Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Hungry Filmmakers

Hungry Filmmakers
December 15, 2009

The films:

BIG RIVER and TRUCK FARM Curt Ellis & Ian Cheney
THE GREENHORNS Severine von Tscarner Fleming
GROWN IN DETROIT Manfred & Mascha Poppenk
FACES FROM THE NEW FARM Liz Thylander, Kat Shiffler & Lara Sheets

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Doors open at 7:00pm. Screenings begin promptly at 7:30pm.
A panel discussion will immediately follow the screenings.
At 9:00pm, the party will move to Jimmy’s No 43, located at 43 E. 7th St.

Any proceeds from this event will be donated to Just Food

Sunday, 22 November 2009

حياتك منورة بالحب

Photo: CH

The title might give you a little clue as to what I have been up to these last few months! It is an Arabic translation of our live in light with love and it literally says, may your life be lit by love.

Where the hell have I been lately? These last few months have zoomed by - I can't believe it is almost the END of November! Has your Autumn flown by in a whirlwind too? I am in Edinburgh sitting in my flat on a very cold and wet evening, there is a gale outside and no heating inside but I just wanted to say hello and that I had not forgotten you!

I have started my Masters in Arabic...it has thrown my life upside down completely. I yo-yo constantly between frustration and satisfaction; there are not enough hours in the day for me to learn the vocab or perfect my 'ghain' sound. I have had no time to do anything but work these last few weeks - squeezing in visits to friends in St Andrews and London were worthwhile challenges - but I started to lose grip on the things that I loved so much. Exercise came down to yoga once a week, cooking became a rotation of chickpea salads, fishcakes and deconstructed pesto pasta. No baking, no blogging, no me really.

But I am clawing my way back. I honestly did not think I would make it this far with Arabic. Every weekend is a relief to get to, every monday brings more challenges but I am here and still going...and that is the most important thing. I am not happy if one element in my life takes over...I have struggled to balance everything and Arabic certainly became the only focus. But little by little the creativity is creeping back; pottery painting, repairing my jumper, guess-ta-maker baking and I am back at the blog. I know I need to have time off from the learning so I am going to get on the hunt for an evening art class starting after Christmas. I have even got myself a job at the most brilliant local restaurant. Jacs, you and I would spend many an evening there with a glass of wine. Food sourced locally, fairtrade, organic yumminess.

Here is a little peek in to what I have been up to...new places, new faces and a new chapter.

Some Arabic classmates...Claire, Char, Tamami, Steve, Ben C, Ben Wahid, Chris....

Steve, Christine, Char, Sus, Ruw, Claire, Chris and Tamami....

Suzannah, Char, Chris, Tamami

I have been introduced to some amazing things recently...



Waltz with Bashir

Nile Valley
The Mosque Kitchen
Real Foods

The wonders of skype will never cease to amaze me! I went to see Bat for Lashes in concert recently and she was supported by the Yeasayers! I felt very close to Jacs!

I have been making my own pack-lunch every day so I have become resident expert on all things travel friendly! Much much more later this week...

I am back... with love,

P.S....sorry for the lack of photos...I can't fine my camera cord! xx

Thank you to Chris for the Arabic Masterboard Photo....x

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Meatless Monday: Solving the Carnivore's Dilemma

Dudes I though I would post this great op-ed from the New York Times about meat, the environment and settling the score on personal preferences. I do not think it is urging people to go veg or not, I think it asks you to think about how your diet affects the environment. This means how far does your food travel to get to your plate?

Also check out the movement: Meatless Monday

...and this lovely helpful conservation over consumption website: retrovore

The Carnivore’s Dilemma

October 31, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor

Bolinas, Calif.

Is eating a hamburger the global warming equivalent of driving a Hummer? This week an article in The Times of London carried a headline that blared: “Give Up Meat to Save the Planet.” Former Vice President Al Gore, who has made climate change his signature issue, has even been assailed for omnivorous eating by animal rights activists.

