A Food Revolution

by Jenn on May 3, 2010

in Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Meats

PAG_0108burger

If you are in the US, and unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve probably heard about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  I mentioned his mission a little bit before in a previous post, but today want to talk about it a bit more.  While I’m not going to get into the politics of American food policy, I do think that everyone can benefit from learning to enjoy fresh quality food that came from real ingredients.  Providing ways to eat real foods has always been what my cooking has been about – if for no other reason than quality homemade food tastes good!

Though for the yet uninitiated, the entire process of converting from processed to fresh foods can seem extremely daunting.  Produce is expensive, and so is local grass feed beef.  Not to mention the “withdrawal time” it takes to readjust the body and taste buds away from the salt.   And what’s with all those crazy ingredients?  For ex. celery root?  How in the world am I supposed to eat something that ugly?? Ok ok, celeriac, or celery root, is intimidating to a lot of people, but it’s alright!  However, you’d never know this vegetable has the most delicate taste and makes for a fantastic mash!

Switching to fresh produce and cooking for the first time is about as daunting as learning that my husband was gluten free and I could no longer cook with conventional bread, flour, pasta, oats, beer, etc. etc….  To make such a drastic switch, one has to reteach themselves their way around the kitchen.  But it’s alright.  You can do it.  It may take a little time, but one can learn the routine again, and the benefits of cooking present themselves in so many great ways besides the health.   Cooking can be a family activity.  It can definitely be a tasty activity.  And my favorite, cooking is a form of communication, a way to share friendship and love.

Small tidbits of advice can help, little mantras to aid in navigating around the grocery store, around the kitchen, and on the way to managing one’s health.  My advice?  Start with what you know.  Feeling lost and intimidated by a foreign world of food?  Start with something you know you like to eat.  Work on making it at home, and then start adding your own personal flair to it.   Cooking can become an art form.  It frequently is my creative outlet.  When I moved to a new country and felt lost, I turned to things I knew.  I made lasagna.  I made omelettes. Ha I even made buckeyes!  I used the familiar in order to explore the new – I tried new types of produce, learned how not to buy $50/kg. chicken, and fell in love with chocolate and hazelnuts.  Beginning with the familiar gives us the confidence to move forward into new directions.  Sometimes all we need is just a hint that that comfort zone is still there, that safety net still in reach, just enough to allow us to push ourselves into uncharted territory.

It is in that spirit that I share with you this stuffed burger recipe.  The cheeseburger is probably one of the few foods nearly everyone in the U.S. knows, and knows well.  I myself have many fond memories of family get-togethers outside in under the warm sun, the smell of burgers on the grill wafting into all of our noses and enticing us with delicious aromas while we quenched our thirst with a chilled sweet lemonade.  Burgers can be cheap and greasy fast food, or made into a gourmet meal.  But what everyone may not know is how easy it is go to from one to the other.  As long as one starts with good quality meat, a little produce can go a long way in really dressing up this dish into a downright lusciously delectable experience.  Because while health is important, nothing is going to be motivational without the great flavor to accompany it.  For learning to cook with real food is not a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle.  It’s meant to be a permanent change to better one’s health and happiness for the long term.    It’s just not going to happen if we can’t approach the issue completely willingly and with open arms.

Whatever your level of food awareness, this burger is bound to please – it’s an inside out cheeseburger – goat cheese and mushrooms stuffed inside the patty rather than on top, which is then cooked the usual way – then garnished with onions, avocado, and fresh greens, all to give great bright flavors that compliment the richness of the meat.  You can check out the recipe here on my guest post at The Whole Gang, where Diane is hosting a 30 day event featuring a new blogger each day, with a new tip for cooking fresh food and of course, a new recipe for you to try!

Speaking of guest blogs (I have been writing a few lately!), another great recipe to try new vegetables is quiche , which I wrote about on Darya’s site Summer Tomato – quiche is perfect because it has the eggs and cheese that almost guarantee it to be a crowd pleaser, but you can use just about any veggies you like in it also.  So if you are trying something new and feeling a bit of trepidation, again – take something familiar like eggy cheesy goodness, and then experiment with a new twist – you may find yourself liking some foods you never imagined before!

PAG_5471quiche2 PAG_5509quiche2

Are you trying to incorporate more fresh foods into your diet?  How do you motivate yourself to try new things?

