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Looking for some creative, yet simple, recipes to try out in the kitchen? Look no further.

Every month The Kanata Seniors Council Inc. Café chefs will share some of their best-kept culinary secrets with you on this page.

This Mouth-Watering Offerings

Culinary delights from our Café Chefs to you.

Air Fryer Homemade Tater Tots

Total Time: 55 min            

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 30 min

 Serves: 4

Use your air fryer to make crispy, irresistibly delicious potato nuggets. We like them with spicy sriracha ketchup, available at some grocery stores. Or make your own by combining a scant 1/4 cup ketchup with 2 teaspoons sriracha.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs – uncooked Yukon gold potato(es) peeled
  • 1/4 cup – uncooked scallion(s),
  • ¼ cup(s), thinly sliced (about 2 scallions)
  • 1 tbsp – cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp – table salt
  • 1/4 tsp(s) – black pepper
  • 2 tsp(s) sriracha chili sauce
  • ¼ cup(s) – ketchup

Directions:

Put potatoes in large saucepan and add enough salted water to cover; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer just until potatoes are barely tender in center when pierced, about 12 minutes (don’t overcook). Drain and rinse under cold running water. Let cool.

 

Shred potatoes on large holes of box grater. Transfer to large bowl; add scallions. Sprinkle with cornstarch, salt, and pepper and gently toss until combined.

 

Measure out potato mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls; form into small log shapes, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Arrange on baking sheet in single layer.

Preheat air fryer to 360°F for 3 minutes. Lightly spray basket with non-stick spray. Place single layer of tater tots in basket. Spray with non-stick spray and air-fry 10 minutes. Turn tots over and spray with non-stick spray. Air-fry until crispy, 5 minutes longer. Cover to keep warm or pop into a 200°F oven while air-frying the remaining tots. Serve with ketchup.

Serving size: 8 tater tots and 1 tablespoon ketchup.

ASIAN SHRIMP SALAD

Serves: 4

Total Time: 35 mins

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins 

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz can of uncooked shrimp
  • 1 medium, minced garlic clove
  • 1 piece of 1 inch , peeled and minced ginger root
  • ¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 ozs of prepared according to package directions of uncooked capellini
  • 1 bunch of fresh (or pre washed bag) of spinach
  • 2 cups of mung bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup of firmly chopped scallions
  • 2 small shredded carrots
  • 1 medium , juice of fresh lime

Directions:

Peel and devein shrimp, Toss garlic, ginger and 2 tbls of soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

Toss capellini with spinach, spouts, mint, and carrots. Mix together lime juice and 2 tbls of soy sauce and pour over salad. Allow salad to sit for 15 mins while you cook  shrimp.

Grill shrimp on outdoor grill or grill pan on stove or saute in a non-stick pan Allow shrimp to cool slightly, then toss with salad.

Apple-Cranberry Muffins

Total Time: 57 min            

Prep: 10 min      

Cook: 22 min

Serves: 12

 Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp(s) – packed light brown sugar
  • I tbsp (s) – unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp(s) – toasted chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup – fresh cranberries or frozen
  • 1 cup – all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup – whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp(s) – baking powder
  • ½ cup – baking soda
  • ¾ cup – ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp(s) – table salt
  • ¾ cup – plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup – fat free skim milk,
  • ¼ cup(s) – canola oil
  • ½ cup(s) – sugar, granulated
  • 1 large – Egg
  • 1 tsp(s) – vanilla extract
  • 1 small, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 12 sprays(s) – cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners; spray liners with non-stick spray.

To make streusel, stir together 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and brown sugar in small bowl. Add butter and use fingers to blend butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts. Set aside.

To make muffins, put cranberries into food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, 3–4 times. Set aside.

Whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Whisk together yogurt, milk, oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla in medium bowl.

Add yogurt mixture, cranberries, and apple to flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with streusel.

Bake until toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool completely on rack.

Per serving: 1 muffin.

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Even more culinary delights for you to try.

