FOOD REVOLUTION DAY 2013!! EASY PEASY PILAF

FOOD REVOLUTION DAY 2013

Join in the FOOD REVOLUTION TODAY!

Quinoa Pilaf FRD 2013

It’s a big day for all of us who believe in bringing back real food and real cooking.  Especially Jamie Oliver, who believes so strongly that he has used his star status and success to organize a day that is being celebrated not just in Britain but all over the world for the second year in a row.

“Jamie Oliver and the Food Revolution Day team want to change the way people eat by giving them the skills and knowledge to cook again, as well as motivating people to stand up for their right to better food. Food Revolution Day aims to educate and inspire people everywhere to cook and enjoy better food and empower them to demand better food standards and improved food education from governments, schools and food manufacturers.”  foodrevolutionday.com

Visit the Food Revolution Day website to find out whats going on today and tune in to Jamie’s Food Tube Channel on YouTube to watch the festivities live.  Cook something real, something healthy, something simply good and good for you today to celebrate.
Here’s a suggestion-
Quinoa Pilaf FRD 2013

Zesty Quinoa Pilaf

serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse under cool running water, rubbing the grains with your hand for at least 2 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup water or broth and quinoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium-high. Add the oil and swirl it around to coat pan. Then add the bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  4. Stir the cooked vegetables into the cooked quinoa, then add the tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss gently and pour into a serving bowl.
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Dreamy Greek Salad

I have a dream.  To live on the side of a Greek island overlooking the beautiful sea, where I can walk or bike all over the town making stops at market stalls to buy fresh produce and seafood all year long.  The ocean waves would lull me to sleep at every night.

Maybe in another life.  For today, I’ll have to pacify myself by making My Favorite Greek Salad.  Probably not authentic, but close enough for me.  This salad is so very easy, but so very delicious, and perfect as a main course or appetizer size before a meal.

My Favorite Greek Salad

from Shortbread

serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • large pinch kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 cups romaine lettuce, chopped, washed and dried
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 8-12 pepperoncini peppers

Directions

  1. In a large salad bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.  Whisk with a fork or small whisk until combined.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except pepperoncini peppers to the bowl and toss with hands or salad servers.
  3. Divide salad between bowls and serve with peppers on the side. Top with additional black pepper, if desired.

PRINTER FRIENDLY RECIPE

Southern Traditions And Ham Salad {The Kitchen Reader}

I remember the first time I saw Paula Deen on television doing the show Ready…Set…Cook! on The Food Network.  She was just so hilarious, and she looked like my aunt and had the personality of my college roommate.  It was like a (crazy) member of my family was right there on the t.v.

Soon afterward, she began starring in her own show, frying chicken and baking cakes and cooking up all kinds of good Southern food.  I was so glad to see the food I grew up with being given the attention it deserved, in a time when, as Paula states, “health-food diet mania” was consuming America.

The rest is history, and Paula Deen is now a household name.  In her autobiography, It Ain’t All About the Cookin’, however, Paula proves that everybody seems normal until you get to know them.  I guess I just assumed that she was always a success, but she reveals in her book how she spent many years of her life just struggling to make it through the day.

Growing up in Georgia, Paula says she had an idyllic childhood, with her family, grandparents, aunts and uncles all close together running a resort.  Her teen years were spent being cute, having fun, and cheering.  But at eighteen she met a boy she couldn’t resist, and wanted nothing more than to get married and be a wife and mother.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Paula to realize that marriage wasn’t all smooth sailing all the time, and she began struggling with the fact that she couldn’t make it all better.  As is often the case, I think, being sheltered and loved by her family, and possessing the gift of “Southern charm”, that niceness that girls in the South are brought up with, caused an inner struggle for Paula.  She felt that “if being protected and cherished by my parents was being spoiled, then I guess I was.”

Then as a result of tragically loosing both her parents within four years of each other, while Paula was still in her early twenties she really began to struggle to keep her sanity.  Suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia while raising two small children tested her every day, until she finally discovered what exactly she suffered from and began to slowly overcome it,  and eventually end her marriage.

As a single mother Paula returned to what she knew best, good Southern food.  Beginning with a catering company and expanding to a full restaurant, she kept up the traditions of the South.  She knew that “the South is all about tradition, and most of those traditions have their origins in the cooking pots and the recipes we pass down from generation to generation” and that “Southern cooking is nothing but Southern – we don’t fly in our ingredients or menus from distant parts of the world. What’s in our pots and on our plates is all home-grown.”  And keeping true to this philosophy has meant nothing but success for Paula Deen.

This book is full of Southern charm and wit, and had me laughing one minute and crying the next.  If you are from the South, you’ll find yourself nodding along with it, and if you aren’t, you’ll hopefully learn a little about what drives a Southern woman.  As Paula says, “Some people call Southern women steel magnolias to show our unfailing survival instinct. Well, if we got dimples of steel, so what. Things have to be right.”

I whipped up this Ham Salad recipe found in Paula’s autobiography, and it turned out to be just right, too.

My Best Ham Salad (Sandwich)

adapted from It Ain’t All About the Cookin’ by Paula Deen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover ham, chopped in a food processor
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1/4 cup hot pickle relish, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients until well blended.
  2. Spread on white bread to make a sandwich, or serve with crackers.

Printer Friendly Recipe

Barefoot Bloggers Curried Couscous

bb curried couscous

If I had a million dollars, I would first hire a cleaning lady, then I would hire a personal chef to prepare healthy, flavorful meals for us every day.  I would still cook and bake at leisure, but the rest of the time I could choose recipes with my chef that he/she could prepare, like this Curried Couscous from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

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Barefoot Bloggers Tuna Salad Ina Style

BB Tuna Salad

HELP!!  I’m drowning in parent-of-school-age-children-end-of-the-year–hectic-ness!  Field trips, dance recitals, baseball games, school carnivals….STOP!  I need to come up for air!

I’m always so glad to see the end of the school year, not just because I’ll no longer have to get up at the crack of dawn to rouse children that are dead to the world, but also because after the stressful month of May I just need to decompress.

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Barefoot Bloggers Chinese Chicken Salad

bb-chinese-chicken-salad

Today I received an email from my best friend/college roommate saying she joined Facebook and that I should “get my butt on there, girl!”  Apparently, she has recently joined and reunited with all our sorority sisters, her high school graduating class, her first boyfriend in kindergarten – well, maybe not him (yet).

I have other friends who are on it, too, but I just can’t bring myself to put it all out there like that.  I know, I know, you can choose who can see your page, and refuse to be “friends”, but this is a Southern girl you’re talking to and we don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings, you know?

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