Spooky Sunday Supper: Winter Squash Curry

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Winter Squash Curry

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 30 minutes

Peeling and chopping the squash is probably the hardest part of this recipe. All sorts of vegetables work in addition to or instead of squash; use this recipe as a base and improvise from there.

Other vegetables you can use: any winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, any root vegetable, eggplant, cauliflower, mushrooms, okra, peas, any summer squash, or green or wax beans.

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Posted in American, Produce

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Pepper Vinaigrette

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 45 minutes

Here is another potato-vinaigrette combo: The red pepper dressing is tart, sweet, and spicy, with a touch of cumin. This is best served warm or at room temperature, though of course you can refrigerate and serve it up to a day later, as long as you take it out of the refrigerator beforehand to take the chill off. Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

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Posted in American, Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Couscous with Cauliflower and Almonds

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Couscous with Cauliflower and Almonds

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 20 minutes

When cauliflower is finely chopped and fried as in this recipe, its crumbly texture mimics cracked grains. I like this best with the nutty flavor of whole wheat couscous. Other grains you can use: bulgur.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Why It’s Better if We Can’t Afford Meat

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Beef ranchers are complaining that the domestic market is “withering,” and therefore the quality of meat will decline.

This, of course, assumes that we’re not smart enough to buy better beef. From many perspectives – that of the person who wants only organic beef; that of one who wants only local beef; that of one who wants grass-fed beef, or “natural” beef, or humanely raised beef, or all of the above – the price of “normal” (that is, industrially-raised) beef is already too low. Suppose one wanted higher quality beef, and were willing to pay for it? Suppose one were willing to eat less beef in order to keep one’s food budget more-or-less stable? Wouldn’t a decline in industrially raised beef be OK? And who cares if it becomes even “worse?” It’s already produced with almost no concern for quality.

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Posted in Farming, Food Politics

Dinner with Bittman: Real Beef Stroganoff

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Real Beef Stroganoff

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes or less

Don’t scoff; this is good stuff, despite the bad versions of it you’ve undoubtedly tried. Use pieces of tenderloin if you can, because the cooking is quick and the meat should be tender. Both the mushrooms and the tomatoes are optional; the dish is perfectly fine without either or with both. Serve this over buttered egg noodles or plain rice or with bread.

Other cuts and meats you can use: boneless veal or pork shoulder or veal round.

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Posted in American, Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Raw Beet Salad

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Raw Beet Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

Beets, like carrots, can be eaten raw. And they’re delicious that way, crunchy and sweet. So sweet, in fact, that they need a strongly acidic dressing like this one for balance.

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Posted in Produce

Putting McDonald’s Out of Business

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The fact that Mickey D’s may be forced to raise prices because of higher commodity costs isn’t entirely bad news; but it’s not entirely good either.

In a fair world, anything that discourages people from eating at McDonald’s could be seen as wonderful. Reflecting the true cost of a cheeseburger – one that includes the health care costs that appear down the road, or the environmental costs that few people seem concerned about – would be a good thing. By discouraging the consumption of cheeseburgers, higher prices would encourage better health and less environmental damage.

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Posted in Food Politics

Creamy Carrot and Chickpea Soup

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By Freya Bellin

One of the cold weather staples in my kitchen is a good, hearty soup — the kind that needs only a thick slice of bread to make itself a meal.  This carrot and chickpea soup fits right into that category: it has relatively few ingredients, takes only about 30 minutes of active cook time, and is completely satisfying as a main dish.   The smoked paprika smells amazing bubbling in a stock pot for hours.  My chickpeas soaked for about 3 hours before I added them to the stock, and it required about 2 hours cooking time to soften them.  If you remember, try soaking the beans overnight to reduce that time.  Plus, you can reuse the soaking liquid – I used 2 cups of chickpea liquid and 4 cups of vegetable stock for the 6 cups of liquid needed. I ate a few bites of the soup before I pureed it and it’s as good chunky as it is smooth. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Recipes