Meals for the homeless

Meals for homeless – saute mushroom with bacon, onion, capsicum and green shallot

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Mama K has been cooking for the feed, and frequently carries the burden of making sure enough food for all the patrons. Last week, we had one of those crisis and I was asked to help out by cooking extra food. Mama K collected some rescued vegetables for me, including some lovely button mushrooms, which I used for a simple meal that they all loved and devoured.

Meals for homeless - saute mushroom with onion, capsicum and bacon

The meal was easy to prepare:

  • Trim off the stalks of the mushrooms, dice the stalks
  • Dice some bacon, capsicum, carrot and onion
  • Pan fried the above briefly in a wok with some butter and olive oil, then add the mushrooms, pan fried until the mushrooms were just cooked
  • Finally add some sliced green shallot (scallion) and black pepper

The meal was tasty.

Meal for homeless – white cooked chicken with oyster sauce and green shallot (FODMAP friendly)

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Simple and easy home-cooked meals are always appreciated at the homeless feed.

Meal for homeless - slow poached chicken with oyster sauce and green shallot (FODMAP friendly)

Here’s one of my simplest meal with whole chicken(s) with a few other ingredients –  oyster sauce, sesame oil (or cooking oil), corn flour, ginger and green shallot.  For a FODMAP friendly recipe, use only green part of the shallot.

To cook the chicken:

  1. In a large heavy pot, add hot water, salt, white pepper and a few slices of ginger
  2. Use a stick to poke a few holes in the thickest part of the chicken, lay the chicken in the water, breast down; bring to boil, and turn the heat off;  leave it on the stove for the remaining heat to cook the chicken for at lease 1 hours.
  3. Turn the chicken over and bring to boil, turn the heat off for 30 minutes.
  4. Bring it to boil again for a few minutes.
  5. Take the chicken out of pot, cool slightly, then pull the meat off, making sure all the meat is cooked; if slightly under cooked, return the pieces to the pot of hot water for a few minutes.

To make the sauce:

  1. Thinly slice some green shallot.  For a FODMAP friendly recipe, use only the green part of the shallot.
  2. In a small pot, bring some sesame oil and cooking oil (1/2 each) to high heat; remove the pot from heat, add the sliced green shallot and a little salt, saute for a few seconds with the residual heat;  add the shallot to the chicken, toss well.
  3. In a cup, mix a little corn flour with water  (1 tsp flour to 5 tbsp water).
  4. In a small pot,  add some oyster sauce and the corn flour mix, stir and bring to slow boil and removed from heat immediately; pour the sauce over the chicken.

Meals for the homeless – grilled chicken with Korean pepper flakes and Indian garlic ginger paste

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Simple, delicious and budget – 4 kilo of chicken fillets for our homeless friends. Have a great weekend everyone.

Grilled chicken fillet with Korean pepper flakes and Indian garlic and ginger paste

Easy steps as follows:

  • Dice the chicken drumstick or thigh fillet
  • Saute the chicken with generous amount of  cooking oil, Korean pepper flakes, Indian garlic and ginger paste, a dash of fish sauce, a little sugar
  • Once cooked, transfer to a plate, discard any liquid / sauce
  • Briefly grill the chicken pieces on a hot griddle,  splash a dash of dark soy sauce and toss slightly
  • Serve hot or chilled

 

Meals for the homeless – summer ice tea, and Mr J’s first night as a rough sleeper

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I met J at the homeless feed.  He was a regular volunteer. He loves to help out at the weekly street buffet. A warm and witty man,  J was a lawyer at a major bank before he became a rough sleeper.  Newly settled in social housing, J cooks delicious desserts  and muffins for his friends on the streets.

The street corner John once occupied.
The street corner J once occupied.

‘That was my sleeping spot,’ J pointed to a corner next to a shop front.

‘My first night on the street,’ J smiled, ‘Hunter gave me her bedding. She slept on the concrete floor that night.

‘For many years I had felt that I didn’t fit in, even though I had everything I needed, until the guys here accepted me unconditionally.’ 

‘Guys here, so many of them are willing to pull their shirts off their backs and offer it to you.’ 

‘Many think homeless people are drug addicts, alcoholics or have mental illnesses. I don’t smoke or drink. A car accident and circumstances put me on the streets among these guys.’ J said humbly. 

Inspired by the story,  I made a delicious ice tea to bring smiles and cheerfulness.

Perfect for the hot summer days – chilled lychee flavored Chinese tea, with lychee fruit, pineapple, cranberry, orange, lime, honey and mint.  They loved it so much, they asked for it the next week, and the week after. I have been making it for weeks.

With that, I wish for a simple world of kindness and acceptance for all souls, especially those quirky one.

Summer ice tea, with chilled lychee flavored Chinese tea, lychee fruit, pineapple, cranberry, orange, lime, honey and mint

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Meals for the homeless – Indian spiced chicken drumstick fillets

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A nearby butcher sells chicken drumstick fillets at an unbelievable price. This is gold – I reckon the drumstick is the best part of a poultry – juicy, tender and full of flavors.

This week, I made some Indian spiced chicken drumstick fillets for our homies.

So easy, with 3-4 simple steps:

  • Cut the chicken drumstick fillets into chunky pieces
  • Marinate the meat with garlic and ginger paste,  natural yogurt, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, mustard oil, sesame oil, salt, and black pepper 
  • Pan fry in small batches with a little cooking oil  
  • Optional garnish – sliced fresh mint, fresh chili and toasted sesame seeds.

Tasted pretty good.

Pan fried spiced chicken fillets

 

Meals for the homeless – chicken siumai dumplings

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Winter is finally here, and it rained most days last week. This means it was very uncomfortable for our rough sleepers, with many of them having to seek shelter at temporary accommodation. However, I was assured that they would not miss our homemade hot meals on Saturday night. So I made an extra effort to provide them with some nice food – apricot chicken, prawn and chorizo pilau, and chicken siumai dumplings.

Although time consuming, chicken siumai dumplings are very easy to make. My simplest version has only a few key ingredients – wonton wrappers, chicken mince, chicken bouillon powder, salt and white pepper, and cooking oil for pan frying.

Meals for the homeless - chicken siumai dumplings
I first made the meat filling, then the dumplings. I steamed the dumplings, following by pan-frying the dumplings slightly, so they won’t stick during transit to the homeless feed.

The easy method is illustrated as follows:

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Meals for the homeless: stir fry pork with soy sauce, lemon juice, tomato sauce, port wine, turmeric and cumin (gluten free option)

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Pork shoulders are cheap this week – $6 a kilo at the supermarket, perfect for a tasty budget meal for our homeless friends.

I bought two pork shoulders, which gave me about 3kg of good quality meat after I trimmed off the fat and skin. I marinated the pork slices with dark soy sauce^, light soy sauce^, lemon juice, tomato sauce,  brown sugar, port wine, turmeric, cumin and white pepper. I also added a cup of corn flour.  I mixed the ingredients well, and left the pork in the fridge overnight, covered.

The next day I pan fried the pork in small batches, using a generous amount of cooking oil.  I used the highest temperature possible, so I could achieve an intense ‘dry fry’ texture and taste.  After I finished cooking the pork, I added some saute capsicum slices and saute green shallot (scallion) for colors.

It tasted delicious. I hope our homeless friends enjoyed the dish.

^use a gluten free soy sauce for a GF option.

Stir fry pork with soy sauce, lemon juice, tomato sauce, port wine, turmeric and cumin (gluten free option)