Japanese Pancake

Okonomiyaki; the classic Japanese savoury pancake. As per my earlier writings on this gorgeous far eastern treat, Okonomiyaki literally means ‘grilled how you like it’. As such, there’s no strict recipe, but then again, is there ever? It’s simply a pancake batter which you pack full of all the goodness that works for you.

This feature is my twist on Jamie Oliver’s Mexican-style omelette wrap. Easy, easy breakfast fayre with a touch of zingy flair to tantalise your taste buds.

As unusual a breakfast as this may seem for some cultures, do give it a whirl. This is how I do it:

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 large egg
  • 50ml cool stock
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 little gem lettuce, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds or Furikake*
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • Sriracha chilli sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Oyster or Hoisin sauce

Method

Traditionally, this dish is made with cabbage, but I often have little gem lettuce to hand. You can add cooked chicken, pork, whatever floats your boat.

  1. Mix together the egg, salt, flour and stock in a large bowl to make the pancake batter.
  2. Add the lettuce and onion to the mix with any other ingredients you choose.
  3. Heat the oil in a small pan and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes on each side until golden and slightly crispy.
  4. Dress your pancake with zigzags of mayonnaise and your choice of sauces.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or Japanese Furikake (*a seasoning made from mixed sesame seeds, Shiso leaves and nori seaweed.

Simple, delicious and nutritious.

Japanese Savoury Pancake

 

Watermelon Pizza

So simple it can barely be described as a recipe, the Watermelon ‘Pizza’ is a nifty idea you can pull out of the bag when you’re in need of a fun twist for the kids.

Super healthy and nutritious, the little ones love it for its novelty factor – win win me thinks.

This is the first in a series of twists on Jamie Oliver’s new Food Revolution breakfast recipes, and my remix of his Mini super-fruit breakfast wrap.

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • Yoghurt
  • Fresh soft fruits
  • Seeds

Method:

Slice your watermelon into rounds about 2cm thick and then cut it into sections like you would divide up a pizza. Spoon on a little yoghurt and then dress with your favourite mix of fresh soft fruits and seeds. You could add a drizzle of honey or even get outrageous with a sticky balsamic glaze. Experiment, mix it up, and seek out your favourite combo; there’s no rules! Mint leaves, edible flowers, desiccated coconut, it’s up to you. It’s a handheld fruit salad made for sharing.

As there’s not much to it, you can prepare it pretty much anywhere with minimum fuss.

Bring on Summer!

Breakfast recipe

 

 

Food Revolution Day 2016

As we head towards Food Revolution Day 2017 (FRD) on Friday 19th May, I want to reflect on how awesome last year’s events were.

What a day it was. The stats build year on year, and we’re seeing the revolution gaining ground as the key messages propagate around the world from person to person and community to community.

Jamie’s Facebook Live broadcast reached an astonishing 115 million people, and we saw over 700,000 people become revolutionaries by signing up to the Food Revolution Hub.

Our ambassadors and supporters ran thousands of events all over the world and Jamie shared ’10 recipes to save your life’; learn how to cook these, and you can feed yourself, and your family, for the rest of your life. Along with 9 other writers, I published twists on each of these recipes to show how easy it is to build on these basic recipes and broaden your repertoire to 100 nutritious dishes.

I took a couple of the recipes into Felix’s primary school, St James’ C of E, and spent the day cooking up a storm with the younglings. We had muchos fun with the DIY Oaty Fruity Cereal before making the Simple Houmous. SO EASY, yet so delicious and nutritious. Seriously, they couldn’t get enough.

The younger children in reception loved the classic ‘Identify and Try’ class with a variety of fruits and vegetables. They were so good at giving everything a go.

I have to add that none of this would have been possible without the kind donations from Whole Foods Market Cheltenham who supplied literally everything we needed from their selection of beautiful organic products. We’re so grateful.

 

And it didn’t stop there – Jane Gearing and our wonderful friends and Waitrose Cheltenham kindly ran a class for Dunally Primary School as well, cooking lovely little wholemeal flatbreads with pepper dippers and sugar snap peas, along with the simple houmous recipe above. The children were taught how to make their own bread dough and learnt about how to cut safely using the bridge and claw methods. Jayne, Emma and the team talked to the children about healthy diets and the importance of trying new and different foods, a subject they work into all of their classes in the onsite cookery school. Good on you Waitrose, we salute you.

wholemeal flatbreads

Here’s a little statistic for you that will give you an insight into why this year’s campaign is so important to us: “70% of three-year-olds recognise the McDonald’s symbol, but only half know their own surname…..”