It’s true that food production is an important contributor to climate change. And the claim that meat (especially beef) is closely linked to global warming has received some credible backing, including by the United Nations and University of Chicago. Both institutions have issued reports that have been widely summarized as condemning meat-eating.

But that’s an overly simplistic conclusion to draw from the research. To a rancher like me, who raises cattle, goats and turkeys the traditional way (on grass), the studies show only that the prevailing methods of producing meat — that is, crowding animals together in factory farms, storing their waste in giant lagoons and cutting down forests to grow crops to feed them — cause substantial greenhouse gases. It could be, in fact, that a conscientious meat eater may have a more environmentally friendly diet than your average vegetarian.

So what is the real story of meat’s connection to global warming? Answering the question requires examining the individual greenhouse gases involved: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides.

Carbon dioxide makes up the majority of agriculture-related greenhouse emissions. In American farming, most carbon dioxide emissions come from fuel burned to operate vehicles and equipment. World agricultural carbon emissions, on the other hand, result primarily from the clearing of woods for crop growing and livestock grazing. During the 1990s, tropical deforestation in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Sudan and other developing countries caused 15 percent to 35 percent of annual global fossil fuel emissions.

Much Brazilian deforestation is connected to soybean cultivation. As much as 70 percent of areas newly cleared for agriculture in Mato Grosso State in Brazil is being used to grow soybeans. Over half of Brazil’s soy harvest is controlled by a handful of international agribusiness companies, which ship it all over the world for animal feed and food products, causing emissions in the process.

Meat and dairy eaters need not be part of this. Many smaller, traditional farms and ranches in the United States have scant connection to carbon dioxide emissions because they keep their animals outdoors on pasture and make little use of machinery. Moreover, those farmers generally use less soy than industrial operations do, and those who do often grow their own, so there are no emissions from long-distance transport and zero chance their farms contributed to deforestation in the developing world.

In contrast to traditional farms, industrial livestock and poultry facilities keep animals in buildings with mechanized systems for feeding, lighting, sewage flushing, ventilation, heating and cooling, all of which generate emissions. These factory farms are also soy guzzlers and acquire much of their feed overseas. You can reduce your contribution to carbon dioxide emissions by avoiding industrially produced meat and dairy products.

Unfortunately for vegetarians who rely on it for protein, avoiding soy from deforested croplands may be more difficult: as the Organic Consumers Association notes, Brazilian soy is common (and unlabeled) in tofu and soymilk sold in American supermarkets.

Methane is agriculture’s second-largest greenhouse gas. Wetland rice fields alone account for as much 29 percent of the world’s human-generated methane. In animal farming, much of the methane comes from lagoons of liquefied manure at industrial facilities, which are as nauseating as they sound.

This isn’t a problem at traditional farms. “Before the 1970s, methane emissions from manure were minimal because the majority of livestock farms in the U.S. were small operations where animals deposited manure in pastures and corrals,” the Environmental Protection Agency says. The E.P.A. found that with the rapid rise of factory farms, liquefied manure systems became the norm and methane emissions skyrocketed. You can reduce your methane emissions by seeking out meat from animals raised outdoors on traditional farms.

CRITICS of meat-eating often point out that cattle are prime culprits in methane production. Fortunately, the cause of these methane emissions is understood, and their production can be reduced.

Much of the problem arises when livestock eat poor quality forages, throwing their digestive systems out of balance. Livestock nutrition experts have demonstrated that by making minor improvements in animal diets (like providing nutrient-laden salt licks) they can cut enteric methane by half. Other practices, like adding certain proteins to ruminant diets, can reduce methane production per unit of milk or meat by a factor of six, according to research at Australia’s University of New England. Enteric methane emissions can also be substantially reduced when cattle are regularly rotated onto fresh pastures, researchers at University of Louisiana have confirmed.

Finally, livestock farming plays a role in nitrous oxide emissions, which make up around 5 percent of this country’s total greenhouse gases. More than three-quarters of farming’s nitrous oxide emissions result from manmade fertilizers. Thus, you can reduce nitrous oxide emissions by buying meat and dairy products from animals that were not fed fertilized crops — in other words, from animals raised on grass or raised organically.

