Friday, February 15, 2008

Next Lunch: Friday February 29th

Our next lunch will be held on Friday February 29th. Please note that we're going to start (and finish) serving a bit earlier than we have been in the past.

Community Eats lunch
Friday February 29th; 11:30 - 1:30
In Sprouts, SUB room 66
Bring your own container

We really need more people to help us out with food collection and cooking. We'd love to meet you! For more details about how to get involved, check out:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Here's the recipe for the lunch we served on February 1st.

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

6-8 large potatoes, 2 red/yellow bell peppers, 1/2 large zucchini, 1 onion, 1-2 heads of garlic (depending how garlicy you like things!), a hand full of field mushrooms, 2 large carrots, dried herbs (such as basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano), dry coriander, 1c (dry) green lentils

- Prepare the garlic to roast: Without removing any of the skin or separating the cloves, slice the very top of the head off of the garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the head and into the cracks that have opened up between the individual cloves. Roast at 350f, covered with a "tent" of tinfoil, about 20 minutes or until the cloves are very soft and beginning to caramelize. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, pop the cloves out of the skin (this should be really easy if it's been roasted long enough!). Mince the roasted cloves and set aside.

- Prepare the veggies: dice the onion, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms into small pieces. Spread onto a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with herbs (4Tbsp or more), coriander (2Tbsp or more), and salt. Add some dry chili flakes (1tsp) if you want it a bit spicy. Sprinkle with olive oil. Roast at 350f, about 30 minutes or until veggies are tender but not mushy.
Prepare the carrots in the same way, but roast them on a separate pan as will take longer to cook. They are nice if you leave them longer becuase they get especially caramelized and sweet.

- Cook the lentils: bring them to boil in 3c water (add 1tsp salt), then turn down the heat and simmer until they are tender (about 45 minutes). Drain thoroughly.

- Prepare the potatoes: cube and boil the potatoes (no need to peel unless you have a real aversion to the skins) until tender. Drain. Mash, adding salt to taste. You may need to add some water if they are too dry, or add some olive oil to make them more creamy. Stir in the minced roasted garlic, to taste. (If you have leftover roasted garlic, it is a wonderful addition to salad dressing, pasta sauce, or most anything really). If you have some fresh parsley, mince it up and stir that in too.

- Assemble the pie: start with a layer of 1/2 the mashed potatoes, smooth evenly in the pan (no need to grease the pan). Sprinkle the lentils over the potatoes, then layer the roasted mixed vegetables and roasted carrots over them. Finish with a final layer of the remaining potatoes. Smooth the top, and cover with tinfoil.
At this point you can throw it in the fridge if you want to cook it later on or the next day, or bake it right away to eat now!

- Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Check to make sure it is hot through. Remove the tinfoil and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the top is beginning to brown and become crispy. Eat and enjoy!

Where and when are Community Eats lunches?

Sprouts (the student-run food co-op and cafe in the basement of UBC's SUB) has generously offered their café as a space in which to hold these lunches.

You’ll find Community Eats serving in Sprouts, SUB room 66, every second Friday from 11:30 – 1:30. During this time, you won't be able to purchase the usual cafe fare available in Sprouts (soup, baked goods), but the grocery items such as drinks and bulk food will still be available.

Check back frequently for posts of the exact dates of upcoming lunches, or take a look at the calendar at the bottom of the main blog page.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why Free? Why Donate?

Since we don’t pay for the produce we use to cook Community Eats lunches, and volunteer our time to prepare it, we don’t want you to have to pay for it. However, it’s not often that we’re able to collect staple foods (such as rice and beans), from grocers, so these items are usually purchased from Sprouts. We’re happy to support this student run business, as well as to feature organic (and often local) food in our meals. We collect donations at Community Eats lunches to help cover the cost of these staple items.

I need my own plate?!

Most other food establishments give away thousands of food take-out containers each day, all of which end up in the garbage. We ask that you bring your own dish and cutlery to Community Eats lunches, because eating from reusable containers is a really simple way to start making more sustainable food choices.

When we cook Community Eats lunches, we usually don’t leave the SUB until about 11:00 at night, when almost everyone else has gone home. We’re always shocked by the number of disposable containers littering the building, and we’re glad that our project isn’t contributing to that waste. Our hope is that people who come to Community Eats lunches will make a habit of bringing a reusable food container with them even when they eat elsewhere, so that they’ll never need to use a disposable one again.

Where does this food come from?

In an effort to decrease the amount of edible food that goes to waste, Community Eats lunches are cooked with food that would otherwise be thrown out due to appearance (i.e. blemishes, bruises, etc), quality, or damage (i.e. broken or punctured packaging). During the week, volunteers collect all of this food from grocers and distributors and bring it to campus to be turned into a delicious meal.

Who is Community Eats?

Community Eats is its volunteers! As you might imagine, it takes many, many hours to collect, prepare, and cook the food served at these lunches – all this time is donated by a team of dedicated volunteers.

We’re always seeking more eager people who are interested in helping out. If you have some time you’d like to spend with us, send us an email at or introduce yourself to us at one of the lunches to find out how you can join us.

Get Involved: Volunteering with Community Eats

Community Eats lunches are only possible through the efforts of some wonderful volunteers, and we always need more folks to help us out.

Volunteers aren't required to make an ongoing commitment. We're happy to see new faces each week, so even if you only have a few hours to spare every now and then, we encourage you to get involved. Volunteering is a fun way to "pay" for your lunches - you'll find out what it takes to make the lunches happen every week, and have an opportunity to engage with both the food, and some of the other great people who've been eating it!

Food Collection
Takes place on the Wednesday and Thursday before each lunch. If you have a few hours to spare on either of these days, let us know. We will coordinate with your schedule to find a time that you can help us pick up food from the distributors who regularly supply us. All the pickups are done on the bus, so make sure you bring your U-pass.
If you're interested in helping to collect, email us with the times that you're available and we'll fill you in on all the details.

It takes a lot of chopping to feed 200 people! Cooking takes place on the Thursday before each lunch, from 12:00 - 6:00. If you have any amount of time to spare, do come down to the kitchen to help us out - the more the merrier! Don't worry if you've got no cooking experience - one of our cooks will be overseeing it all. We have all the knives, aprons, and cutting boards that might be needed. Bring some music if you'd like.
Send us an email if you're interested in cooking, let us know what time you think you can stop by, and we'll fill you in on the details of where to find us.

Our email address is:

We look forward to meeting you!