Friday, May 18, 2012

Slicing and Dicing Real Food for a Revolution

Food Revolution Salad
I have been slicing and dicing all day trying to prepare most of my Real Food Dinner for Food Revolution Day tomorrow May 19th.   I started at 8:30am and have been caramelizing onions, roasting peppers, grating carrots, chopping vegetables, blending spreads, spinning lettuces and generally being a human food processor in preparation for my dinner party for jamie Oliver's invention to get people around the world mobilized to spend this one day making an effort to get people to eat Real Food.  We don't have food education in schools the way we used to when I was a kid.  Home Ec wasn't always the most healthiest food education but there were times when there was a real food recipe.  Just the fact that we had home ec in schools was a good thing.  I believe that kids should be taught how to feed themselves properly from a young age so that they can be self sufficient in their lives when they are able and can assist their parents in eating proper foods.  The growing obesity numbers are becoming very scary and I think that if kids learn to break the mistakes that their parents learned then maybe we can reverse the obesity rates.  People don't know what they are eating anymore.  They just grab and go.  I am guilty of doing the same thing when things get busy and when you run low on energy, time and money you turn to the quick fix of a drive-thru.   You are done with dinner in a matter of minutes and can continue on your daily duties.

Maybe someone should invent a healthy fast food chain where you drive through and pick up carrot sticks instead of french fries.  Maybe you get a falafel burger instead of a beef burger.   Just a thought.  What if you packaged healthier foods and marketed healthier foods the way junk food is marketed?  Would people eat more broccoli and brussel sprouts?  What if you got veggies in a bun that looked like a burger or hot dog, would you eat it then?

I have been thinking for a while that if I ever won a lottery I would create a new kind of drive thru.. one that I would want to go to if I could get anything I wanted that was good for me.   Roasted peppers and chicken on a bun, or maybe some pineapple spears dipped in dark chocolate.   YUMM.

I think the reason people have abandoned making a lot of vegetables is because it takes super fresh vegetables in season and prepared fresh and in the right way to maximize the flavour.  Buying, preparing, storing, cooking and cleaning up after making a huge salad like the one above is a lot of work.

In the Salad pictured I did the following:
shredded carrots
diced a hot house tomato
sliced radishes
chopped parsley
chopped cilantro
sliced cherry tomatoes
sliced tri colored peppers
sliced cucumbers
sliced green onions

not pictured is the lettuce I couldn't fit in the bowl that I sliced.

and I didn't even add the salad dressing.   I think more scraps went into the garbage in prepping all this than into the bowl.  Just making this salad probably took about an hour with all the slicing/dicing and cleaning up.

So why did I do it?  Because it's the right thing to do.  I want to feed my guests real food and hope that they will like it enough to make it for themselves.

Since I will be filming another event tomorrow before my dinner party I had to prep my salad and the vegetarian lasagna that I also made so that I just need to come home and cook the lasagna and toss the salad dressing into the salads I made and get the appetizer and desserts plated.   it's a small dinner party but I am trying to pack a whole load of vegetables into my foods.

In this Lasagna I added the following:

Vegetarian green powered Lasagna
Jamie Oliver pasta noodles
Jamie Oliver tomato and chili pasta sauce
Can of organic san marzano tomatoes
1 beefsteak tomato
caramelized onions
roasted red peppers
a mix of blended kale, spinach and basil pesto
ricotta cheese
buffalo mozzerella cheese
mozzarella blend cheese
freshly grated parmesan cheese

It sounds simple but it was a whole lot of prep work.... slicing onions and slowly caramelizing them, roasting and peeling red peppers, blanching and blending greens, grating cheese.

It took more time to prep the ingredients than it did to layer it into this dish.   Tomorrow I will bake it when my guests arrive so it's hot and gooey.  If it works the layers will be red, white and green like an Italian Flag.  Unlike a typical lasagna there is no meat but there is also the added boost of Kale and red peppers.  Every color has a different property and it all adds up to a fully nourished meal.

If done well everyone will be satisfied without feeling like they will never eat again.

For dessert i bought Organic Strawberries and used Jamie Oliver's Balsalmic vinegar and some brandy to make a syrup and will spoon it onto meringues that I need to get my second wind to whip up.

If this is a success then I hope that this becomes an annual event where we challenge ourselves to make great and healthy meals for friends, family and even strangers.

Go get some Real Food and Get Cooking.

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