Sunday, May 9, 2010

a stir-fry honor of jamie oliver?

so i became a huge fan of jamie oliver's the food revolution. have you heard about this movement which is chronicled in a tv show? if it is in a nutshell. jamie oliver is a pretty famous chef from great britain. he emphasizes the importance of using fresh, in-season, excellent ingredients for everyone from professional chefs to home cooks. earlier this year, he filmed a tv show in huntington, west virginia (supposedly the unhealthiest city in america) where he set objectives to improve the food served to children in the public schools and to teach the locals how to shop and cook using fresh food with a massive reduction in processed foods.

he also has created a website which chronicles his progress and includes a petition which states: "I support the Food Revolution. America's kids need better food at school and better health prospects. We need to keep cooking skills alive." oliver plans to tally the final numbers, send to president and mrs obama and ask for their help and support in improving school lunches. how cool is that? to date over 592,000 americans have signed the petition. if you are interested in additional info...or would like to sign the here

regular readers know my food mantra is "the ingredients really do matter" and that i emphasize the use of local, in season, organic or sustainably grown food....and then try not to muck it up with overly complicated, to me, jamie oliver is preaching to the choir. i am so impressed with his entire concept...start with one town...move on to the next and the next and the next...and soon transform every school in the country. i mean c'mon...have you looked into what they serve at schools these days? scary!

i think "buzz" can be so powerful. the food revolution movement has been discussed in the news, social networking sites, blogs, food clubs etc. i had the pleasure of attending the recent napa local food forum (more on that in future posts)...and was so pleased to hear that our local napa schools have begun to change the way our kids eat in school...whole wheat bread, salad bars, no carbonated sugary drinks, etc and...while there is still a long way to go...progress is a good thing.

for my part, i wanted to introduce the movement to my readers, encourage everyone to learn more about the food revolution...and ask you to share with me ideas, suggestions and examples of progress being made in your city or town. maybe we can all learn from each other?
but a post from me is not complete without a recipe. and, since you can't watch an episode of the show without hearing about a stir-fry, stir-fry it is....inspired by jamie oliver with ingredients i love....what could be better than that?jamie his own words:

"My philosophy to food and healthy eating has always been about enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way. Food is one of life's greatest joys yet we've reached this really sad point where we're turning food into the enemy, and something to be afraid of. I believe that when you use good ingredients to make pasta dishes, salads, stews, burgers, grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and even outrageous cakes, they all have a place in our diets. We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that's alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don't eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.

Knowing how to cook means you'll be able to turn all sorts of fresh ingredients into meals when they're in season, at their best, and cheapest! Cooking this way will always be cheaper than buying processed food, not to mention better for you. And because you'll be cooking a variety of lovely things, you'll naturally start to find a sensible balance. Some days you'll feel like making something light, and fresh, other days you'll want something warming and hearty. If you've got to snack between meals, try to go for something healthy rather than loading up on chocolate or potato crisps. Basically, as long as we all recognize that treats should be treats, not a daily occurrence, we'll be in a good place. So when I talk about having a 'healthy' approach to food, and eating better I'm talking about achieving that sense of balance: lots of the good stuff, loads of variety, and the odd indulgence every now and then."

cool, yes? now, on to the stir-fry....
i make stir fry all the time...the ingredients vary depending on what is in season...and the measurements depend on what i have on hand. please be as creative as you wish with the vegetables you use...just cut/slice everything about the same size so it all cooks evenly. this is one of those techniques where the prep takes longer than the actual cooking time, so slice and measure everything before you begin to cook.
our spring stir fry (inspired by jamie oliver)

8 oz whole wheat pasta, any shape you like
6 ounces boneless pork chops
1 piece of fresh ginger (about 2 inches)
2 spring onions (or 1/2 red onion)
2 stalks spring garlic (or 2 cloves garlic)
1 bunch asparagus
2 big handfuls of sugar snap peas
small bunch of fresh cilantro
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup excellent quality organic teriyaki sauce
2-3 tbsp excellent quality soy sauce (organic if you can find it)
1-2 tbsp ground fresh red chili paste

1 lime

cook pasta according to package directions. drain and rinse in a colander and set aside.
slice the pork into generous bite sized pieces. peel and slice the ginger, onions and garlic. trim the asparagus and slice into 2 inch pieces. separate the cilantro leaves from the stalks. finely chop the cilantro stalks.

to a large bowl add the ginger, onion, garlic, asparagus, sugar snap peas and cilantro stalks. add the sesame oil and mix everything together.
heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. add 1 tbsp grapeseed oil to pan and, when hot, add the sliced pork and stir-fry 3-5 minutes until just cooked through. remove from pan with slotted spoon, place on a plate and set aside. add the second tbsp of grapeseed oil to the pan or wok and, when hot, add all the chopped vegetables. stir-fry for 2 minutes stirring constantly. the vegetable should still be crunchy. add 1/2 the teriyaki sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and the juice of half a lime, stir. add the pork and 1 tbsp chili paste, stir. add the pasta & the rest of the teriyaki sauce and quickly stir everything together. taste and adjust by adding the additional soy sauce and chili sauce to your preference. sprinkle the cilantro leaves over top...give a quick stir and serve with a squeeze of additional lime juice. (i like spicy food, so i add additional chili sauce on the side )

do you stir-fry? what are your favorite ingredient combinations? please share in the comments section of this post....have a good week!

diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style™ "
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Cortne said...

I've heard so much about Jamie Oliver and his food revolution recently but havne't taken the time yet to really learn about it. It seems to go right along with some of the things that I'm a proponent of, such as homemade cooking, in spite of time and money constraints. I'm still a student, but it's important to me to be able to eat well and encourage people my age to take responsibility for their eating as well.

That stir fry looks great. Maybe I'll try that sometime this week.

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi cortne...thank you so much for your wonderful comments. i am very happy to hear that you are encouraging other people your age to use fresh, local, organic or sustainably grown ingredients...and homemade food always rocks! i like you blog too...please visit again soon and let me know how you are doing...

my best,

Jess said...

Hi Diane,
I made the stir-fry last night and my entire family loved it. My kids ate every bite and normally it's a battle to get them to eat vegetables. Thank you for the recipe and the information. I signed the petition.

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks happy your family enjoyed the stir-fry!