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So the show came to an end last Friday and my daughter was quite upset knowing this was the last of Jamie Oliver for a while. I am not sure if the show is coming back at all- I didn’t tell her that.
What was the show about, you ask? Well, much of the same but also that Jamie returned to the elementary school where it all began. Turns out, since the school started serving fresh food, they had a surplus of frozen, processed food sitting in the warehouse. In order to use it up, they decided to introduce ‘junk food’ Fridays. Seriously? They couldn’t come up with any other solutions other than feeding the kids that crap food again??
Another problem was surfacing at the same time. A lot of kids not wanting to eat the healthy food at school, were now bringing their own lunch. Ordinarily home cooked lunches would be ideal- well, only if the parents are knowledgeable about healthy eating.
As Jamie walked in the cafeteria while the elementary kids ate, he looked through their brown bag lunches and you wouldn’t believe what he found. Jello, juice, candy and potato chips for lunch. I was horrified! Some kids had lunchables- which is a packaged lunch available at the super markets filled with salt, fat and God knows what. What happened to regular sandwiches for lunch??? There are so many ways to pack a healthy lunch for your child- a delicious sandwich made with whole-wheat bread, some fresh fruit and maybe a small cookie for dessert.
I don’t even know what to say about the potato chips and candy for lunch- I can’t believe someone would pack that for their kids. People are so busy these days and are always looking for fast and easy solutions for everything- including what we feed our kids- not realizing what it is doing to their bodies. As parents, it is up to us, to instill healthy eating habits in our kids so they can grow up to be healthy adults.
In a way I am happy the show has come to an end for now- I am not sure if I can handle the stress I feel after watching an hour of it…
Everyone loves these delicious and healthy treats. As we run out of them, my daughter immediately reminds me to make some more. She loves to have one after school with a glass of milk. I follow it with some fruit and it is a perfect, well-balanced snack.
I keep experimenting with different flavors every time I make them. This time I was making a batch for a friend who was having a spiritual discussion and wanted some snacks for the participants.
To change them up a bit, I decided to add some aromatic spices. I thought of a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Since the rest of the menu was Indian fusion, I decided to add an Indian component to these as well.
The duffins tasted delicious- they had a warm spice flavor to them and cardamom, my favorite spice, stood out – which was intentional. I love cardamom flavor in sweet and savory dishes, especially in cakes…
If you have already tried the regular duffins- try these ones as well, you will love them.
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This is a delicious way to incorporate fish into your diet. Typically cooking a biryani can take all day and the results are unbelievably delicious with complex flavors- but in order to make this dish through the week- I needed to simplify it. I skipped a few steps and this version is definitely not as detailed but it is extremely delicious and full of flavor.
I think the key to use very bold flavors with extremely fresh ingredients. My daughter loves cod and so I decided to go with it for this preparation. Any white, sturdy fish can be used- tilapia or catfish are quite popular for Indian curries.
I sauteed the fish quickly to brown each side and then cooked the onion, garlic, cilantro and dill mixture. I didn’t cook the fish all the way in order not to overcook it in the oven later with the rice. The whole process took me less than an hour- of course I cooked the basmati rice in advance and cooled it off. Once the curry and the rice were layered, I covered the dish with a wet cheesecloth to provide moisture and baked it for half an hour.
Next time you are confused what to do with fish- try making a fish biryani.
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It was one of those rainy evenings we have had so many of and my initial plan was to go out for dinner but then as the day progressed and the rain lingered, I got more and more lazy. I changed into my pajamas and decided to open a bottle of wine and cook.
I had a chicken sausages in my fridge and I decided to pair them with cannellini beans to make a delicious stew. I used the usual suspects including shallots, garlic and of course some red wine. I also had rosemary in the fridge and as far as I am concerned, the white beans are made for rosemary.
To create a balanced meal, I added baby spinach at the very end and served the one pot meal with a parmesan garlic bread. I of course sprinkled some extra cheese on top of the stew.
The evening was relaxing and filled with good food and great wine. My daughter loved the stew but thought there was too much garlic on the garlic bread. She was right- I love garlic so much that I usually tend to go very heavy it. I loved it but both my husband and daughter thought it was too much- oh well, you can’t please everyone all the time.
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One more week of the food revolution reality show left on ABC- I can’t believe the season finale is next week. As I mentioned before, my daughter and I watch this fascinated show together. Last week’s show was no exception. Curled up in bed together, we watched the show on the weekend.
This particular show had the usual theme of showcasing all the unhealthy foods our kids get to eat in their schools. Besides introducing dishes made with fresh food, Jamie also eliminated things like chocolate and strawberry milk. Only plain, low-fat milk was left for the kids to drink.
When he returned to the school, all was going as planned, except for the milk. The flavored milk bottles were back and when he noticed the kids picking up their lunch, most of them opted for the flavored milk.
When my daughter started kindergarten, she was not interested in eating at the school cafeteria- which was just fine with me. As she got more comfortable in the school, she wanted to buy a drink to have with her homemade lunch. That was fine with me until I saw she was purchasing chocolate milk. I sat her down and explained to her that flavored milks have tons of sugar and most of them have high fructose corn syrup. I told her I can make chocolate milk for her at home and pack it for her but I didn’t want her to drink the one available at school. She understood what I was saying but still wanted to buy the one at school. We agreed on maybe purchasing a carton once a week.
I agree with Jamie Oliver and think the kids shouldn’t be given a choice between the ‘boring’ plain milk and the sugar laden flavored milk. Kids don’t know what is best for them and need to be told what to eat and drink- so they can grown up knowing what is healthy.
The Monday after watching the show, I forgot to pack a drink with my daughter’s lunch. I asked her what she bought at school- and she told me plain milk. I was extremely happy knowing she made the right decision, on her own. It is so important to equip your child with information about good food and nutrition. They may wander off and eat what they like as they get older, but will eventually get back to eating healthy- especially if they have all the information as they grow.
Please do your bit and sign the petition …