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa May 3, 2010 at 10:17 am

Deliciously healthy combinations! I always try to add fresh food to my diet and love trying new things. Diversity is great when you want to eat healthily.

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Thank you! And the fresh food in Switzerland is such good quality, especially all the asparagus right now!

Reply

Magdalena May 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hello. Yes, I have heard about the Jamie’s revolution and I think it is extremely that he decided to dedicate a bit of his career to this important subjest. Great Britain is one of those bad examples, where children think that meat comes from Tesco and they have problems with recognizing fresh tomato, asparagus or broccoli.
In Poland, where I lived, the situation is better, I believe. Although big part of the society is quite poor, holiday in the countryside is still popular, and in school a regular, full meal consisting of a soup, meat and vegetables is served. No fast food in schools, so far. In the season, the vegetables are rather cheap. It is good, that you write about this problem!
The dishes look delicious, by the way.

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Thank you! It is interesting to see how the situation differs from place to place!

Reply

Valérie May 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I love Jamie Oliver and how passionate he is about getting people to eat well. I know I will always teach my children the importance of real food.

I laughed when you mentioned the celeriac root. It is indeed one of the ugliest veggies out there. But I love it!

Stuffed burgers sound amazing!

Reply

Jenn May 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

haha celeriac really is ugly – I love it too!

Reply

Aubree Cherie May 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Thanks for your thoughts on eating healthier. I really enjoyed reading your post and recipe over at Diane’s Blog. I said it there, but I want to say it again… thanks for being so motivational! :)

~Aubree Cherie

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Aww thanks! You make me smile :)

Reply

E. Foley May 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I made your quiche recipe that you guest posted at SummerTomato – it was SO DELICIOUS! My boyfriend and I were kinda weirded out at the idea of doing gluten-free crust, but it tasted great!

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I’m so glad you liked it! I don’t know if I ever would have tried gluten free foods before meeting my husband, but I have to say I’m very happen to have opened up so many opportunities to try other grains and flours because of it!

Reply

Kelli May 4, 2010 at 1:34 am

I am over here from WHOLE food gang, but I wanted you to know that I will be making your burger!

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Oh great! I can’t wait to hear how it comes out!

Reply

Stacy May 4, 2010 at 3:09 am

An “inside-out cheeseburger” is a Juicy Lucy!

I did write-ups on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and hope it inspires people to start making some small choices in the right direction for their health. Today is also the first day of my program to become a certified holistic health counselor and hope to help guide people to make those changes in their own lives.

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Ha I’ve never heard that term before! Congrats on starting your program, I can’t wait to hear all about it! What an awesome career to pursue!

Reply

Julia May 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Jenn, I watched Jamie’s Food Revolution US edition on tv, and I bought several of his cookbooks. I agree with his arguments that Americans have become alienated from their food sources. His success in West Virginia is proof, as it was in Britain, that we can regain what was lost when agri-business took over our cooking for us. I live out in the country, so cooking is the only option. But it is a pleasure to use the fresh, local ingredients that I get from the farmers market and the community agriculture share. Thanks for providing such an eloquent argument for food that tastes good!

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Thanks! CSAs are great – whenever I get back to the States I will surely be signing up for one! For now I can be spoiled by how integral the weekly markets are to culture here in Europe :)

Reply

lo May 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Between Jamie Oliver’s revolution and Ruhlman’s call-out on people who claim to have no time to cook… the word is really getting out about taking the time to care about the food that’s going into your body. And that’s good news.

I think the biggest problem we have, as Americans, is that we demand instant gratification. Learning to appreciate the effort (and flavor) that goes along with eating real food takes a bit of work. But, I’m a firm believer that it’s well worth the effort. Diversity is the spice of eating!

Reply

Jenn May 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I think you are right, it is a cultural shift that needs to occur on several levels – and yes, appreciating real food is worth all the work in my mind too!

Reply

Linda May 7, 2010 at 1:58 am

I love all the veggies you packed into that quiche. It’s looks great…and that burger too!

Reply

Jenn May 7, 2010 at 3:03 am

Thanks! I usually make quiche for the sole reason of using lots of veggies, it’s one of those great versatile “need to use up your produce” meals – thanks for hosting a fun & creative challenge this month!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: