Want to be an Active Advocate?

Want to be an Active Advocate? Join an Event Committee or become a Lead. Get involved! Email us at Chicago@OxfamActionCorps.org


June Monthly Meeting Notes

We had a wonderful meeting on June 28th at Uncommon Ground. This restaurant hosts the first organic rooftop garden in the U.S. The menu boasts an amazing selection of flavorful dishes featuring ingredients from local farmers and producers. A wide array of local craft beers are listed by miles from the restaurant. Despite the rainy weather and flash flood warnings, our dedicated volunteers came out to enjoy great food and discussion.

Agenda and Minutes

II. Event Recap
  • We recapped our time tabling at two concerts for Fitz and the Tantrums. Adjustments were made to adapt to the tabling set-up at the Metro; at least 30 signatures were collected
  • Short recap of House of Representatives vote of Farm Bill. The Royce-Engel Amendment featuring food aid reform was highly debated. The amendment brought much attention, however it failed on the floor vote with 203-220. However, we are looking for the next move on food aid reform. We featured the following chart on the back of the agenda for attendees to look at how their House Representative voted. 
III.  New Business
  • Follow-up and discussion regarding the next move for food aid reform. We encourage volunteers to Tweet, Call or Write to their representative about the vote on Royce-Engel Amendment
  • In conjunction with ONE, we are planning a Hunger Film Festival to highlight Roger Thurow's new documentary based on his book "The Last Hunger Season." Scheduling is dependent on the release of his documentary. 
  • Behind the Brands summit will be a formal introduction to Behind the Brands campaign, with fun in the process. We will need more help with planning this event. 
IV.   Upcoming Events
  • June 29th- Oxfam Action Corps walked in its first Hunger Walk hosted by the Chicago Food Depository. 
  • Upcoming concerts will be announced shortly
  • Farmer's Markets
    • July 28th- Glenwood Farmer's Market
    • August 3rd- Elmhurst Green Fest
    • September 29th- Logan Square Farmer's Market
    • Please contact if you would like to volunteer at any of these events!
  • Next meeting date and location to be determined
If you have any suggestions for more events and festivals, please email us at chicago@oxfamactioncorps.org. Please also contact us if you would like to help plan for any of the following: World Food Day Dinner, Behind the Brands Summit, Hunger Film Festival
We are excited to work with you!


Celebrate Summer with the GROW Method

Welcome to Summer!
Farmer's Markets across the Chicagoland area have begun the season. Some are on Saturdays, Sundays and even Thursday nights. Need a new recipe to Follow the GROW Method? Try some of them listed below!
1. Cook Smart
  •  2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed
  • 3 1/4 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
  • 4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Take out a few of the best-looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and slice each berry into thin slices.

With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and rosewater (if using) and whip to combine.

Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.

To make the ganache, heat the cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle this over the layered dessert with a spoon, or transfer to a squeeze bottle and use that to drizzle.

Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.

2.  Love Your Leftovers
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup crushed salt and vinegar potato chips
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup crushed salted pretzels
  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped heath bar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/3 cup assorted sprinkles 
  • 1/2 tablespoon coffee grounds (yes, actual grounds!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt, then set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the cooled butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed and smooth. Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to help at one point. Fold in all of your add-in's here, using a spoon and also your hands to bring it together. I literally smashed the ingredients into the dough.
Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a nonstick baking sheet (I actually used this method of stacking the dough) about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the middles are just set. Don’t over bake! Let cool almost completely.

3. Less Meaty
  • 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 cups shelled cooked edamame, thawed if frozen
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
    Wild Rice and Edamame Salad
  1. Place the almonds in a medium frying pan over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until golden brown (do not let the nuts burn), about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the almonds.
  2. Add the rice, scallions, edamame, carrots, and cranberries to the bowl with the almonds and sesame seeds and toss to combine.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Drizzle over the rice mixture and toss to combine. Taste and season as needed with more salt, pepper, and vinegar. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.
 4. Support Farmers
Vegetable Breakfast Crepes
  • 1 yellow summer squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more to cook crepes
  • 1 teaspoon favorite BBQ dry rub
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 8 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
To make vegetables:
1. Preheat grill.
2. Slice summer squash and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
3. Remove stems from peppers and cut off tops and bottoms; cut lengthwise into quarters, removing seeds and veins.
4. Clean mushroom, leaving whole. Peel onion and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.  
5. Place all vegetables in bowl; drizzle with oil and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.
6. Grill vegetables for 10 to 15 minutes, turning two or three times, or until tender with slightly charred grill marks.
7. Remove from grill and coarsely chop. Cover and set aside.

To make and assemble crepes:
1. In medium bowl, combine milk, eggs, canola oil, dry rub and sugar; whisk together well. Slowly whisk in flour, a little at a time, and continue whisking just until there are no lumps (don’t over-mix).
2. Lightly oil crepe pan or skillet (4-inch for appetizer crepes or 8-inch for dinner crepes); wipe out gently with paper towel so pan is coated but no visible oil remains.
3. Place pan over medium heat until hot; add about 1 tablespoon of batter to 4-inch pan or 2 tablespoons to 8-inch pan. Working quickly, tilt pan, using back of tablespoon to guide batter so it coats entire bottom of pan and is as thin as possible.
4. After about 30 seconds when edges begin to brown and batter begins to set, flip crepe over with thin spatula (silicone high-heat spatula works best). Let crepe cook on second side for a few seconds, then transfer to platter to cool.
5. Adjust heat if crepes are browning too slowly or quickly. Continue making crepes until batter is all used, making sure they don’t touch while cooling. Stack crepes, cover tightly and refrigerate.
6. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F. Divide vegetables evenly among crepes, placing them toward near edge of crepe. Sprinkle cheese over vegetables. Roll crepe into cylinder up around filling and place on baking sheet.
7. Place in oven until heated through and cheese just starts to melt, about 5 minutes. Serve drizzled lightly with barbecue sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Jimmy Kennedy.

5. Eat Seasonal 
Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted 
 In a large bowl, whisk together shallot and vinegar. While whisking constantly, drizzle in oil to make a vinaigrette. Add spinach, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.



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