A Nutritarian? Not!
Real Life Adventures-Gary Wise & Lance Aldrich
Dr. Joel Fuhrman has coined the term, Nutritarian. Forget vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean, South Beach, low-fat, low-carb, or omnivore. Nutritarian is where it's at. Fuhrman definitely has it right!
"The quality of a diet can be judged base on three simple criteria.
Levels of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) per calorie.
- Amounts of macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate, protein) to meet individual needs, without excessive calories that may lead to weight gain or health compromise.
- Avoidance of potentially toxic substances (such as trans fats) and limited amounts of other potentially harmful substances (such as sodium).
The minute I got home I checked out the NPR site & found a recipe from the book that looked like a winner. I finally had a chance to try it out yesterday--and it did not disappoint. My husband had to literally put the bowl of pasta in the fridge to stop himself from eating any more of it. It's sweet, savory & satisfying with a spicy kick!
Is it a Nutritarian's Delight? Absolutely not. On the plus side it has butternut squash, greens, fresh herbs & garlic. On the minus side it has Asiago cheese, olive oil, pasta (I couldn't find a whole grain farfelle) and half & half (I subbed with Trader Joe's soy creamer).
10 minutes prep time; 35 minutes oven time (Wrong! It took me an hour plus!)
You could cook this dish ahead through Step 6 and then bake it in a shallow casserole, topping it with extra cheese in the last 5 minutes of baking.
An autumn supper in a bowl, this is a "sauce" that you roast in the oven in about 30 minutes: chunks of sweet squash, roasted herbs and greens. Add half-and-half (soy creamer), toss with hot pasta and cheese, and you have a great sell to the anti-vegetable contingent.
5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot
3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks (My tip: save yourself the time & headache of peeling & cutting up squash. Buy 2 18 oz. packages of cut-up squash from Trader Joe's. I buy this stuff weekly!)
1 medium to large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 big handfuls escarole or curly endive that has been washed, dried and torn into small pieces, or spring mix (Next time I'm using more! Definitely dry it thoroughly.)
1/3 tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn
16 large fresh sage leaves, torn
5 large garlic cloves, coarse chopped
1/3 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tight-packed tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
Pasta and finish
1 pound imported bow-tie pasta (Try to find a whole grain version. I couldn't)
1/2 cup half-and-half (I used Trader Joe's Soy Milk Creamer)
1 to 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
Slip one large or two smaller shallow sheet pans into the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bring the salted water to a boil.
In a big bowl, toss together all the ingredients for the roasted vegetables. Be generous with the salt and pepper.
Pull out the oven rack holding the sheet pan. Taking care not to burn yourself, turn the squash blend onto the hot sheet pan and spread it out. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender, turning the vegetables two or three times during roasting. (This took longer & I needed 2 large pans to hold everything. I lined them with foil for easier clean-up)
As the squash becomes tender, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook it until tender, but with some firmness to the bite. Drain in a colander.
Once the squash is tender, turn on the broiler to caramelize it. Watch the vegetables closely, turning the pieces often. Anticipate about 5 minutes under the broiler. You want crusty brown edges on the squash and wilted, almost crisp greens. (Watch that the greens don't burn before the squash & onions brown!)
Scrape everything into a serving bowl. (I needed the largest bowl I could find.) Add the half-and-half (or soy creamer), hot pasta, and 1 cup of the cheese. Toss to blend, tasting for salt and pepper. Add more cheese if desired. Serve hot.
I will definitely make this again. And it's company fare, for sure!
The nutrition facts are based upon 8 servings. The fiber & protein will go up if you can find a whole grain farfelle (bow-tie pasta) The sodium content is without added salt!