Growing Communities & London Intercommunity Health Centre Recipes

Thank you to all the awesome participants who join us for to our Growing Communities sessions in partnership with the Intercommunity Health Centre. If you're interested, you can find our brief presentation on the benefits of kids' cooking literacy here. If you have any questions, or want to tell us about any of the recipes you tried at home, give us a shout at We love to share your great pictures and stories.

(If you're looking for a particular recipe, try searching the document for a key work by pressing Command + F on a mac or Ctrl + F on a PC.)  

Menus for:

  • Stir fry session - Miso honey stir fry, Thai green curry with chicken, Yakisoba stir fry with beef, Phat thai, basmati rice, noodles
  • Eastern European session - Pierogis, borchst, braised cabbage with apple & onion 
  • Taco session - Refried beans, taco spice, chia agua fresca, guacamole, salsa Mexicana, mango hot sauce, habanero hot sauce, mixed vegetable salad with lime dressing, 

Stir Fry Session Recipes


Miso Honey Stir Fry



  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


Directions: Check out this presentation of ours for all the tricks!


Pad Thai


  • 5 ounces pad thai rice noodles

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 6 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons 1x1/2x1/8' slices pressed tofu (bean curd)

  • 1 tablespoon sweet preserved shredded radish, rinsed, chopped into 1' pieces

  • 1 cup bean sprouts

  • 5 tablespoons tamarind water, or 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tamarind paste mixed with 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 1/2t tablespoons (or more) Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 1 1/2t tablespoons simple syrup, preferably made with palm sugar

  • 4 garlic chives, 2 cut into 1' pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoons ground dried Thai chiles, divided

  • 2 tablespoons crushed roasted, unsalted peanuts, divided

  • 2 lime wedges


  1. Place noodles in a large bowl; pour hot water over to cover. Let soak until tender but not mushy, 5–10 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg; stir until barely set, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, if using. Cook, stirring, until shrimp and egg are almost cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Add tofu and radish; cook for 30 seconds. Add noodles and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sprouts. Add tamarind water, fish sauce, and simple syrup and stir-fry until sauce is absorbed by noodles and noodles are well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped garlic chives. Add 1/4 tsp. ground chiles and 1 Tbsp. peanuts and toss well. Transfer to serving plates.
  3. Garnish with remaining 1/4 tsp. ground chiles, 1 Tbsp. peanuts, and lime wedges.


Japanese stir fry




  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons yakisoba sauce (see recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons Mirin
  • 4 cloves minced garlic, (4 to 6)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger


Yakisoba sauce


  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 3 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar



1. Combine all ingredients, and stir fry with fresh vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, onions, peppers, snow peas, or whatever else you enjoy. Serve with rice or noodles.


Green Curry



  • 1 1/2 cup chicken breast or thigh - boneless/skinless
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp. green curry paste
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar or palm sugar if you can find it
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce, (2 to 3)
  • 7 leaves kaffir lime
  • 1/2 cup sweet basil
  • 1 big green chili, chopped
  • 1 thumb of ginger
  • 2 each limes, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Seasonal vegetables


Directions: Combine coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, lime leaves, basil, chili, ginger, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl, stir well. Chop your chicken into pieces, and begin to cook in a large wok or non stick pan with a touch of oil over high heat. Add desired vegetables, and continue to cook. When chicken is almost cooked through, add thai curry sauce, turn down heat and let simmer about 5-10 minutes, until sauce is desired thickness, and all chicken and vegetables are cook but not mushy. Serve over basmati rice.


Eastern European Session Recipes

Borscht with beef



  • 6-8 medium red beets
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat or boneless beef chuck, cubed
  • 1c. All-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 10 cups beef stock or broth
  • Two 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 4 medium turnips, diced
  • 4 cups shredded green or red cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Snipped dill 



Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Scrub beets.

Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender, about 1 hour. Alternatively, for a quicker borscht, simply peel the beets, cut them into matchsticks and add them raw to the simmering stock. Roasting concentrates the beets' flavor, but it won't ruin the soup to just add them straightaway.

While the beets are roasting, lightly dredge 2 pounds beef stew meat or boneless beef chuck, cubed in all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

Heat in a soup pot over medium-high heat 4 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Add the meat and brown on all sides. Remove the meat to a paper towel-lined plate, reduce the heat to medium, and add to the pot: 2 medium onion, chopped
     4 medium carrots, chopped
     4 celery ribs, chopped

Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add: 8 cloves garlic, minced
     2 tablespoons tomato paste

Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved meat and: 10 cups beef stock or broth
     two 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
     (4 medium potatoes, diced)
     (4 medium turnipes, diced)

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the meat is almost tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the beet matchsticks, if using raw beets, and 4 cups shredded green or red cabbage

Simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables and meat are tender, about 30 minutes. If using roasted beets, peel them, cut them into matchsticks, and add them to the soup, along with: 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
     2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
     Salt and pepper to taste (or use soy sauce for an inauthentic but delicious umami boost)

Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt
  and snipped dill


Pierogies with potato and cheddar filling



  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 lb sharp-tasting cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper 


Directions: Mix flour, water, and egg and salt together. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover dough with bowl and let rest for 30 minutes. 

