Archive for the ‘cooking for a cause’ Category

When Meatless Isn’t By Choice {Coconut, Kale and Sweet Potato Stew}

Monday, April 8th, 2013

food bloggers against hungerI’ve said before that one of the reasons we participate in Meatless Monday is to allow our budget to accomodate better meat when we do eat it — local, grassfed meats are significantly more expensive than your average supermarket selection but it’s something I believe very strongly in. After all, I believe the farmers who grow and raise our food deserve to earn a fair living so they can feed their own families. Today, though, I’m joining other bloggers to once again raise awareness of the critical need for food assistance for far too many children and families in our communities — and attempting to make a healthy family meal for under $5. While there are ways to stretch your budget at the farmers market, it’d be nearly impossible to eat meat seven nights a week on a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) budget.

The good news is that there are a growing number of farmers markets that take SNAP dollars, and better yet, markets that offer matching dollars (including several FRESHFARM Markets here in DC) that can help those receiving assistance to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets. The recipe below uses sweet potatoes and kale which are still in season at local markets, but I bought the ingredients for this meal at Giant, a local supermarket chain. It was disappointing to see how difficult it is to buy organic produce on a budget. Many organic items are pre-packaged — which is fine if you can fit five onions into your weekly menu, but I only needed half of one. Same with the sweet potatoes. In canned goods, the store brand organics were more in line with conventional. And when it came to the coconut milk, one Thai brand in the Asian section was significantly less than the American brand (yet the coconut comes from Thailand regardless).

Here’s a quick price check at the supermarket:

organic at the supermarket from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

And here’s how my recipe added up:

1/2 bunch organic kale ………….. .38
1/2 yellow onion …………………… .47
1 sweet potato …………………….. 1.34
1 can organic garbanzo beans .. 1.29
1 can coconut milk ……………… 1.69
= $5.17 ….
and that’s assuming you have olive oil, chicken stock, curry powder and brown rice on hand/in the pantry.

Get the recipe for my coconut, kale and sweet potato stew below — but first, here’s how you can help.

TAKE ACTION: Charity is not enough. The only way for hunger to be eliminated in America is if policies change, so it’s important we make our voices heard.

1. Take 30 seconds and send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. The more letters we submit, the better!

2. See the film A Place At The Table in your city or on demand through iTunes and Amazon. (Watch the trailer below.)

3. Spread the word. Share this post, or the link to contact Congress, on Facebook, Twitter (#TakeYourPlace), or through good old-fashioned email.

~

And now for the recipe…

coconut kale sweet potato stew ingredients

Recipe: Cocount, Kale & Sweet Potato Stew
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 bunch (about 1/3 pound) kale, rinsed, steams removed and coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Cook rice according to package instructions.

2. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add curry powder and stir, cooking 1 additional minute.

2. Add sweet potato and stock and bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender when pricked with fork.

3. Add garbanzo beans, coconut milk and kale. Stir and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, season with salt to taste. Serve over brown rice.

coconut kale and sweet potato stew foodietots

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake #FBS4Sandy

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

What do food bloggers do when a hurricane is approaching? Cook and bake, of course. With school and work cancelled and hours to go before the serious part of the storm arrived, I hunkered down in my kitchen cooking down the contents of my refrigerator. All the while following along with those on twitter doing the same thing. We had this pumpkin gingerbread cake for breakfast, and I had chili simmering on the gas stove for dinner just in time — as we lost power in the late afternoon. Fortunately, we were without power for less than 36 hours — as we all know, the brunt of Hurricane Sandy was felt by those in New York and New Jersey.

pumpkin gingerbread cake (c)foodietots

While our family and friends were largely spared damage, hearing about and seeing the devastation on the news has been heartrending. (My friend Christina of Take Back Your Table was without power for 10 days–and even then, she’s one of the lucky ones. Some areas may not have power back until December.) And once again, the food community is banding together to support those impacted by Hurricane Sandy — with a Food Bloggers Support for Sandy virtual potluck. I’m bringing this cake, but visit our hostess Creative Culinary for a hearty round-up of comfort dishes. And I know I don’t have to tell you to give if you’re able to the hurricane relief effort. To give toward kid-focused relief efforts, there’s the Pajama Project or K.I.D.S., both of which can take donations directed towards Sandy relief work.

