Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food Revolution Day

I am passionate about food...real food that is. I love eating fresh locally grown fruits and veggies! I was always the kid who ate all her vegetables without being asked (except celery...I just cannot eat it without gaging!). I also indulged in raw milk (which is illegal to buy) and fresh eggs. I am fully aware of the fact that all of this has made me a food snob. While I eat a lot of different foods, I am also very picky! Words like deep fried, batter dipped, processed, and filler make me want to run very fast in the opposite direction.

My children's enthusiasm for whole food is varied.  My eldest is a vegetarian, something I turned her onto. If left to her own devices she would be content to eat cheese, pasta (with no sauce..unless it's cheese), cucumbers,faux buffalo wings, and faux bacon. In the past year, however, she has really opened up to new foods. She actually ate a salad last night that wasn't iceberg lettuce drowned in ranch!!

My middle child is a very good eater. She'll eat all the veggies and fruit you give her, but she also likes fried things like fish sticks and nuggets. I've been tempted to show her a video on how these things are made, but she's still young and I don't want to scar her. My youngest child and only son will eat everything you put in front of him, except corn. He's also not allowed to have any processed sugar. He knows this and doesn't fight me when I tell him no to a soda, chocolate milk, or juice. Knowing that my kids will eat what I give them scares me a little, that's a lot of power. As Peter Parker's uncle Ben said, "With great power comes great responsibility".  That's scary!! It means that I get to choose if they eat fried and processed foods, candy, and chips or salads, apples, and broccoli.  For 16 years it has been up to me what goes in those little mouths and I haven't always made good choices.  This past Saturday we went to eat with our church's confirmation class, and I had a coke. I am still feeling guilty about that! But, man, every sip tasted so good.

My husband has not been much help...until recently that is. At the beginning of the year I waged war on everything unhealty in our lives. David, being the supportive husband that he is, jumped on board. After 20+ years he quit smoking!! The downside is that he is gaining weight. For the first time in his life he has to watch what he eats. Before, if I didn't buy junk food, he never complained, but if I did, he was so happy. Now he is actually encourging me to not buy crap and is finally backing me up when I tell the children "no".

For years I have been a huge Jamie Oliver fan. He's always been about healthy eating without having to have a bunch of crazy ingredients. When he started his show "Food Revolution", I was so excited. If you've never seen it you should check it out. You can see both seasons at The show really sheds light on what we are feeding our kids at school. He also talks about how bad we are eating as a nation. He did the show in England with huge success, but he is having a harder time here in the states.

This year, for the first time, we are celebrating "Food Revolution Day" on May 19th.  This Saturday!! It's not just in America, but all over the world. You can see what all is going on here:

So in honor of Food Revolution Day I am sharing one of my favorite recipes with you.  Not only is it easy to make, but cheap! It's also rich in all kinds of vitamens and protein. Anyone who tells you you can't get the protein you need from a plant based diet doen't know what they are talking about!

Brazilian Black Bean Stew
6 servings
30 minutes or fewer
Here's a quick vegetarian version of the Brazilian national dish known as feijoada. This stew entices the eye with the colorful contrast of black beans and sweet potatoes and pleases the palate with nourishing ingredients.
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 to 1 ¼ lbs.), peeled and diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small hot green chili pepper, or more to taste, minced
  • 2 16-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Meal plan:
  1. Steam some Swiss chard while the stew is simmering and serve with warmed flour tortillas.
    In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is golden, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes (with liquid), chili and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender but still firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans and simmer gently, uncovered, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in mango and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro and salt. Serve hot.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 326
  • Protein: 16
  • Total Fat: 4
  • Saturated Fat:
  • Carbohydrates: 61
  • Cholesterol:
  • Sodium: 211
  • Fiber: 17
Enjoy!! And Happy Food Revolution Day!!!

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