So, this week, I conquered the Salad chapter of Jamie's Food Revolution.
If 4 of you learn this recipe and share it with 4 other people...we are well on our way to getting the world back to wholesome, affordable home cooking. To read more about this quest, click here.
Jamie's approach to salads is wonderfully simple and flexible. This particular salad is called the PICK-AND-MIX SALAD.
Here's how it works:
You pick one item from each of these groups -see my choices after the basic directions...(the examples are just that - not written in stone):
SOFT LETTUCE (butterhead, oak leaf, mache or watercress)
CRUNCHY LETTUCE (romaine, little gem, endive, radicchio)
HERBS (mint, basil, italian parsley, arugula -all fresh)
VEGGIES (cucumber, tomatoes carrots, celery)
CHEESE (Parmesan, mozzarella, feta, creamy blue cheese)
TOPPINGS (mixed, toasted seeds, toasted pine nuts, 'rustic' croutons, pappadams (ok, honestly, I have no idea what that is)).
-Wash and tear the lettuce and 'spin' dry.
-Pick the leaves off the herbs stems.
-Finely slice or peel veggies.
-Shred, shave, crumble cheese.
-Toss everything in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper and drizzle with one of these dressings:
I made the Lemon Dressing: Put 6 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake well!!! That's it.
I couldn't find a jam jar, so I doubled the recipe and used a spaghetti sauce jar. This is before the shaking...
And this is after the shaking.... it actually looks like the recipe. YAY!!
So, Here's how I made my salad! We are on a strict budget, so I tried to make choices that were affordable...after all, that's what the food revolution is all about!
Oak leaf lettuce - conveniently growing in my side yard! OK, I can't take credit. It's all Greg.
I chose romaine for my crunchy lettuce, but I forgot to take a picture of it! For my herb, I walked in my backyard and picked some fresh mint. Can you tell we have A LOT OF MINT??? Please, if you need mint, you know where to get some!
Tomatoes for the veggies...
Parmesan Cheese...I used a potato peeler to 'shave' it.
And...sunflower seeds for my topping. Can you believe the Boss wants to be part of the food revolution? Or, does he just want to control it??
It was a beautiful and really interesting salad! I never would have put mint in a salad. It was really wonderful just the way it was....but I did make one more change...
Since this was our main course, I asked Greg to throw a couple chicken breasts on the grill and added that at the end. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Add a slice of homemade bread (Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day!!) and....
Sometimes, I feel so fortunate to live where I do. This last Saturday, we drove 20 miles north to a local sand sculpture competition. A walk on the beach on a beautiful day in a beautiful area...what a blast!
There were definitely a few themes, but these were our favorites....
The World Cup...
The fight against Asian carp invading Lake Michigan...
Even Jabba the Hut!
And my personal favorite....a turtle pond (the picture doesn't do it justice).
We finished the day off at a local brewery - sitting on the deck watching the boats head out to Lake Michigan. This is a happy man with a microbrew!!
So many things are taken for granted...this small-town stuff never gets old. We love it.
We eat pretty casual lunches at our place, but this year for Fathers Day, we did dad proud! Roasted salmon with garlic couscous.
Ella chopped the parsley...
While I roasted a red pepper!
Salmon with salt, pepper, olive oil and juice from one lemon. The green onions only stayed on while cooking.
The guest of honor's plate! This was the first time Greg received the "you are special" plate (even though he deserves it every day)!
It was fun to cook something really nice for lunch! So much better than reheating that leftover pizza in the fridge!
Greg received Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook (Jamie Oliver) for Father's Day. We loved the show this Spring (where he changed the school lunches in the most obese city of the U.S.A.) and Ella wanted to get it for him.
What a find. We've always liked his cooking, but this book is much bigger than a few recipes.
So, what's the revolution?
In response to the growing number of obese individuals (70% in the U.S.!!!), Jamie started a movement to get people eating at home. Restaurant/take-out food is a huge cause of obesity, and so Jamie wanted to get back to the days where people shared recipes and cooked together.
So, all of his recipes are:
-easy to follow
Jamie based this on the Ministry of Food that was active during World War II, when food was rationed in England. The Ministry of Food would travel around and teach people how to make more of the food they received. He gets it that in America, it is often cheaper to eat junk food than healthy food, and he's trying to change that trend.
So, what's the movement? The movement is called "Pass It On." He asks purchasers of the book to master at least one recipe from each chapter and then teach 2-4 people to make it. Then, those people pass it on also.
So, I'm using THIS BLOG to PASS IT ON.
Each week, I'll work on mastering a recipe and pass it on to YOU. If only 4 of you try these recipes and pass them on to 4 people, this is what could happen: Once the cycle repeats itself 7 times, and we could pack Yankee Stadium one and a half times. If it repeats 13 times, then the number of people cooking wholesome food at home would equal the entire population of the U.S.A.!
Good, wholesome, fresh food...one recipe at a time.
Let's start a food revolution of our own!