In contrast to factory farming, well-managed, non-industrialized animal farming minimizes greenhouse gases and can even benefit the environment. For example, properly timed cattle grazing can increase vegetation by as much as 45 percent, North Dakota State University researchers have found. And grazing by large herbivores (including cattle) is essential for well-functioning prairie ecosystems, research at Kansas State University has determined.

Additionally, several recent studies show that pasture and grassland areas used for livestock reduce global warming by acting as carbon sinks. Converting croplands to pasture, which reduces erosion, effectively sequesters significant amounts of carbon. One analysis published in the journal Global Change Biology showed a 19 percent increase in soil carbon after land changed from cropland to pasture. What’s more, animal grazing reduces the need for the fertilizers and fuel used by farm machinery in crop cultivation, things that aggravate climate change.

Livestock grazing has other noteworthy environmental benefits as well. Compared to cropland, perennial pastures used for grazing can decrease soil erosion by 80 percent and markedly improve water quality, Minnesota’s Land Stewardship Project research has found. Even the United Nations report acknowledges, “There is growing evidence that both cattle ranching and pastoralism can have positive impacts on biodiversity.”

As the contrast between the environmental impact of traditional farming and industrial farming shows, efforts to minimize greenhouse gases need to be much more sophisticated than just making blanket condemnations of certain foods. Farming methods vary tremendously, leading to widely variable global warming contributions for every food we eat. Recent research in Sweden shows that, depending on how and where a food is produced, its carbon dioxide emissions vary by a factor of 10.

And it should also be noted that farmers bear only a portion of the blame for greenhouse gas emissions in the food system. Only about one-fifth of the food system’s energy use is farm-related, according to University of Wisconsin research. And the Soil Association in Britain estimates that only half of food’s total greenhouse impact has any connection to farms. The rest comes from processing, transportation, storage, retailing and food preparation. The seemingly innocent potato chip, for instance, turns out to be a dreadfully climate-hostile food. Foods that are minimally processed, in season and locally grown, like those available at farmers’ markets and backyard gardens, are generally the most climate-friendly.

Rampant waste at the processing, retail and household stages compounds the problem. About half of the food produced in the United States is thrown away, according to University of Arizona research. Thus, a consumer could measurably reduce personal global warming impact simply by more judicious grocery purchasing and use.

None of us, whether we are vegan or omnivore, can entirely avoid foods that play a role in global warming. Singling out meat is misleading and unhelpful, especially since few people are likely to entirely abandon animal-based foods. Mr. Gore, for one, apparently has no intention of going vegan. The 90 percent of Americans who eat meat and dairy are likely to respond the same way.

Still, there are numerous reasonable ways to reduce our individual contributions to climate change through our food choices. Because it takes more resources to produce meat and dairy than, say, fresh locally grown carrots, it’s sensible to cut back on consumption of animal-based foods. More important, all eaters can lower their global warming contribution by following these simple rules: avoid processed foods and those from industrialized farms; reduce food waste; and buy local and in season.

Nicolette Hahn Niman, a lawyer and livestock rancher, is the author of “Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms.”

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Keep Reading!

p.s on that note check out The Daily Table's wonderfully detailed breakdown of antibiotics and the prevalence of them in our meat today!

Becoming an Urban Homesteader?

So apparently it does not take much work to find ways to urban homstead. Finding a free Greenthumb-sponsored canning event to frequent on a Tuesday night with fellow urban homesteaders (wink wink Will and Cameron) and infamous local food activists (Classie) will make you quickly realize it's actually not that hard at all to homestead in a city. It's even kind of social. It helps local shops, restaurants and institutions like these down below thrive, because instead of buying big you make a choice to support the small.

The Brooklyn Kitchen/ The Brooklyn Labs/ The Meat Hook

Urban Rustic NYC

Brooklyn Flea

Rooftops (of course)

New Amsterdam Market

Greenpoint Food Market

People like her

and Matthew at SCRATCHbread

his supporters at Get Fresh Market and Table and Brooklyn Larder

and busy bees like these dudes and backyard gardeners like her

Foodcurated.com --> coming soon

Maybe the idea of homesteading has become more than a local movement?

