potluckBy Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator

Staff at the Toronto Vegetarian Association are fortunate to work for a great boss, David. He had arranged a fun potluck lunch this week so we could get to know better our relatively new Festival and Events Coordinator, Alyssa de Hoop.

However poor David wound up falling sick this week, which meant it was just us girls at the potluck on Wednesday: myself, Alyssa and our stellar veg directory coordinator Andrea.

Andrea brought impeccable vegan “crab cakes” from Post Punk Kitchen (theppk.com/recipes) and I brought super creamy “chicken salad” from one of my favourite cookbooks, The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet and a new recipe for cocoa-avocado truffles I came across in the newspaper.

It turns out Alyssa is not only a great addition to the team because of her keen skills in event coordination, marketing and customer service, but she’s also got a way in the kitchen too!

Alyssa at potluckInspired by this recipe she found online, Alyssa surprised us by showing up with two bags full of groceries so she could put together on the spot a 6 layer dip for the nacho chips she brought along. If you think of chips & dip as an appetizer you munch on when you arrive at a party, think again. This was definitely a meal in its own right, consisting of all four vegetarian food groups.

We didn’t want to be greedy so we thought we’d share it with you! Assuming you have a mini-fridge at the office, here’s something you could easily put together on a Sunday in any sort of long-shaped tupperware or take out container, then bring it to work for the week along with some chips or pitas and you’ll have a hearty, healthy lunch to get you through the day.

Starting from the bottom up, layer:

  1. A can of refried beans
  2. A tub of storebought hummus
  3. One mashed avocado (Alyssa added in Epicure guacamole seasoning)
  4. Cooked quinoa (Alyssa had cooked hers with some spices)
  5. Pico de gallo (Alyssa’s had diced tomatoes, chopped onion and cilantro)
  6. Olives