19 April 2010

Food Revolution: Day 1

We're friends, right? You'd tell me if I had lipstick on ym teeth or toiletpaper stuck to my shoe, right? You'd laugh at my lame attempt at a joke even if it wasn't funny, right? So, can I be serious for a few minutes? I know that I joke around a little about my neverending love for Jamie Oliver. I go on and on about how great he is, how cute he is, how much I love the guy. There's more to it than that. I truly admire and respect that goofy British lad not because he's made a name and a living off of making great food but because of what he's trying to teach us about what we're putting into our bodies.

Every Friday night, a new episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution airs on ABC. Jamie goes toe-to-toe with the inhabitants of Huntington, West Virginia, the fattest city in America, trying to teach them how to change their eating habits so that they can live longer and healthier lives. He espouses the benefits of eating whole and organic foods over the processed foods that have become so ingrained in most people's homes. Each week he lets us see a little bit of his soul as he shows how much he truly cares for the children at the elementary school that he is trying to bring healthy foods to. He shows his compassion when he speaks to the overweight high schooler who has been given 5 to 7 years if she doesn't change her diet (she can't be more than 16 years old; scary to think she could be gone by the age of 21).

As I sat watching this week's episode, I began to take stock of the things in my pantry and fridge. I'm pretty good about cooking most nights and making enough so the hubby and I can have leftovers the next day for lunch. I'll admit to having Hambuger Helper about once a week (we're really trying to cut back). We've even got some frozen taquitos that haven't been touched since I started watching the show. So here's what's going to be happening in my life. I'm taking the challenge at the beginning of the cookbook, Food Revolution, that says to share at least one recipe from each chapter with someone else. I'm going to work my way through the cookbook and try to bring you one recipe a week from its pages. I'm also going to try to make some of the changes Jamie suggests on the show. My challenge to you is to join me on my quest. It could be fun!

My first recipe is from the section, Tasty Stir-Frys. Sweet and Sour Pork seems a little labor-intensive when you read the list of ingredients and realize how much chopping comes into to play, but the meal came together so quickly and filled the apartment with a lovely smell. It was definitely worth the work in getting the veggies prepped.

Jamie's Sweet and Sour Pork
Recipe by Jamie Oliver

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup long-grain or basmati rice
1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1 small red onion
1 red or yellow pepper, or 1/2 of each (I used 1 small of each)
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves o garlic
1/2-1 fresh red chile, to your taste
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
Peanut or vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp cornstarch
2-3 Tbl soy sauce
1x 8-oz can of pineapple chunks
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar (I used apple cider because it was all I had)
1 small heart of romaine
2 tsp sesame seeds
  1. Prepare rice as directed on package
  2. To prepare the stir-fry:  Cube the pork tenderloin into 3/4-inch pieces. Peel and dice the red onion into 3/4-inch cubes. Halve the bell pepper, seed, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Finely slice the chile. Pick the cilantro leaves and put them to one side. Finely chop the cilantro stalks.
  3. To cook the stir-fry: Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it's very, very hot add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around. Add the pork and the five-spice powder and toss or stir them around. Cook for a few minutes until browned, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Carefully give the wok or pan a quick wipe with a ball of paper towels and retrun to the heat. When it's really hot, add 3 good lugs of peanut oil and all the chopped ingredients. Toss or stir everything together and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch and 2 Tbl of soy sauce. Let everything cook for 30 to 40 seconds, then add the pineapple chunks with their juice, the browned pork, and balsamic vinegar. Season with black pepper and little more soy sauce, if needed. Break open a piece of pork, check it's cooked through, and remove from heat. Reduce the sauce to a gravy-like consistency by cooking for a few minutes more. Serve over the rice and lettuce. Top with the reserved cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.


Mim Mimmery Mim Mimmery Mim Mim-maroo said...

That looks so tasty! I wish I had the money to go buy the ingredients. Good luck with your revolution (this is where I would blast the Beatles' Revolution no.9 in your apartment). Love and miss you.

Sharon's Mum Anne said...

I was reading in the paper only yesterday that Jamie is putting MILLIONS of his own money over the next ten years into school meals here in the UK. That man puts his money where his mouth is.
Both you and my daughter are JO fans, take a look at her facebook.

laula said...

Katrina what a Great Idea! looking forward to hearing about all the progress and changes you will be making! And the recipes of course!

PS~Erin said...

I see what you see :-) I've only watched one episode of his new show, but the other 3 are in the queue waiting for me. Looking forward to your recipes and your input.