FREE Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cake Pop Workshop

Roses are red, violets are blue, we LOVE our community and cake pops too! 

As a way to express our love and appreciation for our R2C families, Chef Shai is running a FREE Valentine’s Day baking workshop! We will be making none other than her EPIC Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cake Pops for you to share with your loved ones!! These delightful heart-shaped treats are bursting with flavour … and love.

Please review the recipe booklet to ensure you have all the ingredients ready for the start date. Following is the LINK to the Recipe:

Link to Facebook:

All materials can be purchased at your local bulk barn, or ordered through amazon for your convenience. We hope to see you all there! 

  • Date: Friday February 12th, 2021
  • Time: 4:00 – 6:00pm (EST)
  • Virtual: FaceBook Live
  • FREE 🙂


Can’t make it? Not to worry! The workshop will be recorded and posted on youtube to watch and bake through at your leisure.

If you have any questions, please contact Chef Shai by email:

Let’s celebrate you, Dad. We’ve got the recipes to win Dad’s heart!

Special Contributor: Kenny Dawn Young, Marketing Intern at Rooks to Cooks family cooking #CONTESTREMINDER: Don’t forget about our Father’s Day contest on Instagram and you could win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. 3 Easy Steps: (1) Follow us @rooks2cooks, (2) Like our contest post, (3) Tag 3 Friends (contest ends Tuesday, June 22). Click here to enter. Bonding together over food is a perfect way to spend this Father’s Day. Read on for more details about our Instagram Live cooking class (plus recipes) on Sat. June 20th from 4-6 p.m.  Every year families love to get together in June to celebrate Father’s Day. On this day, we want to show just how special our fathers are to us with golf clubs, dress shirts, power tools… and maybe another pair of socks. Let’s just say, dads are notoriously difficult to shop for. This year, Rooks to Cooks is inspiring families to do something different for Dad and all the special male role models in our families — Let’s give them the gift of cooking together! Cooking is a secret weapon for bringing families together. The time spent preparing a dish creates happy memories that your family can cherish forever. This year let’s celebrate fathers and male role models in our lives by spending quality time in the kitchen making their favourite recipe! Rooks To Cooks is planning a special celebration for Father’s Day — Join our cooking event on Instagram Live on Sat. June 20 from 4-6 p.m. when Chef Sera will be making homemade potato salad, BBQ sauce, baked chicken wings and ranch buttermilk dip (All RECIPES BELOW). Fortunately, one thing all Dads have in common, is just how much they adore food and love to eat. So, by offering this finger-lickin’ meal, fathers across the country will have a happy heart and a full belly! If you already have a family tradition of cooking for your dad on Father’s Day, there are easy ways to add a little flair to the recipe. You can always incorporate an element of personalization to a dish that makes it unique to you and your dad. Whether it be adding a new ingredient, the artistic plate set-up or becoming adventurous with toppings…it’s up to you, make it special! If you want to dive even deeper and dedicate time to an extravagant Father’s Day, a fun idea is to create a theme around the recipe you are creating! Try to better understand where the food comes from culturally or situationally and decorate the eating space accordingly. For example, If you choose to participate in making Rooks To Cooks Father’s Day recipes on June 20th via Instagram live, you could create a picnic setting outside in the backyard to accompany the delicious food! Wings and Potato Salad go hand-in-hand with a picnic theme; have a little basket for the dipping sauce, get a pitcher of water, and implement some fun decor of your own.  At Rooks to Cooks we understand cooking is a large part of parenting, sometimes it may feel endless. Fortunately, on Father’s Day, this can be the time to thoroughly enjoy cooking with the whole family. Below we have provided the recipes that Rooks To Cooks will be cooking on June 20th to help make your Father’s Day a memorable one! 

GET Ready for your IG Live Class (@rooks2cooks). Following is a list of equipment needs and the recipes/ingredients you will need for Saturday, June 20 (4-6 p.m.): 

