When less is more, meat the "bit on the side"
|Leek risotto with bacon chippings|
consuming more vegetables than meat. The meat also imparts flavour to the vegetables. In order to reduce the intake of meat, you should treat it more as a side dish rather than the centerpiece of the meal. The actress Ann Miller was often known for playing the part of the other woman. In terms of the Mediterranean style of eating meat should be treated in the same way, "a bit on the side" or in politer terms, as an accompaniment. Historically, people in the Mediterranean ate only what their land produced—namely, lots of fruit and vegetables, especially wild greens, whole grains, and pulses. Because animals were expensive and required a lot of land to graze on, meat consumption in a traditional Mediterranean
|Quail with cous cous salad|
|Vegetable crumble-Food for thought? (recipe below)|
Who could have thought a serious meat eater like me would have considered cooking vegetables with a crumble
topping? Or perhaps a nut roast -I always thought of its density akin to a plywood block or reconstituted sawdust.
I don´t know why I thought crumbles have to be sweet. Less bother than a pie, vegetable crumble is a great way to use up what you have in the fridge, cupboard or freezer! You can change the filling with the seasons making green and summery fillings in the spring and summer and filling it with heartier root vegetables in the winter.
Though obvious, the easiest way to limit your meat intake is to simply eat less meat. Consider eating a vegetarian dinner once or twice a week or eliminating meat at breakfast and lunch and enjoying a small portion at dinner. Figure out what works for you and perhaps you may decide that eating less meat is not as challenging as you thought it would be. You may even find yourself craving more vegetables.Bring out the flexitarian in you?
Butternut squash crumble
Makes 8 portions
As regards how you portion this for cooking is entirely up to you.The quantities are easily changeable from a 4 pint/1.8 litre baking dish to smaller individual ramekins or for starter portions or make ahead portions to keep in the freezer.Just adjust quantities and cooking times accordingly.
1.5kg butternut squash,peeled and cut into 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes.
3-4 large shallots thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
2oz(50g) bacon/pancetta chopped( vegetarians omit)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
2-3 dried red chillies crumbled
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Flor de sal and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (95g flour)
soup spoon finely ground almonds
1/3 cup sliced or flaked almonds
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Flor de sal and pepper
1/3 cup (80 ml) smooth-tasting oil of your choice
(walnut oil, extra-virgin olive oil,sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil)
Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F. Butter a large baking dish or 8 ramekins.Bash the coriander seeds and chillies in a pestle and mortar. Sauté the shallots,garlic,bacon,if using. Add the cubes of squash and continue cooking until it begins to soften(about 15minutes) sprinkle over the crushed chilli and coriander.Add the herbs,stock and seasoning and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.Pour the mixture into your baking dish or ramekins.Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.While this is cooking make your topping.In a medium bowl bring together the flour,ground almonds,sugar if using,thyme,Flor de sal and pepper.Add the pieces of butter and bring the mixture together with your fingers until you have a consistency that resembles bread crumbs.Stir in the flaked and sliced almonds. Remove the dish or ramekins from the oven,remove the foil covering and scatter the crumble over the top.Bake 45 minutes until golden brown.
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