GROUND CHICKEN MEATLOAF MUFFINS

Prep Time: 10 minutes   

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

Servings:  12 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish if desired
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, parsley, onion, red pepper and seasonings together.
  3. Stir the ground chicken into the bread crumb mixture.
  4. In a small bowl beat the eggs and add them to the chicken and bread crumb mixture.
  5. Stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  6. Grease a muffin pan or use muffin liners. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each muffin cup.
  7. In a small bowl stir together the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar.
  8. Spread the glaze over each meatloaf muffin.
  9. Bake the muffins for 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

NOTE: CHECK MUFFINS TO SEE IF THEY ARE BAKED. MUFFINS MIGHT NEED TO BE BAKED 5-10 MINUTES LONGER

VEGAN CARROT “BACON”  

Prep Time: 10 min,

Cook Time: 25 min.

Total Time: 40 mins

 Serves:  3

This clever method takes a humble carrot and turns it into savory, smoky, chewy-crisp “bacon.” You’ll want to cut the carrot using a vegetable peeler that allows for slightly thicker ribbons than you might use in, say, a tender salad (paper-thin ribbons are likely to burn). A Y-peeler tends to work best, especially when you apply a little pressure as you slide it down the carrot. The slices will crisp up as they cool, but they won’t be shatteringly crunchy. Some pieces will be a little chewier, some a little crispier, and all will be a whole lot of delicious.

Ingredients:

1 large  Uncooked carrot(s
1 tbsp(s)  Low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp(s)
2 tsps  Canola oil
1 tsp(s)  Maple syrup
½ tsp(s)  Smoked paprika
¼ tsp(s)  Kosher salt, ¼ tsp(s)
¼ tsp(s)  Garlic powder, ⅛ tsp(s)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel carrot. Place carrot on cutting board and peel a few strips from one side until you get flat, wide ribbons. Applying pressure (for thicker pieces), peel off 15 ribbons.
  • In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, oil, syrup, paprika, salt, and garlic powder. Add carrot ribbons and toss well until fully coated. Marinate for 5 minutes. Arrange carrot slices on prepared pan; reserve liquid left in bowl. Bake carrots for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn carrot slices over, and brush lightly with reserved liquid. Discard remaining liquid. Bake until slices are wavy and browned along the edges, 10 to 13 minutes. Cool completely on pan before serving.

JUMBO OATMEAL WALNUT COOKIES

Servings: 10-12 cookies

Ingredients:

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick rolled oats
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup soft butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla

Directions:

Combine flour, oats, walnuts, baking soda and salt

In a medium mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then blend in egg and vanilla

Add flour mixture and stir well

Using 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie, drop onto a greased baking sheet allowing ample room between each cookie

Bake @ 350 degrees for 12-14 mins until golden brown around edges

Loosen from pan while warm

Cool *Makes about 12 cookies, 135 calories each, 7 g fats, 3 g protein, 15 g carbs

VEGETABLE SOUP

Prep Time:   15 minutes,

Cook Time: 45 minutes,

Total Time:   1 Hour

Serves:          6 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, green beans, butternut squash, potatoes, bell pepper, zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, reduce or omit if sensitive to spice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped kale or collard greens or chard (thick ribs removed), or spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  • Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, seasonal vegetables and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Pour in the diced tomatoes with their juices and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
  • Pour in the broth and water. Add ½ teaspoon more salt, 2 bay leaves and the red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cook for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and add the chopped greens. Continue simmering for 5 minutes or more, until the greens have softened to your liking.
  • Remove the pot from heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes. (You might need up to ½ teaspoon more salt, depending on your vegetable broth and your personal preferences.)
  • Divide into bowls and enjoy.

CHRISTMAS CAKE

Prep Time: 30 mins

Bake Time: 3-1/2 Hours

Servings: 16

Yield: 1 – 8 inch square fruit cake

 Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 ounce) containers candied cherries
  • 1 (8 ounce) container candied mixed citrus peel
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 (2.25 ounce) packages blanched slivered almonds
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup apple juice

 Directions:

  • In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, raisins, currants, dates, and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours, or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 1/2 cup flour.
  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease an 8x8x3 inch fruit cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together molasses and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, then wrap loosely in waxed paper. Store in an airtight container.

