Ambassador Recipes: Eating Real For Less #2

Ambassador Recipes: Eating Real For Less #2

Thu 14 Aug 2014

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)

Last month, as one of our July challenges for our ambassadors, we asked them to come up with a meal for a family of 4 for under $10. Suggested by ambassador Terri from the Netherlands, this great challenge results in our ambassadors sharing their budget family recipes from all around the world.

Here are our next set of recipes from our ambassadors in The Netherlands and France.

Check out the first lot we shared for more recipe inspiration here.

Eggplant and Lentils Stewed with Cumin and Tomato

Terri Salminen, Haarlem, The Netherlands
This is a recipe that I make when in a rush. Unlike many stews, it turns out perfectly, after a bit of chopping and stirring, within less than an hour. The stew cooks on its own, leaving me time to put away groceries, set the table and get the kids in the kitchen for dinner. It's the solution for one of those days when it seems there is no time left over for dinner -- yet there is! Although it is made with eggplant, sweet potato and lentils, my children eat bowls full of it. It needs neither meat nor cheese to be satisfying.
Making a double recipe is well worth it because this dish is excellent cold, served with a squeeze of lemon and lots of parsley or cilantro. It also makes a great filling for tortilla’s and a savory filling for sandwiches layered with thick slices of tomatoes and garden salad. Oh yes. And it is a fine addition to stir-fried red pepper frittata, not to mention a perfect appetizer spooned onto fresh toasted bread with some mint or arugula leaves.

4 small sweet potatoes and sea salt
2 red onions
2 cloves of garlic
50 grams of extra virgin olive oil
5 grams of ground cumin
50-75 ml of extra virgin olive oil
2 eggplants (white or purple)
3 fresh beef tomatoes (pear-shaped will work as well)
250 grams of red lentils
750 ml of water
a handful of leaves of fresh basil, oregano and mint

Put the sweet potatoes in a pan and barely cover them with water. Add a teaspoon of sea salt. Cover the lid of the pan and allow them to cook in their skins until tender. Drain the sweet potatoes to cool.
Meanwhile, dice the red onions and garlic and sauté them with the ground cumin on low heat until the onions are softened. Dice the eggplant and tomatoes and pour them into the stewing onions. Add a teaspoon of sea salt and stir-fry the ingredients five minutes.
Add the red lentils and cover the ingredients with water. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into a dice. Add them to the cooking lentils. Simmer the ingredients 30-40 minutes at low heat until the lentils are starting to fall apart. Turn off the heat. Stir the ingredients well to help loosen the lentils. The stew should be thick yet juicy. Taste for the right balance between salt and savory, adding sea salt and ground red pepper if so desired.
Spoon the stew into bowls and top them with a mixture of fresh basil, mint and oregano. leaves. Tuck some warmed tortilla’s or chunks of cornbread into the side of the bowl. Drizzle your best olive oil over the top and enjoy dinner!

Notes: I often grill the eggplant in thick slices in the grill pan and dice into the stew with the sweet potatoes. In the winter, dried mint and oregano with a touch of dried chili are perfect flavor additions.
Eggplants should be firm and taut with a bright green top when you buy them from the market or store.

Stuffed Summer Squash

Julie Cockburn, Bend, Oregon, USA

The $10 challenge! I went to the farmers market to create my meal for 4.
It was certainly a challenge!
I made one false start - I thought I would make fajitas, as I saw a booth with a really great price on some local beef, and began purchasing items. But when I went to buy the beef, they only had larger, pre-packaged selections that were out of my budget. Lesson learned - when shopping on a budget, but the main item first.
Fortunately, I wasn't on a "real" budget, so I went back to the drawing board, and restocked my $10 supply!
I ended up finding these large, stuff-able squash, some lovely wild rice, a beautiful tomato and fun pepper to mix with the rice, and a delicious baguette.
It turned out pretty well! I would have like to have added some onion and garlic to the mix, as well as a bit of cheese over the top - but hey, it still turned out beautifully!
I did use salt, pepper, and olive oil from my own pantry.

For more recipe inspiration, check out ambassador Barbara’s French Pesto-Vegetable-Bulgurotto (like Risotto but with bulgur) with a colourful salad, fruits and nuts.

Share your photos and recipes with us for eating real on a budget by posting on our Food Revolution Community page.

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

Photos: Top row: Julie shopping + summer stuffed squash; bottom row: Terri’s aubergine and lentil stew


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