Thursday, April 10, 2008

April 9th Workshop: MENU - Lemon Lentil Soup, Soba Noodle Salad, Buttermilk Biscuits w/Goat Cheese and Chives, Ratatouille, Apple Rhubarb Crumble

I'm a city rat but I won't be fooled,
that could just be a novelty tiny chair.

Picture from: Veggie Gardening Tips

Lemon-Lentil Soup (Serves 12-16)


2 cups dry red lentils
2 kg spinach
4 onions, cut in half then sliced thinly
8 Tbsp olive oil
12 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp flour
3 lemons, juice of

Salt and pepper, to taste


1) Wash and drain the lentils, place them in a pan with water to cover and simmer for 30 minutes
or until they are very tender, adding salt and pepper, to taste, towards the end of the cooking time

2) Wash the spinach thoroughly, remove the stems, chop the leaves coarsely, and add them to the lentils.

3) Sauté the onions and garlic in oil until soft, add the flour and stir well.

4) Add a cup of water and stir until soft, add the flour and stir well.

5) Add lemon juice and more water, if necessary, and simmer until the soup is thick.

6) Serve very hot.

Soba Noodle Salad With Cucumber and Shitake (Serves 12)


3 pound shitake mushrooms, stems discarded
24 scallions
9 Tbsp peanut oil
Salt and pepper
12 Tbsp light soy sauce
6 tsp minced garlic
6 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 tsp sesame oil
1½ tsp rice vinegar
1½ tsp chili oil
Approximately 600 grams soba noodles
3 carrots peeled and cut into thick matchsticks (OR 3 cucumbers halved, seeded, and cut into thick matchsticks)
sesame seeds (optional)


1) In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms and scallions with the peanut oil and season with salt and pepper.

3) Grill the mushrooms over moderate heat, turning once, until cooked through and tender, about 4 minutes; transfer to a plate.

4) Grill the scallions, turning once, until softened and blackened in spots, about 2 minutes; add to the mushrooms.

5) Let the mushrooms and scallions cool, then thinly slice them.

6) In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar and chili oil.

7) In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the soba noodles until al dente, about 4 minutes; drain.

8) Transfer the noodles to a large bowl.

9) Add the mushrooms, scallions, carrots (or cucumber) and dressing and toss well.

10) Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe from: Food & Wine

Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Chives (Makes about 12-14 biscuits)
Best eaten just baked and warm, with a little butter.


4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup to 1 cup of freshly chopped chives (can also use chopped green onions)
2 5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 cup buttermilk (plus an extra tablespoon for finish)


1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

2) Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms. Stir in the chives. Add cheese and buttermilk; stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms (bits of cheese will be visible in dough).

3) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 times with floured hands. Do not over-knead! Form into a round, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Use a pastry brush to brush on some extra buttermilk over the surface of the wedges.

4) Arrange wedges about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased large baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Recipe from: Simple Recipes

Ratatouille (Makes 12 servings)


9 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, peeled and diced (½ in.)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 cans (14½ oz. each) diced tomatoes
1½ lbs Asian eggplant, rinsed and diced (3/4 in.)
About 1½ tsp salt
About ¾ tsp pepper
1 lbs red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and diced (½ in.)
1½ lbs zucchini, rinsed, ends trimmed, and diced (½ in.)
¾ cup chopped fresh basil leaves


1) In a 12-inch frying pan with sides at least 2 inches tall, heat 1½ tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir frequently until onion is limp, about 5 minutes

2) Add tomatoes (with juice), eggplant, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and ½ cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pierced, about 10 minutes.

3) Stir in bell peppers and zucchini. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until squash is tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes longer.

4) Stir in basil and remaining 1½ tbsp olive o8il. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Apple Rhubarb Crumble (Serves 12-16)
Preparation time: 15 minutes or less


20 stalks of rhubarb
8 cooking apples
1 cup sugar

Crumble topping
½ cup melted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup oats
1 1/3 cup flour


1) String rhubarb and cut into pieces 3 cm long

2) Peel, core and slice apples.

3) Place fruit into a large enough saucepan

4) Add sugar and water to cover and cook until soft.

5) Drain some of the water and spoon fruit into a 4L baking dish

6) Crumble topping: Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

7) Sprinkle topping over fruit and pat down firmly.

8) Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

How to Bake a Camel

Picture from "camel sexes woman to death"
from the weblog tk-421 copied.

