Friday, October 24, 2008

Fruits, Bagels, and Veggies for a Twist

The CE Lunch, served at Sprouts from 11:30am-1:30pm today, was a great success thanks to our dedicated volunteers and the food lovers who showed up to support us once again!

Like always, the meal was hearty yet healthy - which translated into a menu that is filling, tasty, packed with plenty of good stuff:

Today's Menu
Long Grain Brown Rice
Roasted Vegetables (stunningly colorful peppers and carrots with rosemary)
Lentil Curry
featuring corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and other vegetables

Benny's Bagels

Fruit platter
of a variety of fruits ranging from grapes, apple slices, pears, cantaloupes, persimmons, watermelon, and lots of bananas

We have been working diligently to overcoming the challenging of finding consistent sources of donations from local grocers, and we would appreciate any input or suggestions! If you are interested in volunteering, whether it be for the exciting pick-up shifts (added bonus: great workout!), the chopping and cooking (excellent way to get the tips of cooking healthy food), or the serving shifts (wonderful opportunity to meeting fellow food lovers), please contact Emma, our lovely volunteering coordinator at
Hope you all enjoyed your lunches today, and we want to see you again, with your containers, at the NEXT CE LUNCH: Friday, Nov. 7th' 2008!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Exciting News: Next CE Lunch on Friday, Oct. 24th!

Hello all food lovers!

We will be back this Friday with the Community Eats lunch, featuring delicious, hot, healthy, vegetarian, dishes as usual!

It is FREE, or by donation, but remember:


Give your friends a shout, come out to Sprouts on Friday Oct. 24th, from 11:30am-1:30pm for a nice lunch at the end of the week!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


please note:
this week October 10th the lunch will not be happening.
we will, however be offering free bagels given by donation from Benny's Bagels.

we are really sorry about this. Due to the nature of the lunches, we don't always receive enough food or volunteers...
Our one main distributor fell through, so we will have to postpone the glorious lunch until the next one on October 23rd.

if anyone is interested in volunteering for the next lunch, please email Emma the volunteer coordinator at or if you have any hook-ups to potential donations please email Meagan the distributions coordinator at

thanks! and sorry about the reduced food this week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It is almost Thanksgiving!

October is probably a very busy time for most of us: midterms, school projects, papers, and labs. But it is also time for some holiday spirit! So Come on out for the next CE lunch, a special Thanksgiving themed Meal on

  • FRIDAY, OCT. 10th, 2008
  • 11:30-1:30pm
  • at Sprouts
Remember to bring your own containers and utensils!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Recipe: Roasted Spiced Potatoes & Garbanzos

So, here's how we made our roasted potatoes and garbanzos. This meal stands alone as it's a complete protein, however, most would find it unsatisfying without something more substantial (like our Lentil Eggplant Curry!) or at least a salad. Nevertheless this dish can be put together easily as a perfect side dish, a quick lunch for someone with a smaller appetite, and the leftover can be turned into another creative meal. Imagine all the spices you could drizzle or sprinkle on them and all the different kinds of vegetables that can be used according to season.

Last but not least, nothing is better than simple yet flavorful, aromatic, and luxurious roasted vegetables that are both pretty in presentation and extremely delicious.

Roasted Spiced Potatoes & Garbanzos

3- 4 potatoes (diced, par-boiled)
1 turnip (diced, par-boiled)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzos (or) one can chickpeas
olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 C
  2. Par-boil potatoes and turnips (otherwise they will not cook soft until after the chickpeas have burnt!). On a big sheet pan, mix diced peppers, potatoes, turnip, and garbanzos with your hands. Douse with oil, enough to lather everything lightly.
  3. Add spice and salt at your own discretion. Bake for 20 minutes, or until everything is golden brown and the peppers are soft. Be cautious of baking for too long as the chickpeas will dry out!
Ta-da!! Bon appetit!

Recipe: Lentil Eggplant Curry

Here is the recipe of the Lentil Eggplant Curry we made for CE dinner on Sept. 27'2008.

This curry, served with rice, pita, and other grains, makes for a wonderfully filling and nutritious meal. It was a great feeling of excitement (or accomplishment) when the dish turned out so delicious. Better yet it is fun to prepare this dish, and easy too.

* a disclaimer: because these recipes are made for two hundred people these measurements are estimations and loose suggestions only (sorry!)

