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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, animal rights, global food crisis, frugal living, food safety and the immense contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change/ water and land depletion

Mark Bittman talks about his book "Food Matters" which is about the carbon intensive meat/livestock industry. If you have not heard Mark speak, you are in for a treat. He is entertaining, funny and he packs an incredible amount of experience and information into this talk.

It doesn't matter how you raise the meat. It can be local, grass fed, organic and lovingly treated. The issue now is quantity.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat.  We not only discuss the many advantages of reducing meat consumption we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle/McCartney music!

Mark Bittman is retiring his column"The Minimalist" at The New York Times. He is moving to the Times opinion pages which certifies that food has moved from mere sustenance to a political movement. Though I will miss Mark's "Minimalist" columns I welcome the contribution that he will make in educating about our unsustainable meat/livestock producing industry..

Mark is one of my favorite cooks. His recipes are fresh and simple and I love his transition to using less meat. Today I will share my favorite  recipes from his "Minimalist" series.

SWEET POTATO SALAD
Mark Bittman

When I choose recipes for my MMM series, I usually look for 6 criteria. I try to select recipes that are easy, fast, healthy, inexpensive, delicious and environmentally friendly. The Sweet Potato Salad is all these and it is also beautiful. The colors are so vibrant and appetizing they just make you want to dig in.

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, preferably red, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeno
1 clove garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned are fine)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.
  1. Put chilies in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.
  1. Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day.

4 servings.
                                          farinata Pictures, Images and Photos
SOCCA (Farinata)
Once you try this recipe you can't live without it. It's called Socca in France(Nice)where it's street food and Farinata in Italy. It is addictive and a quick and delicious protein fix.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon, at least, freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional.

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
  1. If using onion and rosemary, stir them into batter. Pour 2-3 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.
  1. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.

4 to 6 appetizer servings. For lunch or dinner it serves 2 with a salad

NO-KNEAD BREAD
Mark's most popular recipe..works every time and is delish! Also one of the easiest breads ever..just be patient because it has to rest.

Time: About 1 hour, plus 4 1/2 hours' resting

3 cups bread flour
1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Oil as needed.

  1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  1. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.
  1. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  1. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 big loaf.

WHOLE WHEAT NO-KNEAD BREAD

Time: About 1 hour, plus 5 hours' resting

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole rye flour
1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Oil as needed.

  1. Combine flours, cornmeal, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  1. Oil a standard loaf pan (8 or 9 inches by 4 inches; nonstick works well). Lightly oil your hands and shape dough into a rough rectangle. Put it in pan, pressing it out to the edges. Brush top with a little more oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour more.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread about 45 minutes, or until loaf reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 loaf.

INDIAN-STYLE RICE SALAD

1 1/2 to 2 cups brown or white basmati rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallion
3/4 cup cubed cooked potato
3/4 cup cooked cauliflower florets
3/4 cup cooked green peas (frozen works well)
1/2 cup coconut milk, or more as needed
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste

1 jalapeno or other hot fresh chili, stemmed, seeded and minced, or to taste, optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

  1. Cook rice in abundant salted water, as you would pasta, until it's just done; white rice will take 10 to 15 minutes, brown 30 or a little longer. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, then combine with vegetables in a large bowl.
  1. Combine black pepper, coconut milk, rice wine vinegar and curry powder in a blender and turn machine on; a creamy emulsion will form within 30 seconds. Taste and add more vinegar a teaspoon or two at a time until balance tastes right to you, then add more curry powder, salt, or pepper, if needed.

                                  Thanks for pudding up with me! Pictures, Images and Photos
MEXICAN CHOCOLATE TOFU PUDDING
This recipe is unbelievably good. Much better than traditional pudding imho. I've been known to have it for breakfast.
 

3/4 cup sugar
1 pound silken tofu
8 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
Chocolate shavings (optional).

  1. In a small pot, combine sugar with 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  1. Put all ingredients except for chocolate shavings in a blender and purée until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down its sides if necessary. Divide among 4 to 6 ramekins and chill for at least 30 minutes. If you like, garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

4 to 6 servings.

"Hello Goodbye" The Beatles

"When I'm Sixty-Four" The Beatles (Paul McCartney)

All our recipes are vegan today..how about that? What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle/McCartney music here.

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Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:01 PM PST.

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