Spinach Pie

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club made a Spinach Pie to go with the Leftover Lentil Soup.

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2 cups of spinach provides:

  • more than 100% of your Vitamin A
  • a good source of folate, Vitamin C, iron, magnesium and potassium

Ingredients

  • 1 store bought deep frozen pie crust
  • 1 bag spinach or 1 large bunch spinach, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, or more as desired
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Flavorings:

Italian:

  • 1/2 cup drained sundried tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Greek:

  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

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Source: South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen

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Lemon Lentil Spinach Soup

The South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen met again in the South Arm kitchen for another sharing and learning session.

Minoo briefed the group about the recipes she selected and talked about the nutritional values of the selected ingredients. Minoo selected ingredients that are rich in iron like lentil and spinach and ingredients that are high in fiber for this kitchen.

This week’s menu included a lentil soup, a quinoa salad and a dessert made with cassava.

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The first recipe is a Lemon Lentil Spinach Soup from Mint Green Apron by Michelle Li. Michelle Li is the facilitator of the South Arm Seniors Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils or French green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (preferably organic)
  • 2 cups chopped greens (spinach or arugula or combination of both)

Source: Mint Green Apron, Michelle Li

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Spinach Ashitashi

For starter or appetizer, Kazuko prepared a cold spinach dish called Spinach Ashitashi.

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You can garnish the Spinach Ashitashi with bonito flakes or sesame seeds. This is another very simple side dish to make.

Coincidentally, this recipe reminded me of a recipe in a cook book by Michelle Tchea with the title “Building A Perfect Meal”. I came to know Michelle T through chowtimes. Michelle T wrote to me one day asking me where to get sao bing in Vancouver out of the blue.

During the 2010 Winter Olympic Game in Vancouver, Michelle T was in town for the games. We met up a couple of times at Gingeri Chinese Cuisine and Red Star Seafood Restaurant for dim sum.

Last month, I received an email from Michelle T asking me if I’m interested to share her newly published cookbook on chowtimes. I was trilled to hear that she had published a cook book.

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Building A Perfect Meal is about how to create quick and simple meals at home. It’s a collection of basic recipes like creamy mashed potatoes, hand pulled noodles, pickled vegetables and fried rice with a jazz up version to create a more elaborate dish. The cook book also comes with valuable cooking tips from her experience in the kitchen.

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While I was browsing through Michelle’s cook book, I came across a very similar recipe to the Spinach Ashitashi. It’s called Japanese Soy Spinach. Michelle T”s recipe uses beetroot leaves and stalks instead. In the cook book, Michelle T featured a Versatile Soy Stock and Dipping Sauce as seasoning for the spinach. I will share the recipe at the end of this post.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 bunches spinach
  • soy sauce to taste
  • bonito flakes
  • sesame seeds
  • salt

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Source: Kazuko

Serves 4

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Creamy Spinach Dip

The second dip that Minoo prepared in the South Arm Community Kitchen is a Creamy Spinach Dip.

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This Creamy Spinach Dip is made with fresh spinach unlike the one that I made with frozen chopped spinach which has a coarser texture . You can serve this dip with pita chips or crunchy vegetables or spread it on a sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 x 5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

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Source: via Minoo

Tips: try to drain the excess liquid from the yogurt so that the dip is less liquidy; You can strain the yogurt over cheesecloth overnight to get a thicker consistency. Greek yogurt will be a good substitute.

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Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

Minoo served the Fettuccine with Mushroom Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce with a side salad of Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad.

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The Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad has a nice balance of sweet and sour plus chewiness from the dried cranberries and crunchiness of the toasted almonds.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-sized pieces or 1 box of pre-washed baby spinach
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver

Serves 8

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Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans

Originally, Michelle intended to serve the Chicken Paprikash with a side salad of Spinach with Pomegranate and Candied Pecans. However, Stella could not find pomegranate during the groceries shopping since it’s not in season. We made the salad without the pomegranate. The ruby red color of pomegranate is to tie with the Valentine’s Day color scheme.

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Here is some nutrition facts of pomegranate which Michelle found out:

  • it has been used as a traditional remedy for thousands of years
  • good source of Vitamin B5
  • when consume with the seeds, it is a high fiber source of food
  • some studies have shown that pomegranate juice may reduce LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches spinach, washed and stems removed or 1 small package of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate (which we omitted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • thinly sliced apple or feta cheese (optional)
Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (original recipe asked for Balsamic vinegar but we do not any in the pantry)
  • 1/2 shallot, finely minced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Candied Pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, rough chopped or halves
  • optional salt and pepper to taste

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Please note that the icing sugar should not be in the picture. Missing from the picture are most of the dressing ingredients.

Source: the vinaigrette is adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook

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Lentil Soup with Tomato and Spinach

Minoo prepared four recipes for the South Arm Community Kitchen held at the Bethel Church. It looks like that we will continue to meet at the Bethel Church until the summer break in July. We appreciate very much for Bethel Church’s generosity to allow us to use their well equipped kitchen for free.

For the starter, Minoo selected a lentil soup recipe. Lentils require soaking (some overnight) before cooking due to the presence of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and tannins. Lentils can be used to make soup, salad or cook with rice to add protein to the vegetarian diet.

Here are some recipes that I had blogged before about lentil:

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This soup gets a gentle heat from jalapeno pepper and a burst of added flavours from freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly roasted spices. The addition of tomatoes and spinach also adds freshness to the soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow lentils, washed and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 plum tomatoes, peel and dice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

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Source: Minoo

The spinach can be substituted with other green vegetables like kale.

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Thai Chicken Salad with Spinach and Peanuts

The South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen will be held at the Bethel Church while the South Arm kitchen is under renovation. We were very fortunate and thankful for Bethel Church’s generosity to allow us to use their kitchen. We love the kitchen as it is big and very well equipped. There are 6 washing basins in the center island.

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Minoo prepared four recipes for this kitchen. The first recipe is a Thai Chicken Salad with Spinach and Peanuts. This salad has a little kick with the hot chili flakes. It is a combination of cooked chicken with raw vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2 large lime or lemon
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot chili flakes
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • chopped mango (optional)
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trim fat and slice into thin strips
  • vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

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Source: unknown via Minoo

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Chinese Spinach Egg Drop Soup

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors decided to have a Chinese theme when they met during the Chinese New Year celebration in early February. Marian came up with four recipes which are all her home recipes.

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The first recipe is a Chinese Spinach Egg Drop Soup. I would say that this is a east meet west recipe as the preparation involves blending the spinach in the soup. The soup has a very artistic presentation.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sherry (optional)
  • 2 cups spinach, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch for thickening

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Source: Marian

Serves 4

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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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