"Almost 700 people from 93 countries, many of whom are small-scale food producers, have gathered outside the U.N. summit. They are there in behalf of the People’s Food Sovereignty Forum, and they are pushing for small-scale, organic, sustainable food-sovereignty and food-security programs, as opposed to large-scale agribusiness with its dependence on genetically modified organisms and chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Michelle Obama said last March when planting the White House’s organic kitchen garden, “It is so important for them [children] to get regular fruits and vegetables in their diets, because it does have nutrients, it does make you strong, it is all brain food.” The first lady of the U.S. made the point that a homegrown, organic garden is a sustainable and affordable way to strengthen family food security." (From Hungering For a True Thanksgiving)

teach the kids yo!

and don't forget to visit the farms


Act: Thanksgiving Challenge

[image borrowed from google]

(Opps) I went to the New Amsterdam Market in October and forgot to blog about it, yes I know blogging has been weak, but I am picking up in it....and GOOD news the Market is coming up again - November 22nd- with a Thanksgiving theme. The Market is where I am picking up my turkey, which was slaughtered just today. Yes I really just blogged about my turkey.

It is/was a pastured raised heritage turkey from McEnroe Farms. For only $68 bucks I got me a 15 pound pastured raised organic turkey- I'd say that is a good deal. I am in the midst of planning 'the meal menu,' which will be extra special because Pete and his family are coming over. This meal is going to be completely local and farm market fresh. I am getting serious about my 100-mile diet (Pete and I are going to go full force when he gets over here); I thought the harvest celebration was a beautiful way to start.

Anyway I am challenging you guys (yes as you have noticed there is a new Act section of the blog) to be as local as you can when planning, shopping for, and cooking your Thanksgiving meal. Guess what? I have a feeling it will all taste better if you do!

Quickly here some obvious but resourceful tools/sites/magazines to check out when Thanksgiving planning...

Bon Apetit
Food Network

CENYC (for market info)
New Amsterdam Market (shopping)


Save Bed-Stuy Farms Yo!

[borrowed from google]

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Farm and The Farm

Farm members bring in the cane during sorghum harvest, 1972.
[images borrowed from Vanity Fair online]

Suffering from insomnia lately has me up reading all sorts of things. I googled 'The Farm' to get the address of the restaurant my friends and I are going to for my birthday and up popped this crazy hippie commune- well naturally I had to check it out. As I clicked through the pretty disorganized website I started to loose hope, but then I found a link to this Vanity Fair article written about the farm or The Farm. Now this is where I started getting really interested.

This 'coincidence' all ties into to my recent and amazing visit to a few pretty impressive Hudson Valley Farms this weekend (Ronny's, Billiam's, Pete and Rory's, and Severine's). I also wicked visited an anarchist commune in Germantown. I watched and even helped a little as a dear was butchered in a true homstead style. It was such an amazing weekend, and most of all it enlightened this City kid to the fact that all this back-to-the-land reading and chating has a purpose. There is a possibility of people doing this 'stuff.' Screw that, it (a.k.a homesteading) is actually happening, people are moving back to the land, they are turning it to it not only for food and function but for guidance and a new (or shall I say old) way of life.

Check out these communal workers and horse-plow farming techniques.

Farm members build a home, circa 1972.
Plowing in the fields.

Is this not the most amazing picture of a family farming together?

Chief gardener Cliff Davis, March 2007.

I love this clip from the article, because well it sums up EXACTLY how I feel:

Jim, who became an activist while majoring in engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, picks up the conversational thread: "Personally, I needed a break from American pop culture. It's The Grand Distraction—capital T, capital G, capital D. I'm tired of being part of some millionaire's game."

Even more true is the last paragraph of the article:

Albert Bates, now a tribal elder, has to laugh when he hears the hot talk of the rising Farmies. "Those kids are bringing in a lot of energy," he says. "As hippies of the 60s and 70s, we endowed our kids with this meta-program of peace, love, and ecology, and now they're holding our feet to the fire and saying, 'O.K., let's see it.' It's like we sent a reminder to ourselves down through time."

