U of G Students Cook Up New Recipe Book

September 08, 2011 - News Release

Butterscotch clusters are delicious and easy to make — soon you can indulge yourself and, at the same time, benefit a worthy cause, said University of Guelph student Ivy Lam, cookbook team co-ordinator and co-author of The Guelph Student Cookbook along with the Central Student Association (CSA) Food Bank and 40 cookbook team volunteers.

Ivy LamWhen Lam, a 2011 applied human nutrition grad, was volunteering at the food bank two years ago, a number of students requested recipes for unfamiliar items such as rutabaga, couscous and lentils. The new cookbook is intended to help students make healthy choices and prepare hearty meals on a limited budget. All proceeds from its sales go to the food bank.

“I believe that the cookbook will be a big help to students, whether it’s through the funds raised from sales of the cookbook or from learning to use the ingredients provided by the food bank," Lam said. "Students are usually on a limited budget. After classes, studying, extracurricular activities and part-time work, many students simply don’t find the time to prepare well-balanced meals, even if they have the skills to do it.

“For others, it’s their first time living on their own, and they may not know how to cook. Sometimes, between rent, tuition and electricity bills, students don’t manage to make their money stretch far enough, and food is frequently the first thing they cut back on.”

A food writing course in 2010 helped Lam gain the confidence to begin the project. She contacted Molly McManus, the 2010-2011 food bank co-ordinator, to discuss her proposal. Lam and Shaylin Aarssen, nutrition student and cookbook co-author, recruited other student volunteers from the applied human nutrition program, the arts and science community initiative course, and student members of the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals. They also recruited food bank staff and volunteers and several U of G faculty and staff members.

“Our intention was to provide a variety of recipes that were quick and easy to prepare,” Lam said, “and because we have a large vegan population on campus, we decided to offer some vegan recipes and tips on ingredient substitutions to make a vegan version of a recipe. We also included a section in the cookbook that addresses cooking methods and food safety and a section on local and seasonal foods.”

McManus supplied the basic food items, but team members supplemented the ingredients and even took the work home to try out in their own kitchens, including conducting taste tests and writing assessments.

Lam said the recipes turned out well and achieved their goals. “In addition to student favourites like easy pasta, pizzas, potatoes and banana bread, we got creative. There’s a beautiful spaghetti pie and an amazingly tasty black bean hummus dip.

"Laura French, a graduate student, also helped a great deal by staying up late in a computer lab checking the nutritional information for each recipe.”

Lam and one other volunteer designed much of the book using InDesign and PhotoShop, with support from University Design and Print. Its eye-catching cover was designed by Laura Simon, the current food bank co-ordinator.

Founded in 2004, the student-funded CSA Food Bank provides emergency food and anti-poverty resources, and referrals to other food security, anti-poverty and financial assistance groups.

For a suggested donation of $2 for food bank clients and $5 for others, The Guelph Student Cookbook will be available in Branion Plaza Sept. 10 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will also be available at the CSA Food Bank in the Federal Annex Building at 620 Gordon St. over the next few weeks.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, shiona@uoguelph.ca.

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