Bryanna is going to South Africa this summer, so this is why her mom got her a cookbook entitled: Focus on Africa Cookbook. This recipe caught her eye and probably not just because it was oddly sandwiched in between recipes for burgundy beef and cabbage rolls...

  • 1 large camel
  • 2 sheep
  • 4 turkeys
  • 20 fish
  • 200 seagull eggs
  • 400 large dates
  • banana & palm leaves
Preparation time: 1 week
Cooking time: 2 - 3 days
Serving size: Whole village

Cook eggs and peel. Scale fish. Fill fish with eggs and dates. De-feather turkeys. (Cut off head and feet to use later in soup.) Stuff fish inside turkeys. Shear sheep and set aside wool. (Card and spin wool. Weave into place mats.) Fill sheep with turkeys, and place inside camel. Wrap camel in wet banana and palm leaves. Dig a big hole in the sand. Fill with 500 kilos of charcoal. Let burn until white. Carefully place stuffed camel in hole and cover with sand. Bake 2-3 days. Serve with rice.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Even though the spring snow is kind of a bummer, come get warm with some seasonal cooking!

With the stress and time strains of exams in mind, The Student Kitchen Project will be hosting three cooking sessions for the month of April*, which means one each week until the end of school!

Drop by for some educational good times, a free dinner, and tons of leftovers to take home, so you can actually forget about cooking for a few days while you try and cram an entire semester's worth of reading into two weeks.

*APRIL 24th Cook-off: For the last few sessions, Bryanna and I have planned the menus beforehand, but April 24th will be a special "cook-off" where we'll organise a little cooking competition of some sort. Details TBA

Thursday, March 27, 2008

March 26th Workshop: MENU - Thai Snapper, Seven-Vegetable Cous Cous, Frittata, Cabbage Salad, Warm Apple Rice Flour Crepes

Tonight's star ingredient: I'm pretty sure is B - The Red Snapper.
(Picture from: Florida Museum of Natural History)

Charlie's Thai Snapper* (Serves 12)
(I don't know who this Charlie is but s/he sure makes a mean fish recipe!)

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 3 small onions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1½ lbs. fresh red snapper fillet, cut into large cubes
  • 1½ cans coconut milk
  • 6 stalks lemon grass, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 red bell peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • salt
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until golden. Add ginger, onion, curry paste and curry powder. Stir to combine. Place the fish in a single layer in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add the coconut milk and lemon grass, bring to a boil. Pour the coconut milk over the fish in the pan. Add the peppers and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season to taste.

*Recipe from the Vancouver Community Kitchen Project's cookbook Many Hands: Community Kitchens Share Their Best.

Seven-Vegetable Cous Cous* (Serves 8)
  • 1 lb. carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. parsnips, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 small green cabbage, cored and cut into eights
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 16 cups of water
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lb. zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch strips
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to tast
  • 1 19 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups cous cous
  • 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • lemon wedges
In a large pot, combine the carrots, turnips, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, water, tumeric, sweet paprika, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, and cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, sweet potatoes, red peppers, salt, pepper, cayenne, and chickpeas. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, work the oil into the cous cous with your fingertips. Stir in the boiling water and cover tightly. Let stand until tender, 15-20 minutes.

Fluff up the cous cous and serve with the vegetable stew and lemon wedges.

*Recipe from the Vancouver Community Kitchen Project's cookbook Many Hands: Community Kitchens Share Their Best.

"Hakuna Frittata" (Mixed Vegetables and Feta Frittata)
On the 26th, the recipe was x3 to serve 12
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup diced red onions
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup each diced red bell pepper, thinly sliced zucchini, and chopped mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1½ tsp minced fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried
  • 8 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled light feta cheese (2 oz/57 g)
1) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch, non-stick skillet. Add onions and garlic. Cook
and stir until onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper, zucchini, and
mushrooms. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in oregano
and thyme. Cook for 30 more seconds.

2) Reduce heat to low. Pour eggs over vegetables, making sure that vegetables are evenly
distributed in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese evenly over egg

3) Cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid and let cook until eggs are completely set, about 12
minutes. Slice into 4 servings and serve hot.

Thai Red Cabbage Slaw (Serves 12)*
  • 2 lbs. red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 8 greens onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
  • ½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
Combined the cabbage, mint, cilantro and green onion. Stir the garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper and fish sauce together. Slowly beat in the oil. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss well. Toss in the peanuts and sesame seeds just before serving.

*Recipe from the Vancouver Community Kitchen Project's cookbook Many Hands: Community Kitchens Share Their Best.

