Spring Roll:

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 5 pieces black fungus, reconstituted in some water, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches of mung bean vermicelli, soak in some water to soften and cut into smaller strands.
  • 1 pound taro root
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 package spring roll rice paper wrap (Asian boy brand recommended)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Fish Sauce for dipping:

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or 3/4 tablespoon vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (optional)


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