meatless mondays: i love you mark bittman…

Today I’d like to share a video from my favorite food journalist, Mark Bittman. Although it is a little dated, it is more relevant than ever. What he says just makes plain and simple sense.

He is not a vegetarian and is actually a great lover of meat. But he understands that we can’t overconsume animals, for our own health or the well-being of the planet. He calls himself a “Less-meatarian”. Less quantity, better quality. What a great concept!

Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed Bittman’s New York Times column, The Minimalist which he recently brought to an end. He has a blog and continues to write for the NYT weekend magazine though, so I am still able to cyberstalk him. 🙂

He has written several incredible cookbooks. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian gets the most use of any book I own. His newer Food Matters Cookbook is on my buy list. His style is more of a base recipe with ideas of all kinds of variations and substitutions. Plus he explains how to choose, store, and prepare different items, which makes experimenting in the kitchen less intimidating.

I love his views on food and our consumption of meat. He breaks it down in such a no-nonsense way. Instead of trying to emulate his eloquence, I’ll just let the man speak for himself:

Here is a recipe from Mark Bittman, in his own words:

Recipe: Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash

This is your go-to recipe for everyday winter squash; it will work with any variety, but I usually turn to butternut because it’s so much easier to deal with than all the others. Once you peel and cut the squash, you braise it in a small amount of liquid, then boil off the remaining moisture to glaze it. Other vegetables you can use: any winter squash (except spaghetti), though they will all be more difficult to cut and peel than butternut.

Quick Info:
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
11/2 pounds butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

1. Put the oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When the garlic begins to color, add the squash and stock and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Uncover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally and stirring somewhat less often, until all the liquid is evaporated and the squash has begun to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat back down to low and cook until the squash is as browned and crisp as you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish, and serve.

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