Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Witch Sandwich

Looking for a fun sandwich to make for your Trick or Treaters before they head out for the big night? Why not make this really cute Witch sandwich? It's super easy and kids will get a few extra fruits and veggies too

A fun and easy Halloween treat for a quick lunch or dinner. Serve this as a cold sandwich or make a two-part grilled cheese and then assemble the witch.

For the Witch:
• 2 slices light bread
• 2 slices dark bread
• Green apple
• Carrot
• Olive slice
• Sandwich filling

Stack light slices of bread and cut out an angular head for the witch’s head. Stack dark bread and cut out a long, thin hat. Fill both sections with sandwich filling of your choice. A fun option here is to make grilled cheese. Set sandwich sections in place on the plate. Use long strip of green apple slice for the brim of the hat, layers two slices if needed. Cut small circular slices for polka dots from carrot and arrange on hat.

To make the hair, cut five irregular, slices of carrot and add to plate. Use an olive slice for the eye and a thin strip of apple for the mouth.

Happy Halloween!

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Quest's Big Event Through the Eyes of Draya

I usually find going out in the evening to be frustrating and way too draining. Quest has been important in my life so when I saw a call out for volunteers for the Partner Appreciation Event on October 14th, I didn’t hesitate to put in on my schedule. Being early in the evening and at a place I’m already comfortable with was very important.

I love a great party. Despite being an introvert, I actually like to be social, but find it very difficult most of the time. I find crowds and parties overwhelming and a high sensory stimulating environment. I often experience this as physically painful. I also struggle with social interaction; it’s not that I’m shy so much. I realize I don’t understand some basic things like knowing when my turn to talk is, or thinking of something to say, and getting what I mean to say to come out of my mouth how I think it.

I cleaned myself up and slipped into the cowboy boots Starla (another volunteer) and I found on the sidewalk on our way home from Quest a few months ago. I figured they would make a good conversation topic if I needed one.

When I arrived at 4pm the store was already buzzing. I walked up the stairs to the office, boots clacking away, to find it transformed. There was a coat rack in my usual workspace and small round tables placed around the room. Long buffet tables were covered in white tablecloths and centered by gorgeous flowers.

I was very anxious, feeling ill at ease, so I went looking for Starla and began taking photos since that was what I was here for. Having a camera gives me something to hold onto and something to do that takes my attention off my anxiety. The evening flew by.

The food prepared by the folks at the H.A.V.E. Café was amazing. I particularly liked the caramelized onion mini tarts, the baby samosas, and the caramel cake. I’m familiar with their sandwich trays from another volunteer gig at UBC Learning Exchange. The egg salad is my favourite (thanks for the egg on brown btw) as they use a nice sweet onion.

There was also a bar set up in the boardroom with a selection of red and white wine and a lovely non-alcoholic punch. Tending bar were some of the volunteers from Boston Pizza.

There were several moving speeches by a number Quest partners followed by a presentation of the short video by Leslie Dancey (http://www.leslieannedancey.com/promotional_videos.html) . I was blown away and am pretty sure there were a few people wiping the corner of their eyes by the time it ended.

Despite starring in it, Starla didn’t see it because she was downstairs getting ready for the main event of the evening. She was one of three folks on a team representing Quest volunteers in a cooking challenge. Also on the team were D, a new volunteer and Ritchie (who also did the dishes and took out the garbage at the end of the night).

The other two teams were from Helping Spirit Lodge and H.A.V.E.

Each team was allowed to choose 10 items from the Quest store and were given a single burner to create a unique meal. It was exciting to watch both the contestants and the crowd. I missed some shots because I was afraid to get in too close. After 45 minutes it was time for cooking to stop and judging to begin. The judges, Matthew Hoag from Boston Pizza and the guy from where?, sampled each teams creation before wandering off to confer in a quiet corner for several minutes.

The prize for first place was a Pizza Party for 10 at Boston Pizza and publication of the winning recipe.

The judges returned and declared that the Quest team was the winner! The other two teams were presented with gift certificates as well.

