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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Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Marian served a Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing as a side dish at the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.

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This Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing goes well with the Marinated Baked Pork Chops.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons diced onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • mix salad vegetables torn into bite-sized pieces (we used baby spinach)
  • 2 1/2 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons dried cranberries
  • 5 to 8 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 5 to 8 pears – peeled, cored and diced

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Source: this recipe is adpated from allrecipe.com

Serves 8

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Pear Dates Almond Butter Muffins

For dessert, Minoo shared a Pear, Dates and Almond Butter Muffin recipe in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Pears are high in fiber and contain a good amount of vitamin C as well.

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These Pear, Dates and Almond Butter Muffins make a tasty and nutritious breakfast to go. They are moist and not doughy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 ripe Bosc pears, peel, core and cut pears into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Alive Magazine

Prep time: 30 mins;  Cook time: 35 mins;  Yields 12

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Orange Poached Pears

For dessert, Minoo prepared Orange Poached Pears.  This dessert is best served chilled.  You may served the Orange Poached Pears with some vanilla ice-cream, leave out the syrups.  The pears can be cut into smaller pieces and serve with your favourite yogurt along with some granolas for breakfast.

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This Orange Poached Pears recipe serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups orange juice (we used freshly squeezed orange juice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 orange, cut in strips
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored, and quartered lengthwise

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Three-Ginger Pear Chutney

This is the second canning workshop organised by Richmond Food Secure. Originally, Karen wanted to do a peach chutney. But, since the Richmond Food Tree Sharing Project collected a lot of pears that week, Karen made a change of recipe to Pear Chutney instead. Karen is very versatile and she often has to decide on what to cook in the Gilmore Park Community Meal at the very last minute depending on what she gets from the food bank, Richmond Food Tree Sharing Project and other donors.

Chutney is a relish made by combining fruits and spices, originally accompanying Indian (south Asian) meals.  The Hindi word chatni means ‘to taste’.

Some chutneys use fresh ingredients and are served immediately, while others are cooked, then processed to preserve the fruits for later use.  Chutney can be sweet or sour, spicy or not; or combinations of these.  Like any relish, the texture can vary from smooth to chunky, depending on the creator.  Typical ingredients can include combinations of mango, apple, pears, peaches, plums, herbs, citrus fruits, tomato, raisins, coconut, vinegar(s), honey, sugar, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and chilies.  But generally, a chutney makes use of the ingredients which are typically at hand.

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For today’s recipe, we got to sample it.  Karen brought a jar of her Peach Chutney made last year for us to sample.  Chutney can be served beside cheeses and cold meats, or with hot meals.  Ginger/pear combinations are particularly delicious with pork or chicken.

The chutney pairs well with the tangy and creamy goat cheese.  This is a great appetizer for entertaining.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups peeled, cored and diced/sliced fresh pears (about 6-9 medium, or 1.1 kg), preferably half ripe and half not so ripe
  • 1 cup tart apple, peeled, cored and diced (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins (50-60gm)
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar (160-175gm)
  • 1 to 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, peeled (or 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

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This recipe makes 3 to 4, 250 ml jars.

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Honey Pear Parfaits

Joyce and Joan worked on a brunch item which can be served as dessert too. It is Honey Pear Parfaits. These are made with fresh pear, honey, yogurt and top with some homemade Fruity Maple Pecan Granola.

You can make the pear compote in advance and keep in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be served. All you need to do is do is to whipped up some honey yogurt and topped with some granola. Serve this in a glass for better presentation.

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I love this brunch item the most. But some of the seniors remarked that it’s a bit too sweet. I guess it depends on the sweetness of the pear which you get. You may cut back on the apricot preserves or honey if you don’t have sweet tooth like me.

Ingredients

Pear Sauce:

  • 4 pears
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Topping:

  • 450g plain yogurt (about 2 cups or 16oz)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup granola

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pearparfaits-11-300x200Peel pears and chop into 1/2-inch dice. You should have about 3 cups.
pearparfaits-12-300x200Place pears, apricot preserves, water, cinnamon and vanilla extract into a medium saucepan. We added in the lemon zest too early, it should added after the pears are softened.
pearparfaits-13-300x200Squeeze the lemon juice into the pear mixture.
pearparfaits-14-300x200Simmer, loosely covered, until pears are tender – 15 to 20 minutes. We found that the pears are very juicy and release a lot of juice. So, it took us longer to boil down the liquid.Stir in the lemon zest, mix thoroughly, and set aside to cool.
pearparfaits-16-300x200We ladle the pears into serving bowls so that they can cool faster in smaller amount.

Stir honey and yogurt together, set aside.Spoon a few tablespoons of yogurt into each of the serving bowls. Top with a few spoonfuls of the pear mixture, then dollop more yogurt over the top.

Garnish each glass with a heaped tablespoon of granola just before serving.

Pear Cobbler

At the Caring Place Community Kitchen, Minoo shared a Pear Cobbler recipe. She was away at Sunshine Coast for the weekend and she picked some pears from her girl friend’s neighbour’s pear tree. You may replace the pear with apple.

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The Pear Cobbler is best served warm with ice-cream. I love the cinnamon in it.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 stick butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup honey or Maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Filing:

  • 8 large pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup honey or Maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange or lemon rind

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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