And, by the way.... for our Fathers Day dinner on Sunday, we tried two of Jamie's recipes - the mint pea soup (fresh peas) and the meatloaf potroast. Both were outstanding! They were easy and delicious. The meatloaf took some time, but we think it's the most involved recipe in the book.
I hope you take this journey with me!
I took Ella to Barnes & Noble Saturday so she could pick out a new cookbook. I just told her it had to be somewhat healthy. So, here's her choice:
I was so proud of her! She looked through the book and decided it had a lot of things that looked good. And get this - there are NO PICTURES. Even I don't like cookbooks iwth no pictures!
We paid and walked to our car. In the B&N parking lot I asked her to pick out a recipe to make and we drove to the mega-grocery to get the stuff.
She chose Double-Decker Pumpkin Cupcakes. Ok, first of all, they aren't double-decker at all...it's just that pumpkin is in the cake layer and the topping. And second....the place had NO pumpkin. I even called the magical voice on the help phone.
"Hello, help desk"
"Hi, could you please tell me where I could find canned pumpkin?"
"Uh...we stopped carrying that"
(WHAT!?!?!?!?!? Who stops carrying canned pumpkin??)
"Yeah, we can't get it from our wharehouse."
"OK....(long, unbelieving pause-I seriously think I was waiting for the person to realize she was wrong)...thanks".
So, I told Ella that was crazy. We went to our smaller neighborhood market. I like them better anyway. And, again, NO PUMPKIN ON THE SHELF.
Something must be seriously wrong with pumpkin these days. So, I thought on my feet and bought canned yams. And, you know what? Couldn't tell the difference. I figured that sweet potato pie tastes just like pumpkin pie, so.....
Finally at home, we started the project. I smashed the yams to resemble canned pumpkin.
It was a light recipe - no oil and only egg whites.
The topping was my favorite part - fat free whipped cream (or 'topping' as they say) with some yams and cinnamon.
Nice work picking out the new cookbook kiddo! These were healthy and delicious!
But someone needs to solve that pumpkin crisis pretty soon!
There is a real post that follows this, but I wanted to let you know...I was looking in the mirror this weekend and said to myself, "You know, you really aren't Superwoman. No matter how badly you want to be, you just aren't." And, I'm ok with that. But, it does mean I need to make a change...or two. So, in order to keep writing this blog that I love, I need to only post 5 days a week (so, no more Saturday posts). I've been tracking readership statistics, and Saturdays and Sundays are the lightest days, so I'm sure you won't miss me too much. Also, for those who know me, you know I talk too much (always have) I'd like to change that, so one small step is to create Wordless Wednesdays on my blog. Wordless Wednesdays will now be photo blogs. I will let the pictures do the talking.
And one more thing...this week, it's all about food! I'm not trying to have themed posts, just happened that way.
That's it. Thanks for reading!!
Fathers Day in our house was all about food -- I mean Greg...and food.
Ella made him what every dad needs - a bobble head.
The boss was present to make sure everyone was following directions (yes, he's on the counter....geesh!).
Greg slept in and opened his presents. Ella bought him a cookbook that we all fell in love with....more on THAT later in the week!
OK, since it's fathers day....you can take a picture of me before I'm showered and I will put it in my blog....just to show how hard I'm slaving away for you on a Sunday morning.
An orange, peach, blueberry smoothie with cage-free scrambled eggs and cheddar with a side of toast. Mmmmm.
So...we then watched some world cup, took the 'JO (mojo) for a walk and had a marvelous lunch....and then another marvelous dinner....but you'll hear about those later. Too many pictures for one post! As the day was coming to a close, and Greg was sipping on a Bell's Amber Ale (Ella and I surprised him with a 6 pack), I noticed this funny scene in our living room:
Greg thinks it's a definite sign that we need more Bell's in the house...and since it was Fathers Day, who am I to argue?
I bought a tube pan at Goodwill. I really want a bundt pan (tube pans you can find at Goodwill~not bundt pans), and I thought I could use the tube pan for bundt-pan recipes.
I was wrong. I documented my wrong-ness on film (really!) but our laptop hard drive died and I lost over 2 months of photos...including the 'coffee cake gone terribly wrong' ones. I am mourning the loss of our laptop, but I will continue on my tube pan story.
So, maybe I can't beat the system. Maybe I should actually follow the directions.
I tried, and it worked.
I made an angel food cake and followed the directions exactly.
I even let it cool upside-down on a coke bottle.
I absolutely LOVE this picture. I mean, it's not super artsy or composed or anything, but it's so retro. I didn't even set up the picture. It's a scene that I think I've seen in Greg's grandma's kitchen and wonder if it occurred in my own grandma's kitchen (I never met her). To me, it's simple and beautiful.
But, I have to admit that I was nervous. When I made coffee cake in the tube pan, half of it came out and the other half stuck to the sides and bottom. So, we had a bowl of coffee cake that morning.
When it came time to release the angel food cake, I was so careful. I gently cut around the sides with a serrated knife and popped out the bottom.
It was huge and fluffy and the sides were carmelized. It was perfect with the strawberries from our garden!
So...now I know what tube pans are supposed to be used for. I guess I better save up for a bundt pan!