Warm Apple Rice Flour Crepes (Serves 12)*

Apple filling:
  • 10 braeburn apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
  • Cinnamon
Warm apples with cinnamon in a sauce pan over medium heat with some water. Let boil and reduce heat to low and let simmer until apples are soft enough to mash.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp cane sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Serve with vanilla yogurt or soyogurt
Mix dry ingredients together. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk and melted butter. Then, whisk into dry ingredients. Heat crepe pan over medium heat. Use 1/3 cup batter per crepe. Cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set on a plate. Separate crepes with parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking. Crepes can be prepared up to this point and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to a month.

*This recipe is a variation of the one found at 5 to 10 a day - Recipes - Warm Apple Crepes

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Attack of Soyzilla: The Eco-conscious Vegetarian's Dilemma

Incredible, unstoppable titan of terror!
(Picture from: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - where you
will also find an article about the "economic magic" of soy).

Upon reading my blog entry, undoubtedly the one about meat-eating, a friend of mine sent me a link to a very interesting clip from a special report called Argentine: Le soja de la faim that was shown on the French/German channel ARTE. The report is about GMO soy production in Argentina, the role of agri-giant Monsanto, and the looming social and ecological disaster it is becoming for the country. Coincidentally, the issue of the environmental impact of soy production was also a topic brought up at the dinner table tonight.

To be fairly Canadian, here is a link to an English language article by Marcela Valente, from Inter Press Service News Agency, on roughly the same subject:
AGRICULTURE-ARGENTINA: Soy Overruns Everything in Its Path.

In most produce stores one can find tofu and soy milk, and in the stores that service the more conscious eating crowd, one can find some of the novel products from whom I like to call "the soy engineers" like: soy cheese, soy dogs, soy burgers, soyogurt, soy gelato, and soy "ground meat." Diversity should be the golden rule to any diet but eating too much soy seems clearly like a bad idea - even if it is in a diversity of shapes, textures, and consistencies. I was in a vegetarian food store once and saw that I could buy soy moulded into a whole fish shape, or "beef slices".

Soy is a favourite and easy alternative to meat for vegetarians and healthy eating fans. I know that it was the first thing I found myself consuming more often when I started laying off the meat. I still hit the soy milk pretty hard, however, soy is also used for other purposes such as bio-fuel. Perhaps this is why it has become a major cash crop, and one of the causes of deforestation in parts of the world, including the Amazon, to pave the way for massive farms. The agricultural commodities market is also overrun with GMO soy. This means that sometimes, even if one's intentions are well-meaning to start, without informed decision-making, one could still potentially end up where s/he started.

So far, from what I've gathered through conversations with my nutritionist, happy vegetarians, and knowledgeable eaters, and through books and my travels on the interweb, some good alternatives to soy are legumes such as chickpeas and other beans such as kidney beans, red beans (adzuki beans), navy beans... Also, try to incorporate into meals lentils, or grains such as quinoa, millet, barley, or sorghum, to name a few.

your colleague in trying to make more thoughtful choices,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wednesday Dinners at West Point Grey United Church

I was actively recruiting classmates today for cooking sessions when my professor mentioned that he helps out on Wednesday nights at West Point Grey United Church - at 8th and Tolmie - for their free dinners.
The 3-course dinners run every Wednesday from 6-8pm (contact for more details), from Thanksgiving to Easter, and are open to everyone.

Please send us anything you might know of, and we will also continue posting any happenings we hear of around the city that offer to make stomachs a little fuller.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 26th

Come out!
Don't be afraid, it's only posturing for our posters.
We're not condemning canned goods.
We're friendly.
Radicals are what we mostly put in soups and salads!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Calculated Impact of Meat Consumption

During my perusals on the interweb to try and learn more about eating meat in season, I came across this neat little "Food miles rater," by a Vancouver Island-based non-profit organization called LifeCycles Project, that tabulates the environmental impact of your different meat choices.

An Open Letter: To Meat or Not to Meat?

What would Clooney do?
(Picture from

Dear Universe,

I'm not a vegetarian (dang sushi!) but I don't eat a whole lot of meat, and rarely ever when I'm cooking for myself. However, for the Student Kitchen Workshop in February, we incorporated 1½ dishes with meat - and the other 1½ were veggie-friendly.

I'm not really sure if there was any real reasoning behind having the meat dishes, other than the fact that they tasted pretty good. While planning this next menu, I had thought to include a pork dish but after thinking about it, and discussing with Bryanna, I realised that I wasn't really confident about my initial reasoning for incorporating meats.

