Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nov 26, 2009: Split pea soup, quinoa, greens, and pear cake

Mmm.. this was a delicious meal if I say so myself!  On the menu this week was: 

  • Ethiopian split pea stew
  • Quinoa-squash-cranberry salady wonderfulness
  • A mess of roasted greens
  • Upside-down pear cake 
We had a lot of great and positive feedback from the meal!  Yay!  Scroll down for recipes.  This week's meal was led by Dulcie and myself, Jon, and brought to you by many many amazing volunteers that took time out of the hectic exam and assignment freakout time to shop and chop and bake and serve and clean.   Love!

Our resident photographer, Jono Lung, took some other photos from the day:

(I think that's Dulcie explaining what a vegan is to this wee pup.)

Also, at this week's meal our amazing education and outreach workstudy, Heather, put up a really cool display called "Vegan IT" asking for eaters to scribble up their ideas on what being a vegan is all about.  Strictly speaking a vegan diet is one that contains no animal products.  Hot Yam! serves vegan meals for a number of reasons but primarily because it's very accessible: whether you're an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan you can eat with us; aswell a vegan diet can have a much lower environmental impact than one that includes animal products.  In any case, we'll report back with some of your thoughts on veganism from the activity shortly.

We also put out a survey to our eaters (which you can fill out online if you didn't have the chance to at the meal).  We'll report back about the results once we have a chance to analyse 'em.

Some stats about this week's meal:
  • We fed about 160 paying customers, and fed lots and lots of volunteers.
  • We had 80 responses to the survey.
  • We spent  about $460 dollars on food for the meal.  This doesn't include the cost of the quinoa, walnuts, and flour which had in storage. 
  • We made about $180 dollars in profit; or $140 if you subtract the money we spent on non-foodstuffs, like dishwasher detergent.
The big disappointment with this meal was running out of greens part way... that was my fault as my guesstimate of the broccoli needed was way off. It was late when we were shopping, I thought we were going over budget.. I panicked. On the upside, the cake was fantastic!

Speaking about cake, here are the recipes!

Ethiopian split pea stew (kik alicha)
This is probably the easiest and tastiest soup you'll ever make.

3.5 C yellow split peas
10 C of water
3 Onions
half a head of garlic
1/2 C of minced ginger
2 1/2 tsp of tumeric
olive oil

Directions:  First, simmer peas and water till almost tender (30 minutes). Dice onion and mince the garlic and ginger.  Fry the onion in olive oil until the onion goes translucent (about five minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, and tumeric and cook for a couple of minutes. Add a bit of water and cover, cooking on low for 3-5 minutes.  Add peas with a bit of salt to taste and simmer until the peas are very soft.  

Spiced Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake

3 pears
1/4 C margarine
1/3 C brown sugar

1/2 C margarine
2/3 C brown sugar
1/2 C light molasses (or we used 1/3 C dark molasses and 1/6 C of agave or corn syrup)
1/2 lb (1.6 C) of all purpose flour (we mixed all purpose, whole wheat and Atta flour we had!)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 "flax eggs"
1/3 C of soy milk
1 tsp baking soda

Directions for making flax egg substitute:

1 Tablespoon flax seeds plus 3 Tablespoons water replaces one egg. Finely grind 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds in a blender or coffee grinder, or use 2 1/2 tablespoons pre- ground flaxseeds. Transfer to a bowl and beat in 3 tablespoons of water using a whisk or fork. It will become very gooey and gelatinous, much like an egg white. In some recipes, you can leave the ground flax in the blender and add the other wet ingredients to it, thus saving you  the extra step of the bowl.

Direction for the topping:
Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Grease your baking tin. Peel (or don't.  We didn't), and halve and core the pears.  Poach (or don't!  we didn't!) in a simple syrup for 30 minutes until soft.  Cream the margarine and sugar until soft.  Spread on the base of tins.  Place pears cut side down on top of this with the tops pointing inwards.  

Directions for making the cake:
Melt the margarine in a pot with the molasses.  DO NOT LET IT BOIL!  Remove from heat and let it cool a bit.   Mix flour and ginger in a large boal. Make a well in the middle and pour flax eggs and margarine/molasses mix into the well.  Mix until smooth.  

Meanwhile, warm the soy milk.  Add the baking soda. Pour this into the mix and mix well.  Pour the batter over the pears being careful not to disturb them.  

Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife slides out cleanly.  We had to bake them for 50-55 minutes.

Let cool, INVERT, and enjoy. 

Squash Quinoa Salad
We got this recipe from this blog and played around with it by leaving out the kale.  We left out the kale mainly because we wanted to put the kale in the....

Mess 'o greens
But it turns out that Ontario kale is rather hard to find at this time of year.  Le sigh.  So instead we bought whatever local greens we could find and roasted them up.  This is about the easiest thing you can do short of just eating these things raw (also recommended!).  

We used:
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choi
  • Green Peppers (donated!)
  • Onions
  • Garlic.
Chopped the greens up into medium sized pieces, minced the garlic, mixed it all and drizzled on some olive oil and roasted them in a shallow pan at 425-450F until they had cooked but still had a bit of crunch.  Salt, pepper, random spices and voila.

We got the greens and most of the other produce from the wonderful folks at 4Life Natural Foods in Kensington Market!  Go check 'em out!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eat Local!

October 21st, 2009 was Hot Yam's 3rd annual Eat Local! event. Our Yams cooked up delicious treats for all to enjoy. The event was a huge success with great turn outs. Our appetizing zucchini cakes sure made many tummies happy and satisfied!

So without further ado, here is the aforementioned mouth-watering zucchini cake recipe!

Zucchini Cake

18 tbs flaxseed meal (3:1 water/seeds, boiled until eggy)
9 cups granulated sugar
6 c vegetable oil
12 cups coarsely grated raw zucchini (food processor!)
18 tsp vanilla
18 c flour
6 tsp salt
6 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg
icing sugar for dusting

1. Grease pans. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and dry spices.
3. Mix in the sugar and wet ingredients: egg substitute, vanilla,
oil. (The recipe says "mix dry ingreds, then wet, then stir wet into
dry" but that dirties too many pans for me.)
4. Mix in the zucchini.
5. Bake for ~60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. The
bread should still be moist in the middle, just not gooey.
6. Cool before removing from the pan.
7. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
(Stay tuned Yammers! As the rest of the recipes are to follow..)