Food Revolution Day Dinner Party & Recipe SwapMon 28 May 2012
Story by Amanda Wendt
When Jamie Oliver announced Food Revolution Day I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do to celebrate. As a Mom, one of the things I struggle with most is trying to get easy, quick and healthy meals on the table every night for dinner. I know this is a common issue for many of the Moms in my community. And even though there are an abundance of recipes available in cook books and on the internet, sometimes you want to know how it will taste before you make it for your family. That is where the idea for a recipe swap/potluck party blossomed.
Teaching Recipes For Food Revolution Day
On Saturday, May 19th, I had 15 people at my home in Connecticut to celebrate Food Revolution Day, from age 2 to 82. Each person brought a dish and a donation to the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. I’m a huge fan of Jamie’s “Food Revolution” cook book. In the book he asks everyone who learns a recipe to pledge to teach at least two people a recipe from each chapter. And those two people in turn pledge to teach two more people. I loved this idea of utilizing one recipe to help feed a community. I took the pledge idea and taught all of my party goer’s three salads from Jamie’s book.
I started with the “Pick-and-Mix Style” salad which gives you a chart to follow and encourages you to make varied combinations of salads. I was lucky enough to have all of my greens and other ingredients for this salad donated in honor of Food Revolution Day by my local farm, Sport Hill Farm in Easton, Connecticut. The finished dish was a salad of mixed greens, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, salad turnips, feta cheese and sunflower seeds. I tossed all of this with Jamie’s Jam Jar Lemon Vinaigrette. The Food Revolution Day Partyers loved it.
I went on to show everyone how to make Jamie’s “Mediterranean Chopped Salad,” and my personal favorite the “Everyday Green Chopped Salad.” While chopping and tasting we talked about our local food resources... Farms, farmers’ markets and local stores.
Then It Was Time To Recipe Swap!
The menu was so diverse. We had Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Italian Stuffed Peppers, Spaghetti with Tomatoes and White Wine Sauce, Pea Muffins, homemade Tabouleh, Ham Tetrazzini and Pasta with Roasted Vegetables just to name a few. I made Jamie’s Salmon Cakes for one of my contributions. My friends from Food Rev Parties on twitter also submitted recipes to include in the swap. Everyone who gave a recipe received all of the recipes swapped in a PDF booklet. The foods were tasty. The discussion was even better.
While everyone chowed down, we talked “real food.” I handed out a list with local farms, gardening supply stores, web sites for learning more about sustainable food and farming. I shared the links for Jamie’s TED Wish talk and Robyn O’Brien’s TEDxAustin talk. I explained that these two videos were the catalyst for me starting on my own personal Food Revolution.
We talked about GMOs, a very hot topic in our state. And my six-year-old daughter helped do a ketchup demonstration to discuss high fructose corn syrup.
Inspiring Others To Join The Food Revolution
While the food and the company were wonderful and helped to make the day so special, for me the real proof of a revolution came after the party. Four of the people decided to have a spontaneous “field trip” to our local Whole Foods. They texted me to say they had used the Fooducate app we had discussed while they were there. Another emailed me later that night to say she ordered a few of the books I had discussed. And one friend asked if I would mind taking her to our local farm and showing her around.
If Jamie Oliver wanted everyone to try to make change in their community, then my community succeeded in that goal on Food Revolution Day.
And the best part was when everyone asked if we could do it again, soon.
Positive changes for our kids, our families and our own healthy future.
One person at a time.
THAT, to me, is what the Food Revolution is all about.
About the author: Amanda is a mother of two and a work-at-home small business owner. A foodie, home cook and lover of meal planning, Amanda has always enjoyed time in the kitchen, but has recently started enjoying time in the garden too. Inspired by the Food Revolution, her family began a journey towards a more healthy way of eating, cooking and living. She chronicles this journey at her blog, The Organic Trail. She lives with her husband, daughters and yellow lab in Connecticut.
Photo credit: Sam Cousins
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