My desire to incorporate meats stemmed from a desire to appeal to as broad a potential participant group as possible: To reach people who make frequent food choices based on convenience - which includes fast-food, and/or ready-made dishes, bought at the supermarket, at food courts, or of the microwaveable and/or canned variety - and usually with some sort of meat in it.

While protein can be found in many other sources, I know that sometimes people just simply LOVE meat, and fear vegetarian dishes to be something like "hippie food." However, one of the goals of the Student Kitchen Project is to help students acquire cooking knowledge on a budget, but we also want to stress the necessity of more eco-conscious eating, which is something that we, as those who will inherit the earth, need to ponder more. Meat eating is an expensive, unsustainable, and exploitative endeavour, and its production and consumption have, and will continue to have, tremendous impacts on the earth and its living.

We live in a world of conflicting ideals, but in order to keep to our ideals, compromises need to be made. Thus, The Student Kitchen Project will plan for all vegetarian-friendly dishes, but have a utilitarian option to incorporate a meat dish to interested persons. In the end, it really is about thoughtful choices.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March 11th Workshop: MENU - Barley Borscht, Chickpea Curry Empanadas, Potato Leek Soup, and Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

(Picture of Barley from:

Barley Borscht (Serves 16)
  • 1½ lbs. of beets (chopped)
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 6 c. water
  • 4 carrots (chopped)
  • 1¾ cup of medium pearl barley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped) OR use a 798ml can of crushed tomatoes
  • Lemon juice (or white vinegar)
  • Dill, dried or fresh when serving
  • Yogurt OR sour cream to add when serving.
Put everything - except tomatoes and lemon juice - in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hr or so until veggies are tender and the barley is cooked. Add tomatoes and lemon juice and heat through. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle with dill.

EMPANADAS (makes about 24 small ones)

We didn't make the dough for this workshop due to time constraints, and used ready-to-bake pie shells instead. However, here is the recipe for the dough for your reference.
  • 4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (can use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Make Dough: Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.) Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. (If you use a large-ish bowl, you can do this step in-bowl.) Form dough into two flat rectangles and chill them, each wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours total.

*This dough recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen where you can also find pictures of the most beautiful empanadas I've ever seen.)

w/Curried Chickpea Filling*
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1¾ cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup water (approx.)
  • 2 small diced red bell peppers
  • 2 c. frozen peas
  • 2 c. frozen corn (optional)
  • 2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cumin, cinnamon. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp (15 mL) flour. Add water, stirring constantly to prevent lumping. Add red pepper and peas; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, adding more water if sauce is too thick. (If it's too thin, add the remaining flour, mixed with a little water.) Add chickpeas and broth; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until chickpeas are heated through.

*This recipe is a pared down version of one given by a registered dietitian.

Form Empanadas: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Divide first dough and half of second dough into 18 equal pieces and form each into a disk. (The remaining dough can be stored in the freezer for future use.) Keeping remaining pieces covered, roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick).

Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling onto center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively with your fingers or tines of a fork. Transfer empanada to a baking sheet. Make 17 more empanadas in same manner, arranging on 2 parchment-lined, or lightly greased, baking sheets.

Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Leek Potato Soup*
  • 6-8 leeks
  • 2 onions
  • 10-12 potatoes
  • 8-10 c. water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cream
Peel potatoes and onion. Chop potatoes, onion and leeks discarding tough dark green portion. Boil in water 20-30 minutes until tender. Puree the soup with blender or mixer. Return to boil, add cream.

*This recipe from

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10-12 small yams (unpeeled)
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 4 carrots (diced small)
  • 2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cup dried lentils
  • 2 small oniona (diced small)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
-Preheat oven to 400°F.

-Simultaneously cook lentils, yams (unpeeled), and veggies in separate saucepans.

-Boil the yams for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. They are easier to peel when cooked. Then simply mash them.

-To cook lentils: simply pick over to remove debris or shriveled lentils, rinse, and drain. Cover with water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (to aid in digestion). Reduce heat and simmer until tender. 10-20 minutes.

-Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden. Add cooked lentils, and cooked veggies; stir in tomato paste.

-Transfer mixture into the bottom of a 2-quart casserole or glass baking dish.

-Spread yams on top of mixture.

-Bake 12 minutes or until heated through.

