According to Daily Bread’s Who’s Hungry 2023 report, one in ten people in the city now rely on food banks, twice as many as the year prior. Food bank usage rates have reached skyrocketing levels. Everyone has the right to food, and relying on a food bank shouldn’t mean sacrificing nutrition or flavour when it comes to feeding your family.
Using ingredients found at the New Toronto Street Food Bank, located at Daily Bread’s headquarters, Food Services Manager, Mike Greenberg, shows how to create a delicious, nutrient dense meal.
Much the same as any clients accessing the food bank, he shopped the produce section, stocked with fruits and vegetables from oranges and apples, to beetroot and eggplant.
In the freezer section, he found meat alternatives, chicken and ground beef.
The shelves were lined with a variety of protein-packed items like chickpeas and lentils, and staples like bread and potatoes.
“Recipes don’t have to be complex to be nutritionally balanced and taste good. You can easily create recipes that nourish the body and soul,” says Mike.
Once finished, Mike settled on a combination of hearty ingredients including chicken legs and lentils for protein, and potatoes, orzo and mushrooms for some added bulk.
To elevate the flavours, he added roasted peppers, onion and garlic. These ingredients not only enhance the overall taste but also add essential nutrients that help make this dish a healthy one.
Mike rounded out the recipe with a few simple items found in most pantries, including chicken stock (you can substitute water), salt, pepper and a glug of olive oil.
If you would like to enjoy this dish, or make it for loved ones to enjoy, simply follow the instructions below. This recipe yields four servings.
Roasted Chicken leg with Mushroom, Red Pepper and Lentil
4 chicken legs
3 small onions (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (sliced)
1 pack mushroom (225g)
3 small potatoes (medium dice)
1 can of lentils
1 small jar of roasted peppers (150ml)
1 cup of orzo pasta
1 cup chicken stock (substitute water)
2 tbsp oil
In a hot skillet, sear chicken pieces in oil, and season with salt and pepper. When the skin is golden, remove from the pan and place in oven at 350 degrees until fully cooked and crispy in appearance (approx. 40 mins). Set aside.
In the same skillet, sauté onions and potatoes until the onions soften. If the pan is too dry, deglaze with water or stock. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 mins, and then finally add the rinsed lentils, and stock. Cook for 15 mins until the potatoes are fully cooked and softened. Add roasted peppers, and check seasoning.
In a pot of salted boiling water, simmer the orzo pasta until it’s cooked (approx. 10 mins). Strain, and toss in olive oil and parsley.
Serve the lentil and mushroom stew with the orzo, and top with the roasted chicken.
With the support of our farm to food bank donors, who help ensure that 70% of the food Daily Bread provides to agencies across the city is fresh, to our volunteers who stock the shelves and support our clients, we can ensure no one has to compromise on the quality of the food they receive.
You can support Daily Bread in providing access to fresh, nutrient dense foods like those in this recipe, by making your donation today.