Vegetarianism

Vegetarian Revolution

We recently saw the show, “Food Revolution,” hosted by Jamie Oliver.  This took place in Huntington, WV, the town my husband works in.  Just recently they added vegetarian selections to Marshall University cafeteria entrees.  I don’t know if this was inspired by the show, but am glad to see it happen.  A couple of months ago a student group sponsored the showing of the film, “Food Inc.”  There was a panel discussion afterward along with free vegetarian samples provided by The Java Joint restaurant.  I’m thankful to see these changes towards a healthier life style.

These directions were taken from www.oprah.com.  I put in my own changes.  I can’t seem to ever follow a recipe exactly, unless it is something baked.  And, even lately, I’ve been veering off in my own direction with baked items, as I adapt for vegetarian or vegan, and get more confidence in the kitchen.

Most all ingredients I used in the following salad were organic.  I would love to see more organic being used.  Well, actually, I would love to see all organic being used in schools.  Don’t we owe the best to our children?  Why couldn’t local organic farmers supply the schools?  Wouldn’t that be cheaper, as well as greener, and provide jobs locally?  Perhaps I’m living in a dream world.  In the show the cooks were dismayed at having to peel real potatoes.  I can certainly understand this.  My own grandmother was a school cook.  I know the hard work involved.  However, if organic were to be used, the whole potatoes, peel and all, could be eaten.  This would certainly save on time.  Plus, the skin of the potato, if free of pesticide, provides valuable nutrition including fiber.

From what was being thrown in the garbage, in which there appeared to be no composting or recycling going on, the children shown in the show were dismissing the healthier food prepared by Mr. Oliver.  I, myself, think this would require time.  It takes taste buds a while to adapt to what is actually real food as opposed to what I consider artificial food.  I know my own eating habits took time to develop.  There are so many “so called foods” that I used to eat that I couldn’t stomach at all now, and still I feel I have a long way to go in the healthy eating department.

At any rate, I certainly congratulate Mr. Oliver’s efforts, and hope he keeps up the good work.

Everyday Green Chopped Salad Inspired by Jamie Oliver

  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves (I also used cilantro.)
  • 1 small avocado, just ripe (He called for two.)
  • Combination of Sweet Gem, Tango & Oak Lettuce (He used 1 head butterhead lettuce.)
  • Large handfuls sprouted cress or alfalfa (I used alfalfa.)
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, optional (I used a little bit of goat cheese grumbled on the salad.)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • English mustard (I used Dijon.)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (I used mixed pepper.)

Directions:

Get yourself a big chopping board and a large sharp knife. It’s best to start by chopping the harder, crunchier veggies first, so trim and chop your scallions and slice your cucumber. Slice your basil. Bring it all into the center of the board and continue chopping and mixing together. Halve your avocados around the big pit. Carefully remove the pit and peel the skin off. Add the avocado flesh, lettuce leaves and cress or alfalfa to the board. Crumble over the cheese, if using, and continue chopping. When everything is well chopped, you’ll have a big mound of salad on the board. Make a well in the middle and drizzle in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add a teaspoon of English mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix up so everything gets well coated and serve on the board or in a bowl.

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