I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I was jealous of the kids in Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. In the Emmy-winning reality-TV show, the British chef took his fight against childhood obesity to Huntington, West Virginia, where he transformed fat-laden school lunches into healthy meals. I've been a fan of Oliver's since I first saw his show The Naked Chef in the late 1990s (before those West Virginia kids were born), and he's never cooked for me. It didn't seem fair.
The second season of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will premiere on ABC in the spring. It's set in Los Angeles, where Oliver has broadened his attack: Now he's teaching healthy cooking to the second-largest city in the country. Both on foot and in a tricked-out cooking-school-on-wheels, he's taking his message to the streets. People on the truck will get hands-on cooking lessons from Oliver as he demos healthy dishes like chicken stew with mustard and leeks, or Caesar salad with a tangy yogurt-anchovy dressing. "I'm not the food or diet police," Oliver says. "I don't set out to create healthy food. I'm just trying to move people away from processed food, and to do that, they need cooking skills and education about healthy options—both at home and at school."
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I'm excited to see if Oliver has the same impact in America that he's had in Britain, where he has gotten fresh-cooked food into all the schools. I wonder if he'll bring the food truck to New York City. Because if he does, then finally, he'll cook for me.
Jamie Oliver's Healthy Ideas
"Stews are some of my favorite things to cook and eat. And they're very easy for people to learn," says Oliver. He lightens his chicken stew by enriching it with just a little sour cream and mustard.
The mashed anchovies in this Caesar salad are traditional; the Greek yogurt, not so much. Oliver turns this into a more substantial salad with broiled, flaked salmon (or, yes, grilled chicken breast).