Think about what you cook and eat …
My a-ha moment about food came on a Sunday afternoon when I was 11 years old. I was at the table in my grandparents’ dining room, with three generations gathered to share a Sunday dinner. Noni and Grandpa had both immigrated from Italy, bringing their deep cultural roots to America. I suddenly realized the food on the table was wholesome, real food, prepared from the heart. From that day, I have embraced the belief that food should come from the earth rather than a factory.
There are a number of movements oriented around food awareness, including the Italian-born Slow Food philosophy. This year, Americans for the first time will celebrate Food Day (Oct. 24), dedicated to focus on improving the way we eat. Food Day will feature tastings, cooking demos, movies and other celebrations. The event is backed by an impressive advisory board of anti-hunger advocates, physicians, authors, and politicians.
These are the six main goals of Food Day:
- Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
- Support sustainable farms & limit subsidies to big agribusiness
- Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
- Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
- Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
- Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
Here in Summit County, national awareness around food has blossomed in the form of several community gardens. Plot holders in greenhouses at Nancy’s Garden in Frisco and Silvana’s Garden in Silverthorne enjoy an abundant variety of organic produce each summer. From arugula to zucchini, the range of crops includes beets, a wide variety of lettuces, kale, and spinach to name only a few. The experience of growing, harvesting and preparing your own food is rewarding beyond measure.
To acknowledge Food Day, try cooking a meal from scratch with healthy ingredients and serving it to family and friends. Stuffed chicken breasts, featuring Colorado Proud Red Bird chicken, organic spinach, and feta cheese, can be assembled ahead of time and also travel well if you’re going to a potluck. The beautiful presentation guarantees you will be the hero either way. A toasted pine nut coating adds flavor and crunch to the dish.
Stuffed chicken breasts are common in country style cooking. They are easy to assemble, in spite of their sophisticated appearance. Cutting a slit in the side of the breast will be the hardest part of the whole thing. The key to keeping skinless chicken moist is a light rub of olive oil before rolling it in bread crumbs, and then another drizzle on top before putting it in the oven. For complete recipe details, visit http://www.healthymealsmadeeasily.com/blog/.
I know Noni would be proud to see how she has influenced me to embrace preparing wholesome foods, and making meals that reflect her cultural values. Mangia!