Equipment Needs:
  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 small pot
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Colander
  • Microplane grater or garlic press
  • 2 cutting boards
  • 2 chef knives
  • 2 x small mixing bowls
  • 2 x medium mixing bowls
  • 1 x large mixing bowl
  • Tongs
  • Baking Sheet with parchment paper
  • 2 x whisks
  • 1 x mixing spoon
Order of Operations:
  1. Boil Potatoes (if not prepped already)
  2. Par-Bake Chicken Wings
  3. Prep BBQ Sauce
  4. Prep Ranch Dip
  5. Toss wings and Bake
  6. Prep Potato Salad
  7. Serve all items
RECIPES for Father’s Day Cooking Class: Baked Chicken Wings Servings: 4 portions Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs chicken wings, wing tip removed (approximately 6-8 wings per portion)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Season wings with garlic powder, salt and pepper and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Cook in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the fat is rendered off and the skin is crispy.
  4. Toss wings in BBQ sauce and return to the baking sheet.  Put wings back into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is hot and has dried to the wings slightly.
  • Cauliflower florets may be substituted for chicken, but cut the cooking time in half.
  Chef Shai’s Signature Finger-Licking Homemade BBQ Sauce Servings: 2 cups Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onion & garlic for 2 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
Dijon & Green Onion Red-Skinned Potato Salad Yield: 4 servings  Ingredients: 
  • 550g New potatoes (red-skinned preferred) 
  • 20ml Red wine vinegar 
  • 16g grainy dijon mustard 
  • 35ml olive oil 
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 stalk celery, paysanne cut 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 24g chopped parsley 
  • 15g chopped dill 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  1. Slice the potatoes in half. Bring to a boil in a medium pot and cook until just tender (about 20 minutes).  
  2. While potatoes are cooking prepare the green onions, celery, and herbs. Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Working quickly, whisk together the vinegar, dijon, and garlic. While continuing to whisk, add the olive oil in a steady stream until vinaigrette is well emulsified. 
  4. Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and mix gently. Be sure all potatoes are well coated with vinaigrette. Let potatoes cool in the vinaigrette. 
  5. Once potatoes are room temperature, mix in the green onions, parsley, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Chill and serve.  
Buttermilk Ranch Dip Yield: 1 cup Ingredients:
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, minced
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.  Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Rooks to Cooks Baking Bash Recipes


New Virtual Cooking show lovingly created for children and parents by our amazing chefs!

We have been working hard in the Rooks to Cooks kitchen to come up with ways to keep our families cooking and your kids engaged during this challenging time. You may have tuned in to our Lunch Club videos already – if not, then be sure to check them out on our YouTube Channel (insert link:

NEW! The other initiative that we have been working on is Rooks to Cooks Weekend Baking Bash on Instagram Live!! 

On Weekends, starting Saturday, March 28th at 2:00 p.m., join Chef Mistry, our Lead Chef in Thornhill, as she goes Live on Instagram with WEEKEND BAKING BASH! Children and parents can tune in from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Chef Mistry will be teaching awesome baking recipes for kids and families to try while isolating at home. SEE BELOW FOR SCHEDULE AND FULL RECIPES


Saturday, March 28 Not All Alone Scones
Sunday, March 29 My World Won’t (Fruit) Crumble
Saturday, April 4 Bring Me Joy Bars
Sunday, April 5 Bananas for Friend-Chip Cookies

If you haven’t already done so, please FOLLOW us on Instagram and Facebook as we will be posting a reminder to tune in the DAY BEFORE. Feel free to share the Rooks to Cooks Baking Bash news with your friends and family; TAG your friends and they can join in on the fun!!

SHARE your Photos or Videos of your child with Rooks to Cooks!! Seeing their pupils cooking away in the midst of everything would help brighten our days and continue to motivate our chefs to continue working hard developing more content! Share on FB and / or Instagram with the hashtag #R2Cbakingbash. We look forward to seeing your creations!!

We hope that our Baking Bash live show and our Lunch Club videos help to teach your family new skills and recipes while at the same time bringing you entertainment, joy, and, of course, delicious food to enjoy all together! Stay tuned for more information coming during the week via our Social Media Channels.

Saturday, March 28

Not All Alone Scones


  • 2 ½ cup (330g) All-purpose Flour (substitution: Gluten-free flour, Whole Wheat Flour)
  • ¼ cup (60g) Sugar (substitution: Brown Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup, Sweetener)
  • 1 tbsp + ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup (114g) Unsalted Butter, cut into small chunks (substitution: Margarine, Shortening, Vegan Butter)
  • ½ cup (135g) Buttermilk (substitution: Milk, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Dairy Alternative)
  • ½ cup (130g) 35% Heavy Cream (substitution: Milk, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Dairy Alternative)
  • ¼- ½ cup Inclusions – such use dried fruit, raisins for sweet scones or cheese for savoury scones or Anything your heart desires.