JUICY ROAST TURKEY

Cook Time: 2 hours 50 minutes,

Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Servings: 12 people

Ingredients:

  • 12 lb turkey (Anything from 11-15 lbs will work, but bake time will vary)
  • Salt & Pepper for the inside and outside of the bird

For the Flavored Butter:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil not extra virgin, plus more to drizzle top
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon, plus 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 large garlic cloves pressed
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp regular salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground

For the Stuffing:

  • 1 large onion quartered (no peeling)
  • 4 garlic cloves halved (no peeling)
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon quartered

What you’ll need:

  • Kitchen String
  • Heavy duty foil
  • A heavy roasting pan that accommodates your bird but isn’t over-sized
  • A temperature probe to ensure a fully-cooked turkey

Directions:

Seasoning, Stuffing and Tying up a Turkey:

  • Season inside of turkey cavity generously with about 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine: 2 sticks softened butter, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest, 4 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 pressed garlic cloves, 1/4 chopped parsley, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Mash /stir with a fork until well combined (the lemon juice doesn’t easily stir into butter but keep mixing and it will happen after a few minutes). Take a whiff of it; you’ll fall in love with how fresh it smells!
  • Separate the skin from the turkey breast by pushing your fingers under the skin. Do this from the front and the back of the turkey; being careful not to tear the skin.
  • Stuff 2/3 of the butter mixture under skin then spread the butter around by massaging over the top of the skin. This butter keeps the turkey breast tender, juicy and provides rich flavor.
  • Rub remaining butter over the outside of the turkey (breast, legs, wings). Drizzle all over the top of the turkey with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper; I just love a crisp, salty skin.
  • Stuff turkey with quartered onion, 4 halved garlic cloves, 1/2 bunch parsley and quartered lemon. Tie turkey base and legs together; crossing the legs to better close up the turkey cavity, plus it looks extra fancy on the table.

How to Roast a Turkey:

(Pre-heat the oven to 430˚F on the bake mode. Place oven rack in the lower part of your oven (mine was on the second level from the very bottom).

  • Here is a fantastic tip: to protect the turkey breast and keep it juicy: Fold a large square sheet of foil into a triangle. Rub one side of your triangle with olive oil and shape the foil (oil-side-down) over the turkey breast, then remove foil; it will shield your turkey breast and keep it from getting dry. You’ll apply this shield later in the roasting process.
  • Place an oven-safe meat thermometer into the bird; beneath the drum stick; deep into the dark meat. Start roasting uncovered at 430˚F for 20 min.
  • Remove from oven; quickly baste with butter from the bottom of the dish. You can use a baster or tilt one side of the pan and collect drippings with a large spoon. Now apply prepared foil triangle to turkey breast area.
  • Reduce oven to 350˚F and bake for another 2 hours 30 min for a 12 lb bird. (Once you have reduced the oven to 350˚F, you will bake about 13 min for every pound of turkey). The turkey thigh should register at 170˚F on the temperature probe and the breast at 160˚F to make sure it’s fully cooked through then remove from the oven (keep in mind the turkey temp continues to rise slightly after it’s out of the oven).
  • Transfer turkey to serving platter and cover loosely but fully with foil. Let turkey rest for at least 1 hour. It will become more tender and easier to carve, the longer it sits. Keep the drippings from roasting pan for gravy. Now you can decorate around your turkey and make it festive. I used kale for my greens, then added small apples, sliced oranges and quartered lemons.

Directions/Tips for prepping your bird:

  • If using a frozen turkey, defrost it in its plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 days prior to roasting.
  • Remove turkey from fridge about 30 minutes before you start working with it. If the turkey is closer to room temperature, it will bake more evenly.
  • Remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey.
  • Pat dry turkey with paper towels. Let turkey sit in a roasting pan lined with paper towels to soak up any excess water from the turkey.
  • Fold the wings behind the turkey; if you don’t they are the quickest to scorch and dry out.

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