Scavenging for free food is a bit of a competitive sport among hungry McGill students.
If you are lucky, you might be able to score some from Midnight Kitchen, which is a by-donation, volunteer-driven food collective that churns out an array of vegan lunches to the ravenous masses in the Shatner Building every week day.
It’s a sweet deal: free food! Healthy food!
To your chagrin, likeminded people on campus have the same idea. You’ll have to arrive late and be patient or (to the best of your abilities and your VO2 max) arrive early, knocking over a few chairs in the process.
Stylishly jumping over park benches ahead of the line to Midnight Kitchen could have been your comparative advantage, but you didn’t capitalize on that weird Groupon for parkour classes this summer.
Bring your own Tupperware, wait in line, and hope for the best. Hope they don’t run out of that lentil soup. Or make your own, like we did!
Gentle Lentil Soup
Ingredients- Serves 6
2 cups water
1 cup lentils
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp paprika
Pinch of Italian seasoning (oregano, rosemary, basil)
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 large potatoes, diced. (leave the peel on!)
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 can chickpeas
If you like chunky soup like we do, make many lentils. The ratio is two cups water to 1 cup lentils. Boil till tender and stick a bay leaf in there, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
The onion and garlic go first. Cook with a smidge of olive oil over medium heat in an enormous pot. Add paprika, lentils, potato, carrots, and chickpeas. Dissolve your stock cubes in a litre of water and add to mixture. Simmer for about 40 minutes, or until potatoes are nice and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Multiply this recipe if you want to feed people MK style. Great for potlucks!
It’s time to flaunt your fancy kitchen footwork by serving up a simple dessert with an exotic twist. Perfect for afternoon tea, our cute cupcakes are infused with a piquant blend of the beverage itself. You’ll raise not only a pinky, but all ten fingers to these cupcakes. Dainty as this confection may be, we warn you that your hands will be dancing a waltz with a tangle of sweet, sticky condensed milk icing.
Chai-Tea Mini Cupcakes (Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
Ingredients- makes a dozen
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 bags chai tea
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 12 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3/4 packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
Condensed Milk Icing
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- You will have a lot left over so don’t worry about it
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with liners. Bring milk to simmer over medium heat in a small pot, Remove from heat, add tea bags, let steep, covered, 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow milk to cool completely.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating each in well until incorporated.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk. Don’t overmix! Your dough will get tough (funny the way english pronunciation works, isn’t it?)
Fill batter among cups until about 3/4 full each. Bake about 17 minutes, rotating through halfway.
To make the icing
Whisk milk and butter together until smooth. On high speed, add 1/4 confectioners sugar at a time until it’s done!
Let cupcakes cool completely before dipping them in icing. Let it dribble around the sides. Dust with a bit of confectioners sugar.
It’s okay if there is a moat of icing left over. More to lick.
Peter Piper’s pickled peppers are unappetizing. Allow your tongue to twist itself around this wonderful mosaic of colours and textures instead.
Buried within the recesses of these sweet red peppers are a mixture of pearly ancient grains, purple legumes, and leafy greens. Surrounded by a moat of spice-plenty tomato sauce, this meal is an impressive monument of flavour and charm.
The dairy can be omitted if you are vegan, however we strongly encourage sealing these capsicum capsules with a stringy, gooey, generous heap of cheese. You’ll utter a guttural and embarrassingly audible groan of satisfaction when you eat this. It’s love at first bite.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 4 red bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
- 4 mushrooms, diced
- 1 can kidney beans
- mozzarella cheese, grated, to taste (optional)
Cumin-Spiked Tomato Sauce
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp italian herbs
- Chili flakes, to taste
- a few dashes montreal steak spice
- salt, to taste
Combine 1 cup water with 1/2 cup quinoa and bring to boil. Crank heat down to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
Meanwhile, take off the tops of the peppers and de-seed them. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the peppers for five minutes. Drain and let cool.
While the peppers are cooling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the onions until translucent, then add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the kidney beans and spinach, and continue to sauté until the spinach has wilted. Add the cooked quinoa and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Simmer all ingredients until warmed through.
Place the peppers upright in a casserole dish. Stuff them to the brim with the quinoa and vegetable mixture, then coat them with ladles upon ladles of sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes has passed, sprinkle cheese on top and broil for an additional two to five minutes.
Spice up your life.
Although beets look like brains, they will fuel yours with the nutrients it needs to outlast the last of your midterms. Arm your hands with gloves lest you want your fingernails stained a bright fuchsia. These chips are easy to make and will be ready in ten minutes or less. You’ll never want to settle for an ordinary golden potato chip again when you can crunch and munch upon these vibrant half-moons of red delight.