  1. Measure out your ingredients. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. In a large bowl, sift in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Rub the cold butter into the flour mixture between your fingertips until pea-sized bits are achieved. Add inclusions, if using.
  4. Pour in buttermilk and heavy cream and work dough until it comes together.
  5. Roll into an 8″ round and cut into 8 equal triangular pieces.
  6. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  7. Brush scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar or salt (depending on whether the scone will be sweet or savoury).
  8. Bake for 20- 25 minutes.


Sunday, March 29

My World Won’t (Fruit) Crumble

Yield: Serves 6



  • 6-7 cups Fruit, enough to fill pan (Fresh or frozen berries, peaches, plums, apples, rhubarb
  • ½- 1 cup Sugar
  • 1-3 teaspoon lemon Juice
  • 1-3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( optional)


  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour (substitution: Gluten Free Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, Rolled Oats, Ground Almonds)
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional) (substitution: nutmeg, clove, ginger)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Butter, room temp


  1. Prepare the baking dish. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat baking dish with butter; set aside
  2. Prepare the fruit filling. If necessary, dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces, removing any stems, seeds, or inedible parts. Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and any spices in a large bowl. Use more sugar and less lemon juice when cooking with tart fruits, like rhubarb and blackberries, and less sugar but more lemon juice for sweet fruits, like peaches and plums. Best to taste a piece of fruit and adjust to taste. Use more cornstarch with very juicy fruits like plums and less with firm fruits like apples.
  3. Transfer the fruit filling into the baking dish.
  4. Prepare the crumble topping. Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large, heavy crumbs are formed.
  5. Scatter the crumble over the fruit. Pour the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.
  6. Bake the crumble until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the pan and the topping is firm to the touch, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. Let the crumble cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 4

Bring Me Joy Bars

Yield: 8 coconut macaroons


  • 1 egg white, large
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar (substitution: Brown Sugar, Cane Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup)
  • 1 cup shredded Coconut (substitution: Desiccated coconut, sliced coconut)
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Jam (optional); any flavour you like
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (substitution: good quality chocolate)


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C) degrees. Line a small pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white with a teaspoon until foamy. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix everything.
  3. Add coconut and stir until well mixed. You should be able to form balls with two teaspoons. They should be moist and sticky, but egg white shouldn’t be too visible because egg whites are runny once they are heated in the oven. Because egg whites vary in size, you may need to adjust the consistency with additional sugar or coconut.
  4. Roughly divide into 8 parts. Form into balls with two teaspoons or a cookie scoop and place them on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture, placing macaroons about 1 inch apart.
  5. Alternately, press all mixture flat into small baking dish.
  6. Bake them until slightly golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove baking sheet from oven to a wire rack, and let macaroons cool on a baking sheet.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. I used the microwave method: put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and keep stirring the chocolate every 15 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth. Do not overcook chocolate in the microwave.
  9. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper. Dip the bottom of macaroons into the chocolate and placed them on the paper to dry. If you still have extra chocolate left, drizzle the tops with chocolate.
  10. Let the macaroons sit until the chocolate has dried. These keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Sunday, April 5

Bananas for Friend-Chip Cookies

Yields: 12 cookies


  • 1 cup (120g) All-purpose Flour (substitution: Whole Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, Gluten Free Flour)
  • ¾ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground cinnamon (optional) (substitution: nutmeg, cardamom)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ Tbsp (21g) Butter (substitution: coconut oil, margarine, shortening, vegan butter, oil)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
  • ¼ cup (67g) Mashed Banana (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Milk (substitution: dairy alternative, water) Note: Omit milk if using frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup (64g) Sugar (optional) (substitution: Cane Sugar, Brown Sugar, Sweetener, Honey, Maple Syrup)
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) Chocolate chips (substitution: Mini chocolate chips)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, mashed banana, and milk. Stir in the coconut sugar. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet using a spoon and a spatula. Flatten the cookie dough to the desired thickness and width. Gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.


Rooks to Cooks Lunch Club Recipes

Rooks to Cooks Lunch Club Recipes


** Cooking Videos lovingly prepared for children and parents by our amazing chefs! **

We have been working hard in the Rooks to Cooks kitchen to come up with a way to keep our families cooking and your kids engaged during this challenging time. After countless hours of preparing and filming we are super excited to announce 2 new initiatives that we have been working on: The Rooks to Cooks Lunch Club and Rooks to Cooks Baking Bash!!

