Roasted tomato brown rice pasta

Did you know that slavery is happening in today’s tomato fields? Did you know that it is happening, not in a distant land, but right here in the US? They are calling Florida’s tomato fields “ground-zero” for modern-day slavery. I didn’t know this, but it sure inspires me to become even more aware of where the food I eat comes from.

Nicole Gulotta, who writes the beautiful food philanthropy blog The Giving Table, has organized today as Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes. A whole bunch of food bloggers are posting their slave-free tomato recipes today as a collective voice for change. Here’s the nitty gritty:

The Solution:
Recipe for Change–a campaign led by International Justice Mission in partnership with the Fair Food Standards Council and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers–is targeting three major supermarket chains this summer (Ahold, Publix and Kroger’s), and asking its CEOs to support the Fair Food Program. Corporations that join agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5 cents more per pound), and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these higher standards–and away from those who won’t.

Major fast food companies, like McDonalds and Subway, have already endorsed the Fair Food Program, but the largest U.S. supermarket chains have yet to support this collaborative effort to eradicate modern-day slavery.

Call to Action:
Supermarkets can help eliminate slavery and other serious abuses from the tomato supply chain when they join the Fair Food Program. But in order to change its policies, CEOs need pressure from consumers.

Take 30 seconds, raise your voice, and sign your name to help ensure that supermarket tomatoes are slave-free!

Grilled Panzanella with Poached Egg

grilled panzanella //

I love charred bread, but I haven’t always.  When I was younger, my dad ate all the family reject burnt food. Overdone toast, accidentally burnt pancakes, cookies we left in the oven too long… my sister and I had a preference toward underdone and doughy food so whatever we messed up and overcooked, we’d pile on a plate for my dad. And he’d always say “this is the best kind.”

The first time I put burnt toast on a plate for Jack, he looked at me and said “what’s this, am I your dad now?” I had just always assumed that burnt food equalled man food. So over time, I selflessly became the eater of the black toast… not quite as black as my dad would eat but I’ve come to love bread with a nice deep char. Especially in a salad like this.

Toasty garlicky bread cubes kick up your average panzanella… that char offers such a delightful contrast to the juicy tomatoes, sweet basil and fruity olive oil.

Make it a full meal by topping it with a poached egg.

grilled panzanella // grilled panzanella // grilled panzanella // grilled panzanella // grilled panzanella //

Swiss Chard Pasta Bake

The week of bribing people with food and drink continues… my dad is still working around the house (and he’s staying an extra week now – oh the projects I’m going to dream up right after I finish this post). The other night, Jack’s sister came by to help organize the pantry and closets… I’m on this kick where I want things in order (I’m not always this way), and I’m not above delegation to get things done.

So my part was to, of course, make dinner for everyone. My dad and Jack are easy, they are human vacuums for whatever I put in front of them. Beyond them, I never know what to make for meat eaters. I figured a cheesy pasta dish was foolproof. I have an overabundance of chard growing in my garden, so I was able to sneak some leafy greens in. And I don’t think anyone noticed that I used brown rice pasta.

I made this in two dishes – the one pictured is smaller and had less cheese (so I could partake), and the other dish was larger and had parmesan bubbling on top.

But I’m curious to know – if you’re vegetarian or cook mostly vegetarian, what do you like to make for your meat eating guests?

Or if you’re a meat eater, what are your favorite vegetarian dishes?