It was a great event. I saw some folks I know and met some new people. I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone for a few hours and I was completely wiped out, but it was worth it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rustic Dinner: Sausages, Apples & Onions

8 small links of sausage, or 4 links, cut in half
2 small onions, peeled and cut in half, lengthwise
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
salt and pepper
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Adjust the amount of onions, sausage or apples for the amount of people you are feeding. No real rules here.

Start by heating a 12" cast iron skillet w/ olive oil and placing the onion halves, cut side down. Cook about 5 minutes on medium heat.
You may need a splatter screen for this, the onions will probably spit.

DO NOT DISTURB OR MOVE THE ONIONS THE ENTIRE TIME OF COOKING.

Now add the sausage links and apple quarters to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.

With tongs, move the sausage links until brown on all sides and reduce the heat a bit. When the apples start to brown, turn them over with the tongs, all the while NOT DISTURBING THE ONIONS! I know - you're tempted.

After about 15 minutes, everything should be done. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve with crusty bread.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mustardy Braised Chicken

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
5-6 small shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise*
4 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water)
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely-chopped parsley

Place flour in a shallow bowl. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, turning to coat and shaking off excess.

In a Dutch oven or heavy 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. If necessary, cook the chicken in batches - whatever you do, don't crowd the pan.

Add shallots/onions and garlic to pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened and golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the wine (if using) and cook until nearly evaporated. Stir in the mustard and stock, and bring the sauce to a boil.

Return chicken, bone side down, to pot, nestling them into the sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through (juices should run clear when pierced), 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving the rest of the stew behind.
Add tomatoes and 3/4 of the parsley to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over high heat until tomatoes soften and sauce thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and return chicken to pot; cook until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. Garnish with remaining parsley before serving.

*If you don’t have shallots, just cut up a large onion into chunky pieces.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Butternut Squash Tart

Prepare Squash, you can do this ahead of time. Peel squash cut into chunks toss in a bit of olive oil salt and pepper then and roast in a 375F-400F oven till tender and golden.

Puff pastry, defrosted

Rollout the pastry on lightly floured parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pastry sheet. Prick the center of the pastry sheet thoroughly with a fork.

Caramelized Onions

Slice three onions into half moons and then sauté them in a dab of butter and olive oil, added a pinch of sugar and a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme slowly cooking them for almost 40 minutes until a rich golden brown color appears. Don't hurry this process even though you might want to, it really makes a difference!

For the kale Just take about 6 leaves and cut them chiffonade style (roll leaves into a cigar shape and slice thinly into ribbons) sauté in olive oil until wilted.

When all those components are finished sprinkle parmesan on the base of the puff pastry sheet, then spread the caramelized onions all around then touches of kale here and there, maybe a cup or so of cubed Fontina cheese scattered about, more parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil on top and along the border of the puff pastry, place in a 400F oven for 25- 30 minutes or until nicely browned on the bottom.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

Ingredients175g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
175g golden sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
4-rounded tbsps yogurt
2 eating apples
50g walnuts, roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp extra, chopped
50g soft toffees (we used Werther's chewy toffees)
2 tbsp cream

Directions
Heat oven to 325F. Grease a loaf tin and line the base and ends with a long strip of baking paper.

Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Tip in the flour, cinnamon and yogurt. Peel, core and chop apples into small chunks, then add to the bowl and mix everything together with a wooden spoon.

Scrape into the tin, smooth the top and scatter the walnuts down the middle. Bake on a middle shelf for 1 hr 20-30 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin.

To decorate, put the toffees in a small saucepan with the double cream. Gently heat, stirring, until toffees have melted into a smooth caramel sauce. Cool for about 1 min while you gently turn out the cake. Slowly drizzle the toffee sauce over the top of the cake. Scatter immediately with the extra walnuts - they should stick where they hit toffee. Leave for 10 mins before serving. Best fresh but will keep in an airtight tin for 3-4 days.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Waste Reduction Week

It is waste redcuction week in Canada. Have you thought about what you can do to reduce your ecological footprint?

