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Vegan Chicken Curry

Makes 12 servings

2 cups dry soy curls
1 package frozen veggies (peas & carrots)
2 cans coconut milk
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves Garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp salt

Mix the bouillon with boiling water. Hydrate the soy curls in the bouillon mix. Let soak for 10 min. Using a strainer, remove the soy curls from the water and press to remove excess water. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the soy curls for 2-3 minutes until they’re browned. Remove from heat.

In a 4 quart pot set to medium heat pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic for 2-3 min. Add in the tomato paste and spices and cook for 1 min. Add in the coconut milk & canned diced tomatoes, stir to combine thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a simmer then add in the canned garbanzo beans, frozen veggies and the soy curls. Stir to combine and let simmer for 5-6 minutes. Serve over rice or with naan.

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Green Sauce Recipe

Makes 16oz

1 bunch cilantro
2 limes (juiced)
3 garlic cloves
3 green onions (heads and half the greens)
6 tablespoons water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 avocado

Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender on high for 45-60 seconds. Store in an airtight container. Keeps for 1 week in the refrigerator.

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FJC Fajita Recipe

Makes 12 servings

1/4 cup Better Than Bouillon brand veggie paste
2 quarts water
1 quart dry soy curls
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 bell peppers (thinly sliced)
1 large yellow onion (thinly sliced)

Fajita Seasoning:
4 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Smoked paprika
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp granulated sugar

Mix the bouillon with boiling water. Hydrate the soy curls in the bouillon mix. Let soak for 10 min. Using a strainer, remove the soy curls from the water and press to remove excess water. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the soy curls for 2-3 minutes until they’re browned. Remove from heat.

Pour 1 tablespoon of oil over the veggies and mix thoroughly. Mix all the spices, then pour them over the veggies and toss to coat thoroughly. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on high. Sauté veggies 5-6 min on medium/high heat. Once veggies are done, toss in the soy curls and stir to combine. Pair with your favorite flour tortillas and enjoy.

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Hibiscus Agua Fresca for 8

Makes 2 quarts

2 quarts water
1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1/4 cups sugar
Ice (for serving)

Boil 2 quarts of water. Once water is boiling, add the hibiscus flowers and turn off the heat. Steep the flowers for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture to remove the flowers. Place the strained mixture into a 3+ quart container. Add the sugar and mix until fully dissolved. Chill the agua fresca for 60 min. Serve over ice.

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How a member of the Utah Homelessness Council upended a feed-the-hungry program

Providing prepared food rather than shelf stable pantry basics “solve[s] a lot of issues for families and students who are really short on time and can’t eat nutrient dense food because of budget.” Padilla said. “They don’t have time to prepare their meals into something healthy.”

Read the full article here.

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FJC’s Jeanette Padilla talks on RADIOACTIVE

Roundtable Tuesday’s attitude of gratitude panel discussed food insecurity and community resources with:

Listen to the full radio show at

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FJC Keeps its Mission in the Kitchen

Jeanette Padilla demonstrates how a childhood on the edges of poverty can inform astute humanitarian leadership. Padilla’s nonprofit organization, Food Justice Coalition, operates in answer to lived experience. The coalition works to provide blankets, kitchen implements, money, and bureaucratic assistance to people living without shelter, but Padilla’s central priority is to deliver healthy, appealing meals to people who subsist on substandard provisions.

“We have all these preconceived notions of what it is to help people experiencing homelessness,” Padilla said in a recent interview with TechBuzz. “As a society we take up the wrong approach because we see them as outside of ourselves—when they’re just essentially us.”

That is, we hand a box of pizza or a McDonald’s sack through the car window. We contribute canned goods, bagged bread, and sometimes frozen meat to food pantries—important stock items, but, as Padilla points out, not vital nutrition.

“What would you want to eat if you didn’t have access to food all the time and you’re not feeling good, or you’re feeling tired? Would you want to eat hamburgers and pizza and granola bars and donuts every day, three meals a day? Once in a while, you’ve got to eat something that’s not making you feel bad in your body.”

Padilla is not condemning anyone who shares food. “It’s not that people don’t care about what they’re feeding people that are unsheltered. It’s just easy to distribute those kinds of foods because they’re cheap, and some of them are shelf stable. But I think we ‘other’ people who are experiencing homelessness. We don’t think about their health, and what conditions they might be living with, and what their food preferences are.”

Childhood circumstance prompted Padilla to grow up quickly, alert to the needs of others. Relocations between California and Mexico strained her family’s tenuous access to food and shelter. At fourteen, she spoke better English than her immigrant parents, so it became her responsibility to contract attorneys for a brother who had fallen into trouble. Hard history now grants Padilla the empathy and know-how to address human need on a meaningful scale—and to help people on either side of the hunger gulf to reach across.

Read the full article at Techbuzz

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Food for thought with the FJC

When Jeanette Padilla began raising money for a Christmas dinner to feed the unsheltered back in December 2020, she raised a lot more than anticipated. After feeding over 200 people, “We thought, ‘Let’s keep feeding people,’” she says. “We saw that there was a real need beyond what we were able to do for Christmas.” The surplus donations ran out three months later, and the Food Justice Coalition (FJC) took its place with Padilla at the helm, providing nutrient-dense, vegan meals on a nearly weekly basis.

The FJC is community-powered at every step: A volunteer team prepares the meals before distributing the same day to several unsheltered encampments around Salt Lake. Monetary donations help purchase ingredients, and local restaurants such as Publik Ed’s donated kitchen space when it had closed due to the pandemic. Other restaurants and small farms donate surplus food, helping to avoid food waste.

Read the full article at Slugmag

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Why FJC is making vegan, plant-based meals for the homeless

Robby Rocha says people will often walk through the encampment where he was living last month in a field on Salt Lake City’s west side with bags full of food from McDonald’s or Burger King.

“I’ll eat it because you’re hungry,” he said. “McDonald’s is good. But I like when they bring homemade meals and homemade soups and stuff.”

At that moment, Rocha was sitting outside his tent on a camp chair, downing a plant-based meal distributed by volunteers from the Food Justice Coalition, a community group that has been working for the past few months to distribute healthy meals to people experiencing homelessness.

Read the full article at The Salt Lake Tribune

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