Sunday, April 25, 2010

My own food revolution- 4 bushels of produce for the week

Yesterday was our weekly Shop and Chop day.We go as a family for a couple of reasons. First, it makes a terrific learning opportunity for my son. He knows how to follow a list, how to identify more kinds of produce than most adults , how to read a nutritional label and is now learning about price per unit and how to make a substitution. Second reason is that in shopping together there are no arguments about where the money goes. Shopping together can be a lot of fun and many hands make quick work. It seems that my son is not the only one learning . We have been watching Jamie Oliver's Food revolution, and my husband thought Jamie was perhaps exaggerating about the sugar content in flavored milk or picking on an isolated brand. He has started reading food labels himself ( house rule is that if it has more than 13 grams of sugar per serving it does not get bought ), and has discovered this problem to be true. He has also discovered this truth about many "lite" yogurts and so forth. He has also become shocked at the sodium levels in things. It's a whole different food revolution going on in this house !

After breakfast we headed out , and did our usual use of the store's boxes instead of bags ( easier for us to get in the car, put on a cart and use to bring out the scraps from chopping) and Bob noticed that we had bought 4 bushels of produce for the week. No more or less than we have bought every week for quite some time. There is rarely anything that gets tossed, and he is beginning to agree that we are becoming rabbits. 6 hours of chopping and cooking later, I had it broke down to ready to go veggies and salads for the week. Here are the salads being offered in MY "school lunch "program.

Quinoa with Orange and Basil serves 8

1 cup dry Quinoa (prepare according to package)
1 Handful chopped fresh Basil + some for garnish
3 Oranges: cut into small pieces with pith and seeds removed
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans or sliced almonds
1/2 Lemon or 1 Tbs Lemon juice
juice from 1/2 Orange
1 T Olive Oil
Salt to taste
chopped Green Onion (Scallions)
1 Dash the following spices:
ground Black Pepper

Prepare quinoa according to package.
Let quinoa cool and toss with all of the above ingredients.

Coconut Fruit Salad

1 cup cantaloupe -- cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup honeydew melon -- cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup pineapple -- cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup green grapes -- cut in half
1/2cup red grapes -- cut in half
1 pint organic strawberries -- cut in half or quarters
1/2 pint blueberries -- (1/2 to 1)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix all ingredients together

24 Hour Cole Slaw

2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 onion, chopped
1 golden beets, shredded
2 carrots, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups splenda
1 teaspoon celery seed
Toss veggies together. Heat , vinegar, water and spices,Bring to boil.
Pour over cabbage - onion mixture. Chill 24 hours.

Broccoli Slaw (because I had several huge broccoli stems )

5 large broccoli stems, peeled and shredded
3 carrots shredded
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T honey mustard

Combine and refrigerate

After all that chopping , it was time to make dinner. Happily, I took care of that prep while I was doing the other chopping
Chicken and roast vegetable salad

1 zucchini , sliced
1 fennel bulb sliced
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 onion cut into wedges
16 baby bella mushrooms sliced
1/2 lb asparagus sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
9 cups mixed salad greens
dressing of your choice

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Place all veggies but salad greens in a zip lock and toss
with the vinegar, garlic, rosemary and pepper to coat.
Place on cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or till tender.
Meanwhile grill the chicken breasts and season as desired.
Cut chicken breast in strips. Divide salad greens into 3 portions,
top with 1/3 of the roast vegetables and 1 sliced grilled chicken breast.

After dinner we settled in for an evening of Huggermugger . I love playing these kinds of board games with my son especially ! Bob is another word geek and we always have a great time , but with my son it serves to be a better indication of knowledge mastered than a paper test. It always calms any anxieties I have about what he is actually retaining or understanding , and it makes for a lot of family laughs ! All in all it was a very good day !


spunkysuzi said...

Sounds like you guys had a blast! I'm very impressed with what you do as a family :)

Stacey K said...

Fantastic that you do it as a family activity! What a great thing for your son!

I love Food Revolution. I know the show has inspired me quite a bit. The Quinoa sounds yummy! I think I'll have to try that one this week.

Sally said...

Jamie Oliver revolutionised school dinners over here in the UK a few years ago.

He is passionate about nutrition

Kim said...

Your recipes always look so yummy. I'm going to have to try some of them. :) I read your last blog entry too. I agree with you. The scale can't always be looked at to see success. Have you been measuring? I haven't started to measure yet, but know I need to. Dr. Oz always says to focus on measurements rather than the scale. For me that's a given b/c I have a condition called lymphedema that makes me retain a ton of fluid and the amount of it always changes according to what I eat and how active I am. The more active I am, the more fluid I retain. lol
The earth day lessons you had with your son is precisely why I like homeschooling too. Those teachable moments and change of plans are like little diamonds. I love that precious time w/ my children when they are making discoveries all b/c of their interest in something. :)

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

I saw Food Revolution for the first time last night. It was fascinating and disturbing at the same time.

Great looking food as always!