DiVino Chefs Visit Youville Centre

March 9th, 2011

Today was a special day at Youville Centre, as the students in our Collective Kitchen Class were instructed and inspired by two female culinary professionals from DiVino Wine Studio. Cooking Instructor/Event Manager Larissa Beznaczuk-Smyrnew and Chef Jessica Hendren showed our students how to cook a simple, delicious and healthy one-pot meal to serve at home.


It is our goal through Collective Kitchen to provide nutritious recipes that are easy and affordable for our young moms and their children. For under $100, Jessica and Larissa were able to show our students a tasty and healthy meal that resulted in 15-20 servings. By following the recipe below, our students can now create this meal at home and still have leftovers available.

The dish was a Chicken Curry Pot, and while learning how to make it, the students also learned all about exotic ingredients such as coconut milk, curry, cilantro and bok choy. Jessica and Larissa were also able to give our students a glimpse of the culinary world from a career perspective by sharing their unique success stories.

Many thanks to Larissa and Jessica, and to the entire team at DiVino Wine Studio  for lending us these talented young women this morning! Youville Centre thanks you!

Recipe and Nutrition Info:

Chicken Curry Pot
Serves 6
12 bone-in chicken thighs or 6 chicken breasts                   
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins
1 can chickpeas
3 cups of chicken stock or water
1 can coconut milk
2 cups spinach, bok choy or other greens
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ cup frozen green peas
½ cup rice
½ cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper


  • Over medium heat, heat oil in a large pot.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan, brown on all sides about 3-4 minutes and remove from pot. 
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes till golden.  Add brown sugar and stir till melted and slightly caramelized.
  • Add raisins, chickpeas, stock, coconut milk, salt, curry powder and rice. 
  • Add chicken back to the pot and bring to a light boil and cook for 15 minutes till rice and chicken are almost cooked through. 
  • Add greens, green peas and cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes.Serve hot in a large bowl with one or two pieces of chicken with lots of sauce over top.


  • Chicken – Excellent source of lean protein, chicken thighs have more iron than chicken breasts (important for women)
  • Chickpeas– Excellent source of fibre, folate and protein. Fibre is important for a healthy digestive tract in addition to stabilizing blood sugars, and it keeps you full for a longer period of time.
  • Onions/Garlic/Curry – All are known to fight cancer and heart disease
  • Spinach/Green Peas – High in antioxidants and fibre, also known to fight cancer and heart disease.