Waste Reduction Week aims to inform and engage Canadians about the environmental and social ramifications of wasteful practices. It strives to educate, engage and empower Canadians to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

Since 1990, Quest has been reducing hunger and the amount of foodwaste in BC's Lower Mainland. One of our great partners in this mission is Boston Pizza International, who also happen to be featured on the Waste Reduction Week Website. Check out their case study at http://rcbc.bc.ca/files/u6/BostonPizza_SuccessStory.pdf.

If you know a company in the food industry who is trying to find a way to paarticipate in the Waste Reduction Week, point them to Quest Food Exchange.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Partnership with Fresh Direct Produce

Quest hosted its first Iron Chef Challenge as part of its Partner Appreciation Event on October 14th. The challenge proposed to the participants was to create a meal using only products from Quest. This was to simulate the experience of our clients who have very limited food preparation resources.

Each team was given one gas burner, one pan, and two knives. What they lacked in utilities was made up for by the amazing array of fresh produce provided by Fresh Direct Produce. Any cook will tell you that a dish is only as good as the ingredients you start with.

Fresh Direct was founded in 2003 by Albert Lum, Davis Yung, and Kam-Chiu Lee, starting with only ten employees and two trucks. By 2008 the have expanded their operations to a 55,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse one hundred employees and sixteen delivery trucks.

Over fifteen products were donated for the Iron Chef Challenge: Two types of mushrooms, red and green peppers, broccoli, thin young asparagus and bristling vibrant kale. There were also more exotic items such as gia lan, eggplant, bok choy and pineapple. Plus, cooking staples like Spanish and green onions, garden fresh baby carrots, and romaine lettuce.

Fresh Direct has decided to join the Quest family and provide a standing donation for Quest of the same items they provided for the Iron Chef Challenge. Clients of Quest will benefit greatly from having a sense of consistency with produce in the store.

“Knowing I can count on those things being in the store week after week makes meal planning for my family a lot easier,” said one Quest client.

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For more info on Fresh Direct, please go to http://www.freshdirectproduce.com

Chewy Granola Bars

These thick granola bars can be customized with any kind of nuts, seeds and dried fruit your kids like, in any proportion.

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups quick rolled oats, barley flakes, or a combination
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 cups chopped dried fruit, nuts and seeds
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter
1/3 cup liquid honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray an 8″x8″ pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, oat flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, nut butter, honey and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until well blended and crumbly. Press into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A short video for Quest Food Exchange


Quest Food Exchange from Leslie Anne Dancey on Vimeo.

Pasta With Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Between the peppers and the tomatoes, this dish is packed with lycopene, as well as vitamins C, A, B6 and K. If you use a food processor to puree the sauce, be sure to strain it afterward for a smooth, elegant texture. Serves six.

Ingredients
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced
1½ lbs red peppers, cut in large dice
1¼ - 1½ lbs tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 sprig fresh basil (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1lb spaghetti

Directions
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or heavy casserole over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the garlic and peppers. Add a generous pinch of salt, and cook, stirring often, until the peppers have softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil sprig, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat, about 10 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes (or longer), stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the basil sprig, and put the peppers and tomatoes through the fine blade of a food mill, or puree in a food processor and press through a strainer. Return to the pan, and keep the sauce warm while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package but checking a minute before the indicated cooking time. Stir ¼ - ½ cup of the pasta cooking water into the sauce, then drain the pasta and toss with the sauce.

Advance preparation: You can make the sauce several hours before you cook the pasta. It will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but you’ll want to thin it out with pasta cooking water.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Fall Fruit

This is a dish takes no time at all for a tasty dessert. Try it with any seasonal fruit and it works well for a breakfast treat, too - serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups seedless red grapes
4 plums, pitted and quartered
2 Bartlett pears, quartered and cored
Vanilla ice cream or yogurt
2 tbsps honey

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. place grapes, plums and pears in a single layer in a shallow sheet pan and roast, tossing the fruit occasionally, until the fruit is soft, about 24 minutes. Serve in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Friday, October 8, 2010

Zingy Quick and Tasty Stir-Fry

Stir-fries are a brilliant way of getting lots of veggies into your diet without compromising on taste. This one is full of zingy flavours and healthy, tasty vegetable. Chinese cabbage is a great standby vegetable which will last quite a while in the fridge and works well in stir-fries such as this one or eaten raw in a crunchy Asian salad – serves 4.

