I’ve seen a sneak preview of Jamie’s Food Revolution in the US (watch the trailer here) and already I am fascinated and horrified in equal parts.
I think Jamie is fantastic, you can see that he really cares about what children are eating. He takes Huntington in West Virginia as his starting point for a ‘seed of change’ across America, because Huntington bears the dubious title of America’s fattest and unhealthiest city (they have since slipped down the scales, but not much).
This is not only an American problem, as 300,000 children in Ireland are overweight or obese – that’s obese – and this is set to grow by 10,000 a year (yup, read about it here). Our children are eating too much of the wrong foods. Same problem in Huntington, except they are giving their kids pizza for breakfast with weird bright pink milk, and chicken nuggets for lunch. At home, the children are getting pizza, corn dogs (I don’t want to know what they are) and more unknown meats in nuggety form.
I have seen this in so many households in Ireland, and I’ve had to bite my lip while I watch parents giving their children food that is simply not good for them. And I know children can be difficult to feed, I know they are. But so what? Find a way. We are the adults, they the children. They do not know any better, and it is up to us to teach them.
Try to cook your food from scratch and buy the best-quality ingredients that you can afford. This will be cheaper, in the long run, than the money you will spend on medical expenses for diseases like Type 2 diabetes, which in Ireland, is predicted to rise by a whopping 37% in the next few years.
I’ll be following this series with bated breath, and I hope that Huntington embraces Jamie, I really do. Meanwhile, a lovely, little lasagne recipe from the brilliant Gill Holcombe, author of How to Feed your whole family a healthy, balanced diet with very little money…(full title here).
Aubergine Lasagne – Serves 4-6
6-9 lasagne sheets
1 large or two smaller aubergines
1/4 bulb of fennel
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 standard sized tins of chopped tomatoes
1/4 vegetable stock
For the cheese sauce
50g butter or margerine
50g plain flour
1 pint milk
Wash and thinly slice the aubergines, cut the slices in half, and put them in a bowl of salty water. Slice the onion and fennel and fry in the oil with the crushed garlic and some parsley. Add the tinned tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer gently while you fry the aubergines, on one side only, and drain them with kitchen paper.
For cheese sauce
Melt butter in a large saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute until the paste is glazed and shiny. Remove from heat, add milk and cheese, then return to heat. Keep stirring with a hand whisk until it thickens slightly. Layer lasagne sheets, tomato sauce, aubergines and cheese sauce in a large ovenproof dish, finishing with cheese sauce on top and bake in oven for 20 mins at 200c.