Croatian Potato Salad for Food Not Bombs

Yep, this is another “Kay goes to Food Not Bombs at Occupy Vancouver” post. After all, it takes more than a pile of sandwiches to feed a crowd of hungry protestors.

I’ve been down to the V.A.G. three times now to take photographs and to help feed people. One of the volunteers I spoke to on the food committee estimated that about 2000 meals a day are being served out of the food tent. That’s amazing! Some of the food is made on site, but much of the food is also being made in private kitchens as well as spaces lent to us by local businesses and churches. The on-site kitchen, meanwhile, continues to grow and improve; when I went this morning, it had mysteriously sprouted a kitchen sink, a counter top, and what appears to be an ice box. This in addition to the pantry and kitchen equipment. And when I inquired about whether one person oversaw the construction of the community kitchen, the answer I received was amazing; everything just came together. Many individuals saw ways they could help and brought or built what they could.

And of course, speaking of people bringing what they can, there have been many amazing food donations; people dropping off pots of soup and chili, platters of noodles, trays of cornbread, muffins, plates of brownies, bags of cookies, and so much fresh produce! I estimate that as of this morning they had at least my weight in broccoli – by now though it has probably mostly been made into stir fries and consumed.

Here is the potato salad that I brought the other day:

potato salad

I call it Croatian-style potato salad because my family is Croatian and we’ve always made our potato salad with herbs and a vinaigrette instead of mayo. I don’t typically measure anything when I make it; I tend to just eyeball the amounts and taste it to see if it’s good (and of course it’s always better the next day). So for this Food Not Bombs post, I’ll give you the recipe as a general guideline (which I think fits nicely with the anarchic sort of structure of Food Not Bombs). In the future I will try to quantify amounts for you so I can give a proper recipe!

Croatian-style Potato Salad for Food Not Bombs

Potatos. Lots and lots of potatos.
Vinegar (apple cider vinegar is tastiest but red wine vinegar and ordinary white vinegar also work. If you use balsamic, use less vinegar!)
Onion
Dill
Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Wash the potatos and peel them if they have ruddy skin. If they have smooth skin, you can peel them or not depending on your preference.

Cut the potatos into pieces about 1 inch square, and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly.

In a bowl or measuring cup, mix one part vinegar to 2 parts oil. Whisk until emulsified. Pour over the potatos.

Take either a bunch (5 or 6) of green onions and chop them, or one slice of sweet onion and mince it. Scatter the onions over the potatos. Take a handful each of parsley and dill, mince those, and scatter those on the potatos as well. Finally, sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika. Give it a stir, give it a taste, add more seasoning if it needs it, and there ya go! Easy and delicious potato salad. You can also add boiled green beans to this if you want.

Try not to stir it too much or the potatos will break down a lot! You can sprinkle a little sugar on it if you like your vinaigrette a little sweet, but with the apple cider vinegar I don’t think it needs it. Enjoy!

Here is another photo from the demonstration. There are a lot of people camping out!

If you have an Occupy demonstration happening near you and want to help out somehow, this is a message that is circulating on facebook:

THE TEMPERATURE IS DROPPING! SPUDS FOR BUDS: LOVE APPEAL. Please stick 20 baked potatoes wrapped in foil in the oven for an hour and a half at 350F before you leave. Drop them off at the food tent. THEY MAKE EXCELLENT HAND AND POCKET WARMERS as well as providing much needed nourishment – If you don’t have time to cook them, drop them off raw. If you live locally come pick up the raw ones and bake them. WE ARE FEEDING THE HOMELESS TOO!!!! PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH OTHER OCCUPY PAGES!..

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Chickpea Salad Sandwiches For a Crowd

Yesterday I went to downtown Vancouver to explore Occupy Vancouver and see if I could feed a few people with Food Not Bombs.

Liberating

The Occupy Movement is hard to define; I think it started with people being upset over the bank bailouts and now has morphed into Everything. It reminds me of that scene in the movie Network where everyone is shouting “I’m mad as heck and I’m not going to take it anymore!”. People worldwide are looking around and seeing their tax dollars going to wars and banks instead of to education, food security, and healthcare. I showed up because I want the world to be a better place, and I think many other people do, too.

I think everyone has something to contribute. I’m a decent cook and I love to feed people, and I think I can best promote the compassionate lifestyle of veganism by being an example of a happy healthy vegan who shares good food, so naturally I felt drawn to the Food Not Bombs tent.

Food Not Bombs

Food Not Bombs is a worldwide network of people devoted to feeding others. We think that there is enough food, money, and resources on this planet to make sure that not one person has to be a victim of food insecurity, malnourishment, famine; but those resources are mis-allocated by corrupt governments and corporations. Resources that could go towards feeding and caring for people are instead going towards funding weapons and wars. So Food Not Bombs promotes peacefulness, vegetarianism, and, of course, feeding people.

chickpea salad sandwhiches

These are the chickpea salad sandwiches that I brought to contribute to yesterday’s lunch meal.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches For a Crowd

2 to 3 loaves of bread, sliced thinly
1 head of lettuce, torn
Margarine

2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed well, and coarsely mashed
1 can of hummus OR 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed well and pureed smoothly
1/3 cup of vegan mayo (I used nayonaisse)
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup pickle relish
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
1 bunch (5 or 6) green onions, chopped finely
2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt, pepper, and paprika

After rinsing the chickpeas and mashing them with a potato masher until they are mostly mashed (some half-beans and whole beans left are okay, they’ll add texture!), mix in all of the other ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. If it needs a little somethin’, try a bit of fresh lemon juice or use some dijon mustard. The flavour will improve on standing.

Lay out an even number of bread slices (I put down 8 slices at at time.) Spread half with margarine. Put a piece of lettuce on each slice of maragarined bread. Take the plain bread slices, spread with the chickpea mixture, then use those to top the slice with the margarine and lettuce. Cut into halves or quarters.

This makes about 72 sandwich halves and probably fed around 30 people.

I also want to share with you something amazing I discovered at Food Not Bombs yesterday;

Blackberry jam and pumpkin seed butter

Blackberry jam and pumpkin seed butter. Try it.