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Where's the Slope at: best pizza ever...

[borrowed from NYT]

Greg and Becca old friends from the camp days came to see me in New York today. After I got them lost enough to train it into Crown Heights I eventually found Franny's on Flatbush. We rocked out on sweet pepper and handmade sausage pizza and a clam and cream based pie too. Not to forget the amazing appetizers: crostini tonnato, sunchokes and succulent sausage . I do not know if it was all the amazing Calabrese wine or the unbelievable company, but I may have to conclude that that was the best AND most original pizza I have ever had! Straight up ever. And this is coming from a girl who has frequented Italy! It was written up as one New York Times best voted pizzas- that is no understatement. Hit it up!

After that amazing meal we somehow found room for possibly the most sickening yet delicious brownie sundays that I have ever had in my life at The Chocolate Room.

Conclusion: Park Slope rocks.

Hands down best night and meal I have had in a while!

peace and love,

there is always something to live for when eating well in good company


Saturday, 10 October 2009

What is truth?

"What is truth?" From the Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona. I took this picture on the first trip Pete and I ever went on together. Four years ago.

I have left Scotland, started a new job (kindergarten teacher), moved back in with parents, left my boyfriend (again), and have (yet again) started the existential debate in my head. I know there are no answers. We are all searching. On the outside of one of the most highly visited cathedrals in the world we see the question that is asked throughout all of time. What is truth? What is our purpose, what is our point?

I know there are no answers. But what I do know (that I like) is the sense of community I have found in Brooklyn, the sense of purpose I feel around my friends, who like me are trying to change just one bit about the world. I know I don't know it all, but I do know I want to be part of changing our food industry and the way we have access to the most basic right on earth: food.

I am about to start a journey: urban homesteading, urban localizing and urban greening. I have no plan yet, just a direction. I will let you know, when I know. For now here is a poem Hannah lent me.

Remember What is most important

It’s not having everything go right;
Its facing whatever goes wrong.
It’s not being without fear;
It’s having the determination to go on in spite of it.
It’s not where you stand,
But it’s the direction you’re going in.
Remember to live not just this one day
And not ad tomorrow’s troubles to today’s load.
Remember that every day ends
And brings a new tomorrow
Full of exciting new things.
Love what you do,
Do the best you can,
And always remember
How much you are loved.

-Vickie M. Worsham.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Sunshine and Sushi

It was a bit of a culture shock coming back from New York - a whirlwind two weeks filled with food, friends and fun. When I was in New York, Jacqueline's amazing mum Deborah took us both out for sushi...I have not been able to get sushi off my mind since returning to Algiers. Luckily, our friend Tim had recently offered to teach a few of us how to make some simple sushi pieces. Check out my rough guide, Sushi for Beginners...

Makes about 20 pieces
You will need:

3 cups of Sushi Rice or Calrose Rice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
Nori Seaweed Sheets
Fish - salmon, tuna, crab, prawns
Vegetables - cucumber, avocado, carrot, pepper, onions
Sesame seeds
Red & Black Lumpfish roe
Wasabi paste
Soy sauce
Bamboo rolling board
Bowl of water

Rinse the rice and place it in a pan with 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring the water to the boil and allow to simmer at a reduced heat for 5 minutes (or until you cannot see any water boiling). Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit covered until it becomes tender.

Dissolve the sugar and salt into the warmed rice vinegar. Allow to cool. In a non metallic bowl, stir the rice vinegar mix into the cooked rice adding rice and vinegar a little at a time.

Finely peel and chop the vegetables into long strips. Slice the fish into small lengths. Place all the fillings onto a large plate and get everything ready to make sushi.