Ingredients
250g noodles of your choice
2 tbsps soy sauce
1 tsp honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated or sliced in thin matchsticks
½ head Chinese cabbage, roughly shredded
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 red chili, finely chopped

Directions
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and set aside.

Whisk together the soy sauce, honey and lime juice in the bottom of a large bowl. Add in the chopped vegetables, except for the onion, garlic and chilies, and toss until everything is combined.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until it’s very hot, add the onion, chili and garlic and stir-fry for about 40 seconds.

Add in the veggies and stir-fry until they are tender. You can check this by taking a bite. Then add the noodles and toss in with all the vegetables until combined, then fry for a further minute.

Serve straight away or allow to cool then pop in a lunchbox for the next day.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Upside-Down Caramel-Apple Muffins

Apple Topping Ingredients
3 apples (1½ lbs), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
½ cup dark brown sugar
4 tbsps unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Muffins Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
8 tbsps unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Generously grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir together the apples, ½ cup brown sugar, 4 tbsps butter and pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 15 minutes.

Distribute the apple slices among the muffin cups. Add walnuts, if using, on top of the apple slices.

To make the muffins, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and ¼ tsp salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until smooth. Distribute the batter on top of the apples. Bake until the muffins are slightly puffed, about 20 to 22 minutes.

Allow the muffins to cool partly in the pan; turn onto a platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 12 muffins.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quest Food Exchange Wants You!

Quest has a very special opportunity for you to volunteer.

On the evening of October 14, we are in need of photographers, greeters, servers and general helpers. Between the hours of 4 and 8 pm, we will need up to 25 volunteers. If you or someone you know are able to pitch in, please contact Kyle at kburgess@questoutreach.org or 604-602-0186 ext 109.

Are healthy school lunches driving your kids to junk?

In the leafy surrounds of Kerrisdale, an old-money enclave on Vancouver’s west side, Point Grey Secondary School is losing the junk food war.

Two years ago the student cafeteria revamped its menu to meet British Columbia’s new food regulations for schools. Salads now have reduced-sodium dressing, cookies contain less sugar and potatoes are baked, not fried.

But when the lunch bell rings, Point Grey students swarm to the neighbouring McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Frankies Candy Bar, and Flying Wedge, where $3.50 buys a “student combo” of a pizza slice and pop that add up to 900 calories.

Read more at:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/are-healthy-school-lunches-driving-your-kids-to-junk/article1738350/

Pasta With Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Between the peppers and the tomatoes, this dish is packed with lycopene, as well as vitamins C, A, B6 and K. If you use a food processor to puree the sauce, be sure to strain it afterward for a smooth, elegant texture. Serves six.

Ingredients
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced
1½ lbs red peppers, cut in large dice
1¼ - 1½ lbs tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 sprig fresh basil (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1lb spaghetti

Directions
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or heavy casserole over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the garlic and peppers. Add a generous pinch of salt, and cook, stirring often, until the peppers have softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil sprig, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat, about 10 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes (or longer), stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the basil sprig, and put the peppers and tomatoes through the fine blade of a food mill, or puree in a food processor and press through a strainer. Return to the pan, and keep the sauce warm while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package but checking a minute before the indicated cooking time. Stir ¼ - ½ cup of the pasta cooking water into the sauce, then drain the pasta and toss with the sauce.

Advance preparation: You can make the sauce several hours before you cook the pasta. It will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but you’ll want to thin it out with pasta cooking water.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

Beet and Potato Roesti

Ingredients
4-6 med. beets, about a ½ cup when grated
2 small potatoes, scrubbed
salt and pepper
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup flour
1 tbsp butter & 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions
Trim and scrub the beets then peel them. Grate them into a medium bowl. Start preheating a large skillet over medium heat. Working fast, so they don’t discolour, grate the potatoes into the same bowl as well. Add the salt, pepper, and scallions and combine well. Then add the flour a few tablespoons at a time until well combined.

