Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pakoras and Mint Chutney - Vegan and Gluten Free

1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
2 pickled green chillies
½ inch ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbls lime juice
1 tsp salt
4 tbls water

Blend until smooth.

2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 tbls chopped ginger, minced
2 green chillies, minced
1 tsp fennel seed powder
½ tsp red chili seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
a pinch of asafetida, also known as hing
2 tbls brown sesame seeds
1 cup chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour
3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
Sunflower seed oil for deep frying

Mix everything together, to form a cake-like batter.

Spoon batter into hot oil and fry till the edges appear golden brown, then flip. Approximately 3 minutes for each batch. Drain on towels and serve while hot with dipping sauces like the mint chutney, shown above. 

You can substitute any vegetables in place of the onions and spinach.

These can also be made in large batches, layered in between wax paper, and frozen for later.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

If you live in the Buffalo region, come to SOLE of Buffalo's first fundraiser!

SOLE of Buffalo is pleased to present the first in a series of micro fundraisers to help us pool together the funds we need to complete our IRS paperwork and more to secure the building we want to purchase for our center, the VFW located at 219 West Ferry Avenue in the Westside of Buffalo.

This first event will be located at:

St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church's Parish Hall
(Through the bright red doors facing Lafayette Avenue.)
51 Colonial Circle Buffalo, NY 14222

Sunday, February 23, 2014
from 4 to 6pm

We will accept cash or credit!

Only $5 for a hot to-go bowl of soup, a slab of bread with butter, and a beverage as well. You can stay and mingle or stow and go.

All of the food will include seasonally, organically, locally, and ethically sourced ingredients! As you can see, lots of of scrumptious choices!

Menu includes:
1. Moong Dal (A vegan Indian lentil)
2. Italian Wedding (Turkey meatballs)
3. Chili (Made with local grass-fed beef, organic tomatoes and peppers and garlic from Plato Dale Farm.)
4. Chicken Noodle
5. Cream of Mushroom
6. Vegetarian Minestrone

$3 a piece for the
Potato Knishes and Baklava

Have questions? 
Want to offer donations to this and future Hub Raisers
Want to share a soup or sandwich recipe for our cookbook fundraiser
Want to be involved with SOLE of Buffalo?

You can email us at SOLE of Buffalo.

SOLE's Dharma Kitchen and Prana Pantry will be the first seasonal, organic, local, and ethical pay-it-forward restaurant and pantry. We will serve Buffalo's most diverse and financially desperate people. SOLE will have a variety of classes that focus on food preparation, improving one's health, and increasing independence. Throughout the year, SOLE will host events to immerse in the area's unique cultural wealth, to encourage involvement in SOLE, and to food/fundraise.

SOLE of Buffalo believes that access to local, sustainable, delicious, nutritious, and culturally relevant food is a universal right, regardless of socioeconomic status or race. We support all local gardening and food production efforts and promote the growth of seasonal, organic, local, and ethical food throughout the Western New York area through our website and social media presence. Our work is important to WNY because we strengthen both community health and local economies by increasing relationships between local farmers and the community and between the community and healthful foods. SOLE's Dharma Kitchen and Prana Pantry will be the first seasonal, organic, local, ethical, and non-religious soup kitchen and pantry. There will be classes on cooking, baking, food preservation, gardening, seed saving, and more as the center expands. We will create a community recycling and composting zone to teach and encourage home usage.

Use of emergency food resources has increased regionally. WNY Food Bank notes an 82% increase of usage, while soup kitchens note a 63% increase, with 39% of the clients being under 18. 53% of households chose between paying for food or utilities & 34% chose between food or housing. 33% of households report that at least one member is in poor health, and 33% have unpaid medical bills. The majority of regional illnesses are diet-related with high incidences of diabetes and cardiac illness. The SNAP program is being reduced to its pre-2009 temporary stimulus allocation bill, publicly viewed as a cut of $5 billion dollars. An additional $39 billion will be cut from the program over 10 years by restricting who can qualify for SNAP. This provision will bar states from providing SNAP assistance to newly unemployed, childless workers in future recessions. WNY, and Buffalo in particular, has high unemployment rates. Buffalo's 10.1% rate means more people are out of work and utilizing social services like SNAP as compared to the rest of the state. With less money going to the Food Bank and the SNAP program and other related social service programs, more people will be utilizing area soup kitchens and privately run pantries. Traditionally these two options mean a temporary alleviation to a systemic problem. The goal of SOLE is to create a center that meets the immediate needs while teaching ways to reduce the need for long term assistance.

Our target population consists of immigrants, refugees, and people affected by long-term issues of poverty and health. However, while there is great poverty, there is also great affluence, and neither exists in a vacuum. The entirety of Buffalo will be impacted by the inclusiveness of SOLE's programming. Major concerns with food security can be exacerbated by illness, disability, unemployment, and housing. Unpredictable housing leads to uncertainty of methods of food storage, preparation, and difficulty accessing social services. SOLE will ultimately improve the lives of those impacted by issues of poverty, and in turn, the whole of Buffalo, by addressing immediate food concerns and offering educational programming that will combat long term food insecurity.