Cover the bamboo sheet in clingfilm (this helps cleaning up afterwards!) and place a sheet of seaweed down on it. It is easier to make the rolls when the seaweed is in a square shape; bend one edge back and forth until it breaks off and you are left with a more square shaped piece. Wet your hands and pick up a handful of rice, pressing it evenly onto the seaweed sheet. You want to cover the sheet but make sure the rice is not too thick! Keep your hands damp as you do this as it helps stop everything sticking to you.

Arrange your filling along one long edge - be as creative as your imagination lets you. Carefully roll the filling away from you, using the bamboo to help hold and fold the seaweed into a tube. Press firmly and evenly along the bamboo as you roll. If you would like to try sushi with the rice on the outside, cover the seaweed as before and decorate with seeds and roe. Gently lift and flip the seaweed so it is rice down on the mat. Arrange the filling on the seaweed and roll as before.

When you have made a tight tube, you can try cutting it! (Mine tended to go badly wrong at this point!) The trick seemed to be to use the sharpest knife you can get hold of, wet it, and use a confident slight sawing action to cut through it. Arrange the pieces on a plate and serve with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce. Enjoy!

Or try the inside out version...

A little something we made earlier...

More regular blog posts coming shortly...

Love to all in New York!


Thursday, 27 August 2009

Eat- In and Black Rice Greek Salad

Huewww! It has been so hot hot hot in New York. There is no way you feel like eating anything hot so I have been mixing up some grainy salads a lot lately. This one seems like a no brainer: Greek Salad + Rice - but its the black rice that makes it special.

Black Rice Greek Salad

1 cup black rice (cook to instructions)
chopped basil
halved cherry tomatoes
feta cheese (I used goat's feta)
sliced red onion
Kalamata olives
vinaigrette (1 lemon, 2-3 tablespoons good olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar)
season: salt and pepper

(picture of rice coming soon, camera cord connecter is mia :(

In other news:

1. All across the country concerned people are holding eat-ins to petition what children are being fed for school lunches as well as send a message to Congress that goes something like this: "We are not happy about the American food industry, so do something about it already." Check out an Eat-In in you hood

2. I am proudly spreading the word on Roofop Farms and rocking publicity it is getting, from Edible Brooklyn to BBC.

3. Here are some good resources for some grass-fed meat and some restaurants in NYC that use clean and nutrituous products and produce.


Heritage Food USA

Knickerbocker Meats Inc

Grub Stops:

Roberta's and the Bees they keep

Franny's and their Larder

Back Forty


La Cense

4. Check out this aMAZing new project: Brooklyn Farmyards and the video

5. Lastly, in case you missed all there salad recipes in the NYTimes I thought I would send you them again, in case your summer recipes inspiration in waning.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Charlotte meets New York... homecoming

Oh no...we are reunited...can New York handle this? So far it is doing a pretty good job. Charlotte has entered Jacqueline's world with no time to combat her jetlag. No rest for the wicked! She has been introduced to iced coffee (a new favorite), different American cultures, tip etiquette, the art of the metrocard swipe, late night films...and that was only on day one!

We have just come back from a yoga retreat in the Catskills mountains.- the Goddess Retreat. There are no words that will do the retreat justice; it was such a unique and special experience. Lots of laughter, fantastic women and beautiful scenery. We found a new 'goddess' hairstyle courtesy of style guru Annie, ate the most amazingly-healthy-yummy-food created by Marie and Paco, danced the night away with Jaycee and all of the lovely ladies, swapped cooking stories and food movement ideas with Kiki in the car. The power of a
 group of soul sisters eating, laughing, yoga-ing, healing and empowering one another for a weekend is truly astonishing.

In other news:

we have been eating...

seeing friends...

walking & cycling...


reading... (Char found a copy of her great-grandmother's book in the Strand Bookshop!)

Today we ate lunch at Ella in Williamsburg. We both had two different salads to eat but the real star of the show was what we had to drink. Yerba Mate Tea Lemonade! It was so hot and Jacqueline spotted another customer drinking a pale yellow-thirst-quenching drink and said ''we will have two of those please!'' Yerba Mate is drunk mostly in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. It is a tea filled with vitamins and antioxidants and gives you a kick of caffeine (without the negative side effects of coffee).