First, what is the Lunch Club you may ask? Starting Monday, March 23rd and running until Friday, April 3rd, Rooks to Cooks will release a new instructional cooking video at 11:00 a.m. teaching your family how to prepare a different lunch item every weekday (Monday to Friday)! Videos are easy to follow along and feature recipes that are not only nutritious and delicious but also utilize ingredients commonly found in the pantry. Our recipes were created to welcome substitutions in case not all ingredients are on hand. 

Join us EVERY DAY for a brand new Lunch Club Cooking video via YouTube. Children can follow along at 11:00 am and have lunch prepared and on the table for the whole family by 12:30 p.m.

Please see BELOW for the Schedule and the Recipes that we will be preparing for the Lunch Club. 


Monday, March 23 Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad Wrap
Tuesday, March 24 Millionaires Minestrone Soup
Wednesday, March 25 Whatever-you’ve-gotta Frittata
Thursday, March 26 Crispy Chickpea and Quinoa Salad
Friday, March 27 Protein-Packed Quesadillas
Monday, March 30 Traditional Shakshuka
Tuesday, March 31 Buffalo Cauliflower or Chicken Bites
Wednesday, April 1 Charred Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese
Thursday, April 2 Scrumptious Sloppy Joes
Friday, April 3 Creamy Tomato Pasta

If you haven’t participated in one of our cooking camps or programs, then we suggest that you purchase a cut-safe glove for your aspiring chef. We supply the gloves to our campers when they sign up for camp and we consistently use them and recommend them to parents to keep children safe in the kitchen. Click on the link below and you can order from Amazon:

If you haven’t already done so, please FOLLOW us on Instagram and Facebook as we will be posting the recipe and a reminder to tune in the DAY BEFORE the Video goes live. Feel free to share the Rooks to Cooks Lunch Club news with your friends and family; TAG your friends and they can join in on the fun!!

SHARE your Photos or Videos of your child with Rooks to Cooks!! Seeing their pupils cooking away in the midst of everything would help brighten our days and continue to motivate our chefs to continue working hard developing more content! Share on FB and / or Instagram with the hashtag #R2Clunchclub. We look forward to seeing your creations!!

Also, we are Announcing WEEKEND BAKING BASH with Chef Mistry, our Lead Chef in Thornhill! On Weekends, you can tune in to Instagram LIVE and Chef Mistry will be teaching you all awesome baking recipes for your kids and families to try while isolating at home. PLEASE NOTE: Baking Bash Recipes will be posted during the week of March 23 in a separate post. We will notify you via social media when they are available online.


Saturday, March 28 Not All Alone Scones
Sunday, March 29 My World Won’t (Fruit) Crumble
Saturday, April 4 Bananas for Friend-Chip Cookies
Sunday, April 5 Bring Me Joy Bars

We hope that our Lunch Club videos and our Baking Bash live show help to teach your family new skills and recipes while at the same time bringing you entertainment, joy, and, of course, delicious food to enjoy all together! Stay tuned for more information coming this weekend via our Social Media Channels.

Facebook link: 

Instagram @rooks2cooks link: 

Twitter link: 

YouTube Channel:


Vegetarian Caesar Salad Dressing 

Yield: Makes approximately 1 cup of dressing


  • 1 Large egg yolk, room temperature
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced (6g)
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar (5ml)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (5ml)
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon juice


  1. In a small mixing bowl whisk the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic together. Add white wine vinegar. While whisking vigorously, VERY SLOWLY add the canola and olive oil in a thin stream. DON’T STOP MIXING.
  2. When all oil has been added, add the Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Fold in the finely grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Season to taste and serve.
  5. If the dressing is too thick, add some lemon juice, 1 tsp at a time until the desired thickness is achieved. Alternatively, if the dressing is too thin, add more oil (slowly) until the desired thickness is achieved.


Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad Wrap

Yield: 6 Wraps


  • ¾ cup Rooks to Cooks’ Signature Caesar Salad Dressing
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 carrots, grated or sliced julienne
  • ½ cabbage, kale or romaine lettuce finely shredded (300g)
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 whole wheat tortilla wraps


  1. To roast the chickpeas, preheat the oven to 450F and coat chickpeas in oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking.
  2. In the meantime, prep your veg.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together half of the dressing, and all of the chickpeas, carrots, shredded cabbage, sunflower seeds, and parmesan. Leave the other half of the dressing to the side.
  4. Spread a bit of the leftover dressing onto the wrap to coat the surface. Place half of the mixture in the centre of each tortilla. Wrap as per chef demo.
  5. OPTIONAL: Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Place the wrap, seam side down on the pan and cook for about one minute, or until the tortilla wrap is secured.
  6. Cut wrap on a bias to serve.


