Hearty Vegetable Soup

It’s the time of the year where a hot bowl of soup is good for any meal. We are embracing a very cold winter according to the weather forecast.


In the South Arm Kitchen, a group of seniors made a big pot of Hearty Vegetable Soup. We made so much that there were plenty of leftovers to take home.


While one group was making the soup, the rest were busy making brownies for the South Arm Christmas Fair fund raising for the Richmond Food Bank.The South Arm Cooking Club for seniors made brownies for last year’s fund raising too and managed to raise $681 for the Richmond Food Bank as reported in this post.


The brownies are very rich and chocolatey. You can find the recipe in this post except that we added 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts this year.


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BBQ Vegetables

The BBQ will not be complete without some kind of vegetables. Jorge prepared a Spinach and Strawberry Salad and grilled some vegetables to go along with the BBQ fish and chicken.


The complete meal includes BBQ chicken thigh, fish, corn, sweet peppers and portobello mushrooms.


  • 1 package of fresh portobello mushroom
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 4 ears of corns
  • butter
  • salt and pepper


Source: Jorge Viduenez

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Serve 6


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Filipino Cuisine: Stir Fried Mix Vegetables

Linda served the Pancit Bihon with Stir Fried Mix Vegetables on the side. Cooking the vegetables separately will ensure that the vegetables are crisp tender and not overcooked.


Linda prefers her vegetables to be crunchy. The vegetables is stir fried with Annato flavoured oil too.


  • 1 medium carrot, sliced but not too thin
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
  • 1 medium onion, cut into cubes
  • 2 packs sweet peas, string removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into floweretes
  • mushroom seasing to taste
  • sesame oil
  • oyster sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 package of frozen cooked shrimps, defrosted


Source: Linda

Prep time: 30 minutes;  Cook time: 15 minutes;  Serves 8 to 10


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Guide to Winter Root Vegetables

Charlene introduced some winter root vegetables to the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for this meet. We often leave out vegetables that we are unfamiliar with when we do our groceries shopping. A session like this will help us to learn more about some of this winter root vegetables and hopefully we’ll try them in our next groceries shopping trip.


For this session, Charlene picked four winter root vegetables, i.e. Rutabaga or Swede, Turnip, Celery Root or Celeriac and Parsnips. Can you tell which is which from the above picture?


June, Christina and Chris Morris prepared and roasted the above winter root vegetables for everyone to try.


Here is what Charlene shared with us.

The first winter root vegetable introduced here is Rutabaga. It is also known as Swede or Yellow Turnip. Rutabagas are nutty, sweet and slightly peppery. They are delicious mashed with potatoes, cubed and roasted or boiled. When buying rutabagas, choose the smaller ones and they are less woody. The skin of rutabaga is quite tough to peel.

The second winter root vegetable is Turnip. The larger the turnip, the tougher and more strongly flavoured they become. Always choose the smallest turnips you can find at the grocer’s. Turnips can be creamed or made into an au gratin dish. It can be cubed in stews, glazed with carrots, or roasted but do no overcook them. Some cooks like to grate a turnip into their soups as a secret ingredient to give extra dept of flavour to the soup.


The third winter root vegetable is celery root or Celeriac. This seemed to be the best favoured winter root vegetable among all the fours. It has a mild celery flavour to it. Celery root is the ugly stepdaughter of the vegetable world as it is rough and knobbly. It’s mild and aromatic flavour is delicious cooked or eaten raw. It is often cut into shoestrings and made into a salad with mayonnaise and mustard, remoulade. To prepare celery root, cut off the top and bottom of the root. Place a flat side on a cutting board and remove the tough peel in lengthwise strips.


The last winter root vegetable introduced here is parsnips. This is my favourite. Parsnips resemble creamy-coloured carrots. They are sweet and complex. Their delightful flavour can be showcased on its own, whether roasted, in a creamy soup, or boiled and pureed to serve as a lush accompaniment to meats. Avoid gargantuan parsnips, as they tend to be woody in the middle.

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Asparagus, Peas and Basil

Christina and June made this very simple and sweet Aparagaus, Peas and Basil Stir-fry.

Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for women who wants to get pregnant and pregnant women. Asparagus also contains potassium, copper, iron and phosphor. It is rich ion insoluble dietary fiber and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.

Asparagus contains a sour agent, which noticeably renders the urine potent when digested. It also contains asparagine, an acid agent responsible for its particular flavour and diuretic property. You should avoid eating asparagus when you have kidney inflammation.


This Asparagus, Peas and Basil stir-fry is adabped from Ursula Ferrigno and it serves 6. The sweetness of the peas and basil complements the flavour of asparagus in this lovely side dish.

Choose asparagus with firm brittle stalk and compact tip of bright color without rust spots. Select the same size of asparagus as they will cook evenly. Asparagus is quite fragile. You can keep it in the refrigerator, wrapped in a wet cloth placed in a perforated plastic bag for a maximum of one week. Blanched asparagus can be stored for about five months in the freezer.


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs. asparagus
  • 3/4 lb. shelled fresh peas (2 1/2 cups; 1 3/4 lb. in pods) or 1 10 oz package thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)



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Easy Vegetable Quiche

Minoo demonstrated an Easy Vegetable Quiche recipe in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Quiche is a pie which uses egg as binder to hold things together. Quiche is great for picnic or school/work lunch as it is very convenient to carry them around and it can be eaten cold like pizza.


This is a Vegetable Quiche but you can add in meat like bacon, cooked chicken, ham or turkey as other alternatives.


  • 1 package of ready to mix pastry
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 bunch of green onions, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes pesto
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch of dried basil, oregano and marjoram
  • some chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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Chinese New Year Series: Asam Gai Choy

I made this Asam Gai Choy as a side dish for the Chinese New Year Hotpot gathering. My late mom always made Asam Gai Choy or Kiam Chai Boey after a festive celebration. This dish is made with leftovers from a large meal.

Asam Gai Choy is a sour and spicy dish. You can adjust the sourness and spiciness according to your preference. I love it very sour and spicy. This dish is great with steam rice and very appetizing.


There are only a few key ingredients for this stew.

  • Leftovers meat. Instead of leftovers meat, I used roasted pig feet. You can get this from Chinese BBQ store at a relatively cheap price, usually $1 to $1.50 per feet.


  • Gai Choy or mustard greens. Gai Choy is a pungent green and is usually cooked for a long period with pork on bone to absorb the flavor form the meat. Mustard greens are extremely high in Vitamin A and K.
  • Gai Choy comes in 2 types, big leaves and small leaves, They taste the same. I would prefer the small leaves if I can get them, save time on tearing up the big leaves.


  • Pickled mustard. This will gives the dish the required saltiness without any addition of salt.


  • Asam pei or tamarind skin. It gives the dish the sourish flavour. You may substitute with tamarind paste if the skin is not available.


  • Dried chilies. The chillies give the dish the spiciness.


Click on the link below for the instructions.


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