Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini

For July’s first challenge (make a healthy meal for 4 for just $10), I made Stuffed Zucchini. It is one of my childhood favorites and something I often asked for as my birthday dinner. The recipe serves 8, if you cut it in half for four, you can feed a family of 4 for just $7.30! For the sake of the recipe, and if you happen to be making it for friends for YOUR birthday dinner, I’ve left it to serve 8.
One other note, my mom uses rice instead of quinoa. I forgot to buy rice at the store and used quinoa in its place and it turned out great! Feel free to substitute rice back in for the quinoa if you’d like.

Stuffed Zucchini
serves 8

1 lb ground beef ($5.59)
1 cup quinoa ($4)
1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes ($1)
1/2 cup of pasta sauce (.50)
4 medium-large sized zucchini ($3)
2-3 slices of bread (.50)
salt and pepper to taste

Serving 8: $14.59
Serving 4: $7.30

Preheat oven to 375. 

In a large pot of boiling water, boil your zucchini until they are tender. 

While you wait for the zucchini, prepare quinoa according to its package directions. 

When the rice and zucchini are done set both aside.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef. 

Add in the can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup of pasta sauce (I just use whatever happens to be in the fridge at the time). 

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. 

Add the quinoa to the mixture and season to taste. 

Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise and place open on a baking sheet.

Stuff the quinoa/meat mixture into each zucchini half.

Break up the slices of bread or pulse them in a food processor to make bread crumbs. 

Melt about 3 tablespoons of butter and soak the bread crumbs in it to make buttered bread crumbs.

Top the stuffed zucchini with the buttered breadcrumbs.

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the zucchini.

Remove from oven and serve with corn on the cob and garden fresh sliced tomatoes for the perfect summer dinner!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 2014 Food Revolution Challenge Overview

One thing I love about being one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Ambassadors is that each month we are sent Food Revolution challenges to complete. I've never really talked about them in my blog but that's about to change. Each month I'll let you know what our challenges are and how I complete them. There may even be a few that you want to try.

Here are the July Ambassador Challenges:

1. Create a healthy meal on a budget for a family of four. The budget should be 10 US dollars.

2. Share a staple dish from your country.

3. Why do you eat real food? What inspires you to eat real?

Friday, May 16, 2014

“What Food Revolution Day Means to Me”

Four years ago, I couldn't cook. I was a mom of two and I could barely boil water to make pasta without making a complete mess. My husband often took over in the kitchen and we would throw dinner together every night. It made me feel awful. I wanted to cook for my family and I was determined to become a good cook. I have great memories of my own family cooking amazing meals from scratch and I was feeling the impact of not passing those traditions on to my children. After watching the movie, Julie & Julia, I decided that I could do something similar and that might also teach me to cook. I would cook all of the recipes in a cookbook in 365 days and I knew at the end I'd HAVE to be a better cook. When I started looking for a book, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution was just hitting the stands here in the US and the first season of his TV show by the same name was also about to begin. The idea of his book, teaching everyone how to cook for their families and then teaching others to do the same with the "pass it on" pledge was just what I was looking for. I started in March of 2010 and cooked all 173 recipes in 365 days. It was a life changing experience. Not only did I learn to cook but through my blog (which I honestly only thought my family and friends would read) I encouraged others to do the same. Then, in a strange turn of events I ended up teaching cooking classes at Whole Foods and becoming one of Jamie's Food Revolution Heroes. It was more than I could have ever imagined! Fast forward four years later and I’m still a Food Revolution Ambassador and today we are celebrating the third annual Food Revolution Day.

Teaching children to cook is one of Jamie’s biggest missions and it is what Food Revolution Day is all about. He talks about how passing on food traditions has skipped a few generations and now people aren’t cooking at home. I love that Jamie is teaching children to cook and I’d like to help out by encouraging the mothers of those children to start a Food Revolution in their own kitchens. One thing I’ve learned from my blog is that I’m not alone. A lot of the women of my generation missed the boat in the kitchen department, however it’s never too late. Start small. Start today. Ask your kids to help you and learn together. Talk about where the food comes from while you cook. Keep in mind that even though it’s about the food, it’s also not about the food. It’s about togetherness and cooking together is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children.

If you can’t get to an FRD event and need an idea for dinner or an after school snack follow me on Instagram or Twitter today for a virtual tour of the produce section and some great recipes.

May 16, 1 p.m. EDT

Have a great Food Revolution Day!