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain and rinse. Add cheese. Let stand a few minutes until cheese melts. Then fold potatoes and cheese together. 

Roll out dough about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch squares. Fill each square of dough with one teaspoon of potato and cheese filling. Fold in half and pinch ends together to seal. Drop in hot boiling water and simmer for 8 minutes. Drain and fry in butter a few minutes until heated through. Chopped onions may be added to the butter, if desired. Salt and pepper, to taste.


Braised Cabbage with apple and onion



  •             1 tablespoon butter
  •             1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  •             1 Gala or Fuji apple, halved, cored, and sliced
  •             1 head red cabbage (2 pounds), cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
  •             Coarse salt and ground pepper
  •             3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  •             4 teaspoons sugar
  •             1/2 cup water



In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add onion and apple; cook, stirring, until onion softens, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in red cabbage and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add cider vinegar, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until cabbage is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar.






  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, soft, but still cool
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract




  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, quartered
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, each halved
  • 1/2 cup dark or golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons candied orange peel, diced
  • 1/2 cup raw peeled pistachios
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. 

For the cookie: Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl, with an electric mixer, at medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat well, and then scrape down the sides. 

While mixing on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Scrape down the bowl between each addition, and mix until just blended. 

Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake until light golden brown with spots of darker golden brown and darker edges, about 30 minutes. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the fruit: Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a small saucepan. Whisk in orange juice until mixture dissolves. Stir in the fruits and candied orange peel. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring often; continue to cook, stirring until thickened into a compote, about 3 minutes more. You should be able to draw the spoon along the bottom of pan and see the pan with no liquid seeping back. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the nuts and lemon zest.

Spread fruit evenly over the top of the cooled crust. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake mazurkas until golden brown around edges and fruit sets but is still slightly glossy and jewel-like, about 10 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. 

Cut, using an oiled knife, into 24 bars. Serve.


Taco Session Recipes

Refried beans



  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or other chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth, plus more if needed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


DirectionsHeat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chili powder and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the beans and chicken broth and cook until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Mash the beans coarsely with the back of a wooden spoon, adding more vegetable broth to moisten, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the cilantro.


Taco Spice



  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


 Directions: Mix together.


Chia Agua Fresca


  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 cups water 
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds


 DirectionsPour lime juice and sugar into the water and stir until dissolved. Add the chia seeds and stir vigorously for one minute to prevent seeds clumping together. Stir again a few minutes later, and then let sit approx. 20 minutes. Stir again before serving. 





  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 - 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 roma tomato, diced very fine
  • 1 jalapeno, diced very fine
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, fine chop
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced very fine
  • 1/8 cup white onion, diced very fine
  • salt to taste 


Directions: Add finely chopped garlic, onion, tomato, and jalapeno into medium sized bowl.  Half the avocados, cut into 1 cm cubes, and scoop into bowl.  Add lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste.  Mash ingredients with back of a fork, it should not be entirely smooth, a little texture is good.  


Salsa Mexicana

Makes 2 cups


  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) round red, ripe tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 large green onion, roots and wilted outer leaves removed, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or vinegar)
  • Salt 

Directions: Drop the garlic and chile pieces one at a time into a running food processor, letting each get finely chopped before adding the next.  Turn off the processor and remove the lid.  Cut one tomato in quarters and add it to food processor, along with the cilantro.  Pulse 4 to 6 times until you have a coarse puree.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl. 

Cut the other tomato into ¼-inch pieces and add to the bowl along with the green onion.  Taste and season with lime juice (or vinegar) and salt, usually a generous ½ teaspoon. This salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.


Habanero Hot Sauce


  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot (about 1 medium carrot)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion (about half a small onion)
  • 12 medium (about 5 ounces) orange habanero chiles, stemmed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

Directions: Roast the garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and peel.

In a small saucepan, combine the carrot, onion and habanero chiles with the vinegar and 1 cup water. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 10 minutes. Pour into a blender jar, add the roasted garlic, salt and sugar. Blend until smooth. Thin with a little additional water if you think your hot sauce is too thick. Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary.

Pour into jars or bottles and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to add some dazzle to a dish.


Mango Salsa



  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper


Directions: Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.


Mixed Vegetable Salad With Lime Dressing


About 2 cups total of any or all of the following:

  • Carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally 1/8 inch thick
  • Small boiling potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • Beets, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • Green beans, ends snipped and cut in half
  • Peas, fresh or (defrosted) frozen
  • Radishes, stem and root-ends removed, sliced paper thin
  • Cucumbers, peeled and seeded (if desired) and sliced 1/8 inch thick


  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, preferably part olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • generous 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley (optional)


  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  •  1 small bunch of watercress (stems removed) (optional)
  • 1 thick slice of red onion, broken into rings
  • 2 tbsp of queso fresco Mexican cheese, or other fresh cheese like feta (optional)
  • 6 leaves of leaf lettuce (romaine or other) 


  The Clark Family Foundation
 Urban Harvest Landscape
zdybThe Wilson Family FoundationThe Joanne and Tom Cowan Fund
The William and Katharine Kostuk Family FundLove Alchemy Cornerstone
TillsonburgLFHSGoodlife Fitness