Food Revolution Day & Sobey’s Potluck Challenge-Our Tastes from Home Dinner

May13

We were delighted to host a potluck in conjunction with Sobey’s Potluck Challenge.  When we invite this particular group of friends over, I am not sure who is the most excited: the parents because they get a breather from their kids (we take the kids off their hands for the evening) or the kids who are anxious to see each other and head down to our play area in the family room.

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But we always start the evening off with a family dinner.  The contributions to our “Tastes from Home” potluck were homemade chicken noodle soup, green bean casserole (a classic modified to be made without cream of mushroom soup) to accompany the macaroni and cheese that I had prepared,

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a make-it-yourself spinach salad and watermelon and brownies for dessert.  The hit in the dining room where D, myself and Sister #3 were supervising the little ones was the chicken noodle soup.  The noodles were lovely and fine and the broth had a hint of what we guessed was fennel in it.  We couldn’t confirm because the home cook that contributed it had to attend another event, but she sent a stock pot full of soup over with her husband and girls. We grown ups in the room loved the green beans and the spinach salad.

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My contribution of Mac and Cheese was modified from an old family favourite.  We have been preparing Best of Bridge’s Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese for years.  But recently, we had been saving the dish for special occasions because it was anything but low fat and low calorie.  I performed a test run of the recipe for Daughter #2’s birthday dinner.  When the original recipe and my version were tasted side by side, no one could tell the difference.

Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Healthied Up
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • canola spray oil
  • 2½ c fibre enriched elbow macaroni
  • ¼ c canola
  • ¼ c whole wheat flour
  • 2 c 1% milk
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 T monkfruit extract, 100% natural, 0 calorie sweetener
  • 8 oz. fat reduced old cheddar cheese, grated
  • ⅔ c fat free sour cream
  • 1 1 /3 c 1% cottage cheese
  • Topping:
  • 2 c grated fat reduced old cheddar cheese
  • 1½ c breadcrumbs made from whole grain bread
  • 2 T canola oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare a 2.5 litre casserole dish by spraying with a canola spray.
  2. Cook macaroni until el dente. Drain.
  3. Blend canola oil and flour over medium heat until it begins to bubble around the edges
  4. Add milk and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until sauce thickens.
  5. Add salt and monkfruit extract. Blend pasta, sauce, cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese.
  6. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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The moist, dense brownies for dessert were perfection.  One bite could truly satisfy a chocolate yearning.

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Now, who wouldn’t want to cook for these adorable kids? They are well mannered, taste everything and have sophisticated palettes for children their age. This is, I am quite sure, because of the example and encouragement of their parents.  All the parents in our circle, simply place wholesome, home prepared foods in front of their families and let the kids take it from there. Soon there will be another little guy around the table, as they have a brand new baby brother!

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In the foreground are three sisters.  They all help their parents in the kitchen and one of their favourite pastimes is flipping through pages of cookbooks.  I kid you not.  When we were invited there for dinner recently, all three of them were on the floor by the cookbook shelf in the kitchen, oohing and awing over various recipe photos, sharing them with each other and then requesting of their Mom that they make the most popular items.

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The Wee One (our Granddaughter) is also a part of this group.  This weekend she tried grilled eggplant for the first time!

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After our successful potluck, the kids donned t-shirts which served as painting smocks and made painted terra-cotta pots for their Moms for Mother’s Day.  These children are truly blessed with amazing Moms who know that time invested in the nurturing of these little ones is their most important work.

So as far as a Food Revolution is concerned, the need is not great amongst our particular circle.  But please do not misunderstand me; we know that we are a privileged group.  We have the luxury of time and can afford a variety of wholesome ingredients to prepare for our families.  Such is not the case the world over and indeed not even throughout our own neighbourhoods and communities.  We try not to take our blessings for granted and know that our responsibility is to share our knowledge with other families by example, with hospitality and with contributions of money and time to organizations that help feed families nutritious food.

I applaud Jamie Oliver and his efforts through Food Revolution Day-a global day of action celebrating the importance of cooking good food and inspiring in children a love of healthy food that will last a lifetime.  Sobeys wanted all Canadians to get involved and show off their cooking skills and that is why they created the national potluck challenge.  I encourage you to host your own potluck but also to tweet and/or post to Instagram about your potluck event with the #PotluckChallenge hashtag.  Sobeys will be donating $1 to the Cooking Towards Independence Project-a joint initiative between Sobeys and the Children’s Aid Foundation that will set up cooking workshops with children across Canada.

Kath’s quote: “As soon as I was old enough to peer over the worktops, I remember being fascinated by what went on in the kitchen. It just
seemed such a cool place, everyone working together to make this lovely stuff and having a laugh doing it.”-Jamie Oliver

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Love-that is all.

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One Comment to

“Food Revolution Day & Sobey’s Potluck Challenge-Our Tastes from Home Dinner”

  1. Avatar May 23rd, 2014 at 6:21 am Recipe Roundup | Eat Well Says:

    […] Food Musings – Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Healthied Up […]


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