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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 Café chefs will share some of their best-kept culinary secrets with you on this page.

This Month's Mouth-Watering Offerings

Culinary delights from our Café Chefs to you.

JUMBO OATMEAL WALNUT COOKIES

 Serves: Makes about 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

Nutritional Information:

135 calories each, 7 g fats, 3 g protein, 15 g carbs

MELT IN YOUR MOUTH CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • 4boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed of excess fat.
  • 1cup non-fat Greek yogurt or 1 cup fat-free mayonnaise.
  • 1/2cup parmesan cheese (or sharp Cheddar, or Asiago) 
  • ½ packet dry Ranch Seasoning Mix.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small bowl…
  • Combine the yogurt or mayonnaise, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and Ranch Seasoning Mix.
  • Place chicken into a 9×13 baking dish and spread the mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until cooked through. * depending on thickness of chicken breasts baking could take 1 hour. You can also finish them off under the broiler for a minute or two to get them extra browned on top.
  • Serve with a veggie like steamed fresh broccoli.
  • Season with a dash of fresh parsley, if desired.

COLD THAI NOODLE & SHRIMP SALAD

Serves: 6.  ( 1-1/3 cups per serving.)

Note: This noodle salad is very tasty but does require a fair amount of prep work. 30 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ozs of packaged wide rice noodles.
  • 2 tbsp of fresh lime juice.
  • 2 tbsp of water.
  • 1–½ tbsp of fish sauce.
  • 1tbsp of low sodium tamari.
  • 3 tbsp of light unsweetened coconut milk.
  • ¼ tsp of sesame oil .
  • 2 tbsp of natural crunchy-peanut butter.
  • 1 tbsp of unpacked light brown sugar.
  • 2 medium garlic cloves.
  • 1-1/2 minced garlic cloves.
  • 2 tbsp jalapeño or serrano chili pepper.
  • 1 tbsp of minced fresh lemongrass.
  • 2 small fresh shallots- peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 3 tbsp of fresh Cilantro leaves picked off the stem and washed (optional).
  • 2 tbsp of fresh basil, washed and torn.
  • ¼ cup of cooked green cabbage – shredded.
  • ¼ cup of uncooked red cabbage – shredded.
  • ¼ cup of shredded carrots.
  • 8 ozs of precooked shrimp – frozen, peeled, thawed and cut in half lengthwise.
  • 2 medium fresh scallions – thinly sliced on a diagonal.

Directions:

Fill a large, deep pot with very hot tap water. Add noodles and cover; set aside.

  • To make dressing, combine lime juice, water, fish sauce, tamari, coconut milk, oil, peanut butter and sugar in a medium bowl; whisk until well-combined.
  • Add garlic, jalapeno, lemongrass and shallot to same bowl; mix to combine.
  • Add cilantro (optional), basil, both cabbages and carrots; mix again to combine.
  • Taste a noodle to see if they are ready. They should be slightly al dente.
  • Drain and rinse in cold water. Add noodles to bowl and toss to coat.
  • Add shrimp and scallions; mix again and let sit for at least 10 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

Recent Past Menus

Even more culinary delights for you to try.

SWEET POTATO AND BEEF OR TURKEY MEATLOAF

Serves:  4

Ingredients

  • 500 grams (17.5 oz) of extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 package (400 grams or 14 ½ oz) of grated sweet potato
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs or 1 tsp each of oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme
  • ¼ tsp of black pepper or ½ tsp of 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tbls Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup

Directions

 Combine above ingredients and push down into a loaf pan lined with aluminum foil

  • Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes

While the meat loaf is baking, make the glaze.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup passata
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbls tomato paste or 1 tbls ketchup
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbls maple syrup
  • 2 packages low sodium chicken broth dissolved in ¼ cup hot water
  • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

