Fresh Frosh

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This week we took a short break from our Harvest Party prep and planning to help the School of Nutrition cater their orientation event for frosh. The School of Nutrition was generous enough to entrust us with the role of professional caterers, a first for Rye’s Homegrown. We were asked to make a few salads, dips, and loaves to bring some local and organic flavour to the table.

With around 75 first year nutrition students walking through Kerr Hall South for the first time around lunch, we had a lot of preparation to do to make sure they were well nourished.

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We prepared two salads, one a pesto tabouleh made from quinoa (a pseudograin superfood that is high in vitamins and protein, but unfortunately rarely cultivated locally), and one based from late summer bitter greens. Our bitter green salad consisted of raw calalloo, a coarse leafy green in the amaranth family that is commonly cooked in traditional Caribbean cuisine, mustard greens, and bitter lettuce. To offset the bitterness of the greens we added succulent heirloom tomatoes, cool cucumbers, parsley, green beans, and ripe green peppers, all from our plots.  We complimented the dish with a sweet balsamic dressing featuring local maple syrup and olive oil. Our pesto was made from fresh garden basil and kale, with sunflower seeds, lemon, and garden garlic.

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We also made a heirloom tomato bruschetta, and a delicious roasted eggplant baba ghanouj using giant black beauty eggplants, snowy globe eggplants, and long eggplants harvested from our rooftop plot.

To satiate those with a sweet tooth, we prepared a dairy- and egg-free, no refined sugar, lemon-poppyseed zucchini loaf recipe taken from the excellent Phoenix Organic Farms cookbook, Extraveganzaby Laura Matthias. You might have seen pictures of the mammoth zucchinis that have been silently plotting their total domination of our plots. We wanted to put these gargantuan beasts to good use, and so we shredded them up and baked them into some sweet lemon loaves. The speed with which they disappeared was a clear sign that we were onto something, and so we will be preparing some more to share at our Harvest Party.

If you would like to help us in harvesting or preparing food, we are going to have lots of volunteer opportunities coming up in the next few weeks as we gear up for our big event of the season. We’ve met a lot of eager new students over the past few days who we would love to connect with, spades, shovels, or spoons in hand. To become involved with Rye’s Homegrown or the Harvest Party, send us an email at foodsecurity.ryerson@gmail.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter

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