Melt the butter/oil into the skillet until it foams. Put the mixture into the middle of the pan and flatten out with a spatula. It should be a centimeter or thinner. Cook for 8-10 minutes until nice and crispy.

To flip it over, place a large plate over top and flip the frying pan over then slide the Roesti back into the pan. Cook until the other side is crispy about another 8 -10 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature in sliced wedges with green onions on top. You might like to dollop some sour cream or plain yogurt on each slice.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com

Draya ponders food waste

While I was taking photos for Quest I noticed this pile of empty plastic containers sitting on top of the recycling bins. This brought a few questions to mind.

Why are these empty?

Due to a variety of circumstances, even we at Quest are unable to use absolutely everything. Sometimes products arrive already expired, and other times there are just more jars of pickles then there are people. When this happens, we try not to throw anything away. The contents are composted and the containers are cleaned for recycling.

This brought to mind more questions. Does it really get recycled? Where does it go?

After finding the recycling pile I came into the office and was talking about it with Kyle. I was surprised that all the items were recyclable, and reflected back on a documentary I watched over the weekend about plastic. Even though it is possible to recycle some items, there is either no market for the recycled product or no local facilities to process it. Lots of it was ending up at the landfill even when it had been put in the blue box.

I looked up the website for the company that Quest uses to recycle, Urban Impact. The first thing I noticed was that they recycle soft plastic such as pallet wrap and plastic bags as well as batteries, fluorescent tubes, and hazardous non-biological stuff like drywall and fiberglass, along with the typical mixed containers and paper recycling.

They provide a detailed breakdown of what kind of containers they do and don’t take on this page: http://www.urbanimpact.com/recycling/programs/SortMixedContainers.pdf

Last year (2009) Quest diverted 115 cubic yards of recycled material from the landfill using Urban Impact. I’m told that is equal to about 57 full size pickup trucks and 17 tonnes of carbon emissions.

We try to put out the best quality of produce but it’s inevitable that there is some spoiled food that can’t be sold. At Quest we compost any organic matter we can’t sell, and is picked up by Smithrite Disposal ltd. You’ve probably seen the logo on bins and trucks around the city. I didn’t know that they were more than a garbage collection company.

They will pick up fruits & vegetables, food scraps, bakery discards, flowers, leaves, plant stalks, soiled paper like napkins and coffee cups, meats & fish, coffee grounds/filters, tea bags, and biodegradable products including plates/ cutlery/ cups.

Smithrite can work together with customers like us to find ways to reduce waste and minimize what ends up in the landfill by performing an audit. They also do residential pickup services and I was interested to see that they are working on a pilot project with Coquitlam and Metro Vancouver where 500 households can include household scraps in their yard trimmings.

More info: http://www.metrovancouver.org/foodrecycling/Pages/default.aspx

Photo of the bins and containers.
http://www.metrovancouver.org/foodrecycling/Pages/default.aspx

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Written by Draya, a Quest volunteer and client

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons

Ingredients
3 tbsps olive oil
3 cups cubed bread + 1 additional slice, separated.
2 ½ lbs plum or whatever good tomatoes you’ve got, peeled, cut into 1-inch dice,
2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp)
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly slivered basil leaves, or your herb of preference
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. The dish can be a little soupy if the tomatoes are very juicy so if you’d rather avoid that, combine tomatoes and salt in a colander to drain.

Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Add the bread cubes and stir so that they are evenly coated with oil. Cook cubes, tossing frequently, until toasty on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove toasted cubes from the pan and add to a shallow 8-cup baking dish.

Add remaining 1 tbsp of oil and garlic to the pan and sauté garlic until golden. Add tomatoes and sugar, and cook stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, to cook down some of the juices. Add one slice of un-toasted bread (cubed), and let that bread mush into the tomato juices to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in the basil. Pour the tomato mixture into the baking dish with the toasted bread and stir to combine. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake 30 to 35 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm...leftovers are amazing with a poached egg on top.

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Created for Quest by Chris at:
foodelf.wordpress.com