Community Cooking

Welcome to the Connect Community Kitchen. We're a community kitchen located in the basement of South Huron Hospital in Exeter, Ontario, Canada.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Recipes from May 17th.

Black Bean Lasagna

The filling for this lasagna has a Southwestern flavor that's similar to that of black-bean burritos. 4 jalapeño peppers( we only used 1 for 2 lasagna's)
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper( we bought a pack of reduced peppers so we used more than the recipe called for and some were yellow and orange)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (8-ounce) carton reduced-fat sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (16-ounce) bottle chunky salsa
Cooking spray
12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat broiler.Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 4 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel and chop. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 6 minutes. Add tomato, cumin, and coriander; cook 3 minutes. Add jalapeño and beans; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, sour cream, and egg.Spread 3 tablespoons salsa in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles slightly overlapping over salsa, and top with half of the bean mixture, 1/2 cup cheese, and 3 tablespoons salsa. Repeat the layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining salsa over noodles, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes. Yield: 8 servings( we got 12 servings out of it)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 452(25% from fat); FAT 12.6g (sat 6.7g,mono 3.4g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 21.8g; CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 262mg; SODIUM 559mg;
FIBER 7.5g;

Chicken Biriyani

Biriyani is a baked Indian dish of spiced rice combined with chicken, seafood, or other meats. This version omits the baking step while maintaining the authentic flavors. Whole-milk yogurt keeps its creamy texture when cooked; don't substitute low-fat yogurt, which will curdle.

3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces( we used chicken breast)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced( we used 1 jalapeno)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted cashews( we used honey roasted from the bulk bin)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Bring water, 1 teaspoon salt, and saffron to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and cinnamon stick to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard cinnamon stick.Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan.Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add curry and the next 5 ingredients (curry through serrano chiles); cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add yogurt, stirring with a whisk; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add chicken and raisins; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add rice; stir well to combine. Sprinkle evenly with cashews and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 435(26% from fat); FAT 12.7g (sat 3.2g,mono 5.1g,poly 3.2g); PROTEIN 22.8g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 84mg; SODIUM 942mg; FIBER 1.9g; IRON 2.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 59.2g

Banana-Cinnamon waffles.

Crown these lightly spiced waffles with cinnamon sugar, sliced bananas, and/or a drizzle of maple syrup. Buckwheat flour adds a somewhat tangy, robust nuttiness.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed( we ground this ourselves in a coffee grinder)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk( we used 2% since we needed it for another recipe)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large ripe banana, mashed
Cooking spray ( our members waffles iron does not need to be sprayed)
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, flaxseed, and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Combine milk, butter, and eggs, stirring with a whisk; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in mashed banana.
Preheat a waffle iron. Coat iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 waffles)

NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 215(31% from fat); FAT 7.4g (sat 3.3g,mono 1.9g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 7.3g; CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CALCIUM 133mg; SODIUM 205mg; FIBER 3.4g; IRON 1.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.1g

Macaroni and Cheese with whole wheat garlic breadcrumbs.

For bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs ( we used 100% whole wheat bread)
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk(egads, we used 2% milk and it was still rich and creamy)
2 cups heavy cream( see above note)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 lb macaroni
2 lb extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably white), grated
Make bread crumbs:Heat butter and oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook garlic and bread crumbs, stirring, until crumbs are golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt.
Make macaroni:Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop chipotles.
Melt butter in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, cream, and mustard and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes.
Cook macaroni in a 6- to 7-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in white sauce, cheese, and salt to taste.
Fill a 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole with half of macaroni mixture. Stir chipotles into remaining macaroni. Spoon into another 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole and sprinkle both with bread crumbs. Bake casseroles in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
Cook's note:Macaroni and cheese may be made 2 days ahead, put into casseroles, cooled completely, and chilled, covered. Do not add bread crumbs until ready to bake. (Baking may take longer than 30 minutes.)Serves 8 adults plus 10 children as part of a buffet.

The above dish shows that you can still modify a recipe to make it healthier. We thought about buying whole wheat pasta instead of the white cavatapi that we ended up using. However, Randi felt that the flavor of the whole wheat would be too strong to compete with the strong flavour of the white cheedar that we ended up using. So, each member of the kitchen was sent home with a 1 cup serving in a small foil dish. This macaroni and cheese is meant to be a side serving with a heart healthy entree such as baked fish.

