International Nibbles and Dips for a Virtual Pot-Luck Dinner Party on Food Revolution Day, April 19th 2012
“CHANGE is a process not an event”, says Barbara Johnson in her publication “Splashes of joy in the cesspool of life”.
In my mind Food Revolution Day is an event to kick off a process. A process to teach and show adults and children where food comes from, how it is made, why we should make at least parts of our daily meals from scratch, why we should cook and not just heat up, show, prepare and share and not just serve up.
The process of change is a perpetual education in all walks, in all stages and ages of life. It keeps us alert, interested, learning and growing. These are all things I believe in and therefore I couldn’t resist participating in this Event to kick off a process of change, for healthier, more home cooked food for adults and children.
There are very many reasons people tell me why they do not cook, they feel that they are all correct for them and their lifestyle. Let us look at some of the usual statements:
1) I don’t have time! – true some meals take time but some snacks for instance can be whipped up in no time at all and are much healthier than the ones that are processed and packaged. And you have an added value in making your own: you can make them to your taste and not to that of millions as food plants do.
2) I don’t know how to cook! – well if you can use the Internet, read a magazine or watch TV – you’re in business!! The increase in available recipes, video recipes, TV cooking shows and food networks has skyrocketed in the last few years. There is almost no escaping it. Simply enter your search words or ingredients into your favorite search engine et voila – the choices are endless. Oh and your bookstore has a ton of gorgeous enticing delicious exotic cookbooks just waiting to find a new fan or owner.
3) My kids or I am a picky eater! – yes I know we all have things we don’t like to eat but since we are all eating something to survive every day there must be something you and/or your kids like! And even home-cooked “junk food” is better than pre-prepared warmed up or fast food.
4) My husband/wife/friends won’t eat something they haven’t eaten before or in a different combination! Well in Germany there is a saying: was der Bauer nicht kennt frist er nicht! The farmer won’t eat what he doesn’t know!
I guess they these people are just losing out on life’s variety. I say: give it a whirl I bet you can recreate something that was different that they liked or have eaten before.
what ingredients are in the food and you can then talk about the country or region that the recipe comes from, even look it up on the map. Save a little of the meat, fish or vegetables and show them what they looked like before they were cooked. Or best of all: cook with them!
My recommendations: be adventurous, try harder, shop and cook with your kids. Take them to the vegetable, meat department, the bakery and the deli. Play show and tell there, I’m sure the staff will be happy to explain whatever you can’t answer or even let them taste.
Good luck and have fun and remember change is a process and Food Revolution Day is the kick-off to this process so if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
Now for our Food Revolution Day International Virtual Pot-Luck Dinner Party Menu:
Karin from yum and more, Frankfurt Germany originally from USA: International Nibbles and Dips on this page
Giulia from Jul’s Kitchen, Tuscany Italy: Green Panzanella Salad
Valeria from Love Life Food, London England originally from Venice Italy: Purple Kale, Sorrel and Lancashire “Caesar” Salad
Regula from Foodwise, Antwerp Belgium: Mussels with real traditional Belgian fries
Emiko from Emiko Davies, Melbourne Australia Crespelle Verdi di Pesce
Zita fom Zizi’s Adventures, Budapest Hungary: Vanilla Honey Rhubarb Galette
Sarka from Cook your dream, London England and originally from Prague Czech Republic: Rhubarb and Almond Panna Cotta
Recipes: here are the international nibbles and dips, radish roses and pita chips I made for our pot-luck dinner party. I also served carrot and red, yellow and orange bell pepper strips:
for Radish Roses, Hummus, Pickled Peppers, Walnut Cranberry and Cream Cheese Dip, Minted Tzatziki, Sheep’s Cheese Yoghurt and Olive Dip, Baked Dates Stuffed with Spicy Cabanossi Mini-Sausages and Wrapped in Bacon, Tomato Mozzarella Sticks with Basil Pesto and Homemade Pita Chips on the next page or under Recipes.
Hummus - this famous Middle Eastern Dip is easily made with few readily available ingredients. Take my short cut with a can of chickpeas and follow the step-by-step recipe from my good friend Bethany from Dirty Kitchen Secrets
Pickled Peppers, Walnut, Cranberry and Cream Cheese Dip – remove and drain 3 pickled peppers from a glass. Roughly chop the 3 peppers, 1 handful of walnuts, and a handful of dried cranberries. Purée the chopped ingredients with a package of cream cheese, season with salt, pepper and chili to taste. Refrigerate to firm it up again before serving.
Minted Tzatziki – this is a more Indian approach to tzatziki, somewhat along the lines of raita. Place 500 grams of plain yoghurt in a sieve covered in 3 opened coffee filters to drain it and thicken it – you will use half of the drained yoghurt for the tzatziki and the other half for the sheeps cheese and olive dip. Meanwhile peel a cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Grate on the larger grater side into another sieve, lightly salt it and mix it, let it sit beside the yoghurt while it thickens. Peel and chop (or squeeze through a garlic press) 1-2 garlic cloves depending how garlicy you like things. Once the water has drained from the yoghurt and the cucumber, squeeze both to remove excess water. In a bowl combine the yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, a handful of finely chopped fresh mint leaves (more to taste), a pinch of dried dill, grind in about ½ tsp of organic lemon rind, and 1 TBSP of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate to thicken and blend. Adjust seasoning before serving.
Sheep’s Cheese, Yoghurt and Olive Dip – chop or use a fork to mash 100 grams of sheep cheese, roughly chop about 80 grams of your favorite marinated green olives. Lightly purée the 3 ingredients so that the olives are still chunky. Add salt, pepper, and chili to taste. Refrigerate to thicken until use.
Baked Dates Stuffed with Spicy Cabanossi Mini-Sausages and Wrapped in Bacon
– use one package of pre-pitted dates or pit them yourself by slitting them up on one side and removing the pit, fill each date with a cabanossi spicy mini sausage, they should exactly fit where the pit was. Wrap each filled date with one slice of bacon, wrap tightly then you don’t need to use toothpicks. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 200 ° C / 400 ° F about 15 minutes, turning occasionally and watching that they don’t burn. Remove from the casserole leaving the fat behind when serving.
Tomato Mozzarella Sticks with Basil Pesto – use skewers to “string up“ cocktail tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls – serve with your favorite basil pesto – homemade is the best but in a pinch the Italian Deli usually has a good one.
Homemade Pita Chips – use pita pockets. Cut them into triangular shapes with a bread knife and separate the pieces. In a bowl mix 2 TBSPs of olive oil, 1 tsp of Balsamico vinegar, ½ tsp of grated lemon zest, 1 tsp of garam masala spice mix, ½ tsp sea salt, ground pepper and chili flakes (optional) to taste. Mix the marinade well and add the cut pita chips. Use salad servers to mix the pieces so that they are well covered. Pour the marinated chips onto a baking paper covered baking tray, sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and bake in a 200 ° C / 400 ° F oven for 18-20 minutes. Shake, stir or mix once during baking – make sure they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and let cool to harden about 10 minutes. Serve with the dips. Variations: use curry or other spices such as Chinese 5-spice for a different flavor.
I hope you enjoyed these recipes and our virtual dinner.
Power to change and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day!!