Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign launch, January 23rd, 2013.

Hey everyone. On January 23rd a new multi-charity Enough Food For Everyone IF (#IF) campaign to stop world hunger has launched.

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(photo from https://www.facebook.com/Enoughfoodif)

 

The campaign stands on four big IFs, which need to be satisfied for world hunger and poverty to end:

  • IF the poorest get appropriate aid to stop children from dying
  • IF governments force businesses to stop of tax dodging in developing countries
  • IF landgrabs are stopped in developing countries
  • IF governments and businesses make all their actions transparent so that everyone could see how these actions can harm poor countries/people if so

This is especially important since the G8 leaders are gathering in the UK this year. Celebrities, activists, influential people, and regular people like me are all trying to shout as much as possible about this campaign so that those with power notice it – no one is going to take action on a cause that no one supports.

On the day, we all gathered in the Somerset House courtyard, never-mind the freezing weather a big crowd came (sorry for images quality – my camera broke and so I had to use my phone).

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We were shown an amazing 3-D projection on the walls of Somerset House and videos of those who supported the campaign but could not be there. (here is the link to the video – http://youtu.be/X_02i_iW45c).

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(Bill Gates)

 

 

 

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(Orlando Bloom)

 

 

 

 

Some famous people also gave inspirational talks about why they support #IF and what results they want to see, such as Bill Nighy and Bonnie Wright.

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Some people die of hunger while I am cooking all the nice stuff and post it to here. You can see all kinds of messages about world hunger and how awful it is, but those are too far away to help. Are they? Basically, you can do several things to help (and it’s not going to take much from you, but will really matter for the world):

  • tweet about the campaign with a #IF tag
  • blog about it
  • sign up at enoughfoodif.org
  • tell people about it 🙂

The official Enough Food IF video here: http://youtu.be/Xi38ZtG4NhM

The official campaign website (scroll down, it’s a fun design): enoughfoodif.org

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Chicken and vegetable rice.

DSC01643I cooked this thing a couple of weeks ago and had to eat it for the whole week – hadn’t had time to cook new stuff. If I ever had to eat the same single dish for a long period of time again – that’d be it.

So, it’s rice, chicken and different veg cooked together to resemble the style of Asian fried rice but with more of a consistence of a risotto.

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients and calories:

  • chicken breast     (850 gr x 138 kcal = 1173 kcal (protein: 195 g; fat: 8 g))
  • baby corns     (175 gr x 26 kcal = 45.5 kcal  (protein: 5 g; carbs: 6.2 g; fat: 0.8 g; fibre: 3.4 g))
  • green beans     (200 gr x 31 kcal = 62 kcal  (protein: 3.6 g; carbs: 14.3 g of which sugars 2.8 g; fat: 0.2 g; fibre: 6.8 g))
  • red peppers     (300 gr x 26 kcal = 78 kcal (protein: 3 g; carbs: 18.9 g of which sugars 12.6 g; fat: 0.9 g; fibre: 6.3 g) – high sugar veg, simple carbs)
  • sunflower oil for veg      (1/2 table spoon x 125 kcal = 62.5 kcal (fat: 6.9 g))
  • sunflower oil for chicken     ((technically, if you want – can do without it; but some fat is needed for the body anyway), 1 table spoon x 125 kcal = 125 kcal (fat: 13.8 g))
  • onions      (150 gr x 41 kcal = 61.5 kcal (protein: 1.4 g; carbs: 15.2 g; fat: 0.1 g))
  • brown rice     (200 gr dry weight x 362 kcal = 724 kcal (protein: 15 g; carbs: 152.4 g; fat: 5.4 g; fibre: 6.8 g))
  • some soya sauce

Overall dish nutrition values per 100 g:  

kcal: 106

protein: 10

carbs: 9.4

fat: 1.6

Cooking instructions:

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1. boil chicken breasts as usual. (around 25 minutes)

 

 

 

 

2. don’t forget to remove the foam 🙂

 

 

 

 

3. chop baby corns

 

 

 

 

4. stir-fry them and put in a big saucepan, set aside. (for all stir-frying i used only a little oil, and only for onions).

 

 

 

5. stir-fry chopped green beans and add to baby corns.

 

 

 

 

6. chop peppers and stir-fry them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. slice onions, add half a table spoon of oil (can use stir-fry oil, or sesame oil) and sauté them until golden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. slice the chicken.

 

 

 

 

9. OPTIONAL: stir-fry the chicken to make it more crispy. This essentially adds a table spoon of oil and about 13 g of fat to the recipe – you can simply add chopped boiled  chicken to vegetables.

 

 

10. add approx 200 g (dry weight) of brown rice to chicken and veg mix.

 

 

 

11. fill in the saucepan with water – do not cover the whole of ingredients, aim for 3/4. Boil for about 30 mins (took quite a long time, i know).

