Fashion Show at Bill Wyman’s ‘Sticky Fingers’ restaurant, London
Jamie Oliver deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for Food. He is attempting to do more for health reform than any bill President Obama can sign into action with his campaign for healthy school lunches. Sure Tyler Florence made a valiant stab at it a few years ago, and Shaquille O’Neal challenged American youth to get fit, but Jamie Oliver started the movement in his native England first, and his sincere commitment, passion, and inventive methods of making an impact on students, teachers, and families alike will hopefully surpass past attempts on these shores.

Jamie Oliver dressed as a pea showing determination
How could you not root for someone whose been cut-off at nearly every pass with bureaucracy and stubborn taste buds, looking dejected, yet still willing to don a pea costume to win people over to a healthier lifestyle? I applaud him for his is refreshingly non condescending approach. He doesn’t need to do this… he already has fame and fortune from multiple cooking shows and cookbooks. OK, so he has a cookbook out with the same title, but can we put cynicism aside for a moment? I think he genuinely hopes to make a difference in people’s lives and ultimately the food industry itself. Our dollars are our votes. If we change our behavior and opt for more healthy, additive and preservative free choices… the food industry will have to change with our demand.

So far Jamie has cooked two school lunches that failed to entice, and spent time with students to teach them where their food comes from. Not one 6 year old student could identify a tomato or potato until associated with ketchup and fries… frightening! It also emphasizes the importance of reconnecting with our food sources.
Julie Anne Rhodes reconnecting with farmer and source
Next he enthusiastically demonstrated why they shouldn’t choose processed food while grinding up a chicken carcass, skin, and guts to form chicken nuggets; and even went into a family household, stocking their fridge with healthy foods and the recipes to use, to no avail. Then he did another effective demonstration for parents and faculty to convince them to encourage their children to eat healthy, and teach them… wait for it… to use a fork and knife!

Yet we still cling to being a fast food nation until forced to visit the doctor, and being shown that this generation of children will most likely start dying from diabetes and heart disease by the age of 30, if we don’t change how we eat. Making this, the first generation NOT to survive their parents. An aha moment, or what? How long can we bury our heads in the sand?

Tatjana Rhodes modeling Vivienne Westwood
The show airs on Friday nights on ABC, and as far as I’m concerned, should be compulsory viewing in schools, and for anyone still in the dark about the fact that grotesque amounts of sugar, fat, and fake food products we can’t even pronounce, are dangerous to our health.
We all need to model the right behavior, if we want our children to change, it starts with serving and eating healthy meals at home as well as demanding real food in our schools for our children. Let’s ALL join the revolution, make more effort to cook from scratch, and “pass on the love.”

Bread and Tomato Soup
This Tuscan soup is delicious – it’s a soup everyone should try. Just thinking of it makes me salivate! It’s a family-friendly soup – babies and grandparents (both without teeth!) can eat it with gusto. I’ve added roasted cherry tomatoes to my recipe but it also works really well just with tinned. The great thing is that it only takes 20 minutes to cook, so go for it! PS Use a stale white cottage-style loaf – not cheap sliced white factory bread.
Servings: 4
  • 500g ripe cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
  • the best extra virgin olive oil you can find
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes (14.5 oz. cans)
  • 500g or 2 large handfuls of stale good-quality bread
1).Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and a quarter of the basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting tray and cook in the oven at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 for about 20 minutes. The reason for doing this is so that their flavour becomes intense and concentrated.

2). Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and add the remaining garlic and the basil stalks. Stir around and gently fry for a minute until softened. Add your tinned tomatoes, then fill the tin with water and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

3). Tear the bread up into thumb-sized pieces and add them to the pan. Mix well and season to taste. Tear in the basil leaves and let the soup sit on a low heat for 10 minutes. By this time your roasted tomatoes will be done, with juice bursting out of their skins, so remove them from the tray, remembering to scrape all the lovely sticky bits from the bottom. Pour them into the soup with all the juices, basil and oil from the tray.

4). Give the soup a good stir – you’re looking to achieve a thick, silky, porridgey texture, so feel free to adjust it with a little water. Then remove it from the heat and add 6 or 7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Divide between your bowls and serve with a little extra basil torn over the top if you like. The most important thing with this soup is that you have a wonderfully intense sweet tomato basil flavor.
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