Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in Croatia

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Getting an invitation to attend Jamie Oliver Food Revolution event in Rovinj two months ago was a huge and a wonderful surprise. Jamie Oliver…in Croatia?! Do I need to say that I was shocked?! In the best possible way of course. I excepted the inviation by Merkur Insurance Croatia with delight and a few days later, we were on our way….

I visited Rovinj a few times before and loved it every single time. This time we stayed in Lone, a gorgeous 5 star hotel bulit to resemble a cruiser ship watching it from the outside. The whole event took place there and it’s where the future cooking workshops would be organized as well, June till December 2017.

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How This Amazing Project Came to Croatia

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The project of bringing Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to us here is a partnership between Merkur Insurance Group, Maistra Hotels and Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. I personally applaud this effort by these brands to provide their clients and guests with an opportunity to learn such important life skills: how to take better care of themselves through eating better and having fun while doing it, as Jamie himself said greeting to us through a video link. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to meet Jamie himself but meeting “his people” was amazing enough.

Love For Jamie

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Do I need to say that I’ve been a huge fan of Jamie Oliver since…well, forever 🙂 For all the fun and creativity he has brought into the kitchen at the beginning of his journey and especially for all the good he brought by opening the public eyes to importance of healthy eating. And the danger of all the processed food that has gradually taken over our diets.

The Workshop

At the presentation/workshop we learned that already 40 thousand people have been educated through Jamie Food Rev workshops in UK, USA, Australia and Austria. And now we here in Croatia (and our guests) have a privilege to join this awesome movement. The purpose of the workshops is to motivate participants to eat “real” unprocessed food, to teach them how to prepare their food “from scratch” and the importance of healthy eating that can help us be and stay healthy.

I really had so much fun at the workshop that started with some basic nutrition education and then afterwards one of Jamie’s best chefs, Jimmy  Grant showed us how to prepare a Thai Green Curry , teaching us some tips and tricks on the way.

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Jimmy Grant, one of Jamie’s “people”

I have so much more to tell you about the workshop itself and what Food revolution means to me but I’m leaving that for my next Food Revolution post.

Guys, if you’d like to join and learn, and have fun doing it, go for it!

The workshops have already started in June and will be available till the end of November. Everybody’s welcome to join and all Merkur Insurance clients can join free of charge. You can apply for the workshops and find out about the schedule directly at the Lone hotel reception.

And now about food…

I want to try out some of Jamie’s vegan recipes and decided to go with this one for start.

Lentil Tabuleh

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I love lentils! And especially Beluga lentils. This tiny black pea is so tasty, doesn’t get mushy when cooked, it’s easy to digest when cooked properly and it has so much flavor.
The legumes are a great way to up your protein intake and at the same time to get so much other great nutrients like fibre, good carbs and an array of minerals and other phyto nutrients. The legumes provide our bodies with stable energy that keeps us full for longer, they have anti inflammatory properties and there’s one fun fact about them. Our body burns third of their calorie intake in in the process of digesting them.

They’re great for meal planning since you can cook a larger amount and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days to use in your various meals.

I use “shock method” for cooking lentils. Basically it is cooking them in a small amount of water with addition of kombu algae (it makes it easier to digest but it is not essential for this method so you can omit it if you want), and adding icy cold water each time the water completely evaporates. You do this until the lentil is tender and cooked. There’s one very important detail when cooking the legumes: never add salt to them until they’re almost done, or done because otherwise they won’t cook properly. This goes for lentils, beans and chickpeas.

You can check out Jamie’s recipe for this delicious salad here.
And here is my version.

Preparation time: 15 minutes + 45 minutes for cooking the lentil
Yields: 2 portions

Ingredients

1 cup dried Beluga lentils
1 small piece of kombu algae (3-5 cm)
1 tbsp Shoyu for seasoning the lentils

1 cup baby tomatoes
small bunch of parsley
small bunch of mint
spring onions

dressing
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Shoyu (naturally brewed soy sauce or sub with liquid aminos)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

1. Wash the lentils and place them in a pan with kombu cut into small pieces. Add cold water to cover them and bring to a boil. Cover partially with a lid and let it cook on a low flame until water is evaporated. Then add icy cold water to cover them again and repeat the steps until the lentil is tender. If there’s water left in the lentils when cooked, cook a few minutes longer on a strong flame uncovered until it is evaporated. Then season it with shoyu. It’s important to have them dry when done for two reasons: the flavour will stay inside and they’ll keep better – water causes spoiling of foods.
2. Prepare the vegetables and herbs: cut the tomatoes in half and spring onions in small pieces. Mince the herbs. Use as much as you want
3. Mix the lentils with herbs and vegetables and season with the dressing.
4. Sprinkle with some more salt and ground pepper.

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