Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Food Revolution

British chef Jamie Oliver has influenced the way I think about food, stock my cupboards and eat. I have his Naked Chef cookbooks, and I enjoy making his simple, but delicious meals, using healthy, unprocessed foods and condiments that you can buy at your local supermarket. Jamie Oliver's style of cooking is quick, easy and flavorful. You need some spices and can even use a few canned ingredients like tomatoes, tuna (and salmon* -- my add, Jamie doesn't list it.) And he says there's nothing wrong with frozen fruits and vegetables when fresh isn't available. Frozen blueberries and peas are picked at their peaks and "preserved that way" until you use them. For several years, Jamie has been on a mission to improve the lunches served in school cafeterias. Now he is making the talk show rounds trying to change the way America eats from coast to coast. He thinks if you stock your kitchen with good basic ingredients, you can come home at night with a nice piece of beef, chicken or fish and prepare exciting food that's also good for you. That's what my mother did for over 40 years, and I couldn't agree more. As Jamie and my mom {who's still at it} know, whole grains and fresh foods don't have to be expensive. They taste much better and can be just as convenient as fast food. [For "You Are What You Eat" a related post, click here.]

Take a look at Jamie Oliver's Essential Pantry Foods. I have many, but not all. How about you?
source: Oprah
Whole grain mustard
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sesame oil
White wine vinegar
Bread flour
Whole wheat flour
Baking powder
Dried yeast
Superfine sugar
Brown sugar
Confectioner's sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Chow mein noodles
Canned cannelloni beans
Canned kidney beans
Canned tuna
Canned coconut milk
Quick-cook couscous
Basmati rice
Brown rice

Maple syrup
Almonds/hazelnuts or mixed nuts
Mixed seeds
Chicken, vegetable and beef broth stock cubes
Jarred pesto
Tabasco sauce
Dijon mustard
English mustard
Olive oil
Canola oil
Red wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
All-purpose flour
Dried pasta
Canned garbanzo beans
Canned tomatoes
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Plain crackers―unsalted saltines
Jamie says: "Think of your pantry like your wardrobe. You won't use everything right away."
Ground cinnamon
Chile powder
Dried oregano
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Curry powder
Smoked paprika
Five-spice powder
Sea salt
Black peppercorns

Sugar snap peas
Green beans
Sweet corn
Raw shrimp
He encourages us to make a cultural change that involves learning about the food we eat and preparing home cooked meals with our families.
Click here for recipes, and to learn more about Jamie's Food Revolution watch this.

*Canned salmon is low in cost and mercury. Sold in the USA, it is Alaskan wild salmon.

You may also enjoy:
Real Italian Cooking
Good Housekeeping's Food Safety Tips
Hungarian Goulash Made Easy
The Best Cookbooks Ever

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