Chocolate and Pear Tart*
  • 5 very ripe small bartlett pears (to test ripeness, press your finger gently against the pear, the more it gives, the more ripe it is); sliced; peel or leave skin on depending on preference.
  • ¼ cup butter**
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
  • 8 tbsp of cream or milk
-Preheat oven to 400°F.

-Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

-When melted, turn heat to low and add sugar and cocoa and stir until well mixed over low heat.

-Add 4 tbsp milk or cream to thin out the mixture.

-Arrange the pear slices into the pie crust.

-Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over top.

-Pour 4 tbsp of cream evenly over top.

-Sprinkle with chocolate chips for a more chocolatey pie.

-Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

*We used one of the ready-made shells from the empanada recipes above, but for the keen, underneath is a very easy recipe to make your own pie shell pastry that's also very versatile.

**You can omit the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar if you buy baking chocolate. In which case, substitute with 80 grams of dark chocolate.

Quick n Easy Quiche Crust Recipe*
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water(I use refrigerated water)
1. Mix flour and salt with fork.
2. Beat oil and water with whisk or fork to thicken.
3. Pour into flour and mix with fork.
4. Press into 9" pie crust.
5. Fill with quiche mixture and bake at 400F until done.
6. NOTES: I've never made this with canola oil.
7. You can double the recipe, divide dough in half, and roll out into a pair of rounds for two-crust pies.
8. This recipe is not suitable for baked pie crust shells.
9. It makes a nice, flaky crust that's suitable for everyday use.

*Recipe from Recipezaar.

March 11th Workshop: GROCERIES & MEAL COSTS

Where we shopped:
Dan-D-Market 2696 W. Broadway
Decent prices, nice staff, good bulk section full of Dan-D-Pak goods.

Donald's Market 2279 Commercial Drive
Across the street from Dollar Grocers, where we went for the last workshop. This place offers organic and non-organic products, their bulk section is pretty small. Offers a variety of Asian products, like dumpling skin.

Young Brothers 3151 W. Broadway
A little cramped but excellent prices!

Barley Borscht
Beets ($0.79/lbs): $3.53
Crushed Tomatoes: $1.19
Carrots ($1.74/kg): $0.91
Onions ($0.39/lbs): $0.60
2 lemons: $0.98
Organic pearl barley: $1.71
Plain yogurt: $ 2.59
1 bunch of dill: $0.99

SUB-TOTAL: $12.50

Chickpea curry empanadas
Pie shells: $13.16
Chickpeas: $0.99
Yellow pepper ($4.39/kg): $0.83
Red pepper ($1.89/lbs): $1.32
Whole wheat flour stoneground ($1.74/kg): $0.07
Onions ($0.39/lbs): $0.60
½ bag frozen peas: $1.30
Certified organic unbleached flour ($0.99/lbs): $0.54

SUB-TOTAL: $18.81

Potato Leek Soup
Light cream: $1.99
Potatoes ($1.08/kg): $1.41
Potatoes ($0.69/lbs): $$2.45
Leeks ($4.82/kg): $3.90
Leeks ($1.99/lbs): $5.45

SUB-TOTAL: $15.20

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Yams ($1.08/kg): 3.95
1 can tomato paste: $0.59
Carrots ($0.49/lbs): $0.50
Onions ($0.39/lbs): $0.60
½ bag frozen peas: $1.30
1 bag frozen corn: $2.59

SUB-TOTAL: $9.53

Chocolate/Pear Tart
Bosc Pears [Large] ($0.99/lbs): $2.49
+ 1 pie shell


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Feb 27th Workshop: MENU - Potato Pancakes, Apple Sauce, Cabbage Rolls, and Potato Salad

(Picture from:

There was a decidedly nice and hearty German/Eastern European vibe to this workshop, the menu was definitely dictated by what was in season. A great big thanks to everyone who came out!

Potato Pancakes (12 three inch pancakes)
Wrap in clean dish towel and wring to squeeze out as much moisture as possible:
  • 2 cups coarsely grated peeled potatoes
Combine in a bowl with:
  • 3 large eggs well beaten
  • 1 ½ Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp grated onion
  • 1¼ tsp salt
Heat in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot:
  • ¼ inch or more of vegetable oil
Place spoonfuls of potato mixture into the skillet in batches, and form them into 3-inch patties about ¼ inch thick. Brown on the bottom, reducing heat to medium if necessary to prevent scorching. Turn and brown the second side until crisp, 3-5 minutes each side. Drain briefly on paper towels.