- Olive oil
Line a long, flat pan with aluminum foil (if you have it) and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice beets thinly (width should be about 2 centimetres) and toss to coat with olive oil and salt. Lay on pan and bake for about 10 minutes, or until crunchy.
Beat that beet up and enjoy!!
Good churros are like good amigos. They’re sweet, you enjoy spending time with them, and they can only be found once in a blue moon. Boast all you like about the mountain of free doughnuts you have amassed over this month’s Roll up the Rim. We guarantee you that churros are better.
These fun-sized nibbles of crunchy dough will leave a delicate dusting of cinnamon-sugar upon your tongue. While traditionally served with hot chocolate, we think they hold their own with or without that little hint of liquid cocoa. Besides, nobody likes a soggy churro. For the adventurous, we’ve included a recipe for chili-chocolate dipping sauce.
Fun-Sized Churros (From Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen)
Ingredients - Makes around 30-40 mini churros
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup freshly boiled water (you can do this in a kettle)
- Canola oil
In a shallow bowl, toss cinnamon with sugar until granules become tinted the slightest shade of brown. Set aside for coating.
Heat canola oil so that it runs at least 1/3 up the side of your pot. Meanwhile combine flour and baking powder. Beat in olive oil and water until a pliable, sticky dough forms. Let it rest for 10 minutes while the oil heats up.
To test if ready, drop a cube of bread into the pot. It should sizzle and condense into a crunchy brown cluster. Place dough into a piping bag or a large Ziploc (nip the corner so that it forms an opening). Squeeze about 2 inches of dough into oil and gently clip them off with chopsticks. Cook about 3-4 minutes until their exterior is golden and slightly hard. Fish them out with chopsticks and blot them with a paper towel to remove excess oil. This is only an exercise for the most dexterous, so be careful!
Toss to coat in cinnamon-sugar and get’em while they’re hot.
Chili Chocolate Dipping Sauce
- A couple of squares dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of chili flakes
- Pinch of cinnamon
2/3 cup double cream (can substitute with milk)Over a pot of boiling water, melt all ingredients in a separate pan until thick and combined. Let cool before serving.
If you are looking for a reason to purchase a blowtorch, here is your chance. Not that you exactly need one for this anyway. Despite the potential fire hazards latent in the torch’s mechanical design, it’s still good to have for fancy brulées. If, with a heavy sigh of resignation, you are a student with a mere stove at your disposal, that will work just as well.
These Baked Alaskas are a lethal combination of brownie, ice cream, and meringue.They are bad for you with a capital B. But so good.
While athletes playfully get their faces smothered with shaving cream, this dessert is no joke. We’d happily wade through a cloud of meringue any day.
Beautiful Baked Alaskas (Adapted from All Recipes, but halved the portion)
Ingredients - Yields 6 brownies
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cups chocolate chips
- 3/4 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a regular-sized muffin tin.
Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly until 2 become 1.
Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
Allow to cool and beat in eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add dash of vanilla to give your chocolate brownies an ironic little twist.
Whisk flour and salt together and fold into liquid mixture.
Add batter to muffin tins and bake for about 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in the centre of the brownies.
While cooling, make the meringue.
Ingredients - Depends on how much meringue you want to make
Blend egg whites to an oblivion until peaks are ‘stiff’. Add sugar and blend some more.
To Assemble the Baked Alaska
Add a dab of ice-cream onto each brownie bite. Pipe meringue around and on top of ice-cream to insulate it from the oven. Broil baked alaskas.
Yahoo! Baked Alaskas for you!
Whenever you’re in a hurry, make some curry! It’s preparation is simple, especially when you have a sous-chef to chop everything up for you. It is also one of those impressive but deceptively easy “Hey, I know how to cook” meals. Vegetarian by design, this dish will the be magic Swiffer of your refrigerator by making good use of your leftover legumes.
While originally a tomato curry, we had the liberty of tossing whatever we felt necessary into our little simmering concoction. It’s like the devil’s snare, engulfing any and all vegetables with its flavours.
Make coconut rice to accompany this dish. It will cleanse your palette and soothe your stomach.
We have curried favour with this recipe and sincerely hope you do too.
Tomato Vegetable Curry (Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen)
Ingredients - Serves 5
- 2 onions
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Couple handfuls of Asian vegetable mix— you can use any kinds of vegetables you want, really
- 1 tsp tandoori spice, cumin, paprika
Try not to cry while dicing the onions. Its a delicate dance with your knife. Score them a bit before slicing. Sweat them out with a smidgen of oil over medium heat until soft and translucent.
