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Mark Bittman's "The VB6 Cookbook " promotes eating vegan during the day, then being a "flexitarian" at dinner. Try out his eating plan with these three recipes.
- 1 cup whole cashews
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 or 6 apples, cut into wedges
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (optional)
1. Put the cashews in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until the nuts are fragrant and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the pan and raise the heat to high.2. Add the oil to the skillet. When it's hot, add the apples and salt and cook undisturbed until the edges of the fruit begin to brown. Add the ginger to the pan and stir constantly with a spatula until the fruit begins to soften but hasn't begun to break up too much, 2 or 3 minutes. 3. Add the lemon juice and ¼ cup water. Stir and turn off the heat. Continue to stir occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is almost absorbed. Add the cashews, the pepper if you're using it and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.VariationsPlum stir fry with pecansPerfect for when plums aren't quite ripe yet. Pit the fruit and cut it into halves or wedges depending on how large they are. Use ½ teaspoon cardamom instead of the ginger and wait to add it until the plums are almost done.Apricot stir fry with almondsTake advantage of this natural affinity. Pit and halve the apricots. Skip the ginger and use ½ cup fresh orange juice instead of the lemon juice and water.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 cup cooked or canned white beans
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat
- 2 cups all-purpose tomato sauce
- Pinch of red chile flakes (optional)
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the eggplant and ¼ cup water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and return to the heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent. Meanwhile, drain the beans. If using canned, rinse the beans also. Add the beans and parsley to the work bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.3. Toss the eggplant mixture with the onion and garlic, then add the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes if you're using them. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Roll the mixture into 12 balls about 2 inches in diameter. Transfer them to the prepared pan. Bake, undisturbed, until they're firm and well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.4. Meanwhile, warm the tomato sauce. Serve the meatballs hot or at room temperature along with the tomato sauce.To round out the meal for lunch, serve these over pasta, rice, salad or steamed greens with a squeeze of lemon.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 leeks, rinsed and sliced crosswise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 pound beef sirloin, rib eye, strip, or other steak (about 1 inch thick)
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 3/4 cup red wine or water
1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their water and the pan begins to dry out again, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally until they soften, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the tarragon and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds or so, then transfer the mushrooms and leeks to an ovenproof dish. Put in the oven.2. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet and let it get hot. Sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper into the hot fat and immediately put the steak (or steaks) on top. Cook undisturbed until the meat develops a brown crust on the bottom and releases easily, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the other side browns a little too and the steak is still a little more rare than you like it-no more than a couple more minutes. (The best way to know for sure is to nick the steak with a sharp knife and peek inside.)3. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and add the wine to the skillet. Cook, stirring to loosen any browned bits and let the liquid reduce to a little less than ½ cup. Cut the steak across the grain into ½-inch slices and put them on top of the mushrooms and leeks. Pour the pan juices over all and serve.