Food on Friday – Food Inc

Last night Steve and I watched Food, Inc. which is a documentary on the nation’s food industry, lifting the veil on the atrocious policies and practices of the companies that make our food.

Throughout the film, you are taken behind the scenes to see where the items that we buy at local grocery stores are actually coming from. Everyday staples such as chicken, beef, eggs, and pantry items.

Now that we have this knowledge, we are trying to figure out how to move forward without over reacting, but still desiring to make changes. Not only changes that will affect our family, the way we eat and our health, but changes to society.  On this blog, I’ve written a bit about human trafficking and human injustice, but this film took it to another level for me. It’s not only the way our food (animals) are treated but those workers who are giving their lives to these industries in order that they may be gain enough to feed their families as well.

It’s easy to get fired up about something like this and then get lazy and go back to the way I’ve always done things. But I’ve bookmarked the website TakePart which I hope to read regularly to receive updates and information on the food industry, fair trade and better ways of eating. One thing that stuck to me is that we can make a difference and basically cast a vote for reform three times a day, simply by the way we choose to eat.

I highly recommend watching Food, Inc. However be warned because you will never look at meat, soybeans, corn, farmers or grocery stores the same.

Off to the Farmers Market.

How have you found ways to feed your family better with organic, locally grown and fair trade foods?

(You can join the Food on Friday carnival by posting your favorite recipe, restaurant, tip or anything else food related then going here to share it).

Food on Fridays: Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar has become a delightful treat, particularly on the weekends when the coffee actually stays warm by the end of the cup.  I use vanilla sugar when making pancakes and other baked goods that call for an optional teaspoon of vanilla or any other time I may want a slight hint of vanilla flavoring.

My recipe is from the fabulous Barefoot Contessa.  You’ll need one vanilla bean.  Slice it down the center and scrape all the seeds out with a tiny knife.  Add the scrapings and the actual bean to a jar of sugar and close it air tight for two weeks.  After the two weeks, the sugar is infused with the vanilla and voila… you have vanilla sugar.

Yum.

Food on Fridays

Normally I like to post a recipe on Food on Fridays, but today is my birthday so I don’t plan on cooking one thing.  Not that I mind cooking.  I actually love to cook, especially for people I love.  But today, I’d like to take it easy if you will, and enjoy someone else cooking for me.

My family will be taking me to Trusela’s restaurant which is a fairly new dining experience here in San Pedro.  Bob and Josephine Trusela’s son plays on our T-Ball team so when Bob invited us down for Valentines day last month, we were thrilled.  Not only is the service wonderful, but it’s one of those places where you get treated like you are part of the family.  Of course the food is decadent with its fresh seafood selection, to-die-for pesto sauce and Josephine’s home-made cheesecake.

I can’t wait to see what they have to offer us tomorrow night, but most of all, I can’t wait to enjoy a special night out with my boys.

Food on Friday

Okay so it’s Sunday… but when the hubs is out of town all weekend, it leaves little energy for blogging or cooking anything fantastic on Fridays. But today… in an effort to clean out the pantry and fridge before hitting the market, I decided to make home made granola bars. And they look pretty good indeed. These will be great hopefully in the lunch boxes tomorrow and on the table for the Discipleship girls in the morning. I used my favorite chef, Ina Garten’s recipe from her Basics cook book.   Instead of the dried fruits listed below, I just used some dried cranberries and blackberries I had on hand.  Here it is:

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Food on Friday

My 8YO in the most sincerest voice declared to me tonight: “I’m glad you are from Iran.” Not because of who it’s made me, but for the food that comes with me. 🙂 As he was enjoying a plate of adas polo (rice with lentils), I thought I’d post the recipe. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber and really tasty too. They have also become a running joke in my marriage as Steve admits he didn’t even know what a lentil was before we got married. So here is my recipe (passed on to me by my grandma who makes it way better than I) for Adas Polo:

Serves 6-8

3 cups of basmati rice
1 cup of green lentils
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of saffron, diluted in a about 1/8 cup of boiling water.
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
olive oil
salt

Place the lentils in a sauce pan cover with water about an inch higher. Add a splash of olive oil, the cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer until they are slightly undercooked.

Meanwhile, fry the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until they are golden. Add the turmeric and fry for a minute or two. Rinse the rice a few times and put it in the rice cooker with 5 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of salt. Add the lentils and the onions and turn it on. When the water finishes, mix it all around and add the saffron. Let it cook for 30-40 more minutes. Enjoy!