by Audrey Sum, SOYL Suwa’lkh Crew
A Foodie’s Insight: Community Eats at Suwa’lkh
From a Foodie’s perspective, being part of the SOYL program allowed me to discover different meals and introduce vegetables from the local schoolyard garden in many ways to our diet.
What is Community Eats? Every Tuesday and Wednesday, crews at Suwa’lkh will switch every week to have the opportunity to cook lunch for the students with various delicious vegan and healthy meals ranging from curries to veggie burgers.
For sides, salad is always served at lunch time during Community Eats. The salad has mixed greens and sometimes kale or turnip tops included too. A side of roasted turnips is commonly served for lunch, they are turnips seasoned with salt and pepper that is roasted in the oven.
A choice of Hickory Dressing (also known as Fresh Root’s favourite dressing) or Balsamic vinaigrette can be paired with your salad. However, be careful of the dressing bottle, don’t squeeze it with too much force or the salad dressing will go flying across your plate.
Now for the most exciting part, I’ll be introducing my favourite meals eaten during Community Eats. In the first picture, it was a split pea soup with carrots, split peas, herbs, and broth boiled down together. To go along with the soup, the crew made some homemade crackers with a little bit of sea salt on top. For sides, there was salad greens with Balsamic vinaigrette and roasted potatoes.
The soup tasted sweet and delicious, as it complemented well with the soft carrots and split peas combination from the vegetables added to the soup to give it more flavour. Although the crackers were a bit hard and needed an amount of chewing, the taste was surprisingly good.
It was a lighter meal compared to other meals made at Community Eats, but it filled you up quickly and you wouldn’t have to get any seconds. The roasted potatoes were my favourite part of the meal, as the smaller bits of potato were soft inside and had a crispy texture on the outside that made you want more.
Saving the last for the best, this meal was a vegetable pizza with various vegetables that included spinach, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms. The pizza was simply amazing as it had many toppings and the cheese pull made everything better. I found out that the cheese was apparently vegan? It was my first time trying vegan cheese and I couldn’t differentiate between regular cheese and vegan cheese, I was shocked that it tasted exactly like it. The richness of the cheese and baked bread dough with vegetables was the definition of Umami. For sides, there was salad greens, roasted zucchini and turnips with salt and pepper. The taste of the zucchini was tender and sweet that completed the pizza lunch for today’s Community Eats.
If you’re in it to help out at the garden in exchange for eating and cooking delicious meals, SOYL is the right place for you during the sunny skies of July and August. This was an experience that made me understand how my food gets from the farm to my table through the process of harvesting and cleaning the vegetables that I eat.
Building stronger connections with my community and the crew, mentors, and facilitators that I’ve worked with over the past 6 weeks was an opportunity to share knowledge from staff and students and taught us the importance of having an open mind and taking care of the space around us.