 

 

 

12. enjoy! if there is water excess – it will get absorbed.

 

 

 

PS. can anyone please comment whether all the nutritional values calculations were useful at all?

Posted in Cooking, Healthy eating | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

About my images.

I only post stuff that i have made myself and photos are original as well. I’d like to keep it that way, so if anyone wants to steal them – please reference this blog. Cheers.

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Mixed meat (pork + beef) pasta bake.

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Yeah, it’s a “vertical” pasta bake. Tastes just as any other well-made pasta bake, but gives +100 to awesomeness for looks.

 

 

 

Cooking time: quite a lot. a couple of hours min.

Ingredients list:

extra lean beef mince 500gr

lean pork mince 500 gr

penne around 3/4 of a pack

1 tbl spoon olive oil (extra virgin)

red wine (for cooking, add extra for drinking, if you want) 3 tbl spoons

chopped tomatoes 2 cans

extra light philadelphia 1 pack (i think it’s 200gr)

some cheddar, if you want (to keep bake base more sticky so that the bake doesn’t fall apart once cooked)

herbs and spices: a bit of everything displayed + some salt

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The cooking process:

DSC01650 DSC01651 DSC01652 DSC01653 DSC01654 DSC01655 DSC01656 DSC01657 DSC01658 DSC01659 DSC01661 DSC016761. Mix minced meats and fry them until no liquid appears. Then add red wine and reduce the heat – wait for wine to be absorbed.

 

 

 

2. Add all the spices. (about 1 tea spoon of Worcester sauce). Also boil the pasta at this point.

 

 

 

3. Add chopped tomatoes; keep heat medium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Let it boil in tomato sauce for 5 minutes and add philadelphia cheese, stir carefully and well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Keep the baking tray inclined, and the pasta resting on its side. Fill the tray with pasta.

 

 

 

6. I was stupid enough to boil less pasta than needed. And so i did this to keep it from falling apart until i cooked more pasta.

 

 

 

7. ok, filled. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

 

 

 

 

8. Put sauce on top of penne, cover all of it. You may want to sprinkle penne with cheese (like cheddar) first to make it more sticky, but i did without.

 

 

9. Cover it all. Then bake it for 15 minutes on middle shelf, or until it’s as crusty as you want.

 

 

 

10. ta-dam! make sure you don’t break it when taking out of the baking tray – it’s quite fragile. Serve and enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

PS. I think it’s supposed to be a bit Italian or something, but i generally create more or less of my own stuff instead of following recipes, so this is pretty much original and messed up from the proper cook’s point of view.

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Oxfam Land grabs campaign December 2012.

Right, I am not timely. Been very busy. However, a week ago Oxfam campaign took place all over the UK to highlight the issues of land grabs in developing countries.

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Local landmarks were “sold” to investors – big red signs were put next to them to inflict a sense of empathy for poor people who lose their land to investors buying it off and they have nowhere to live, nowhere to grow their food, and they are left with hardly any means for survival.

This issue can be stopped if World Bank puts forward regulations on how the land is bought in developing countries, such as to provide adequate compensations for local people, or not to buy the land where people live at all, that’s up to them. What’s up to us is raise awareness of this issue ad include as much media and government as possible – to make this problem matter.

If you want, you can steal these pictures and tweet/email them to your local MP (if you live in Islington, London) if you haven’t participated – or blog about the campaign – it all matters.

You can find more info on land grabs issue here: http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/issues/land-grabs

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Chicken, mushroom and spinach pasta.

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Here is my new dish – chicken, mushroom and spinach pasta. It’s got loads of good healthy stuff – perfect for winter. Tastes very good as well (you’d guess, with all of those awesome ingredients you just can’t spoil it!).

 

 

Cooking time: ok, I haven’t really timed it, my bad. I guess, maybe around 1 hour 30 minutes.

Ingredients and calories:

Chicken breast: 657 gr (2 packs) x 138 kcal = 906.66 kcal

Mushrooms: 300 gr x 13 kcal = 39 kcal

Spinach: 200 gr x 24 kcal = 48 kcal

Chopped tomatoes: 400 gr x 23 kcal = 92 kcal

Sunflower oil: 1 table spoon = 124 kcal

Spices: black pepper, salt, coriander, paprika, garlic (4 heads) and some tomato puree.

Total calories: 1209.66 kcal/1557.15 gr = 77.7 kcal/100 gr

Instructions:

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1. Chop the chicken. Stir fry with 1 table spoon of sunflower oil until no liquid appears anymore and chicken has browned.

 

 

 

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2. Slice the mushrooms and add to chicken. Again, stir fry until there is no more liquid coming out of mushrooms and they reduced in size significantly.

 

 

 

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3. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree/paste. Mix. Add salt, pepper and coriander – about a pinch of each. Finally, add about a table spoon of paprika. If the sauce is too thick – go ahead and add some water.

