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.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Quick & Easy Meals

On Wednesday July 11, Connect Community Kitchen members joined forces to conquer several new recipes. This time, we took the easy route and went with recipes that we could all easily duplicate quickly at home with simpler ingredients. We made Peanut Sesame Stir Fry, Citrus Pork Stirfry, Sundried Tomato Pesto & Chicken Pasta Toss and Banana Chocolate Bread for our breakfast component.

Citrus Pork Stirfry
1 lb. thinly sliced pork loin
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 of a peeled orange, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup KRAFT Italian Dressing
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted PLANTERS Cashews
PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Toss pork, broccoli, carrots, orange, dressing and soy sauce in bowl.
POKE small holes in bottom of large disposable aluminum foil pan. Spoon pork mixture into pan. Place pan on grate of grill; close lid. Grill 15 min., stirring often, until pork is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender.
SPRINKLE with cashews. Serve over cooked rice, if desired.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Chicken Pasta Toss

1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves

1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 garlic cloves


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 (6-ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk

1 (3-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled

6 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 4 cups uncooked pasta)


To prepare pesto, drain sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl, reserving oil. Place 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a food processor. Place remaining oil in sun-dried tomato jar; reserve for another use. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup drained tomatoes; set aside. Place remaining drained tomatoes in food processor. Add basil, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 garlic cloves to food processor; process until finely minced.
To prepare pasta, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan. Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in pesto and evaporated fat-free milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add crumbled goat cheese; cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Combine chicken mixture and pasta, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup chopped drained tomatoes.

Peanut-Sesame Stir Fry



1 cup Kraft Catalina Dressing

1/4 Cup Kraft Peanut Butter

3 tbsp. each soy sauce and lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1 lb. Peeled shrimp

1 can drained sliced water chestnuts

3 sliced green onions

1 cubed zucchini

1 each cubed green and red pepper

1 can drained mandarin orange segments

cooked noodles


1. Mix together dressing, peanut butter, soy sauce and lemon juice

2. Stir fry sesame seeds and shrimp in 1/3 of the prepared sauce in wok or heavy skillet

3. Add remaining ingredients, except for mandarin orange sections and noodles; cook until vegetables are tender. Add mandarin oranges and remaining sauce. Serve over noodles.

Banana Chocolate Bread



2 eggs lightly beaten

1 cup mashed bananas

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 100% bran cereal

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, grated


1. Stir eggs, bananas, oil and milk together until well blended.

2. Add flours, bran, sugar, baking powder and chocolate, stir until just moistened

3. pour into lightly greased 8 x 4 loaf pan

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan, cool completely on rack

June: Tricky, Tricky, Tricky!

On Wednesday June 13, 2007, nine Connect Community Kitchen members gathered to try their hands at some rather tricky recipes. We decided to make Savory Meditteranean Turkey Burgers, just in time for BBQ season, BBQ chicken Pizza, Apple Pecan Breakfast Buns as our breakfast component, Baked Egg Rolls (tricky, tricky, tricky!!!) and Curried Noodles with Tofu as the side to the egg rolls.

Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work!!!!! Check out the recipes and the results below!

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

These juicy burgers combine a couple of kid-friendly flavors: the sweetness of grated pear and seasonings typically used in breakfast sausage. They're also made with coarse panko bread crumbs (sold in most large grocery stores), which helps keep the texture of the burger on the lighter side.

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 medium-size firm Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Mix together the turkey, pear, egg, panko, parsley, garlic, sage, rosemary, and allspice in a large bowl until well combined. Add the salt and pepper, or more to taste. (To test the flavor, cook a teaspoon or two of the mixture in the microwave or a small skillet.)

2. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape them into patties, gently pressing the center of each to create a slight indentation. This will prevent the patty from bulging in the center, so that you end up with a flat, evenly cooked burger. Refrigerate the patties until the grill is ready.

3. Prepare a charcoal fire or a gas grill to medium-hot. Wipe the rack with canola oil and lay the burgers on it indentation-side up. Let them cook, without pressing down on them, until the bottoms are well seared, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue grilling until they are completely cooked through (the juices will run clear), another 5 to 7 minutes.

BBQ Chicken Pizza


This is an easy not-too-sweet, delicious alternative to tomato sauce based pizzas! Sure to satisfy everyone. Use any kind of barbeque sauce and it will still be a winner!"

3 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1 cup hickory flavored barbeque sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine chicken, barbeque sauce, honey, molasses, brown sugar and cilantro. Bring to a boil.
Spread chicken mixture evenly over pizza crust, and top with cheese and onions. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Apple Pecan Breakfast Buns

From Sunset

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter, chilled, plus 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.)

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup pecan halves

2 Granny Smith apples (about 12 oz. total)

1/3 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon peel. Cut the 1/4 cup chilled butter into 1/4-inch pieces. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in milk all at once; stir just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until cool, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over medium-low heat, melt remaining 1/2 cup butter. Stir in corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over mixture. Peel and core apples and slice as thinly as possible.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 15 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch square.

4. Distribute apple slices and raisins over dough, leaving a 1-inch border along top edge. Working from the bottom, roll up dough, squeezing as you go; pinch edge to seal. Cut roll crosswise into 9 slices. Lay slices flat over syrup and pecans in pan.

5. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Invert a platter over pan and, holding both tightly together, invert again. Lift off pan and let rolls cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Yield Makes 12 servings

Baked Egg Rolls
From Cooking Light
Egg rolls:

2/3 cup coarsely chopped celery

2/3 cup coarsely chopped carrot

2 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

2/3 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

14 egg roll wrappers

1 large egg white

Cooking spray


3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

6 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)

PreparationPreheat oven to 425°.
Combine celery and carrot in food processor, and pulse 10 times or until finely chopped.
Combine celery mixture and cabbage in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave at high 5 minutes; drain.
Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add turkey; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cabbage mixture, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, and pepper. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
Place 1 egg roll wrapper at a time onto work surface with 1 corner pointing toward you (wrapper should look like a diamond). Trim 1 inch off right and left corners of wrapper. Spoon 3 tablespoons turkey filling into center of wrapper. Fold lower corner of egg roll wrapper over filling. Fold in trimmed corners. Moisten top corner of wrapper with egg white; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, turkey filling, and egg white.
Lightly coat egg rolls with cooking spray, and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until golden brown.
To prepare sauce, combine 3/4 cup soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon ginger; serve with egg rolls. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Curried Noodles with Tofu
From Cooking Light
Since the gang loved tofu so much, we decided to try it again...this time with CURRY!

6 ounces uncooked rice sticks (rice-flour noodles), angel hair pasta, or vermicelli

1 cup light coconut milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

1 teaspoon green curry paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

1 (12.3-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup red bell pepper strips

4 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage

1 cup chopped green onions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

PreparationPlace noodles in a large bowl. Add hot water to cover; let stand 5 minutes. Drain.
Combine coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, curry paste, and salt in a small bowl.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sauté 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove tofu from pan; keep warm.
Add bell pepper to pan; sauté 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Add cabbage; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in noodles, coconut milk mixture, and tofu; cook 2 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir in green onions and cilantro.

Here's Bradley looking very impressed about doing the dishes!

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