|The Plated Summer Minestrone Soup|
by Fiona Archibold
In today's video, Food Stylist and Chef Fiona Archibold shares with us her tips on how she utilises leftover bread in two very delicious ways. She also shares with us her fabulous Spinach Meatballs recipe, which produces succulent, tender and very juicy meatballs that you can serve with soups or serve as a canapé over crostini.
Of course it would not be Fiona if she does not show us the way to elegantly and individually plate the Summer Minestrone Soup she demonstrated in yesterday's video (the link in case you missed it). So, should you want to go the elegant route and serve it plated individually or communally as in the previous video we have you covered.
This plating works well for any hearty soup, and this bowl of soup is an excellent option to have for Suhoor, it is delicious, filling and absolutely comforting. Watch Fiona as she takes us through all this, and eventually sneaks a few bites when she thinks no one is looking lol! Yup it is all in there :))
Below the video, I have posted some tips on avoiding food wastage this Ramadan, in the hopes that we make it a point to be more considerate and responsible where food is related. So if you are wondering what to do with leftover food, or if you wish to donate food anyway (leftover or fresh) you will find some information below.
Also find Fiona's recipes for Home-made Crispy Croutons and super delicious Spinach Meatballs at the end of this post.
Giving Back to the community
We always have leftover bread, and this Ramadan, we want to address food waste too!
Yes Let's make an effort not to waste food this Ramadan, and instead cook in moderate quantities, recycle leftovers, and make it a point to cook fresh instead of for the whole week at one go! Even if we have guests, let's all make it a point that no food goes to waste.
Should we for any reason have any leftover food, that is clean and in good shape, then why not donate it to those who would appreciate it instead of throwing all this food? In the UAE (and in many other countries), you can donate food at mosques near you throughout Ramadan. The food will be distributed to people in need, mostly workers, who will be there for Maghrib (sunset) prayers. The mosques are accustomed to this that they will have someone pick the food up from your car, so you don't even have to get out of the car! If you fancy this thought and would like to participate (it does not have to be leftover foods, you can actually cook these meals and send them) Keep these points in mind:
- The food has to be clean, and in good condition. Safe to eat. Basically good food.
- Safety comes first, so it has to have been kept either refrigerated then reheated right before delivering to the mosque, or just cooked right before delivery. Do not allow the hot food to reach room temperature, nor cold food to get warm otherwise they won't be safe. Place cold food in a cooler to keep it cold until you reach the mosque and deliver. Place hot food in an insulating bag to keep it hot until delivered.
- Always best you have meals for at least 5 people and over.
- Remember to include water and dates if possible.
- Always best to go to a mosque near you, this way the food does not travel for long in the car.
- It is recommended you go to the bigger mosques as usually there are more people gathered there.
- You can if you like buy ready meals and drop them at the mosque if you wish to participate but don't have the time to actually cook the food yourself. (This year I have seen catering busses stop at the mosque and deliver Iftar meals. So this could be another option for you if you do not wish to cook the food yourself. Also this way you can be supporting local businesses as well.)
- Deliver the food very close to Iftar time, so it is still in good condition when it is time to eat.
Other ways you can help feed the community:
I had read in the newspaper on the 25th about the Ro'yati Initiative, where Emirati ladies decided to extend this thought and provide food throughout the year (not just during Ramadan) to the poor and those in need. They provide basic supermarket items to help feed these families and help them cook their daily meals. I also read that they, with the supervision of Dubai Municipality, arrange for cooked meals to be delivered to the families as well. The Ro'yati initiative is an amazing way to give back to the community. And they also have a volunteer programme, where you could volunteer to help distribute food in your area and so on. Find out more about this initiative and get in touch with them if you would like to help in any way.
Facebook page: Got Food & Ro'yati
Website Arabic: Ro'yati
Website English: Got Food Volunteering form
I also know that last year, Abu Dhabi also had a similar initiative of collecting safe-to-eat leftovers and distributing them to families in need. The project "Hifth Al Nima" or Saving Grace is organised in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Municipality, where people who are having big parties such as weddings for instance will contact the team working on the project who will in turn go to the event and collect the food (they even ensure that the food is in good condition throughout). But the project goes beyond just events and parties, as people can organise with them the delivery of fresh meals too. Further more this project is all about saving any waste not just food (to include furniture, clothes...) and educating people about extravagance and waste. They collect any materials that you no longer need and distrube them to those in need.
The article I had read is on this link, and the official page I could find is on this link. However, I was unable to find more links or social networks. Perhaps, you would like to look into this, or if you live in Abu Dhabi and know of this project, perhaps you can give us some links that we can follow.
With that said, looking into this I found that this project exists in other countries such as Saudi and Syria. So you might want to look into that if you are, or wish to support, in those countries.
Wherever you are, you can find such efforts and help out. Ask around this Ramadan about such initiative and projects and contribute in anyway you can.
These are the recipes for
Fiona's Home-made Crispy Croutons
& Amazing Spinach Meatballs
|Click on the photo to enlarge|
|Click on the photo to enlarge|
Come back tomorrow for fiona's tips on an easy yet gorgeous way to set your tables :)
When she is not cooking and developing recipes, she is researching food, and often in the small hours of the night when she really ought to know better.
Her approach is less a philosophy, but rather a deep rooted need to share and nurture with food, as part of a holistic approach to health, wellbeing and good old-fashioned hedonistic Epicureanism. Her food has to be tasted to be believed; you will realise that this is what food is supposed to taste like, and then you’ll wonder why you even bother eating anything else.
Her Website: www.fionaarchibold.com or you can reach her on her mobile : +971 (0) 55 889 6423
Appreciate, Love & Giveback a little this Ramadan :)