I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am over the response my Snack 'N Cake got this morning or how excited I am to have the person who inspired me to "get out of the box" so to speak - food columnist Chantal Cornwall from Let's Eat guest posting today! I know you're going to enjoy and learn from what she has to share.
Stay tuned this Foodie Friday for a cooking video featuring me making Chantal's amazing oven baked poutine!
And now onto a fabulous post from the innovative Chantal Cornwall - my Monday Expert!
Famed celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver is by far one of my favourite celebrity chefs. He is constantly re-inviting himself and the way we create and embrace food. With many bestseller cookbooks, restaurants, TV shows and the Jamie Oliver Foundation under his belt, he is an all star in the culinary world. Oliver also likes to “stir the pot” with government food programs and created such campaigns in 2004 such as “Feed me Better” for UK school lunch programs and in 2008 Jamie’s Ministry of Food. Both programs encourage healthy eating and eating less processed food (frozen entrees, ready meals and take-out) via the way of using fresh ingredients.
In Jamie’s Ministry of Food TV shows, Oliver started his movement of pass it on in Rotherham, England. Residents have truly embraced his movement and the local government has opened a Ministry of Food Centre which provides cooking classes and the importance of healthy nutrition and a balanced lifestyle. Several other centres in the UK have since opened as the result of the success of Rotherham. These centres are an investment that the community and the local government take on. Since Jamie’s Food Revolution and pass it on movement was created, it is catching on globally and with good reason. Britain has the highest obesity levels in Europe and the United States has the highest obesity levels in the world.
I highly recommend visiting Jamie Oliver’s website at www.jamieoliver.com and if you have a chance to watch his show on this topic or read one of his more recent cookbook releases, Jamie’s Food Revolution. The cover title, “Jamie’s Food Revolution – Rediscover how to cook simple, delicious, affordable meals” is in fact quite brilliant. Oliver speaks of the strong need to make simple, nutritious and economical food. He believes that people need to pass the recipe on to family and friends via a movement he created called pass it on. They in turn will pass recipes on to their friends and family and they in turn will pass it on to others. Oliver’s basic idea is to get non cooks back in the kitchen and to enjoy cooking again. Essentially the Food Revolution is to help those that have as he coins in the introduction of his cookbook, “fallen out of love with cooking.” He’s trying to inspire people to make healthy and quick meals for the entire family to enjoy. This movement will certainly inspire and help home cooks to eat more healthy foods at home.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution can also be linked with food sustainability. This topic is very hot right now and frequently featured in many cooking magazines and the Food Network. This new food revolution will define how we as consumers change the way big grocery chains will respond to our demands of sustainable foods and supporting smaller local farmers. Key words like organic, pesticide-free, free-range chickens, grass-fed beef, safe and ethical practices for farm animals and carbon footprint are influencing what and how we buy.
Personally, I embraced the Food Revolution a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure. It was very difficult to find low sodium products and recipes so I switched to more fresh ingredients and created and developed my own menus. I created Let’s Eat in 2007 and share and “pass on” my recipes via newspaper columns and my website Let’s Eat www.letseatwithchantal.ca and Facebook page.
Some tips I can share and embrace;
- Buy fresh seasonal produce and herbs
- Stock up on brown rice, pasta, new potatoes and spices
- Buy local as much as possible and support local farmers’ markets (great prices)
- Read labels and watch for sodium and fat content
- Offer dried fruit, yogurt, grains (breads/cereals) as snack options
- Bake your muffins and add ground flax and wheat germ
- Drink lots of water!
- Offer your family a rainbow of foods, colourful fruit and veggies and buy in bulk when available and stock up on meat when on sale.
- Encourage your children to join you in the kitchen at least once a week and cook/bake with them - you are “passing it on” and teaching them how to cook
- Be a great role model and eat healthy foods too. Children learn by example and moderation is key for sized portions.
- Offer treats but as “sometimes” foods and choices
- My Let’s Eat tip --when you open your fridge – think what country do I want to visit today – and “travel” all around the world and offer your family simple and yet tasty lower fat options.
- Enjoy non meat nights and offer savoury vegetarian options for your family
- Sit down with your family at the dinner table as much as you can – just one meal a day, enjoy the food and your family
For printable recipe click here
A family favourite comfort food hails from my Montreal roots. Let’s Eat version – we’re leaving the potatoes skins on and baking the fries. We’re also using a homemade brown sauce and fresh cheddar cheese curds. 4 servings or a large platter to share with lots of forks!
- 7 medium sized new potatoes (washed and dried)
- 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 (ensure oven rack is on the second tier)
- On a large cutting board and working with one potato at a time, cut potato in half and then in quarters. Cut in quarter into “fries.”
- Place cut potatoes in a large bowl. Continue until all potatoes have been cut.
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and toss.
- Line a baking sheet with either parchment or foil. Brush with 1 tablespoon of oil (prevent sticking) Add the cut potatoes to the lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
- During the baking – toss twice with a large metal or wooden spoon to ensure an even baking and golden colour.
- 1 package (675 grams) of real Cheddar Cheese Curd Snack (used Bothwell’s Squeak’rs in recipe)
- 1 package of St Hubert poutine sauce or gravy recipe from Ricardo Cuisine
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- (1/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cans 284 ml (10 oz) beef broth, undiluted
- 1 can 284 ml (10 oz) chicken broth, undiluted
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Set aside.In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with pepper.
- Serve poutine in bowls or a large platter to share. Arrange very hot baked fries, sprinkle /layer some cheese curds and add the very hot poutine sauce on top (use 2 cups of the homemade sauce- and store remainder in fridge) The key is very hot fries and lots of sauce to melt some of the cheese curds.
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