Apple Sauce (4-6 servings)
Peel, core and chop:
  • 3 lbs apples such as Empire
You should have about 6 cups. Combine the apples in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot with:
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • (one cinnamon stick)
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft and falling apart, 20-30 minutes:

Stir in:
  • ½-¾ cup brown sugar
Raise the heat to medium and cook, uncovered stirring frequently, until the apple sauce thickens. If you would like a smooth sauce, puree in a food processor or blender.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (12 rolls)
Cook rice (boil water 2:1 in a pot, add rice, cover and simmer for 20 minutes)
Cook meat.

Combine in a large bowl:
  • 1 lbs ground meat, cooked OR 3 cups of cooked lentils
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup rice, cooked
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Bring water to a rolling boil in a stock pot. Add: 1½ tbsp salt. Cut out the core with a small, sharp knife, then drop cored slice down in the water.
  • 1 savoy or green cabbage - 2 lbs.
Boil 5-10 minutes then remove the pot and carefully remove the softened outer leaves. Return the cabbage to the simmering water and continue to soften as you begin to fill the leaves. (Or freeze whole cabbage 24 hrs. then thaw and separate leaves).

Trim off enough of the centre rib of each leaf to make the leaf supple enough to roll. Wrap the meat (or lentil) mixture in the leaves folding the sides first. Roll up the leaf. Repeat with more leaves until filling is used. Tie rolls with string.

Chop enough of remaining cabbage leaves to make 1 cup. Heat a heavy pot over med-high heat.
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Add chopped cabbage along with:
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and puree
Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Potato Salad (4-6 large servings)
Quarter and boil for 15-20 minutes:
  • 1 lbs. bag of potatoes (red-skinned were used)
When cooked, chop quarters into bite-sized pieces.

Chop and fry:
  • 1 pkg of bacon (crisp)
  • 3 onions (browned)
Save some bacon fat (trust me) for sauce.

For sauce, mix together:
  • Bacon fat
  • 4 tbsp. stoned ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp. apple cidre vinegar
  • Cooked bacon and onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine sauce and potatoes. Serve warm.

Feb. 27th Workshop: GROCERIES

These are the business cards for two of the local, independent stores that we purchased from for our February 27th kitchen workshop. Our budget requirement was to spend no more than $5/participant and we purchased everything from fruits, veggies, and meats, to cleaning supplies.

Dollar Grocers is located on Commercial Dr. at E. 6th Ave. (next to JJ Bean) and sells among other things, organic and non-organic products, as well as local produce and bulk goods at reasonable prices. The Butcher located in West Point Grey is a place to find high quality and specialty meats.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shopping In Season

One of the goals of The Student Kitchen Project is to share tips on how to shop on measly student budgets, and one of the best ways - not to mention a very eco-friendly one - is to shop in season and shop local.

We're not necessarily talking full-on 100-mile diet, but just consult one of the links below for what's in season in BC before you go grocery shopping next time, and then do a quick price-check. However, important to keep in mind is that what is said to be "in season" is sometimes contentious whatwith hothouse produce, e.g. one of the links has lettuce in season year-round in BC. So, we'd just have to recommend the use of intuition and personal comfort i.e. what are you comfortably willing to wait for?
On a final and personal note, we used to enjoy eating avocados and strawberries in winter before realising that not only were they the priciest things on our food bills, but that it was kind of weird to be eating guacamole and drinking strawberry daquiris in front of a roaring fireplace while wearing reindeer sweaters from our dear old aunties. Now, it's kind've nice to wait all year in anticipation for "strawcado season," when these things generally taste better, and the only thing burning is skin with no sunblock.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Feb. 27th

Thanks UBC Student Environment Centre!

After months of excited planning, we are now at the beginning stages and helping the project find its place at UBC. Today will be the first of some scheduled workshops from now until the end of this school year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Student Health on the Table

Since embarking on this project of ours, we have been learning, or had the pleasure to meet with the organisers, of food-related initiatives on the UBC campus - such as the new Community Eats project; Sprouts, the student food co-op and café; the UBC farm; and the Meal Exchange Programme that teamed up with the AMS Food Bank on Halloween night going door-to-door collecting donations for Trick or Eat - as well as all of the initiatives taking place on campuses across our great nation.

Here is a link to a 2006 Maclean's article by Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze entitled, "Feeding the student body" that discusses the issue of food security on Canadian campuses, and the importance of addressing barriers in order to make available healthy eating choices for university students.

We hope to be a part of the various happenings that want to provide choice while increasing awareness of the issues of hunger, poverty, and health among university students.