Millionaires Minestrone Soup

Yield: 6 servings


  • 40ml olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 large carrot carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes, tomatoes hand mashed
  • 1 – 15oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1500mL stock
  • 1 can kidney beans strained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked macaroni or alternative pasta
  • ⅓ cup French beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces


  1. In a medium pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for one more minute.
  2. Add tomatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, dried herbs and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes or until carrots are soft.
  3. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add kidney beans and French beans and simmer for 10 more minutes or until the French beans are soft.
  5. Add macaroni and season to taste.
  6. Serve hot.


Whatever-you’ve-gotta Frittata

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 potatoes, grated
  • 1 green pepper or vegetable of choice finely diced
  • ¼ cup of chopped bacon or sausage (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup of milk, cream, yogurt or dairy-free alternative
  • 2 tbsps of fresh herbs
  • ¾ cup of cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat oil into a medium cast-iron pan. Sauté onions until clear. Add potatoes and veggies in the skillet and sauté until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk and season with salt and pepper. Add the potato mixture, bacon, cheese and fresh herbs to the bowl.
  4. Oil cast-iron pan. Pour mixture in and cover with tin foil. Bake until firm (approximately 25 minutes).
  5. Once frittata is springy and firm, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Slice and serve hot.


Crispy Chickpea and Quinoa Salad

Yields: 6 servings


Roasted chickpeas:

  • 1 cup canned chickpeas strained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 100 mL of Lemon juice, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 200 mL olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or any oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  • 5 cups of uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, raisins, apples (optional)
  • ¼ cup g toasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans or almonds
  • ½ cup of feta, crumbled
  • ¼ bunch of fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, white onion or shallots finely diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Put chickpeas on a sheet pan and bake at 450F until crisp (Approximately 25 minutes).
  2. In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water to boil, and season with salt. Once boiling, add quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the water is fully absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Add dressing to taste to the cooked quinoa, dried fruit, seeds, herbs, onions and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
  5. Enjoy your salad at room temperature, or chill in the fridge for 1 hour to allow the flavours to combine.


Protein-Packed Quesadillas with Pico de Gallo

Yield: 6 Servings


  • Quesadillas
    • ½ Tbsp olive oil or an alternative oil
    • 450g ground meat or cooked lentils
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp oregano
    • ½ tsp onion powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp pepper
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 2 tbsp stock or water
    • 3 cups shredded cheese
    • 6 x 8-inch diameter flour tortillas
  • Pico de Gallo
    • 4 tomatoes, halved
    • 1 sweet onion, quartered
    • 1 lime zested and juiced
    • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
    • Salt to taste
    • Sugar to taste (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a medium pan, heat olive oil. Once hot add ground meat or lentils, spices, salt and pepper. Heat until cooked through and fragrant (will take longer for the meat than lentils). Stir in tomato paste and stock and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Remove mixture from pan and put in a bowl. If there is any excess grease, drain and dispose.
  4. Lay tortillas on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Distribute 2 cups of the cheese evenly among all the tortillas (only on one side). Reserve the 1 cup for later.
  5. Distribute the ground beef or lentil mixture on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly on top and fold the tortilla over so you have a half moon shape.
  6. Bake at 450F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the pico de gallo.
  8. To make the pico de gallo place the tomatoes and onion in a food processor. Pulse until evenly chopped, NOT PUREED! Add cilantro, sugar, salt, lime juice and zest and pulse again to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  9. Remove quesadillas from oven. Let sit for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Cut each moon into 4 equal wedges and serve with pico de gallo and sour cream.


Traditional Shakshuka Recipe

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely diced
  • 2 – 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas strained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne (optional)
  • Sugar to taste (if needed)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 eggs


  1. Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Heat olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, and sweat until clear. Add garlic and continue to sauté until clear. Add spices and cook until oil changes colour.
  2. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened. Add tomatoes and chickpeas to pan, stir until blended. Stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preference. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka. Create wells for eggs. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. Cover the pan and cook the eggs to taste (shorter for a runnier egg, longer for a stiffer egg).
  3. Serve with crusty bread.