Recipe: Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake
Makes 2 9-inch cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans (line with parchment paper, butter and flour).
2. Mix flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix pumpkin, eggs, olive oil, applesauce and molasses in a separate bowl. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Note: Make a two-layer cake with cream cheese frosting, or eat one layer and freeze the other for later. I served mine with a maple glaze — one cup powdered sugar, one teaspoon maple extract, and enough milk (one teaspoon at a time) to make a thin glaze.
Visit Creative Culinary for the Support for Sandy link-up — and add your own recipe if you’d like.

DC Food Blogger Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Springtime in Washington means cherry blossoms, strawberries at market, and bake sales — the Great American Bake Sale for Share our Strength, to be precise. DC food bloggers are once again coming together to bake up tasty treats to raise funds for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, because no child in America should go to bed hungry.

DC Food Blogger Bake Sale
Thursday, April 26, 2012
2:00 – 6:00pm
at the Washington Post building,
1150 15th Street NW (inside on the first floor)
(Can’t make it? Donate here and help us raise $5,000 to fight child hunger.)

Great American Bake Sale

Not in Washington? Find a Food Blogger Bake Sale near you, or host your own! Even simpler, click here to take the No Kid Hungry pledge and learn more about how you can help.

If you are in DC, don’t miss your chance to purchase treats from these talented bloggers, cookbook authors and bakers:

Alla Cucina
Anna Saint John
Bon Appetit Foodie
Cook Like a Champion
Cookography
Domenica Marchetti
Feastie
Florida Girl in DC
Foodie Tots
Food Wanderings
Frijolita
Healthier Kitchen
Mother Would Know
Not Derby Pie
One Vanilla Bean
Pati’s Mexican Table
Remaking Christine
The Bitten Word
The 6?oclock Scramble
The Chubbette
Whisked DC
Washington Post Food Writers

Think Global this Thanksgiving {A Somali Sambusa Recipe}

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

It’s hard to believe, but here we are at the start of the holiday shopping season. Oh, and Thanksgiving, too. As we surround ourselves with delicious food, friends and family, it’s too easy to stay caught up in our own little world. Of course, this is also the season for giving, and opportunities to do so are plentiful.

thanksgiving plates

This year, I’ve tried to select methods that will resonate with my five-year-old son and help him begin to understand gratitude. Yesterday we dropped off our shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, a small selection of toys, school supplies, superhero toothbrushes and warm socks that will travel to a 5-9-year-old boy in a yet-to-be-determined country. We’ll be able to check our tracking number to see where it winds up, but naturally Africa came up as I explained to my son why there were kids who needed our kindness in order to celebrate the holiday.

It seems most people of my generation were raised with the stern admonition at the dinner table that “there are starving children in Africa who would love to eat your meal.” I remember cutting and pasting pictures of Ethiopian children from National Geographic for an elementary-school report about the famine. It’s almost incomprehensible that that saying, which we treat as a cliché, is every bit as true today.

A representative of the ONE Campaign (you know, Bono’s anti-hunger nonprofit) recently asked me to share this virtual recipe card with a Somali recipe for Date-Filled Sambusas, adapted by Sarah Commerford of What’s Cooking in Your World. The recipe is meant to help raise awareness of global hunger and the escalating famine in the Horn of Africa. You can view the recipe below, or download a PDF copy here. And click here to learn more about the situation in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and how we can help.

Thanksgiving Virtual Recipe Card

I’m not sure if we’ll get to it for Thanksgiving, but I look forward to making these with my kids soon. And I hope you’ll consider working it into your holiday baking plans this season as well. It can be hard to imagine that the food that connects us is so scarce for so many — but hopefully by sharing recipes like these we can spread awareness and band together to help others, at home and abroad.

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!
Colleen & the Foodie Tots

Peko Peko: Remember Japan and Jump Start Your Holiday Shopping

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Peko Peko Charity Cookbook
Today marks the eight-month anniversary of the Japan earthquake and tsunami that brought widespread devastation to that country. While our news cycle has moved on to many other stories in the weeks and months since then, the people of Japan continue to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. A few months ago, I contributed a recipe to Peko Peko: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes, a charity cookbook organized by Stacie of One Hungry Mama and Rachel of La Fuji Mama. Through the generous support of Blurb.com, $11.45 from each book sale (purchase price $29.95) goes directly to the GlobalGiving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. That’s right — unlike other charity sales where pennies and nickles go to the cause, more than 1/3 of the sales go to the most critical areas in Japan.

Click here to see the full list of recipes contained in the cookbook — each contributed by well-known food bloggers.

shitake mushroom miso soup

(My contribution is pictured above, but you’ll have to buy the book for the recipe!) And then hop over to Blurb to order copies for all your friends and family for the holidays.

Thanks for your support!