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!
We love snacks. Like hobbits, we’re ready to graze on something at any given time during the day. We have made emergency provisions for a week filled with group meetings, essays, and midterms by (quite literally) stirring up a large batch of sweet potato hummus. Eat it with vegetables, crackers, or as a spread on your sandwich. Your taste buds will hum in delight at its velvety texture and notes of wholesome saccharine goodness.
Sweet Potato Hummus (Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon)
Fills 1 large yogurt container
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 6 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Begin by peeling the sweet potatoes and boiling them to an oblivion, or until soft and can be readily pierced with a fork.
Rinse and drain can of chickpeas and add sweet potatoes, garlic, tahini, and all spices. Blend together until smooth (we used our handy hand blender).
Stir in salt and pepper, to taste.
Yummy hummus! (Try saying that ten times fast)
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!!
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
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.
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.
Tis the season to be smitten with soup! Once you have prepared your first from scratch, your spoon will waltz more frequently with this homemade Cinderella. The canned variety is its evil step-sister; it will discover no perks in being a wallflower. Though we did not add the heavy cream that most recipes call for, if you are partial to a creamier consistency, whisk in 1 cup milk before serving. Be sure to have a hand-blender in your kitchen tool-belt. It’s excellent for purées and you will become soup-master supreme in no time.
Easy as Pea Soup (Adapted from Kitchen Scraps)
Ingredients- Serves 4
- 4 cups peas
- 30 mint leaves
- Juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1L vegetable stock
Boil peas for 3-4 minutes and drain. Most should be floating to the top.
Combine with mint, oil, and peas and mash (preferably with hand-blender) until it forms a thick paste.
Over medium heat, combine with vegetable stock and heat until well-dissolved.
Serve each with a dusting of pepper and a dollop of plain yogourt (but not if you are vegan! Don’t worry, it will still taste wonderful).
Slurp your way to a smile.
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.