If you add roasted vegetables to most anything, I can almost guarantee that I’ll pretty much love it. And chick peas? Talk about a home run. I don’t know what it is about chick peas, but I can eat them with reckless abandon. Unfortunately the kids don’t share the same feelings.
Unless they’ve been turned into hummus. Then Nick will eat them. If not? No dice.
When I saw this recipe for a salad that featured roasted eggplant with chick peas and feta, it was pretty much a given that I’d make it. I mean, how could I not? Some of my favorite flavors mixed together into a healthy and quick dish? It became a side to dinner that night, and lunch for several days after. The recipe originally comes from Martha Stewart Living, which is surprising since her recipes are usually way more involved than this one is.
The other reason for loving this recipe? It’s totally clean eating. Totally free of processed ingredients and full of nothing but good stuff. And it definitely speaks to some of the five principles of Oxfam’s GROW campaign … two of which include “buying food that is in season, to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions” and “eating less meat and dairy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use.” Where our food comes from, and the types of food that we choose to eat is something that I talk about regularly with the kids. Although when I hear them launch into explanations about why their Mom won’t let them eat this thing or the other, it sounds like they’ve been brainwashed a bit, but quite the contrary. I try to do what I can to educate them about our food, how we get it, the best choices to make, and the whys behind it all. Sometimes, it turns out, they actually listen more than I think.
To that end, we frequent the farmer’s market. They understand and honestly take joy in meeting the people behind their food. To know that what we’re buying was just pulled from the ground or plucked from a tree that morning. When it’s “farmer’s market season,” we buy as much of our produce and fruit there as we can, to support the local farmers, to eat what’s in season, and to do our small part on cutting down our carbon footprint.
As far as processed food, it’s much of the same thing. Sure, we have Oreos and potato chips in the cupboard. But it’s the exception rather than the rule. More often than not, it’s homemade hummus, applesauce, fresh fruit, and granola bars making the rounds during snack time and lunch box packing. Andrew Wilder from Eating Rules has dedicated the month of October as a time to focus on eating unprocessed foods. And we have joined in on the challenge. We won’t be perfect, but we’ll do our best. As a way to support local food, the producers behind it, and generally speaking, just eating better.
Which speaks well to the clean eating bandwagon I do so love.
So now for your notes. Whether it’s baby steps or one grand sweep, you can definitely join in the movement. Andrew’s web site has a ridiculous amount of awesome information — tips on shopping your farmer’s market, solid recipes, and much more. And Oxfam America is a wonderful resource as well, including their Dinner Discussion Guide for Kids and their Pinterest board with all sorts of wholesomely healthy recipes that support their principles.
The eggplant recipe above? It’s an excellent place to start. As is your local farmer’s market. And shopping and eating seasonally. Make teeny tiny changes, just take that first step. You know it’s always the hardest. You can also search the hash tags #unprocessedfood, #OctoberChallenge, and #GROWMethod on Twitter to join in the conversation.
Tomorrow? We hit the way back machine and make some art.
Eggplant Salad with Chick Peas and Feta
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Basic Roasted Eggplant (see recipe below)
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (I skipped)
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, and ground pepper. Add Basic Roasted Eggplant, chickpeas, feta cheese, and chopped mint leaves; toss to combine.
Basic Roasted Eggplant
3 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cut eggplants into 1-inch cubes; divide between two rimmed baking sheets. Dividing evenly, drizzle with olive oil, coarse salt, and ground pepper; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer; roast, turning once, until golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on sheets.
This post was inspired by my participation in a compensated program initiated by Women Online/The Mission List to raise awareness about Oxfam America’s GROW Method. All commentary and opinions are, as always, my own.
Psst … The winner of the Barbie Giveaway is Commenter #6, Kristine! Please contact me at cate AT sweetnicks DOT com with your address information so I can get the prize on its way to you – congrats!Pin It#GROWMethod, #OctoberChallenge, Andrew Wilder, Clean Eating, Eating Rules, farmer's market, Martha Stewart Living, Oxfam America, unprocessed food