Friday, February 19, 2010

Taking Responsibility

It seems to me one of the on-going buzzes is the battle this country has with bulge. Michelle Obama’s initiative to tackle child obesity will help keep this serious abuse of food front and center. Now, there are many institutional changes that need to take place: the re-evaluation of the foods we feed children in school; the subsidy the corn growers get making high fructose corn syrup so cheap and easy to use, and the lack of national support for local agri-business to get to market and compete with behemoth food distributors.

So, until there is real action (and jaded as I am, I don’t see our congress doing much) it is up to us, the individual, to start making choices that will hopefully effect change.

As a consumer, I long ago took responsibility for the items I bought. There are very few commercially canned products I will rely upon and definitely not a single pre-package meal that will make it to my table. Yes, I can shop as needed given the access I have in the area I live – I am spoiled, by choice. We need to take some extra time to plan – plain beans have the ability to be incarnated into multiple meals; quinoa is a terrific grain that cooks in 15 minutes, and fresh or frozen vegetables are an easy go to.

Personally, a mid-week dinner never takes me more than 30 minutes – be it a quick sauté or a stew that I then allow to simmer pretty much free of constant baby-sitting. Though you need to feel the joy and pleasure of feeding and being fed. The kitchen needs to become your sandbox, and cooking the child-like glee found when making a mud-pie.

Let us not despair to deeply and continue to believe that some change will come, but until that time lets visit the farmer’s market…eat an apple instead of a flip-top serving of apple sauce, or that a happy meal is pleasing no one but the shareholder.

Garlic Broccoli – yields 4 servings
3 garlic cloves – sliced thinly
3-tablespoons olive oil
2 chilies de Arbol (or any other dried whole chili)
1-1/2-pounds broccoli
1/4-cup Kalamata olives
4-scallions – white portion only
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over a high heat, and add the garlic and oil. Cook the garlic until it starts to brown.

Then mix in the chilies, broccoli, olives and scallions, and 2-tablespoons of water. Season the broccoli with salt and pepper. Toss the broccoli mixture, and cook until the water has evaporated.

Serve immediately.


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