2 to 3 tbsp oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large red onion
3-4 tomatoes
2 potatoes (diced and par-boiled)
1 turnip (diced and par-boiled with potato)
1 cup cauliflower (diced)
1 large eggplant
3 cups whole red lentils (precooked)
3 cups water (maybe more)

  1. Start with oil in a big saucepan, cook it up hot, add your cumin seeds or powder, cook for a few minutes until you can smell the aromas (we also added standard "curry" powder).
  2. Add the diced onion into the oil and cook until translucent, adding garlic a few minutes after the onion (as it burns if too hot).
  3. Add the diced tomato and bring the heat up. Add ginger spice, turmeric, and chili flakes, along with the first dose of salt (you are creating your curry paste base).
  4. Add the par-boiled potatoes and turnip, the cauliflower and eggplant. Cook for four - five minutes so the veg absorbs all those good juices.
  5. After this, add the precooked lentils with the extra water and consider adding a little extra water. (It works like this: split red lentils DO NOT need to be precooked, and can be cooked in the curry with a little more water and a few more minutes on the stovetop.)
  6. Let all this cook away -- the longer you cook it (on LOW) the more mature the taste.
  7. Add more salt, maybe additional cumin or chili flakes. You want the lentils and the eggplant very soft and brown!

How Do CE Lunches Happen?

The Community Eats dinner at the Food is Fundamental Conference was a success, and we hope that everyone, from the lovely volunteers to those who joined us for dinner, had a wonderful time!

Now we are very excited to be planning the next lunch, a very special Thanks-giving edition on Friday, Oct. 10th, at Sprouts, from 11:30am- 1:30pm! But before that I feel ever so inclined to write about the whole experience to brining a CE lunch together. So here we go:

The first step is getting around to local grocers to pick up some fresh and beautiful produce donations
they have kindly set aside for us and purchasing any extra stuff we may need (grain, oil, spices, etc). We get a variety of different fruits and veggies each time, which makes these trips lots of fun, interesting, and adventurous! [Boxes full of bags of assorted veggies: peppers, zucchinis, eggplants, and more!]
We then gather all the goodies to the AMS catering kitchen in the SUB for storage. Then we are reading to prep.

The prepping tasks are simple: we wash the produce, chop, chop, chop, chop, and basically get the fruits add veggies nice and ready for cooking.
There is music in the background at the kitchen, and the volunteers are just there having a good time, chopping the hours away! The cooking involves stir frying, baking, etc depending on the menu. There is always a great variety of veggies, fruits, grains, and legumes.
[Our Kitchen Coordinator Adrick working hard]
We discuss the day's menu for a healthy, balanced, and nutritious meal. But we are always open to suggestions and fresh ideas. If you have this fantastic recipe you are eager to share, drop by and let us know! Or if you are a beginner and want to learn more about food, this is a great way to get some tips! Then comes the Set-Up shift. We set up the serving space, warm up the food, make ingredient signs, set up donation jar, e-mail list, and put out the fliers. The serving crew is the one who puts the yummy food in your re-usable containers! Now enjoy the delicious dinner put on by Community Eats!Once again, Community Eats is its volunteers. Special Thanks go to all the dedicated and committed volunteers who helped us make yet another successful meal! Feel free to let us know if you have any comments, concerns, suggestions, questions, ANYTHING. If you are interested in volunteering, you can find more information here

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Comunity Eats Dinner at Food is Fundamental Conference

Dinner last Saturday night went really well, we served about 125 people in the basement of Macmillan building. The SEC conference was also a success, with a sunny Saturday morning at the UBC Farm with bread and jam making workshops, the farmer's market and some awesome speakers.

For dinner we served two dishes: a red lentil curry and a spicy baked chick peas and vegetables with organic brown rice and bagels from Benny's. We were also lucky to have dessert which included plums from Laura's friend's tree in Ladner and slices of cantaloupe. Recipes are hopefully on their way.

Many people forgot to bring their own containers, so there was a definite variety of eating surfaces from pieces of cardboard boxes, to dumpster-dived yogurt containers, to bagels and even a tennis racket with some paper towel on top of it. Lots of creativity.

The meal itself also needed some creativity as our distributor did not have a lot of food to donate to us this week (which is good for them, bad for us) we needed to supplement our collection. We were able to collect potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, onions and eggplant from our distributor. We managed to find some bountiful discount produce dollar bags at dollar grocers on commercial drive and we also purchased 8 lbs of potatoes, 15 lbs of rice, 8 lbs of chick peas and 16 lbs of lentils from Sprouts in order to make enough food to feed the 200 people who registered for the dinner.
However, as expected, 200 did not show up, which meant that we were left with some food to take home, but its better to have too much than too little in these situations.

Next lunch will be October 10th, 11:30-1:30ish in Sprouts, with a Thanksgiving theme.

More to come soon, stay tuned!