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-
Zesty Quinoa Pilaf
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir the cooked vegetables into the cooked quinoa, then add the tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss gently and pour into a serving bowl.
To me, homemade soup is one the best things ever, especially in the winter and especially at lunch time. The only negative is that it can be somewhat time consuming to prepare. But if I can carve out one morning to spend putting together a fresh pot of soup, it can be divided up into freezer bags or containers and taken out as needed to defrost on days when I’m pressed for time.
This Broccoli and White Bean Soup is an example of one that really doesn’t take a lot of time to make, and the reward is three-fold: warm, comforting, and so good for you. The beans are what I call a ‘secret ingredient’ because at the same time they thicken the soup and make it incredibly creamy when you blend everything together. The recipe calls for fresh broccoli, but frozen works too – just skip the steaming step and add it in along with the beans.
Broccoli and White Bean Soup
adapted from Whole Living Magazine
makes 8-10 servings
- 2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
- 5 cups chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted, for serving
- 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat water to simmering in a pot with a steamer basket or insert. Add broccoli florets and steam until tender
and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Set aside 1 cup of the florets to stir in at the end.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Saute onion until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add beans and stock and turn up heat to medium until it simmers.
- Remove pot from the heat and stir in broccoli. Let cool slightly, then puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a stand blender until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in reserved florets.
- When ready to serve, garnish each bowl with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan.
PRINTER FRIENDLY RECIPE
Need a plan for that bounty of squash you may have received from your CSA basket/farmers market/generous neighbor? I did, when I was given my basket from Big Moon Farm, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm that I’m a member of. This sunshine-y Squash Pie is the perfect plan, and you can use any type of summer squash you have in abundance like yellow squash, zucchini, patty pan or a mixture.
This pie is something between a crust-less quiche and a frittata, and is baked in the oven. It’s open to many variations of not just the squash, but also the herbs and cheese depending on what you have on hand. Make sure to completely drain the squash so the pie doesn’t become runny.
Now, embrace that bag of squash and savor the summer.
makes 6-8 servings
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound (about 2 or 3) yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the squash, green onions, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until squash has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Drain the cooled squash in a colander, pressing gently to remove extra liquid. Return to the bowl.
- Add the basil, parsley, and eggs to the squash, stir to combine. Pour into a round, deep baking dish. Cover with the tomato slices and sprinkle with feta. Bake until set, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
PRINTER FRIENDLY RECIPE
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
- 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
- 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.
- Add remaining ingredients except pepperoncini peppers to the bowl and toss with hands or salad servers.
- Divide salad between bowls and serve with peppers on the side. Top with additional black pepper, if desired.
PRINTER FRIENDLY RECIPE
*PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT*
DO NOT COOK OATMEAL ON HIGH POWER IN THE MICROWAVE NO MATTER WHAT THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CARTON SAY! DOING SO WILL RESULT IN ALL SAID OATMEAL BOILING OVER ONTO THE FLOOR OF SAID MICROWAVE LEAVING NOTHING BUT AN EMPTY BOWL AND A MESS.
Unfortunately it has taken me too long to get this into my head, but I think I’ve finally learned my lesson after three tries yesterday. Sad, I know.
But this Banana Nut Oatmeal Brulee is so delicious, it makes it all worthwhile. Oatmeal with bananas, walnuts, and dark brown sugar is broiled briefly to create a yummy sugar crust on top, and when you stir it up all that molasses-y goodness gets mixed in. What a fabulous way to counteract the two sticks of butter in the brownies you made yesterday (more on that later).
Banana Nut Oatmeal Brulee
- one serving of oatmeal (preferably whole or steel cut oats), prepared per package instructions*
- 1/4 medium banana
- 1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped (toasted if desired)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Spoon oatmeal into ovenproof bowl.
- Slice banana into 1/4 inch rounds and spread on top of oatmeal. Sprinkle on walnuts. Spread brown sugar evenly over everything.
- Place bowl in oven and broil until sugar is melted, about 2-4 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
*If using microwave, cook on medium (50%) power, stirring halfway.
Printer Friendly Recipe
In David Lebovitz’s book, The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City, Lebovitz treats us to his gift of sarcastic wit while exploring the city’s ironic and perplexing customs. Along the way, he shares some of his favorite recipes created and enjoyed there. This month a few fellow food bloggers and I, as a part of The Kitchen Reader, read The Sweet Life in Paris so we could share our opinion of the book with our readers and each other. Here are my thoughts.
It’s pure magic when a recipe has just the right combination of flavors that when mixed together create an explosion in your mouth. The Barefoot Contessa’s White Pizzas with Arugula does exactly that.
Long live the public library. I have to say I’m really surprised they are still around. I mean, letting people take books home, for free – who still does things like that?
What a thrill. This Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook definitely shook things up in my kitchen. I love a recipe that makes you say “Hmm, I never would have thought of using _____ that way.”
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.
Most of the time I try to cook and eat wholesome, homemade food. I try to avoid a lot of processed foods, additives and preservatives. But when it comes to stadium food, my will power goes out the door. I’m a sucker for hot dogs, peanuts, nachos, popcorn and pretzels. These things just don’t taste the same at home, good thing.
Let’s just get something out of the way right now, before going any further. I have a serious love for food, and I don’t discriminate. If you read through all these posts, you would definitely notice the words I LOVE in probably every one.
My kids have been into this game lately where they say, “If you had to choose between chocolate and cake, which would you choose?”, “How about cake or ice cream?”, or “If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?”. They can’t seem to understand when I say I don’t know, that for Mommy, this is the hardest question in the world. I just can’t choose favorites when it comes to food. It would be like choosing between my children.
My Grandmother was green.
Not the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp kind of green, but the eco-friendly, earth-preserving kind of green. She kept her thermostat turned way down in the winter and way up in the summer (if on at all). She never let the water run while washing the dishes. She hung her clothes on a clothes line. She re-used plastic wrap and aluminum foil. She had a garden that grew a lot of her food. She used her coffee grounds and egg shells in her flower garden. And she never threw away food.
North Carolina author Reynolds Price once wrote about pimento cheese: “…it was the peanut butter of my childhood–homemade by mother…I’ve been caught eating a pound in two days (though it keeps well), especially if life is hard.” We definitely had peanut butter in our house growing up, and still do, but pimento cheese (we call it PUHMINNA cheese) was and is my “stand at the sink” sandwich of choice. I can eat it as an appetizer, on top of my burgers, in between two slices of white bread, and lately as my favorite version with bacon and tomato (if it’s summer) on whole wheat as pictured above. Continue reading
Our garage has turned into a black hole. Like the washer and dryer that secretly steal single socks, the garage has been sucking things into the vast emptiness of oblivion, never to be seen again. The tool box, the dog’s backpack, my Christmas china.
I blame this on the fact that we have moved twice in the past two years and on the moving company we used for our last move to try to save money. JUST-PLAIN-SCARY. However, during the transition we didn’t unpack all the boxes from the first move. So I have also rediscovered things I forgot I had. An ice cream maker, a gilt frame mirror, these soup/pasta bowls that go with my Christmas china. Continue reading