Quick and easy recipes Haven't cooked yourself a meal since school started? These two recipes from a McMaster professor and student are impossible to mess up and cost-effective


Recipes by Dr. Kee Young and Gabi Herman

Prof. Yong’s Chinese Green Vegetables

I will share with you how to prepare Chinese green vegetables, either with Bokchoi, Chinese Broccoli either Kailan or Yoy Choy. These are vegetables you normally order at any Chinese restaurants that normally charge you between $7 to $10 when you can actually cook it yourself for less than $2. This is not only a simple and nutritious dish but also extremely cheap compared with what you have to pay at any Chinese restaurant.



Chinese Broccoli (either Kailan or Yoy Choy).

Mushroom or oyster sauce

Vegetable or olive oil

Fried shallots

1 Tbsp of sugar


  1. Wash and rinse the vegetables. Set up a pot and boil the water.
  2. Add in one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add in one tablespoon of sugar. Once the water boils, throw in the vegetables for a minute or you see the water is boiling again.
  3. With a Chinese colander, lift­­ — up the vegetables and rinse them under water.
  4. After you have rinsed the vegetables, return them to the boiling water but only for a maximum of 10 seconds.
  5. Rinse the vegetables and set them on a plate.
  6. Now the sauce. Dress them using any hoisin sauce – mushroom or oyster sauce which you can easily buy from any Asian supermarkets – fried shallots and either vegetable or olive oil.

Gabi’s Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Last summer, I discovered a generic-looking student cookbook at a book sale in Toronto. The recipes were mostly generic as well, and only ever used salt and pepper.

I found this recipe for a lentil shepherd’s pie in there, and mostly ignored the directions. I ended up with a warm, filling shepherd’s pie that kept well in the fridge, reheated well in the microwave and kept me fed through the exam season. For spices, I recommend thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne powder. This recipe changes every time I make it, so please modify it in whatever way works for you. One of my favourite substitutions is using mashed sweet potato on top instead of potato.


For the filling:

1 Tbsp oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup of frozen vegetable mix (something with peas and carrots)

1 cup of red or brown dry lentils

2 cups of canned tomatoes

1 cup of water

2 Tbsp of parsley

Spices to taste

For the mashed potatoes on top:

4-5 medium potatoes OR two servings of instant mashed potatoes

2 Tbsp of milk or milk substitute

1 Tbsp of butter or margarine

Salt and pepper


  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan. Sauté the garlic until fragrant, then add the onion and spices and fry until softened.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes, water, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Add seasoning, milk, and butter and mash them with a fork. (If you’re making instant potatoes, you’re in luck: follow the directions on the package.)
  4. Add the frozen vegetable mix and the parsley into the lentils, and simmer for ten more minutes. Add salt to taste, then put the mixture into an oven-safe dish.
  5. Spread the potatoes on top of the lentils with a spatula or spoon. Bake for about 15 minutes at 425° F, until the top is golden brown.


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