Yerba Mate Lemonade

1 part brewed Yerba Mate tea (or any other brewed tea)

1 part lemonade
ice cubes

We think you could jazz it up by adding some sprigs of mint or some lemons to this too.

Still to do...Central Park, Kula Yoga classes, Concerts, MOMA, Rooftop gardens, eating - bagels, pizza, cheesecake, sushi, Neighborhood exploring, clothes shopping, dancing, sightseeing ... recommendations are welcome!


p.s if you want to check out the Rooftop farms being featured on BBC International PLeaSE DO (and see if you can spot someone you know ; - )

Monday, 3 August 2009

EAT- IN and Black Rice Greek Salad

Huewww! It has been so hot hot hot in New York. There is no way you feel like eating anything hot so I have been mixing up some grainy salads a lot lately. This one seems like a no brainer: Greek Salad + Rice - but its the black rice that makes it special.

Black Rice Greek Salad

1 cup black rice (cook to instructions)
chopped basil
halved cherry tomatoes
feta cheese (I used goat's feta)
Kalamata olives
vinaigrette (1 lemon, 2-3 tablespoons good olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar)
season: salt and pepper

(picture of rice coming soon, camera cord connecter is mia :(

In other news:

1. All across the country concerned people are holding eat-ins to petition what children are being fed for school lunches as well as send a message to Congress that goes something like this: "We are not happy about the American food industry, so do something about it already." Check out an Eat-In in you hood

2. I am proudly spreading the word on Roofop Farms and rocking publicity it is getting, from Edible Brooklyn to BBC.

3. Here are some good resources for some grass-fed meat and some restaurants in NYC that use clean and nutrituous products and produce.


Heritage Food USA

Knickerbocker Meats Inc

Grub Stops:

Roberta's and the Bees they keep

Franny's and their Larder

Back Forty


La Cense

4. Check ou this aMAZing new project: Brooklyn Farmyards and the video

5. Lastly, in case you missed all there salad recipes in the NYTimes I thought I would send you them again, in case your summer recipes inspiration in waning.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Words: from one yogi to another

I took an Erica Robinson yoga class today and these words were passed on...

These are some serious times
That we livin in G
And our new world order
Is about to begin
You know what I’m sayin
Now the question is…
Are you ready for the real revolution
Which is the evolution of the MIND
If you seek than you shall find
That we all come from the DIVINE
You dig what I’m sayin
Now if you take heed to the words of wisdom
That are written on the walls of life
Then universally we will stand
And divided we will fall
Cause love conquers all
You understand what I’m sayin
This is a call to all you sleepin souls
WAKE UP and be in control of your own CYCLE
And be on the lookout for those spirits tonight
Trying to steal your light
You know what I’m sayin
Look whats inside yourself and
PEACE, give thanks, live life and believe
You dig me
You got ME
                                               ---- Public Enemy

join the revolution, be part of something big, bigger than yourself

Monday, 27 July 2009

Halloumi and Nectarine Salad

There are few things I like more than Halloumi cheese... it is the perfect "meat" for vegetarians and no other cheese can get close to its unique taste and texture. In fact, I love it so much I bring a few packets over with me when I come to Algeria. I try and save it for special occasions but I gave in the other night. There were several envious faces around my supper table when I made this. My family had roast chicken that night but I know they would have definitely 'gone veggie' if they had known halloumi was on offer!

On my way to France, I was lucky enough to stay with Hannah and her family outside Guildford. This recipe is a tribute to a fantastic-yummy-sunshine warm salad I had at Hannah's house, made by her lovely mum Sue. Their salad was made with peaches and chicory - I will definitely look out for chicory when it is in season. I have not managed to get their salad out of my mind and came up with the simplified Algiers version!

Thank you Hannah and Sue for being so inspiring! Xxx

I used a lined griddle pan to give the food a char-grilled effect but I am sure an ordinary frying pan would work too. I had not used a griddle pan before and I am going to buy one for my flat next year. I just loved the look of the food when it was cooked and it was so quick! Expect more char-grilled recipes soon...

