Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cooking with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph!

On Sunday March 2nd, Garden2Table held an outreach program for some Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph. Eight pairs of 'littles' and 'bigs' came into PJ's in the Atrium (our student-run restaurant on campus) to spend to day cooking and preparing a healthy feast! Most of the cooking was done by the littles (who ranged in age from 8-16) and they cooked up some delicious focaccia bread, minestrone soup, both a chickpea and bean salad and a green salad, and an apple crisp for dessert!

During the preparation and cooking of the G2T team (and our incredible volunteers) helped facilitate and chat with the littles about their eating habits and what food was nutritious. While the food was in the oven, we sat down together and planted some green beans and talked about what plants need to grow. Hopefully some of the little's beans have started to sprout of their window sill.

Overall it was an amazing day and hopefully an event we can replicate again in the future!

The recipes we used are posted below with some photos from the event!

Classic Minestrone
(modified from

·   2 tablespoons olive oil
·   1 medium red onion, chopped
·   2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
·   1 large celery stalk, diced
·   1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
·   1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
·   Coarse salt and ground pepper
·   1 can (14.5 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
·   1 large potato, peeled and diced
·   1/4 head Savoy or green cabbage (1/2 pound), cored and thinly sliced
·   1 can (15 ounces) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
·   1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
·      1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add potato, cabbage, cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in basil. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and, if using, torn basil. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.

Chickpea and Black Bean Salad
(Canadian Living Magazine: July 2004)
Salad Ingredients
·   2 cups (500 mL) chopped green beans
·   1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas
·   1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans
·   1 sweet red pepper, diced
·   1 cup (250 mL) corn kernels
·   2 green onions, sliced
·   1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh coriander

Chili Lime Dressing:

·   1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
·   1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime rind
·   3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
·   1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) chili powder
·   1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
·   1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt


1.     In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water; drain and set aside.
2.     Drain and rinse chickpeas and black beans; drain well and place in large bowl. Add red pepper, corn and onions; set aside.
Chili Lime Dressing: Whisk together oil, lime rind and juice, chili powder, sugar and salt ; pour over beans and toss to coat. Add green beans and coriander; toss.

Dillon preparing the dough
(modified from Pj’s restaurant- Simon Day)
·   25mL honey
·      2 tbsp dry yeast
·      525mL warm water
·      6 cups all purpose flour
·      10g salt
·      cornmeal
·      salt
·      rosemary
·      olive oil


1.     Mix water, honey and yeast. Stir once and let sit until foam forms (about 5 minutes).
2.     With an electric mixer and the dough hook attachment, mix flour, salt and yeast mixture for 3 to 4 minutes on low (until smooth).
3.     Place in a well oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place (a good way to do this is turn your oven on for 5 minutes, then off so it is warm but not actually on and let it rise in the oven.
4.     Roll our dough, place on cornmeal covered baking sheet, dimple the bread, cover with a cloth again and then let rise for 20 minutes in a warm place.
5.     Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and salt.
6.     Bake 20 minutes at 350F.
Shannon helping Matthew cut apples

Apple Crisp (



·    310 ml (1 1/4 cups) quick cooking 
rolled oats
·    60 ml (1/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
·    60 ml (1/4 cup) brown sugar 

·    75 ml (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened


·    125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar 

·    2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon 

·   Bag of apples, peeled and sliced
·    15 ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice

1.     With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). 

2. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, and brown sugar. Add the butter and stir to combine. Set aside. 

3. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the apples and lemon juice and stir to combine.
4.     Spoon into baking dish. Cover with the topping. Bake for about 50 minutes. Let cool.

Mustard Vinaigrette


·   1/8 cup red-wine vinegar

·   1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
·   pinch of salt
·   2 pinches pepper
·   small pinch of sugar
·      3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Mix all together and whisk well!

Balsamic Vinaigrette


·   1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
·   2 pinches pepper
·   pinch of salt
·      3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Mix all together and whisk well!

Thanks for checking out another Garden2Table successful community outreach initiative!

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