The Waffle Boys

The taco station and the waffle boys.
Filling for the black bean lasagna

Yet another successful cooking session under our belts. Our group met on Monday to plan our recipes and develop our grocery list for the Wednesday night cooking session. We welcome two new members to the group Steve and Dan, both came to our planning session ready and willing to learn what the group is all about. Little did they know the fun they were going to have, not to mention the wonderful food they would be taking home with them at the end of the evening on Wednesday. We set a menu of, Chicken Biryani(Cooking Light Magazine), Black Bean Lasagna(Cooking Light Magazine), Turkey Taco Filling( Everday Food Magazine), Macaroni and Cheese with a Chipolte Bread Crumb(, and Banana Cinnamon Buckwheat Waffles(Cooking Light). Waffle is the key word here folks!!!!
Several stations were set up in our work area. One station housed an electric fry pan and the meat and dry ingredients for the taco filling, another station housed the waffle iron and a huge bowl for mixing the waffle batter, a chopping station with the appropriate knives and food processor which always speeds up the process of the prep work, and of course the kitchen area where the stove is. Much thanks to our coordinator Randi who plans out the execution of the activity. This truly is a feat because we don't use a commercial kitchen, just a typical stove. Her effort always makes sure that things are cooked in an order that meals that take longer in the oven go in first, and the stove top is utilized in a way that the frying and simmering work in conjunction with how the meals are completed. Oh and we must not forget the sink station, and what would we have done if we didn't have Carol doing all or most of the dishes that night. I'm sure the woman went home with dish pan hands, so very appreciated. Thanks Carol !!!
Everything ran so smoothly and a lot of fun was had by all. Our kitchen is run using safe kitchen practices, reminders to wash hands, we use a bleach and water mixture to sanitize cooking surfaces and we always wear a hair net. Well truth Carol is the one wearing the hair net, which on this particular night it kept coming loose and at any given time I was pointing out what looked like a nasty hair loss problem on her shoulder or down her back. With a giggle she would respond, collect it and return it to the top of her head. Now as far as the men are concerned the hair net thing isn't always popular, given the fact that three of them have brush cuts. So ball caps and bandannas offer a nice “manly” alternative. We found ourselves at various times throughout the evening referencing our new members and their task at hand. THE WAFFLE BOYS, both Steve and Dan were manning the waffle iron thus the dubbing of our new homey gang!!! They thought it might be a good idea to have T-shirts made up with their new title,I think they will start a trend. *smile*
Joanne was great with her Taco station and very mindful of preparing it in two parts, she made a batch for those of us who like our taco's spicy and filled with Jalapeños, and a batch for those less brave not wanting the hot stuff. Clint and Stuart ensured that all was chopped and prepped for each recipe and I am sure quite thankful we hauled out the food processor when it came to mincing those Jalapeños.
We started at 6 and were finished by about 9:30, that was with all the cooking and clean up and leaving our kitchen spotless as we had found it. Everyone went home with their Tupperware filled with the great meals that were prepared. We learn each time we come out, plenty of useful cooking tips, and introductions to ingredients that some haven't necessarily ever cooked before. One thing is becoming pretty obvious though, with all the prep and cooking that takes place and the wonderful aromas of each prepared meal those WAFFLE BOYS grow pretty hungry. The group was very thankful that we portioned out a taster of each recipe. I think we might have to plan some sort of appetizer for our next cooking session so that we all have something official to munch on as all the hard work is happening.
We ended the evening scheduling our next sessions, June 12 for planning and June 14 for cooking. The following is the list of recipes that were prepared this week. Those in the group will receive their copies for their recipe binder the next time we meet. Enjoy your meals folks!!!

Once again, we'd like to thank our sponsor's. Hansen's Your Independent Grocer for supplying all the groceries AND Hayter's Turkey Products in Dashwood for supplying us with 6 pounds of ground turkey.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A mostly vegetarian night.....

Garden-Style Lasagna
Vegetable lasagna is a crowd-pleaser and a classic make-ahead dish. You can use precut onions, matchstick-cut carrots, and broccoli, in addition to precooked noodles, to speed up preparation. If you make it ahead, let it cool completely, then cover and chill. The next day, heat single servings in the microwave. Freeze leftovers for dinner. Cooking spray2 cups chopped onion4 garlic cloves, minced2 teaspoons olive oil, divided2 cups chopped zucchini (about 8 ounces)2 cups chopped yellow squash (about 8 ounces)2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 8 ounces)2 cups chopped broccoli (about 6 ounces)1 teaspoon salt, divided1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperDash of nutmeg1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided12 precooked lasagna noodles, dividedPreheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown. Add to onion mixture.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrot; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss well to combine.
Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Stir in spinach.
Combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over spinach mixture in dish; top with half of cottage cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of vegetable mixture (about 2 1/2 cups), and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 272(27% from fat); FAT 8.3g (sat 4.4g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 18.5g; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 456mg; SODIUM 589mg; FIBER 3.6g; IRON 1.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.2g

We all had fun preparing a variety of new foods using ingredients unfamilar to some members. Couscous, whole wheat lasagna noodles, shiitake mushrooms and eggplant were just some of the new ingredients. This cooking session took slightly longer than the last because some of the recipes were more labor intensive.

Thanks to our sponsors: Hansen's Independent in Exeter and Hayter's Turkey Farms in Dashwood for providing the food.

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