Dine Below the Line at Macquarie Uni

Dine Below the Line at Macquarie Uni

Dine Below Line Library Staff Macquarie uniLibrary staff at Macquarie Uni get involved in ‘Dine Below the Line’ lunch.

 

What is ‘Dine Below the Line’ with local, fresh produce!

Macquarie University students want to raise awareness about poverty and sustainable food systems. A group do this by hosting or participating in a ‘Dine Below the Line’ event. At these events they learn heaps, meet new people with similar interest in eradicating global poverty but also help raise funds to feed those less fortunate than them.

Library Charity Lunch

The Macquarie student group hosted a youth-led anti-poverty NGO Oaktree ‘Dine Below the Line’ meal event at $2 a head using fresh local produce from Harvest Hub.

We enjoyed some delicious ratatouille pasta and pumpkin and spinach salad, with ingredients supplied by food social enterprise Harvest Hub. Ingredients cost us just $20 – bringing us to less than $2 a head for the lunch. 

In total, we raised $319.28 – more than double our target!! This money will provide much needed funds for anti-poverty NGO Oaktree’s initiatives.”

Recipes:

Ratatouille

Roasted pumpkin salad

 

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
 
Note: this version is a little more tomato-based than the usual recipe to provide enough liquid for the fettucine
Author:
Recipe type: Casserole
Ingredients
  • 3 Brown onions, sliced
  • 800gms Eggplant, cubed (not skinned)
  • 800gms Green capsicum , seeded & cut
  • 800gms Zucchini, sliced
  • 3kg Cooking tomatoes, roughly cut
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves (crushed)
  • Seasoning (salt & pepper)
  • Dried herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano)
  • 30ml Olive oil
  • ½ bunch Basil leaves
  • Water or stock as needed
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil over low heat, stirring regularly, for 10 mins or until translucent.
  2. Add the eggplant, capsicum and zucchini and sauté for a further 10 mins, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the cooking tomatoes. garlic, seasoning and dried herbs, stir to mix the ingredients, and cook on medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat, add lid and slowly cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  4. Check if the mixture has enough liquid, and add water or stock if needed.
  5. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked al dente (i.e. retain some texture - don’t let it go to mush).
  6. Before serving, shred the basil leaves and stir into the ratatouille.
  7. Serve with fettucine and a salad.

 

Roasted pumpkin salad

Roasted pumpkin salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • 3kg Butternut pumpkin, skinned, seeded and roughly cut
  • 1 Spanish Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 500gms Baby spinach leaves, washed and well-drained
  • Salt, pepper, vinegar & oil
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat grill to High
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin pieces with salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread on baking tray and place in oven, about 5-10 cm below the hot grill. The idea is to blacken part of the pumpkin without over-cooking.
  3. After 10 minutes, turn the pumpkin pieces and put back under the grill. From this point, watch carefully to not over-cook the pumpkin. Remember, they will continue to cook for several minutes after you take them out of the oven.
  4. Let the pumpkin cool down to lukewarm, and then mix with baby spinach leaves in a serving bowl.
  5. At the last minute, sprinkle with dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or serve separately). Alternatively, you can make a dressing of soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar and chilli.
  6. Bon appetite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth make $2 a head meals with heaps left over

Dine Below the line

Youth make $2 a head meals with heaps left over

‘Dine Below The Line’ an initiative of Oaktree Foundation, a group of students concerned with fighting poverty in SE Asia. On the Macquarie Uni campus, they got together to accept a challenge to see if they could cook a robust meal for $2 a head. They won this challenge. Amazing – $2 meals

Harvest Hub donated the food and menus for them to cook:

The menu – see recipes below

Ratatouille with fettucine

Roasted pumpkin and baby spinach salad

They tell us:

“There was a total of 9 participants including representatives from Macq Uni Sustainability, Macq Uni Sustainability Squad (MUSS) and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. In the end we managed to raise $61.30 from this Dine Below The Line event!

We were all surprised at how much food we managed to cook under a budget! We also had great conversations about poverty, our attitudes to international development, Australia’s role in international development, and even about the great ways Harvest Hub serves communities!

We’d like to thank Anton & Jayne and all Harvest Hub members for your donation and support in this event. We’re always excited to get connected and to continue to work with other people and organisations that recognise the potential of young people (as well as people of all ages!) to make impactful change! ”

Recipe for Ratatouille

Ratatouille
 
This version is a little more tomato-based than the usual recipe to provide enough liquid for the fettucine
Author:
Recipe type: $2 meal
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 3 brown onions, sliced
  • 800gms eggplant, cubed (not skinned)
  • 800gms green capsicum , seeded & cut
  • 80gms zucchini, sliced
  • 3kg cooking tomatoes, roughly cut
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • Dried herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • ½ bunch basil leaves
  • Water or stock as needed
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil over low heat, stirring regularly, for 10 mins or until translucent.
  2. Add the eggplant, capsicum and zucchini and sauté for a further 10 mins, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the cooking tomatoes. garlic, seasoning and dried herbs, stir to mix the ingredients, and cook on medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat, add lid and slowly cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  4. Check if the mixture has enough liquid, and add water or stock if needed.
  5. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked al dente (i.e. retain some texture - don’t let it go to mush).
  6. Before serving, shred the basil leaves and stir into the ratatouille.
  7. Serve with fettucine and a salad

Recipe for Fettucine
Fettucine
 
As per instructions on pack. Don’t over-cook, and to prevent it from sticking together in the serving bowl, either add some cooking liquid or olive oil. Roasted pumpkin salad
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 3kg butternut pumpkin, skinned, seeded and roughly cut
  • 1 Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 500gms baby spinach leaves, washed and well-drained
  • Salt, pepper, vinegar & oil
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat grill to High
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin pieces with salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread on baking tray and place in oven, about 5-10 cm below the hot grill. The idea is to blacken part of the pumpkin without over-cooking.
  3. After 10 minutes, turn the pumpkin pieces and put back under the grill. From this point, watch carefully to not over-cook the pumpkin. Remember, they will continue to cook for several minutes after you take them out of the oven.
  4. Let the pumpkin cool down to lukewarm, and then mix with baby spinach leaves in a serving bowl.
  5. At the last minute, sprinkle with dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or serve separately). Alternatively, you can make a dressing of soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar and chilli.
  6. Bon appetite!