 

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4. Keep it cooking on a low heat for 10-15 minutes.

 

 

 

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5. Add the spinach. Cook for 5 more minutes (the spinach will also reduce in size significantly).

 

 

 

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6. Chop garlic (go finer as opposed to what’s shown; i took the pic in mid-process of chopping).

 

 

 

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7. Add garlic to the dish. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and DONE!

 

 

 

 

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8. Enjoy! With pasta, with rice, anything will do.

 

 

 

 

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(Shown with brown pasta)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Healthy eating | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tender extra lean roasted beef (125 kcal/100 gr)

 

 

Hi. This time I made roasted beef, which turned out to be extremely tender and also extremely lean.

 

 

Cooking time: 15 min prep and 40 min cooking time.

Ingredients: A pack of extra lean beef and spices: salt, black pepper, thyme, garlic and sage. And of course my favourite bay leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions.

DSC015621. Tenderise the beef until it’s doubled in surface area. The harder you hit, the more tender it will be. Don’t tear it though. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan).

 

 

 

2. Fry it on a very high heat from both sides for about 2-3 minutes each side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Put it into a foil envelope, sprinkle generously with the spices, add a bit of water and bay leaves. Wrap with foil to leave a small hole at the top. Put it into the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

(Shown on the side of braised veg – https://lizatemir.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/vegetarian-stewbraised-veggie-dish/)

Calorie values are 125kcal/100gr since no oil has been added!

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Landgrabs campaign by Oxfam: London sold to greedy investors.

Get ready for a new all-over-UK national campaign by Oxfam. It will take place (everywhere) on 6th-9th December 2012. Local attractions will be “claimed” by Oxfam activists and signs just like one above will be put up. You will get the chance to empathise with the sense of deprivation that people in developing counties have to face more and more often. Don’t worry, cities will get their attractions back. What is less likely to happen to those who have already lost their homes to money-making industry in the face of landgrabs.

What are “landgrabs” and what does this all mean? If a piece of land is bought by industry investors – that’s investment and construction. If there were people living on that land and they were “removed” from their homes with little or no compensation and warning – that’s landgrabs. Many of those people would not have any other source of food except their land, many would have nowhere to go, thus deepening them into poverty. Every second developing counties lose a piece of land os a size of a football pith to landgrabs, facilitated by banks and private investors. What is there to do?

Many of such financial deals like buying a piece of land is curated and influenced by The World Bank, which also provides loans to developing countries. It can directly influence the deals that are made and how they are made. At the moment there are no set standards for buying land in developing countries, and hence people inhabiting the land are not accounted for. “The landgrabs campaign” aims to force The World bank to freeze the proceedings with selling developing countries’ land and create a fairer way of dealing with such matters. As I personally understand it, the examples may include that no land can be bought off by investors if there are people living there. Or that the people who have to be relocated are provided with means of supporting their families and are given new proper homes.

Oxfam is an international charity working to end poverty and hunger all across the world. It was set up in Oxford, UK, in 1942 and since then they have done an enormous amount of good work to change the world – from donating to major catastrophes to increasing awareness of women rights.

Currently I am a media volunteer at Oxfam, and hopefully I will be attending the landgrabs campaign in London in December 2012. If I do, I will tell all about it and make as many pictures as I can. In the meantime I will occasionally post about it to increase awareness. It will not interfere with my main focus – cooking. But cooking all these nice things seems so wrong at times!

You can find more information about Oxfam here: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/

And information about the landgrabs campaign here: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/land (hint: sign a petition there if not anything else).

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Borscht (also borsh, борщ, call it whatever, it’s awesome).

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was my take on the famous Central/Eastern European soup, borsht. It’s a thick, filling, delicious beef and veg red-coloured soup that is quite low in calories, fat and quite healthy, if you make an attempt not to use too much oil. It’s usually served with soured cream (or creme fraiche).

The cooking time is approximately 3 hours (1 hour 15 mins active preparation time) and is quite impressive to serve. Yum. (Calorie count is at the bottom of the page, together with some key tips).

The ingredients:

Beef, 800 gr.

Carrots, 190 gr (two medium sized ones)

Cabbage, 230 gr (1/3 of the whole cabbage head)

Beetroot, 400 gr (2 heads)

Onions, 300 gr (2 medium sized ones)

Potatoes, 500 gr (4 medium sized ones)

2 table spoons sunflower oil

4 garlic cloves

salt, black pepper, 4 bay leaves, 1 table spoon of cider vinegar, 1 table spoon of tomato paste, coriander (fresh or frozen)

The recipe. Essentially, there are 3 major steps in the borsht cooking: boiling the meat, prepping all the vegetables and adding vegetables to the soup). You can chop the veg, sauté  them and add straight to the soup, so do all the things simultaneously, but that’s just too much effort. So I separated prepping the veg and did that while the meat was boiling and it was too early to add them to the soup.