  • Bring ingredients to boil in a saucepan stirring frequently to prevent burning
  • Lower heat and simmer until sauce reduces down and thickens
  • Raise the oven temperature to 400 F after meatloaf has baked for 45 minutes
  • Pour sauce on top of meatloaf and bake for 15 minutes *glazes meat loaf
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Options for sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tbls maple syrup
  • 2 packages low sodium chicken broth in ¼ cup water

FRENCH ONION SOUP

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  •  2 tsp of margarine
  • 1 tsp of flour
  • 2 – 6 ozs onions sliced thin
  • 1 & ½ cups beef bouillon
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 4 slices of french bread b(1 oz each)
  • 4 ozs of gruyere cheese grated

Directions

  •  Melt margarine on the top of a double broiler set over boiling water.
  • Stir in flour.
  • Stir in boiling water until smooth
  • Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally , about 15 mins or until soft
  • Add bouillon and pepper and cook for 20 mins.
  • While soup is cooking. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Place bread on a baking sheet
  • Bake it for 5 mins or until toasted
  • Leave oven on
  • Ladle ½ soup into each of 2 ceramic or oven proof bowls
  • Top each with 2 slices of bread and ½ of the cheese.
  • Place bowls on a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

YUMMY CHEESECAKE

 Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 tbls lemon juice
  • ½ tsp grated lemon rind
  • Artificial sweetener to equal 8 tsp of sugar

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients well. Place in 8-inch pie pan.
  • Bake at 325 F for 25 mins.
  • Then chill.

BEEF BARLEY SOUP (INSTANT POT or SLOW COOKER)

Serves: 6 to 8

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 1 hrs and 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs and 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of stewing beef (or lamb or eye of round)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 packages of OXY (or other brand) of low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tbls oil
  • 8 ozs of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups mirepoix (just combination of chopped onion 2 large thinly sliced carrots)
  • 6 to 8 minced cloves of garlic
  • 7 cups of low sodium beef BROTH
  • 10 tbls of Worchester Sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ¾ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 large sweet potato diced
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • Crusty bread or crackers
  • Red pepper flakes or Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (optional)

Directions

  • Season the stewing beef with a good pinch of salt and pepper and 3 packages of OXY (or other brand) of low-sodium beef broth. Heat 1 tbls of oil in a large pan or in an Instant Pot over medium to high heat. Add ½ of the stewing beef and brown on all sides for about 2 to 3 mins total. Remove stewing beef to a plate.
  • Repeat with second batch of stewing beef and 1 tbls oil. Remove stewing beef to plate.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pot and brown the mushrooms for 1 to 2 mins or until they start  picking up the brown bits left by the stewing beef. Remove the mushrooms to the same plate as the stewing beef.
  • If needed add a little more oil to the pan or Instant Pot and the mirepoix mix. Cook the veggies for 4 to 5 mins or until the onions soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

For Slow Cooker

  • Add the softened veggies, stewing beef, bay leaves, dried thyme, Worcestershire Sauce and beef broth to a slow cooker and allow to cook on  high setting for 3 hours or on a low setting for 6 hours.

For Instant Pot:

  • Add the stewing beef, mushrooms, bay leaves, dried thyme, Worcestershire Sauce, and beef broth to sautéed veggies in the Instant Pot, cover and pressure cook the meat for 13 to 16 mins depending on the size of the pieces of stewing beef. Allow the pressure to release before removing the lid.

For Both Methods Add

  • Add the diced sweet potatoes and barley and allow the soup to cook on the high setting of the Slow Cooker for 1 hour or until the sweet potatoes and barley cook through (for the Instant Pot, you hit the slow cook button). Season with additional seasonings to your taste. Serve with chopped parsley on top and a loaf of crusty bread or crackers

Notes

  • If you like spice, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or 2-3 tbls Thai Sweet Chili Sauce along with  dried thyme- but this is optional.
  • For Instant Pot make sure you fill your pot ONLY ½ full as the barley expands while cooking. You may have to make 2 batches if the Instant Pot is not large enough for all the ingredients. Always remember to turn valve to sealing position while cooking.