 

Eggplant Freeman’s Reach

Eggplant Freeman’s Reach

Eggplant or aubergine are low-carb and low GI, which means they are slow to raise blood sugar levels as they are more complex and fibrous, and help improve blood circulation. In other words, it takes longer to digest and that is a good thing.

They are of the nightshade family of vegetables, which also include tomatoes, potatoes and capsicums. Nasunin, an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, is in the skin and has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. So keep the skin on.

On its own you might think yuk but eggplant is a filler that has a flavour when entwined with other vegetables and sauces is magnificent. They love the heat for growing.

They came originally from India and now there are other varieties around the world including Thailand, Japan and Italy.

So what can you make with them? The original from India Bengan Bartha;  Baba Ganoush which is Middle Eastern; from Italy eggplant parmesan; the Greeks of course have moussaka; and the French Ratatouille. Plus slicing into stirfry and casseroles. Too easy.

Turkey Moussaka     

Turkey Moussaka
 
Author:
Recipe type: Casserole
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 3 eggplant
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
  • ½ cup chopped sweet chilli or green capsicum
  • ¼ cup water
  • 350g skinless turkey breast ground
  • 2 peeled, diced fresh tomatoes (about 2 tomatoes)
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbs finely chopped dried apricot
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. To make Turkey Moussaka Eggplant:
  3. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the cut sides with the coarse salt. Place in a colander, salted sides against the holes. Drain in the sink for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry.
  4. Place the eggplants in the grill, cut sides up, about 13cm from the heat source.
  5. Grill for 5 minutes, turn, and grill for about 8 minutes more on the skin side, until easily pierced with a fork. Remove and set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 205 C and allow it to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, combine the onion, bell pepper, and water in a large nonstick frying pan.
  8. Cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onion is translucent and the green pepper soft. Add the turkey and cook for about 5 minutes longer, stirring and crushing the meat with the back of a wooden spoon until it appears cooked but not browned.
  9. Add all the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture seems cohesive.
  10. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
  11. Place the eggplants, cut side up, in a foil lined baking dish. Press down with a spoon to create a shallow well in each, and mound equal amounts of the turkey mixture into the wells. Bake for 15 minutes, then serve immediately.

Eggplant Curry
Eggplant curry
 
Author:
Recipe type: Curry
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 300g diced eggplant or 150g eggplant and 3 potatoes (cook potatoes for 5 mins to soften but maintain shape)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1tbspn vegetable oil extra
  • ¼ medium onion finely chopped
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp whole mustard seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 green chilli, chopped (optionally seeded to reduce the heat)
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar or cider vinegar or wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp brown sugar
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Wash the eggplants, remove the stalk, and slice lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter lengthwise wide strips and then crosswise into 2½ cm cubes. Heat oil in a wok or frypan on medium heat and deep-fry the eggplant cubes in batches until golden brown. Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper.
  2. In a medium-sized pan, heat the extra oil stir the onion until golden brown. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and mustard and stir for a couple of seconds before adding the garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves. Stir and saute for 30 seconds. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, salt to taste and the sugar and stir until well mixed. Bring slowly to the boil before adding the deep-fried eggplant cubes (and potatoes if reducing amount of eggplant). Stir, then simmer gently on low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  3. Taste and season with a little more sugar and/or salt as desired. Serve with rice.

Eggplant parmigiana

Eggplant parmigiana
 
Author:
Recipe type: Frying
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • All-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup dry bread crumbs or panko, more as needed, seasoned liberally with salt
  • 2 - 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • A large eggplant, cut into ¾cm thick rounds
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 250gm - 400gms mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced as much as you need
Instructions
  1. Pre-prepare:
  2. In bowls, flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.
  3. Take eggplant and glide across flour so lightly coated both sides dip in egg so it is covered.Finally, roll lightly in breadcrumbs. Lay on paper towels on a plate.
  4. Preheat grill.
  5. In a large heavy based fry pan heat oil, hot but not smoking, and fry eggplant rounds in batches around 2 minutes each side. Then pop on papertowel to drain.
  6. For grill.
  7. Take a baking tin and line with baking paper. Then arrange separately topping with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Melt cheese. But watch it.

 

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

With or without eggplant.

Cooking tomatoes

Ratatouille

Serves 4:

  • 2 eggplant, peeled and sliced into rounds (optional)
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 2 capsicum, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tin tomatoes or 4 tomatoes quartered
  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme or tsp of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The secret for this recipe is – Don’t overcook vegetables. They should be crispy rather than mushy.

Purple Eggplant

Heat oil in a fry pan and when hot add the onion and stir until golden brown. Turn to medium heat and add the tomatoes followed by the peppers. Cover the pan with the lid, and let the vegetables cook slowly for about 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini. Look to see if the ratatouille is moist but not wet and decide whether the lid should go on again or some of the water needs to evaporate. Add pepper and salt to taste. Serve with mash potato.