Posts Tagged ‘michael pollan’
After watching Food Inc. & reading a few of Michael Pollan’s books last year, I decided I couldn’t support the meat industry in this country, and have opted to go mostly vegetarian for 2010. If you aren’t familiar with the movie or Michael Pollan, I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with both, if you are at all concerned about what you & your family are eating. And if somehow you are still eating fast food, please, please read Fast Food Nation. I’ve never walked into a Golden Arches since I read that book. As a little more scary fodder, check out this link.
So far, I am happy to say that it hasn’t been that difficult for me to eat vegetarian, since I ate that way 70% of the time anyways. However, with one of my best friend’s birthday celebrations coming up, and a bundle of restaurant dinners planned, I realized that it may not be completely possible to eat vegetarian all the time (especially since I can’t eat tofu, since I have a soy allergy). Oh yeah, and there’s also the fact that my husband is a phenom with BBQ … and if I turn down birthday brisket, let’s just say it won’t be pretty. Soooo, with that said, here’s my plan for 2010.
1. Eat mostly vegetarian (upping that 70% to 90%+).
2. If vegetarian eating at restaurants leaves only sides or no options (so sad nowadays, but it does happen), I will chose a sustainable seafood.
3. For rare occasions when I will do eat meat, I will make sure that it comes from an organic, local farm & has been processed by a small (preferably organic), family owned processor. In addition, I prefer that my beef be 100% grass-fed beef (no corn & misc. filler for the cows please!), since that’s what cows are meant to eat.
4. Steer clear of packaged foods with more than 4 ingredients in them.
5. Cook more.
6. Eat local whenever possible.
Ok, so with that game plan in mind, I thought I’d offer up two recipes that I love & have already made this year. One is vegan, the other vegetarian – hope you enjoy em!
Vegan Coconut Red Lentil Curry (adapted from epicurious.com)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger (or 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeno/serrano chile, minced including seeds (if you like it spicy – add as many as you like!)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils (10 oz)
14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 medium zucchinis (~1 lb)
1 medium yellow squash (~1/2 lb)
4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen green peas
-Cook onion in oil in a 4 qt pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden, about 6 minutes.
-Add ginger & garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
-Add cumin, coriander, tumeric, salt, and chile and cook, stirring, 1 minute.-Stir in water, lentils, and coconut milk, then simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
-Stir in zucchini, squash & potatoes and simmer, covered, until all are tender, about 15 minutes.
-Stir in frozen green peas & heat through, about 1 minute.
-Season with salt and serve over rice or with naan bread.
*FYI – this recipe creates wonderful leftovers. I think all curries are best on day 2 or 3 anyways, so if you want a make ahead recipe – this is a keeper!
Fettuccine with Mushroom Cream Sauce (adapted from finecooking.com)
1 lb dried fettuccini
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, and sliced 1/4 thick
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons tawny port (plus more for the chef )
1/2 cup heavy cream (hey, didn’t say this was a diet recipe)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup reserved pasta water (don’t forget this!)
chopped fresh parsley (optional)
grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano (optional), for serving
-Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente.
-While pasta is cooking, heat oil & butter in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat & cook shallots 1-2 minutes until just starting to brown.
-Add garlic to shallots and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
-Add mushrooms, 3/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste) to garlic & shallot mixture and stir constantly until mushrooms begin to release their liquid, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft & lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.
-Add port to skillet to deglaze the pan.
-Add cream & sour cream to pan and bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid reduces to a saucy consistency, about 2 minutes.
-When the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta and reserved water to the sauce.
-Season to taste with salt & pepper.
-Serve topped with parsley &/or cheese at the table.
*FYI – this pasta reheats best on the stove, over low heat mixed with tongs (and add a little additional heavy cream if needed to rehydrate). We’ve found that if you microwave it, the pasta dries out too much and the sauce tends to separate.