Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Heart TED.

Lately, I've been on the hunt for novel lunchtime activities at work. Sometimes I read, sometimes I catch up on a guilty reality pleasure via Hulu (Real Housewives, anyone?), and sometimes I just keep working. But when you work full time there are a lot of lunch hours to fill, and it's easy to feel like you're in a rut. Enter my new favorite lunchtime companion, TED.

Many of you are probably already well-acquainted--although I first stumbled upon TED videos last year via some clever friends on Facebook, the group has been in existence since 1984. The non-profit began as a conference designed to bring together thinkers from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design, and has since mushroomed into a powerful forum for forward thinking ideas on everything from gaming to public health. In addition to annual and traveling conferences, they've also begun awarding a TED prize, which this year went to Jamie Oliver for his work in promoting healthy eating and preventing obesity. You can watch his acceptance speech here. The fact that they chose the food-oriented work of a chef as this years winner speaks to the urgent need to change our current food systems, from kitchen counter to factory farm. And the importance of this discussion is represented in numerous videos on the site, covering topics ranging from sustainable seafood to world hunger. Hence, my new favorite lunch buddy, and one I highly recommend you get to know.

Today, I watched a thoughtful and moving talk by Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, on the importance of preserving biodiversity in our agricultural systems. It's heartbreaking to hear how much we've already lost on this front, but it's heartening to learn that people in the world are crossing borders (thank you Norway) and truly taking care of business to ensure that we don't wind up facing starvation on a global scale. At just 17 minutes long, it's a more than worthwhile investment of your lunchtime. You can watch below or visit www.ted.com and search for other ideas that might float your lunchtime boat. Bon apetit!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some Kale, A Few Tomatoes, and a Bun.

What do these things have in common, you ask? Quite simple: they are all things I've been busy baking in the oven over the past few months, and I submit the last as my excuse for Ecofoodie's long silence, as it is a bun of the metaphorical variety. Yes, that's correct...an Ecofoodie baby! Due to arrive sometime around Halloween (boo!), this little muffin has been the source of much joy, nausea, and distraction of late, preventing me from doing much writing of any sort.

But now I'm back, with more recipes (some kale chips are in the works), events, and thoughts on sustainable eating. Very soon I'll be posting about upcoming Slow Food Boston events and some lovely ladies in Jamaica Plain who make seasonal pasta...yum! But for starters, here is my recipe for Roasted Tomato Pasta: simple, easy, and a perfect way to enjoy the end of summer tomato boom! Happy eating!

Roasted Tomato Pasta

2 pints (or thereabouts) of whatever small tomato variety looks good at the market
2-3 T olive oil
angel hair pasta, or whatever long noodle you prefer
Parmesan cheese
fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 400. In the meantime, rinse tomatoes and spread in a single layer in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss with a good drizzle of olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven. You'll know they're done when they've burst and begun to caramelize! Once they burst, they release their delicious juice, which mingles with the olive oil, salt, and pepper to make a wonderfully fresh sauce. Toss tomatoes and sauce with cooked pasta, sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan and a little fresh basil if you have it, and voila! Easy, tasty summer dinner.

Photo by Froge via Flickr Creative Commons.