Vegetarian Weekend

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Such a cute kitty, isn’t she? So sweet looking, like she would not hurt anything. Gracie is, unfortunately all cat and she reminds me frequently that cats are natural hunters. As much as I would prefer her to be kind to smaller animals, she just isn’t. The night before Bob left for Atlanta she brought a rather large frog home.

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And we all know how I feel about frogs, but this was actually better than what she brought home last night … As I lay on the couch trying to get rid of the cold that just seems to get worse if I move or talk, I heard a loud squeal. Gracie brought home, and into the house, a mouse. A very alive mouse. She is smart so as I yelled at her, she took it back outside where the other cats got in on the action; I really, really don’t want to know what happened to the poor thing.

But on to the food. With Bob away I get to indulge in carbs and grains and not cook meat. So far we have had butternut squash risotto.

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And roasted tomato and kale spaghetti.

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The original recipe for the risotto came from a Sara Moulton cookbook. It called for red wine, sweet potatoes and duck. My version uses vegetable stock in place of chicken broth, white wine for the red, butternut squash for the sweet potatoes and no duck. The best part of this recipe is that it is baked in the oven so there is no standing and stirring and hoping the consistency is right. I start with a traditional risotto – reduce the wine, add and heat the stock, cook onions in some olive oil (original recipe called for butter) then add the rice and coat the grains in the oil as you lightly toast the rice. Add a little stock and mix, then pour everything (including the squash) into a casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Done. When it comes out of the oven it looks like this …

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Add some grated cheese and stir. It is a great winter meal, but it works as a
an end of summer dish too. Despite being a risotto, it isn’t heavy. Best part – leftovers.

Today I went for pasta but pasta with the roasted kale and tomatoes. This really was a great light dish and it might be a new comfort food for me. I added a little seasoning over the whole dish, but next time I may add some cheese for a little more texture.

I have a few more things planned for this weekend where I get to indulge in my version of healthy eating. My veggie basket this week was gorgeous.

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Fennel, endive, carrots, apples and plums. I’m thinking apple and fennel salad, a Mediterranean carrot salad and maybe a soup with the endive. Or another salad. It may just be a very salad weekend.

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