Watch this space..

Food Revolution Day 2017

The UK CEO Cookoff

Here’s what you get if you combine 30 of the worlds finest chefs, 60 of the UK’s captains of industry and 600 unsung heroes under one roof. The inaugural UK CEO Cookoff brought this seemingly unlikely gathering of incredible people together in support of the recently established UKHarvest and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.

Following the fantastically successful OzHarvest in Australia, founded by social entrepreneur Ronni Kahn back in 2004, the UK now has its own food rescue charity that redistributes quality surplus food from commercial outlets to charities. It carries out this truly inspirational role to nourish our nation’s vulnerable, free of charge. Where do I sign up?

Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall is patron of UKHarvest and we had the pleasure of her gracious company on the night as she mingled with guests and chefs alike, and even got involved in creating a delicious plate of food for an everyday hero.

Camilla Parker Bowles

I was volunteering in the esteemed company of three other wonderful Food Revolution Ambassadors, Lara from Essex, Jaroslav from Switzerland and Thomas from Germany. I’m still awestruck; not by the number of celebrities, but by the sheer inspiration, love and palpable motivation in the room. I’m so grateful to everyone that worked so hard to make this happen.

Food Revolution Ambassadors with Jamie Oliver

Everyday heroes from schools, hospitals and charities were treated to a spectacular evening which I have to admit I was rather jealous of; Nyetimber English sparkling wine and Toast Ale on arrival, producer stalls and the Food Assembly showcasing their wares, stunning food crafted in front of them, raucous entertainment from the magical Dynamo, and the most agreeable tones of Calum Scott.

So here’s how it worked. The 30 chefs taught the 60 CEOs, who then cooked for the 600 guests in groups of 20 around little kitchen pods. It was perhaps the most social, friendly and team-spirited experience I can remember. I dearly hope that this is the first of many such events and given Hotpoint‘s kind sponsorship, I’m sure there’s bigger and better to come next year. I teamed up with Jimmy of Ministry of Food fame, Amy from Hotpoint, the legendary Brett Graham of the Ledbury and Andreas Viestad the Norwegian farmer, traveller, home cook, food writer and activist….yeah, busy guy. My word these guys are talented; the attention to detail leaves me speechless. More importantly, they’re incredibly down to earth, charming and generally bloody good guys. Alongside their budding superstar chefs of the future, Eilish Maloney and Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen from Norway, we had a blast with our CEOs from Google, Quadia, John Lewis and Jamie Oliver Licensing.

I was a little busy to be taking lots of photographs as I normally do, but it would be rude not to pop in a few shots of the mouthwatering plates:

beautiful buffalo mozzarellaUK CEO cookoff dish

These guys weren’t holding back: Truffle seaweed, pigs jowls and goat’s whey butter all made an appearance. The fact that Brett and Eilish put a call through to the Ledbury to have their own bread couriered over in a taxi shows how serious they were about delivering the perfect experience for their guests.

How much did we raise….? Over £500,000 before the night was out, and the total is still rising. Mind-blowing! We’re aiming high in the name of food education, tackling malnutrition and obesity, and reducing the staggering level of food wastage.

Get over there and support the cause folks: www.ceocookoff.co.uk

Roll on 2018 CEO Cookoff.

View from Old Billingsgate Grand Hall

 

Going Green

I’m a convert. I’ve been initiated into the world of smoothies.

Inspired by the request for an ‘Alien Food’ cooking lesson at St James’ Primary School, I too have ventured into a somewhat mysterious and unfamiliar world..

This has long been the domain of my wife (For The Wellness Of Winter) and her dawn blender sessions that act as my daily alarm clock.

This recipe is just so perfectly quick and easy, but more importantly for me, the result is more ‘juice’ than ‘smoothie’ (personally I struggle with texture of smoothies).

Today’s four classes proved that children just adore this recipe, even though it’s loaded with raw spinach – a great way to pack in essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

green smoothie classes

Green Juice

Ingredients: (1 glass)

  • 100g Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 125ml Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Banana

Method:

  1. Wash your spinach, peel your banana and squeeze the juice from your lime.
  2. Blend it!
  3. Serve.

If you have a Nutri Ninja/Bullet then great, but a normal blender will be just fine. The baby spinach leaves are not fibrous like kale so you won’t be left with any pulp.

happy face