I know that sometimes I forget how fortunate I am.
I was reminded of this when an amazing young man came to audition for a music scholarship this past weekend. I had already been filled in on his story and needless to say, his history would normally be cause for a different path in life. Yet here was a high school senior full of life, humble, gracious, and fantastic musician. He had such enthusiasm about getting out of his current situation and into a better one (college.)
I think a lot of us forget what is a right and what is a privilege. For this young man, college was a privilege that he was working hard to earn.
I believe this is also the case with food.
We are privileged when it comes to food. The fact that we can walk into a grocery store and pick up a tomato in the dead of winter is a privilege (not one I like, but still a privilege.) The fact that we can go into a restaurant and afford to eat is a privilege.
And yet, so many people squander this. Sure, many people say food is a basic human right but there are so many places in the world that even that basic right isn’t upheld. Therefore food really is a privilege, especially good food. I think we also forget this (and squander this) when we have McDonald’s as far as the eye can see and big box grocery stores. We kill our taste buds (and our waisteline) with excessive salt and sugar. This is truly no way to eat.
Food Matters. It really does. To truly savor the sweetness of a fresh picked tomato or the earthiness of a roasted sweet potato are privileges that not everyone gets. When I first started eating more unprocessed foods, I was always amazed at how phenomenal individual foods tasted without preservatives and filler.
That’s why I’m excited about The Food Matters Project. It’s not just about a weekly recipe to make. It’s about spreading the word about cooking unprocessed, delicious food (and showing how easy/adaptable recipes can be!)
This week the original recipe was Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto. Only, I didn’t have roasted red peppers and I hate to buy peppers out of season. So, I turned to my cupboard and found sun-dried tomatoes (packaged dry.)
I soaked them over night, combined them with feta and walnuts, and then I topped a pizza (a breakfast pizza that is.) What better way to spend a Sunday than to eat pizza for breakfast and really not feel guilty about it!
- 1- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, dried: not oil packed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup feta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon basil, dried
- ½ tablespoon rosemary, dried
- 1 recipe for pizza dough
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 4-6 eggs, depending on pizza size
- Prepare pizza dough. This can be mixed the night before and put in refrigerator before the first rise. Pull out 1-2 hours before using and place in a warm spot. If using dried sun dried tomatoes, place in a bowl and cover with water; allow to sit overnight.
- In the morning, place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 500˚.
- Place walnuts in a skillet and lightly toast over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Drain sun dried tomatoes and reserve soaking water.
- In a food processor combine the sun dried tomatoes through the rosemary. Turn on food processor and slowly drizzle in a enough tomato liquid to reach desired consistency.
- Roll out pizza dough in either a circle or square fashion on a cornmeal floured cutting board or pizza peel. Take sun dried tomato sauce and spread over the surface. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Make sure dough isn't stuck to cutting board. Break desired amount of eggs over surface.
- Once oven reaches 500˚, carefully slide pizza onto the stone. (I sometimes cheat and remove the stone from the oven just to make sure my eggs don't go everywhere.) Bake until eggs have set and crush is golden; 8-12 minutes depending on how well your oven holds temperature.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.