Dangle the promise of free marks in front of your students’ foreheads and they will bite the proverbial carrot, peek out from under their shells (backpacks?) and do anything you want them to do. One of our Spanish classes required us to participate in an activity related to Hispanic culture, and naturally we interpreted this as an opportunity to purchase and cook chorizo. Incidentally, we were also craving meat. Salty, slightly chewy, and replete with piquant spices, this Spanish sausage can be eaten just as fine on its own but is made better when paired with poulet. We want all of our assignments to be this
Hello, Chorizo (Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen)
Ingredients- Serves 5
- 10 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on (why take the skin off???)
- Olive oil
- 1 packet Spanish chorizo, coarsely chopped
- 1.5 lb/750g red new potatoes (again, why take the skin off???)
- 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- Pinch of paprika
- Pinch of Italian Seasoning (oregano, basil, rosemary)
Preheat the oven to 425F. Line shallow baking dishes with parchment paper (like the kind that wizards write upon. With quills.). Baste the chicken’s skin with oil and turn skin side up on tray.
Halve potatoes and toss with a smidgen of oil as well.
Distribute chorizo, potatoes, onions among the baking trays. Sprinkle with spices and salt, if you so choose.
Bake for about one hour, or until chicken meat is no longer pink.
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!
Winter is coming and we’re eating winter squash accordingly. The best thing about this recipe’s gourd in particular is that when roasted, its flesh delicately peels away from its skin like ribbons of spaghetti. Try this recipe if you’re looking to detox those American Thanksgiving carbs, sick of eating instant noodles during exams, or are simply on a quest to chart new territories in the world of vegetable preparation. This here is one pasta that won’t give you a paunch.
Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
- 1 spaghetti squash
- ⅓ cup carrot, diced
- ⅓ cup mushrooms, diced
- ⅓ cup zucchini, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
- ½ tsp Italian herbs
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tsp tomato paste + ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
Bake the squash, pierced in many places (this activity is perfect for relieving exam time stress), for 40 minutes at 375°F. Turn the squash and bake for another 15-30 minutes until tender.
While the squash is baking, dice all the veggies.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp sugar in a pan. Put in the onions and sauté until caramelized.
Add the rest of the veggies and 1 tsp more oil. Sauté veggies until tender then add tomato paste, water, soy sauce, and stir.
Cut squash in ½, deseed. Pull the strands apart with a fork, toss in a bit of olive oil (1-2 tsp) and season with salt, pepper, and herbs.
Combine with sauce and enjoy! Good luck with finals everyone.
Give four roommates some rice; they’ll eat for a day. Buy them a rice cooker; they’ll eat for a life-time!. It will make congee for your ailing throats and a silo of cooked rice for your growling stomachs. With a great amount of grain comes a gargantuan amount of gratification, specifically when manifest as ginger-fried rice. From the runny egg to the crispy dusting of minced ginger and garlic, this is a simple dish with a mosaic of textures. Look no further than your rice cooker come exam time. You’ll become fast friends with this fried rice.
Ginger and Leek Fried Rice (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Ingredients - Serves 4
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
- ¼ cup diced prosciutto
- 4 cups day-old rice. We used Calrose, but brown rice will certainly work as well
- Eggs (one per serving)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and toss until crisp and brown. Transfer out of pan and dust with salt.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add leeks, prosciutto, and a coin-sized amount of oil if you need it. Cook until leeks are soft.
Raise heat back to medium and add a bit of the ginger/garlic mixture and rice. Cook until grains are slightly crunchy.
BUT WAIT! Don’t forget about the eggs!
Fry sunny side up, until edges are set but yolk is runny.
Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with ½ teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Adorn with a dusting of crispy ginger and garlic.
Break the egg yolk, as if a glacier is rapidly melting over your mountain of rice.
Dot with Sriracha chili sauce and dig in.
This is a story of girls meet two-kilogram jar of peanut butter, but you should know upfront; this is not a love story. Call it an investment, a very long-term commitment. Kraft smooth peanut butter makes an excellent baking companion because it is very easy to work with and is a little sweet—your recipes will not need as much sugar! We added rolled oats to this recipe because they make our cookies nice and chewy. These medallion-sized treats are travel-tested and (if you are the prodigal university student returning home for a weekend) make great gifts for family members too! They will also be a hit at cookie-swaps. These cookies will be better than the cookies of your dreams. Not only are they kind of good for you, they’re real.
Better Peanut Butter Cookies (Modified from Baking: A Commonsense Guide)
Ingredients - Makes 34 cookies
- 5 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Cream butter, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add egg and incorporate completely.
Combine flour, oats, and baking powder in separate bowl. Stir into peanut butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips. Mixture should look like playdough. But edible playdough.
Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls and play on trays. Press down gently with fork to make crisscross pattern.
Bake for 15 minutes (or until golden). You could wait for them to cool, but then why would anybody want to do that?
Roasted chickpeas are a mighty satisfying snack food. Much to the delight of the makers of Food Inc, they are not made from corn (as is everything else, evidently). AND they’re good for you! Best when eaten fresh out of the oven, these chickpeas are perfectly guilt-free companions to any scary-movie marathon. We used a tandoori spice mix from our cupboard to season them but the original recipe—which calls for a teaspoon each of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper—fares just as well.
Even if this weekend shapes up to be a Halloworkend, no worries! Munch and crunch on these spicy spherical darlings and spook your stress away.
Roasted Chickpeas (adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body)
Ingredients- Fits on 1 large baking tray
- 1 Large Can Chickpeas
- 1 Tbsp Tandoori Spice
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- Canola oil, to drizzle
- Salt, to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 425
Drain and rinse chickpeas, lay to dry on paper towel completely. Some of the skins will peel away but do not discard them! They will be the crunchiest components of this creation!
Once dry, mix in medium-sized bowl with a bit of oil and toss in spices, and sugar
Lay flat on baking sheet and toast for 40-60 minutes until firm and visibly coated in a layer of crunchy goodness.