As a queer person, I’ve witnessed my community both struggle and thrive in response to the pandemic. The digital revolution of online events has been a lifeline for many, with collectives such as Queer House Party providing much-needed repsite and connection in a time where the world feels increasingly fragmented. LGBT+ people have been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus, with the LGBT Foundation producing a report outlining exactly how and why the community’s mental and physical health has been uniquely impacted.
Strategies such as social isolation can have a greater impact on some LGBT people due to their circumstances, experiences, or conditions.Why LGBT People are Disproportionately Impacted by Coronavirus, LGBT Foundation
It’s in response to this isolation, as well as the broader social inequalities faced by queer people that we decided to set up Queer Food Project last Autumn. The concept behind the project is fairly simple: we knew lots of queer people who loved cooking and we knew lots of queer people who were struggling to access nutritious home-cooked food, so we just needed to connect the dots.
For the pilot scheme, we invited people who’d registered interest to cook an extra portion of food one night a week and then have this delivered by a volunteer. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive – sharing a home-cooked meal is something that lots of people have said they miss about the pre-COVID world, so I’m glad that the project has helped people feel more connected to the community through food.
Below is one of the recipes I cooked during the project – it’s a favourite of mine as it’s simple but delicious. I’ve not added quantities as it’s incredibly adaptable, whether you’re cooking for two or twelve people.
Lemon and Greens Pasta
- Green veg – you could use courgettes, broccoli, peas or broad beans
- Salad leaves – spinach, rocket, kale or rainbow chard
- Cherry tomatoes
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Nutritional yeast, or parmesan
- Unwaxed lemons
- Optional: cashews or pine nuts, toasted
- Zest and juice the lemons. Before juicing, stick your lemon halves in the microwave for 30 seconds and they’ll yield much more juice.
- In a jug, make a dressing from the olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, nutritional yeast / parmesan and plenty of salt & pepper.
- Roast your green veg and cherry tomatoes in olive oil. Feel free to add the juiced lemons to the roasting tray to imbue even more lemon-y flavour.
- While your vegetables roast boil the pasta, reserving a little of the starchy water when draining.
- Toast nuts if using.
- Add dressing to the cooked pasta, thoroughly mixing in the roasted greens and salad leaves.
- Serve topped with toasted nuts and an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast or parmesan.