Buffalo Cauliflower or Chicken Bites

Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour (120g)
  • 250mL of milk, canned coconut milk or water (1 cup)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken down into bite-sized florets
  • ¾ cup mild hot sauce, or barbecue sauce (187mL)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Set up your breading station for your cauliflower. One bowl for your flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and another large bowl for your milk or alternative.
  3. First, dip your cauliflower into the flour until fully dusted. This will help our batter to stick!
  4. Whisk your seasoned flour into your milk or milk alternative until a thick batter forms.
  5. Dip your flour-dusted cauliflower into the batter, letting any excess drip off before transferring to your prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake your cauliflower bites in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  7. While the cauliflower is baking, stir together the hot sauce and melted butter.
  8. When your cauliflower is golden brown, remove from the oven and toss with your prepared sauce then bake another 5-10 minutes.

Chef’s tip: These tasty buffalo cauliflower bites go great with a bowl of grains like rice or quinoa, on top of a salad or even inside a taco alongside some fresh salsa. You can swap out the cauliflower for 350g of chicken breast or tofu cut into bite-sized pieces for more tasty variations.


Chef Shai’s Charred Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 Red pepper, charred, peeled & de-seeded
  • 1 large onion, medium diced
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-28 oz can of whole tomatoes unsalted
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig basil
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste


  1. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sweat until soft and clear. While onions are sweating, open a can of tomatoes and measure stock. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add tomatoes, pepper, vegetable stock and basil. Bring contents of pot to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes or until peppers and tomatoes are very soft.
  3. Remove basil and puree with an immersion blender.
  4. Season to taste, serve hot.

Grilled Cheese

Yield: 2 servings


  • 150g old white cheddar sliced thinly OR 1.5 cups shredded cheddar
  • 4 Slices of sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


  1. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Assemble sandwiches as demonstrated in class.
  3. Place sandwiches carefully in the butter and fry until crisp and golden brown. Flip and continue frying until second side is crisp and golden brown and cheese is fully melted.
  4. Remove sandwiches from frying pan and slice in half. Serve immediately.


Scrumptious Sloppy Joes

Yields: 6 servings



  • 2 cups water
  • 250 g dried green lentils, well rinsed or ground meat of your choice

Sloppy Joes

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 hamburger buns or toasted slices of bread


  1. To a small pot, add water and rinsed lentils and cook over medium heat.
  2. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until lentils are tender, around 18 minutes. Once cooked, drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat vegetable oil and sweat onions until translucent. To the onions, add garlic and spices and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute until very fragrant.
  4. Stir in the diced pepper, and cook for 2 minutes until beginning to soften.
  5. Next add the tomato sauce, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine, then mix in the cooked lentils.
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook over medium heat until it’s beginning to thicken.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning – sloppy joes should have a little bit of heat and a little bit of sweet! Serve these with your favourite buns or bread, or try your hand at making your very own hamburger buns.

Chef’s tip: these sloppy joes are easy to adapt with ingredients you have in your pantry. You can swap the lentils out for 250g of any ground meat, or even crumbled firm tofu.


Super Simple Creamy Tomato Pasta

Yields: 4 servings


  • 40 mL olive oil, or other vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 250mL canned coconut milk, unsweetened plain yogurt or cream (1 cup)
  • 4 cups of your favourite shape of pasta (1 lb)
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • Salt


  1. Heat the oil over low heat in a large frying pan, then sauté garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato paste to the garlic, stir to combine then cook until the tomato paste turns a deep red colour.
  3. Add the coconut milk and salt, stir once more to combine and bring to a simmer, occasionally stirring the bottom.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Be sure to save 100mL of the starchy pasta water to finish your dish!
  5. Toss your cooked pasta with the simmered sauce and your pasta water. The starch in the pasta water will help the sauce stick to your pasta and create a glossy sauce.

Chef’s tip: Once you have this pasta sauce made, you can add in any extra vegetables you may have! I like to throw in some halved cherry tomatoes and fresh arugula for pops of fresh colour and flavour.




Rooks to Cooks on Breakfast Television Wed. April 5, 2017

If you didn’t get a chance to watch Breakfast Television Toronto this morning and have a minute or two to spare, check out this link to their segment “6 unique summer camps for kids” in Toronto. Rooks to Cooks was featured as number one! We’re so thankful to both Today’s Parent Magazine and BT for the amazing shout out, and we are honoured to be featured with the other 5 camps that sound absolutely incredible!