A slight change for this one as it was Food Tech homework for Eleanor, my 11 year old. Let me make this clear at this stage, this was Eleanor’s work, not mine.
The requirement gave a choice:
- Design a poster for the wall to encourage more students to eat a wider range of fruit and vegetables. Use colour and illustrations to help make your poster eyecatching. You could look at the Change for Life 5 a day website.
- Try to cook something over the holiday using fruit or vegetables – perhaps make a soup or a pancake with some fresh fruit. Describe the result in your book and if possible add a photo. Make sure you clean up thoroughly afterwards.
Well, after we discussed it we thought we could undertake both of the choices, in a very special #ParlezPantry kind of way, so we set off to the shops with a blank canvas and an aim to educate her classmates and others as a whole.
The raw ingredients:
- 1 Aubergine
- 4 Closed Cup Mushrooms
- 2 Red Peppers (we chose Italian sweet peppers and red for the colour clash)
- 3 Spring Onions
- 1 Beef Tomato
- 1 Large Baking Potato
- 1/3 Cucumber
- 1 Celery Stalk
- Sour Cream
- Stilton Cheese (or substitute for your choice)
So, let’s get cracking. Take the aubergine and remove one thin slice, length-ways, and place the flat side on the chopping board, the easiest way to prevent it rolling around and to give a sturdy base for slicing. Thinly slice, again, length-ways approximately 0.5 cm. Using a pastry brush lightly coat the slices with oil, it doesn’t have to be olive, it’s your kitchen, your choice.
Place under a hot grill for approximately 7 minutes or until they begin to take on a little colour, remove and turn over, then repeat, but the second side for less time, we don’t want them dry and crisp.
Take the mushrooms and finely dice. In a small pan take 1/2 teaspoon (tspn) olive oil and a knob of butter, the oil prevents the butter from burning. Add 1 tspn garlic paste or 1 chopped garlic clove and stir. Place mushrooms in the pan and bring the heat up. Mushrooms are mostly water so we need to reduce the water content before they can take on colour from the butter.
Whilst the mushrooms are cooking slice the Stilton into bite sized cubes. Place the cubes inside a slice of aubergine and roll it up and leave on a rack to cool. Add the remainder of the cubes to the mushrooms and stir.
Take the spring onions, top and tail them, then chop. Remove the mushrooms (when the colour resembles that below) and leave to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 150c with a perceived cooking time of approximately 3hrs 40 minutes, we want that potato done properly. Pierce the skin in several places to prevent it bursting inside your oven, this will allow the steam to escape during cooking.
Prepare the salad. Julienne the pepper and Batonnet the celery and cucumber and finally, slice the tomato.
Remove the potato, cut it in half and scoop the innards out.
Place them in a bowl.
Add the mushrooms and onions and blend.
Add 4 tablespoons (tbsp) Sour Cream. Ensure this is fully incorporated with the mushrooms and onions then fill the skins.
Return the potato skins to the oven to finish off, approximately 12 minutes or until you begin to get a nice crisp on top. Plate up and serve.
I am really rather proud of Eleanor for creating the menu, obtaining the ingredients and skilfully creating this dish albeit with some instructions, no work from me, just guidance; it was a joy to see her face as she ate her 7 Veg – 1 Fruit.
If you have children that are sat around at the weekend and they’re constantly asking “what can we do now….” why not head to the shops and give this a go, it really is fun, incredibly easy, and wholly nutritious. After all, it is called 7 Veg – 1 Fruit.