Borscht

The second Ukrainian dish that Joe made in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen was Borscht.

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The above beet soup was slightly tangy and the beets were sweet. I once heard from a commentary by Dr. Art Hister on the Global Morning News that beet root juice helps lower blood pressure and thus helps to prevent cardiovascular problems.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cold water or chicken/vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 beets, cut into thin strips or coarsely grate
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into thin strips or coarsely grate
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 pepper corns
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour, optional (to thicken soup if preferred)
  • 1/2 pounds green beans, cut into 1″ length

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P/S: the potatoes in the photo above were for the Potato Perogies recipe.

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Joe brought along his manual food processor for show and tell in the kitchen. He prefers to use the manual one than the electric food processor. He’s an old school guy.

Source: Joe

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Beet and Daikon Salsa

With the Vaisakhi around the corner, Michelle was inspired to prepare an Indian theme lunch at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

Here is an excerpt which Michelle shared in the kitchen about Vaisakhi.

For many thousands of years, Vaisakhi has been the time when farmers have put their sickles to harvest and celebrated the coming of a new year. Since 1699, the Sikhs have had a further reason to celebrate at this time of the year. Now Vaisakhi is celebrated with even more energy, pomp and fanfare. It has become a holy day to mark the birth of the Khalsa fraternity. And so 300+ years on, this tradition continues with much gaeity, vigour and enthusiasm, Sikhs worldwide will spend much time remembering this most important day in their religious calendar – the  day the Khalsa was created.

If we take ourselves back to 1699 and the birth place of the Khalsa perhaps the real significance of Vaisakhi for the Sikh people can be comprehended. During the period around 1650, the country around Punjab was in turmoil; the rulers were corrupt; there was no rule of law; the rights of the common people were non-existent; justice did not prevail. The strong imposed their will and their way without question; the weak suffered constantly and quietly; there was misery everywhere. It was under these circumstances that Guru Cobind Singh rose to the occasion and chose to create the Khalsa. The Guru was looking for people within the community who would take on the challenge and rise above the weakness; to be strong and fearless; to be prepared to face these challenges without reservation and to uphold justice; to be fair and even handed at all times; to be prepared to die for the truth.

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This Vaisakhi inspired dish is from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala.  Although this Beet and Daikon Salsa calls for finely dicing the beets and daikon, you could grate or process the veggies to speed thins up.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 beets, peeled and finely diced (or grated)
  • 4 oz daikon, peeled and finely diced (or grated)
  • 1 large, firm tomato, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and salt
  • juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon, or to taste

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

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Beet and Potato Soup with Dill Cream

As the kitchen fell just before Valentine’s day, Michelle prepared a Beet and Potato Soup with Dill Cream for the occasion.

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Michelle decorated the red velvet soup with a heart shape sour cream drizzle.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 beets, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500ml or 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or more depends on the size of the vegetables)
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 small bunch of dill

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Source: this recipe is adapted from mowielicious.com

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Roasted Beet and Pear Salad

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors resumed in September. I missed the first session as I was attending the Multicultural Community Kitchen in Gilmore Park Church. Unfortunately, the schedule collided again.

Michelle Li who facilitates this kitchen always briefs the group before the start of the cooking. In today’s kitchen, she talked about using what is local and in season. The reasons include:

  • reduce carbon food print; did you know that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels 1.500 miles from farm to plate?
  • support local farmers
  • local food is more fresh and more tasty; i.e. they are not bred to last for the long distance travel
  • fresh food is more flavourful and more nutritional; nutrients like Vit C, Vit A, etc loose quickly once the food is harvested
  • local food tends to have less pesticides that food imported from third world countries
  • eat food that is in season when they are peak in nutrients and when they are cheaper
Here is a list of the local produce in season in fall/winter:
  • kale, cabbage, broccoli
  • beets, carrots, onions
  • apples, pears
  • mushrooms, hot house produce (peppers, eggplant)
  • hazelnuts

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In line with the theme of using local food and food in season, Michelle selected a beet and pear salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch beets, trimmed and washed
  • 1/4 cup chopped natural hazelnuts (or sliced almonds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Asian or other pear, cored and julienned
  • 3 cups greens (arugula, mache, mixed greens, etc)

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Source: this recipe is adapted from epicurious.com

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Ecuadorian Vegetable Salad

The second dish which Colleen prepared for the South Arm Seniors’ Kitchen is a simple and colourful salad.

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I enjoy this Ecuadorian Vegetable Salad which has a combination of raw lettuce and cooked beets and carrots.

Ingredients

  • 5 beets, peeled and quartered
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 6 large romaine lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: via Colleen

Serves 6 to 8

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