Per Person:
1/4 pack Halloumi cheese
2 Nectarines
Few sprigs of Coriander
A handful of Pistachios
3 tbsp Olive oil

Cut the nectarines (or peaches) in half and each half into 4 wedges. Place in a bowl, mix with the olive oil and season with pepper whilst you wait for the griddle pan to heat up. Once pan is hot, place the wedges on and allow to char grill for a minute each side. Chop the halloumi up into slices and marinate in the same bowl as the nectarines - the remaining olive oil will have mixed with the fruit juice giving the halloumi an extra yumminess. Allow the nectarine wedges to cool whilst cooking the halloumi on the griddle pan.

Roughly chop the coriander and pistachios. Mix all the ingredients together and arrange. I added an extra drizzle of olive oil and a final ground of pepper. Enjoy!
C x

Rooftop Farms and a NEW new york

I have officially moved back to New York... and as you guys can see Charlotte is pit-stopping in Algeria before she passes through NY for a crazy visit with me. Nutty how different our worlds are right now!

Moving back has been kind of intense to be honest. I have been worried about falling back into old routines but (big fat BUT here) New York is feeling really new and fresh ever since I started volunteering at Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint with just about the coolest Brooklynites eva' and some great stragglers trekking in from Manhattan (me being one).

So in just a couple weeks I have met amazing people: the real farmers (Annie and Ben) and the volunteers (Kendra, Kate, Will, Spencer, Corey, Hannes, Erika, Margret, Alice and many more). Being up there on the farm and finally getting truly involved in the food movement feels freaking amazing. It feels like I have come home, like I have found my place.

Annie has let me help out with the Growing Chefs initiative she runs, which means I am teaching kids about our earth, getting them to stick their hands in the dirt and helping them understand where food comes from.... oh only if I could do this forever.

I have learned how to compost and I listen to everything Annie and Ben say about farming hoping that their crazy farming knowledge might rub off on me in an osmosis-like manner.

Volunteering at the farm has also led me to fall madly deeply in love with Greenpoint and north Willamsburg. Halfdan had been telling me to check GP out forever he said I would love. Oh how well he knows me. I think one of my favorite things is the constant sea of bikes floating about everywhere.

And OMG I met Cathy from Not Eating Out in New York on the roof this Sunday. I kind of sounded like an idiot but she was nice anyway. She is the reason I heard about the farm in the first place.

Rooftop Farms sells produce sold on Sundays as well as selling to restaurants like Eat Records and Marlow & Sons. But check out the market if you are in the neighborhood. 
Local, Organic, Grown with Love.

There is also a bees station on the roof, so hopefully honey will be available soon.

Us volunteer farmers grabbed some lettuce from the market for our rocking rooftop picnic, which we hope to make a weekly tradition.

Everyone made and baked amazing things. Will even made his own bread !

Kate, a fellow farmer, brought along this awesome purple cauliflower salad. I am still to get the exact recipe so I'll probably update this, but Kate said it is a simple recipe where the only major trick is marinating the veggies OVERNIGHT in a red wine vinegar/ extra virgin olive oil mixture.

July's Purple Cauliflower Marinade Salad

carrots (one, julienned)
head of purple cauliflower
chopped zucchini (one big one)
chopped parsley
red wine vinegar and e.v.o.o to taste
edible flowers to garnish (optional)

Toss it all together and let is marinate for at least 24 hours. That process softens the zucchini and the cauliflower a bit. Don't worry the veggies didn't get soggy though, they were just right!

After the picnic and farming Will, Spenc, Alice and I headed over to a free concert in the East River park in north Williamsburg.

(Alice being her cute self)

Being involved in Rooftop farms feels like I can read Michael Pollan's books and not get discouraged (well completely) because I know there is a massive movement rumbling right under us, which is fighting back against corporate American monopolies and helping us restore our food system. Check out some more sites if you are into food politics and buying locally:

The Edible Garden

And totally listen to this interview with Food Inc stars and food justice experts and activists.

bringing you information for the food revolution...