Add pint of cherry tomatoes. Let simmer with the onions, stirring occasionally, until they burst (hopefully not on you) and become saucy. Meanwhile, prepare coconut rice (below)
Add vegetables and spices. If your spices are not exactly the same, don’t worry too much. As long as it smells good. Cook until vegetables are cooked through. Serve over a bed of coconut rice.
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4-5 cups cooked rice
- Sesame seeds and seaweed, to garnish
Prepare rice in rice cooker, if you haven’t done so already
Place rice in pot. In a pyrex measuring glass mix coconut milk and fill the rest of the receptacle with water. Pour into rice and let simmer over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed.
Garnish with a bit of sesame seeds and/or seaweed!
C’est simple comme bonjour
There are some days when your rear pant-leg winds up tucked into your sock. Or, unbeknownst to you, your little red toque has been inverted all day. Its tag has been frolicking in the wind atop your head like a peace flag on a mountain.
Whether you are sloppy accidentally or on purpose, we’ll cover you. A generous amalgamation of veggies, beef, and tomato sauce, these Sloppy Joes are an all-purpose antidote for malicious moods.
We recommend making them this weekend. Your bowls will not only be filled with something super, but also sumptuous.
A word of caution: however star-crossed all you lovers may be, avoid making these irresistible sloppy joes on Valentines. You’ll end up looking like this.
But who celebrates that anyway?
Sloppy Joes (adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson)
1 stick celery
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
500g ground beef
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes and a full can of water
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Soft, fluffy buns / tortilla chips / cheddar cheese
Chop the celery, garlic, onions and carrots coarsely. Blend with a food processor or blender (we used our trusty hand blender) until the mixture reaches a mushy consistency.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the vegetable mixture and cook until soft (15-20 minutes)
In the meantime, mix the tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and tomato paste in a bowl.
Add the ground beef to the frying pan, along with the cloves and remaining brown sugar. When the beef begins to brown, add the bowl of liquid ingredients. Simmer for 25 minutes.
Serve with toasted buns (we used onion rolls), tortilla chips, or any other item that will be sure to leave the front of your shirt/jersey looking like it needs a wash.
Chow down! Warning: don’t become so distracted by the deliciousness of these babies that you miss the big game.
Pinwheels are simple and artful. They can transform even the most fishy of dishes into appealing appetizers.
Sole is a lean and delicate fish that pairs well with the subtle and creamy flavour of artichoke asiago dip, which you can find in most grocery stores. We added a bit of spinach to the dish because seaweed is always greener under the sea. These are much easier to assemble than Ikea furniture, but are a bit more tricky than snapping together two pieces of lego. In short, this recipe is a quick way to put some sole into your food. Make these part of your world. Your taste-buds will be a choir singing with delight.
Ingredients - Makes 6 rolls
- 6 sole fillets
- Handful or two of spinach
- Pepper, to taste OR Montréal Steak Spice
- Artichoke Asiago Dip (we used PC Blue Menu)
Thaw sole, if frozen. Meanwhile, wash spinach and tear into strips lengthwise.
Lay fillets flat and sprinkle with steak spice or pepper, if using. Adorn the centre of each with a mask of dip. Top with spinach.
Start rolling up the fish at one end and secure pinwheel by piercing it with a toothpick.
Roast in a casserole dish at 350 for about 15-20 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.
The globe isn’t golden, and neither is our snack for tonight’s broadcast. Kale is a leafy specimen that merits a superlative in the scrapbook of our undergraduate existence. Its ridges are tiny finger-like projections that catch ALL of the olive oil and bathe in the oven’s rays of heat until crisp. Your palette will be humbled by these crunchy creations that are baked, not deep fried.
This is a three-ingredient, five-star recipe that will please even the worst of critics.
Salt these to your discretion—if you’re adventurous explore the world of spices and jump through your jungle of kale with different kinds of seasonings.
Kale comprises the tree of our lives and puts the ‘hip’ in our chips.
Kale Chips (Credit to Michelle!)
- A ton of kale
- Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350ºC
Wash your kale, and tear it into pieces.
Pour a puddle of olive oil onto a baking sheet. Lightly dip a piece of kale into the oil, then use your fingers to smear the oil all over the leaf, on both sides. Continue for each leaf. You’ll have to bake several batches anyways, so don’t overcrowd the baking sheet – each leaf should touch the sheet as this is how they get crispy. Add salt to taste, then pop the sheet into the oven for exactly 8 minutes.
And don’t forget to check your teeth before you leave the house.