BONELESS TURKEY BREAST ROAST 

Serves: 10

Ingredients

Boneless Turkey Roast

  • 3 lbs fresh or thawed boneless turkey roast in casing
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic cloves 
  • 3 sprigs of fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 tsp minced fresh or dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ C liquid low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 packages of low sodium chicken broth

Gravy

  • 2 cups water or low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Boneless Turkey Roast

  1. Marinade: Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, liquid and packaged ow sodium chicken broth, minced garlic, rosemary and thyme
  2. Pour marinate over roast and marinate overnight in a large covered pan or Dutch oven turning and basting frequently with marinade mixture
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Pierce entire roast deeply with skewers.
  5. Bake uncovered in a medium roasting pan or Dutch oven for 90 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Internal temperature will reach 170 degrees F and juices settle.
  6. Remove the casing and slice.

Gravy

  1. Place roasting pan with juices from turkey roast on medium heat. Shake casing into pot to get additional spices.
  2. Add water or broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and whisk while cooking.
  3. Add white wine, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, add a bit of gravy from the pot and cornstarch. Whisk well with a fork, pour back into the pot and whisk until gravy starts boiling.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened a bit. Serve with turkey roast.

Notes

  • Boneless turkey roast: This recipe calls for fresh boneless skinless turkey roast. If you have a frozen one, thaw it first.
  • Fresh rosemary: For herb roasted turkey roast I highly recommend to buy fresh rosemary. I am all for shortcuts but Holidays and roasts call for fresh herbs. You can freeze leftover fresh chopped rosemary and use later.
  • Garlic: There is really no substitute for garlic, which has a very distinctive flavor. if you are allergic to garlic, maybe bake with a bit of lemon juice and zest. And/or sprinkle with fresh chives after.
  • Olive oil: Can also use avocado or grapeseed oil. I do not recommend to use melted butter because it will solidify as soon as you brush it on cold meat and herbs will not stick.
  • Don’t remove the casing before cooking: Under any circumstances please don’t. Casing is holding pieces of meat together. If you remove it, meat will fall apart. Do not worry, we will season it inside. It will come out juicy and delicious.
  • Bake roast uncovered: If you cover it, meat will steam instead of roasting.
  • Extra large roast 5-10 lbs: Cook for 30 minutes per lb but check with thermometer 30 minutes before calculated total time. Just to avoid overcooking as oven gets hotter with time.
  • Storing leftovers: Refrigerate roast whole or sliced in an airtight container for up to a week. It tastes so good cold. And warm with gravy. This recipe is so versatile!

MAPLE-SWEETENED BANANA MUFFINS

Makes: 16 muffins

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

These whole wheat, maple-sweetened banana muffins are so fluffy and moist, I bet no one can guess they’re healthy muffins. They’re easy to make, too, with basic ingredients and only one mixing bowl! Feel free to add mix-ins of your choice, like chocolate chips, raisins or chopped walnuts.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup milk (any type)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 – 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats plus more for sprinkling on top
  • ¾ cup each raisins and chopped walnuts

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (or 165 degrees Celsius). Grease muffin tins with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk, beat the applesauce and maple syrup together. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. Add any additional mix-ins**, like nuts, raisins, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon in total). Bake muffins for 22- 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  • Place the muffin tins on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).

Notes

  • Change it up: You could really go crazy with add-ins here. Fold in up to 3/4 cup chocolate chips, chopped dried cranberries or crystallized ginger and/or chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.
  • With add-ins, your muffins require the full 25 minutes in the oven.

Serving suggestions

  • These muffins are great on their own, with a pat of butter, or spread with almond butter.
  • Make it vegan: Substitute flax eggs for regular eggs, use dairy-free milk like almond milk and use maple syrup instead of honey.
  • Make it gluten free: Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose blend works well instead of the whole wheat flour.
  • Make it oat free: Simply omit the oats.