Monday, January 23, 2012

Meatless Monday

I have mentioned before how many environmentalist consider vegetarianism the ultimate eco diet. I am all for going vegetarian; my Mother was vegetarian so I grew up eating this way, unfortunately my husband and the rest of the Happy Green Life crew look at me like I am crazy whenever I mention that we should all stop eating meat. In an effort to appease me and to get me to shut up about totally abandoning our carnivorous habits, we have all decided to give up one meat meal a week.
 Starting today we here at A Happy Green Life will start our Meatless Monday! One of our two families will pick a delicious meatless meal to make and share it with all of you. We might not be going totally meatless, but every little bit helps. Remember we learned a few weeks back that if every American cut down their meat consumption by half we would save 645 million global acres of land (that is 484 million football fields). So here we go!! *If anyone has any great meatless meals send them our way we would love to try them!!
Winter Squash Risotto With Sage and Parmesan
Serves 4
 2 ½ pounds winter squash, halved, seeds and strings removed and reserved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon melted
1 quart veggie broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine
¾ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves
1.      Move an oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450. Place squash flesh side up on baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake until tender (about 45 min) Remove from oven. When cool, use spoon to scrape flesh from skins. Discard skins and mash flesh.
2.      Meanwhile, place squash scrapings (seeds and stings) in a medium saucepan. Add veggie broth and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer about 20 min. Strain mixture through mesh strainer into large measuring cup, pressing squash scrapings to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the squash broth to saucepan along with enough water to make 6 cups (you will probably add 2 cups of water). Bring to a simmer, turn off heat and cover to keep broth warm.
3.      Heat 1 tablespoon of remaining butter and the oil in heavy bottom medium saucepan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 min. Add garlic, cook about 1 minute.
4.      Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, add the rice and cook for 1 min. Add wine and cook, stiring often about 2 min. Add 1 cup of the hot broth and cook stirring frequently until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding the broth in ¾ cup increments and stirring often until the rice is creamy (not soupy) and soft but still a bit al dente, about 25 min.
5.      Remove the saucepan from the heat and vigorously stir in the roasted squash, cheese, sage, and remaining butter. Keep stirring until the butter melts. Adjust seasonings, adding salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Enjoy!!- Amanda

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