food makeover

I just listened to a bit on NPR today about food in America - where it comes from, where it's been, and how much has changed about our views on these subjects. The man being interviewed was Michael Pollan, who wrote an open letter to the next president regarding the future of the food we produce. There were many eye-opening tidbits in the interview, but too many to address in what you probably already think is a boring blog entry, so I'll mention one.

It seems we use quite a bit of fossil fuels in food production in the U.S. For what? Transporting produce to markets, of course, but also fertilizer and importing/exporting. Okay, you say, maybe some of that is unavoidable, like getting the food to grocery stores, but did you know that we do ridiculous things like catching sustainable salmon here in the U.S., shipping it to China to be filleted, and then bringing it back? Or exporting tomatoes to Mexico while we also import them from the same place? Wouldn't it be a whole lot simpler if we just exchanged recipes? Pollan suggested.

Since I can't do anything about the farmers, here is a recipe to swap in the spirit of the interviewee's mission:

Chipotle Butternut Mash (thanks to Southern Living)

2 medium butternut squash (about 3 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (not that expensive; I keep the rest in a Tupperware in the fridge and it seems to last forever)
1 T. lime juice
1 1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. firmly packed cilantro leaves

1. Cut each squash lengthwise into 4 pieces; remove and discard seeds. Bring squash and salted water to boil in a Dutch oven; cook 15-18 min. or until fork-tender. Drain and let cool 15 min. Peel and cut into large pieces.

2. Process squash, cream cheese and next 3 ingredients in a food processor (you could try a blender) until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add cilantro and pulse 5-6 times or until cilantro is chopped.

3. Transfer mixture to a microwave-safe bowl and nuke on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring at 1-minute intervals. Makes 8 servings (4 1/2 cups).

*You can also make this a soup by adding equal parts chicken broth and milk until it reaches soupy consistency. So you could make the whole 8-serving mess and save half of it to make soup later!

Now it's your turn! Send me back a recipe in the comments or post one on your own blog (where more people would probably see it; ha ha).

1 comment:

beckbot said...

Hey, here's one that I make frequently. The sauce is so yummy that it doesn't matter if you use meat or not. You can just cram it full of veggies and/or tofu. It's. That. Good.

It's called Flavorful Beef Stir-fry and here's the link: