Three weeks ago, Mark Bittman‘s The Minimalist column ended a 13 year run in The New York Times. Bittman (as he is known even to my 6 year old daughter) has become a go-to source in our household, since his recipes provide flavorful but usually straightforward dishes with many options for substitutions and variations.
In his final column, he writes of the changes his cooking style has undergone during that time, including his shift of meat from the center of the plate to more of an accent or condiment. He says:
My growing conviction that the meat-heavy American diet and our increasing dependence on prepared and processed foods is detrimental not only to our personal health but to that of the planet has had an impact on my life and on that of the column. You can see this in dishes like stir-fried lettuce with shrimp, chickpea tagine with chicken, a number of bean dishes and the dozens of other meatless or less-meat recipes that have become dominant in the last five years.
And where will Bittman go from here? I’m happy to see that he has the makings of a strong voice advocating healthy eating and a healthy food system for all. He writes:
In part, what I see as the continuing attack on good, sound eating and traditional farming in the United States is a political issue. I’ll be writing regularly about this in the opinion pages of The Times, and in a blog.
In case you’re curious, here are his 25 favorite recipes (out of over 1000 that appeared in the column).