Step 1. Boiling the meat.

1. Cut the beef into cubes. Place it in a big saucepan and add about 4.5 pints of water. Bring to the boil. Leave boiling for 1 hour 30 mins (more or less, depends on the meat quality, some meat needs a lot longer to become tender). Remove the “foam”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2. Prepping the vegetables.

1. Grate the carrots. Put aside.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Slice the cabbage.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Chop the beetroot. Use gloves or it will stain your hands horribly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Chop the onions.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Cut the potatoes into cubes.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what i had at the end of prepping the veg. Then have some rest – the meat’s cooking time of 1.5 hours hasn’t probably passed yet. (Note – clean the kitchen ;))

 

 

 

Step 3. Sauté the veg and add it to the soup. (In some recipes you would add beetroot nearly at the end, but i tried to add it at the start – and it’s much nicer. I think.)

1. Sauté  (briefly fry) the beetroot in a bit of sunflower oil. Then add 1 table spoon of vinegar and about 2 table spoons of tomato paste and braise for 5 – 7 minutes. Then add to the soup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Sauté the onions (it’s a bit red from the remains of the beetroot on the frying pan here). Then add carrots and sauté both some more. Put aside (we will add it to the soup at the very end).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Add potatoes to the soup. When it starts boiling again, go to the next step.

 

 

 

 

4. Once the soup is boiling again, add the cabbage. Wait 10 – 15 minutes and go to the next step.

 

 

 

 

5. Add onion-carrots mix to the soup. Keep it boiling until the potatoes are tender, but not too tender.

 

 

 

 

6. Add bay leaves and black pepper. then crush the garlic, stir and switch the cooker off. Add the coriander and let borsht rest for about 15 minutes. Then add some soured cream (or not, as in my case).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Calories:

Beef: 8×125 = 1000 kcal

Carrots: 1.9×28 = 53.2 kcal

Cabbage: 2.3×27 = 62.1 kcal

Beetroot: 4×37 = 148 kcal

Onions: 3×31 = 93 kcal

Potatoes: 5×75 = 375 kcal

Sunflower oil: 2×124 = 248

Total weight: 4342 gr / Total calories: 1979.3

(4 pints of water weight about 1892 gr)

46 kcal/100 gr 🙂

 

Some notes: use gloves for beetroot handling; if the amount of water lessens at any time –   add more, but only add boiling water so that no more foam forms.

And for the interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht

Posted in Cooking, Healthy eating | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegetarian stew/braised veggie dish

It’s hard to pick a name for this veggie thing that I’d cooked, but guess I can settle on a “veggie stew”. It’s different veg braised with potatoes intended to go as a side dish (originally on the side of roasted chicken breasts) but can also be a main as well. This was not a set recipe, it was freestyle midnight cooking.

Ingredients:

2 red peppers

1 aubergine

2 large onions

6 large baking potatoes

4 tomatoes

1 carrot

some sunflower oil

salt, black pepper, a couple of bay leaves and some hot chilli powder (any fresh herbs, such as coriander will be perfect as well)

 

Cooking instructions (takes about 80 minutes):

1. Preheat a medium sized frying pan on medium heat, add some oil (maybe 2 tablespoons, can do with less).

2. Chop the onions, start slightly frying it (with all veg here aim for medium-sized pieces, of a size that is comfortable to eat, but not too small so that they don’t become a paste in the cooking process).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Peel and slice the carrot, add to onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Chop red peppers, add to the frying pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Slice the aubergines, again add to the veg mix. Keep frying, don’t let it burn or boil in its own juices, we need the veg nice and firm-ish. Add a generous amount of black pepper to the vegetables. Keep stirring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Peel potatoes, chop them and add to an empty teflon-covered saucepan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Add all the veg to the potato-filled saucepan, fill it (2/3rds ) with water, mix and bring to the boil. Keep boiling.

 

 

 

 

8. Slice the tomatoes, throw them onto the emptied frying pan with a bit of oil and braise until it becomes a paste. Then add some chilli powder and black pepper. Then add the tomatoes to the saucepan with potatoes/veg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Keep it boiling until the potatoes are soft (check by piercing them with a fork). Remember, that the veg should not be all covered with water, the saucepan should be 2/3 filled with water (which by now will be a nice veggie stock; e.g. there is too much liquid in the image). If there is too much liquid, take a spoon and a mug and dip the liquid out. It’s not a soup after all.

 

10. In the last 10-5 minutes, add a couple of bay leaves and salt. Mix.

 

 

 

 

11. Enjoy! You can add some fresh coriander directly to the plate.

 

 

 

 

Some notes: Any veg could be used, I just picked the ones that I liked. It’s quite healthy, low-calorie, but filling. And yum 🙂

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